Celebrating Siblings!

Siblings – those that share our childhood, day after day, those that best understand all our quirky family dynamics and have a deeper connection through shared experiences. At times, siblings can tease and provoke frustration but below you will find tips to help build and strengthen this relationship. This relationship can see you through many difficult experiences throughout your lifetime and provide a great deal of joy!

Recognize your siblings strengths – Are they creative?  Are they funny? Do they help you with homework, household responsibilities? Help to bring out the best in them.

Watch out for them – practice sticking up for family members if they are being bullied or teased. Support and safety is critical within the family unit.

Be respectful, even if you disagree – personal attacks are never acceptable. Practice assertiveness, voicing your views but also being open to others’ opinions. Agreeing to disagree is an example of setting a healthy boundary.

Offer support – provide a safe place to process feelings. If your sibling has had a “tough” day, allow them to vent and dispel some negativity and provide encouragement and space.

Watch for opportunities to share common interests – music, sports, games…find interactive, healthy ways to connect and grow a stronger relationship.

Don’t compare – learn to see each other for their own unique talents and strengths, just because you share similar genes doesn’t mean you can’t embrace and recognize your differences.

To sum it up, strive to build a trusting relationship through open, honest communication. Set healthy boundaries and practice respectful language and compromise, when possible.

For more information, visit https://teachingselfgovernment.com/parenting-blog/6-steps-making-siblings-friends-not-foes


Love is in the air…

Yes, Valentine’s Day is coming and there are plenty of teenagers who might feel unloved, unattractive, and unnoticed because of a lack of a significant other. That dreaded or loved holiday is just around the corner, dealing with all the excitement, hopefulness, anxiety, and depression can be difficult. Love can take you to new highs — and new lows. You may have the strongest feelings of your life, which is great when things are good. But if things go bad, it’s devastating. According to Psychology Today, all of us have an intense desire to be loved and nurtured. The need to be loved, as Bowlby’s and others’ experiments have shown, could be considered one of our most basic and fundamental needs.” Healthy relationships and connections are essential to our health and wellbeing. They are essential for life success; in this post we hope to empower you with ideas that will help your relationships thrive.
Have you ever asked yourself “What is the purpose of dating?”, probably not because it seems like an easy question to answer, to find a partner, right? Right, there’s a little bit more to it than that though. The purposes of dating are to get to know yourself and others’ likes, dislikes, and values. You may find that you learn more about yourself than about the other person. To learn to feel more at ease in a relationship. To feel acceptance from another person who chooses to spend time with you. To develop a sense of independence. To discover what you want for yourself and to possibly prepare for a lasting relationship.
“Love Well: Teen edition magazine” published by The Center for Relationship Education in Denver, Colorado, offers key suggestions to successful dating to help you keep your head during this exciting time.
• Maintain your independence.
o Make sure to balance life outside of a romantic relationship.
• Use your brain.
o Balance romance with common sense, reason, judgement and discernment.
o Balance the head and the heart.
o Never neglect opportunities to evaluate along the way.
• Seek similarities.
o Healthy relationships have a strong foundation of similarities in background, temperament, goals, dreams, values and the way in which individuals manage and order their physical and mental lives.
• Take it slow.
o You do not get to know a person well in a short period of time.
o You need time to bond.
o You need to protect yourself from getting attached too quickly.
• Set clear boundaries.
o Draw definitive lines in the physical area of your relationship.
o Your body belongs to you.
o Communicate how you feel to your partner. Own you own feelings and be able to separate them from your date.
o Take ownership of your thoughts, and express them.
o Take responsibility for your own actions; don’t try to change someone.
o Don’t use substances and stay clear-headed.
• Engage in healthy responses to conflict.
o Avoid defensiveness, avoidance, invalidation and escalation.
o Fight fair: take time to consider what you really need to express, and be respectful to your partner. Be quiet and listen—seek to understand, then to be understood. Use “I” statements. Negotiate and compromise. Reevaluate your solution at a later time.
• Notice danger signs and end the relationship.
o Any form of abuse: physical, verbal, emotional, sexual or financial.
o Addictions.
o Untruthfulness in the relationship.
o Denial—you can’t admit that this relationship is unhealthy.
o Power struggles, jealousy, control and isolation from family and friends.
• Choose your dating and long term partner wisely.
o Discern character. Character is who you are when no one is looking. Look back at prior relationships to determine patterns of behavior. Crisis reveals someone’s true character. Give your relationship lots of time.
o Do you feel encouraged, affirmed, inspired and challenged to grow and be a better person when you are with him/her?

Before you go on your next date, the following information may help you navigate the terrain of relationships more effectively. Having a clearly defined road map will help you achieve your destination. There is a quote by Earl Nightingale that reads, “People with goals succeed because they know where they are going.” Mature love grows stronger with time. The more you get to know each other, the stronger your feelings. And you don’t have to be someone you’re not. You like each other for who you truly are. If you’re like most people, finding mature love takes more than one try, but it’s definitely worth it.
For more information visit www.myrelationshipcenter.org


Thanks Giving!

a-thankful-heart-is-a-happy-heartMany of us spent the last few weeks in preparation for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, known as the busiest travel weekend of the year. Many people travel and arrange to spend time with family and friends, enjoying favorite foods and traditions. With Thanksgiving behind us, for this year, please consider spending a moment to reflect. What are you thankful for? Visit this link to learn “3 Ways to Practice Gratitude.” Teenshealth.org provides a variety of great tips to help with mental and physical health. On the bottom right hand corner of the website, a guide is provided, to help with making a personal plan. This could be helpful when thinking about setting future goals.


And the winners are…

Thank you to all that participated in the “Build Your Personal Resilience” contest. So many great ideas to help each of us in

Developing  a Personal Shield of Resiliency to “DEFLECT” harm.


Work towards. . .

Building Personal Strength and Protection by:

  • Positivity: Self talk, attitude, optimism
  • Take Responsibility: mature decisions and actions
  • Focus on Ability: recognize personal strengths
  • Integrity (define): do the right thing for yourself and others
  • Resist Pressure: stand up for your health, take care of you!
  • Embrace Uniqueness: you are the best YOU anyone can be
  • Build Communication Skills: Listen and be assertive
  • Identify Support: reach out when you need help
  • Set Personal Goals and Embrace New Opportunities: be open to new experiences

First place goes to Jessica Wood! Very colorful and creative! The judges loved how the shield shows dents/dings from some of the attacks it has helped defend against. This is how Resiliency helps us through difficult times. Great job!

Honorable Mentions go to: Samantha Griesbach, Rachel Butts, Hannah Dooley and Israel Varela! Great job reinforcing ways to build personal strength and protection!

Prizes will be available on Monday, October 17th from Mrs. Madsen, in the Counseling Office.1st-place-jessicawoodhonorablemention-samanthagriesbachhonorablemention-rachelbuttshonorablemention-hannahdooleyhonorablemention-israelvarela

During Hope Week (Sept 26-30), Box Elder Middle School students were invited to enter a contest by sharing their creative skills by designing their own personal Resiliency Shield! What is a Resiliency Shield, you ask? A Resiliency Shield is something each of us should build to “deflect or absorb” some of the difficulties we each may face in our lives. A shield protects us from attacks or harm caused by others. By building our own personal strength (a.k.a. Resiliency Shield) we will be stronger to face disappointments, set-backs, unkind treatment and challenges that appear throughout life. Everyone is invited to participate! Contest entry forms can be picked up from the Counseling Office or the Art Instructors and returned to the Counseling Office (Sherri Madson) by October 7th. Prize winners will be notified on this blog on October 14th. So, how do you win???  Entries will be judged on creativity – share color, pictures, design, goals, words of strength, or other ways you are building your own personal shield of protection. Entries will be displayed in the hall by the Counseling Office, we can’t wait to see your creations and to give away prizes! resiliencyshield

Brought To You By:

This project is sponsored by the Bear River Health Department and supported in part by the Personal Responsibility Education Program from the US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Children, Youth, and Families.