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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Introduction and Book Objectives


"More than 80% of my time is spent on Academic counseling. Sometimes I feel guilty spending time just talking to the kids. My secretary is waiting for four more college recommendations, I have paperwork backing up, and I can't schedule all the appointments I need to for academic college counseling."
High School Guidance Counselor

A frequent complaint of counselors, teachers, and parents interviewed is that the time allotted to spend with youngsters is frequently focused on those things that are urgent but less important. (See Chapter 4 Time Management) If we prioritize the time we spend with our children to allow for those urgent tasks such as paperwork, college recommendations, and other routine urgent business-like tasks, we run the risk of not having the time to learn who our children are, about what they care, what most interests them, and most important, how we can best assist them in this very stressful time in their lives.

In other words we must make the commitment of time if we are serious about nurturing the emotional development of our teenagers. We must state up front our purposes and strategies for implementing the curriculum within this guide; decide who will be responsible for teaching it; and when and where the sessions will take place. In this chapter, we will outline these goals and provide a structure for delivering the curriculum topics within the guide.

Book Objectives

1. To establish a safe environment where students have the opportunity to explore who they are and what challenges they face.

2. To allow youngsters the opportunity to identify the stressors in their lives

3. To provide them with strategies to manage stress both long term and immediate.

4. To Introduce the life skills necessary to be successful and minimize stress

a. Setting priorities and understanding self

i. Recognizing interests, talents and values

ii. Meeting personal agendas and expectations

b. Time management

c. Communication skills & Image management

d. Transition management: coping with change

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