Parent Ed Topics & Resources

PARENT ED THIS WEEK

HOW GRATITUDE AND GIVING REWIRE YOUR BRAIN

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgiving, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” --Proverb

Often the holiday season can bring high expectations for a cozy and festive time of the year. However, for many this time brings feelings of anxiety or being overwhelmed by the never-ending “to do” list. Certainly, parents and guardians often have more to do with year-end tasks and holiday gatherings and shopping. Our children certainly feel our stresses and they have their own as they approach final exams and papers and maybe some of their own expectations of what this season means to them.

New research (and common sense) suggests that one aspect of the Thanksgiving and the holiday season can actually lift the spirits and rewire our brains – practicing gratitude and giving.

Read more in this blog from the Harvard Medical School or from Cal Berkeley’s Greater Good Magazine. Research reports that being grateful helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals – whether to other people, nature or a higher power. In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. The Neuroscience of Gratitude is well-documented in research and there are very simple acts that you can incorporate into your family’s life and encourage your teens to do to help them practice gratitude and immediately reap the positive mental health benefits of this practice.

  1. Take a moment to simply acknowledge your gratitude daily. Start each morning with writing or sharing 5 things you are grateful for. Maybe make this part of your morning carpool routine or evening dinner?

  2. Write a thank you note – to a teacher or a friend or a neighbor or our local fire or police department – to anyone to express your gratitude. So often, we are quick to reach out when something is not going our way or we have a complaint. What if, instead, we took a moment to acknowledge our gratitude for something that is going right.

  3. Find opportunities to volunteer or give. There are many local charities that can use our help, especially this time of the year. A few include: Grateful Gatherings, and Food Bank of Contra Costa County. Campo’s Girls Basketball Team is providing an easy way to give back right here on campus with their shoe drive to benefit Soles4Souls.

Please help Campolindo High School Girls Basketball collect 500 pairs of shoes for their Soles4Souls shoe drive!

About Soles4Souls: Soles4Souls aims to turn unwanted shoes into opportunities, by keeping shoes from going to waste and putting them to good use – providing relief, creating jobs, and empowering people to break the cycle of poverty.


Soles4Souls creates sustainable jobs and provides relief through the distribution of shoes and clothing around the world. They partner with women’s shelters, veterans’ organizations, children’s programs, and schools to get shoes and clothing to those who need it most.

All shoes should be dropped off by donors on December 7th at Campolindo’s Gym.

Drop off: Tuesday, December 7, 3:30-6:30pm

Address: Campolindo High School Gym, 300 Moraga Road

For more information click here.


“Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough.” Oprah Winfrey.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT...

TEENS AND SLEEP

“Sleep isn’t a luxury. Memory and learning are thought to be consolidated during sleep, so it’s a requirement for adolescents and as vital to their health as the air they breathe and the food they eat. In fact, sleep helps teens eat better. It also allows them to manage stress.”

Frances E. Jensen, The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist's Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults

Sleep is vital for people of any age. For teens, though, profound mental, physical, social, and emotional development requires quality sleep.” According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, teenagers require 9-9.5 hours of sleep per night. Research shows that sleep is critical and vital to normal brain development and cognitive maturation that occurs during the teen years. Sleep deprivation goes beyond just moodiness or feeling tired, but it can actually have detrimental effects to your child’s mental and physical health.

In 2015, the Journal of Youth and Adolescence found that each hour of lost sleep is associated with a 38% increased risk of feeling sad or hopeless and a 58% increase in suicide attempts. Sleep deprivation causes some huge physiological effects when we don’t sleep enough: increased inflammation, immune system is compromised, cognition is decreased and mood is changed. Sleep actually allows the brain to be cleansed of toxins. Sleep allows for memories (ie new material learned in math class) to be stored. While you are sleeping, your pituitary gland releases growth hormone, which helps your body to heal and grow.

Listen to this podcast on Sleep and The Teenage Brain here or watch one of this Ted Talk on the Teen Sleep epidemic or this Ted Talk by Valerie Crabtree on the importance of sleep.

Tips for getting a better night sleep:

  • Stick to a regular sleep schedule

  • Avoid electronics and digital screens for 2-3 hours prior to bedtime. Many experts recommend to ban tech from the bedroom. Using tech at night not only cuts into teens’ sleep time, but it also exposes them to a type of light that suppesses the body’s production of sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, making it tougher to fall asleep

  • Avoid late afternoon or evening caffeine (Did you know that about 8 oz of chocolate contains the same amount of caffeine as one cup of coffee?)

  • Exercise daily, but no less than four hours prior to bed.

  • Start each day in sunshine. Having breakfast outside or by a sunny window or going for a brisk walk or jog in the morning can help regulate the body’s biological clock.

  • Maybe try a calming meditation or one of these podcasts to help fall asleep

TIME MANAGEMENT AND STUDY SKILLS

Cynthia C. Muchnick, M.A. writes, After this challenging year of Zoom school, hybrid learning, and all sorts of unknowns for students, traditional study skills and time management strategies fell by the wayside.


Most students didn’t have the opportunity to see peers or engage with teachers face-to-face, and many kids even developed unusual sleep patterns. (How many of you had child vampires who stayed up late far beyond what is considered healthy for tweens and teens and were exhausted during the day?) And when kids did roll out of bed to attend class, they did so in pajamas, and with more of a temptation to cheat than ever before.


But now that school is (hopefully) resuming this fall in a more “normal,” albeit still-modified way around the country and world, it might be a good time to help your child brush up on fundamental study skills and time management to help kickstart the upcoming school year right.” Read more about Cynthia’s tips on how you as a parent/guardian can help instill and support good learning habits here.


We’ve heard from many parents that both parents and students are struggling with readjusting to the demands of in-classroom learning combined with return to extracurricular sports and activities and social commitments. This week, we aim to help empower your student to feel confident and succeed with some tips to improve study skills, avoid digital distraction, seek support from your Campo teachers and counselors and to use Canvas as a tool to stay organized.


SUCCESSFUL STUDY SKILLS We’ve compiled some excellent resources to help your student improve their study skills here:

AVOID DIGITAL DISTRACTION. There are proven techniques to teach our students to remove digital distractions from their study space, both at home and at school. Take a look at this article from The Learning Center at UNC Chapel Hill and discuss the concept of metacognition with your students.

CAMPOLINDO HIGH SCHOOL is filled with incredible resources to help your student succeed.

  • Does your student use Academy every week as an opportunity to meet with his/her teacher? Not sure what Academy is or how to utilize it, take a look at the Academy Tutorial here.

  • It can be awkward or uncomfortable for your student to reach out to the teacher. Take a look at this article for some helpful tips on teaching your teen to speak confidently to enhance their learning.

  • Learn more about how to use CANVAS as an organizational tool to manage your student’s coursework and grades and communication with teachers.


"At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child's success is the positive involvement of parents." - Jane D. Hull

UNDERAGE DRINKING AND TEEN ALCOHOL USE

UNDERAGE DRINKING AND TEEN ALCOHOL USE. It's normal for parents to worry about their children using alcohol. But there are ways to help your teen cope with the pressure to drink and make better choices.

  • Listen to this Talking To Teens podcast, episode 152: Alcohol, Drugs and Prevention.

  • Learn about the physiological effects of alcohol on the brain and short-term and long-term consequences to their health in this Harvard study.

  • Read some simple tips on parenting advice on how to best talk to your teen about alcohol from the Mayo Clinic.

  • You, as your child's parent/guardian, are your teen's greatest educator. The more knowledge you have, the better teacher you can be. Take a look at these facts about teens and alcohol from the National Institute on Alchohol Abuse and Alchoholism.

If you feel you or your teen needs more support, counseling and support is available through Campolindo's Wellness Center or through your local pediatrician or physician.


TEENS WITH ANXIETY

TEENS WITH ANXIETY Take a look at this article on 5 Simple Tips To Help Teens Cope with Anxiety. We need to remember that ONLY the current Senior class at Campolindo has ever been in school for a full year (their freshman year). Our juniors were only on campus for a portion of their freshman year. Our sophomores are essentially freshmen (with respect to managing school and being on campus) and our freshmen are all new! This time is a challenging time for all of us, especially our teens. We need to remind them that these feelings, as they are returning to a "new normal" and the uncertainty of our "new normal" can bring feelings of anxiety and stress. In addition to providing our children with reassurance, we can also find additional support through our incredible Campolindo community starting at the Campo Wellness Center. There are so many people that care and can provide support for your students and for you, as parents/guardians. Please reach out if you or your teens need support.

SEX ED MEANS PORN LITERACY

RECORDING OF LAST WEEK'S PARENT ED Thank you to everyone who joined our parent ed session entitled: Sex Ed Means Porn Literacy with Justine Fonte. Below is a link to the recording, which will expire by the end of the day on Friday October 1st. Feel free to share this with your parent community! Meeting Recording Access Passcode: Miramonte1!

A YEAR AWAY--TIPS FOR RETURNING TO SCHOOL

Here is the recording of our recent talk, A Year Away: Practical Tips for a Successful Return to School, by Dr. Ardis Martin. Here are slides containing resources at Acalanes from the Wellness Center, courtesy of our Coordinator, Allen Choi. As Dr. Martin suggests, open lines of communication with your teen is critical. Here is an additional resource from Adolescent Counseling Services for those who would like support or helpful tips on how to do so.