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Story Ideas

2017 Back to School Story Ideas

Are you a helicopter parent? How to support your student while encouraging independence

Helicopter parenting is a term used for parents who “over parent” their children, impacting their offspring’s ability to make decisions and take responsibility for their actions. Traditionally the term is used for parents of high school or university-aged students, however helicopter parenting can happen at any age. Dr. David Mensink, psychologist, can offer advice on how parents can encourage and accept independence; share time management and organizational strategies, and offer support without taking control of every aspect of their student’s lives.


Minimizing students’ risk of being a target for online hackers

With the start of a new school year comes the responsibility of setting up new online accounts, mobile devices, online banking and email. Students may feel overwhelmed at the responsibilities that come with heading back to school and may not be thinking about the threat of online hackers? Dr. Srinivas Sampalli, a cyber security expert who specializes in security and privacy in wireless technologies, can provide insight on the ways hackers attack devices and networks. He can also discuss ways to protect yourself when setting up and maintaining new online accounts.

Teaching young children to be cyber savvy

It is not uncommon for younger students to require access to the internet to complete school projects or to set up social media accounts to connect with friends. But, are parents and teachers educating children on topics like setting up passwords and keeping them secret, opening emails from unknown senders, accepting friend requests from strangers or phishing attempts? Dr. Srinivas Sampalli, can provide tips on what parents and teachers should be teaching children about cyber security and safety.

When bullying becomes 24/7 – the impacts of cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is a form of bullying that uses technology to harass and intimidate others. But unlike bullying, cyberbullying is relentless, aggressive and can happen 24 hours a day, even while someone is in the safety of their home. Dalhousie’s Dr. Wayne MacKay, is the former chair of the Nova Scotia Task Force on Bullying and Cyberbullying and a nationally recognized teacher, scholar and author. He can provide insight into cyberbullying: who it impacts; what parents should do if their child is a victim of cyberbullying or engaging in cyberbullying; and what victims should do if they are being bullied online.  

 

Marketing schemes designed to make you spend your hard earned dollars

It’s a stressful time for parents, with an official list of supplies in hand they’re off to the mall, fighting crowds to get everything their student needs for back to school. But how can students and families resist the temptation of marketing that encourages them to buy the latest technology, supplies and clothing? Dan Shaw, Director of the Corporate Residency MBA program in Dalhousie’s Rowe School of Business, can talk about how companies use marketing techniques to persuade parents and students to spend; what to look out for; and how to navigate the back to school spending spree.

 

High achievers or something darker? Supporting students with perfectionism

Being a straight A student, captain of a sports team and student council president is often viewed by parents and teachers as nothing more than characteristics of a high achieving student. But what happens when these students are driven by unattainable goals they have set for themselves and a desire to be “perfect?” Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Simon Sherry, can provide insight on perfectionism and the toll it can take on students’ academic performance and mental health. He can also provide tips on what parents and teachers should be looking for to ensure that students are maintaining their mental health, along with coping mechanisms and resources that are available to support individuals struggling with perfectionism.

Does perfectionism lead to suicide?

Dr. Simon Sherry and his research team study the link between perfectionism and mental health. The results of their recent groundbreaking study, which will soon be published in the Journal of Personality, represents the most rigorous and comprehensive research on the link between perfectionism and suicide to date. Their research summarized 45 studies on perfectionism and suicide and included 11,747 participants. The research team found a robust link between perfectionism and suicide behaviors, including suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts. They determined that so-called adaptive (or "good") aspects of perfectionism, including striving toward unrealistic goals, are linked to suicide behaviors. In other words, counter to common societal beliefs, perfectionism is a potential killer.

 

Can staying active through sport improve students’ mental wellness and academic performance?

With each new school year students are faced with new challenges including meeting new friends, deciding which courses to take, what their career goals are, adjusting to new classrooms and teaching methods and sometimes living away from home for the first time. Dalhousie’s Dr. Lori Dithurbide can discuss the psychosocial aspects of sport and physical activity and how participating in sport can improve students’ social, emotional, and intellectual development and wellbeing.

 

Moving from the classroom to career

During their university career, students can benefit from working with a career coach, as they uncover clues about themselves that will help them not just in choosing courses, but in working towards a meaningful career. When students participate in career development opportunities it helps them increase their knowledge of the job market, develop employable skills, expand their network and ultimately secure promising employment opportunities. Anna Cranston, Director of Management Career Services, has advice for students to help them identify what they are hoping for in a future career and aligning their academic and career choices to reach their goals.