Meet the Counselor
Albert Einstein once said "In the midst of difficulty lies opportunity." I have this quote inside my office because I know this to be true: The only times in our lives that we learn, change and grow is when an obstacle gets in our way.
I believe that counseling can be a safe, non-judgmental place where people can turn for help when life gets tough and they don't know what else to do. It's my job to help the person learn new ways to jump over the obstacle and move on with their lives.
My philosophy is guided by the belief that each individual has within them all the wisdom and knowledge necessary to change and heal. In other words, you are the expert in your life...I most certainly am not.
That said, the purpose of this blog is to share information about some of the issues that are of interest to our school community (and beyond, I hope); ones that may inspire people to live better, feel better, and perform better.
Some issues could possibly prompt someone to seek counseling; I am eager to share the value of this kind of help and dispel the many myths and stigmas associated with it.
Your comments, concerns, and suggestions for topics you'd like to see addressed here are always welcomed.
So glad to have you here. Welcome back to School.
Mrs. Blessy Varghese
Tips for Parents to Help Their Child with Approaching Exams!!!
As the exams draw close, parents experience a number of fears pertaining to how their children will cope with exam stress.
Following certain guidelines can ensure that these stressful months sail smoothly for your child:
BE THERE FOR YOUR CHILD
Your presence must feel soothing and must comfort your child. Constantly monitoring his/ her activity adds on to their anxiety. Ensure that they don’t get agitated easily. While it is okay to be around our children while they study, do not take a leave from work and stay at home unless they want you to. Try exercising like doing relaxation exercises to calm you nerves when the ordeal gets too stressful.
Anger and fear affects the morale and memory of a child, so be careful about what you say around your child. Students who study under such a high-pressure environment tend to forget what they have already learnt. Share your fears with friends, teachers or counsellor. Using sentences like, ‘We are with you’ is better than, saying ‘I told you so’, or asking ‘How much will you score,’ etc.
SPREAD THE CHEER
The environment at home matters most in keeping your children’s stress levels low. Have a family dinner and engage in light, humorous conversations to dissolve their fears and tensions. Avoid discussions about the future, further studies and careers during this period. Do not get affected by the marks that they or their friends obtain in tests or tuition classes.
EXERCISE AND PLAY
Encourage your children to exercise and play outdoors for half an hour daily. Physical activities such as skipping, swimming, cycling and running helps in keeping the body refreshed.
LEARN TO LISTEN
Take an interest in what your child says and listen to him/her patiently. If you find it difficult to answer their questions, seek help from their teachers or counsellor. Do not dismiss their questions as irrelevant and encourage them to seek answers themselves. Be gentle and affectionate when they share their fears with you. Do consult a counsellor if their fears are intense. If they suffer from sleep deprivation during this period, consult your family physician.
APPRECIATE IN ABUNDANCE
Avoid having relatives over at home during the exam time. Also, avoid interacting with relatives who give unsolicited advice. Allow your children to communicate only with the people they are comfortable with. While we all would like to give that last little piece of advice, it is best to let them learn from their teachers and counselor.
DO NOT LOOK BACK
After an exam, do not wait to see the question paper and find out what your child has written in the exam. Let the child rest and help them rejuvenate for the next exam. If they are sullen, help them shed their stress without passing a judgment. Help them bounce back for the next paper.
If your child is being excessively quiet, irritable or refuses to appear for the exams, wants to run away, has thoughts of failure, hopelessness, or shows signs of sleep deprivation immediately meet a counsellor.
Exams Approaching: Tips for Students
As the board exam come closer students discover new mantras to give their best. Managing moods and memory is the key. Following are a few tips:
Turn, Scan and Study
Many students waste a lot of time reading every word of the entire syllabus a few days before the exams. Fear mounts as one may get paralyzed on a page. The best way out is to turn pages of the part one is very confident about, scan [quick reading] those pages one knows well and study intensively answers that are not so palatable to the grey cells.
Mood, Memory & Marks
Use friends and family as, ‘fear extinguishers’ by honestly spilling the tears and fears. By doing this, emotional energy gets replenished and memory improves. Meaningless laughter especially on oneself clears the memory bank of viruses that can corrupt the stored ‘subject data’. Beginning the day with easy chapters provides momentum for the day
Sing, Swing, Sleep & Score
The delicate brain needs to be nourished along with its close friend the muscles. A short 15-minute spurt of skipping, cycling and play, daily will enhance exam performance. Normal sleep of 8 hours at night helps organize matter in the brain ready to spill accurately on the answer papers. A regular normal diet with a lot of vegetables and fruits helps the brain to behave well during the exams.
Shun Your Gadgets and Hug Your Books
Let the cell phone, laptop and the T.V be away most of the times. Speak to friends who reassure and not those who scare [avoid those who utter, ‘I have finished revising many times'].
When the mind is blank
Students may feel that the mind is empty and blank a few days before the exams. Slow deep breathing helps open the valves of the brain. If one feels blank, say in English for e.g. pick up another subject and in a few moments the temporarily hung brain opens and the lost memory is back. Panic clogs the brain and any form of relaxation cures the malady.
The 'magic figure'
Students need to look down and focus on the book rather than look up and dream about the magic figure (9 or 10/ 90%). Anxiety may mount as many such desired all around eagerly utter ‘percentage of marks’. A target may inspire few but not all. All round focused effort without discussing the expected marks helps. Bad marks in the Prelims ‘need to be just ignored.
Avoid pills, and irrational supplements
I see many students running away from studies and abusing memory and concentration pills. Such students need help from a teacher or a counselor. Strategies, time-management with counseling can turn them around. It is still not late and a last minute dash may help. Taking charge of such students by committed teachers and parents can save the day.