Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there. I hope you were able to spend an enjoyable and relaxing day with your families. The weather is finally nice in NYC and it is great to spend time on the ball field, in the playground, the zoo and other fun places. School is in its final stretch and many kids are already telling me how much they are looking forward to summer vacation.

In New York City some children are taking the state exams now. This can be a stressful time for many children, parents and teachers, as low exam scores can mean summer school or can jeopardize promotion. I like to tell kids I work with that they cannot do any better than their best. They can work hard, give it their best shot and hope for the best. Still, anxiety can run high and it is important to recognize it and help children cope. I am working on an installment of School Supplies which will focus on test taking anxiety and strategies.

I am pleased to announce that I will be running therapy groups for middle school and high school aged kids in Manhattan. The groups will address whatever needs the group members bring, but will likely include exploration of school issues, family conflict, peers issues, socialization and other topics that are important to the group.

I have found that therapy groups are very helpful in helping teens. The format is appealing to children in this stage of development because of the importance of the peer group. The teen who is ambivalent about therapy, might be more inclined to accept treatment when joined by a group of peers and find the situation less threatening (and more in tune with their desire to separate from an adult figure). Teens can benefit greatly from feeling a connection to a group they can return to each week. They can feel understood and encouraged by the group and can grow from providing the same to others.

I am now conducting consultations with parents and their teens for upcoming groups which will be starting soon. If your child or someone you work with or know might benefit from a group, feel free to contact me at 212-362-0528 or at info@copewithschoolnyc.com. I would be happy to speak with you about these groups.

I will be posting all issues of this newsletter here on the web site. You can also follow copewithschool on twitter or on facebook. Stay tuned for the test taking issue. Best wishes for a great May and stay in touch.

All the best,