Newsletter – February 2024

February 2024 School Counselor Newsletter

Dear St. John Families,

Happy Catholic Schools Week! I’m so grateful to be a part of this community and am so excited to celebrate our school and Catholic education this week!

I’m starting a new segment in the counselor newsletter that I’d like to do from time to time called: Ms. Shaw’s tip of the month. My first tip is on Telling vs. Asking.

As parents and caregivers, it’s not uncommon to feel that what you tell your child goes in one ear and out the other. This can be frustrating—no one enjoys feeling unheard! And repeating yourself over and over gets old. Enter Telling vs. Asking.

Rather than telling our kids what they need to do, we can use questions and ask them what they think. In this way, we are still maintaining our expectations for our kids, while at the same time shifting the responsibility to them. Over time, this grows a child’s independence as they learn to think for themselves and look around to see what needs to happen. A couple examples:

Telling: “Hurry up we need to get out the door.” Asking: “What do you need to do so we can leave for school on time?”

Telling: “Do your homework.” Asking: “What is your plan so that homework is finished before dinner?”

You can read more about this tip here. I hope you’ll try it out! As always, feel free to email me at if there is anything I can do to support your family.

Ms. Shaw

February Resources

– If you’re struggling with parenting your child, I highly recommend checking out this incredible free skills training resource from Seattle Children’s Hospital. This is an on-demand, self-paced video course for parents and caregivers of children ages 5-12 with disruptive behaviors. If you attended the PA Parent Ed Night on Executive Function earlier this year, then you’ll remember Dr. Erin Gonzalez who’s featured in some of the training videos!

– Check out this awesome 2-minute video with Dr. Lisa Damour on three tips to use to motivate your teen. These are simple and practical ideas that can be implemented right away!

– Looking for tools to help your anxious child? Dr. Amy Bohlander, of CAPSS is offering a 6-session workshop geared towards parents of kids ages 5-11. If your child worries a lot, is overly fearful, avoids things that they want or need to do because of worry, or asks you for frequent reassurance or to help them feel better, then this is a great opportunity for you! The first meeting date is February 26th. Check out the flyer and learn more here.