Category Archives: Counseling

Teens and the dangers of Social Media

It is a known fact that most teens today know about technology and the internet, better than their parents. Most teens have a Facebook page, blog or a social network through which they communicate and exchange information. Even though they may be more skilled than their parents, do they really know how to protect themselves from the information and images they receive and transmit?

Most teens communicate via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or blog. It is on social networks where many teens express themselves, and where they feel they can relate to others. They can talk about fashion, friends, school and more, but it can also be where bullying a teacher or classmate can happen. This is not the rule, especially if the parents are concerned about what they kids post.

Often, teens can send a message or a photo that they consider to be of no consequence to them and others, but whose publication can prove to be dramatic. It is useful to remind them that everyone has the right to respect and privacy and that it is necessary to ask permission of the person concerned before publishing a statement or a photograph.

It is extremely important to remember that all the comments and photos published on the internet can never be erased completely. In the near or distant future, posts may reappear at a most unfortunate time, affecting their work or private life. We must make our teenagers aware this. What they think today, will probably be different in the future. It is best for them to not regret what they are posting on social media, today.

For many teenagers, social media and blogs have replaced the diary, but they do not use it the same way a diary is commonly used. In a diary, you know that nobody can read your personal thoughts, but today when writing on social media, teenagers know that we will not only be read by their acquaintances, but also by strangers… and that changes everything. It is important to understand that one should not express themselves the same way online as in a diary. It is the job of parents to explain this to their teenagers.

Hidden behind a screen and often, under an alias, teens can be uninhibited in their way of being, and in what they can post. One can exaggerate facts, post inappropriate photos and more. Parents should know that sometimes teenagers have a Facebook (or other social account) that the parents know about and, sometimes, they also own another account under an alias, where they post much different things. This other social media account may contain information or photos of them not necessarily highlighting them in the best way. It is up to the parents to inform their teens about the dangers of the Internet without wanting to interfere in their worlds secrets. There must be some trust between parents and teens so that they feel responsible when they create social media accounts.

Creating a Facebook page or other has become the way teenagers relate to each other. Teens need to share what they feel with their peers. It is up to us parents to protect our teens by informing them of their rights and the dangers of the Internet.

School Bullying Can Leave Lifelong Scars

As a society, we are more aware of bullying than ever. We hear about bullying regularly in social media outlets and on the news. But how really damaging is bullying? Here’s a few statistics.

According to a 2015 report from the U.S. Department of Education, when students are bullied as children, the emotional damage doesn’t just go away—it leaves an impact that can last decades.  In fact, about one in five students, or an estimated 5.4 million students ages 12 to 18 have been reported being bullied and 1.7 million experienced cyberbullying in 2013.  Also, for lesbian, gay, and bisexual students, the bullying rate is even higher, nearly 34 percent offline and 28 percent online, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in 2016.

Just note, at Choices Charter School, bullying is not acceptable. Know that you can count on us to take care of your student.

Read more about bullying:


Back to School stress? Here’s some tips.

Back to school is a period of stress for students but also for parents. How to ensure that this period goes smoothly? Here’s a few simple tips that will help you prepare for the return. These will help defuse the stress at this time of great change often tinged with anxiety for students and their parents. Avert a disaster by anticipating and preparing now, before the end of summer.

To ensure that your children are not too disturbed and tired when the time comes, it is a good practice to help them achieve a rhythm with their sleep at least a few days before schools starts. If you are able to change the schedule a week ahead, this allows your children to be ready for the change of pace of school. The first week of “Back to school” will not be experienced as too brutal.

It is also essential to talk with student to prepare psychologically for this autumn. If possible, start introducing back into your conversations, subjects related to school materials and supplies as well as clothing choices. If budget permits, go shopping with the student for these.

If your child is changing schools, it is important to become familiar with the new school by visiting the premises in advance. This allows the student to visualize and project themselves mentally in at the school. This in turn will reduces their anxiety. The new school will no longer be unknown.

If despite this, your student still shows signs of anxiety, it is essential to calmly listen and reassure. We’ll be right here to help them along.

Welcome back!

Introduction to Growth Mind Set starts 6/13!

This summer our counselor, Martine Cermak and counseling intern, Jade Owen, will be running a group for middle school students current 6th, 7th and 8th graders at Choices.  The group will be an introduction to growth mindset, the concept of changing the way students feel about their mistakes and failures and how to grow and learn from them.  Students will also learn to be more motivated and gain resiliency techniques for bouncing back and overcoming obstacles they face in school and life.  Students will learn about “famous failures” those who have succeeded greatly and are famous, despite their failures.  Sessions will be engaging, include icebreakers, games, lessons, discussions and reflection promoting growth and tools for success.  Sessions will be Mondays and Wednesdays from 10-11am for five weeks beginning Monday 6/13 at Choices Charter School.

If you have any questions please feel free to send me an email: