I am a public school educator and have been for twenty years. I have seen a tremendous shift in accountability as have many of my colleagues. In the past, students were held accountable for incomplete work and behavior issues but more and more the parents blame us, the educators, when students do not perform well. I am frustrated and looking for ways to encourage parents to hold their children accountable without creating additional conflict.
First and foremost, allow me to empathize with what must be an incredibly frustrating situation. As a therapist I am often faced with client’s that struggle with being accountable for their own choices and decisions. I would encourage you to avoid getting defensive and try to focus on collaboration and putting the ball back in the parent’s court. For example, when a parent is upset with you for holding a student accountable for behavior issues or incomplete work perhaps try asking what works for them at home when the student doesn’t listen or complete chores. I think it is even appropriate to remind parents of the value of learning coping skills for the world of work once they leave school. After all, an employer is not going to discuss potential termination or disciplinary action with someone’s parent before taking action.
Every year I dread fall and winter thanks to my seasonal depression. I want to avoid medications given that it doesn’t really affect me in warmer months and I prefer a more all natural approach. What kind of things would you recommend?
Woes in the winter
Let me encourage you to make an appointment with your primary care provider and possibly a therapist to help assess your specific concerns appropriately. As far as general recommendations often times seasonal depression can come down to basic brain chemistry. We tend to move less, eat more carbs and refined sugars, and get less sun thus producing less of our “positive” neurotransmitters and relying more heavily on a limited energy source. Some excellent interventions I have seen in the past are a lower carbohydrate diet, increased cardiovascular exercise, and light therapy. Light therapy lights simulate the sun without the cancer causing rays in a compact device that is compact enough for an office. There are also natural supplements like St John’s Wort that you could consider but make sure it is from a reputable source. There is no shame in asking for help, no shame in taking medication, and I am sure there are many more out there that are afraid to ask this same question. Thank you for reaching out!
David Zealy-Wright LPC, LCAS
David Zealy-Wright is a Licensed Professional Counselor, a Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist, and a Clinical Supervisor Intern. He graduated from Catawba Valley Community College in 2005 earning an Associate in Arts, Lenoir-Rhyne University in 2008 earning a BA in Psychology, and in 2010 an MA in Agency Counseling. His specialty areas include addiction, depression, anxiety, life changes, men’s issues, relationships, and LGBTQIA issues.