Welcome to WMS!


Meet Your School Counselors:
2015-16 Counselors: 


   
Mrs. Manos- 8th Grade 330-335-1416 
jmanos@wadsworthschools.org


Mrs. Beal- 7th Grade 330-335-1358 
bbeal@wadsworthschools.org

Mrs. Fuchs- Secretary (330) 336-0233

Know! To Spring Clean Your Medicine Cabinet
Spring is here and for many of us that means spring cleaning. Time to clear out the winter clutter and freshen up our homes. As you are making your spring cleaning checklist, you are encouraged to add this potentially life-saving chore to your list: 
  • Clear out the Medicine Cabinet
Why is spring cleaning your medicine cabinet so important?
  1. Because the number of teens being admitted to hospitals and rehab facilities for prescription drug-related poisonings and addiction have reached epidemic levels, as well as the number of accidental adolescent deaths - tied to prescription drug overdose. 
  2. Because nearly 1 in 5 teens report abusing medications that were not prescribed to them. The most widely abused drugs include painkillers, ADHD and anti-anxiety medications, sleeping pills and cough syrup. 
  3. Because the number one location where teens acquire these drugs is from the home medicine cabinets of family and friends.
There are three key steps to reduce the risk of medicine abuse in your home: Secure, Monitor and Dispose. 
 
SECURE: Avoid storing medications in an unprotected nightstand or kitchen cabinet or carrying them around in your purse or briefcase. Instead, secure your prescription and over-the-counter medications in a locked cabinet, drawer or safe that is inaccessible to your teens and their friends.
 
MONITOR: Make note of how many pills or the amount of liquid in each medicine bottle you have in your home. Keep track of refills and be sure you control any medication that is prescribed to your child.
 
DISPOSE: Limit the supply of drugs in your home by regularly clearing out your unused, unwanted and expired medications. 
  • For safe and appropriate disposal of your medications, you are encouraged to take advantage of community drop boxes or drug take-back days. Click here to find a drop box near you.
  • To properly discard prescription drugs in household trash: remove medicine from the original container, mix with undesirable substance such as coffee grounds or kitty litter and place in a disposable plastic bag or other sealed container. Before placing in the trash, be sure to conceal or remove any personal information on the medicine bottle.
Clearing out your medicine cabinet as part of your springtime cleaning routine is ideal, but it can and should be done on a consistent basis. By limiting the access and availability of medications in your home, you immediately reduce the risk of teen drug abuse. Of course, regular and ongoing conversations with your children on this topic is also key: Remind your son or daughter of your strong disapproval of medicine abuse and make sure he or she is aware that prescription drugs are not a safe alternative to illegal street drugs; as they can be just as dangerous, addictive and damaging to one’s developing  body and mind.
 

Know! Underage Drinking is NOT A Given

Kathy Radigan, a writer for the Huffington Post wrote, “An Open Letter to My Teenage Son About Drinking.” In the article, she talks about how fast time has gone and how so many things have changed; like how the little boy she was arranging play dates for, not so long ago, has now become a full-fledged teenager, heading out to eat and to the movies with his buddies - many times without an adult. She says what used to be sitting at a kitchen table chatting with another parent while the kids played, has now become a drive-by wave at best.

 

Kathy also says that her son’s “teen status” prompted many new questions about alcohol and other drugs from her friends and family. She was asked things like, “What will you do the first time your son comes home drunk?” and, “How will you handle it if you find out he is using drugs?” Kathy took such questions to mean that people just assumed her son (along with other teens) would automatically drink underage and possibly use other drugs. When she questioned the assumption, the most common response was, “Of course he will.” 

 

Baffled by this mindset, Kathy decided to do what she does best, write about it. She says her son, like most of his peers, has been learning about the dangers of alcohol and other drugs in school since the time he was in kindergarten. She knows he is aware that substances affect judgment and increase a person’s likelihood of engaging in risky behaviors, like having sex or driving under the influence. In fact, just before entering his freshman year, her son willingly participated in a class assignment in which he promised not to smoke or drink in high school. With all this in mind, Kathy says it is maddening for people to believe that substance use among teens is a given. 

 

Kathy makes it clear that she is not living in “La La Land,” like some people believe. She is simply saying that the thought of “kids will be kids” and “we did it at that age,” is not criteria we should base our parenting on, and that such attitudes and beliefs are likely to only confuse young people in their decision-making.

 

To ensure her son would not be confused and to make her expectations clear, Kathy wrote the following letter to her son (which all parents and children are encouraged to read and discuss):

 

Dear Tom,

 

The legal drinking age in this country is 21. Please know that dad and I will never allow you to have alcohol in our house or in our presence until you reach that age. Please also know that no good has ever come from a group of teenagers drinking. It's a recipe for all kinds of disasters.

 

If you should choose to drink, you'll not only be breaking the rules of our house, you'll be breaking the law.

 

If you get stopped for driving under the influence, or the police get called to a party where you have been drinking, you may be in a position where we can't protect you.

 

Always call me and your dad. ALWAYS. No matter what you have done.

 

Don't ever follow up a bad choice with one that's worse just because you're afraid of disappointing us or making us angry.

 

Will we be happy? Of course not. But we would much rather get you and any friend who wants to come with you home safely, than get a call saying you are NEVER coming home.

 

Let me be clear that the fact that we love you and will stand by you does not in any way mean we will stand by while you do things that you know aren't good for you.

 

There are those who will tell you that your parents are being unreasonable and totally unrealistic. Some may tell you that you are a teenager and it's a rite of passage to get drunk. They may even regale you with stories of their own youthful mistakes.

 

Listen to your own heart and trust your gut. Also know there is nothing cool about waking up in your own vomit, or having a DUI before you are 18.

 

Your father and I are so proud of the man you are becoming. We love you so much that we don't care if you hate us. That's our gift to you -- we are your parents, not your friends.

 

Always, Mom

 

For the full article published in the Huffington Post, written by Kathy Radigan, click here.

 

Source: Radigan, Kathy, Huffington Post: An Open Letter to My Teenage Son About Drinking, July 22, 2014.



Know! The Link Between Athletes, Injuries and Pain Pills

* Special thanks to “The Sports Doc” - Dr. Chris Stankovich, Professional Athletic Counselor

The abuse of prescription painkillers is on the rise among teen athletes. In a recently released study, 12% of male and 8% of female high school athletes reported abusing painkillers in the past year – a significant increase from previous surveys. Why the increase and what does this mean for our student athletes?

According to The Sports Doc, in addition to the overprescribing of prescription pain medications, possible reasons for the upsurge include new norms when it comes to injury and pain management, new or increased pressure for an athlete to quickly play again, a player’s fear of losing a starting position or a fear of missing out on a potential scholarship opportunity - due to an injury. Pop culture doesn’t help either, as our young athletes see what appears to be super-human pro-athletes suffer severe injuries, then jump back into the game shortly thereafter - with the help of pain medication. In an interview with The Sports Doc, he said, “These new pressures, group dynamics, and future sport goals sometimes converge to create a ‘perfect storm’ where otherwise healthy, level-headed kids uncharacteristically consider using dangerous pain pill drugs.”

Allison Sharer, substance abuse prevention expert helps put it in perspective, “Pain is like the body’s check engine light, letting us know something is wrong. An athlete’s injury pain may be relieved (or masked) by painkillers, but that doesn’t mean his/her body is in the right condition to get back out there just yet.” She said medication should be thought of as a tool, but certainly not the answer.

The two most common situations that start athletes down the path to pain pill abuse is when a player gets hurt and is prescribed a pain medication or when an injured teammate shares his/her prescribed pain pills with fellow players. In any case, the use of these powerful prescription drugs has the potential to progress into an addiction. When the script runs out, some teens turn to the black market to obtain more pain pills. If that doesn’t work, some resort to a cheaper, more accessible drug - heroin. The Sports Doc says, “Young athletes who become addicted to pain pills (or heroin) almost always start out using simply wanting to get back on the field; it is only later that they become addicted to the drug,” He also said it is also important to keep in mind that there is no prototype of the “addicted athlete.” They are as varied as the kids who play sports.

“Children need to understand, this is not a drug to be messed with,” The Sports Doc warns. When used legitimately and appropriately, under a doctor’s supervision, prescription pain medications can be a helpful tool. But the abuse of these meds is dangerous and can be deadly.

Teachers, you are encouraged to make this topic part of your regular and ongoing prevention conversations in the classroom – making all students aware that when abused, prescription pain pills, also called opiates or narcotics, are highly potent, highly addictive and potentially lethal.

For more information and resources from The Sports Doc, please visithttp://www.drstankovich.com/.

Sources: Interview with Chris Stankovich Ph.D., “The Sports Doc,” January 2015. Website:http://www.drstankovich.com/Partnership for Drug-Free Kids: National Study: Teens Report Higher Use of Performance Enhancing Substances, 2014Search Institute: 40 Developmental Assets for Adolescents

 

Dr. Chris Stankovich is a professional licensed athletic counselor and the Founder of Advanced Human Performance Systems.  His work has been featured in USA Today, ESPN, and ABC World News and he has developed a variety of programs and products designed to help with happiness, health, and peak productivity.  For more information please visit www.drstankovich.com     

Know! The Importance of a Balanced Athletic

Identity Among Youth

* Special thanks to “The Sports Doc” - Dr. Chris Stankovich, Professional Athletic Counselor

 

Actively participating in sports is considered “constructive use of a young person’s time;” a protective factor against a wide range of high-risk behaviors that also increases a child’s likelihood of thriving. What parent doesn’t want that for his/her child? Sports can be an extremely positive asset to a child’s development, so long as a healthy balance of self-identity is established.

 

In the case of many student athletes, the way they see themselves and how they are perceived by others is predominately that of an “athlete.” These students further solidify their athletic identity by regularly wearing team t-shirts, letter jackets or jerseys to school, hanging posters of sports figures on their walls and delight in talking about last week’s game or sports in general. According to The Sports Doc, this is healthy, normal behavior. It is when athletic identity is an adolescent’s exclusive identity that potential problems may arise. The Sports Doc says, “When a youngster only sees himself as an athlete and overlooks all the other great parts of his personality and life experiences, he may be unknowingly setting himself up for an incredibly difficult eventual sport retirement.”

 

As students transition into junior high and high school, the athletic competition becomes increasingly more difficult. Many student athletes end up not making the cut, others voluntarily opt out, and for some, it is an injury that will take them out of the game for an extended period of time or permanently. Regardless of how, why or when one steps into “sport retirement,” it can be devastating, especially for those who exclusively identify themselves as athletes. For these youth, they may have suddenly lost all sense of self: “If I am no longer an athlete, who am I?” 

 

The other potential problem involves student athletes with high levels of athletic identity who do go on to play in the upper grades. The greater their athletic identity, the greater their risk for problems as well. These are the athletes willing to do whatever it takes to be on the team, to maintain their starting position and/or to be a top player – even if it involves unhealthy, unethical and even illegal means – like performance enhancing drugs. The use of such drugs to gain speed, strength and endurance, is on the rise among teens, with 11% of high school sophomores, juniors and seniors reporting having used synthetic human growth hormone without a prescription (up from just 5% the previous year). Athletes have also reported using recreational drugs in a poor attempt to relieve stress from the pressure they feel to perform – which may also be associated with high athletic identity.

 

As parents, it is important for us to gauge how closely our children identify or over-identify with their athletic status, and we need to help prepare them for the potential difficulties of eventual sport retirement. 

 

Share the Statistics: The conversation starts here. Youth (and parents) with aspirations of a college scholarship or becoming a pro-athlete should be made aware that only 5% of all high school athletes go on to play at the college level, and from that small group, only 2% will go on to play professionally. 

 

Be Proactive: Encourage children to broaden their identities. Help them find another activity to channel their competitive spirit or assist them in discovering other new interests. What we don’t want our children to do is to fill that void with alcohol or other drugs. 

 

Be Understanding: If your child is going through sport retirement, be aware of how trying and difficult it can be on him/her. The comradery and social support once provided by teammates may have come to an abrupt end, along with your son or daughter’s athletic identity. And that can create mild to intense feelings of fear, isolation and depression. Be sure to let your child know you are there to support and help him/her through this challenging time.

 

As parents, we have both an opportunity and an obligation to help shape our children’s overall self-identity to be healthy and balanced. For those of us with student athletes, in addition to supporting them in their athletic endeavors, it is critically important that we also praise, recognize and reinforce all the other positive aspects of who they are and what they accomplish off the field/court/ice/etc.

For additional information and resources on the well-being of your athlete, please visithttp://www.drstankovich.com/.

Sources: Interview with Chris Stankovich Ph.D., “The Sports Doc,” January 2015. Website:http://www.drstankovich.com/Partnership for Drug-Free Kids: National Study: Teens Report Higher Use of Performance Enhancing Substances, 2014Search Institute: 40 Developmental Assets for Adolescents

Dr. Chris Stankovich is a professional licensed athletic counselor and the Founder of Advanced Human Performance Systems.  His work has been featured in USA Today, ESPN, and ABC World News and he has developed a variety of programs and products designed to help with happiness, health, and peak productivity.  For more information please visit www.drstankovich.com    

Know! To Role Model RESPECT for the Rx

Why focus on prescription drugs? Research shows that more deaths are now occurring each year from accidental drug overdose than from car accidents. Someone in the US dies EVERY 15 MINUTES from an accidental overdose. And nearly half of the drug overdose deaths are due to prescription drugs. 

 

Parents are powerful influencers when it comes to our children’s attitudes and behaviors regarding alcohol, tobacco and the use of other drugs. Having ongoing conversations and sharing information on the dangers of substance use/abuse with our children is fundamental. It is also vitally important to make clear our expectations for them not to drink underage, smoke or use drugs. But it is not just what we say that matters. It is also what we DO. The behavioral choices our children see us make has the greatest impact on the lifestyle choices they make surrounding substances. 

 

When it comes to the use of prescription drugs, what are your children learning from you? Do you role model respect for prescription drugs by locking up and monitoring your medicines, as encouraged by experts? Do you properly dispose of unused and unwanted medications? Have you made it clear, by example, that sharing prescription medications with others is dangerous and not okay?

 

If so, you are doing an incredible job, and we encourage you to keep up the great work! If not, it is important to remember that while prescription drugs have the ability to improve and save lives, they also have the potential to harm, and that they can be fatal if used improperly or by an unintended person. Role modeling the above behavioral choices are key in promoting family wellness and teaching our children respect for potentially harmful medications.

 

Another way to RESPECT the Rx is to ask your health care provider or pharmacist specific questions about your prescription medications, in order to avoid unintended harmful effects. The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy came up with the acronymRESPECT, as a way to help you remember those questions: 

 

R.  Reason: Why is this medication being prescribed for me? 

E.  Explain Usage: Should I take this medication regularly or as needed? What

     restrictions are there with food/alcohol/other medications? 

S.  Symptoms: When is it appropriate for me to take this medication (e.g., on a scale of

     1-10 for pain severity)? 

P.  Practitioners: Inform your doctor if you are seeing other healthcare providers and

     which pharmacy you use (you should only use one pharmacy) 

E.  Expected Effects: What effects can I expect from taking this medication? What

     precautions do I need to take while driving, operating machinery, etc.?

C.  Concerns with Controlled Substances: Is there addiction potential with my

     medication? 

T.  Time to Stop: When and how should I stop taking my medication? How should I

     store and dispose of it when I am done?

 

If the opportunity is there, take your son or daughter with you to your next doctor’s appointment, allowing him/her to observe you using this guide. If your child is prescribed a medication, similar questions should also be asked during his/her doctor visit. You and your child will not only obtain the detailed information you need, but the importance of RESPECTing the Rx will be reinforced.

 

One of the most powerful skills youth possess is their ability to observe. One of the most powerful opportunities we, as parents possess, is our opportunity to positively influence our children who are paying close attention to our lifestyle choices.

Click here for a printable version of the RESPECT the Rx Guide.

For more information about prescription medication safety, please visithttp://pharmacy.osu.edu/outreach/generation-rx-initiative.

Source: The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy: Generation Rx – RESPECT the Rx.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Prescription Drug Overdose in the United States: Fact Sheet

 

Talking regularly with youth about the dangers of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs
reduces their risk of using
in the first place.


Know! encourages you to
share this Parent Tip with
friends and family.


Click here to join others who
Know! by taking the 

Know! Pledge.
 

 Know! is a program of:

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Drug Free Action Alliance
6155 Huntley Road, Suite H
Columbus, Ohio 43229

 
Lifetime Prevention
Lifetime Wellness

 

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Link to the article on the Drug Free Action Alliance 

Know! To Help Your Child Recognize and Prevent

Dating Abuse

Flower bouquets, candy hearts and love letters will be exchanged among couples of all ages this month, including middle and high school students. Does your son or daughter have a Valentine? If he or she is in a “romantic relationship,” it is a positive one? The fact is, you may not know, and that would put you among the majority (according to LoveIsRespect.org), since 81% of parents reported either not knowing or not believing adolescent dating violence was even an issue. That may be part of the reason so many teens in violent relationships keep it to themselves (they fear no one will believe them).

Nearly three out of four eighth and ninth graders are “dating,” according to LoveIsRespect.org; with “dating” being defined as, two people in an intimate relationship. In general, adults tend to downplay these adolescent romances, but that can be a dangerous notion. Reportedly, one in three youth is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from his/her dating partner. In addition to the short term effects on a victim, such abuse increases a person’s risk for substance abuse, eating disorders, risky sexual behaviors and further domestic violence.

In helping to prevent dating abuse among our children, we must first be aware and share information with them on this issue; then we must teach our sons and daughters what healthy relationships are, and what healthy relationships are not, so that they will be able to recognize abuse in an intimate relationship, should they find themselves in one.

Parent to Child: “Dating abuse is one person exerting power and control over the other. For example, if you are in a relationship and your boyfriend/girlfriend…

Checks your cell phone or social media accounts without your permission or demands to know your passwords;

  • Constantly puts you down;
  • Is extremely jealous or insecure;
  • Has an explosive temper;
  • Tries to isolate you from family or friends;
  • Makes false accusations;
  • Has mood swings;
  • Is possessive of you;
  • Tells you what to do;
  • Physically hurts you in any way (without exception - abusive);
  • Pressures or forces you to physically go further than you want (without exception - abusive);

…then the relationship is likely headed down the wrong path or without
exception, is abusive, and an immediate exit should be made.”

Dating abuse is typically a pattern of destructive behaviors that develop over a period of time. However, it can occur at any point in a relationship and it doesn’t have to happen more than once to be abusive. Empower your children to not only speak up if they find themselves in an abusive relationship, but to take action.

Visit RespectIsLove.org online for a multitude of resources from preventing to ending teen dating abuse. To speak with or message someone who can provide immediate help and support, call 866-331-9474 or text “loveis” or “HELP.”

For a great tool in encouraging healthy adolescent dating relationships, check out this past Know! Parent Tip and ask your adolescent to sign the Teen Dating Bill of Rights.

Source: LoveIsRespect.org.

Know! Puberty is a Brain-Changer

Cracking voices, body odor and wild mood swings - all indicators of the long-awaited and sometimes dreaded period in every adolescent’s life - we’re talking puberty. Most youth are well-aware of the physical changes they can expect their bodies to go through, but do they know the impact of puberty on their brains? Are your students aware that all these hormonal changes affect the way they feel, think and act? If not, it is important to have the other half of “the talk” in your classroom.

Biologically speaking, puberty begins when the brain signals the release of certain hormones into the bloodstream. This typically occurs somewhere between the ages of 8 to 14 for girls, and 11 to 17 for boys. The onset of puberty varies greatly among individuals and is a process that can take years. Regardless of gender or age however, puberty causes dramatic changes to the brain. Youth need to be aware of the mental and emotional changes that accompany puberty, along with healthy ways to cope with the rollercoaster ride of ups and downs.

Let students know that they are likely to experience a number of new feelings and emotions during puberty:

Feeling Sensitive: Their body is changing and they may feel awkward and self-conscious about it. They may feel extra-sensitive when someone criticizes or teases them. It may take very little to set them off and they may question if what they are feeling is “normal.” They may also feel like no one understands them.

Intense Emotions: Their emotions are likely to become stronger and more intense. What used to be a “like” is now a “love!” What used to be a dislike is now a “hate!” What used to be a “little envy” is now “extreme jealousy.”

Mood Swings: Their emotions seem to flip-flop back and forth. They may be laughing and feeling happy one minute, then they are suddenly in tears and immensely sad the next. They may be getting along just fine with siblings, then out of nowhere they are screaming at them.

Romantic Feelings: While they may have had a romantic thought or two about another person before, the way they feel now is different, more intense. Or, having romantic feelings and thoughts may be a completely new experience for them altogether.

Conflict: They may begin to have stronger opinions or opinions that are independent from family members. This may cause them to question family rules and values. They may seek more freedom and space, which may lead to conflict with parents, friends and others.

Reassure your students that all of this is a natural part of growing up and that none of these feelings or emotions make them strange or weird.

In addition to reassuring students, you can help by sharing healthy ways for them to cope with the stress of puberty. Remind them that they are not alone and that even peers who appear to be sailing smoothly through puberty are likely struggling with the same feelings. Encourage them to gather more information on the topic, because like anything else, knowing the facts can make it less challenging to go through. Remind students that their parents have all been through puberty, and that they can serve as a great resource. Let them know that you are also there for them, ready to listen, ready to answer questions and ready to provide guidance (if asked). For the times they prefer to talk to someone else, encourage them to reach out to a trusted friend who is a good listener and will allow them to vent and get things off their chest. Many adolescents find that hanging out with their friends, writing, drawing, getting active or even just sitting back listening to music serve as a great stress-relievers.

While puberty typically brings to mind the changing of one’s outward appearance, there are big changes occurring inwardly as well. You can support your students by providing them with the facts and making it clear that you are there for them.

Sources: PBS Kids: Puberty – Brain Changes, Strange ChangesSeven Counties Services, Inc., Angela Oswalt, MSW, edited by Mark Dombeck, Ph.D.: Mental/Emotional/Social Changes through Puberty.

     

Know! The Facts, Respect The Meds

October is National Medicine Abuse Awareness month; bringing to light the dangers of 

prescription (and over-the-counter) medicine abuse and encouraging parents and other 

caregivers to be a part of the solution.

 

Did you KNOW! teen medicine abuse is on the rise? According to the Partnership

Attitude Tracking Study (PATS), there was a 33% increase in American teens abusing

prescription drugs over a five-year period. Prescription meds now rank in the top three

most popular drugs of choice among youth, just after marijuana and alcohol. Statistics

reveal that ONE in FOUR teens have misused or abused prescription drugs. 

 

What exactly is prescription drug abuse? Anytime a person takes a medication

prescribed for someone else, or takes his/her own prescription for reasons not intended by his/her physician – like getting high. 

 

What drugs are teens abusing? The most common drugs of abuse are OPIOIDS 

(painkillers), DEPRESSANTS (to relieve anxiety or induce sleep) and STIMULANTS

(especially those used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder - ADHD).

 

Where are teens getting such drugs? The majority of youth obtain prescription meds 

from the home medicine cabinets of family and friends - many times without them even 

knowing.

 

Why are young people abusing prescription drugs? Teens abuse prescription drugs 

for a number of reasons. They may use not only to get high, but to stay alert, go to 

sleep, lose weight, stop pain or as a study aid. Many teens and adults falsely believe

prescription drugs are safer than illegal drugs; and many say they’d be in less trouble if

caught using a prescription drug vs. an illicit “street” drug – both of which contribute to

teen use.

 

Why should you be concerned? Regardless of why young people choose to abuse

prescription drugs, their developing bodies and minds are negatively impacted (in

addition to the legal, social, educational and personal ramifications it can cause).

Depending on the drug and what it is mixed with, physical side-effects may include

anything from chest pains and decreased breathing to seizures and loss of 

consciousness – which can ultimately lead to death. Prescription drugs also change a

person’s brain chemistry,  potentially leading to addiction and interfering with the brain’s

neurotransmitters which can impact everything from basic survival functions, like

breathing, to more complex functions, like the ability to think, solve problems and make

decisions.

 

Respect the meds! Prescription medications have many beneficial effects. When used

under proper medical supervision, they can help us live longer, healthier lives. But

these same medications have the potential to produce dangerous and even deadly

side-effects, especially when misused or abused. Because of this potential for harm,

prescription medications should be used precisely as prescribed, and only by the 

person for which they are intended.

 

 

For more information and resources on preventing the misuse and abuse of 

prescription medications, please visit cardinalhealth.com/GenerationRx.

 

Stay tuned for the next Know! Tip, as we share information and guidance on what

you can do to be a part of the solution to prevent prescription  drug abuse among 

your children and your community.

 

Sources: Cardinal Health: Generation Rx. The Brain’s Response to Prescription Drug 

Abuse NIH Publication No. 09-742 (2009). Partnership for  Drug-Free Kids; Partnerships 

Attitude Tracking Study (PATS).

 

7th Grade:  SOS Lessons in social studies classrooms.
        We are discussing "Signs of Suicide," symptoms of depression and how to help your friends if you are worried about          them.  Students are given a survey to determine if they should talk to their parents about depression or not.  We             are connecting a lot of students with help!
        Lesson Highlights:
                ACT:  Students are encouraged to ACT if they are worried about a friend.
                            Acknowledge - Listen to your friend, do not ignore or tell them their problem isn't a big deal
                            Care - Let your friend know that you care
                            Tell - Tell a trusted adult to help your friend
                Depression symptoms:
                            Depressed mood, feelings of sadness or anger
                            Difficulty concentrating 
                            Anxiety, irritability
                            Feeling hopeless, guilty, helpless
                            Recurring thoughts of death or suicide
                Warning signs:
                            Taking risks, self-destructive
                            Sudden changes in eating, sleeping or hygiene
                            Difficulty concentrating, decline in schoolwork
                            Paying off debts or giving away possessions
                            No longer enjoying activities that used to be enjoyed
                            Suddenly ending friendships
                            Severe change in personality
                            Tired all the time
                            Hinting about suicide

Here are our counseling department's outside counseling referrals if you feel your child should see a counselor for any reason:
                            














 

Peer Tutoring: Students can tutor others before school or during school
Students are nominated by teachers to be a peer tutor.  Students are then connected with a student that is                   struggling or requests a peer tutor.  They work together during study hall if it's in common or in the morning                   starting at 7:10 am.  If your child is interested in being a peer tutor, have them let their math teacher know                   before October 10th!  If you want your child to have a peer tutor, call your child's school counselor to set it up!

October is National Bully Prevention Month!
The guidance office has many activities planned for the month of October.  We hope in that educating our students thoroughly this month, we can help prevent bullying actions the rest of the school year.  Please see our Parent Links by topics to see more information on bullying, as well as some main ideas below.
What is Bullying?
1.  There is a perceived imbalance of power - older, bigger, perceived as smarter or more popular
2.  It happens more than one time
3.  It is on purpose, meaning to be hurtful and not an accident
*Social aggression is a tough form of bullying that includes exclusion and spreading rumors.  This IS a form of bullying and CAN be in the same friend group.
What to do if You are Being bullied

1.  Try ignoring the words or action the first time.  Kids acting like bullies are trying to get a reaction out of you.  If you don't give it to them, they often will not repeat it.
2.    Tell them to stop firmly.  Do not be mean back or tease.  Stand tall, make eye contact and use a firm, but not yelling, voice.
3.    Tell an adult if it still continues.  Always tell the nearest adult and keep telling adults until something is done about it.  Tell the bus driver or aide, then a classroom teacher.
4.  If it is still ongoing, talk to your school counselor or Mr. Berlin.  At this point, parents could call in if you child is feeling nervous about talking to an adult.
*Usually, students act like bullies because they are having issues in their own lives.  Keeping this in mind and knowing it's not about you helps.

What to do if you Witness Bullying

1.  If you feel safe doing so, intervene immediately and tell the student acting like a bully to stop

2.  If you do not fee safe, tell the nearest teacher as soon as possible

3.  Build up the victim as much as you can, such as refuting what was said or to give him or her compliments


How NOT to be a Bully

While we have become very good at spotting when we are being bullied or hurt by others, we often have a difficult time seeing when we can be hurting someone.  

1.  Include everyone at school, no exceptions

2.  Let rumors stop with you or if they are very hurtful, tell the nearest adult

3.  Use kind words all the time

4.  Do not share information that would be embarrassing to someone

5.  Keep hands and feet to self at all times

6.  Do not laugh or make fun of in any way, including actions, at someone for making a mistake or being different

7.  Online, only say things you are okay with your parents and the parents of the other person reading

8.  If someone annoys or upsets you, let them know kindly.  Say what you mean instead of being mean.  Tell someone if they have hurt your feelings.


Red Ribbon Week is October 27-31.  More information to come!


        

Know! The Benefits Outweigh the Stress of

Family Meals

Each fall, the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASAColumbia) celebrates National Family Day; an initiative created to promote simple acts of parental engagement as key ways to help prevent risky substance use in children and teens. Know!, along with CASAColumbia have long endorsed regular family dinners as a prime opportunity for such parental engagement. However, just in time for National Family Day, a new study has been released that challenges the value of traditional family dinners by asking moms,“Have family meals become more trouble than they’re worth?”

 

While today it is common to find both moms and dads in the kitchen preparing dinner for their families, statistics show that the task continues to fall primarily on women, so researchers from North Carolina State University examined the stress family meals pose to moms in particular. After interviewing 150 women and spending hundreds of hours observing families of varying cultural backgrounds and social classes, researchers found a pattern of challenges consistently surrounding family meals: 

 

           1.   Lack of Time: Between work, school and extra-curricular activities, simply
                 finding a time for the whole family to sit down together is a feat in and of itself. 

           2.   Lack of Money: Many moms feel the pressure to cook made-from-scratch,

                 fresh, healthy meals (consisting of fruits, vegetables, lean meats and whole
                 grains) which we hear health experts tout as a necessity for our children’s well-
                 being and an end to the childhood obesity crisis in our country; yet this study
                 showed that many families have difficulty affording such foods (eating healthy
                 reportedly costs an extra $550 per person per year); other moms simply feel
                 overwhelmed with trying to keep up with such a food plan. 

           3.   Lack of Pleasing Picky Eaters: Then there’s those picky eaters, who refuse the
                 food mom has just spent the past hour or whole afternoon making.

 

After taking all this into account, researchers concluded that, “…expectations (surrounding family meals) may cause more harm than good (for moms).”

 

Know! respectfully disagrees. Families pressed for time and money cannot be disputed; it is a fact. As for the picky eaters, that’s a tough one too. But what cannot be discounted is the importance of the family meal. Teen surveys conducted by CASAColumbia consistently show that the more often kids eat dinner with their families, the less likely they are to drink, smoke or use other drugs.

 

The meal does not have to be fancy or include every food group to make a positive impact on your child. While the food is what brings families to the table, the significance of the family meal is something bigger; it’s about parents and children engaging in conversation, making connections and strengthening bonds; it’s about fostering consistent, warm, loving and stable parent/child relationships so that children are more likely to flourish in other areas of healthy adolescent development as well (including initiating positive social interactions with others; responding to situations with empathy; being cooperative with others; exhibiting a higher self-esteem; and making overall healthier lifestyle choices for themselves).

 

Dinnertime can be stressful and challenging at times, and it is by no means the only opportunity to engage your children in conversation and strengthen family ties. However, sitting across from your children at the kitchen table, sharing a meal while talking with them and actively listening to them (to show you care about what’s happening in their world) is of incredible value and worth – for children and parents. 

 

SOURCES: Sarah Bowen Sinikka Elliott Joslyn Brenton: The Joy of Cooking? 2014.CASAColumbia: Family Day, 2014Today Parents: Farewell Family Meal – Stress of Cooking May Outweigh Benefits, Sept. 2014

Talking regularly with youth about the dangers of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs
reduces their risk of using
in the first place.


Know! encourages you to
share this Parent Tip with
friends and family.


Click here to join others who
Know! by taking the 

Know! Pledge.
 

 Know! is a program of:

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Drug Free Action Alliance
6155 Huntley Road, Suite H
Columbus, Ohio 43229

 
Lifetime Prevention
Lifetime Wellness

 

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Link to the article on the Drug Free Action Alliance Facebook Page

 



Information on school counseling: