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Wellness Resources

Ms. Kim's Thought Blog


Today's Topic:  How do you view a child's ABILITY to learn?

Adults use two basic concepts of ability

Entity view of ability:  The belief that ability is a fixed characteristic that cannot be changed.

Incremental view of ability:  The belief that ability is a set of skills that can be changed; ability is controllable and potentially always expanding.

Young children tend to hold an exclusively incremental view of ability. Through the early elementary grades, most students believe that effort is the same as intelligence. Smart people try hard, and trying hard makes you smart. If you fail, you aren’t smart and you didn’t try hard.

Children are age 11 or 12 before they can differentiate among effort, ability, and performance. About this time, they come to believe that someone who succeeds without working at all must be really smart—and this is when beliefs about ability begin to influence motivation.

Children who hold an entity (unchangeable) view of intelligence want to avoid looking bad in the eyes of others. They seek situations where they can look smart and protect their self-esteem, so they generally keep doing what they can do well without expending too much effort or risking failure, because either one—working hard or failing—indicates (to them) low ability. To work hard but still fail would be devastating. Children with learning disabilities are more likely to hold an entity view. Children around the world have beliefs about ability, and those beliefs have implications for the children’s well-being.


So, what kind of parent, teacher, co-worker does that make you?

Wellness Coordinator


Kimberly Roelands, LMFT # 105634


Wellness Corner

Welcome to the Wellness Corner at Bracher Elementary School! 


The Santa Clara Unified School District created a wellness and mental health program to provide services necessary to create a healthy learning and working environment. Whereas education is the primary mission of schools, there is substantial evidence that shows addressing children's health and mental health needs increases their academic achievement and competence; decreases incidences of problem behaviors; improves their relationships with others, and creates positive changes in school and classroom environments.

Why Does Mental Health Matter in Schools?

Being able to recognize and support students in schools matters because:

  • Mental health issues are common and often develop during childhood and adolescence
  • They are treatable
  • Early detection and intervention strategies work
  • They can help improve resilience and the ability to succeed in school & life

How Do Mental Health Issues Affect Children and Youth at School?

Mental health issues can affect classroom learning and social interactions, both of which are critical to the success of students. However, if appropriate services are put in place to support a young person’s needs we can often maximize success and minimize negative impacts for students.


Children’s mental health can affect young people in a variety of ways to varying degrees in the school environment. One child’s symptoms may be really hard to manage at school while another child with the same condition may not have much difficulty. In addition, like all of us, kids with mental health challenges have good days and bad, as well as, times periods when they are doing really well and times when their mental health symptoms become more difficult to manage.


When figuring out the types of supports and services to put in place, it is important to keep in mind that all kids are unique with differing needs and coping mechanisms. The mental health interventions that are chosen need to be based on the individual needs of each child and be able to flex in order to provide more or less support as needed.


At Bracher Elementary, we believe that each child is unique and can be successful.  On this page you can find links to:


  • Mental Health Resources
  • Monthly Wellness Article 
  • Parent Resources
  • Mental Health Events

How to Survive Traveling with Your Kids

How to Survive Traveling with Your Kids This Holiday Season

by Pam Myers, BSEd | on December 12, 2016 

Just the thought of traveling with kids over the holiday break can be enough to make you sigh, and the reality can be particularly challenging. Something that is supposed to be fun and exciting can quickly turn into a stressful family vacation if you’re not careful. Whether you’re traveling with one child or four, by air or by car, this holiday season, you can find peace and tranquility on the way to and from your destination. The secret? Quality entertainment.


By Plane

There are two powerful strategies to employ for kids traveling by plane–a backpack full of fun or a device (phone, tablet) full of apps.

When you know a plane trip is coming, stock up on a variety of toys and activities at the dollar store. This can include sticker books, invisible magic markers, puzzles, and anything age appropriate but not too messy. Pack up the bag, but don’t let them open it until they get on the plane.

Sometimes, however, the activity bag isn’t enough, and that’s where a device comes in. Tablets or phones are great because they offer a variety of learning apps, the ability to watch shows that no one else wants to watch, and lots of games. Devices such as the Kindle Fire are a great way to offer variety, control (using parental controls), and distractions while traveling. And with a pair of headphones, everyone gets to enjoy the ride.

NOTE: DO NOT count on the WiFi working on the plane. Make sure you have apps that can run without Internet service.


By Car

For any car trip, not just ones for the holidays, an entertainment storage area can be a lifesaver. You can use a plastic container or a car organizer to store a collection of toys whether from McDonald’s, Target, or the Dollar Store.

When the entertainment bin loses its appeal, you may need to get out the big distraction — a portable DVD player or another electronic device where movies can be watched. Pick a couple of your child’s favorites, grab a couple of new ones, and cue them up. Couple that with a special “movie snack bag” and you have a mini movie theater, including some peace and quiet.

While it’s easy to create entertainment for the masses, there’s one thing you need to keep in mind: motion sickness. Be prepared. Stock your car with gallon size storage bags or motion sickness bags and make a kit. Include things such as air freshener, paper towels, a change of clothes, and anti-bacterial wipes. You won’t regret it.

As with any traveling experience, keep your eye on the prize. While you may feel like you’re all trapped like fish in a tank, the trip will end, and you will get there. Plan accordingly, channel your inner peace, and you’ll reach your destination without (major) incident.

Have a great trip and happy holidays!


More On This Topic:

About Pam Myers, BSEd

Pam Myers received a Bachelors in Special Education and her teaching credential from University of Southern California and was a 6th grade teacher for 13 years for the Ocean View School District in Huntington Beach, CA. She and Dr Bob met at USCand were married in 1971. Pam is the proud mother of two grown children, Lauren, who is a Special Education teacher in the La Habra School District and a son, Greg, who is a TV and Film editor. She retired from the public schools to raise her family and has continued to work with children and families through various activities including serving as a PTA president, working with OC Philharmonic Association to bring music education to children and is serving in the youth ministry at her church. Pam and Bob worked as a team on his radio shows and she provided management support in his private practice. Painting and live theater are her passions as well as the protection of children and animals.

Step Family Success: How to Bring Your Blended Family Together

Stepfamily Success: How to Draw Your Blended Family Closer Together

by Monica Foley, M.Ed. | on November 3, 2018 | in CommunicationDivorceFamily BuildingParenting 


Let’s rewind to the 1970’s.  Even if you haven’t seen it, you may have heard about a hit sitcom of the time called, “The Brady Bunch.”  This television show famously depicted the union of two families with six step-siblings. Since that decade, divorce rates have remained steady, with about 40 to 50 percent of marriages ending.  Given these statistics, remarriages are not uncommon.  If уоu аnd уоur new partner have children frоm уоur previous marriages, іt’s quіtе typical fоr thе two families tо unite аnd live together аѕ one family.

Blended families face unique challenges.  As step families start navigating their new family roles, there’s a delicate balance between fostering these new relationships and allowing everyone time to adjust.  If you’re thinking about combining households and even if you’ve already moved in together, it’s highly beneficial to consider the following to help everyone thrive:


Steps to Take With Your Partner

  1. Build a strong relationship.         You’re the captains of this ship. As parents and heads of your household, you set the course for your family. Make time for each other and communicate openly and respectfully.
  2. Structure your household.          Create the division of labor that works best for your individual needs. You may be the financial guru while your partner is a gourmet cook. Your older kids may find it gratifying to share their experience and watch out for their younger siblings.
  3. Decide on house rules together.           Kids need consistent expectations. Come to an agreement with your partner on what you consider acceptable behavior and the consequences for not following the rules. If the children spend time in more than one household, try to coordinate the rules as much as possible.
  4. Talk about money.             Money is a significant issue, especially when you’re merging two families. Share all of the details about your income, assets, and debts. Find common ground on how to spend, save and invest. Consider prenuptial agreements if it’s important to document your separate property.
  5. Respect your differences.           There are many advantages to bringing more life experience into your role as parent and spouse. There’s also the possibility that you’ll need to adjust or merge your different traditions and habits concerning everything from holidays to curfews.
  6. Put the good of your family first.            Above all, keep your eyes on the wellbeing of your family as a whole. Try to consider everyone’s needs and make reasonable accommodations to keep things running smoothly.
  7. Understand your role.       As a stepparent, take it slow. You can be a valuable force in your stepchild’s life, but they already have their own parents. Work at being a loving mentor and positive role model.
  8. Empathize.   Try to see things from the perspective of all the children involved. Validate their feelings and acknowledge the major adjustments they’ve been asked to make. Be sensitive to their concerns about what their peers will think and how the rest of their family is getting along.
  9.  Spend time together.        Invite your stepchildren to spend some time alone with you so that you can get to know each other. Identify your common interests and plan outings around them.
  10. Enforce the house rules.  Explain the house rules clearly at the outset. It’s usually best for your partner to provide most of the discipline for their own children, especially in the early stages of the relationship.
  11. Expect setbacks.    Your family relationships will fluctuate over time. You and your partner will probably learn by trial and error as you take on new challenges. Children may feel conflicting loyalties and need to pull back sometimes.
  12. Support the child’s relationship with their grandparents.   If both of your stepchild’s grandparents are still alive and engaged in their life, work to protect that sacred relationship. Put the child’s interests first. Grandparents are a precious resource who can provide extra love and attention.
  13. Consider counseling.       Counseling may help smooth the transition or get you through any rocky episodes. Look for a licensed therapist who is familiar with the special dynamics of blended families.

With patience and love, you can pull off the balancing act required to help your blended family bond. Build a strong relationship with your partner and help the children feel secure as they cope with all the adjustments involved.

For more information about this topic:

About Monica Foley, M.Ed.

With twenty years of career expertise working with children and families in the fields of school counseling, parent support coaching and most recently, non-profit based counseling and case management, Monica Foley offers a mandate to improve the lives of children and families around the world. She truly enjoys learning about others and easily establishes rapport while building relationships based on trust, respect, and integrity. Monica earned a M.Ed. in Counseling from the University of New Hampshire and a BA in Psychology from the University of Vermont.

PARENTS: Cyber-Bullying Warning Signs

Author: Robert Myers, PhD

Reference: Child Development Institute Article


A generation ago, bullying seemed to occur primarily on the playground, but in the 21st century, this intimidating and unacceptable behavior is as likely to come through a digital device as on the swing set. Cyber-bullying may take place in the online world, but it is no less damaging than its real-world equivalent. In fact, cyber-bullying often extends into the everyday lives of children, and it’s critical for 21st-century parents to be on the lookout for the early warning signs.

Many parents, even tech-savvy ones, are slow to recognize the signs of cyber-bullying, and the early symptoms are often mistaken for typical teenage malaise. Growing up has always been hard, and transitioning to adulthood in the constant eye of social media can be even more intimidating. If you are concerned that your son or daughter is the victim of cyber-bullying, it’s essential to act quickly and understand what they are enduring.

Cyber-bullying takes many different forms, so the early warning signs often vary widely. Some of these early warning signs may be academic: a formerly straight-A student may suddenly start getting poor grades, or a student who was enthusiastic about going to school might start making excuses to stay home.

The cyber-bullying victim may skip school, or they may get into trouble by picking fights with other students or talking back to authority figures. All of these signs are troubling, and they all warrant immediate investigation. Whether the cause is cyber-bullying or something else, parents should be alarmed enough to do further research.

Other signs of cyber-bullying are behavioral and often dismissed as teenagers being teenagers. Victims of cyber-bullying may lose interest in activities they once enjoyed, giving up football, or quitting their favorite sports team. They may change their eating or sleeping habits, give up their favorite foods, or skip family meals. They may stop using digital devices, close their social media accounts, break away from their online friends, or no longer post pictures or updates to their favorite sites.

Parents who spot any of these common warning signs of cyber-bullying should take action right away to avoid further emotional, intellectual and physical damage to their children. Cyber-bullying can have some dire real-world implications, up to and including suicidal behavior. Time is of the essence when dealing with a cyber-bully, and it’s vital for concerned parents to enlist the help of school officials, family members and anyone else who is willing to lend a hand.


For more information on this subject:

Cyber Bullying
Cyber Bullying
Anxiety Wheel
Anxiety Wheel