Let's Grow Together!

By FCPS & Fairfax County Government
Healthy Minds
November 06, 2023

As parents and educators, we share the goal of helping our children grow in school, at home, and in life. This includes recognizing individual growth, bridging differences, celebrating diversity, building positive relationships, providing opportunities to gain new knowledge and skills, and encouraging them to take on challenges and persevere when things get tough. Working together, we can support student growth through these formative years.

To highlight these goals, the theme of this year's National School Psychology Week from November 6 to 10 is “Let’s Grow Together!School psychologists are members of the school team who support students’ ability to learn and teachers’ ability to teach. They apply expertise in mental health, learning, and behavior to help children and youth succeed academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally. School psychologists provide direct support and interventions to students, such as learning assessments, academic and behavioral interventions, counseling, and social skills training. They also work with families, teachers, and other educators to improve school-wide practices and policies that help make our school community a safe, supportive, and welcoming space in which all children can thrive.

Reinforcing children’s natural and learned capacity for resiliency is a primary focus of National School Psychology Week and school psychologists’ role. As parents, you know your children best and are essential to this work. There are many ways to help children take on new challenges, learn new skills, and feel valued so that they can grow as individuals and contribute to a positive school community. As parents and caregivers, you can:

  • Help your children internalize a sense that individuals grow in their own ways, often in their own time, through engagement and interaction with their surroundings, as well as by recognizing any forward movement as a success.
  • Help your children develop positive relationships with peers and adults and model respectful, caring behaviors with others.
  • Encourage your children to set goals and to map out a plan for achieving them. Talk with your children about steps they have taken, what worked and what did not, and what they might do next. 
  • Emphasize that learning and growing requires trying new things and that success comes from small steps to a long-term goal. Demonstrate through your own behaviors how to try new, challenging activities as a way to grow while also having fun.  
  • Praise attempts as well as success, and make sure that you focus on recognizing the effort put forth by your children. Emphasize the importance of deliberate practice and how talent grows over time through skillful practice.
  • Find ways to celebrate diversity and accept others, or take steps with your children to actively learn about others that are different from you.
  • Model the joy of learning by reading about a variety of topics with your children and let them know that you, too, are learning new things.
  • Help your children work through challenges, or lack of self-confidence, by helping to identify how they can overcome a setback. As a parent, you can help your children see what the small steps are and how rising above obstacles is a part of succeeding. Help your children realize that setbacks are not permanent or all-encompassing. Model perseverance and problem solving when faced with your own challenges or difficulties.
  • Encourage your children to participate in community activities, such as volunteering, that may help them to develop positive behaviors. Consider participating in community events yourself as a role model.

The Healthy Minds Blog shares information related to youth mental health and wellness for an audience of parent, educators and community-based providers. Articles include tips and strategies for increasing wellness and resiliency, as well as fostering success at home, at school and in the community.

The Healthy Minds Blog is a collaborative project between Fairfax County Public Schools and the Prevention Unit of the Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services. It is part of the Healthy Minds Fairfax (see below) initiative, designed to support emotional wellness in youth and families.

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