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Oak Knoll School Blog

How to Talk to Your Teenagers about Harmful Effects of Social Media

Posted by Laura Perillo on Oct 22, 2021 4:11:41 PM

The rumors are true – the teenage years are indeed filled with the inevitable messy rooms, empty kitchen cabinets, refrigerators and smelly shoes laying around the house. However, aside from the normal teenage happenings in households across the country, parents should be aware of recent statistics uncovered about teenagers and social media. 

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Topics: technology, parenting, social and emotional learning, mental health, social media

Tips on Navigating Back-to-School Anxiety

Posted by Laura Perillo on Sep 3, 2021 4:13:30 PM

September is here and it’s hard to believe that means the first day of school is quickly approaching. Many of us are trying to soak in these last hot and hazy days of summer, while at the same time, laser-focused on getting everything done on time for our children so they’re well-prepared for the start of the 2021-22 school year.

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Topics: back-to-school, parenting, wellness, social and emotional learning

Tips for Keeping Kids Safe This Summer

Posted by Robert Weck on Jun 5, 2021 7:53:57 PM

New Jersey’s weather has warmed up in recent weeks and the lazy and longer days of summer are on the horizon. This is certainly a relief after COVID-19 shut-downs and precautions left many of us feeling stir-crazy.

However, as schools here in our own state and across the country dismiss children for summer break, more children will be out and about attending summer camps, at town swimming pools, riding bikes, or walking around with their friends. 

Now is a prime opportunity for parents, adults, and caregivers to review safety tips with children. 

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Topics: parenting, tips, summer, safety

Prioritizing Mental Health in An Uncertain COVID World

Posted by Dr. Jennifer Butler-Sweeney, Ph.D. on May 21, 2021 1:46:16 PM

As we make progress moving forward during what has been an unprecedented year, we continue to see students struggle with so many facets of mental health and stress management. These concerns pre-existed the pandemic on many levels. However, as parents and educators, we are grappling with the multi-faceted impact of COVID-19 on various aspects of adolescent development and functioning – and as such – continue the need to see our students and their struggles through this complex lens. 

So, how do we help our students prioritize their mental health through this experience that is unique and eludes our understanding? While it is useful to engage in conversation that helps our teens understand the deleterious ways COVID-19 has exacerbated what was already a delicate balance of academic, social, and extracurricular pursuits, we are trying to move on from this discourse into a more future-oriented, affirming place. 

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Topics: parenting, mental health

Podcast: Addressing Social and Emotional Needs During COVID-19

Posted by Meghan Hodgin on Apr 22, 2021 4:46:08 PM

In episode 10 of the Academically Speaking podcast, Laura Perillo — Oak Knoll's Marketing Content Strategist — sat down with Dr. Jennifer Butler-Sweeney, Upper School psychologist, who talks about tactics parents can use to address the social and emotional impact of COVID-19 on middle and high school students. This is the second in Oak Knoll's special four-part parenting series, Parenting During the Pandemic.

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Topics: high school, elementary school, parenting, middle school, social and emotional learning, mental health, development, podcast

Podcast: Parenting During the Pandemic Part I - Mental Health

Posted by Meghan Hodgin on Mar 10, 2021 5:44:22 PM

In episode 9 of the Academically Speaking podcast, Laura Perillo — Oak Knoll's Marketing Content Strategist — sat down with Melissa Nelson, Oak Knoll's Lower School Guidance Counselor, who talks about the pandemic's impact on the mental health of our youngest learners and how parents can support their child during this time. This is the first in Oak Knoll's special four-part parenting series, Parenting During the Pandemic. 

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Topics: parenting, mental health, COVID-19

The Mental and Physical Health Benefits of Snow Days

Posted by Laura Perillo on Jan 28, 2021 9:34:39 AM

What would childhood be like if you’ve never put a spoon under your pillow, flushed ice cubes down the toilet or put on your pajamas inside out the night before a winter snowstorm?

A true milestone of growing up is the ever-so-coveted snow day – the gift that all children angst for each winter when that first hint of snow is detected in the forecast. 

While skipping school for the day is the most immediate and best part of a snow day for most children, there are many other hidden mental and physical health benefits associated with snow days. Considering our current pandemic situation, snow days are more important now than ever before.

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Topics: high school, elementary school, parenting, middle school, social and emotional learning, mental health

Tips for Helping Your Child Navigate Changes in Learning Environment

Posted by Laura Perillo on Jan 13, 2021 11:15:39 AM

With the New Year here (finally!) and school back underway after the holidays, the toggle between children learning in-person (full or half-day) to learning virtually from home can be stressful and confusing for families. 

While we’d all like to get back to pre-COVID days, unfortunately, the virus is still hanging around. As a result, it has caused many schools to pivot back-and-forth between teaching children in the classroom and virtually at home with little notice. 

With the school juggle this year still very volatile, we have some helpful tips for families to help ease your children into this new way of learning.

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Topics: high school, elementary school, parenting, middle school, tips, COVID-19, virtual learning

How to Stop 'COVID Shaming' and Why It Matters

Posted by Laura Perillo on Oct 30, 2020 11:00:00 AM

While social distancing, wearing masks and avoiding gatherings weakens the spread of COVID-19, something else is growing stronger among communities at an alarming rate.

COVID shaming – or the act of publicly embarrassing someone who either has COVID-19 or is quarantining as a precautionary measure while they wait for test results after possible exposure – is real and now weaving its way through the gossip circles in neighborhoods and on school campuses. It is especially on the rise on social media. 

While many schools in our state and throughout the country are seeing upticks of COVID-19 cases heading into the winter months, it is important to remind ourselves about keeping the shame at bay. 

Here are some helpful tips:

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Topics: parenting, student advice, social and emotional learning, mental health, COVID-19

How to Help Your Child Understand Politics Respectfully

Posted by Laura Perillo on Oct 11, 2020 8:25:36 AM

Undoubtedly, there has never been a more turbulent election year. As the country still wades through the lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and amid racial and ethnic inequities still piling onto structural racism, this election runs deep – and differently – for everyone. 

Children, in fact, can pick up on political banter and news soundbites, often leaving them unsure about what they are hearing or about what it means. 

It is important that parents and educators provide children the tools they need to understand politics respectfully, and age appropriately. 

Here are some helpful tips on how to help your children understand politics respectfully. 

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Topics: election, teaching, high school, elementary school, parenting, middle school, politics

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