Therapist Explains: Why It Matters To Have Integrity

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There is probably no place on Earth that did not value integrity. It serves as a compass to many people as they go through a lot of experiences in life. It also becomes a basis of how competent and trustworthy you are as a person. Because of that, I advocate teaching about it more to children throughout the United States.

As a therapist, I had seen the effect of this honesty and lack of moral uprightness in people one too many times. Some families developed a permanent rift among themselves since they could no longer believe what their relatives said. Others drowned in misery as they could not find a way out of their lies. If you’ve ever asked why not, the typical reply you would hear was, “No one taught me about integrity.” That’s what I wanted to change.

Why?

When I got my Ph.D. and license, I did not have my own clinic at first. Instead, I worked for a prominent mental health facility catered to children with psychological and neurological disabilities. Since I showed dedication and integrity at what I do, I received a promotion within seven months of working there.

The administration assigned me to supervise and train new therapists on the processes that we follow in the facility. It was not the most straightforward task because you had no idea how these adults would react upon knowing that someone their age – or sometimes younger – would lead them. Some were cool with it, but of course, others were a little less inclined to do as I asked.

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Still, I did not let the naysayers faze me; I tried to do my job very well. I mostly did not have problems until I came across a young professional who tested my ability to stay calm.

Dealing With Someone Who Lacked Integrity

Whenever I trained people, a series of written tests were often included in the beginning. Some had multiple choices; others were in essay forms. They all took place online so that the professionals could answer everything at their own pace.

One of the trainees I met was Joanna. Upon meeting her for the first time, I noticed her bubbliness and grace. She introduced herself as a former flight attendant, which I thought was cool. We need a people person like her in the facility.

Then, I asked how Joanna learned about the job. She said, “Oh, my boyfriend is one of the nurses here. In truth, he encouraged me to send my application here. But I must tell you, if given a chance, I would like to go back to working at the airline.”

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I did not know what to reply to that immediately. Based on those words, it became evident that Joanna was not too serious about becoming a therapist here or anywhere. She was only doing it for the money, and I was worried about that, but I went on to give her the questionnaires.

Two days later, Joanna informed me that her papers were in my email. I opened the multiple-choice tests first, and she passed. That was an excellent sign, of course. However, as I checked her essays, I realized something: her sentence structure was similar to mine.

I had no idea what made me do it, but I pulled up my old essays from the admin file and cross-checked it with Joanna’s essays. They were almost identical. She only changed several words, but it was all mine. I even showed the papers to my bosses, and they were surprised as they confirmed what I saw.

My body was shaking when I discussed the situation with my bosses. I was both mad and shocked at Joanna’s audacity to copy my essays. And how did she get ahold of them? I did not doubt that his boyfriend took them for her.

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When I confronted Joanna, she put on a tough façade and told me she spent all night writing everything. I hate liars as cheaters, so I showed her my work and informed her that I knew what she did. She tried to make excuses, but they were too lame and too obvious. The bosses ended up firing her and her boyfriend due to a lack of integrity.

Reeling In

Do you see why integrity matters? Having integrity allows you to earn the respect of the people around you. It makes you likable and valuable in their eyes. No matter what happens, you know that they have your back.

Without integrity, it will be almost impossible for people to trust you. They already know your character; they will often doubt you. Thus, when things go crazy, it will not be challenging for them to push you away.

The latter happened to Joanna and her man. They tried to cheat her way into the company and did not think someone could see through their deception. Too bad for them, I saw it. If only they were honest, they would still be employed in the facility.

 

How To Show Integrity At School According To Therapists

I grew up not knowing my parents personally because they were taken away from me when I was a toddler. By “taken away,” I meant that they were placed in prison for organized thieving and were supposed to remain there for 20 years. My grandmother ended up taking me in and looking after me.

Although I often felt sad about practically becoming an orphan, I learned to appreciate that my parents were not around during my formative years. As a grade school teacher, I knew firsthand how impressionable young children could be. If you do something, you could be sure that they would copy you. If you tell them to say something in front of them, it would be a part of their vocabulary forever.

Just imagine what could have happened if my mom and dad remained free. What they lacked was integrity, you see. They used to lie to anyone to get a small fortune. When that was not enough, they devised a plan to rob not one but four jewelry stores in the city. Of course, they pleaded not guilty in court, causing their sentence to go up to 20 years instead of perhaps ten or 15.

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Teaching Integrity

My childhood experience pushed me to teach my students to become honest and morally upright individuals. I must admit that it was not too easy, especially since I had no mental health background. I had to contact the local therapist and ask her to coach me on how to do it.

After a few years of teaching integrity to children, I can now share the most effective ways to improve their characters.

Expand Kids’ Moral Vocabulary

As I mentioned earlier, kids could be impressionable. Because of that, the therapist suggested decorating my classroom with words related to great values. Some of them were respect, honesty, responsibility, and so on.

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When I asked why the therapist told me that expanding the children’s moral vocabulary at a young age could increase their general awareness of morals, you would not see laziness, lying, irresponsibility, or rudeness among those words, after all. Over time, that could make them realize that that’s because those were not morally right things.

Introduce Positive Quotes And Affirmations

Every day throughout the school year, I would ask a student to share a positive quotation with the class. Before the day would end, we would chant simple yet powerful self-affirmations. “I am happy. I am strong. I am blessed and thankful. I believe in myself.”

It might sound cheesy or repetitive, but kids thrive that way. They need a constant reminder of who they are or what they can become if they are happy, thankful, and full of integrity. I believe that introducing positive quotations and affirmations early could make them effortless to remember in times of uncertainty.

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Reward Excellent Deeds

When the school year started, I told my students that I would throw a classroom party every month if they showed positive deeds every day. Meaning they would be truthful, honest, loyal, responsible, helpful, etc. That little promise pushed them to be friendlier than ever to ensure that they could have monthly parties.

Was that bribing? That’s possible, but I did not see it that way. I just knew from experience that awful actions were in the limelight more than the excellent ones, and I wanted to change that. Doing so proved to positively affect children, considering they learned moral uprightness with flying colors.

Respond Well To Bad Deeds

Of course, not every child could be good. That’s especially true if they were raised by parents like mine or got influenced by the things they watched on TV. In that case, they could misbehave at school and get sent to detention for it.

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Well, if my students misbehaved, I hardly used the pink slip. The reason was that I disagreed with using such a punishment that allowed the teachers to push the problematic kids away instead of helping them. Rather, I would talk to them and find out why they behaved a certain way. Then, I would explain why it’s considered a negative behavior.

Final Thoughts

I salute all the teachers who teach integrity to their students aside from the actual subjects they specialize in. More than academic knowledge, children need to boost their morale to become fantastic individuals. Whether they could learn that from their parents or not, it would be highly ideal for the teachers to help them.

Assuming you want to show integrity in your school but do not know how I recommend talking to a therapist. After all, the last thing you want is to use a method that seems helpful but may turn out to have an adverse effect on children. You need to do everything correctly from the start to avoid confusing them regarding what’s right or wrong.

 

How Students Can Benefit From Academic Counseling 

How are students thriving in the academic environment? Academic stress levels and burnouts are at an all-time high because of the pandemic. Many students have not enrolled since last school year due to the shift from traditional to online classes. This made the situation more complicated for those without a stable internet connection and gadgets. 

In times like these, students may want to seek professional advice regarding their social or financial situation. Academic counselors can provide comprehensive programs for students to succeed academically. 

Who Needs Academic Counseling? 

Students who want to achieve academic success may want to seek professional advice. An academic counselor typically provides students with individual counseling. This is particularly for student development and choosing careers. A counselor’s roles may be broad in scope. Their responsibilities include, but not limited to: 

  • Boosting student morale
  • Assessing any learning difficulties a student may have
  • Helping a student assess their strengths and interests to decide on a career path
  • Solving personal or interpersonal relationships within the school
  • Improving a student’s study and time management habits

The Academic Environment

We spend most of our time in school during our life’s most formative stages. These are our most vulnerable ages when we have learning experiences in more complex emotional depths. Social interactions at school can be surprising and confusing, as they are often first times for us. These moments tend to impact our lifelong reactions to certain situations. 

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For this reason, counseling is just as important if not, more than the schooling we are provided with. Academic intelligence matters as much as emotional intelligence. Learning to react appropriately and dealing with our emotions and others, and view the world around us. This is the life-long learning experience we will carry with us throughout our lives.

Career Paths

Career counseling can help students make an informed decision towards a career they wish to succeed in in the future. For many students, it’s a life-changing decision that can take years to decide on. But when the time comes to choose a career, will they know what to decide on?

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Counselors can offer aptitude tests to guide students to choose career paths that fit them. For example, a creative student inclined to problem-solving and marketing may be the best fit for a career in advertising.

Mental Health 

Academic counselors can help students solve personal or interpersonal relationships. Sometimes, that means looking into whether the student’s needs are being met. Academic counselors may help facilitate their social needs if they have conflicts with friends, family, or even teachers. 

Students with mental health issues or who have accessibility problems may reach out to school counselors. However, most counselors are not equipped to diagnose students’ mental health. What they can do is refer a student to a professional psychiatrist instead. Then the student can get the medication and therapy that they need.  

When students suffer from stress or depression, they may lack the reason and motivation to finish their school work. Meeting students’ basic needs is the most important part of achieving academic success. When a student is happy and fulfilled, it’s only natural to succeed in their education and career. After all, most mental illnesses arise from being deprived of physiological, social, and psychological needs.

The counselor must get in touch with the student’s parents to assess and clarify the student’s needs. Parents may also offer a perspective on their child’s lifestyle or study habits. 

Helping Students With Learning Disabilities

Academic counselors may also assist students with learning difficulties. Dyslexia is a learning disability that may hinder the student’s capacity to read. This is due to the way they process speech and how they relate to words and text. Dyslexic students may be delayed in their reading milestones compared to their peers. One in every five kids has dyslexia, making this one of the most common learning disorders.

ADHD (Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) may impact a student’s capacity to focus on school work and paying attention in class. They may easily be distracted and prioritize activities outside the classroom. Because their attention may not help engage them with their school requirements, counselors may offer advice on productivity and time management.

Bullying And Harassment

Bullying can inflict long-term emotional damage on an individual and affect their academic performance. Students who are bullied are more likely to experience anxiety and depression.

These victims of bullying find counseling very helpful as it can help them talk about their actions and feelings. This is why it is so important for counselors to recognize bullying in all early instances. There is a need to create a better learning environment inclusive for all students of different backgrounds. In this case, students need to develop emotional maturity. This will let them thrive well through difficult challenges later in life.  

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Conclusion

Should we encourage students to consider academic counseling? Definitely! While classes have transitioned into an online medium, many factors might affect student stress levels. It becomes equally important to consider students’ mental health. They can greatly benefit from academic counseling by identifying their goals and setting up a plan for success.

Adjusting to distance learning has its own difficulties. Accessibility to a stable internet connection and gadgets for online classes can be a social class indicator. It sure must be a struggle for student achievers now since getting good grades can mean that you have the luxury to have the resources to succeed. Student development also grows from social and emotional interaction. The lack of these interactions and engagement makes a big difference. 

It is worth mentioning that schools should continue to provide mental health counseling services for their students. School requirements are already a source of stress for many, and so is a strained relationship with your family. A highly competitive environment and stress are necessary for growth. However, without a community to belong to, these problems become bigger. 

While it remains uncertain when face-to-face classes will be the norm, we should keep mental health resources and adequate counseling available and inclusive of all students regardless of socioeconomic status. 

Why You Should Be Open About Counseling To Your Kids

It’s not unusual for parents to avoid discussing topics involving mental health with their kids. After all, they want to protect their kids as much as possible—especially from stress. But as the kids begin to learn more in school, their minds will also start to mature. Kids will naturally be exposed to more knowledge as time passes by. Younger kids would only ask why the sky is blue. Children in middle and high school will have much more complex questions.

Understandably, talking about counseling can be too heavy and confusing for kids. Even adults find it challenging. You may also think that it would be better if your kids focused on school. But while many parents hesitate to discuss this with their children, mental health awareness is gaining attention worldwide. More people are starting to embrace being open about their mental health. One by one, schools and companies have also been holding seminars on counseling. 

Parents are children’s first teachers, and their homes are their first schools. Before they start formal education, it is your duty and responsibility to guide their beliefs and viewpoints. Being open about counseling at home can help your children cope better at school. They may even be the catalyst for these types of conversations amongst their peers! Here are a few more reasons why you should be more open about counseling to your kids:

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Good Mental Health Leads To Better Academic Performance

If you’re like most parents, you want your children to perform well in school. You may think that openly discussing your feelings and mental health will negatively affect your child’s academic performance. You might also feel awkward when disclosing such sensitive information with your kid. Contrary to this belief, being open about getting counseling will help your child get better at school.

Mental health is related to school success. Studies show that poor mental health can lead to poor academic performance. If students are stressed, anxious, or depressed, they are likely to receive a lower grade or have poor retention. On the other hand, a good mental state will allow them to perform well in school. If you show no shame in undergoing counseling, they will be more inclined to seek a counselor when they need to.

Moreover, if your kid doesn’t understand the importance of mental health and counseling, they can develop negative attitudes. These mindsets may hurt their well-being and those of their classmates as well. Bad experiences in school may cause their school performance to drop.  Having to face disciplinary actions can be frequent, too. Your child may also avoid school altogether. So, it’s crucial to impart the value of counseling and mental health to your kids early on.

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Being Open Will End The Stigma Even Before It Begins

Keep in mind that your adolescent children are slowly transitioning to their teenage years. They can now better process and handle information. They are also capable of asking difficult questions. If you are not open with them about mental health and counseling, they will seek answers elsewhere. Learning about counseling in a different environment may give them false information. Your child should get it from you first. 

As a parent, you may find it hard to discuss your mental health challenges. Of course, you should not overly burden your child with your woes. However, you should give them a sense of what is going on in your life. They may not be able to solve your problems, but having a listening ear can already help ease your troubles. 

Simply sharing your emotions can already have a profound impact on your child’s perspective of mental health. The more you talk about your mental health, the more they feel comfortable with sharing theirs as well. They will learn that it’s okay not to be okay sometimes and not attach any shame to their feelings.

Your Own Mental Health Can Affect Your Children’s Behavior

Mental health problems can affect your behavior and, consequently, your home life. While sorting out your issues with the help of your counselor, your child may get confused. They might also misunderstand you. If you do not discuss the importance of counseling, your children may make false assumptions about your situation. It’s important to make them understand why you need to undergo counseling. 

Also, parent-teen relationships tend to be complex. As kids transition to teenhood, they’re slowly figuring out the world and constructing their concepts of love, friendships, and relationships. They are also breaking away from parental control and slowly making their own choices in life. As a parent, it can be quite challenging to think about how your child is coping. However, your role is to guide and support. Conversations about mental health will not only help them understand you. It will also help them acknowledge their feelings. 

Communicating openly with your children will also help create a more open relationship. If your child knows that you can discuss anything with them, they will not be afraid to speak. They will realize that they can talk to you freely if something is bothering them. This dynamic will help them manage their responses to emotions, especially intense ones. 

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In Conclusion 

Mental health awareness is gaining more attention around the world. More and more educators realize the impact of counseling on students. To stop the stigma, it is essential to educate children more on the importance of seeking help. Kids should learn about counseling not just from school but from their homes, too. Doing so can promote the healthy emotional, social, and behavioral development of students.

Everyone aims to help students receive a good education. Mental health challenges, as well as life’s hurdles, will hinder your children from achieving academic success. Sometimes, these difficulties cannot be faced alone. Thankfully, there are counseling and therapy—valuable resources available for those facing challenges. As a parent, you should show your children that it’s okay to ask for professional help when things get tough. Counseling can help them deal with their problems and find success in life.

Frequently Asked Questions About Psychiatrists And Therapists

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Raise your hand if you have been worrying about having anxiety for some time now!

This feeling is familiar for people with undiagnosed anxiety. You have possibly scoured every mental health website you can find; you have most – if not all – the symptoms written there. However, you cannot get a diagnosis because you do not know if you should contact a psychiatrist or therapist first.

Distinguishing The Two Occupations

I had the same ordeal many years ago. I decided to move across the country right after getting my master’s degree to prove that I could make it in the real world without my parents’ influence and financial support. I was okay living off my savings for the first couple of months as I looked for a job. However, when the third month came, and I was down to my last $2,000, I began to experience panic attacks, especially when I was lying in bed at night. I kept thinking, “What if I couldn’t find work in the coming weeks? Would I have to live in my car? Worse, would I need to swallow my pride and ask for help from Mom and Dad?”

During one of my sane days, I looked up the symptoms of anxiety. My old psychology professor touched the subject when I was in high school, but it was so long ago that I could barely remember everything. When I read its telltale signs (e.g., excessive worrying, agitation, lack of concentration, insomnia, etc.), I panicked again because I recognized all of them, Me. But I eventually decided to push my worries aside and decide to see a mental health professional handle my situation.

I did not know who to ask for referrals in my new city, so I drove around every block, looking for a mental health clinic. Perhaps it was my lucky day as the first thing I found was a hospital with a psychiatric department. Though I felt embarrassed to ask for directions toward the psychiatrist’s office, I made the correct decision, given that only a psychiatrist – or a psychologist – could provide a diagnosis, not a therapist. It only took two sessions before the psychiatrist confirmed that I had anxiety, which was a product of my situation. She suggested therapy to me, and it cleared my head and allowed me to look at my other job opportunities until I found the most suitable one for me.

If you wish to learn more about psychiatrists and therapists, I will break everything down for you below.

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Should I see a psychiatrist or therapist?

You should see a therapist if a psychologist says you need therapy to cope with your mental disorder. Many psychologists offer this treatment, but not all. Meanwhile, you should check with a psychiatrist if the therapy sessions do not work or suffice and you are in need of medication. Psychiatrists are the only mental health professionals who can write prescriptions since they are medical doctors.

Is a psychologist a therapist?

No, it is wrong to say that a psychologist is a therapist since that implies that the two are synonymous. The reality is that psychologists can become therapists – provided that they obtain the right training and certification. Still, not all psychologists choose to be therapists; that’s why you see people looking for the latter even when they already know the former.

Should I see a therapist or psychiatrist for anxiety?

Seeing a therapist is recommended during an early diagnosis of anxiety, considering the patient only has a tough time dealing with specific scenarios. It entails that helping them alter their lifestyle or way of thinking may still work. However, if the anxiety transcends an individual’s ordinary habits and affects their relationships, work, and daily life, they may need to see a psychiatrist ASAP. That way, the mental health professional may prescribe calming or sleeping pills and ease their symptoms.

What are the three types of therapy?

  • Psychodynamic Therapy: It is the most conventional therapy type that aims to dig deep into your mind to know what causes your issues. Psychodynamic therapists basically want you to analyze your way of thinking and emotions to know when your mental disorder will attack.
  • Behavioral Therapy: When you get behavioral therapy, the mental health professional will not spend much time finding the root of your problems. Instead, they will determine how you react to specific situations and help you improve those reactions. For instance, if you often freak out in the middle of a crowd, the therapist may teach you how to recognize your behavior and stabilize it so that you can pass through that crowd without a hitch.
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  • Humanistic Therapy: This type encourages the patient to think of the best way to solve their problems, with the guiding idea that they know what’s best for them. From the beginning, the therapist will welcome everything you think may work on your disorder. Their role is to be your sounding board and actively listen to you until you develop an excellent decision.

What do psychologists make annually?

New psychologists typically make up to $60,000 per year. For seasoned mental health professionals, it may go from $80,000 to $120,000, depending on their location and clientele.

Is a psychologist better than a therapist?

Being a psychologist or therapist has its pros and cons, so it’s impossible to determine which one is better. After all, a psychologist spends years in school to diagnose mental disorders, and some therapists who didn’t study psychology can do that. At the same time, psychologists cannot do what therapists do, especially if they did not train to become one.

What should I not tell a psychiatrist?

There is ideally nothing you should hide from a psychiatrist, considering you are getting their services to help you deal with your mental condition. Anything you do may affect your disorder; not telling the psychiatrist everything may keep them from being able to help you entirely. Nevertheless, your story should focus on what they are asking.

What are the four types of talk therapy?

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: CB therapists pay attention to how a person reacts to a particular thought and how their reaction changes when they alter their way of thinking. This type of therapy is considered short-term since it can end after six sessions if the patient shows improvement at once.
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  • Dialectic Behavioral Therapy: It is a combination of meditation and cognitive-behavioral techniques. Psychologists typically recommend DBT to individuals who cannot stop binge-eating or deal with personality disorders. They can choose between group or one-on-one therapy. 
  • Psychodynamic Therapy: Psychodynamic therapists encourage you to travel back down memory lane in hopes of helping you figure out where things have gone wrong (or right). This way, you can understand how everything started, as well as what happy memories you can tap into.
  • Humanistic Therapy: This type of talk therapy aims to make you bring out your full potential without much external help. Yes, a therapist will be in the room with you, talking to you, but they will not force any idea on you. Instead, they will listen as you think of various approaches to your problems, support your views, and stay on your side if you need to try again.

What is the most common therapy?

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is the most well-known type of talk therapy. According to a study, 38% of the individuals who booked a therapist between 2013 and 2014 asked CBT as a treatment.

Does seeing a psychiatrist go on your record?

Yes, your appointment with a psychiatrist will be on your record permanently, although some hospitals may promise to separate it from your medical record. The reason is that doctors have only sworn to keep their patients’ conditions hidden from regular people, but they need to be truthful about it to their peers. This way, when you visit another doctor, they will know your current diagnosis and start from there instead of going back to square one.

Final Thoughts

Did I worry about my future employers seeing my mental health record? Of course, I did at some point. Some people still believed in stigmas without understanding circumstances, and many had fallen victim to such an issue. However, I admitted early that my sanity was far more important than others’ opinions. Seeing my psychiatrist and my therapist undoubtedly helped me get into that mental state, so my self-esteem did not waver after my diagnosis.

In case you get diagnosed with a mental health disorder like me, you should cooperate with the mental health professionals well to return to your normal life soon. Good luck!

Why Regular Schooling Is Awesome For Kids’ Mental Health

We have seen so much craziness in the world since the first quarter of 2020 that might last us all a lifetime. A new coronavirus came and sent everyone hiding at home for at least a couple of months. Many people have embraced the work-from-home setup, which used to earn a lot of raised eyebrows in the past. And every person is eagerly waiting for a vaccine that could immunize all of us against COVID-19.

But more than the adults and their careers, do you know who has been suffering the most due to coronavirus? It’s the kids.

When the news spread like wildfire, the classes were still ongoing. The students had these exams and projects and presentations planned, and then the local government mandated everyone to stay at home and continue the classes online.

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Online! It might not be a bother to homeschooled children, but it’s a different story for those who chose to do regular schooling. The coronavirus robbed them of that choice. Even though this rule was for their benefit, this fact didn’t make the adjustment easier for all. To be honest, moms and dads didn’t have time to prepare themselves for it, and I knew a few whose mental health began to suffer because of these significant yet sudden changes.

Now that we are nearing the fourth quarter of the year, and the classes have started again, things are only slightly better than before. I say ‘slightly’ because the children can do sports and do other outdoor activities in some states, but not everyone can go to school five days a week.

In case you have forgotten the perks of regular schoolings for the kids’ mental health, allow me to elaborate below.

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Youngsters Need To Be Around Same-Aged Peers

New parents tend to think that their kids’ success depends on which school they enroll in. Well, that’s partly true. In reality, someone’s success hinges on their ability to socialize and build their network. And what’s a better way to do that than by letting children be around same-aged peers?

Similarly, youngsters like to copy each other. If a child sees their friend eating without the teacher’s help during lunch, they may try to do the same. If someone loves to share their toys and snacks to others, they may learn how to be generous, too.

Taking away the children’s opportunity to hang out with their peers may not be good for them.

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Kids Learn Survival Skills At School

Although children seem to only learn about grammar and science and math and other subjects at school, they gain more than that through regular education.

You see, when a kid attends a class, the teacher’s rules become apparent to them. E.g., study hard, listen to your teacher, speak respectfully to everyone, etc. These are practical survival tips that they can use even when they turn into adults.

For instance, in the playground, kids figure out early that bullies and crybabies don’t make a lot of friends. Furthermore, compassion and sportsmanship win everyone’s hearts. Again, such ideas apply in the real world.

Though I can’t be 100% sure about it, it’s safe to say that children can’t learn any of that by taking online classes.

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It Is Awful For Kids To Stay Cooped Up At Home

Before this so-called “new normal,” many parents successfully kept the little ones away from gadgets and video games. They had sports matches and martial arts training and recitals to occupy their days; their friends were always available to play with them, too. However, when the coronavirus arrived, all kids had been forbidden to leave their own houses, so there was only so much that moms and dads could do to keep them happy.

The online classes didn’t help with the situation since they forced the children to be in front of the computer the entire day. Sure, they still had lectures and quizzes and everything, but they were mostly sitting in the same spot for hours. That could not be good for their physical and mental health in the long run.

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Children Require Stability And Consistency

Regular schooling is ideal for kids who need stability and consistency in their lives. They know that the teachers expect them to sit in class five days a week; they see the same faces of classmates and teachers daily. Even if there is a school break for two months, they will still be with each other after that.

Unfortunately, there is nothing stable or consistent with the new setup. Some get a combination of online and regular classes; others do online classes until a vaccine comes. It may have been okay if the government has simply stuck to a single educational system so that the kids won’t get confused.

Final Thoughts

Since most vaccines are not mass-produced until January 2021, parents and children alike have no choice but to embrace online schooling for a while. Despite that, once you get to decide later if your child will continue doing that or go back to regular education, do the latter – it’s fantastic for kids’ mental health.

Why Is Family Involvement Crucial For Student Success?

 

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Some people wonder what the most concise indicator of academic success is. Apparently, it’s not one’s economic status, nor is it the stature of the school that the child is attending. The best indicator of academic achievement is the degree to which families provide support and inspiration for them to learn at home and participate in their child’s education.

When parents are involved in their child’s academic lives, students have the support and knowledge necessary to not only complete their projects but to instill a lasting passion for learning as well. Most teachers agree that with students whose parents are sufficiently involved, there is definitely a significant change in their performance in the classrooms. The more participation is seen from parents in their child’s education, the more motivated and inspired the child becomes, and the better their grades. Encouraging parents to be involved is more than just a consideration. It’s one of the greatest methods to help promote a constructive and successful learning environment for each student. To build a community that is rooted in good parent-teacher relationships in the school environment, know more about parent engagement, and how to support it.

Parent Engagement

Experts define parent engagement as a sharing of responsibility of teachers and parents in order to support children in their learning and to be able to meet their educational goals. This occurs when teachers encourage parents to attend school meetings or affairs, and in turn, parents spend time with their children at home and in school as well. This way, they are encouraged to make a commitment. Parents vouch to give priority to their child’s academic goals, and teachers vouch to listen and give ample space for parents to collaborate.

Parent engagement in the child’s school is unlike parent involvement, although both of these are beneficial. In parent involvement, parents typically participate in school affairs and activities, while teachers offer their skills for the children to learn, and they provide them with their grades. Teachers are also mainly responsible for setting students’ academic goals. They don’t consider parents as partners but chaperons or directors that help guide them through the students’ learning process.

 

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It helps to consider parent involvement as the initial step to parent engagement. While teachers can provide assistance to parents in some aspects, parents, too, can provide vital information regarding their child that teachers might have no knowledge on. Both can actually provide different viewpoints that can help improve the student’s learning experience. Both complement each other.

Importance Of Parent Involvement

The involvement of parents and their engagement in the education of their child does play a tremendous role now more than ever. A study done four years ago revealed a decline in parents who were engaged in close parent-teacher communication. Parents nowadays choose remote ways of communicating, such as online classrooms, and they have been attending parent-teacher meetings and activities less and less. This change is abrupt and troubling because of what it implies for parent engagement. While devices and other tools help families stay cognizant, students still miss out when parents don’t give their time and support.

Parent involvement in the school environment is the initial step to parent engagement and, consequently, parent-teacher partnership. When both parties work on building a comfortable and flourishing classroom, the impact of this on the students is truly significant. Children whose parents are sufficiently engaged do not only have high grades – their self-confidence, attendance, and graduation rates increase too. Parent-teacher connections are much more than a voluntary student benefit. They are crucial in helping students in a classroom as well as on a personal level. Educators must provide space for parent involvement to improve the classroom’s potential for growth.

On the other hand, there are other benefits of family engagement. Parents and teachers benefit from it as well. Teachers can ready the parents to help with assignments and projects, and active parents typically look up to teachers, which in turn boosts a teacher’s self-confidence. Being aware of a student’s family life can also guide teachers in how they will organize their lessons to suit the student’s needs better. And when students get more support from parents and teachers, they perform better in the classroom. It’s a win-win!

Increasing Parent and Family Engagement

It’s not too late to establish strong grounds for parent-teacher communication in the schools and communities. But the earlier you do this, the more capable your students will become in reaching their academic goals and dreams.

 

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  • As teachers, you should willingly share your contact information with the parents and know them earlier. If you start a connection sooner than later, they can easily ask questions and are more comfortable to reach out to you.
  • Give parents a chance to be oriented with the school grounds, administrators, and policies. Inform them about volunteering, school activities, or parent-teacher groups so they will have better participation opportunities.
  • It is essential to make personal connections with parents. If this is not possible always, reach out to them through texts, emails, and other online applications to keep them updated about current and future class events.
  • Confront common problems and challenges that hinder parents from engaging. Examples of these include a daunting environment and different types of conflicts.

 

 

Signs Your Mental Health Is Falling Apart (Pandemic Discussion)

Mental health quickly becomes the most pressing issue in society today. That is because of the growing number of people suffering from stress and anxiety due to COVID-19. A lot of people are now aware that mental illness is one of the leading causes of health deterioration and suicide. But despite this, there is still a startling number of individuals who fail to realize just how important it is to seek professional help.

In line with the pandemic situation, emotional and mental exhaustion is a serious concern. And getting burnt out is an official mental health issue. When people neglect mental health, they suddenly experience warning signs. Here are the few of those symptoms.

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Eating And Sleeping Pattern Has Changed

Often, when individuals find it difficult to sleep and eat, they usually suffer from emotional or mental health problems. Sometimes, even though they haven’t made any significant changes in their lifestyle, they automatically show red flags. Some of these changes take the form of overeating or not eating enough, oversleeping, and sleep deprivation. With this, it is essential to note that dramatic change in sleeping and eating pattern is often associated with poor personal care. That is because sleeping and eating are the ones vital for individuals’ physical, mental, and emotional health. When people don’t get the rest their mind and body need, it becomes difficult for them to concentrate and be productive.

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Experiencing Unstable Moods

Another sign of mental health problems has frequent mood swings. It makes people more anxious, irritable and stressed just from experiencing minor inconvenience. Usually, when that’s the case, people’s mental health is crying for help. That is because of the sudden intense shift in emotions is most likely caused by mental exhaustion. It is a sign that tells people that their mental health is pass due, overworked, and badly needed for a break. Experiencing an unstable mood may cause the brain to malfunction. Thus, it tends to have difficulty in regulating emotions like it is supposed to. And because of this, people may find themselves often stressed out all time. Then become unmotivated to do anything and get overwhelmed by the unfortunate pandemic situation.

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Getting Disconnected From Everything And Everyone

Social distancing is the most critical safety measure that people need to follow right now. However, when they feel disconnected from everything and keep on isolating themselves from the people they are generally close to, it can mean something. Social withdrawal and isolation are the worst consequences of having poor mental health. When this happens, people begin to distance themselves from social activities. These people don’t want to be around with anyone, even with friends and loved ones. It causes emotional numbness. When that happens, it is essential that people should take care of themselves mentally.

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Feeling Down All The Time

When people experience frequent depressive moods, it might be a sign of mental deterioration. It is where people find it hard to feel pleasure anymore. The things they usually love are no longer interesting to them. Honestly, this is a cause of concern. Aside from being irritable, people become unmotivated, disinterested, and exhausted for no reason. Often, they have difficulty concentrating and focusing on a specific task. And when things are worse, all these people see are negativity that makes them depress and empty. Also, when people suffer from falling mental health, they begin to show signs of impaired cognitive functioning. It usually happens when people are putting too much on their plate even if they know they cannot handle it anymore.

With all the difficulties happening right now, people should always remember to take care of their mental health

Heightened Clinical Depression Due To COVID-19 Outbreak

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It is already a struggling moment that I have clinical depression. I can barely motivate myself to think about good things in life due to my mental condition. It is also impossible for me to manage a daily routine that does not require medication and self-care instructions. And now that there is a pandemic, the struggle I am facing every day becomes twice as much more complicated. My mental illness does not allow me to see a different angle of things. I merely focus on what I want to think about, and that is the toxicity of the world. My clinical depression makes me scared and anxious even more that it takes a toll on everything I do.

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How Is Everything For Me Lately

With all the mixed feelings I have due to this pandemic situation, I am now experiencing panic attacks and nightmares. It sucks because I don’t like how I picture the future. There are too much brutality and deaths in my head. I find it very disturbing and irritating at the same time. But unfortunately, I can’t take it off my mind. The feeling of hopelessness is rising because I somehow knew that this COVID-19 outbreak will still be in control for the next few more months.

I am aware that there is nothing people can do in this situation. I also believe that staying positive and mindful about everything available right now is the key to mental survival. However, for those individuals like me who are already suffering from a mental health issue, it’s not easy. There is no way people can just say we should look at the brighter sides of this Coronavirus outbreak because we can’t. There is nothing we can do to rectify our depression in an instant, especially that we know the world can’t even stand the battle from this global crisis.

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With individuals like me, who has clinical depression, the way we respond to the things around us is different. Our understanding of home quarantine gets related to self-isolation. We don’t like the idea of being trapped in our homes alone and surrounded by only a few people we know. Though, that is one thing we always kind of deal with. Perhaps that is because the limited amount of people available will only limit our options to get involved socially. The fewer people we socialize with becomes a way for us to isolate ourselves even more. It’s a no brainer detail because people with clinical depression often choose to distance themselves from everyone.

How Am I Managing The Situation

Yes, I can agree that there are certain things depressed people can do during the lockdown. These include watching television, exercising, listening on the radio, playing with their phones, and so on. But despite those activities and their mental benefits, I can’t process the thoughts of doing any of it. I feel like attaching myself more to the pandemic situation even though I know I can’t do anything. I watch the news often, and that’s the thing I like doing. With that, I can say, I am not helping myself, and I am only adding damage to my already unhealthy condition.

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But for those who don’t understand, please do not hate us. It is not like we are not trying to get better. It is just that the timing of the pandemic situation heightens our already unstable clinical depression. And with all the limited access we can get, we are having difficulties too. Think about it. The world’s people are anxious and terrified. How much more do you think it affects us people with a mental illness?

How Firefighters Develop PTSD

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Firefighters were the main topic of discussion at the 2017 PTSD Conference. The event was dedicated to finding ways and means to help Texas firefighters (and all the firefighters across the globe, for that matter) reduce their symptoms of PTSD. It was also mentioned that these firefighters had shown similar symptoms with the military soldiers who manifested with moderate to severe PTSD, along with other mental health illnesses. This is because, like soldiers, they are obliged to respond immediately to emergencies and need to respond appropriately – all the time.

In relation to this, we will be sharing here some helpful information about PTSD and its development among firefighters.

The incidence of PTSD among firefighters has increased compared to other professions. Most of us, at some point in our lives, go through a traumatic experience. Not all traumatic experiences eventually lead to Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, but those who have gone through multiple traumatic experiences are more likely to develop PTSD.

The trauma that these firefighters usually experience arises from their exposure to individuals they help that are DOA, severely injured crime victims, as well as too much stress from helping infants and children. Additionally, they reported that they also feel so depressed after medical emergencies due to vehicular accidents.

Risk Factors

There are several risk factors for firefighters developing PTSD. These include working as a firefighter at an early age, being single, previous treatment for another illness, near-death experiences, feeling intense fear when experiencing trauma, and pessimism, among others.

Preventive Factors 

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It is undoubtedly true that firefighters have a higher likelihood of feeling over-stressed because of their job. Still, it is also important to remember that a majority of them do not develop Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. In fact, some preventive factors were found to help decrease the chances of firefighters having PTSD, social support being one of them. Love and support from family, friends, and significant others are a big factor in helping these unsung heroes cope and overcome their traumas.

Also, getting help from a mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist or counselor, can guide the firefighter into facing his fears and learning how to handle them.