Robbinsdale Area Schools

RSI Counselor Corner: November Focus

RSI Counselor Corner: November Focus



Showing Gratitude

Our Social Emotional Learning topic of November is Gratitude. This month during our LOGROS assembly we learned about Native American History, as we are acknowledging Native American History Month. We also were able to talk about the ways in which we can show GRATITUDE to those around us. 

Some of the ways we can show/learn about gratitude:

  1. Gratitude ABC’s (Name something you are grateful for with one thing starting with each letter of the alphabet)

  2. Read The Thankful Book by Todd Parr

  3. Write Thank You notes to Essential Workers

Cultivating Empathy

“Empathy is at the heart of what it means to be human. It’s a foundation for acting ethically, for good relationships of many kinds, for loving well, and for professional success. And it’s key to preventing bullying and many other forms of cruelty.” (The President and Fellows of Harvard College, 2022).

In a more elementary friendly definition: empathy is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes to understand what they are feeling. Sounds nice and simple right? It is not as simple as it may seem. Many of us are able to see from various perspectives, but empathy requires us to look through the scope of value and compassion when trying to understand others.

5 Ways to help foster empathy in your student

  1. Model empathy for others and for your child. 

Witnessing empathy can help your child understand and make connections with empathetic actions.

  1. Provide your child with opportunities to practice and learn empathy.

Practicing empathy can be difficult, provide opportunities for your child and when they make mistakes help them come up with a solution or a better way to go about the situation next time.

  1. Support your child in understanding the feelings that may be stopping them from empathizing with others. At times, feelings like anger, frustration, and other emotions challenge a child's ability to empathize with others at that moment.

Establish strategies that work with your child to help them regulate their emotions.

  1. Help your child recognize moments where empathy can be used with family and friends

  2. Read books that focus on empathy

How can I use the media to teach my kid empathy?

According to Common Sense Media, many parents worry that cyberbullying, trolls, and rude behavior have taken over the internet (2023). While it may seem that the online world has worn away our empathy, many studies show that kids and teens develop strong, supportive online bonds both with known friends and those they've met online. And there are plenty of examples in which an outpouring of empathy has swept through pop culture, the internet, and other mass media. 

Here's how you can use media to teach kids empathy:

Here's how you can use media to teach kids empathy:

  • Seek out books with diverse characters and backgrounds. 

  • Encourage kids to express their feelings after watching TV shows and movies. 

  • Encourage siblings to respect each other's feelings about shows. 

  • Seek out movies and TV shows that promote empathy. 

Social Media, Apps, Games, and Websites:

  • Look for games/apps that switch among characters' perspectives. 

  • Choose games and apps that promote reward collaboration among players. 

  • Start teaching positive online communication as soon as your kids start using the internet. 

  • Encourage kids to find positive online environments that are warm and welcoming. 

  • Ask kids how they would feel if they were cyberbullied. 

  • Encourage your kid to stand up for people who are victimized online. 

  • Train kids to think through the impact their posts might have on others.

Try it at Home: I-Message Swaps

Perspective-taking is a valuable skill that can help manage social conflict. Encouraging the use of I-Statements models the value of emotions and communication. Consider taking I-Statements to another level by swapping places! The next time your child is experiencing a big emotion, say, "I am going to turn that into an I-Statement for you." Similarly, the next time YOU are experiencing a big emotion, say to your child, "Put my feelings into an I-Message for me." Flexibility in considering yourself and another perspective is an important skill in successfully navigating social situations.


Counselor: Collin Ernste (He/They)