What is Seasonal Depression and how could it affect my child?Posted by Eric Wolf on 12/3/2021 2:00:00 PM
Seasonal Depression, or Seasonal Affective Disorder, is a type of depression that primarily affects people when seasons change, typically in late fall or early winter. They may experience depressive symptoms associated with the winter seasons.
Less sunlight and colder days can lead to feelings of sadness, and/or anxiety. If your child is exhibiting any of the following symptoms only during the winter months, or these symptoms get worse during the winter months, they may need help:
- Losing interest in activities they used to enjoy
- Oversleeping or Undersleeping
- Feeling overly irritable or anxious
- Feeling hopeless or worthless
- Having thoughts of death, self-harm, or suicide
- Social Withdrawal
How to Combat Seasonal Depression:
- Get outside! Getting outside will prevent your child from spending too much time in the dark or alone and will get them the Vitamin D that their body needs.
- Eat Healthy! Eating Healthy not only increases your odies ability to function properly and give you energy, but it also affects our brains and our mental health.
- Stay Connected! Finding ways to connect your child to their friends and family is important. Whether it is over the phone, in person, or through social media or a video game, keeping connected with the people they care about will help your child.
- Therapy! Therapy is a great way for your child to understand what is happening to them, why it is happening to them, and what they can do to fight back againt it. If you need help connecting your child to a therapist, please reach out to me.
Native American Heritage MonthPosted by Eric Wolf on 11/12/2021 2:00:00 PM
Happy November everyone! It is the first official Friday of November so here is the November Blog Post!
November is Native American Heritage Month. This month, we are celebrating the diverse histories of the various Native American Tribes and cultures.
New Jersey was once home to the Lenape Indians before European settlers removed them. The Lenape Indians (pronounced Leh-Nuh-Pee), meaning "the people", would live in small villages and hunt/farm for food. Their small houses were made of bark. Today, many Lenape Native Americans live in Oklahoma after being forced from their lands. While many aspects of their culture were lost during their travels, they still participate in Stomp Dances and play Pahsahëman, which is similar to American Football.
We can still see much of the Lenape language in the various towns across the state. Some examples of Lenape names nearby are:
- Totowa (meaning "between river and mountain")
- Hoboken (meaning "a place to trade tobacco pipes")
- Passaic (meaning "valley")
- Secaucus (meaning "black snake")
- Weehawken (meaning "place of gulls")
For more resources on Native American Heritage Month, please check out the following websiteS:
What does Mental Health Look Like?Posted by Eric Wolf on 10/1/2021 2:00:00 PM
We have been hearing the term "Mental Health" more and more as people become more aware of what it is and it's benefits.
Mental Health is exercising your mind. Just as you need to exercise your body to stay healthy, you need to exercise your brain to keep your mind healthy. Having positive mental health can:
- Reduce Anxiety
- Create Clearer Thinking
- Improve Self-Esteem
- Improve Your Physical Health
- Reduce Risk of Depression
- Improve Your Overall Mood
The important thing to remember about Mental Health is that it looks different for everyone. Some people find success from Yoga or Meditation, while others find success from playing sports or video games or just talking with friends.
In order to practice good mental health, it is important to focus on what works for you and not what works for others.
Welcome- First FridayPosted by Eric Wolf on 9/3/2021 3:00:00 PM
Hello everyone and welcome to the start of the school year at Classical Academy! The first friday of every month, I will be posting something on here for everyone to utilize as a resource. This month's First Friday Post is regarding Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, which is in September.
Each year, thousands of people die by suicide and it is the second leading cause of death for middle schoolers. Those who die by suicide often feel hoplessness, helplessness, and overhwleming loneliness. Our job as a community is to help those individuals with suicidial thoughts and care for them.
Check out these two websites for more information and resources!
What is Mental HealthPosted by Eric Wolf on 3/1/2021 2:00:00 PM
Mentall Health can be a broad term that can sound scary and overwhelming at times. Here are a couple of things that Mental Health can look like:
- Being aware of, and properly handling, your emotions
Knowing your emotions and being able to effectively handle them leads to an overall greater mindset. Knowing your emotions will allow you to respond to them and utilize them effectively.
- Seeking Therapy
Therapy can provide help with many different things such as mental illnesses (such as depression or anxiety), an outlet for expression, anger management, and much more! Some people go to therapy because it helps them rationalize the world around them, while others go because it makes them feel good and keeps them on track.
- Doing things you love!
A huge part of mental health is finding time to do something you enjoy. This can be painting, reading a book, playing a game, or even just going out for a walk (when it gets warmer). Finding time to do the things you love ensures that your brain isn't working all the time and that you are getting the breaks you need.
- Relaxing your mind
Relaxing your mind gives you a chance to step back and remove yourself from the difficulty of a job or homework. Some common techniques to relax your mind include yoga, meditation, and breathing techniques.
There are many more things that encompass mental health and it is extremely important to take time each day and ask yourself if you are doing enough to keep your mind healthy.
Schooling Without MotivationPosted by Eric Wolf on 1/8/2021 2:00:00 PM
Many teens and pre-teens, such as the students at Classical Academy, have found it difficult to stay motivated during virtual learning and the pandemic. Between economic issues, lack of social interactions, and an increase in distractions in the learning environment, many students are less motivated to succeed in their classes.
But all hope is not lost! We still have the majority of the school year remaining to get back the motivation to attend and succeed in the classroom. Here are some tips to help from psyhcolgist Lisa Damour in a New York Times Article.
1. Understand the Two Basic Types of Motivation
Intrinsic motivation takes over when we have a deep and genuine interest in a task or topic and derive satisfaction from the work or learning itself.
Extrinsic motivation, on the other hand, gets us to work by putting the outcome — like a paycheck or a good grade — in mind.
2. Encourage Intrinsic Motivation
In practice, Instrinsic Motivation means that young people should be given as much say over their learning as possible, such as giving them options for how to solve problems, approach unfamiliar topics or practice new skills. This can also involve, whenever possible, letting tweens and teenagers decide the order in which they tackle their assignments, how they want to prepare for tests or where they feel they study most effectively, even if that means that their papers carpet their bedroom floors.
3. Know when to use Extrinsic Motivation
Teens and parents can think together about strategies to help face down the many homework assignments students can get on a daily basis. Think about what would help them succeed. Would it help to have a parent work quietly nearby in silent solidarity? Would the teenager like to study in 25-minute intervals followed by five-minute breaks to stretch, snack or check social media? Might the promise of a new video game or clothing article encourage them to study just a bit harder?
Adults should be ready to stand back and admire the fantastic solutions that young people land upon themselves. Some adolescents buckle down with the help of a YouTube study buddy, others hold out the carrot of a video game or run once the work is done.
Overall, there are many ways to increase motivation amongst students, you just have to find the one that works best for you and your child.
Bullying in a PandemicPosted by Eric Wolf on 12/11/2020 12:00:00 PM
Welcome to the first Social Work Blog Post. I will be posting on Fridays of each month detailing Social and Emotional Learning, Bullying, Mental Health, and more!
Bullying in a Pandemic:
Bullying is something that is common amongst all schools across the world. one out of every five students reports being bullied and nearly half of those who reported being bullied think that it will happen again.
While direct contact has decreased significantly this year, bullying has not. With the increasing advancement of technology, and many schools, such as our own, moving to a virtual environment, Cyberbullying has increased.
Cyber Bullying can range from teasing someone online, to posting mean or false things about that person.
Know the signs of cyber bullying:
- See if your child seems more withdrawn lately, or is not involved in social media as much as they once were.
- They suddenly don't want you to see what they are doing online.
- They seem nervous when receiving a text message or other notification.
What you can do:
- Start by talking to your child. You can open the conversation by describing a bullying incident that happened to you as a child, or an example of cyberbullying that you heard about on the news.
- Reach out to your child’s guidance counselor or principal. Every school should have anti-cyberbullying policies and protocols to help.
- Discuss ways your child can respond to the bullying. While we cannot always prevent bullying and the actions of others, we can control our reactions to it. Many bullies do not like someone who will stand up for themselves.