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Tips For Middle School Success
Show an interest in your student’s daily life and studies:
- Ask about your child’s day? What’s going well? What’s not going well? What did you learn today? What do you like about school?
- Help your child make time for homework. (Set up a homework schedule. Give reminders. Offer to help. Provide positive feedback.)
- Know your child’s friends and what your child is doing in his/her spare time.
- Encourage your child to get involved by joining clubs and intramurals.
Monitor your student’s progress:
- Check that your student is using his/her planner and completing assignments.
- Check your student’s progress on Infinite Campus.
- Bring your child to study sessions (before or after school) for extra help.
- Contact the teacher or counselor if you have questions/concerns.
Partner with the school:
- Make sure your child attends school regularly.
- Make it clear that school rules must be followed.
- Attend parent meetings/conferences.
- Communicate with teachers, counselors, and administrators.
- With your child, read information that is sent home from the school.
What? Deliberate, immediate, repetitive, non-lethal harming of one’s self as a way of coping with emotional pain. It is important to note that studies show 90% of people who self-harm are not suicidal.
Why? Reasons students may be cutting varies. Common themes among students who self-harm:
- Experiencing pain and want someone to notice/ask about what is happening
- Feeling pressure from unrealistic expectations that they or others have for themselves
- Low self-worth
- Feels emotions deeply, about themselves or for other people, more so than others
- SCARS: Self-punishment, Control, Attention, Release of emotion/pain, Security
How to help: One of the most important things to remember when talking with your student is to focus on safety and the emotions that are causing them to self-harm. Focus on the person, not the behavior.
- Empathize with their emotion
- Explore different ways to cope with their emotions
- Expose the lie they are telling themselves (Example lies: “I am not good enough”, “No one cares”, “I am not worthy”, “I am better off alone”, “I just cause problems for everyone”)
- Identify people who can help
- Follow through on promises to help, listen and support
- Assume they can stop on their own
- Focus on how it is making you feel or what it is doing to you
- Ask to see their scars or where they cut. When they feel like you want to help, they will show you.
- Compare their life to someone else’s (“You think you have it bad….”, “At least…”)
If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact your grade level counselor – Erin McCort, 8th Grade; Anita McKiernan, 7th grade; Steven Miller 6th grade.
Information adapted from Christian T. Hill, Alpine Connection Counseling.