Guidance Topics of the Week: FEELINGS / TEST-TAKING TIPS

Our topic for Guidance period this week is FEELINGS.


Apart from this, we will also talk about TEST-TAKING TIPS.  I will be posting articles and videos regarding these topics. Feel free to write comments, ask questions, and even share links to other articles relevant to this topic. Thanks! =)

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Posted by on July 30, 2011 in Feelings, Test-Taking


When your child doesn’t want to go to school

It’s one of those recurring nightmares parents have, your child clinging desperately to your arm, leg or neck crying “mommy, please don’t leave!”

Maybe it’s your kindergartner’s first day of school, an older child still reeling from the effects of a move, or a special needs child who knows only frustration lies behind that door. We dread the daily refrains of,

“Mommy, I don’t feel good”
”I don’t want to go to school.”
”Why do I have to go?”

Whatever the cause, the effects on both parents and child can be gut- wrenching. So what should we do? How do we ease both our own and our children’s fears? Here are a few ideas:

1. Make sure it truly is a safe place

Unfortunately, in today’s day and age you can no longer assume that your child’s school is a safe place to learn and play. Ask school officials if there have been incidents of violence at your child’s school. Talk with your child about the other kids in their class — be alert for comments that may indicate a bully or overly aggressive classmate. If you think your child may be a target of violence or teasing — discuss the situation immediately with your child’s paraprofessional, teacher, or principal.

2. Be sure the elements for success are in place

If your child is simply struggling with normal “transition” fears, then you can make sure they are prepared by providing a healthy diet, making sure they are well rested and assisting them with homework as needed. If your child has special needs then their individual “elements for success” may be more complex. Talk with your child and his/her teacher about the following:

  • Can my child do the work as it’s presented?
  • Does he get frustrated during certain subjects or times of the day?
  • What kind of modifications or extra support would help my child be successful in class?
  • Does my child seem to be getting the right amount of support from his/her paraprofessional?

3. Explain what will happen when they get there

Many children are simply scared of the unknown. It can be reassuring for them to hear stories from parents, older siblings, and family friends about when they started kindergarten or moved to a new school. Sharing positive memories will also help establish school as a place where “good things happen”. If you aren’t sure what the routine will be — ask! Most teachers welcome parent involvement and will be glad to talk you through a routine day so that you can prepare your child.

4. Share strategies that work

If your child can tell you what it is about school that bothers them, they have offered you a rare opportunity. Instead of brushing their fears aside with an, “Everything will be fine — just give it time” attitude, talk to them about situations where you had similar fears and how you handled it. This helps your child understand that fear is a natural part of life, but also that there are things they can do to manage their fear. Your attention and active listening will also encourage your child’s trust in you and keep the lines of communication open to deal with future issues.

5. Talk to the “Pros”

Instead of avoiding the issue, talk with other parents or the school counselor. Many have faced similar situations and will probably be glad to tell you how they handled it or at least offer reassurance that it will get better with time.

 6. Use pictures

Sometimes our children experience feelings that they simply don’t have the words or the ability to tell us how they’re feeling. It can be helpful for everyone to step back and use a more neutral “tool”. If your child likes to draw, encourage them to draw pictures of their school, classroom, teacher, and classmates. When the pictures are done having your child explain them to you can often reveal much about the situation. If your child is nonverbal, try playing a picture matching game. You name people, places and activities (this can include school, but also other familiar items) — after each item have your child select the “feeling face” that they would pair with that person or activity. Feeling to include: a happy smiling face, a sad face, a confused face, a scared face, etc.

Another great visual tool is a book. Many favorite children’s series include a starting school story. Read the stories together and then talk about them. Be sure to key in on feelings the character experienced as well as concrete actions the character took (sometimes it helps to talk about not only what worked but also what didn’t work!). Here are some great books to consider:

7. Make it a game

If your child enjoys creative play, then try “playing” school. Let your child experiment with all the different roles — themselves, the teacher, other classmates, and the principal. It can add an extra element of reality if you join the game and play your child. Not only will this allow you to see what your child is keying in on, but also it will help them develop some understanding of how their actions effect others.

8. Don’t linger over good-byes

Although listening to your child and discussing the situation at home may be helpful, providing your child with extended discussions and attention at the classroom or schoolhouse door will only reinforce their fears. Try to keep good-byes short and matter of fact. If your child is physically clinging to you, ask the teacher to meet you at the door for a few days to guide them into the room. Another possibility is to plan to arrive at the same time as a favorite peer. Frequently your child will either be distracted by talking to the friend or too embarrassed to show fear in front of a friend.

9. Make routine your friend

Start a week before school begins and develop a “school day” routine. This let’s kids get used to the new schedule before it actually HAS to happen. For younger children this will help prevent those familiar power struggles over a new bedtime or having to leave for school in the middle of a favorite cartoon.

10. Give your child a “love note”

For many children the tears are simply separation anxiety, mom and home are associated with security and love. To help ease this separation try to think of a creative way to let your child take a little piece of home along to school. This could be a note from mom tucked in their pocket, a laminated family photo to keep in their backpack, or a hand drawn picture of the clock showing what time you will come back and pick them up.

In the long run — Most children will eventually work through their fears. Stressed though you may feel as a parent, here are the keys for you in the meantime:

  • Stay calm.
  • Listen to your child.
  • Try not to argue with them or raise your voice.
  • Tell your child often that you love them.
  • Use consistency — Tell them that all children must go to school and then take them to school.

© 2001, Lisa Simmons

Lisa Simmons is the webmaster of Ideal at – Visit our website any time to read informative articles, pick up practical tips, and find great disability resources on the web. Subscribe to our FREE newsletter at:

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Posted by on July 17, 2011 in School Matters


18 Ways to Show Your Kids they are Special and Loved

In today’s hustle and bustle of work, soccer games and dance class we need a reminder to take a break from the daily chaos of  life  and  let your little ones know just how SPECIAL and LOVED they really are.  Here are a few ways to have fun and make your child feel really special.

1.    Spend time alone with each of your children. Go out to lunch, take a leisurely walk, or just hang out together letting them know you value them as individuals.

2.    Nurture self-esteem and self-confidence by praising good effort and a job well done, not just results.

3.    Celebrate everyday accomplishments. Make a special desert or fun snack with your child to celebrate losing a tooth, making the soccer team, getting an A on a science paper, and more.

4.    Teach children to think positive by being positive. Instead of noting how dirty they are when they come in for dinner, say, “Looks like you had a great time!”

5.    Read “just one more book” even if it’s late and you’re tired.  And don’t forget to read to older children who already know how to read themselves. It’s a great opportunity to snuggle.

6.    Get out the photo albums and their baby books and tell your children stories about their beginnings.

7.    Tell them how wonderful it is being their parent and how much you like the way they’re growing up.

8.    Get messy with your kids: Make snow angels, put your hands in the finger-paint, and mush up that clay.

9.    Get to know their schedules, friends, and teachers so you can ask, “Did you and Sam sit together at lunch today?” or “What did Mr. Rogers sing in music class?” instead of simply, “What did you do today?”

10.  Stop washing the dishes and talking on the phone and really listen when they are talking to you.

11.  Teach your children to play jacks, use a yo-yo, knit, or do something you loved as a child. Or let your child choose something new you can learn together.

12.  Cut their sandwiches into shapes with cookie cutter hearts and stars.

13.  Slip little love notes, jokes, poems, and words of encouragement into your children’s lunchboxes, backpacks, or next to their beds (if you leave before they wake up), just to let them know you’re thinking about them all day long.

14.  Wear the “jewels” your children make for you and display their artwork proudly in a special, visible place.

15.  Instead of saying, “You’re doing it wrong,” when your child makes a mistake, try saying “Why don’t you try it this way.”

16.  Create a secret word, sign, or gesture of affection that only you and your child share.

17.  Forget about yesterday. Start each day fresh. It’s a new opportunity to have a better relationship with your children and to fall in love with them all over again.

18.  Hug them, kiss them, and say, “I love you” every day, no matter what. Kids thrive on it and it’s a daily fix we all need no matter what our age!

This article was revised from Ladies Home Journal article written by Bethany Kandel she is the mother of two sons and the author of The Expert Parent: Everything You Need to Know From All the Experts in The Know (Pocket Books, 1997).











Know your PREP Boy

Here are some characteristics you might observe in your Prep boy.  Knowing these might help you anticipate their needs and help you understand our kids a little better and anticipate their needs.   =)

Physical Development

  • Prefers play to anything else

  • Develops physical dexterity

  • Becomes more in doing certain activities like bathing and eating

  • Improves writing and drawing abilities

  • Acquires varied interests

Emotional Development

  • Expresses his feelings spontaneously

  • Develops the concept of right and wrong

  • Develops self-image and self-esteem

  • Compares self with others

  • Imitates what is seen or heard from the significant others around him

Mental Development

  • Explores his environment

  • Learns best by doing

  • Asks questions about things, people, and events

  • Enjoys being read to

  • Makes his own stories using words and expressions heard from par

Social Development

  • Seeks companionship of other children

  • Prefers to play with same sex

  • Starts to recognize situations that may be dangerous to him thus, starts to limit himself

  • Enjoys joining in the activities of older children but excludes the younger ones from the group

Spiritual Development

  • Begins to discover God’s love through parents and people around him

  • Marvels at God’s greatness as manifested by the beautiful world he lives in

  • Makes short but personal prayers of praise and thanksgiving to God, our Father

  • Starts to be aware of the presence of people who are in need of his help

  • Learns best by doing


Guidance Topic of the Week: LEARNING ABOUT ONESELF

Our topic for Guidance period this week is LEARNING ABOUT ONESELF. I will be posting articles and videos regarding this topic. Feel free to write comments, ask questions, and even share links to other articles relevant to this topic. Thanks! =)


Back to Prep!! :D

This picture was taken 4 years ago when I was the Student Supervisor of te Prep students. =)

I was thrilled when I learned earlier this school year that I will handle the Prep students.  Prep is very close to my heart because this is the level I first handled 4 years ago when I was hired as a Student Supervisor in Xavier.  Now, my Xavier experience has come to a full circle as all the learnings would be put to practice and test as I come back to the level where it all began.  This is going to be a great school year for me and my students; and I am looking forward to all the great lessons and activities that I’ll have with my Prep students.

This blog will document all the learnings and experiences that I will have for this school year.  Through this, I hope I could share with you every bit of learning that I will have as a Prep Guidance Counselor.

To begin, I’d like to share this song that I’m listening to right now, as I ponder over and look forward to a great year with my Prep students.  I think this is a good song to open my soundtrack for the school year.  =)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Don’t Stop

Fleetwood Mac

If you wake up and don’t want to smile,
If it takes just a little while,
Open your eyes and look at the day,
You’ll see things in a different way.

Don’t stop, thinking about tomorrow,
Don’t stop, it’ll soon be here,
It’ll be, better than before,
Yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone.

Why not think about times to come,
And not about the things that you’ve done,
If your life was bad to you,
Just think what tomorrow will do.

Don’t stop, thinking about tomorrow,
Don’t stop, it’ll soon be here,
It’ll be, better than before,
Yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone.

All I want is to see you smile,
If it takes just a little while,
I know you don’t believe that it’s true,
I never meant any harm to you.

Don’t stop, thinking about tomorrow,
Don’t stop, it’ll soon be here,
It’ll be, better than before,
Yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone.

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Posted by on July 15, 2011 in Uncategorized


The Fugitives of Lent (Online Recollection)

Fr. Johnny Go prepared an online recollection entitled “Fugitives of Lent”  I invite you to walk through the holiest week in our faith reflecting the Passion of Christ through the eyes of Judas, Pilate, and Peter the Apostle.

Click here or here to enter the recollection site.

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Posted by on April 18, 2011 in Faith and Religion