Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Parent University: Turning Words into Gold!

Have you ever tried to force someone to do something and they wouldn't budge!  
Flashback:  Sitting in church trying to get your kids to stop talking!
Oh yeah, you've been there, right?
One thing I learned from Love and Logic was using what we call Enforceable Statements.  What exactly is an enforceable statement you ask?  It is saying exactly what you are going to do in a given situation.  It must be human nature for us to tell our kids what they need to do:
clean your room
do your homework
wash your hands
be nice to your brother
eat your dinner
take out the trash
walk the dog
Okay----you get the idea.  I'm sure you have many other "commands" going through your head.  
The real truth is when we tell our kids these things, we hope they do them.
BUT....have you ever had one of those kids who says, "I don't want to." just wait forever for them to do it?
Not giving up any family secrets here....well, maybe just a little.
I will admit that "enforceable statements" is one of my favorite L & L techniques.
This takes a little practice but is very easy to catch on to.
Let's take a look at those examples from above and say them the L & L way:
Clean your room........ I take kids with clean rooms to the park (shopping if they are teens!).
Do your homework......Kids who have their homework done get to play a game.
Wash your hands....Anyone who has washed their hands are welcome at the dinner table.
Be nice to your brother.....I let kids who are nice to each other stay in this room.
Eat your dinner...Kids who clean their plate will get dessert.
Take out the trash....I take kids who have their chores done to the movie.
Walk the dog.....I charge $5 for walking the dog.

I think you are probably getting the idea, right?  Take those statements that you usually use and write them down.  Then, think of how you can rephrase it with an enforceable statement.

Here is my Parent University video to go along with this skill.

Hope you enjoy!

Let me know if there is a specific topic you would like me to address.  I will let you know if I feel I can cover that topic or will find the resources for you.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

What is your story?

I had my one week check up, after surgery #2, at the podiatrist on Thursday.   My husband offered to take me but I gave him the day off because he has been such a good caretaker!  So, my sister-in-law took me.  Get two gals in a car for a one hour ride  and there isn't a quiet moment, just sayin'!  After the 10 minute appointment I suggested we go get some "real" food--no fast food this trip!  So I suggested Applebee's---easy in and easy out since I'm using a walker at the time being.

We were seated at a table and Charlie showed up as our server.  Friendly young guy who Deb and I guessed to be about 20 tops.  Charlie was very good at his job.  I saw how he was interacting with the small child at the next table---good people skills!  By the time we finished our meal and Charlie stopped by to see if we were ready for our bill, I couldn't help but ask him a question.  "Charlie, what's your story?"
Well, I got the whole story!
Charlie told how he had been a rebellious kid.  Grew up in Florida until him and his dad moved to the midwest.  His dad was a tough love parent which at the time he didn't appreciate.  Charlie made some poor choices and eventually ended up at Boys Town.  He was in a relationship and had 2 daughters.  It didn't last.  After 4 years of being sober he was able to reconnect with his daughters.  He is soon to be married and has a young son with his fiance.  Life is good right now for Charlie but he sure went through some tough times.  On our way our I asked Charlie one last question, "What church do you go to Charlie?"  He told me he was Catholic and I told him to make sure he makes attending church a priority for his family.  He told me he would and that without his dad's tough love and his faith he wouldn't be where he is today.
Wow!  What a story! didn't stop there that day.
I was waiting with my walker in the entry way for Deb to get the car and pick me up.  An elder lady came in and was waiting for someone who had just dropped her off.  Yep, you got it, I had to talk to her.  "Well hi, how are you today?"
She responded that she was doing much better.  She went on to say that she had moved to the city recently so her daughter could help take care of her.  She was feeling much better since she got her pacemaker.  
"That is so good", I responded.
She then shared how she had suffered 2 heart attacks since April.  She shared how they had lost her after the second one and had to bring her back.
"So you have been to the other side?"  I asked.
"Oh yes.  I saw angels.  They were beautiful.  And I can't even put into words how beautiful everything was that I saw."
Seriously.  This isn't something you can make up!
I told her she had an important story to share with others and she agreed.
As I got to Deb's car she asked, "Now who were you talking to?"
I told her, "You aren't even going to believe this one!"

So, what's your story?

Friday, February 5, 2016

Attitude Check!

Julia Cook does it once again by giving us a book that addresses a topic which can sometimes be a bit tricky to deal with.  Bad Attitude, or as Julia has coined the term Baditude!

What is it that makes us have a baditude?
Is it things that happen to us?  Or our environment?  Maybe our personality.
To be honest, it has to do with our we view circumstances or events.
I'm sure you have had an experience where the way you react to something is totally different than a friend or someone else.  You might brush it off and the other person may get very bothered by it.
How about someone cutting you off when you are driving?
For some people, it can ruin their whole day, or even longer than a day.
A baditude can take over your whole mindset if you allow it to.
If you are like me (and most people) you don't really enjoy being around people with a bad attitude.  I used to call these types of people toxic.  Not enjoyable at all.
The sad thing is when that negativism rubs off on others.  Lose:lose for everyone concerned.
Julia presents to us in the Baditude book that we need to turn our "have to's" into "get to's".  It is changing our mindset into more positives.  We look at what we are grateful for.  Pick 3 gratitudes a day and you will be amazed at how that can turn a baditude around!

I enjoyed reading this book to my students and they totally got it!  We talked about how sometimes we think our life stinks---too much homework, chores, putting up with a younger sibling, etc.
Then we turned our thinking from "have to's" into "get to's".  It was fun to listen to the great ideas them came up with.
I put the activities I wrote together into an activity packet and have accomplished one of my goals of opening up my TpT store.  Check out the Baditude Activity Packet and have fun working with changing the bad attitude mindset.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

I Hope You Dance!

Let me introduce you to Olivia!  She is one of our 5th grade students and is a pretty awesome girl.  I think a perfect nickname for her would be "SmileMaker" because everyone who meets her in the hall or class at school can't help but smile.  I love to see her reach the goals she is working on at school.  When she is walking in her walker you can see the determination in her face.  
(Olivia in the Wax Museum in 4th grade.)

And I would argue all day with anyone who might think she doesn't know what is going on...she does.
I love it when she gets that sneaky little look in her eye followed by her contagious laugh.  She loves to tell jokes by pushing the speaking button.  It's great to have conversations with Olivia.
Well, Olivia celebrated another first:
Dance Clinic!
It required help from her associates that work with her at school---they stayed after to make sure all her needs were being met.
Olivia got to interact with friends from her class and the high school dance team coaches and members.
But Olivia wasn't the only one to celebrate the first!
It was a first for the dance team to experience dancing with someone with Olivia's needs.  They made it happen!
The other participants learned that anything is possible.
It just takes team work!  It takes determination!
It takes empathy and wanting to look pass limitations.
She taught us something:

"when you get the choice to sit it out or dance,  
I hope you dance!" 
from Leann Womack's song "I Hope You Dance"


Thanks for making the choice to dance!  
Thanks for teaching us all to take the chance!
Love you Olivia!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Celebrating Mistakes!

It seems we get so upset with ourselves when we make a mistake.  And WHY?  
People make mistakes all the time....that is how we learn. 
Think of all the things you have learned from making a mistake:
*learning to stand on your own
*feeding yourself
*riding a bike
*dressing yourself
These were all by the time most of went off to school.

For some people it is easier to run from their mistakes than use them as an opportunity to learn.  After all, isn't learning from our mistakes or failures where we have the opportunity to better our skills or knowledge?  You bet it is.
So let's come to an agreement:
Let's stop beating ourselves up when we make a mistake!
Let's take that moment to step back and say,
"Rats!  That didn't work out the way I planned!"

I think the following video clip is a great way to sum it all up---enjoy!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

National School Counseling Week 2016

National School Counseling Week is an exciting time for all school counselors.  It is the week when counselors pump up their advocacy skills and make sure people understand the role of the school counselor and how we meet student needs.

Little different for me this year as I will be on sick leave following a foot surgery.  So, how does one challenge her students when not there?  I decided it would be fun to do a daily video for the students where I give them a word for the day and a challenge.
I learned how to do PowToons at our ISCA conference last year but really hadn't taken them time to make some.  Well, when you have to sit and elevate your foot, you have plenty of time to play around with these fun sites and get creative.

Here are the daily videos, all in one blog entry, for you to watch.  I created them as daily messages for my K-6 students, but I think they could be used for any students.  I  hope you enjoy them!
Day 1!

Day 2!

Day 3!

Day 4!

Day 5!

I will be anxious to share some of the other exciting things I have going on this week.  Be sure to stop back and check out what I have for parents during National School Counseling Week!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

It's Not TERMINAL!!!

So I had a bunionectomy (a bunion removed) a month ago.  My foot hurt most of  the time and decided it was time to take care of it.  For some reason I thought if I had it the last day of school before Christmas vacation, I would be ready to go back to part days when school started back up.  Probably would have worked except for the iPad I dropped right on my foot the day I returned.  My check up 4 days later showed that the bone had shifted---yep, sure did!  That meant I needed to stay off the foot, which I did for one week!  I got a little stir crazy not being able to go out of the house much and not being around my school kiddos.  
So, make the most of it, right?!  I decided to get my Parent University videos going, which I did.  Then I decided to work on some activities which I could use with my students based on some of the books I use.  At this point I have one completely finished and ready to put on TpT  (more sharing on that later).
Finally, my week of pampering my foot like a newborn came to an end---get to work Laurel!
So, back I went.  Loved seeing the kids and checking in with the teachers.  Tried my hardest to catch up with the kiddos that needed some one on one time with me.  BUT by day 3 of being back I left school in PAIN!  My Prince (nickname for hubby who has been great at taking care of me!) took me back to the doctor to find out that the bone shifted further!  SERIOUSLY!!!  Now the doctor's orders were "Go home and STAY OFF the foot---get the swelling down!  And come back on Monday and let's take another look at it!"  Okay, 5 days and we will meet again to see how the foot (which I am ready to name but haven't come up with a good one yet!) is doing.

So, where am I going with this?
Well, I teach kids to have a Growth Mindset---to look at the bright side, be positive, 
have an attitude of gratitude---but I will be honest, I have been struggling to stay out of the "Self-Pity Party" thinking.  Back to the "Mommalies"--My mom always said the following:
"It's not so bad that it couldn't be worse!"
"You can always find someone who has it worse than you do."
"What are you whining about?"
I am actually glad those words stick in my mind, they keep me grounded.
I decided I needed to give myself a little "kick in the tush" and come up with a mantra to keep me from losing my JOY---so, here it is:

You know, there are so many people out there struggling with all kinds of things!
Keep your head up when things happen that can get you down!
Don't let your JOY escape you and end up falling into the pit of PITY!!!