How to Improve Students’ Bad Attitudes: Strategies That Work Better & Faster

 

teacher classroom management blog

 

How to Improve Students' Bad Attitudes:

Strategies That Work Better & Faster

 
 

 

 

How to Improve Students' Bad Attitudes:

Strategies That Work Better & Faster

student bad attitude

It's winter. It's that time of year that if the weather doesn't get to you, your students do. One huge annoyance can be the lousy attitudes that you are facing starting too early every morning to way too late each afternoon. You may even have a student or two who is so difficult and sour that you can't forget about him on that long drive home. We're ready to help. Hello from Youth Change Professional Development Workshops' Director, Ruth Herman Wells, M.S. I've spent my entire career developing and honing unorthodox, highly effective strategies to turn around even the most negative student you work with.

The most important thing to realize is that no one changes their attitude because someone else thinks that would be a good idea. If you directly ask students to change their attitude, that's fine, but it probably hasn't been working very well. The strategies below avoid the failure rate that mere words can produce when it comes to trying to generate student attitude adjustments. Notice that all of these student attitude adjustment strategies do not rely primarily on words, but take more indirect approaches. The use of this style of approach means that you are placing a light bulb over the students' head but letting the student pull the cord to turn it on. If you pull the cord for the student, then really the only option left for many of them is to fight back and resist. Using less direct methods means that most of the time, the student with the negative attitude, won't always immediately default to being resistant or oppositional.

The next time you consider just telling a student to improve their attitude, remember that the adult equivalent is being told to lose weight or stop drinking. That image may be a very useful reminder to minimize your reliance on verbiage and to increase your use of more indirect approaches that don't generate resistance.

teacher workshopIf you want more than the sampling of strategies offered here, consider coming to our Seattle Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Youth Workshop on May 4-5, 2017. Right now, we have have two completely free work-study scholarships to give away. Grab one of these awesome no-fee workshop registration slots before they are all taken. Call 1.800.545.5736 to quickly sign up. You'll learn 200 powerhouse strategies for whatever student behavior, attitude and social problems you name.

 

Students' Negative Attitude-Buster Strategies
 

student bad attitude posterUse Passive Intervention Strategies

to Improve Students' Bad Attitudes

Poster #314, shown at right, is the perfect, low effort strategy to chip away at students' bad attitudes. It may appear that the student is just staring at the wall but Poster #314 could be eating away at them slowly day by day. You don't need to buy the poster. You can make your own, or have a student whose behavior warrants a consequence, make a version of the image shown here. Either way, students can't argue with a poster. Nor, can students unsee what they read. Your message was delivered– and probably more rapidly than if verbiage had been the sole method. With this passive intervention strategy, you've planted a seed that may gradually begin to grow over time. This tactic is most definitely not a quick cure, but part of an on-going effort that can ultimately produce results.

 

Use Strategies That Show the Benefits

of Attitude Improvement

If people are going to change, it's because they see a reason to change. Give your students a reason to improve their bad attitudes. Show students what's in it for them if they limit or improve their negative attitude. This approach can work very well with your more self-interested students who care mostly about what they can get for themselves. When the student is in a difficult situation, such as having done a minor bit of problem behavior, encourage the youngster to "Keep 1 Problem to 1, Not Turn 1 Problem Into 2." Since this strategy shows students what they get for themselves by evidencing a less negative attitude, this approach can be hard to resist. It is, in essence, showing students that their negative attitude is like the old adage about biting your tongue to spite your face. The more you can link a more positive attitude to the student getting more of what they say they want, the more progress you may make improving the negativity. It's almost like you are marketing and selling a more positive attitude like it was a brand of jeans or cell phone.

 

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student attitude posterUse Strategies That Un-Normalize

Students' Bad Attitudes

At many schools, having a sulky, negative, oppositional attitude is considered normal. Consider working to get that rather bad standard to be different. Poster #574 (shown at right) gives you some words to do that. It can start or further the process of helping your students understand that being nasty or mean or difficult is not a life plan that will work. You can also help students to identify all the jobs and businesses that people can succeed in if you are really unkind to those around you. Most students realize that there are few or no jobs where abusive behavior is tolerated, and that ultimately having a really negative attitude will be a potential obstacle and impediment throughout life. You are again selling the idea of a more positive attitude as benefiting the student with the negative attitude. Us humans are often pretty self-interested and that makes this strategy a good candidate to use if you want to transform the bad attitudes you see in your classroom or around your school or program. Using the phrase shown on the poster, "healthy humans don't destroy other humans" is a great phrase to use regularly as it can impact some students who will find the words unsettling.

 

Use Inspirational Strategies

to Improve Students' Bad Attitudes

Some students are impacted by pretty sayings and inspirational words. For your students who have negative attitudes, but might respond to inspiring words of wisdom, consider using this phrase, or creating a poster of the words for your walls. The phrase is "Live each moment as if you chose it." These words are going to be especially useful for students who are sullen and negative in specific settings, such as P.E. class or when there is an exam announced. Because the phrase is provocative and worth further thought, some students may actually stop and consider what it means since it's meaning is not necessarily obvious. It is difficult to resist words that you haven't yet figured out, making this strategy a winner. In the instant that the student grasps the phrase's meaning, you actually delivered a bit of insight to the youngster. It can be one step on the long progression of improving that student's attitude in your classroom and school.

 

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    teachermissYou have students who struggle. We have solutions for students who struggle…so your job doesn’t have to be so difficult. We have cutting-edge strategies to manage group and classroom management problems like behavior disorders, trauma, disrespect, bullying, emotional issues, withdrawal, substance abuse, tardiness, cyberbullying, delinquency, work refusal, defiance, depression, Asperger’s, ADHD and more.

     

    Schedule the Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Workshop to come to your site. This is the one professional development inservice that produces results, results, results. Call 1.800.545.5736 now. This surprisingly affordable inservice also makes a terrific fund raiser. College credit and 10 professional development clock hours are available. Your staff will finally have the more effective, real-world tools they need to work with today’s challenging, difficult youth.

     

    Contact us now, and begin solving your worst “kid problems” today. Call 1.800.545.5736, or email.

     

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Giga-Smart in a Wired World Activities Plus Get a Totally Free Workshop Registration

 

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Giga-Smart in a Wired World

Classroom Activities and Strategies

 
FREE Seattle May 5-6 Workshop Registration
Learn the details below

 



Attend Our Seattle Workshop Free

affordable professional developmentWe have strong registration for our Seattle, May 5-6, 2016 Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Youth Workshop but we are very much in need of helpers. Normally, we charge $84 to attend the workshop as a helper but if you would like to attend FREE and help out with the event, we need you. Please call 1.800.545.5736 to sign up and learn how easy it is to be a workshop helper. You can earn optional college credit or 10 free clock hours while learning 200 awesome, new strategies to turnaround problems like defiance, work refusal, tardiness, bad attitudes, apathy and more. We have just a couple slots to give out so call now. This offer is not available to people who have already registered or have a registration in process.


Giga-Smart in a Wired World

Classroom Activities and Strategies

professional development for educatorsAs our world goes more and more high tech, your students need to be ready. There are a lot of fantastic strategies in this issue, and all of them help prepare youngsters to live in a wired, wired world. Students who face barriers, challenges, family problems, crisis, or other concerns, are especially vulnerable to online danger. Hello from Youth Change Director Ruth Herman Wells, M.S. The picture on the right shows me teaching one of our many online professional development courses— just one more part of the real world that has gone cyber. This issue of our online magazine– yet another cyber entity– is packed with strategies and activities to help keep your students safe in an increasingly wired world.

 

student activity worksheetSilly Boys, Tech is For Girls

It is easier to stay safe in cyberspace when you have learned at least the basics. Girls sometimes can feel that tech is for boys. The relatively low rates of girls getting involved in STEM classes is a clear indicator of a trend that sadly continues into the workplace where women are often woefully underrepresented. Use humor to combat the stereotypes that girls can have about tech. This activity focuses on a very funny worksheet for girls and young women. It humorously overturns many stereotypes about girls and tech. You can download the activity worksheet on our website and print it for use in a discussion with female students. The worksheet can also be printed as an 11" x 17" poster, free to you for being a subscriber of this internet magazine.

 

How to Tell a Good Guy From a Bad Guy

This activity is a clever way to help students discover that in cyberspace, it is impossible to tell a good guy from a bad one if the two people don't know each other in the real world. Create about a dozen brief conversations that appear ripped from a typical social media site that you can call "FaceSpace." These online conversations could look like this:

Stranger: So do you want to meet up later?

Student: Sure

Stranger: Do you want to come over?

Print each conversation on one side of the page. On the other side, in big letters, put either "Good Guy" or "Bad Guy." Be sure that some conversations, like the one above, are relatively clearly reflecting a Bad Guy. Have other conversations that are more neutral, and some that appear safe but all/most should ultimately show Bad Guys in a way that conveys that "strangers online mean danger online," a phrase you can ultimately write on the board and discuss with students.

 

Dude, What's Your Cyber Q?

This activity helps you discover how cyber-smart your students really are. Test students' Cyber Q– "Q" is a shortened version of "IQ"– by asking them to define high tech terms like these: captcha, phishing, ISM, MB, pixel, SSL. They will need to know these terms to survive on our high tech planet. (Answers: captcha is a challenge that shows you are human not a robot; phishing means a scammer is "fishing" for your passwords and confidential information; ISM is the high paying job of Information Systems Manager, and he or she oversees computer networks; MB is a unit of measurement that describes the size of a file or data; pixel refers to the quality things like a photograph or monitor; SSL is short for Secure Socket Layer, and indicates whether a web page has been made secure for credit card transactions and other private activity.)

 

We All Work in a Wired, Wired World

Tech-averse students may not fully understand how difficult adult life will be without cyber skills. This activity can convince them to acquire more critical, basic tech skills. Inform students that nearly all jobs have a high tech component, from clocking in on an electronic time card system, to operating a PDA, to using a barcode scanner, so they can discover that  more and more work increasingly includes technology. Put two columns on the board, then ask students to list jobs not normally associated with high tech. Put their responses in the first column. Next, ask students to name how each low tech job might still require high tech skills. Put their answers in the second column. For example, waitresses may need to use smart phones and tablets to key in orders, scan credit cards, and tabulate bills. Another example: Baggage handlers at airports have to scan luggage tags and navigate through complex computerized security systems. Assist the class to realize that almost all jobs require tech skills because we are increasingly living in a high tech world.

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 activities for k-12 students

Cyberbullying: Your Anti-Social Network

Write the word "cyberbullying" on the board, and ask students to discuss what the term means. Assist students to identify strategies to cope with, reduce, or eliminate the cyberbullying they may experience. For example, students can block bullying "friends" on Facebook. Give this guideline to help students recognize cyber bullying: "When it's no longer social networking but has become anti-social networking, that's cyberbullying, and means it's time to find a new network."

 

Grades by Facebook

This intervention activity helps students realize that problematic postings can come back to haunt them forever. Begin by asking students what kind of content is posted on Facebook and other social networking sites. Allow them to note that students sometimes post about partying, substance abuse, personal problems, and so on. Next, ask the group who views the content. Assist students to realize that content may be viewed by colleges and universities, and that some colleges, universities– and even employers– are requiring candidates to give them access to all their social networking pages prior to being accepted or hired. Help students to realize that problematic posts can negate the value of good grades when it comes time to be accepted at college, or hired for a job. Ultimately, you can help students see that hard work in school can be instantly destroyed by problem social media posts. You can call this phenomena "Grades by Facebook."

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    teachermissYou have students who struggle. We have solutions for students who struggle…so your job doesn’t have to be so difficult. We have cutting-edge strategies to manage group and classroom management problems like behavior disorders, trauma, disrespect, bullying, emotional issues, withdrawal, substance abuse, tardiness, cyberbullying, delinquency, work refusal, defiance, depression, Asperger’s, ADHD and more.

     

    Schedule the Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Workshop to come to your site. This is the one professional development inservice that produces results, results, results. Call 1.800.545.5736 now. This surprisingly affordable inservice also makes a terrific fund raiser. College credit and 10 professional development clock hours are available. Your staff will finally have the more effective, real-world tools they need to work with today’s challenging, difficult youth.

     

    Contact us now, and begin solving your worst “kid problems” today. Call 1.800.545.5736, or email.

     

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    Library of Congress ISSN: 1526-9981 | Youth Change, Your Problem-Kid Problem-Solver
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Re-Brand to Improve Persistent Student Behavior Problems

 

teacher classroom management blog

 

Re-Brand
to Improve the Most Persistent
Student Behavior Problems

 
 

Expires 5-6-15

 

 

 

You would think someone who works really well with misbehaved students K-12 Keynote Speaker Ruth Herman Wellswould be great with misbehaved dogs. Well, I discovered there is little carry-over from unmanageable students to unmanageable pets. Even though I teach a class called Control the Uncontrollable Student, I had to sign up to attend a class called Control the Uncontrollable Dog.

So, my mastiff-St. Bernard is really well-behaved when there is nothing going on. But Bergie, my normally sweet-natured, well-behaved companion turns into a loud, tantrumming, non-compliant, out-of-control opponent as soon as he sees another dog. His new trainer said that seeing another dog had become improve behaviora time for Bergie to misbehave and do whatever he wanted. She said that I needed to re-brand. Now.

Re-branding worked. Almost immediately. After three years of failure. With Bergie, we used treats to re-brand. Seeing another dog no longer meant tantrum time. It meant treat time. He quickly learned to look at me to get a treat, which was much more fun than melting down and tantrumming.

The same concept of re-branding works with students too. If the start of class has become party time, if class discussions mean texting time, if punctuality means showing up 5 minutes late, it's time to re-brand. It's time to teach your students that a chronic problem time is changing to something completely new. Here are some re-branding methods for you to use to finally put a stop to some of your most frustrating, long-term student behavior problems.

 

Re-Branding to Improve Student Behavior

Strategies

improve student behaviorRe-Brand Strategy

Start Over

For years I've taught that it is often easier to completely stop a bad situation than fight an uphill battle to make it better. So, if it's April and your classroom management situation is grim, stop fighting to make it better. Instead, end the class, and start over fresh– even if ending the class is largely symbolic and superficial.

So, you change the class name, you re-decorate and you re-arrange the furniture– but first, and more importantly, you actually teach your students how to perform the behaviors that you want in your classroom. (Here are dozens of free resources for teaching students those behaviors.) You need to teach the behaviors as systematically and thoroughly as you teach academics– to the point where your students are experts and veterans at behaviors like chair-sitting, hand-raising, talking one at a time, etc. Provide lots of reminders using posters, signs, door hangers, etc.

You also need to acknowledge the problems that existed and strongly emphasize that the problems will stop now. Once you issue this edict, you will have to follow through. Every time. Yes. Every. You will be tested so be ready to be rock solid at following through on your new expectations. If you don't, you will have great difficulty recovering. If you do maintain the standards of the new environment, you will have successfully re-branded.

The lesson for the future is this: It is always easier to create a firm, in-control environment and ease up later if you feel the need vs. tighten up an out-of-control environment. No one will fight you if you try to ease up on a very tightly run classroom, but count on a battle if you try to tighten up an out-of-control classroom. It's better to get your brand right from the start than to have to  re-brand later on. But if your brand has become a problem, and repeated rescue attempts have failed over months, then it's time to start over.

 

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classroom rules postersRe-Brand Strategy

Change the Conversation

In my live classes, I constantly hear about students' foul language that seems to be unstoppable. As with any behavior problem, you want to teach students the skills to behave differently, but on this issue, you have to be sure to also change their attitudes, and to give them clear motivation to choose different words. Cussing is comfortable, familiar and easy. Why give it up? You have to supply that answer and the answer has to be convincing.

Here is just one of our hundreds of methods to help with that. Ask students to name all the jobs, businesses and activities they hope to do. Have them list their answers in a column. Next, have students cross off items that are incompatible with cursing. So, for example, pilots can't swear at the air traffic controller, and employees can't cuss at bosses, co-workers or customers. The remaining items on the lists should be very few, if any. You've now begun to motivate students to behave differently. Once more motivated, you can teach the skills needed to reduce cursing. Once more skilled, provide constant reminders like our Poster #523 shown above. Your re-branded classroom can become known as a No Cursing Zone, which is exactly the change you hoped to accomplish.

 

student conduct posterRe-Brand Strategy

Practice Makes Perfect

When you want your students to learn an academic skill like multiplication, you teach the skills and ensure there is lots of repetition. Students may have to work with the times tables a long time before learning all the basic combinations. The same logic applies to teaching behavior. If you want students to learn to behave better, then you are going to have to teach it, and ensure that they get plenty of repetition until the skills are "cemented in."

When you use lots of repetition, it's important to vary the teaching methods used so that your students stay engaged and continue learning. Here is an example: Our Poster #543 depicts a Bingo game that you can make and use to teach or remind students of expected classroom behavior skills– especially what to do and what not to do. Enlarge the image of the poster to see more details. Activities like Classroom Excuses Bingo can make re-branding both successful and do-able even after long term problems.

 

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    teachermissYou have students who struggle. We have solutions for students who struggle…so your job doesn’t have to be so difficult. We have cutting-edge strategies to manage group and classroom management problems like behavior disorders, trauma, disrespect, bullying, emotional issues, withdrawal, substance abuse, tardiness, cyberbullying, delinquency, work refusal, defiance, depression, Asperger’s, ADHD and more.

     

    Schedule the Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Workshop to come to your site. This is the one professional development inservice that produces results, results, results. Call 1.800.545.5736 now. This surprisingly affordable inservice also makes a terrific fund raiser. College credit and 10 professional development clock hours are available. Your staff will finally have the more effective, real-world tools they need to work with today’s challenging, difficult youth.

     

    Contact us now, and begin solving your worst “kid problems” today. Call 1.800.545.5736, or email.

     

    Working with Troubled Students Doesn’t Have to be So Difficult
     


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    Library of Congress ISSN: 1526-9981 | Youth Change, Your Problem-Kid Problem-Solver
    http://www.youthchg.com | 1.503.982.4220 | 275 N. 3rd St; Woodburn, OR 97071
    © Copyright 2019, All Rights Reserved | Permission granted to forward magazine to others.


K12 Motivational Methods That Motivate, Motivate, Motivate

 

effective K12 motivational methods

 

K12 Motivational Methods
That Motivate, Motivate, Motivate

 
 

 

expert on student motivationmotivational methods bookHere are some terrific methods to motivate your unmotivated students. These methods are taken from our Maximum-Strength Motivation-Makers book/ebook, which is part of our All the Best Answers for the Worst Kid Problems Series. I'm the author, Ruth Herman Wells, M.S. and I know these creative, unusual motivational methods will get the job done in your classroom, group counseling room or office.

motivational methodsIf you work with apathetic youth or children, these motivational methods can help right now. However, as good as these motivational interventions are, they are not magic, so do plan to use many motivators over time.

The sampling of methods that are included in this issue may be enough to at least get you started.

You can quickly view dozens of additional awesome motivational methods like Poster #168 (shown at left).


 

Marvelous K-12 Motivational Methods

 

Motivational Method
 

Stay or Pay
 

There's a very real cost to dropping out. If you can sufficiently convey that now, perhaps fewer of your students will live that reality later. Here's the reality dropouts may face based on the fact that they'll earn less than half the salary of their peers who finish school. Transcribe the following facts onto the board and discuss:

Stay or Pay: That Means
Half the House
Half the Fun (money for entertainment, etc.)
Half the Possessions
Half the Necessities

 

Motivational Method


Start the Race From Behind
 

Ask your students where they would like to start a race from. Typically, the class members will say "at the start line with everybody else." Point out to your group that students who drop out of school start their race through life at the back, not with everybody else.

 

Motivational Method


Read All About It
 

Make up tabloid-style newspapers that humorously show what can happen to people who forgo school. For your headline, use text like this: "Rock Star Broke." The newspaper article could discuss how the rock star cried "I can't even balance a checkbook," and how his accountant had discovered that the rock star knew little math, and looted all the earnings. Another example: "Wife Loses Cash Cow" could be the headline. The article could detail how a wife never thought her husband would suddenly die, leaving her unprepared to survive financially and otherwise. Alternatively, have students create the newspapers. Post each newspaper and discuss.

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motivational strategies for k12 students

 

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Motivational Method
 

Can You Make It Through a Bad Night Without Education?
 

K12 motivational strategiesConjure up a very bad night. Make it a dark and stormy night, and trees are falling onto houses, the lights are out and phones aren't working. Have your students detail how to resolve the upsetting dilemmas that occur such as dealing with their tree hitting the neighbor's house, and obtaining medical care for an ill child. Be sure to require that the students provide specific details on how to achieve resolution. Have phone books, check books, etc. available for students to use to actually locate and secure resources. Since the power may be out, internet resources can be considered unavailable, forcing students to use low tech methods. This fun activity can show students that they can't even make it through the night without education. Poster #189 (shown at right) can reinforce the motivational message that students receive from experiencing this activity. To view the poster's surprising text, look at the enlarged poster.

 

Motivational Method

 

No Reading Needed– Ever


For students who claim that they can survive without education, ask them to list all the jobs they can do with no reading, writing, or computer skills of any type. If necessary, have students conduct this research by contacting employers or reading employment ads. They will discover that beginning with the job application, most/all jobs require at least some of those skills.

 

Motivational Method

 

I'll Beat the Odds
 

Some students can become convinced that life without school can be tough, but then the child surmises that she will beat the odds, that for her, it will be different or better. To teach students that they cannot beat the odds, ask the student to beat the odds in a different area. For example, ask the student to demonstrate her special ability to beat the odds by purchasing a lottery ticket and winning. Or, have the student beat the odds by magically picking an ace out of a card deck. When the student can't beat the odds, you may want to gently note that the student won't be able to beat the odds in life either and somehow magically avoid the customary problems normally associated with lacking an education.

 

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    Bring the Breakthrough Strategies Workshop to Your Site

    Help Unmotivated, Failing, Troubled and Unmanageable Students

    teachermissYou have students who struggle. We have solutions for students who struggle…so your job doesn’t have to be so difficult. We have cutting-edge strategies to manage group and classroom management problems like behavior disorders, trauma, disrespect, bullying, emotional issues, withdrawal, substance abuse, tardiness, cyberbullying, delinquency, work refusal, defiance, depression, Asperger’s, ADHD and more.

     

    Schedule the Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Workshop to come to your site. This is the one professional development inservice that produces results, results, results. Call 1.800.545.5736 now. This surprisingly affordable inservice also makes a terrific fund raiser. College credit and 10 professional development clock hours are available. Your staff will finally have the more effective, real-world tools they need to work with today’s challenging, difficult youth.

     

    Contact us now, and begin solving your worst “kid problems” today. Call 1.800.545.5736, or email.

     

    Working with Troubled Students Doesn’t Have to be So Difficult
     


    Behavior & Classroom Management Problem-Solver Blog Articles

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    Library of Congress ISSN: 1526-9981 | Youth Change, Your Problem-Kid Problem-Solver
    http://www.youthchg.com | 1.503.982.4220 | 275 N. 3rd St; Woodburn, OR 97071
    © Copyright 2019, All Rights Reserved | Permission granted to forward magazine to others.


Free Printable School and Classroom Posters for Teachers and Counselors

 

teacher classroom management blog

 

poster203big
Free
Printable School and Classroom Posters

for Teachers and Counselors

 

 

 
 

 

 

Youth Change Teacher Professional Development WorkshopsTo help us celebrate our all-new website, we're giving away some school and classroom posters that are perfect for teachers, counselors, juvenile justice workers, foster homes, residential treatment programs and just about anywhere that there are children and teens.

Hi everyone. I'm Ruth Herman Wells, M.S. I'm the Director of Youth Change Workshops. We hope that you think our all-new professional development website really is easy to use, and packed with the behavior and classroom management strategies you need to turnaround defiant, K-12 Speaker Ruth Wellsdepressed, traumatized, delinquent, homeless and struggling children and teens.

We are hoping you will help us celebrate the re-launch of our site by downloading four of our most popular school and classroom behavior posters free. The details are just below so click or scroll down.
 


Schedule Your On-Site Inservice Workshop Now

While Open Dates Still Remain

Learn 100s of Behavior Management Strategies for
Work Refusers, Bullies, Truants & Failing Students

1.800.545.5736 or email

Behavior & Classroom Management Problems Stop Here

 

poster203big poster285 school posters

Get All 4

Classroom

Posters
 

FREE!

classroom posters

free teacher resources

Before April 10, 2013, click the picture above to share our new website with a co-worker, then email us to tell us that you shared our site.

We'll send you the link to all 4 free posters that you will be immediately able to print and put on your walls.

Your co-worker can get all the free printable posters and so can you.

You must use the link above to share the site and also email us by April 10, 2013.

If you don't make the April 10 deadline to get them free, or if you prefer to have professionally printed posters, you can order the posters by clicking on their images above. Clicking on the image will take you to where the posters are sold for $8 each. When printed by us, they are 11 by 17 inches in size. They're printed on glossy, medium weight poster stock. We'll ship your posters right away.

Have questions? Need help? Email us.


Check out some of our other resources for

Teachers, Principals, Special Educators, Therapists

 

Guidance Counselors and School Psychologists
 

They are all now easy to find on our new website.

 

prodcategtags10  prodcategtags7 prodcategtags5prodcategtags9

 

 

 

 

  •  


    Reprint or Repost This Article
     

    Bring the Breakthrough Strategies Workshop to Your Site

    Help Unmotivated, Failing, Troubled and Unmanageable Students

    teachermissYou have students who struggle. We have solutions for students who struggle…so your job doesn’t have to be so difficult. We have cutting-edge strategies to manage group and classroom management problems like behavior disorders, trauma, disrespect, bullying, emotional issues, withdrawal, substance abuse, tardiness, cyberbullying, delinquency, work refusal, defiance, depression, Asperger’s, ADHD and more.

     

    Schedule the Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Workshop to come to your site. This is the one professional development inservice that produces results, results, results. Call 1.800.545.5736 now. This surprisingly affordable inservice also makes a terrific fund raiser. College credit and 10 professional development clock hours are available. Your staff will finally have the more effective, real-world tools they need to work with today’s challenging, difficult youth.

     

    Contact us now, and begin solving your worst “kid problems” today. Call 1.800.545.5736, or email.

     

    Working with Troubled Students Doesn’t Have to be So Difficult
     


    Behavior & Classroom Management Problem-Solver Blog Articles

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    Library of Congress ISSN: 1526-9981 | Youth Change, Your Problem-Kid Problem-Solver
    http://www.youthchg.com | 1.503.982.4220 | 275 N. 3rd St; Woodburn, OR 97071
    © Copyright 2019, All Rights Reserved | Permission granted to forward magazine to others.


 

Our New Professional Development Website for Teachers, Principals & Counselors

 

teacher classroom management blog

 

checkMeet the New

Youth Change Workshops
 

Professional Development

 

Resource


Website


 
stop student problems

If You Think We Look Pretty in Blue

We Have Freebies for You!

 

 


Skip Intro – Jump to Free Resources
 

professional development classWe've gotten a makeover. Not me. Actually, it's our website that has gotten a pretty dramatic makeover, the first in a very long time.

Hi. This is Ruth Herman Wells, Director of Youth Change Workshops. I'm the one teaching a professional development course in the picture shown at right.

Below you can see a picture of our new, improved, better-than-ever professional development resource website. Take a look at our "Before" and "After" glamor shots. Don't worry. Our site is now very beautiful, but still packed with serious answers for all your most serious student behavioral, emotional and motivational problems.
 

Youth change books

 BEFORE 

      AFTER   Youth Change Workshops website
 

Bigger Website, More Resources

Youth Change's site is bigger than ever before and better organized. There are still tons of free behavior management strategies, worksheets, expert help, and tutorials.

We are still sending our free sample student behavior improvement worksheets by mail. This  Behavior and Classroom Management Problem-Solver Blog for teachers, counselors, social workers, juvenile justice workers and guidance staff is still being emailed to you each month, and it's still free too. Not a subscriber? Sign up here.
 

What's Free?

If you take a look at our new website and use this email link before April 5, 2013 to tell us what you think, we'll send you all the cool resources shown below for free. We think the resources below offer such effective strategies to prevent and manage students' behavior, motivation and emotional problems, that they can help your students look like they've had a makeover too.

classroom poster 39Teacher free resources for classroom managementclassroom poster 45

 

 

 


Schedule Your On-Site Workshop Now

While Open Dates Still Remain

Learn 100s of Strategies for Work Refusers, Difficult,
Failing, Angry, Troubled and Defiant Students

1.800.545.5736 or email

Classroom Management Problems STOP here

 


What's New & Improved?

teacher store
 

Visit Our New
Problem-Solver Store
Behavior Problems Stop Here


 

online professional development

 

More Live & Online
Professional Development
Workshops

with Credit & Hours From $39

 

 


 

school poster 284

 

More Cool
Classroom & Motivational
Posters & Worksheets

 

 

 

Bullying prevention poster 90


 

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for Subscribers Only

 

 


 


teacher tutorials

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Professional Development
Tutorials

 

 

 

teacher professional development

More Free
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Information

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  •  


    Reprint or Repost This Article
     

    Bring the Breakthrough Strategies Workshop to Your Site

    Help Unmotivated, Failing, Troubled and Unmanageable Students

    teachermissYou have students who struggle. We have solutions for students who struggle…so your job doesn’t have to be so difficult. We have cutting-edge strategies to manage group and classroom management problems like behavior disorders, trauma, disrespect, bullying, emotional issues, withdrawal, substance abuse, tardiness, cyberbullying, delinquency, work refusal, defiance, depression, Asperger’s, ADHD and more.

     

    Schedule the Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Workshop to come to your site. This is the one professional development inservice that produces results, results, results. Call 1.800.545.5736 now. This surprisingly affordable inservice also makes a terrific fund raiser. College credit and 10 professional development clock hours are available. Your staff will finally have the more effective, real-world tools they need to work with today’s challenging, difficult youth.

     

    Contact us now, and begin solving your worst “kid problems” today. Call 1.800.545.5736, or email.

     

    Working with Troubled Students Doesn’t Have to be So Difficult
     


    Behavior & Classroom Management Problem-Solver Blog Articles

    Subscribe Unsubscribe/Change Subscription
    Contact Us*  *Not for Unsubscribing
     

    Library of Congress ISSN: 1526-9981 | Youth Change, Your Problem-Kid Problem-Solver
    http://www.youthchg.com | 1.503.982.4220 | 275 N. 3rd St; Woodburn, OR 97071
    © Copyright 2019, All Rights Reserved | Permission granted to forward magazine to others.


Classroom Management Problems Solved: Professional Development Solutions At Your Fingertips

 

classroom management blog articles

Classroom Management Problems Solved:

Professional Development Solutions
At Your Fingertips

 

 

education speaker Ruth Herman WellsYouth Change Workshops has been providing training to educators and mental health workers for more than two decades, but some of the classroom management problems we’ve been hearing about lately just seem to be in a league of their own. We’re hearing about students shoving teachers, students refusing to follow staff directions, and we’re hearing about kids who refuse to even wear shirts in the classroom. Fortunately, we know how to help.

I’m Ruth Herman Wells, M.S., the Director and Trainer for Youth Change Workshops. Our classroom management methods were created to target your most defiant, utterly unmanageable students. If you have a few or a lot of students who fit that description, you’ll use every word in this blog article.

Some tips to managing unmanageable students are below, but, even better, for a limited time, we’re letting our subscribers try our new online class, Control the Uncontrollable Student without any charge. This fast professional ezinetag10development seminar will show you how to get back in charge of oppositional students, and how to stay in charge of these challenging youngsters if you’ve been successfully managing them so far. The Control the Uncontrollable Student Online Class (click) is normally $39, but you will get the course with no charge if you take the two easy steps described below.

Get Control Uncontrollable Students Online Class
  FREE!

Take 2 steps by 12-31-12:
(1) Share our site (http://www.youthchg.com) with your co-workers on your website, blog, Facebook page (click), or similar. (2) Click here to email the details of how you shared us, and we’ll send you the link to the online class by return email. It’s that easy.

 

Classroom Management Survival Tips
Controlling Unmanageable Students

Start with Excellent Follow-Through

Even if you want to have warm, friendly bonds with students, you absolutely need to start your school year with tight, firm, consistent classroom management. That means that if you set rules, you enforce those rules. Period. And, yes, that means no “not noticing” infractions that might be difficult to address. Students may be counting on just that reaction. Remember that many acting-out students read us like comic books and know us perhaps better than we know ourselves. Either you start off strong, or you will be stuck trying to fix classroom management problems that are much, much harder to fix than get right the first time. If you start off too tough, students won’t protest when you ease up. If you start off too weak, you’re in for a big battle when you attempt to tighten up.

Different Strokes for Different Folks

No teacher would ever attempt to put all students in a single size of desk, or have all students use a single math book. You are used to tailoring your classroom to meet the specific needs of each child. That approach now needs to be extended to student discipline. One-size-fits-all discipline doesn’t work with seriously misbehaved students. If “nothing” seems to work to rein in your most difficult students, now you know what is going wrong. Read below for more on how to fix it.

 

Test Your Classroom Management Methods Now

Here’s a quick test for you to gauge your classroom management intervention strategies: If you are using relationship-based approaches like character ed and values clarification, for example, you are using inappropriate strategies that are almost certainly doomed to fail. Many of your most out-of-control youngsters are “wired” differently than other students. Recent research into the brain has now confirmed what mental health and juvenile corrections staff have suspected all along: you must switch to interventions that avoid relationship elements. These youngsters will generally behave worse if you don’t. It’s critical that you learn the more effective, specialized techniques required with this type of student. If you want to see methods that have been crafted and tested to work better, the online course, Control the Uncontrollable Student, is offered to you without charge above for a brief time.

 

Get a Mini Skills Upgrade

Here is a list of the most critical do’s and don’ts for working with the toughest students to manage. If you memorize these, and carefully adhere to the list, it’s a place to start. This mini skills upgrade is no substitute for more extensive learning, so more comprehensive professional development options are shown below.

DO: Provide far more than minimum sanctions so students can’t evaluate the risk of consequences for misbehavior. DO: Keep the sanctions very steep to minimize misbehavior. DO: Make sure every interaction with severely acting-out students includes a focus on the one thing they care about most– me-me-me. DO: Be wary of heartfelt apologies and don’t reduce sanctions for tears and “sorrys.” DO: Function as part of a cohesive team. Staff interaction problems result in students playing and winning at Divide and Conquer.

DON’T: Debate or discuss. Just talk then walk instead of being played during prolonged discussions. DON’T: Give second chances. DON’T: Be so predictable. When students can forecast your actions, they arrange their misconduct accordingly, perhaps misbehaving at 10 AM when you normally leave the room momentarily. DON’T: Interact in a mode other than businesslike; heart-to-heart is the path to being played. DON’T: Doubt your ability to manage acting-out students because they can smell uncertainty from afar. Find a boss or mentor to help if you are uncertain. No strategy can compensate for uncertainty.

  •  


    Reprint or Repost This Article
     

    Bring the Breakthrough Strategies Workshop to Your Site

    Help Unmotivated, Failing, Troubled and Unmanageable Students

    teachermissYou have students who struggle. We have solutions for students who struggle…so your job doesn’t have to be so difficult. We have cutting-edge strategies to manage group and classroom management problems like behavior disorders, trauma, disrespect, bullying, emotional issues, withdrawal, substance abuse, tardiness, cyberbullying, delinquency, work refusal, defiance, depression, Asperger’s, ADHD and more.

     

    Schedule the Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Workshop to come to your site. This is the one professional development inservice that produces results, results, results. Call 1.800.545.5736 now. This surprisingly affordable inservice also makes a terrific fund raiser. College credit and 10 professional development clock hours are available. Your staff will finally have the more effective, real-world tools they need to work with today’s challenging, difficult youth.

     

    Contact us now, and begin solving your worst “kid problems” today. Call 1.800.545.5736, or email.

     

    Working with Troubled Students Doesn’t Have to be So Difficult
     


    Behavior & Classroom Management Problem-Solver Blog Articles

    Subscribe Unsubscribe/Change Subscription
    Contact Us*  *Not for Unsubscribing
     

    Library of Congress ISSN: 1526-9981 | Youth Change, Your Problem-Kid Problem-Solver
    http://www.youthchg.com | 1.503.982.4220 | 275 N. 3rd St; Woodburn, OR 97071
    © Copyright 2019, All Rights Reserved | Permission granted to forward magazine to others.


The Best Back-to-School Bad Behavior-Busters– Includes Online Class with Surprising Strategies

 

student behavior management blog


The Best
Back-to-School
Bad Behavior-Busters


Includes Online Class
with Surprising Strategies

 


workshop trainer Ruth Herman Wells

If back-to-school means back to student behavior problems, then you're going to love the problem-stopping classroom management interventions we've packed inside this issue.

I'm Ruth Herman Wells, M.S., the Director and Trainer for Youth Change Workshops. For over two decades, I've been training teachers, counselors, principals, and youth professionals around North America. I really believe that I have the most dynamic, unusual, attention-grabbing classroom management methods to help you build a better new school year– no matter how much bad behavior you see in your classroom. In addition, ezinetag10 to the lively strategies described below, subscribers of this magazine, can try my new online class absolutely free, and get even more behavior change methods.

One of my newest online professional development classes is Control the Uncontrollable Student (click). Normally $39, this online course is offered without charge to you if you take the two steps described below.

Get Control Uncontrollable Students Online Class
  FREE!

Take 2 steps by 9-25-12:
(1) Tell your co-workers about our website (http://www.youthchg.com) by posting about us on your website, on your blog, your Facebook page (click), on Pinterest (click), or similar place. (2) Click here to email us the link to the page where you posted. We'll verify that you posted about us, then send you the link to the online class by return email. It's that easy.

 

The Best Back-to-School Bad Behavior-Busters

Motivation: As Close to Magic as You Can Get

motivational activity You know there's no magic answers when it comes to getting students to behave, but motivation may as be as close as you can get in the real world. Motivating your students to truly believe that education is the key to survival, can make everything better. In my live professional development classes, I sometimes pretend to switch the topic to funeral insurance, and ask the participants if they will stay in the room. No one ever wants to stay. Your students can't get up and leave physically, but they can leave in many other ways. The device shown here is just one of our thousands of motivational methods that can motivate, motivate, motivate! To print or save this cool behavior management device, simply click on the image or here.


Teach Specific Classroom Behavior Skills remote control student activity

Stop wishing there was a fun, fast way to stop constant classroom management problems like loud talk, interruptions, and run-on comments. We've got an intervention that offers everything you've wished for. Bring a television remote control to school and then you can "mute" students, "slow" them down, or "fast forward" them. Your whole class will be laughing and asking for a chance to operate the remote control. You will have transformed a chronic classroom management problem into a non-problem. Even better, you will find that by creatively training kids to be skilled students, almost any behavior problem can be improved or eliminated.

 

Provide On-Going School Skill Training quiet spray

 

Did you ever notice that while your school has an elaborate academic curriculum, it has no formal, equivalent curriculum for teaching kids how to be students so they can fully benefit from the academic instruction that is offered. Just as you must provide on-going assistance to learn and remember academics, you must provide on-going assistance to learn and remember school behavior skills. The humorous intervention pictured here, Quiet Spray, does just that. It is another example of how chronic classroom management problems can become history. To make a bottle of Quiet Spray, simply label a spray bottle accordingly. The bottle can be empty or you can add some plain or scented water to it. Teachers tell me, for best results, let students spray themselves. Some teachers comment that they can actually see students relax when they mist themselves– whether the bottle contains water or is empty. Either way, this easy-to-do, fun intervention is an almost sure bet to work in your K-12 classroom.

  •  


    Reprint or Repost This Article
     

    Bring the Breakthrough Strategies Workshop to Your Site

    Help Unmotivated, Failing, Troubled and Unmanageable Students

    teachermissYou have students who struggle. We have solutions for students who struggle…so your job doesn’t have to be so difficult. We have cutting-edge strategies to manage group and classroom management problems like behavior disorders, trauma, disrespect, bullying, emotional issues, withdrawal, substance abuse, tardiness, cyberbullying, delinquency, work refusal, defiance, depression, Asperger’s, ADHD and more.

     

    Schedule the Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Workshop to come to your site. This is the one professional development inservice that produces results, results, results. Call 1.800.545.5736 now. This surprisingly affordable inservice also makes a terrific fund raiser. College credit and 10 professional development clock hours are available. Your staff will finally have the more effective, real-world tools they need to work with today’s challenging, difficult youth.

     

    Contact us now, and begin solving your worst “kid problems” today. Call 1.800.545.5736, or email.

     

    Working with Troubled Students Doesn’t Have to be So Difficult
     


    Behavior & Classroom Management Problem-Solver Blog Articles

    Subscribe Unsubscribe/Change Subscription
    Contact Us*  *Not for Unsubscribing
     

    Library of Congress ISSN: 1526-9981 | Youth Change, Your Problem-Kid Problem-Solver
    http://www.youthchg.com | 1.503.982.4220 | 275 N. 3rd St; Woodburn, OR 97071
    © Copyright 2019, All Rights Reserved | Permission granted to forward magazine to others.


Most of What You Know About Violent Students is Wrong– Includes Online Class with More Effective Strategies

 

classroom management problems blog

Most of What You Know About
Violent Students
is Wrong


Includes Online Class
with More Effective Strategies

 


workshop trainer Ruth Herman WellsAs a mental health counselor who specializes in working with hard-to-manage children and youth, it always makes me upset when I read another article disseminating misinformation about extremely violent,unmanageable kids.

For decades, mental health,juvenile corrections, and juvenile court professionals have had tested, documented methods to best manage unmanageable, violent students. Even though these tools have been widely available for a half century or so, most of these targeted techniques and time-tested insights into unmanageable kids have not reached most K-12 educators.

Today, another major education outlet printed yet another misguided article that urged teachers to build stronger relationships with their most severely misbehaved, violent students. The author asserted that relationship-building is the best way to reduce violence, bullying,cyberbullying, disrespect, defiance, property damage, and harm to others. That assertion isn't just wrong, it's dangerous.

Any mental health professional can tell you that strong student-teacher relationships are important with MOST students, but that relationship-based approaches always fail with the violent students who act out the most. Even worse, attempting to use relationship-based approaches with this population doesn't just fail big-time, but these tactics generate other problems.

Here is just one example of the serious fallout that occurs when counter-indicated methods are used: Relationship-building sends an unintended message to the seriously misbehaved student, who interprets the trust-building efforts to mean that the adult "doesn't have a clue who they're dealing with so I can do what I want and get away with anything." Just as no one single text book would work with all students, one single style of behavior management interventions will not work with all students.

When educators use one-size-fits-all methods with severely misbehaved students, they will find "nothing works." You may have already have discovered that nothing seems to work to rein in your most unmanageable students. Now, you know why.


I'm Ruth Herman Wells, M.S., the Director and Trainer for Youth Change
Workshops. This issue has must-have, tested, documented, established,
more effective strategies for unmanageable students. These behavior
management strategies will work better than the counter-indicated
approaches you are using now. These methods are taken from my new
online class, Control the Uncontrollable Student (click). These methods
are also offered in my live workshops, and on-site trainings. We have
special treat for the readers of this magazine: If you would like to take
the $39 Control the Uncontrollable Student online class FREE, see the
easy directions below.


online classGet Control Uncontrollable Students online class without charge.
Take 2 steps by 4-5-12:


(1) Post a link to our website (http://www.youthchg.com) online on
your website, blog, Facebook page, or similar place. (2) Click here to email us the link to the page where you posted. We'll send you the link to the online class by return email. It's that easy.

 

The Top 5 Truths About Unmanageable Students
That Educators Need to Know Now


1. Learn Targeted Methods for Conduct Disorders


Mental health professionals have identified that some extremely
misbehaved youngsters are wired a bit differently than the majority of
students. They tend to be boys, and make up about 11-14% of the
population. Mental health clinicians have the ability to determine if a
youngster has a problem called "conduct disorder," a mental health
diagnostic category that describes children and teens who have no
conscience, no remorse, no empathy, and no real relationship capacity.


Advanced research in the 1990s and into the 2000s has clearly shown
that the brains of these youngsters are different, that the place where
relationship capacity should "reside" in the brain is not "lit." That is why
relationship approaches will never work. Every educator must know
about this youngster since conventional approaches always fail with this
type of student. Targeted methods must be substituted instead. You'll
need more than the quick info included here so read more on our
website here or view our online class as described above.


2. Learn the Operating System of Conduct Disorders
 

Most students are relationship-based creatures, and relationship-based
approaches like character ed can be tried. Character ed is so popular
right now in the world of education. Sadly, popularity doesn't correlate
with effectiveness or even worthiness. Relationship-based methods like
character ed can never succeed with youngsters who have conduct
disorder as this disorder means that these students lack empathy. It
also means that their "operating system" is different than most other
students. Instead of having an operating system that is based on
relationships, youngsters with conduct disorder care about one thing: I-Me-
I-Me. Character ed methods don't address that. That's why you
have to learn and use methods designed especially to work around that
difference. What works? Read Step 3 below.
 

3. Learn Targeted Behavior Control Methods
 

Students with conduct disorder only care about what happens to them.
That's why all interventions with them must revolve around that
dynamic. If you look at the sites that have expertise with the most
acting-out students, places like juvenile corrections, for example, they
tend to use a specific style of interventions. These sites tend to be very
regimented, very strict, and to respond very quickly and strongly to
misconduct. They developed this style of intervention because it worked.
If relationship methods had worked, they would be using those instead,
but those techniques failed, so they switched to what worked better.
You need to switch too. With other types of students, use relationship
methods if they work for you, but stop expecting them to ever help
conduct disordered kids behave better.


4. Avoid the Predictable Pitfalls
 

Students with conduct disorder are often very savvy. They can read us
like open comic books and easily manipulate us. There are many
predictable mistakes that caring adults can make over and over again
unless taught to do otherwise. What is one of the most common pitfalls
that will get you played? These youngsters may discern that you are a
good-hearted person, so they may manipulate you by getting you to
believe that you have shown them the error of their ways. Because of
that, be careful about automatically believing when the extremely
misbehaved child suddenly expresses remorse or sheds copious tears.
Instead, discern if there will be any benefit from expressing remorse.
For example, if apologizing gets the sanctions for misbehavior lessened,
then you want to be careful about believing that the remorse is
genuine.

Students with conduct disorders are very manipulative. Even
though it may be uncomfortable for some of us to acknowledge, it's part
of what they often do. All of us need to accept that premise in order to
be effective working with these youngsters. When you are repeatedly
vulnerably to the pitfalls, the student can easily manipulate and control
you and your classroom.
 

5. The Whole Team Must Know How to Control Conduct Disorders
 

The best way to manage unmanageable students is for every member
of your team to learn the do's and don'ts. That includes the school
secretary, and the bus driver who has to turn his back to even the
most aggressive students. When the whole staff understands how to use
different tools with these students, misbehavior can be more easily
curtailed. Sadly, the reverse is true: When the whole staff does not
know how to use targeted tools, then it becomes party time for your
most acting-out students, who are savvy enough to save their worst
behavior for the staff who are least likely to be able to manage them.

You need to have every link in the chain be strong. Your success with
conduct disordered students will be only as good as your weakest link,
so thoroughly educate everyone who is expected to be able manage
even the most unmanageable students.

  •  


    Reprint or Repost This Article
     

    Bring the Breakthrough Strategies Workshop to Your Site

    Help Unmotivated, Failing, Troubled and Unmanageable Students

    teachermissYou have students who struggle. We have solutions for students who struggle…so your job doesn’t have to be so difficult. We have cutting-edge strategies to manage group and classroom management problems like behavior disorders, trauma, disrespect, bullying, emotional issues, withdrawal, substance abuse, tardiness, cyberbullying, delinquency, work refusal, defiance, depression, Asperger’s, ADHD and more.

     

    Schedule the Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Workshop to come to your site. This is the one professional development inservice that produces results, results, results. Call 1.800.545.5736 now. This surprisingly affordable inservice also makes a terrific fund raiser. College credit and 10 professional development clock hours are available. Your staff will finally have the more effective, real-world tools they need to work with today’s challenging, difficult youth.

     

    Contact us now, and begin solving your worst “kid problems” today. Call 1.800.545.5736, or email.

     

    Working with Troubled Students Doesn’t Have to be So Difficult
     


    Behavior & Classroom Management Problem-Solver Blog Articles

    Subscribe Unsubscribe/Change Subscription
    Contact Us*  *Not for Unsubscribing
     

    Library of Congress ISSN: 1526-9981 | Youth Change, Your Problem-Kid Problem-Solver
    http://www.youthchg.com | 1.503.982.4220 | 275 N. 3rd St; Woodburn, OR 97071
    © Copyright 2019, All Rights Reserved | Permission granted to forward magazine to others.


Bring Order to Behavior Disorders Insider Secrets for Controlling Uncontrollable Students

 

school counselor blog


Bring Order to
Behavior Disorders:
Insider Secrets for
Controlling Uncontrollable Students

 

Some students' behavior goes beyond just being extremely misbehaved. Some students actually have mental health problems that are called behavior disorders.

Counselor training includes extensive preparation to manage each type of behavior disorder. That is why counselors can sometimes more successfully manage youngsters that educators struggle to control. Most counselors learn specialized behavior management tools tailored for each type of acting-out disorder. Most of these targeted tools work really well for educators too– except that educators are not normally routinely offered this essential training on behavior disorders.

While we are all aware of the hazards of labeling students, we have to have some shorthand to know exactly who we're talking about. If we didn't call a rose a rose, some of us might think Shakespeare was talking about dandelions. If we describe the flower each time, we can end up pretty confused, and long-winded too: "that red, no, I mean pink, no, it's white, no, it's a yellow flower that smells really sweet and may bloom all summer." So, as you read this article, of course you want to be sensitive about students being labeled, but hopefully you can agree that the use of common mental health terms will assure that we all know exactly which students– and which behavior disorders– we're talking about.

workshop trainer Ruth Herman WellsI'm Ruth Herman Wells, M.S., the Director and Trainer for Youth Change Workshops. At Youth Change, we firmly believe that educators and other non-mental health workers are smart enough to make those distinctions. This article will help you understand the categories and corresponding tools to use– or not use– with each type of student. In this issue, we will focus particularly on a single type of behavior disorder.

Unless you're a mental health professional, you can't diagnose the
disorders featured in this article. But you've never been able to diagnose other disorders– like ADHD, for example– but you most certainly have learned how to fine tune how you work with youngsters you believe could have that difficulty. Using that type of adjustment process of carefully tailoring your interventions without diagnosing will work for any mental health disorder that you think you might be encountering. While a diagnosis from a mental health worker would be incredibly useful, you can still work successfully with severely unmanageable youngsters either way.

There are two major mental health disorders that characterize the most extremely misbehaved students. Some youngsters have Oppositional-Defiant Disorder. That is a mental health diagnosis that describes kids that have consciences but sometimes act like they don't. This diagnosis can only be applied by a mental health professional but will be very important for any youth worker to know about and understand. This diagnosis is far more hopeful than the second disorder, "Conduct Disorder," which means the child lacks a conscience and a real capacity for relationships. While the oppositional-defiant child (ODD) may also appear to have little
conscience or relationship capacity, you may be able to improve that
difficulty with the right approach and methods. With conduct disorder (CD), such improvement isn't possible.
 

Understanding Oppositional Defiant Disorder & Conduct Disorder


WHAT DOES OPPOSITIONAL-DEFIANT DISORDER LOOK LIKE?

Oppositional-defiant kids are often some of your most misbehaved students. They may disrupt your class, hurt others, defy authority and engage in illegal or problematic conduct. Though students with ODD may look similar to conduct disorders, their bad behavior is usually less severe, less frequent, and of shorter duration. The ODD label is often inaccurately applied as this dynamic can be a difficult concept to grasp and apply correctly. Because many mental health professionals understandably hesitate to assign the heavy-duty conduct disorder label, they sometimes use the diagnosis of ODD as kind of a parking spot. This convention results in people using methods for ODD with conduct disordered youngsters who would have potentially benefitted from methods for CDs instead. CDs will be adversely affected and poorly managed by the use of strategies designed for students with ODD. In this issue, we are focusing on strategies for children and teens who appear to have ODD.


THE 3 AREAS OF HELP FOR ODD YOUTH

To help the child with ODD, you must focus on:

  1. Skill building
  2. "Pulling up" that conscience– example strategies are below
  3. Improving their relationship skills.


For skill building, teaching them how to regulate their anger, actions, peer skills, verbal output, etc. will be critical. (Note that CDs benefit from this training as well.) But equally important, the child with ODD must be aided to care about others, and to be guided more by conscience. (Note that CDs almost never benefit from this type of aid, and usually become more out-of-control as they assume the adult has "no clue" if they are using methods that involve utterly foreign and irrelevant concepts like conscience, remorse, guilt, and trust.)

In our workshops, we give dozens of effective interventions for stimulating the conscience of children and teens who evidence ODD. We will supply a
few of the best here. These interventions will only focus on stimulating that conscience or "compensating" for it. If you want more than the handful of ideas given here, or you want to see how to build skills and relationship capacity– those other two key intervention areas for students who evidence ODD– consider signing up for our live or online distance learning workshop, or purchasing some of our books that will deliver hundreds of the solutions you need.


STRATEGIES TO STIMULATE OR SIMULATE THE CONSCIENCE

for Students Who Appear to Have ODD

You can use these methods with or without the diagnosis. Remember that these interventions must be combined with the other key focus areas for students with ODD: skill training and relationship training. Also, remember these methods are not appropriate for use with that other type of very misbehaved youngster, children with conduct disorder.

 

STRATEGY #1

Before a child undertakes a problem behavior, ask the youth to imagine that s/he will read about that act on the cover of the local newspaper
in the morning. Ask the child their reaction. If they say that they wouldn't want to read about it in the newspaper the next morning, then you can say "Then don't do it!" This image makes a fast and easy guide for kids to follow to evaluate whether or not to do questionable behaviors. This intervention is a good choice to use with children whose conscience provides little guidance.

 

STRATEGY #2

This intervention can be used before or after the child has engaged in
misbehavior. For example, let's say the child has stolen the teacher's pen, you can say "I want you to imagine that we're making a video about your life. Are you impressed?" That uncomfortable sensation that the child may have in reaction to this intervention may be the conscience stirring.

 

STRATEGY #3

After the child has engaged in a problem behavior, such as stealing a pen, as in the example above, ask the child, "So what's your integrity worth to you?"

 

STRATEGY #4

To adapt the intervention shown above for young children, simply rephrase the question to "So what's people believing in you, worth to you?" Or, rephrase it to "So what's people trusting you, worth to you?"

 

STRATEGY #5

Have students list problem behaviors, and write their responses in a column on a board. Next, in a second column, have them list the most likely consequences of each behavior. Inform students that they can no longer say "I didn't know what was going to happen next," or make similar disclaimers because they have just shown they can make good guesses to predict the future. This strategy is another substitute for the conscience  as students can "guess ahead" before choosing to engage in problem behaviors.

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