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Hi Everyone, happy almost april vacation :)  I found this article and thought it was really important to share.  I have come across this article through a variety of different well known psychology resources.  I am glad to see this research getting coverage.  In this article, the Yale Child Study Center found great results in helping to reduce childhood anxiety by coaching parents.  The article is titled New childhood anxiety treatment focuses on the parent.  In this article you will find some nice language about what to say to children, but please feel free to check out the resources section of my website for some good books and resources. 
Thanks for visiting!
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Hello families of Wheelock, I don't know if you were lucky enough to get the opportunity to see Jessica Minahan yesterday (author of the Behavior Code), hopefully you were, but if you were not as lucky I am going to share some helpful information here today.  I have been looking forward to this professional development day all year.  I was fortunate enough to see her a year and a half ago and I just knew this would be a presentation everyone could appreciate!  I wrote a previous blog post on some of my favorite tips from that day (Rethinking Strategies for Anxiety and Opposition).  She shared a lot of these strategies yesterday but I wanted to focus this blog post on helping kids to stop the negative thoughts. 

We all know a lot about growth mindset, changing our thinking from "I can't" to "I just haven't done it YET".  This type of coaching to re-frame their thinking is invaluable but Jessica also focused a lot on stopping the negative thoughts by intervening early on.  Often times, we may leave kids to do independent tasks or homework for several minutes.  Within this time frame of just minutes, our anxious kids can have a flood of negative thoughts.  "I can't do this"  "I'm so bad at math" "This is going to take all night".  Anxiety can cause all kinds of incorrect or catastrophic thoughts.  Jessica's advice is to help kids get started, set them up for success and then let them do things independently. 

Another great tip Jessica encouraged us all to think about is what types of breaks we are giving our anxious kids.  Often times we go for a walk or let kids color for a few minutes.  Not to say these aren't great strategies for some kids, but it may not work for others, since negative thoughts can still occur during a walk or while coloring.  Jessica encouraged us to think about 'cognitive' breaks, or a way to distract our mind in a positive way so that we can stop the obtrusive thoughts.  For example, games like 'soduku' or cross words puzzles can help get our mind off negative thoughts.  Or even singing a favorite song and reciting lines from their favorite movie.  Jessica was also so kind to provide some great App to help as calming breaks or cognitive breaks.  I have tried the 'Calm' app myself and loved it!  Here is a list:

- Calm
- Headspace
- Moodnotes ($)
- Moodpath
- Pacifica
- Pixel Thoughts
- Happify
- Talkspace
- SugarBetter
- 7 cups
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Hello new and old friends to Wheelock Elementary School! My name is Jenna Johnson and I am the full time School Psychologist here at Wheelock.  I can hardly believe it but I am entering my sixth year in Medfield and I absolutely love my job.  I look forward to seeing my third grade friends again and meeting new second grade friends.  Welcome to my blog, I try to post helpful and relevant resources from time to time.  If you ever want to reach out to me for more specific questions or concerns please email me at jennajohnson@email.medfield.net.


As the new school year is vastly approaching, there may be great feelings of excitement for what a new school year can bring, but I know there are plenty of kids and parents who may be a bit anxious.  Therefore, I just wanted to share a great audio segment I found from the National Association of School Psychologist (NASP) website.  I always find such great resources from NASP and this one is dedicated to supporting kids of all ages who may have some back to school anxiety.  The staff at Wheelock work so hard to help support the transition back into school and we look forward to the 2018-2019 school year!

Audio segment found here:




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Welcome new families to Wheelock  School and/or Welcome Back to our third grade families!  

The start of school year brings on so many emotions; excitement and nervousness and everything in between.  To help with any of those nervous or anxious feelings I have included
this visual (seen below) with some manageable tips.

Another great resource for the start of school was put out by the National Association of School Psychologists, link found here: Back to School Tips  Some of my favorite tips include; putting a note of encouragement in your child's backpack and making sure there is plenty of time to get ready in the morning.  If the first the first week or so is hard, please know this can be quite common.  Try your best to remain calm, reassuring them while remaining positive will go a long way.  The schools are filled with teachers and staff who know what to do to help your child!



Hope this was helpful and thanks for checking out my site!
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