Doc Brown’s Blog 29 June 2018 For more information please visit www.iccounseling.net

 

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Preparing early for Next School Year!

Although the summer sun and lazy days at the pool beckon, smart parents know that the end of the school year is really the best time to prepare for next fall and to help create the most positive school experience possible.

Here’s a checklist to get you started:

  • Find out about next year’s teachers, the school’s curriculum and expectations
    This is particularly important if you have a child who will be moving up from elementary to middle school, or middle school to high school. Familiarity with next fall’s teacher(s), an understanding of the curriculum, campus layout, band and team tryouts, and some frank discussions regarding behavioral expectations are in order.

 

  • Address academics in advance
    Daily review! Kids will feel more at ease if they are prepared. That may include ordering books early, pre-reading, or signing up for tutoring sessions to stave off the “summer slide.” For example every morning for 30-45 minutes my daughter and I work on her Chinese, math, and English summer worksheets as well as online programs (e.g. Xtramath) to help her build her confidence for 2nd grade.

 

  • Talk about any important health-related issues
    Although most parents have already scheduled in annual sports physicals and booster shots, mental health is also important to address; so it’s also a good time to talk to them about their school life—are they happy with their teachers and friends? Is there anything that’s worrying them about the coming school year? Are they being bullied or are they the bullies? Reviewing social media accounts can be very helpful. The end of the school year is the best time think about changing schools, so speak to your kids about any issues that may warrant considering a new school or new friends.

 

  • Investigate new opportunities
    If you’re planning to change schools, it’s crucial to start searchingwell in advance of August. Make appointments to talk to principals, tour schools, meet with faculty, and address any special needs. Planning early will give your child a chance to mentally adjust to a new environment.

Always remember to tell your child the following each day:

  1. Believe in yourself
  2. Love yourself
  3. You were born for special reasons
  4. Look for ways to help others today
  5. Your primary purpose is to discover what your unique talents are (that no one else in the world has)

 

Sincerely,

 

Doc Brown

If you would like to learn more about me or my practice Inner Compass Counseling, Coaching, and Consulting, PLLC and have questions feel free to visit my website www.iccounseling.net as well as read my Inner Compass Blog. My new book Abandoned to PhD: Integrating meaning and resilience in everyday life has been recently published and if you would like to review and purchase please visit https://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001156603

Dr. Gerald Brown (Doc Brown) is owner of Inner Compass Counseling, Coaching, and Consulting PLLC in Cornelius, NC and Statesville, NC. He is passionate about fatherhood issues, immigrant concerns, and specializes in trauma work. Doc Brown has presented at various conferences and has a multitude of experience training organizations and corporations in diversity and multicultural resilience. He believes in helping individuals, couples, and families find meaning and integrate that meaning with various resiliencies in order to live purposefully and vibrantly. He is married with two daughters ages 15 and 7.

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Doc Brown’s Blog 28 May 2018 For more information please visit www.iccounseling.net

 

 

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Finishing Strong for the Academic Year

The end of the school year is upon us once again (if your child is in traditional school year setting) and the waning weeks seem to challenge their continual motivation to get their homework done, study hard for tests, and finish the year strong

Some ways to help stave off this end of year(itis) is to do the following:

  1. Check Powerschool or similar system more frequently to ensure that your kids are turning in everything due in a timely manner and with good marks.
  2. Discuss weekly rewards with your kid if he/she has a great week behaviorally and academically that they can receive for the weekend (staying up past curfew, cooking favorite dinner, 1 extra hour of gaming, etc.)
  3. Spend some extra one on one time with your kids and talk about what they have most learned about themselves this year and not just in an academic sense. If you have been reading this blog then you know that each day as parents we need to encourage them to believe in themselves daily. I recommend asking how much self belief your child has earned this year as the year comes to a close.
  4. Ask your child what are some ways they can give back to their teachers, counselors, principal, and support staff so that they look forward to going to school and expressing their gratitude at the end of the year.

These are just a few suggestions to help your child/teen finish the school year with energy, verve, and gratitude. If after reading this article you identify the need for professional assistance for yourself or your child/teen please do not hesitate to contact me at 704-492-0713 or gcbrown11@gmail.com and if not me please find a therapist or counselor/life coach that you can begin working with to develop strategies and recommendations to address academic motivation issues in your kids/teens…

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Doc Brown

 

If you would like to learn more about me or my practice Inner Compass Counseling, Coaching, and Consulting, PLLC and have questions feel free to visit my website www.iccounseling.net as well as read my Fatherhood in the 21st Century Blog on the American Counseling Association Website.

My new book Abandoned to PhD: Integrating meaning and resilience in everyday life has been recently published and if you would like to review and purchase please visit https://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001156603

 

Dr. Gerald Brown (Doc Brown) is owner of Inner Compass Counseling, Coaching, and Consulting PLLC in Cornelius, NC and Statesville, NC. He is passionate about fatherhood issues, immigrant concerns, and specializes in trauma work. Doc Brown has presented at various conferences and has a multitude of experience training organizations and corporations in diversity and multicultural resilience. He believes in helping individuals, couples, and families find meaning and integrate that meaning with various resiliencies in order to live purposefully and vibrantly. He is married with two daughters ages 15 and 7.

Doc Brown’s Blog 27 March 2018 For more information please visit www.iccounseling.net

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Parenting with Purpose

Are you willing to participate in an experiment? It won’t take long. Just follow these directions:

List the last five things your child did that required your redirecting or reminding:

 

Now list the last five things your child did well, correctly and without reminding:

 

What did you find was easier to do? Most of you as parents would have little trouble listing all the things our kids have done incorrectly. When we as parents are asked to list all the good, positive, and rewarding things that our kids have done we can have a lot more difficulty. These two prompts can help us to begin reframing how we discipline, acknowledge, and guide our kids. I encourage you to write them down or type them out and paste them on your mirror or other easily accessible place in your home to be a constant reminder of what you choose to focus on with your kids’ actions. If we as parents choose to focus on our kids’ shortcomings and areas for improvement they will in turn show us more of their shortcomings and areas of improvement. We have to decide today that we will make efforts to compliment, encourage, and validate our kids so that these are the behaviors that they choose to do more often. I would encourage all of us as parents to use the 75/25 rule in which we encourage 75% of the time and redirect 25% of the time.

If after reading this article you identify the need for professional assistance for yourself or your child/teen please do not hesitate to contact me at 704-492-0713 or gcbrown11@gmail.com and if not me please find a therapist or counselor/life coach that you can begin working with to develop strategies and recommendations to address how your parenting is impacting your child/teen’s overall functioning and what can be done to be more purposeful in parenting.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Doc Brown

 

If you would like to learn more about me or my practice Inner Compass Counseling, Coaching, and Consulting, PLLC and have questions feel free to visit my website www.iccounseling.net as well as read my Fatherhood in the 21st Century Blog on the American Counseling Association Website.

My new book Abandoned to PhD: Integrating meaning and resilience in everyday life has been recently published and if you would like to review and purchase please visit https://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001156603

 

Dr. Gerald Brown (Doc Brown) is owner of Inner Compass Counseling, Coaching, and Consulting PLLC in Cornelius, NC and Statesville, NC. He is passionate about fatherhood issues, immigrant concerns, and specializes in trauma work. Doc Brown has presented at various conferences and has a multitude of experience training organizations and corporations in diversity and multicultural resilience. He believes in helping individuals, couples, and families find meaning and integrate that meaning with various resiliencies in order to live purposefully and vibrantly. He is married with two daughters ages 15 and 6.

 

 

 

 

Doc Brown’s Blog 26 February 2018 For more information please visit www.iccounseling.net

Bullies, Bullies, Bullies Everywhere

 

 

The following are some sobering facts about bullying from stopbullying.gov:

  • In one large study, about 49% of children in grades 4–12 reported being bullied by other students at school at least once during the past month, whereas 30.8% reported bullying others during that time.
  • Most bullying takes place in school, outside on school grounds, and on the school bus. Bullying also happens wherever kids gather in the community. And of course, cyberbullying occurs on cell phones and via social media.
  • Research indicates that persistent bullying can lead to or worsen feelings of isolation, rejection, exclusion, and despair, as well as depression and anxiety, which can contribute to suicidal behavior.
  • Only about 20 to 30% of students who are bullied inform adults about the bullying.

 

These statistics speak to the seriousness of the bullying epidemic that infects All of our communities on a daily basis. Many of the adolescents and teens I work with on a daily basis have been victims of bullying and become hypervigilant, depressed, and hopeless because they don’t want to snitch or tattle on the bullies themselves or look for support with parents and other supportive adults. As a counselor I often arrange for parent teacher conferences to bring the awareness to school officials about bullying incidents at schools and sometimes school officials intervene and sometimes they continue on with business as usual. I hear from my clients about how anti bullying programs at their schools are just for optics and skin deep. There is no sustained support system, mentoring, or formal bully response process thus many of my clients feel isolated and alone. My job is to help them believe in themselves through positive affirmations, exercise, and encouraging them to participate in clubs, sports, and self-defense classes. The greatest part of my work with bullied kids is cultivating trust that allows them to open up and share painful experiences that they may have never told another person let alone an adult.

 

If you begin to detect signs of bullying in your child or teen such as social withdrawal, wearing baggy clothes even when it’s warm, disinterest in school and school activities, little to no friends, flat affect all the time, restless sleep, nightmares, and traumatic reactions to the bullying do not hesitate to sit down with your child/teen and have an open and frank discussion about your concerns. Do not be afraid to express your concerns to the guidance counselor at school, teachers, and school leadership.

If after reading this article you identify the need for professional assistance for yourself or your child/teen please do not hesitate to contact me at 704-492-0713 or gcbrown11@gmail.com and if not me please find a therapist or counselor/life coach that you can begin working with to develop strategies and recommendations to address how bullying impacts your child/teen’s overall functioning and what can be done to be proactive.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Doc Brown

 

If you would like to learn more about me or my practice Inner Compass Counseling, Coaching, and Consulting, PLLC and have questions feel free to visit my website www.iccounseling.net as well as read my Fatherhood in the 21st Century Blog on the American Counseling Association Website.

My new book Abandoned to PhD: Integrating meaning and resilience in everyday life has been recently published and if you would like to review and purchase please visit https://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001156603

 

Dr. Gerald Brown (Doc Brown) is owner of Inner Compass Counseling, Coaching, and Consulting PLLC in Cornelius, NC and Statesville, NC. He is passionate about fatherhood issues, immigrant concerns, and specializes in trauma work. Doc Brown has presented at various conferences and has a multitude of experience training organizations and corporations in diversity and multicultural resilience. He believes in helping individuals, couples, and families find meaning and integrate that meaning with various resiliencies in order to live purposefully and vibrantly. He is married with two daughters ages 15 and 6.

Doc Brown’s Blog 25 January 2018 For more information please visit www.iccounseling.net

 

New Year Resolutions Blog #25

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Many of us at this time of year become incredibly focused on specific goals and resolutions. As the days, weeks, and months pass that same resolve is diluted and worn or just plain gone. This year maybe it will be better to focus our goals on a monthly basis instead of an annual assessment, which can seem insurmountable. So reflect on what 3 goals you have for the month of January ONLY. As the days of January unfold it may be easier to confront our daily goals when we just focus on 3 for the month.   The other piece of a resolution or goal that always seems to challenge people is the vagueness or clarity of the goal or resolution. For example simply stating I will be a better person this month of January we need to ask ourselves how do we meet this resolution in a measurable way? The goal needs to be Simple, Attainable, Measurable, Immediate, and Controllable (SAMIC). So in the previous example being a better person may mean volunteering at the local animal shelter one hour each week or spending quality time (1 hour a week) with loved ones. The importance of this article is to underscore 2 elements to success with your New Year’s Goals this year:

  1. To focus on one month at a time and no more than 3 goals for the month
  2. To make sure each goal is measurable in some way otherwise those broad and ambiguous resolutions die early deaths.

If after reading this article you identify the need for professional assistance please do not hesitate to contact me at 704-492-0713 or gcbrown11@gmail.com and if not me please find a therapist or counselor/life coach that you can begin working with to explore your monthly goals and give you tools to realize them.

 

Sincerely,

Doc Brown

 

If you would like to learn more about me or my practice Inner Compass Counseling, Coaching, and Consulting, PLLC and have questions feel free to visit my website www.iccounseling.net as well as read my Fatherhood in the 21st Century Blog on the American Counseling Association Website.

My new book Abandoned to PhD: Integrating meaning and resilience in everyday life has been recently published and if you would like to review and purchase please visit https://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001156603

Dr. Gerald Brown (Doc Brown) is owner of Inner Compass Counseling, Coaching, and Consulting PLLC in Cornelius, NC and Statesville, NC. He is passionate about fatherhood issues, immigrant concerns, and specializes in trauma work. Doc Brown has presented at various conferences and has a multitude of experience training organizations and corporations in diversity and multicultural resilience. He believes in helping individuals, couples, and families find meaning and integrate that meaning with various resiliencies in order to live purposefully and vibrantly. He is married with two daughters ages 15 and 6.

Doc Brown’s Blog 24 December 2017 For more information please visit www.iccounseling.net

Family Holiday Time

Cook Together — Include your children in meal prep and baking for holiday gatherings. In our family we have a tradition of baking cookies for Santa on Christmas eve.  It’s a great way to have fun and teach kids about cooking and nutrition. While you’re cooking, you can practice math and reading skills to reinforce what has been learned in school.

Make Holiday Greeting Cards and Gifts — Have your kids write holiday cards or letters to family and friends. It’s a great opportunity for children to practice their handwriting (even cursive if they know it), as well as their grammar, spelling and creative writing skills.  My daughter and I both made Christmas cards for Santa that will be placed next to the aforementioned cookies.

Explore Your City — When you feel a bit of cabin fever, plan a family outing. Many local parks and zoos feature light displays and other festivities to celebrate the season. There are also smaller towns in your area that probably have weekend Christmas celebrations.  You can also visit a local museum and historic sites, or see a play at a local theater.

Play Games — Playing board and trivia games during the holiday break is a good way to enjoy quality time together. Look for ideas online. There are a variety of games—for all ages—that are fun and educational as well.  The easiest ones that are really fun and I recommend for all ages are Sorry, Jenga, Life, Quick Cups, and Monopoly.

Enjoy the Great Outdoors — Play with your kids in the backyard or at a local park. If it snows, build a snowman, have a snowball fight, make snow angels, and go sledding!  Cabin fever is real, so if is just a walk in the park after dinner then do it just to get some fresh air.

Read Every Day — Take your kids to the local library and borrow books to read over the winter break. And spend time reading together—it helps children develop their literacy skills and excel academically.

Family schedules can be dizzying during the holidays, but remember the most important part of the season is spending quality time with the people you love. And when you add learning to your quality time, it will accentuate the special moments with your loved ones.

Source: http://www.pbs.org/parents/expert-tips-advice/2015/12/7-family-time-and-learning-tips-for-the-holidays/

If you would like to learn more about me or my practice Inner Compass Counseling, Coaching, and Consulting, PLLC and have questions feel free to visit my website www.iccounseling.net as well as read my Inner Compass Blog.

Dr. Gerald Brown (Doc Brown) is owner of Inner Compass Counseling, Coaching, and Consulting PLLC in Cornelius, NC and Statesville, NC. He is passionate about fatherhood issues, immigrant concerns, and specializes in trauma work. He is author of Abandoned to PhD: Integrating meaning and resilience in everyday life (Balboa Press).  Doc Brown has presented at various conferences and has a multitude of experience training organizations and corporations in diversity and multicultural resilience. He believes in helping individuals, couples, and families find meaning and integrate that meaning with various resiliencies in order to live purposefully and vibrantly. He is married with two daughters ages 14 and 6.

Doc Brown’s Blog 23 October 2017 For more information please visit www.iccounseling.net

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

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The fall season is here and that means the splendor of Mother Nature surrounds us in a bounty of earthy colors and motifs. Fall is my favorite season as football is back, fall festivals and activities abound, the buzz of school activity is all around, and cooler weather with shorter days begins.   With the shorter days and cold nights also comes SAD ness. Most people suffering from SAD begin to experience symptoms in the early fall that persist until spring. According to the Mayo Clinic here are some of the typical symptoms:

Seasonal affective disorder is a subtype of major depression that comes and goes based on seasons. So symptoms of major depression may be part of SAD, such as:

  • Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
  • Feeling hopeless, inadequate, or worthless
  • Having low energy and no rigor
  • Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed (anhedonia)
  • Having problems with sleeping
  • Experiencing changes in your appetite or weight (usually weight gain)
  • Feeling sluggish or agitated
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Having frequent thoughts of death or suicide

It’s normal to have some days when you feel down or listless. But if you feel down for days and weeks at a time and you can’t get motivated to do activities you normally enjoy, see your doctor or a therapist. This is especially important if your sleep patterns and appetite have changed or if you feel hopeless, think about suicide, or turn to alcohol or other drugs for comfort or relaxation.

If after reading this article you identify the need for professional assistance please do not hesitate to contact me at 704-492-0713 or gcbrown11@gmail.com and if not me please find a therapist or counselor that you can begin working with to explore and resolve issues around your SADness.

 

Source: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/basics/symptoms/con-20021047

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Doc Brown

 

If you would like to learn more about me or my practice Inner Compass Counseling, Coaching, and Consulting, PLLC and have questions feel free to visit my website www.iccounseling.net as well as read my Inner Compass Blog.

 

Dr. Gerald Brown (Doc Brown) is owner of Inner Compass Counseling, Coaching, and Consulting PLLC in Cornelius, NC and Statesville, NC. He is passionate about fatherhood issues, immigrant concerns, and specializes in trauma work. Doc Brown has presented at various conferences and has a multitude of experience training organizations and corporations in diversity and multicultural resilience. He believes in helping individuals, couples, and families find meaning and integrate that meaning with various resiliencies in order to live purposefully and vibrantly. He is married with two daughters ages 14 and 6.