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Helping Your Child With Back-To-School Anxiety

StudentWhile summer for most children is filled with carefree fun, starting school, returning to school, or beginning a new school experience in the fall can leave many children and adolescents riddled with anxiety as they prepare to face emotional, social, and educational challenges absent in the summer. “What will school be like?” “Will my teacher be nice?” “Can I handle the new workload?” “Will I fit in socially?” “Will my new classmates like me?” “Are my clothes OK?” These are only a few of the many questions with which children and teens might be struggling as they prepare for a new school year. Excessive anxieties during periods of transition or change are quite common; we all worry to some degree when we face new and unknown situations. While some children will be able to verbally articulate their fears or preoccupations, many others express their anxiety with clinginess, temper tantrums, irritability, negativity, somatic complaints (e.g., headaches, stomach aches), regressive behavior (e.g., a return to baby talk or thumb-sucking), withdrawal, nightmares, or trouble sleeping. How can parents help a child struggling with back-to-school anxiety? Here is a list of suggestions—some might apply to you and your child, others not. Use whatever helps your unique parenting situation.

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Deborah discovers that she is a “Mench”

Capture

Deborah was a 75 year old, divorced woman facing end of life issues. She sought counseling to help grapple with her anxiety and depression. During her therapy sessions she talked about the challenges and disappointments in her life, including the problems faced by her adult children and how their problems have impacted her. It was important to her to address these issues which made her feel as though her life had little meaning. She grappled with her feelings of failure in many areas, especially as a mother. Through counseling, she learned how to set appropriate boundaries and expectations and to reach out to those who were emotionally invested in her. As she reviewed her life and the positive impact she had on others, she was finally able to shed a longstanding critical self-image and embrace herself as a “mensch”. Even at 75, one is not too old to rediscover his or her true worth.

JFS Helps 96-year-old Find Safe Place To Live Independently

Basement laundry room

Imagine being a 96-year old woman, living in a basement apartment with a window that doesn’t open, with an air conditioner that is broken and mold on the ceiling.  Furthermore, you have to wash your own dishes in the laundry room where the landlord’s pit-bull is housed.  No, this is not somewhere in the Former Soviet Union and it is not a client of the Joint Distribution Committee.  This is in the Twin Cities and the woman is a client of Jewish Family Service of St. Paul.  Read how JFS came to Maria’s rescue by clicking here.

JFS Introduces Community Chaplaincy Program

At the JFS Annual Meeting on June 2, 2015, JFS Executive Director Ted Flaum introduced Rabbi Lynn Liberman as our new Community Chaplain, who will provide services addressing the spiritual needs of people throughout our community, across all faith backgrounds. Below is a summary of her work and her vision for the program:

“Erev Tov!

One of the great fears for many individuals, in general but especially at the end of life or when facing disease, is the fear of being alone!

Someone, I will call Sally, is a former Minnesotan who now lives out of State.   (more…)

Touching Lives

couple

From Jackie’s Story

Jackie came to JFS in August 2011 after she chose UCare for her health insurance program. She had just turned 65. Jackie had been living with her daughter but decided to move and live in an apartment alone after she and her daughter had a…

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