WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2018

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/1011917

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Page 153 of 207

incorporating a 'mindful minute' moment each morning followed by our 15-minute recess before school. This setup eases the transition into school for students by allowing them movement before starting their day and makes them feel good about coming to school. Having the mindful minute gives them a chance to re-center and get ready for a day of learning." As children get older, they often want more distance from their par- ents, which can make feeling in touch with your kids more challenging. Six years ago, Wellesley High School implemented a daily advisory ses- sion that gives the same group of students and their teacher a way to bond and check-in daily for all four years at the school. It's an ungraded daily "class" that gives kids an opportunity to regularly connect and talk about anything that's on their minds. "Parents need to watch for changes in their children's behavior, eating, sleeping, overall demeanor," said Dr. Lussier. "We are trying to create a climate of care here so that students feel comfortable approaching adults and peers with their problems." Weston High School also has an advisory program where the same group of kids meets with an adult weekly to decompress, play a game, or talk about something other than school. "We keep an eye out for kids who are under a lot of stress and partner with our school nurse, guidance, teachers, and parents to prevent an emotional collapse," added Parker. Active Listening "When our children start to get older and come home with disap- pointing news, we need to listen and validate rather than criticize," said Goodman. It's hard because we have high expectations for our kids and they want to feel supported and succeed in our eyes. Sometimes, we need to adjust our expectations and remember that grades don't offi- cially "count" until freshman year of high school when your child's GPA is first established. And if your child doesn't make the team they tried out for, there are always other options. Principal Maguire said, "The early years are 'make it' or 'break it' years that shape how students see themselves and school. We try to nur- ture a strong, trusting community so our kids see themselves as active learners and want to come to school. It is my hope that they learn to love school for years to come!" Principal Ito said, "While it's okay to talk about college in middle school, it shouldn't be used as the reason to drive our children to do more." And Principal Parker added, "High school is not just about academics. It's a time when teens are dealing with life issues — friend group changes, first boy/girlfriends, break-ups, getting their license. These kids are growing up and experimenting, and it's our job to help them find balance." Like adults, kids can reduce stress levels by not biting off more than they can chew, staying organized, taking a break from work with activi- ties they enjoy — especially non-screen time activities — and getting a good night's sleep. "Part of our job is to know when our children have had it and let them skip a practice or an event so they can get a break," said Goodman. "As parents, we have the right to do that." Because we know our kids best and can do what's best for them. 152 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | f a l l 2 0 1 8 fitness & health "help them find balance"

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