Counselor - January

Mrs. Bacher - Counselor
Posted on 01/06/2020
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Happy New Year and start to a new decade! I hope everyone had nice holidays and a chance to spend time with family. I was able to have my two sons home from college and spend time with family in Oregon over the break.

In January our classroom lessons will continue to focus on feelings. With the younger students we will continue to talk about how to identify feelings and older students will focus on feelings and how to handle strong emotions. You probably notice that we are spending quite a bit on time on this important social skill. Fifth graders will be doing a unit on Empathy and how to figure out how someone else is feeling. Acts of kindness will also be a theme throughout the school in January. Take a look at our new bulletin board in the lobby and encourage your child to do random acts of kindness and be the “I” in kind.

One topic that I have been reading a lot about lately is how screen time affects children. There are new studies that link screen time to the rise in depression and anxiety in our youth. I’ve worked with children for over 25 years now and I can definitely see this rise in mental health issues in our students.

Did you know that most American children spend about 3 hours a day watching TV? Added together, all types of screen time can total 5 to 7 hours a day! There are some risks associated with too much screen time including making it hard for your child to sleep at night, raising your child’s risk for attention problems, anxiety and depression. Also too much screen time lessens physical activity and can increase your child’s risk for obesity and other health problems.

Here are the recommendations for the amount of screen time from doctors who have studied this area:

Children under age 2 should have no screen time. Limit screen time to 1 to 2 hours a day for children over age 2.
Despite what ads may say, videos that are aimed at very young children do not improve their development.

Here are a few suggestions to reduce screen time for your children:
Remove the TV or computer from your child's bedroom.
DO NOT allow TV watching during meals or homework.
DO NOT let your child eat while watching TV or using the computer.
DO NOT leave the TV on for background noise. Turn on the radio instead, or have no background noise.
Decide which programs to watch ahead of time. Turn off the TV when those programs are over.
Suggest other activities, such as family board games, puzzles, or going for a walk.
Be a good role model as a parent. Try to decrease your own screen time.

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