School Readiness Camp: Frustration Tolerance and Communication Skills


Written by Rachel Ealy, M.Ed., LPC-Intern


Welcome to the third and final week of my blog series featuring all six topics covered in Heights Family Counseling’s week long School Readiness Camp. This week’s blog will take a closer look at frustration tolerance and communication/listening skills. Below are links to 3 of my previous blogs. One covering what group counseling is, the benefits of group counseling, and how to talk to your child about group counseling:, the second covering our School Readiness Camp format as well as two of the topics that will be covered (what to expect at school and expected/unexpected behaviors):, and the third covering two more of the topics covered in camp (empathy and perspective taking, as well as teamwork/relationship building):


Just as a reminder, Heights Family Counseling’s child and adolescent therapists, Rachel and Kristin, will co-lead this camp open to children entering kindergarten through 2nd grade. The camp will be held Monday, July 29th through Friday, August 2nd from 10:00am-11:15am at our office located at 2500 Summer St., Houston, TX 77007 #1220.


Our School Readiness Camp is designed for children who are unsure of what to expect on the first day; children experiencing anxiety, nervousness, or stress related to starting school or getting in to the routine, and for those that may need to touch up on some skills before starting the school year. Being anxious or nervous about school is not a requirement! Those that are more confident and ready for the school year can help those who may be more nervous and those that are more nervous can help the children that are more confident in other ways. Let’s face it, grade school is hard and each year comes with its own challenges! There are many things to navigate including routines and schedules, school rules, making new friends, meeting lots of new adults, and perhaps getting up earlier than usual.


Group Topics


This week I will be reviewing 1) Frustration tolerance and 2) Communication and listening skills:


1)  Frustration tolerance

Frustration tolerance involves being able to identify the emotions that are felt in the body, where they are felt, and how they are felt in the body. Once your child is able to become more familiar with the emotions, triggers, and warning signs that lead to frustration, they will be able to decide what to do with these difficult emotions. One of the key components to frustration tolerance is impulse control. Your child will learn about impulse control and how to follow a step-by-step guide that makes controlling your impulses easier and fun! Another critical component to frustration tolerance is learning a set of healthy coping skills. The mindful coping skills taught and practiced each day will serve as the beginnings of a set of coping skills that will help your child learn to regulate their own emotions.


2)  Communication and listening skills

Your child will learn about both verbal and non-verbal communication. It is important for your child to understand that it is not always what we say, but how we say things. Our body language communicates so much about how we feel and what we are thinking. The group will be able to explore how one’s tone of voice, body language, eye expression, posture, and topic impacts communication. Listening skills are a crucial part of communicating in an effective way. Whole body listening will be practiced and reinforced throughout the entirety of the group. The children will have to opportunity to play a communication game that is interactive and engaging. We are looking forward to helping your child be successful by sharpening their skills before school!


At the end of the week, your child will be sent home with a resource folder so that you are able to practice and reinforce the skills that they learned during camp. This will help strengthen learning and to keep anxious feelings at bay. Remember, all feelings are okay to have! If your child is still feeling anxious, that is okay. Take the time to validate and empathize with your child. Remind them that you are proud of them for preparing for the first days of school and that they have a set of new skills that will help them get through challenging times. Let them know that you are there for them and you know what it is like to start something new!


How to Sign Up


You can call our office at 713-380-1151 to sign up for our school readiness camp. Our wonderful intake specialist, Helena, will guide you through the process of getting your child set up. You can also email Rachel or Kristin directly at and We are happy to offer a free 15-minute phone consultation to answer any questions that you may have about the camp. During the parent-only intake, your counselor will gather information about your child in order to get to know your child and to makes sure that the camp is a good fit.