The school year continues to march on. It is hard for me to believe that it is already the middle of October. This school year has brought with it a number of challenges and new opportunities. The 7th graders have settled into their new junior high routine and the 8th graders have already started thinking about high school. As educators we also begin to fit into a routine. Routines are good. They can keep things working in an orderly fashion. Routines can also be a pitfall. It is easy to get caught up in the mundane, in the routine, that we become stale and stagnate. As a counselor, my goal is to never be stale or stagnate. Life is moving at a pretty fast pace and these students are growing and developing quickly as well. Parents, teachers, and counselors alike have to keep up. I try to keep up by staying aware of trends among the students. I try to have a working knowledge of the zeitgeist. One trend that seems to always be popular among junior high students is using self-harm as a way to deal with problems. Parents need to be aware of signs that might be an indicator of self-harm. Some of these include:
- Unexplained wounds or scars.
- Blood stains on clothing, towels, or bedding; blood-soaked tissues.
- Sharp objects or cutting instruments,such as razors, knives, needles, glass shards, or bottle caps, in the person’s belongings.
- Frequent “accidents.”Someone who self-harms may claim to be clumsy or have many mishaps, in order to explain away injuries.
- Covering up.A person who self-injures may insist on wearing long sleeves or long pants, even in hot weather.
- Needing to be alone for long periods of time, especially in the bedroom or bathroom.
- Isolation and irritability.
If all this wasn’t enough, students are also constantly being influenced by social media as well. One trend popular on social media that we are seeing more of is called the “Eraser Challenge”. This is when a person will take an eraser, usually one from the end of a #2 pencil and rub their skin until it has made a burn. These scars are usually pretty noticeable. Below is an example of a scar from the Eraser Challenge.
Parents, don’t be hesitant to talk to your child if you have any concerns. Students this age often feel like they are alone or that they do not fit in. Just starting a simple conversation can be enough to break the ice. Here are some ideas for talking to a friend or family member that you may be concerned about.
Helping a friend or family member who self-harms
Perhaps you’ve noticed suspicious injuries on someone close to you, or that person has admitted to you that he or she is cutting. Whatever the case may be, you may be feeling unsure of yourself. What should you say? How can you help?
Deal with your own feelings. You may feel shocked, confused, or even disgusted by self-harming behaviors—and guilty about admitting these feelings. Acknowledging your feelings is an important first step toward helping your loved one.
Learn about the problem. The best way to overcome any discomfort or distaste you feel about self-harm is by learning about it. Understanding why your friend or family member is self-injuring can help you see the world from his or her eyes.
Don’t judge. Avoid judgmental comments and criticism—they’ll only make things worse. The first two tips will go a long way in helping you with this. Remember, the self-harming person already feels ashamed and alone.
Offer support, not ultimatums. It’s only natural to want to help, but threats, punishments, and ultimatums are counterproductive. Express your concern and let the person know that you’re available whenever he or she wants to talk or needs support.
Encourage communication. Encourage your loved one to express whatever he or she is feeling, even if it’s something you might be uncomfortable with. If the person hasn’t told you about the self-harm, bring up the subject in a caring, non-confrontational way: “I’ve noticed injuries on your body, and I want to understand what you’re going through.”
If the self-harmer is a family member, prepare yourself to address difficulties in the family. This is not about blame, but rather about learning ways of dealing with problems and communicating better that can help the whole family.
***The information in this blog post came from https://www.helpguide.org/articles/anxiety/cutting-and-self-harm.htm
Oct 20: Chick fil A Biscuits!
Moody vs. St. Clair – Home – 7:00 pm
Oct 24: MJHS Football @ John Carroll – 5: 30 pm
Oct 26: MJHS Basketball vs. John Carroll – Home – 5:00 pm
Oct 27: Moody vs. Fairfield – Home – 7:00 pm
Red Ribbon Week is October 23-27!!
Monday 10/23: Put Drugs to Bed! (wear pajama pants – stay in dress code!!!)
Tuesday 10/24: Have the Power to Say NO to Drugs! (wear favorite superhero shirt or colors – no masks!)
Wednesday 10/25: My Future is So Bright Without Drugs! (wear bright colors)
Thursday 10/26: We’re in a War Against Drugs! (wear camo or camo colors)
Friday 10/27: Team Up Against Drugs! (wear your favorite team shirt)
MJHS Baseball tryouts will be held Wednesday, October 25 from 6:30-8:00 pm and Saturday, October 28 from 9:00-11:00 pm. You must have a valid physical to participate.
The St. Clair County Cheer Expo will be held tomorrow at St. Clair County High School. Individuals will begin at 9:00 am. Admission is $5.00. Please come support your cheerleaders.
JV soccer will practice Monday and Friday after school until 4:15 on the practice field.
Varsity Soccer – Conditioning will be Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 3:15-4:15 pm. Players must make two sessions a week. Report to the high school gym after school.
The school store is open before the tardy bell on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday for school supplies!!
ALL electronic devices must be silenced and kept in your locker.