Summer is over and we are back to our regularly scheduled programming called “School”! A place to learn, grow, make friends, and have fun! But school is also a place for some to feel safe, to find structure, and to unload the things they may not be able to release when at home. Teachers are bogged down with work and admin staff have the duty of running the school. So who is the person that is able to pick up the things these kids are unloading? The School Counselor. This person is an essential element to the overall function of a school. Yes, they may be responsible for scheduling, testing, and academic success, but one of their most important tasks are to assist with the emotional well-being of the students within their school. Many kids will never speak to anyone else and may never have the opportunity due to a host of reasons, but they may find comfort in a person they see five days a week for six+ hours a day. The school counselor has the tough job of reading 300+ emotions on a daily basis and trying to figure out how to help work through those said emotions. A great school counselor is one who takes the time, from all the other tasks set before them, to stop that kid in the hallway to check in about a situation that may have occurred at the beginning of the week. A great school counselor takes her lunch break and eat with a kid who does not seem to be making any new friends in a new school. Even the students who we feel needs no help in any capacity will benefit from a school counselor at some point in their school career. There are so many things our children are facing these days that we can definitely miss and need someone else to catch it for us.
As a school counselor and mother, I had to be okay with missing some things and allowing others to catch what I may not see while my child is away from me. I had to be okay with my son talking with someone else. I understand the school counseling side that there are just some things kids will not and don’t want to talk to their parents about. (Because sometimes it’s simply about how their parent gets on their nerves.) We have to get to a place where we allow our kids to have true emotions, feel and understand them, and give them the space to vent without judgment. Too many times, we get caught up in the “we don’t want people knowing our business” (and for good reason sometimes) that we have caused a culture of pent up aggression and a culture of silence. Allowing our kids to get their feelings out helps them understand:
- Feelings are real,
- It’s okay to have them, and
- How to appropriately deal with those feelings.
I have found when I let my students know that their feelings are real and I help them name the feeling, the outcome is so much better. Let your kids talk. There is so much going on in this world that they just need to release, talk it out, or just get clarity. And, it doesn’t always have to come from you as the parent. The school counselor is an amazing resource and can be a great support to you and your child.