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April 3, 2019
"Kindness is the single most powerful thing we teach children."
Dear IHM Families and Friends,
Within a few short weeks we will be celebrating the holy season of Christmas and reflecting on ways that we ourselves can become more Christlike; more kind, more patient, more giving of ourselves and our time. Once in a while it is good to reboot how we are conducting our lives and Christmas is the perfect opportunity to do so.
Sometimes it is hard to slow down and I hear this said by many of our students. We feel pressure to accomplish and to produce, and in our efforts, we miss out on taking care of ourselves. There is an app called Calm.com that helps us to focus and relax in a variety of ways. Some of our students have found it very helpful to have guided breathing exercises, sounds of nature, sleep stories and quiet scenery at their fingertips. I have sent the app to our teachers for use in the classroom, as the app also has lessons for the classroom. This is just one of many apps out there that help us to dial things back a notch. Perhaps you have found one that works for you.
Currently, our younger students are busy preparing for the Christmas season and will be sharing some of their talents and excitement during the school pageant. I see their excitement and it helps me to stay grounded about what is really important in life. Being able to see the world through their eyes is such a blessing. To help them maintain their happy spirits, remember to keep holiday outings short for the little ones. All of the energy and change in schedules can take its toll. As much as is reasonable, try to keep a regular schedule allowing for plenty of time for sleep.
We just had a fabulous day of service here at IHM and I heard some insightful comments made by our older children. They are seeing how those outside of their circle may be in true need and their actions can truly make a difference in someone’s day. Sister Mary Catherine spoke to the children at the beginning of our day of service, and what I took away was how she gave the children so many ways to make the world a better place. Ask your child for some of the examples that she gave to them. She truly empowered them and let them see themselves as instrumental in how the world can be a better place for all. Sometimes it is hard to see yourself in this light as a middle school student. In October, I sent each of the middle school students the article ‘10 Truths Every Middle Schooler Should Know’. I have attached a copy of the article to this newsletter so that you can share what they received. With any of these links, Right click and then hit Open Link.
A new facet of IHM is that we are working on becoming a Grief Sensitive School. New York Life Foundation came to our school as a community service and is guiding us in this process. The teachers will be looking at the materials provided to our school and we are also in the process of setting up a small library of resources provided to us by New York Life. A helpful site for you to explore is www.grievingstudents.org. Remember that grief is not just about death; it is about loss.
Lastly, mid-terms will be here before you know it for the upper grades. Attached are 2 links with some tips on how to prepare. Most important...get rest the night before. A rested mind yields more correct answers that a sleep deprived mind. Again, don’t ask me how I know this.
Until next time, I am wishing you a peaceful and holy Christmas season with time put aside to rekindle your family bonds.
Take care of yourselves and each other, and always remember to pray.
Siobhán Powers School Counselor
Many of you have asked me for some Social Skills groups in the area. Please check out my list under the Resource tab.
CHECK OUT MY RESOURCE PAGE!!