From the Counselling Corner
Television, newspapers, radios, and social media provide us with information on an ongoing, consistent basis.
We are saddened by the events presented these past few weeks. Two Canadian soldiers, who fought for our freedoms and the freedom of others, killed in acts of violence.
The newspapers, radio, television and social media have been busy relaying the story over and over again. Deborah Serani, a psychologist and psychoanalyst who reports for Psychology Today, notes in a June 2011 article titled, If It Bleeds, It Leads: Understanding Fear Based Media, that how journalism is presented has changed: \”the journalistic mission was to report the news as it actually happened, with fairness, balance, and integrity. However, capitalistic motives associated with journalism have forced much of today's television news to look to the spectacular, the stirring, and the controversial as news stories.”
Ms. Serani also notes that the main aim of the story is to “grab” our attention and then “persuade the viewer” to believe what is happening or occurring. This is done in a variety of ways, by using voice (change in tone, cadence) to presenting questions that make one think. Problems, arise, however, when the initial information that is presented is not accurate or changes. This creates fragmentation and confusion as the person watching is not able to ascertain what is real.
You may or may not agree with Serani. While Serani does not identify the age of the viewers in her article, it is important to note that our children have beautiful young minds. These minds, are not able to process complex material in the way that adult minds can. Watching and re-watching the news, hearing the news over and over again, interacting with social media, can create anxiety in our children. They are not able to process.
I encourage you to limit what your children are viewing and listening to on a daily basis. Your children may have questions as to what has happened and or is occurring. As parents, you will know what information your child is able to understand. The most important message will be to share with them that they are safe and loved.
last updated; November 12, 2014
From the Counselling Corner
October Issue: Routines
We are just settling in to October. One month has passed since children began their first day of school---met their teacher, walked into their new classroom, and saw the children that would be learning with them this year.
For the month of September the teacher has been establishing routines, things that the children do on a daily basis. For example, deciding on how to use the agenda that passes back and forth between home and school most effectively. When to share important days of the child, like his or her birthday? When to teach the various subjects? There are many factors a teacher takes into consideration when coming up with a routine for school.
The routine then provides children with an understanding of what the day is going to look like. By knowing this, children can then self-regulate, knowing that recess is at a certain time the child can make sure he or she has a snack and gets outside to actively participate with his or her friends. He or she can also have an idea about time-how much time does it take him or her to complete a task? Students will then become more confident in themselves knowing that they are able to achieve a certain task in the time given.
Routines can also be very beneficial at home. Of course, flexibility within the routine is also helpful as it helps the child know that sometimes things can change, like staying up later on a Friday night to watch a movie with mom and dad.
Dr. Laura Markham (www.ahaparenting.com) notes that routines at home do six key things:
1) Eliminate power struggles—children learn what a typical day looks like and know that during that day there will be opportunity for things like play
2) Help children cooperate
3) Take charge—children who have an understanding of routine may actually take a leadership role like helping with the dishes after supper because the routine is familiar to them and they have seen mom and dad model the action of washing dishes.
4) Looking forward: Within the routine, a family may talk about what is coming up, like visiting grandma and grandpa and children learn to look forward to the experience
5) Scheduling---routines provide for an opportunity for family’s to schedule activities
6) Build in family time: Family time is important, and by having a routine, one can create opportunity to have special moments throughout the day.
M. Jeanne Wilcox and Juliane Woods (2012) have also identified that routines establish a way for very young children to understand language and how to communicate. It provides them with a context and a way to explore in a safe way.
This month is safety month. As a part of your family routine, you may wish to review your family’s safety plan for computer use, potential fire and emergencies. Talk with your child about what ifs—What if I am not able to get home when I said I would get home? What if you are locked out of the house? What is safe computer use for our family?
By providing structure, children can become confident in their surroundings, whether at school or at home.
last updated; September 29th, 2014