Positive Discipline Tool of the Month: Family Meetings

A great way to open up or strengthen the lines of communication within your family is by having weekly family meetings.  Family meetings are an effective tool because all members get to have a voice and the freedom to express themselves.  They also teach important life skills such as respectful communication, problem solving, and responsibility. 

On Wednesday, October 17th, I will be holding my first parent workshop of the year from 7pm-8:30pm in the Drama room. In addition to safeguarding, we will also explore the Positive Discipline approach to family meetings. I hope to see many of you there! 

Welcome Back!

As a school counselor, I view listening as the most essential part of my job. When we feel hurt, angry, confused, or even lost, we’re usually not looking for advice but instead someone to listen and validate our feelings.  This is what I hope to offer every person who comes to my office.

The beginning of a new school year can be both exciting and overwhelming. I want to remind the middle school and high school students that I am here to support and listen to them.

 

Gratitude

Most of us were raised to be polite and respectful, and saying “thank you” is an essential piece of good manners.  But for how many of us has saying “thank you” become a reflex, something we mindlessly utter to the shop clerk or bus driver?  How many of us actually spend any amount of time really reflecting on our gratitude?

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Positive Discipline Tool of the Month: Family Meetings

Seisen News

Positive Discipline Tool of the Month: Family Meetings
Cristina Varriale

A great way to open up or strengthen the lines of communication within your family is by having weekly family meetings.  Family meetings are an effective tool because all members get to have a voice and the freedom to express themselves.  They also teach important life skills such as respectful communication, problem solving, and responsibility. 

On Wednesday, October 17th, I will be holding my first parent workshop of the year from 7pm-8:30pm in the Drama room. In addition to safeguarding, we will also explore the Positive Discipline approach to family meetings. I hope to see many of you there! 

Last week, I participated in a meeting with other school counselors where we talked about the issue of confidentiality.  As certified counselors, we are ethically obligated to maintain confidentiality with our students.  This means that anything a student shares during a counseling session must stay between the student and the counselor.  Of course, confidentiality has limits and these limits are explained to students.  The limits of confidentiality include disclosure of harm to self (or intent to harm one's self), harm by others, or the intent to harm someone else.  

As students reach middle and high school, "harm to self" can be a bit of a gray area.  If a student discloses they were drinking at a party, is that harm to self? If a student discloses they smoked a cigarette, is that harm to self?  I brought up this point to my counseling colleagues, and the consensus was parents were only informed if a student were in "imminent danger".  The rationale behind this is that if we were to call a parent every time a student disclosed potentially risky behavior, students would never talk to us.  This doesn't mean they would stop engaging in risky behavior, they just would do it without seeking guidance from any trusted adult.

I often encourage students to share with their parents and seek their support.  Some students are very open to this; others are not.  A great way to open up or strengthen the lines of communication within your family is by having weekly family meetings.  Much like the classroom meetings that many of my colleagues here at Seisen have, family meetings are an effective tool because all members get to have a voice and the freedom to express themselves.  Family meetings teach important life skills such as respectful communication, problem solving, and responsibility.  

Another benefit of having weekly family meetings is it prioritizes spending time together.  Between work, school, and other commitments, it is easy for days to slip by without all members of the family even seeing each other, let alone sitting down and having a conversation.  

It is important that when having a family meeting, all members feel included and heard.  A family meeting where mom and dad simply talk at the children for 20 minutes isn't really effective.  I think we can all relate to being in a meeting where we were just talked at for a period of time and I don't think any of us would say those meetings felt productive.  If you need a reminder of how it feels, please watch the video below.

On Wednesday, October 17th, I will be holding my first parent workshop of the year.  The theme for the workshop is safeguarding and in addition to outlining some of the dangers your daughter may encounter and warning signs to recognize, we will also explore ways to help your daughter make safe choices and this will include incorporating family meetings.  I will go through the Positive Discipline approach to family meetings and we will even practice facilitating a mock family meeting.  We will meet from 7pm-8:30pm in the Drama room. I hope to see many of you there!

 

 

Positive Discipline Tool of the Month: Family Meetings

A great way to open up or strengthen the lines of communication within your family is by having weekly family meetings.  Family meetings are an effective tool because all members get to have a voice and the freedom to express themselves.  They also teach important life skills such as respectful communication, problem solving, and responsibility. 

On Wednesday, October 17th, I will be holding my first parent workshop of the year from 7pm-8:30pm in the Drama room. In addition to safeguarding, we will also explore the Positive Discipline approach to family meetings. I hope to see many of you there! 

Welcome Back!

As a school counselor, I view listening as the most essential part of my job. When we feel hurt, angry, confused, or even lost, we’re usually not looking for advice but instead someone to listen and validate our feelings.  This is what I hope to offer every person who comes to my office.

The beginning of a new school year can be both exciting and overwhelming. I want to remind the middle school and high school students that I am here to support and listen to them.

 

Gratitude

Most of us were raised to be polite and respectful, and saying “thank you” is an essential piece of good manners.  But for how many of us has saying “thank you” become a reflex, something we mindlessly utter to the shop clerk or bus driver?  How many of us actually spend any amount of time really reflecting on our gratitude?

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