Welcome to Mrs. Jones' website!
Shannon Jones, MSW, LCSW-School Adjustment Counselor
I will be using the website to publish various resources for parents around social skills, bullying tips, after school programs, and other helpful links. If you feel your child could benefit from a social skills group or have other concerns you would wish to speak to mes about, please feel free to send an email. Please keep checking back for new updates and links!
Social Media Age Restrictions
6 Cell Phone Rules for Your Kids
If you decide your child is ready for a cell phone, set the ground rules first.
- Buy them a basic phone: Yes, you can still get a phone that doesn't include a camera, Internet access, games, and texting. If you're passing one of your phones down to your child, turn off all the extra features. And if your child complains, remind her that phones are tools, not toys. "It's about safety, not social status or games," Knorr says.
- Set limits: Most cell phone companies allow you to cap the number of texts a user can send or receive as well as the number of minutes the cell phone can be used. If a child goes over the designated plan amount, have her pay the extra charges. (Older teens can be responsible for their entire cell bills.) You also can block Internet access and calls from unapproved numbers on most phones.
- Set more limits: Designate times that the cell phone needs to be turned off -- for instance, during family meals, after 10 p.m., and during school hours. If your teen is a driver, insist that he or she not use the phone when driving. Some families don't allow cell phones in children's rooms at night to keep kids from texting or making calls after bedtime. Insist that your child answer your calls and texts right away, and teach your child not to answer or return calls and texts from people they don't know.
- Follow the same limits yourself: Let's face it: You have to walk your talk. If you don't want your child to use the phone during meals or while driving, follow those rules yourself. If you don't want him or her to compulsively check the phone, don't do so yourself. You are your child's No. 1 role model, whether your child admits it or not.
- Create some distance: For now, until the radiation risks are clearer, Moskowitz recommends using ear phones instead of holding the phone up to the ear. Also, don't let kids sleep with their phones under their pillows. He also advises against carrying cell phones in front pants pockets, due to a potential radiation risk to the reproductive system.
- Teach good behavior: Children aren't born knowing the rules about how to use cell phones respectfully, including not using them to spread rumors, not taking (or sending) photos without people's permission, not sending inappropriate photos or texts, not having personal conversations in public places – and, of course, never communicating with strangers, no matter how they present themselves. It's up to you to teach them.
What to do if your child is being bullied
1. Step One: What's going on?
-Children tend to overuse the word "bullying" to describe many different kinds of situations. So, the first job is to determine what kind of problem your child is dealing with. Tell them you're proud and glad that they came to you; then ask your child to walk you through the incident. What happened first? What next? Who else was there? What did they do? The most important thing is for you to get details-as many details as possible. It's those details that will help you resolve this. The situation may or may not be bullying, but that's not the most important thing. The critical issue to resolve the situation-and you need those details to do that. 2. Step Two: Working with your child's school
-Approach your child's school calmly, with as many facts as possible. Here are a few tips to make the conversation go better:
-Consider going in person. Phone and email contact is often not as effective.
-Stay calm and listen to what the educator or administrator tells you. Don't assume they have all the same facts that you have.
-It's not often that administrators can truly make a bullying situation vanish overnight-but they can immediately work to help your child feel more supported
-Never assume you know everything about what's going on, and never assume your child is telling you the 100% truth. It is normal for children for children to
tell small lies to their parents, if it means they will avoid getting in trouble. We also all misremember things at times.
-Never over-focus on whether or not the situation is truly "bullying." Focus instead on how to resolve it successfully.
3. Step Three: Some tips to help
-Stay calm; losing your temper will not help your child feel safer.
-Remember that the school cannot tell you anything about another child-even a bully-so don't expect to get information about what happens to the child who is
exhibiting the bullying behavior. They cannot tell you.
-When you end a conversation, be sure to ask, "when will we speak next to check in about the situation?" Make sure you get an answer.
-Always ask your child if any part of the bullying is happening online or through texting. Research shows that the older the kids are, the more common that
-REMEMBER: Children (and adults) will always have to cope with some cruelty in their lives. The real trick is to make your child better able to cope with
cruelty and thus, they'll be much less affected by it. They key to making kids better able to cope socially is to play up their strengths. Make sure your child has
lots of chances to play with friends they like. Praise and reward them for their skills and strengths. And above all, make sure you have some fun family time-
it's in those relationships that they'll find their strengths.
Information is from the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center at Bridgewater State University. www.elizabethenglander.com