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Spinelli Elementary School

Nurturing for Success

Counselor Corner

Dear Parents and Students,


Welcome back to the 2020 - 2021 school year! We are all so excited to work with you this year!  I know that students and parents may be feeling worried or anxious about school being online and about so many other things happening in our world.  The following video and suggestions from Big Journal may help us.  We can choose how to respond to things we CAN'T control in life and focus on things we CAN control.  Here's what you can say: "There are things we cannot control in life such as the weather, global pandemic, not being able to see friends when we want to.  And there are things we CAN control: our actions, our attitude, and our reactions to those things we can't control.  Rather than simply reacting to things we can't control, we can make a choice of HOW we want to respond. With practice, we can get very good at choosing how we react so that it's the most helpful to us."


Some children (especially younger ones) might need further explanation about HOW they're able to CHOOSE how they react to things.  Use this simple analogy:

Ask your child to close their eyes and imagine color RED.

Then ask them to imagine color BLUE.

You can say, "It looks like you were able to direct your mind to imagine the color you wanted. Was it easy for you to do that?"


Now ask them to close their eyes again and imagine a circle, then a square, then a triangle.  Then, in the same way, point out that they were able to direct their mind to think about and imagine certain things.  Then you can say: "Similarly, we can direct our brain to think a certain way when something happens that we don't like.  We can practice directing our brain and our brain will get better at reacting the way we want it to react—the way that makes us feel better."  Then, you can brainstorm ways your child can react to unwanted situations in their life.  For example, if they want to go back to school in person but realize that's impossible right now, they can react by planning fun things they want to learn while staying at home :)


Watch growth mindset Pep Talk and let's put our brains in a growth mindset for this year!


Take care,


Mrs. Lyons