Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I met with the guidance counselor at the high school today. I gave him a quick snapshot of my oldest. I explained his father died when he was in 4th grade and he emotionally declined (resulting in declining performance) every year thereafter until 8th grade when he went to go live with his uncle.

I am now looking to enroll him as a Sophomore in High School… back in our home town.

Five years ago, the guidance counselor in the Elementary School admittedly knew little about grief, the process, and how to deal with it. In the United States, approximately 1 in 20 children experience the loss of a parent before they reach the age of 18 (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1990). Although most bereaved children do not show serious emotional or behavioral disturbances, children who lose a loved one are at a greater risk for symptoms of depression, withdrawal, anxiety, conduct problems and lower self-esteem.

With stats like that can someone tell me WHY it is not mandatory that those wishing to enter the profession of a guidance counselor be educated concerning these things?

I have hope for the new guy… the guy I met with today. He told me the timing sounded accurate and normal for my oldest to have reached his low in 8th grade. Is he right? Do I just find it comforting to know the path we were on was normal? But, if he is right… will someone PLEASE tell me why no one comforted me with that then? Is this guy just trying to make me feel better, and more confident about putting my child back in this school? Did he make that ‘stat’ up on the fly today? When he made the comment (without suggestion from me) that my son is probably not the same person he was in 8th grade... is he messing with my emotions, or truly understanding of the child?

I don’t know… but look at me now... oh how cynical I have become.


  1. I'm Christine's friend and I'm a lurker on your blog. Ew, that sounds creepy! Anyway, I think 8th grade is a really hard time of life even without a devastating loss. So I would think the first counselor would have a clue about that, since it's the age group he's working with! And I completely agree with you that someone in that profession should certainly be trained or at least be savvy enough to figure out how much more vulnerable your son would be! I hope everything goes much better this go around, and I'm sure it will. But I can certainly understand that you would feel nervous...and cynical.

  2. did you know that 1 in 5 children have dyslexia on some level- and yet educators in my school don't know abything about it. I htink a few more credits need to be required in college.