Child & Adolescent Services

16February

Signals for Attention from a Grieving Child


Grief is a natural part of life but with children, it can sometimes be difficult to know what to do to help them process their grief. Director of Clinical Services Dan Arnold has prepared this short list to help. If you need additional guidance or support we're here to help. Call 770-677-9474 or jfcsatl.org/counseling.

Signals for attention from a grieving child:

·      Marked change in school performance

·      Poor grades despite trying very hard

·      A lot of worry or anxiety manifested by refusing to go to school, go to sleep or take part in age-appropriate activities

·      Not talking about the person or the death.  Physically avoiding mention of the deceased

·      Frequent angry outbursts or anger expressed in destructive ways

·      Hyperactive activities, fidgeting, constant movement beyond regular playing

·      Persistent anxiety or phobias

·      Accident proneness - possibly self-punishment or a call for attention

·      Persistent nightmares or sleeping disturbance

·      Risk-taking behavior -- Stealing, promiscuity, vandalism

·      Persistent disobedience or aggression (longer than six months)

·      Opposition to authority figures

·      Frequent unexplainable temper tantrums

Posted in Child & Adolescent Services, Counseling Services

16February

Needs of a Grieving Child

Grief is a natural part of life but with children, it can sometimes be difficult to know what to do to help them process their grief. Director of Clinical Services Dan Arnold has prepared this short list to help. If you need additional guidance or support we're here to help. Call 770-677-9474 or jfcsatl.org/counseling.

Always remember that grieving children need:

·      Information that is clear and understandable at their development level

·      To be reassured that their basic needs are met

·      To be involved in planning for the funeral and anniversary

·      To be reassured when adults’ grief is intense

·      Help with exploring fantasies about death, afterlife and related issues

·      To be able to have and express their own thoughts and behaviors, especially when different from significant adults

·      To maintain age-appropriate activities and interests

·      To receive help with “magical thinking”

·      To say goodbye to the deceased

·      To memorialize the deceased

Posted in Child & Adolescent Services, Counseling Services

16February

Parenting After a Tragedy

When tragedy strikes it's difficult to know what to do, especially when it comes to comforting children. Director of Clinical Services Dan Arnold prepared this short guide to parenting after a tragedy. If you need additional guidance or support we're here to help. Call 770-677-9474 or jfcsatl.org/counseling.

·      Have your own support system and self-care practice

·      Encourage your kids to feel their feeling & share your own – give permission to feel and validate those feelings

·      Turn off the media coverage and monitor online activity

·      Start a dialogue but modify the conversation based on your child’s developmental readiness

·      Don’t make promises that you can’t keep

·      Establish (maintain) rituals that promote safety and security

·      Allow your children to ask questions

·      Be honest

·      Check back in

Posted in Child & Adolescent Services, Counseling Services

02March

How to Talk to Your Children About Death

How to Talk to Your Children About Death

This past weekend, many of us learned about the sudden and tragic loss of 10-year-old child in our community. While grappling with this news, ourselves, we were also forced to try to understand how to best tell our children. We want to share some resources that may assist you in speaking to your children about death, how to understand their grief process and be aware of the signs that indicate your child might be struggling. If you or your child is having a difficult time coping with a loss, we are here to help.

Posted in Child & Adolescent Services

07January

PAL Expands Services

PAL Expands Services

Being the sibling of a child with a disability can be challenging. For all children, and especially these siblings, additional support and attention can make a significant difference in their lives.

We are thrilled to announce a new addition to PAL! PAL has extended their services to meet the needs of Jewish families in our community. PAL will now be serving siblings of children with disabilities by matching them with a Big Brother or Sister in a one-on-one mentoring relationship.  If you know a family with children between the ages of 5 and 17 that may benefit, please connect them to the PAL program by contacting 770.677.9390 or PAL@jfcs-atlanta.org.

Written by Carly Sonenshine, Ina Enoch, Posted in Child & Adolescent Services

18November

How to enjoy the holidays when there’s a divorce

How to enjoy the holidays when there’s a divorce

The holidays are just around the corner. For children whose parents are in the process of divorce, this time of year can be difficult. Family traditions they grew up with no longer are the same, which can be very painful. But there are some things parents can do to make this transition easier.

Posted in Holiday Survival Guide, Child & Adolescent Services

14August

Why I am an Overscheduled Parent

Why I am an Overscheduled Parent

Another school year is starting. I’ve spent the last few weeks gathering school supplies, school uniforms and mentally preparing for the shift from the more relaxed summer to the frenzy of the school year. My kids are in elementary school (1st & 4th grade) so it isn’t really the school work that gets crazy ... it's our activities.

Written by Rachel Simon, Posted in Child & Adolescent Services

04April

Hello My Name is Dan and I am an OVERPARENTER

Hello My Name is Dan and I am an OVERPARENTER

I remember the feelings vividly — my daughter was six years old at the time and she was in a warm, nurturing independent school environment. The student-teacher ratio was small, my wife and I regularly volunteered in the classroom and my daughter had been with many of her classmates for years. One day, I chose to linger in the doorway and watch the class begin their day. The teachers gathered the kids in a circle and began their routines when I saw it – my daughter was tussling with another child and, while I couldn’t make out the words, the expressions on their faces didn’t look happy.

Written by Dan Arnold, Posted in Child & Adolescent Services

15January

Why Mentor?

A first-hand account from a JF&CS volunteer - a Big PAL

Why Mentor?

In the United States, “local” is in. Think about it – we’re dining at restaurants serving ingredients from local farms and purveyors, we’re creating coworking communities for budding entrepreneurs to launch businesses in our cities, and, in the global sense of “local,” we are supporting a resurgence in manufacturing of goods that are produced in the United States.

Written by Jason Sosnovsky, Posted in Child & Adolescent Services, Volunteer Services

31July

10 Tips to Get Ready for "Back to School"

10 Tips to Get Ready for

Everyone loves the carefree pace of summer, but with the start of school around the corner, it’s time to ease back into the daily routine. There’s no doubt that the shift from summer to fall is the hardest of all, so we hope these top 10 tips will make your transition a little simpler!

Written by Dan Arnold, Posted in Child & Adolescent Services

15January

Reflections on Newtown, One Month Later

Reflections on Newtown, One Month Later

It’s hard to believe a month has passed since the lives of 27 children and adults were taken at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. The residents of that small community are desperately trying to find a new normal. Just last week, the children have returned to classes, albeit in a different building.

Written by Dan Arnold, Posted in JF&CS - Hope and Opportunity Happen Here, Child & Adolescent Services

30August

Moving to Middle School: A Transition for the Whole Family

Moving to Middle School: A Transition for the Whole Family

Our eldest son started Middle School two weeks ago. What a shock. Not so much for him – for me! He got into the car the first day after cross country, which he all of a sudden decided to take up a few weeks ago, very excited about the day and all the cool things about school. He loves moving around for every class, and because the class makeup changes, he has at least a couple of friends in each. In many ways it seems very much like when I was in junior high back in the late 1970s.

Written by Sheri Panovka, Posted in JF&CS - Hope and Opportunity Happen Here, Child & Adolescent Services

15August

Good Sportsmanship: Modeling the Olympic Spirit for Our Kids

Good Sportsmanship: Modeling the Olympic Spirit for Our Kids

As we reflect on the 2012 Olympic Games we will always remember the extraordinary events, and the athleticism displayed in each sport.What will also stay in our memories is seeing opponents from around the worldwarmly embrace each other, despite their individual outcome A heartwarming example was seen when two track competitors from different countries switched jerseys after a race, leaving each other sporting the opposing country’s jersey, even though only one of them had just won a gold medal. These competitors have become accustomed to competitions,and perhaps being a good sport comes as second nature to them. They are excellent representations of sportsmanship for our kids, but how can we set an example?

Written by Ashley Semerenko, Posted in Child & Adolescent Services

12April

10 Ways Adults Can Help Prevent Bullying

10 Ways Adults Can Help Prevent Bullying

On Sunday, April 15, Atlanta Council BBYO is partnering with The Bully Project for a screening of the film BULLY, which depicts a “year in the life” of North America’s Bullying crisis. The film is showing at 2pm at the Landmark Midtown Art Theater. It is recommended to get tickets in advance.

Written by Rebecca Stapel-Wax, Posted in JF&CS - Hope and Opportunity Happen Here, Child & Adolescent Services, Counseling Services

18January

Addressing Bullying Head On

Addressing Bullying Head On

For parents, it is one of the greatest nightmares: someone harming their child, physically or emotionally. Imagine the nightmare the child endures.

Kayla*, 13 years old, was teased repeatedly for her appearance. Her peers and even adults ignored or dismissed the open harassment. She became withdrawn at home and started to talk about how her family would be better off without her. But she didn’t want to be identified to school authorities for fear of further retaliation.

Written by Sheri Panovka, Posted in Child & Adolescent Services

04January

Volunteer Spotlight: Cara Gurney

Volunteer Spotlight: Cara Gurney

January is National Mentoring Month. So if you ever thought about being a mentor – or even if you haven’t – now is the perfect time. And JF&CS has the perfect opportunity to be one. We call it being a PAL.

A PAL is a loving Jewish adult volunteer who shares a one-to-one mentoring relationship with a child in need of a role model. Big PALs provide friendship and support, and make a huge difference in the lives of their little PALs – and vice versa.

Written by Matt Waldman, Posted in Child & Adolescent Services, Volunteer Services

15December

Keeping Communication Lines Open over the Holidays

Keeping Communication Lines Open over the Holidays

The holiday season is approaching, and while each family celebrates differently, most of us have one thing in common: added stress. While we all love this time of year – feasts, celebrations, gifts, vacations and time with family – the reality is, all the preparations for big meals, shopping for gifts, time spent in airport lines or traffic, and lots of time with lots of family – not to mention the change in routines and schedules – can bring some challenges. Communicating effectively with your family is a great way to ensure for a smoother and happier holiday season. Here are some tips on communication:

Written by Elisheva Funk, Posted in Child & Adolescent Services, Counseling Services

03November

A Child’s Perspective on Divorce

A Child’s Perspective on Divorce

Every week I see children in my office who are affected by divorce. They sit on my couch or bean bag and try to make sense of their new reality. Conflicting emotions of sadness, anger, anxiety and even relief swim in their head as they seek answers to their questions. During the initial stages of the divorce, it is common for children to be anxious about the unknown, such as when they will be with mom or with dad and how they will celebrate the holidays. But over time their concerns usually abate. According to the National Institute for Mental Health, between 75 percent and 80 percent of children learn how to manage their feelings about the divorce and adjust well to their new circumstances.

Written by Elisheva Funk, Posted in Child & Adolescent Services, Counseling Services

30August

How to Help Your Student Start the School Year Off Right

How to Help Your Student Start the School Year Off Right

As the school year starts, so do daily opportunities to help your children develop strong independence and self-reliance in their organization, time management, self-monitoring and planning skills. These “executive functioning” skills are a key to success in middle and high school and are being tapped more and more in later elementary grades. For some of us, this pulls on an area that we ourselves have weaknesses in. Building and exercising these skills will help at any age. Here are a few suggestions I offer the parents who come to see me with their children:

Written by Lori Wilson, Posted in Child & Adolescent Services