Last Chance Strategies Improve Student Behavior When All Else Fails

 

behavior classroom management blog

 

Last Chance

Strategies to Improve Student Behavior

What to Do When Nothing Else Has Worked
 

arrowdrawn5 

arrowdrawn5

 FREE!

Workshop Slots

for Seattle!! 


 
 

 

arrowdrawn5

arrowFree Workshop Slots
for Seattle!! 

 

 

teacher professional development class

While we have a good size group coming to Seattle on May 2-3, 2013 for our Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Youth Workshop, for the first time ever, we have not had anyone sign up for scholarship slots. Usually, we run a long waiting list for these slots, and usually we charge a token fee for them.

However, the workshop is just weeks away so we are making 3 scholarship work-study slots completely without fee. If you grab one of the slots you pay nothing to attend, but you would help out with the workshop logistics. It's an awesome opportunity. You can still earn college credit and clock hours too. Call 1.800.545.5736 to grab one of these workshop slots, or email with questions.
 

Inside This Blog Issue:

This article is full of creative behavior and classroom management strategies to improve student behavior. If you're frustrated because you have been unable to reach and improve the behavior of some of your students, these colorful techniques were developed to solve that problem right now.

Hi everyone. This is Ruth Herman Wells penning this blog issue, and I've come up with some very lively, hard-to-resist student activities and strategies that you're going to like.

These innovative techniques distract students from their usual rigid viewpoints, thoughts or verbiage by involving them in a task or activity. While they are caught up in the task or activity, they may actual relax enough to be affected and changed, which is exactly what you want. I think you're going to love these new tools to improve student behavior.


Improve Your Most Resistant Students' Behavior: 3 Terrific Tips
 

1. Can You Be Wily?
 

Most of us tend to use direct, clear communication. Of course, normally, that's a good thing. But, it's not a good thing when it comes to attempting to change the behavior of a student who is fighting you every step of the way.

motivational poster 1Think of it this way. If I say to you that I am going to change your politics, how much do you hear of what I say? Probably almost nothing. When you attempt to improve student behavior, it's similar to attempting to "improve" an adult's political views or religious affiliation. It's not going to happen.

So, stop telegraphing your intent. Be wily instead. So, instead of saying to a student that he needs to be more motivated and care more about school, something he's resisted quite vehemently, try less direct strategies instead.

What are less direct strategies? One example (Poster #001 above) is pictured here, but the most critical component of indirect techniques is that they don't tackle the concern head on. So, instead of saying "You need to care more about school," you rely on methods that show the extreme downsides of dropping out and/or the extreme benefits of finishing school. You avoid being "personally" involved whenever possible and rely on externals to provide the communication as much as you can. That's why posters and activities can make great indirect strategies.

The more the information comes from you, the more the student can react. The more you are placing the light bulb over the student's head but the student pulls the cord instead of you, the more behavior change can be expected to occur.


Article continues below

 


Schedule Your On-Site Inservice Workshop Now

While Open Back-to-School Dates Remain

Learn 100s of Strategies for Work Refusers, Defiant,
Angry, Disruptive, Difficult & Absent Students

1.800.545.5736 or Email

Improve Student Behavior Now

 

professional development inservice

 

Article continues here
 

2. What Were We Tantrumming About?
 

This behavior management intervention works so well that I consider it a must-have classic to improve the behavior of students who really get stuck and perseverate. That makes this technique ideal for oppositional, argumentative, defiant and angry students, but it also is great for students with Asperger's symptoms too.

It's so simple and practical you are going to easily remember this behavior improvement strategy. When a student is continuing to persist in being upset over something, simply switch the subject. Here in Oregon, we sometimes just say something as simple as "How about those Ducks?" referring to the local university sports team. You can switch the subject to anything.

Yesterday, I taught at a charter school in Columbus, Ohio. A teacher in that inservice training had a similar technique. He noted that he just simply says "You have been heard" and walks away. He says it works especially well with extremely misbehaved and manipulative students who otherwise can "hook us" in then reel us in like fish on a line.

Lots of us do have a tendency to linger or debate. Neither is useful so consider training yourself to severely limit time devoted to tantrums, debates, arguments and complaining.
 

3. A Funny Thing About Humor
 

They don't teach you much about it in college but the power of humor with resistant students could fill many courses. How do you stay resistant when you are smiling or laughing? You can't. That's why humor can often accomplish what more straightforward techniques can't.

Even better, humor works with a huge array of problem areas. When I train teachers and counselors, I am always sure to emphasize that humor is the top choice of intervention style for two of the student behavior problem areas that you see the most. Humor can help reduce aggression and anger at times that other methods go unnoticed. But, humor is also a fantastic technique for another common but completely different problem: anxiety.

Here is a sample strategy that I like best with younger students. Imagine the student is very agitated. You grab your own arm at the elbow and hold it. You make sure that the student sees this unusual pose, then you ask the student to grab hold of their own arm in a similar way too. Most students initially resist but many will eventually comply if for no other reason than they're curious. Once the student has hold of their own arm, you can ask with a smile: "Good! Now do you think you can keep a grip on yourself?" As you can imagine, many formerly agitated students will break into a giggle or smile.

  •  


    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.


How to Help Children and Teens Cope with the Violence and Tragedy of the CT Massacre

 

behavior management blog

teacher help
 

SPECIAL ISSUE:

How to Help Children and Teens
Cope with the Violence and Tragedy
of the CT Massacre

 

rwteach2

Youth Change Workshops is based outside Portland, Oregon, 30 miles from the Tuesday, December 11 mall shooting. I am Ruth Herman Wells, Director of Youth Change. I grew up just 75 minutes away from Friday's shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT. Even though I have devoted my life to helping schools and teachers work with students who struggle with problems like coping with trauma and tragedy, like you, I was knocked to the ground by the two horrific shooting massacres. Because I had ties to both shooting sites, the horror seemed very personal and close to home. Many of you may have had a similar reaction.

After 911 and Katrina, I was asked to help many schools and teaching staffs to learn how to best recover from the traumatic events in those regions. Since that time, research into the brain has really advanced, and mental health counselors now have a bit better understanding of what to do– and not do– to help children cope with and rebound from extreme tragedy like last week's deadly violence. Those new insights are incorporated into the guide below.

The guide is intended for use by teachers, counselors, and other adults who may be struggling to understand what to do in the aftermath of the horror at Sandy Hook. This guide covers K-12 students, and both students with pre-existing challenges, and those without. The guide is intended for use with students who were in proximity to the tragedies, as well as those who were not in proximity, but still deeply affected.

Youth Change Workshops exists for one purpose: To help educators, mental health professionals, and other youth professionals to help troubled youth. In addition to the help offered in this how-to guide, Youth Change is available to assist you further (without charge). You can reply to this email, call us at 503.982.4220, reach us via our Contact page, or click on the Live Expert Help icon that is at the bottom right corner of every page on our website, http://www.youthchg.com. This guide is no substitute for consulting a local mental health professional, which you are legally bound to do if you suspect a child may be at risk of serious harm or self-harm.

 

A Dozen New Guidelines:

How to Help Children and Teens
Cope with Extreme Violence and Tragedy

1. Don't Board the Upsetting Thought Train

For children who are having trouble managing their thoughts following the week of violence: Have the child look at the upsetting thought and figure out "if that thought was a train, where would it take me?" If the answer is that the child would end up upset, suggest the child not board that train. Teach children they are not their thoughts; they have the power to control what they are thinking. Recent research by psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Siegel and others suggests we have more ability to manage our upsetting thoughts than previously believed.

2. Who is in Charge of the Thought Train?

Children tend to say "I had this upsetting thought…" New research by Dr. Siegel indicates that it is critical to teach children that they aren't their thoughts, that they have a choice about whether to pursue thoughts that upset them. So, teach children and teens to say instead: "My mind offered me this thought…" That distinction reinforces the idea to students that they are not their thoughts. That distinction also helps them remember that they can be the boss/engineer of their "thought train," not a helpless victim of it. Since the hallmark of depression is powerlessness, this strategy is fantastic for use with depressed students.

3. There is No "Right Way" to React to a Horrible Wrong

A Holocaust survivor wrote that "an abnormal reaction to abnormal circumstances is normal." That means there is no "right way" for children and teens to endure. Watch instead for the severity of the reaction, the denial or avoidance. A "different" reaction doesn't necessarily equate with worse, but if the response appears to be extremely problematic– immediately or long term– that's the signal to become concerned.

4. New Research Changes the Old "Talk About It" Guideline

Mental health experts have always believed that children and teens need to have the chance to "talk out" traumatic events. Counselors call this "processing" the event. We used to think that having youngsters talk about– or draw about, write about, or otherwise process the trauma– was extremely important. New brain research puts a new spin on this long-hold truth.

Studies are showing that while venting or expressing about upsetting events is still important, there comes a point when the processing can become ruminating. The key point here is that processing is supposed to help children feel better, but ruminating can really increase depression and sadness.

When does processing become ruminating? That's tough to pinpoint. Perhaps the best indicator is to watch the impact on the child's body and emotions/demeanor. If the youngster is becoming more agitated, anxious, upset, sad, or depressed, that's not good. If the youngster's body is showing increasing or beginning distress, that's also not good. If you want to help your students process the tragedy without causing harm, stick with brief headlines vs prolonged discussions, and permit no graphic comments within groups. Work individually with students who persist in making graphic depictions to avoid upsetting other youngsters.

5. Watch for Fight, Flight and Freeze Reactions

During extremely traumatic times, children tend to either engage in fight, flight or freeze behavior. These behaviors are built-in survival mechanisms common to many species. If you spot these reactions in your students who are struggling, you can educate students about how our bodies can help us during extremely difficult times by using the fight, flight or freeze reaction. Next, you can talk about how bodies also know how to recover. Discuss with students what rebounding might look like for each of them. Alternatively, have students create art, writing or digital projects portraying how they will look when they have rebounded. Having students portray this outcome can help create the outcome.

6. Radically Revised Rules for Trauma Recovery

Historically, for counselors and other mental health providers, the goal after a traumatic incident was typically to help children and teens process the tragedy. New work by Peter Levine and others, suggests that is not the correct goal, and, even worse, can result in re-traumatizing youngsters.

Dr. Levine believes that by focusing on and re-examining what happened, people re-live the scary events. Levine has studied how animals respond to trauma. After a terrifying event, animals "re-set" their nervous system and return to a focus on the present. Based on his research, he recommends that you and your children do not have a prolonged focus on the traumatic incident, i.e. don't extensively process content. Levine believes that counselors and others should focus instead on helping the ramped-up sympathetic nervous system calm.

Not sure he's right? Watch what happens to the bodies of children who are re-telling the traumatic event and/or recapping their reaction to the incident. You may notice that these students get more agitated and more upset. Now, help the child focus on the present, even perhaps momentarily forgetting the event. You can see the body relax. That's why calming the out-of-control sympathetic nervous system should be your goal instead of processing the event.

7. Cancel the Past, Replace it With the Safe Present

So, in an update to accepted practice, it appears that calming the nervous system is becoming the best goal to have when striving to help traumatized children. One of the best tools to calm the agitated nervous system is to have children focus on the present. A quick way to do that: Ask your youngsters to find 3 things that they see and like, and to tell you what they like about each thing. That stops the focus on the scary or the sad, and can help shift each child to the safety of the present. You can teach children to do that procedure on their own: To "cancel" the upsetting past, and to "replace it" with the "safe present."

8. Switch to the New Trail with Repetition, Repetition, Repetition

In the past decade or so, we've come to understand that the brain works a bit like a trail through the forest– the more you walk the trail, the more defined that trail becomes. If you switch to a new trail, that old unused trail can eventually fade out a lot or a little. Even though I am stating the research in very simple ways, that doesn't denigrate the importance of it. This new insight means that researchers know now that people can literally re-wire their brains. Brain researches often quip: Neurons that fire together, wire together. Teach students to switch trails, to leave the painful path behind.

9. When Students Say They Can't Think, Can't Learn

You may already be hearing students say they can't concentrate, they can't think, and they can't learn. There is a lot of truth to those claims. Brain researchers believe that when the sympathetic nervous system is activated, the brain goes into a laser-focus mode. In nature, this single focus helped animals stay safe, but in humans this survival mechanism can persist long after it is needed for physical survival. When the sympathetic nervous system calms, your students' ability to focus, concentrate and learn should return. You can't demand students just get those lost abilities back on command. If you want to try to encourage this process, engage your students in activities that will help soothe and calm the nervous system. Even simple activities like having students talk about happy experiences or events can help.

10. Stop Thinking and Start Acting

For students who seem to really perseverate on the traumatic incidents, help them stop thinking and start taking useful actions. Actions can be anything positive, from starting a collection for the Sandy Hook students to going for a walk instead of sitting and recapitulating the upset. For students who seem to want to "rummage through the trash," teach them to "dump the trash" then take a "clean-up" action.

11. Watch Out for the Con Man

When you teach students to terminate upsetting thoughts or memories, they may tell you they feel insensitive, or callous, or selfish, or petty for not continuing to suffer. Teach students about the "con man" who will trick them into believing that the "Path of Pain" is the only path to be on. Teach students that children should never have to suffer, and any thought that suggests otherwise is just a sneaky Con Man.

12. Finding the Beauty That Still Remains

Understandably, children and adolescents may believe that there is no road back to happiness. After there is some distance in time from the precipitating event, teach students that throughout history, children and teens have triumphed overly seemingly overwhelming adversity, and that their own minds and bodies are equipped to ultimately rebound too. You want to inspire, and offer hope, but without adding any pressure, time frames, or the expectation of universal conformity. Offer students examples of children and teens who have overcome obstacles. Consider using excerpts from Anne Frank's diary to inspire older students to discover in Anne's words, "the beauty still left around you."

Get more information on this topic
Click on keyword; new window opens:

Article Permalink: https://www.youthchg.com/cope-school-violence/

  •  


    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.


Dynamic, Do-Now Devices to Deter Dropouts

 

K-12 education articles


Dynamic, Do-Now
Devices to
Deter Dropouts

 


 

"Dropout Rate Getting Worse." The news coverage revealed that in many states, the dropout rate is worsening. Nationally, the average dropout rate has been about 75% but lately, in some states, as many as a third of students leave school without a diploma. (The Oregonian, 1-27-2012.) That is a lot of lost students at a time when no diploma can mean no job. Fortunately, in this issue, we've got some real eye-opening devices you can use right now to deter dropping out.

workshop trainer Ruth Herman Wells I'm Ruth Herman Wells, M.S., the Director and Trainer for Youth Change Workshops. These dynamic dropout prevention strategies are taken from my live, online, and on-site training workshops, as well as from my Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Youth books and posters.


Teach Potential Dropouts School Pays

Dropout Prevention PosterThis dropout prevention intervention gives potential dropouts a fact that all students should know from Day 1 of kindergarten. All students need to know that school and education deliver dollars. Look at our Poster #168.  You can view additional, similar posters here. The poster says: "Ask me how to earn  $329,000." The answer is hidden in the background; it's the word "diploma" and it's made of money. $329,000 is the amount of  additional income that high school graduates earn in their lives compared to peers who drop out. Use this poster as a discussion-starter by discussing with your students that "diplomas are made of money."


Get this printable dropout prevention poster/worksheet without charge: Do 2 quick steps by 2-19-12:
(1) Click here to tell a colleague about our website; you must use this link to qualify. (2) Click here to email your request to us. We'll send you the link to the item by return email. It's that easy.
If you already "Like" us on Facebook:
Get this freebie on Facebook. Simply click over to our Facebook page
and get this item plus hundreds of other no-charge goodies.

 

Improved Dropout Prevention Methods


Teach Potential Dropouts Dropping Out = Doing Without

Ask students to imagine they had to give up 1/3 of their home. Ask them to choose which rooms they would be willing to give up. Let students make jokes about what it would be like living without a bathroom or kitchen, for example, and help the participants to ultimately determine that they would prefer to not give up any rooms in their home. At some point, one of your students will ask "What is the point of the discussion?" You can answer: "Dropouts can typically afford about 2/3 of a home. If you don't want to live without a bathroom or kitchen, consider staying in school." For a follow-up intervention, write on the board then discuss: "Dropping Out = Doing Without."


Teach Potential Dropouts Dropping Out is No Joke

It is important to use a huge array of intervention styles if you are going to successfully maximize your outreach and impact as many potential dropouts as possible. That's why we offer you an arsenal of different types of interventions. Humor often can sometimes reach students who are unaffected by conventional interventions. Here is a quick joke that shows dropping out is no joke: "Students often make fun of peers who do well in school. What do you call a nerd in five years? Answer: Boss."


If you want a follow-up intervention, discuss: "Dropping Out is No Joke," and assist your participants to identify some of the most unfunny realities that dropouts may face in the future. Be sure to include speculation on what unfunny realities could actually happen in the future that we don't know about now. For example, perhaps restaurants will use tablet  computers for diners to place their orders, eliminating the need for waiters and waitresses.

 

Teach Potential Dropouts Find Out Now What You'll Learn Later

Write the following sentence on the board: "Bila kuangalia hili hadi mahali popote, kama unaweza kutafsiri sentensi hii kwa usahihi, Mimi nitakupa $ 20" then ask students to tell you what it means. When students get frustrated, point out that this is what life is often like for dropouts because they learn less than everyone else who stays in school long enough to graduate. Discuss with the class that dropping out now leaves you vulnerable later.

The sentence says in Swahili: "Without looking this up anywhere, if you can translate this sentence correctly, I will give you $20." After sharing the translation, ask students what else people can miss when they lack basic  survival tools.

For an effective, additional follow-up, use the next intervention, shown below.


Teach Potential Dropouts Can You Speak the Language of High Tech Planet?

This activity is the perfect follow-up for the preceding intervention, shown directly above. This strategy tests students ability to speak the language they will need on our high tech planet. Ask students to translate these high tech terms that will be needed for employment and daily life: ISM, SSL, spoofing, protocol, PDF. After discussing the answers with students, help your participants determine if they are ready now to speak the language on our high tech planet, or if they need to stay in school longer.

Here are the answers: ISM is an Information Systems Manager, and a very fast-growing job, as well as the person you need to help you with problems with your computer and internet connection. SSL is the abbreviation used to denote a secure internet connection that protects your credit card number from being stolen. Spoofing means being tricked on the internet, usually by a bogus email that appears to be from your bank or credit card company. Protocol is the specific set of communication rules that govern computer use, like FTP for uploading files, and http for creating websites. PDF is an abbreviation for the type of file that is the most common way to
share documents on the internet, including resumes and job applications.

 

  •  


    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 Apathy-Busters: Turnaround Bad Attitudes With These Innovative Interventions

 

teacher blog articles


The Best
Apathy-Busters:


Turnaround Bad Attitudes
With These Innovative Interventions

 

 

If you are seeing more and more apathetic and negative students, you will love the use-now strategies included in this issue. These innovative, attention-grabbing methods are especially designed to work when conventional approaches fail, and were developed to turnaround even the most negative, entrenched child or teen. I'm Ruth Herman Wells, M.S., the Director and Trainer for Youth Change Workshops, and these dynamic strategies are taken from my live, online, and on-site training workshops, as well as from my Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Youth books and posters.
 

Student Apathy Strategies


Strategy #1

 

School Pays Off

Student apathy posterApathetic students might see more value to school if they knew the pay-off for education. You can use this method verbally, as a poster, as a discussion starter, or as an activity. At left, you can see the intervention. It's our Poster #45. You can view additional, similar posters here.
The poster says: Graduates accept free education and a free diploma so they earn $329,000 more than everybody else. Each diploma doubles the dollars."

 

Strategy #2

 

Reach Beyond the Bluster

For kids who are "wrapped in barbed wire," their apathy and harshness hiding a very gentle and vulnerable child, ask them to decide which they would rather have: "a bruised heart or a boxed heart?" This can be a very effective intervention strategy with students who are guarded and prickly due to negative experiences with adults who are supposed to be consistent, caring role models. A follow-up activity: have the student create art or poetry illustrating some of the phrases shown in quotes above. This activity is best done one-to-one, in small groups, or used by counselors and mental health professionals.


Strategy #3

 

Reality Wins All Arguments

While lots of youngsters complain about their circumstances, some kids complain a lot and often about where they ended up. Some of these youngsters have plenty of legitimate reasons to complain, and some of
them don't. Either way, you can encourage your discouraged complainers to "bloom where they're planted." This is a wonderful intervention for several populations. For example, this approach has worked well with foster kids who are not happy to be moving a new foster care placement. The lyrical phrases shown above work really well as the basis for illustrations by students. Poetry, essays, collages, and other creative activities can also produce some very inspiring, memorable results, and initiate the change you want to engender.

 

Strategy #4

 

Hey, It's Me Plus 25

If you work with youngsters so apathetic or discouraged that they can't really imagine ever having a positive future, or any future at all, ask them to write an email or letter to you as though 25 years have elapsed. In the letter, students can describe what happened to them since they last saw you. For non-writers, they can draw or make a video or audio recording instead of writing, or, you can write for them. Students can make blog entries if they prefer that to a simple letter or email. Here's a variation for students who really resist this strategy: Have them make the letter be about someone else, perhaps a friend or someone they admire or feel neutral about. Once the letter is complete, you will have indirectly learned a lot about the letter's creator, even though the document is ostensibly about a third party. For students, who say "they don't care," ask them to complete the task as if they did care (even though they say they don't care).

 

Strategy #5

 

You Choose

Put the following phrase on the board and ask students to discuss: "This strategy is especially useful for children and youth who hurt themselves, abuse substances, are in gangs, or self-endanger. For younger students and for some other youngsters, you may wish to change the phrase to be a bit gentler. You can use this phrasing instead: "The same power you have to hurt yourself, you have to help yourself." Emotions fuel behaviors. The more you can help students manage their emotions, the less those emotions will interfere with school and education.


Strategy #6

 

When Crime Doesn't Pay

For kids who plan to use illegal activities as their source of future income, you can have a lot of impact by pointing out some surprising realities of your local, state and federal laws. For example, depending on which laws they break, offenders can lose not only the money gained by illegal actions, but also their home, possessions, and vehicles. Under some federal laws, the homes and possessions of relatives and friends may be seized even if these items weren't directly involved in the commission of the crime. It's important to stay aware that illegal activities are not near as lucrative as your kids tell you. Auto theft generates about $18,000 per year, for example, less than what a typical high school grad earns. Even worse, the authorities can take anything related to the auto theft while no one can just take away the graduate's money.
 

  •  


    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.

  •  


    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.


Teaching in Times of Crisis: What Every Educator Needs to Know

classroom management blog


Teaching in Times of Crisis:
What Every Educator Needs to Know

 


News and graphic images of the recent disasters in Japan are everywhere right now. While some of your youngsters are unaffected by the tragedy, your troubled students are at high risk to deteriorate emotionally, socially, and academically– even when the crises are occurring a world away. If you're an educator, it's critical to successful classroom management and instruction, that you know which of your students are at risk, and what you should do to prevent, moderate, and manage these concerns.

workshop trainer Ruth Herman WellsI'm Youth Change Workshop's founder and trainer, Ruth Herman Wells, M.S. In this issue, we've identified the top questions that K-12 educators ask me about troubled students, along with my best answers. For educators in 2011, updating your skills is critical at a time when mental health counselors are routinely cut from school budgets. All of us here at Youth Change understand that today's educators are expected to manage more troubled students with fewer resources. If you still have questions about your troubled students after reading this magazine issue, Youth Change's no-fee Live Expert Help page is standing by ready to answer your remaining concerns.

 

HOW CAN I TELL THE DIFFERENCE
BETWEEN "NORMAL" FEAR AND OBSESSION?

You can't always tell the difference initially, but time will often give you the answer. While most children move on, or find ways to adapt, troubled students who continue to be fearful may have a problem. You can also watch for the degree of fear vs peers' reactions. Stressed children are like rubber bands. They only stretch so far before they lose their resiliency. You can use a rubber band as a visual aid to help children or parents understand "overreactions" to the Japanese disasters.

 

WHAT ARE SOME METHODS TO HELP CHILDREN
WHO ARE OBSESSIVELY WORRYING?

For younger children, use a map or globe to show the distance between the child and the disasters. Also, stress how the adults will do their best to ensure safety, and consider gently reviewing earthquake and disaster procedures in an age-appropriate manner. Older kids can be encouraged to write poetry, make collages, counsel younger children, donate a portion of their allowance to the relief efforts, volunteer to give blood,donate time to a relief agency, or make posters that encourage Japan to triumph over all the adversity they face. You can also have students undertake a fund raising project, or become involved in the many websites that have been created to help or voice support for Japan. Have students read about Anne Frank, Martin Luther King Jr., Maya Angelou, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and others who found courage during frightening times. Remember that the hallmark of depression is often a feeling of powerlessness, so try to use activities that can reduce that feeling.

 

WHAT OTHER METHODS CAN YOU SUGGEST THAT WON'T DO ANY HARM AND MIGHT HELP?

For teens and children who are worrying nonstop, to the detriment of school and other crucial activities, have the child draw or write their fears, then put them in an envelope, then tell the student that you will worry about them for a while. If permitted, give the child a positive phrase or saying they can recite, such as the Alcoholics Anonymous serenity prayer: "Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

 

WHAT DO I SAY TO VERY FRIGHTENED CHILDREN ABOUT FEAR
WITHOUT SOUNDING MACHO OR UNREALISTIC?

You can say that fear is normal and unavoidable. Even heroes feel fear. Everyone does. Fear keeps you from walking out in traffic. Not recommended to say: "You're big enough not to be scared." Comments like that can help aim kids towards ulcers, substance abuse, and night terrors. Tell them: We all feel what we feel so we might as well all accept it. What can we control? How we respond to the fear. Being overwhelmed by fear at times is normal. The goal to suggest: accept the fear but don't let it run your life. One more idea: Teach students that they are the boss of their brains, and not to let their brain "bully" them with upsetting thoughts. Be sure to encourage students to avoid graphic images and broadcasts of the devastation, and engage their parents if necessary.

 

WHAT DO I DO IF
NONE OF THESE IDEAS WORK
TO ALLEVIATE THE CONSTANT WORRY AND FEAR?

Worst case scenario: Teach children to think "Cancel" every time they have upsetting thoughts. Alert parents and your supervisor to children who appear to be deeply troubled, and do your best to locate mental health consultation. It is critical that you moderate the academic demands on a deeply frightened child, or else you run the risk that like an over-stretched rubber band that has lost it's resiliency, the child can snap. Your goal for the classroom should be to strike the balance between being sensitive to the child's fears and your mission to educate.

 

  •  


    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.


Human Pressure Cookers: If Anguish Turns Violent Do You Know What to Do?

 

school discipline blog for teachers


Human Pressure Cookers
If Anguish Turns Violent
Do You Know What to Do?

 


workshop trainer Ruth Herman WellsIn 2005, annual state-wide testing in Texas included
an essay section. Of the one million essays submitted, nearly 700 youngsters wrote about their own abuse, neglect or rape (USA Today, March 28, 2005). Around the same time, The New York Times suggested that a recent Minnesota school shooting may have occurred because "anguish turned homicidal." In the next sentence, they wrote: "Teachers are ill-prepared to identify and address the normal emotional difficulties of their students, much less the aberrational ones." Further, they correctly observe that "school counselors, who are better suited for the task, are severely outnumbered."

Those words from 2005 carry even more weight 6 years later as counselors are often among the first staff jettisoned in the ubiquitous layoffs of our current difficult economic times.

For more than two decades, I have criss-crossed North America training teachers, counselors, principals and other youth workers to better understand and assist troubled youth and children. I'm Ruth Herman Wells, M.S., Director of Youth Change. For all those years, I have been saying over and over, in school after school, in city after city, that anguish can easily become rage.

However, the media continues to simplistically lump together all students who engage in serious school violence such as school shootings, and repeatedly names bullying as the sole cause of the extreme behavior. That over-simplified sound bite has made my job much harder because bullying is often not the sole– or even primary– contributing force that spurred tragedy.

The central force was the developing rage and on-going depression. The
simplistic focus on bullying means that quiet anguish that doesn't involve bullying, can more easily pass unnoticed by adults and any opportunity for prevention is lost. It is very discouraging that in my workshops, most teachers, principals, counselors, and other youth workers do cite bullying as the main cause of school shootings. In the 2005 Minnesota case, the young shooter was a pressure cooker. The signs of depression, alienation and frustration were there to see; and bullying may not have been a factor at all.

It is time for youth professionals to refine how they view school shooters. By subscribing to media characterizations that over-emphasize bullying, youth workers are more likely to miss the most important clues: depression, anguish and frustration. These powerhouse emotions can easily occur without any bullying.

If you want to become better prepared to notice and understand youngsters who are human pressure cookers, there is only one option. If your background does not include mental health basics, now is the time to upgrade your skills. Concern about a potential tragedy at your site is not the sole reason that non-mental health workers must finally broaden their expertise. The real reason that these youth professionals must become more skilled in basic mental health methods is that for every sad child who does pick up a gun, there are hundreds more who struggle and suffer more quietly. We now know that by 2005 there were at least 700 of them in Texas.

Children in Oregon have also confessed distress in that state's essay exam. Some of those sad stories lacked proper punctuation, or had sub-standard sentence structure, and ultimately received failing grades. A child tells of beatings or a recent rape, or writes of homelessness, or a lost parent. Not only will the cry for help fail to be answered, the cry for help itself is graded as failing.

In 2005 in Texas, a student died the day before the state-wide exam was scheduled. The school staff asked to delay the exam to allow the children time to grieve. The students were nonetheless required to take the test, seated next to the empty desk of their newly dead friend and classmate.

High stakes testing mania has become the center of the education universe. It consumes countless dollars, aggressively devours teachers' time, and diminishes the importance of every other educational activity. If a teacher wants to keep her job, she must produce the right testing numbers. With eyes firmly focused on testing, teachers are left precious little time to even think, never mind notice children's anguish.

Testing is most certainly not the cause of this country's problems with extreme school violence, but testing has most certainly contributed to the problem. Flunking cry for help essays, compelling testing even hours after death, and our relentless pursuit of magic numbers are just a few of the ways that we sacrifice children's humanity to the gods of testing.

If we put a mere 10% of the effort we devote to testing mania, into noticing and helping deeply troubled children, perhaps we could stop some of the shootings before they occur. Further, since you can't push profoundly distressed children to perform well on tests anyway, perhaps by noticing and attending to the distress, many sad children would accomplish more academically.

 

How Prepared is Your School to Notice and Help

Troubled Children?


How do you know if your team is properly noticing and helping distressed students? Further below is a quick litmus test to determine if your team has a solid, basic mental health knowledge base, plus the inclination and willingness to notice deeply depressed youngsters who might one day explode; brief answers are provided as applicable:

1. Can your staff name the 3 students at highest risk of engaging in
extreme violence?
Answer: Conduct disorders; thought disorders; extreme agitated,
depressed kids.


2. Conventional behavior management methods don't work with the
three students identified in Question #1. Does your staff know how they must intervene differently with each of those three types of students?


3. Can your staff name the symptoms of major, clinical depression, and the three methods that work best to prevent explosive rage?
Answer: There are a vast array of symptoms that can signal depression. While only mental health professionals can diagnose,
all youth workers can watch for sad moods especially without
apparent cause, diminished enthusiasm, anxiety, hopelessness,
feelings of worthlessness, helplessness, problems with concentration, changes in sleep, changes in weight, changes in
appetite, and suicidal gesturing or comments. These are a few
of the most common signs. The best methods to address
depression, especially with the help of your school counselor:
exercise, talking and carefully monitored anti-depressants.


4. Can your staff name the most important methods to use– and not
use– with conduct disordered students?
Answer: The single most important method is to keep the costs
of misbehavior high, and the benefits low. For diagnosed
conduct disorders, all conventional, relationship-based
approaches should be discontinued since they often make the
problems worse while failing to produce improvement. If you
have used conventional methods to rein in conduct disordered
students, you may have ended up feeling that "nothing works"
to control their misbehavior.


5. Is there a mechanism at your site or within your community to
ensure that all children are noticed by their teacher, mentor or other
adult so that warning signs (like violent website postings, essays
expressing distress, threatening remarks, alienation, and desperation)
are not missed?


6. Candidly speaking, what would your staff say is the highest priority at your site?
Answer: Academic achievement and high testing scores really
shouldn't be the top answer in our current violent times. The top answer offered by your team should be site safety, or else safety is not the priority that it must be in our current violent times. Educational goals will quickly assume lower status if your team ever loses students or staff in a shooting or other tragedy. School safety should be the one thing that is more important than anything else that occurs within the walls of your school. Without school safety, nothing else matters.

  •  


    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.


Stop Power Struggles Now: Fix the Nix-Master to Say “Yes” Faster

 

classroom management blog


Stop Power Struggles Now:
Fix the Nix-Master to Say "Yes" Faster

 


student who says noDo you know a Nix-Master?

Sure you do. It's the child who says "no"
to nearly anything.

Some of these children who engage in power struggles, are loud and defiant. Others are quietly and politely non-compliant.

Whether they're loud or quiet, they're not doing what they're asked to do.

No adult ever won a power struggle with a child, and no adult ever will.
The minute you get into a power struggle with a child, you've already lost.

Instead, choose interventions that work around the resistance. Nearly nonstop nay-saying is a normal part of development that prepares teens to become independent. Here are techniques to use with youth or children who evidence normal non-compliance, and those who use behaviors that go well beyond "typical" into seriously defiant:
 

Solutions for Defiance & Power Struggles
DISRUPT STUDENTS' BELIEFS ABOUT
DEFIANCE & POWER STRUGGLES

Defying authority can become the top issue above all else.

Strategies: Ask students to list the most important things they want in
life. Defying authority will not be listed. Identify to defiant students that
they devote much time and energy to low/no priority issues while
jeopardizing their top goals. Have students cross out goals that defiance
could ruin. This intervention is especially good with children who have
conduct disorder, and only care about what they get for me-me-me.


Solutions for Defiance & Power Struggles
CONVINCE STUDENTS THAT DEFIANCE
& POWER STRUGGLES HARM THEM

Help students realize that compliance is not arbitrary but essential.

Strategies: Ask the students to determine the consequences if
everyone was non-compliant whenever they wished. Ask what would
happen if everybody ignored stop signs, took every item they wanted,
blocked traffic, refused to pay taxes, or could enter your house without
your okay, or simply walk away with your cell phone or backpack.

 

Solutions for Defiance & Power Struggles
DISRUPT STUDENTS' BELIEFS ABOUT
DEFIANCE & POWER STRUGGLES

Defying authority can become the top issue above all else.

Strategies: Ask students to list the most important things they want in
life. Defying authority will not be listed. Identify to defiant students that
they devote much time and energy to low/no priority issues while
jeopardizing their top goals. Have students cross out goals that defiance
could ruin. This intervention is especially good with children who have
conduct disorder, and only care about what they get for me-me-me.


Solutions for Defiance & Power Struggles
CONVINCE STUDENTS THAT DEFIANCE
& POWER STRUGGLES HARM THEM

Help students realize that compliance is not arbitrary but essential.

Strategies: Ask the students to determine the consequences if
everyone was non-compliant whenever they wished. Ask what would
happen if everybody ignored stop signs, took every item they wanted,
blocked traffic, refused to pay taxes, or could enter your house without
your okay, or simply walk away with your cell phone or backpack.


Solutions for Defiance & Power Struggles
CONVINCE STUDENTS THAT DEFIANCE
& POWER STRUGGLES HARM THEM

Who would you work harder for– the boss who is a dictator or the boss
who is a participatory manager? Most of us, whether adults or kids,
want to have a say at work or school. Allowing youth input prepares
them for the self-management they must do throughout life when
supervising adults aren't present to provide guidance.

Strategies: To win a great prize, have students play Tic Tac Toe
without rules. They will discover that games won't work without rules.
Now, have a classroom without rules and a defiant youth as teacher.
Role reversals offer lightening fast ways for defiant youth to get a
jolting look at their own problem behavior. You're going to love the
results these intervention strategies deliver.


Solutions for Defiance & Power Struggles
IT DEPENDS ON YOU

Here's a fast device that will never let you down.

Strategies: When a student starts to power struggle, think to
youself:"Take my sails out of their wind," then act accordingly.
It takes two to power struggle. You can control one of the two.

 

  •  


    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.


How to Help Bullied, Potentially Suicidal Students

 

classroom management blog

 

How to Help Bullied,
Potentially Suicidal Students

 


workshop trainer Ruth Herman WellsIt's been the top story in the news: bullied students committing suicide
because they can't cope with the bullying.

I'm educational workshop instructor Ruth Herman Wells, M.S. with ideas that can help right away.

Even veteran counselors and social workers worry they might not always notice every student who is so distressed that they might engage in serious self-harm, but the reality is that the front line of "first responders" is actually made up of educators, who may not have even have mental health expertise.

Further, many educators may have dozens and dozens of students they see each day. That glimpse into a young person's world may not be enough for a teacher to become aware that a student is in serious emotional distress. Especially as schools increase teacher-student ratios, effectively tracking emotionally fragile students becomes harder and harder for even the most dedicated, aware educator.

Despite the significant obstacles educators face when working with deeply troubled youngsters, none of us ever want to wonder if we did absolutely everything we could to spot and stop bullying, and the staggering consequences that can follow. It is a tough, new job to effectively help bullied students.

This issue of our magazine is designed to help you be as pro-active as possible to prevent a tragedy at your site, but by no means is  this short tutorial comprehensive, so if you suspect safety issues, tell your administrator immediately. In the meantime, you can strive to better equip yourself, your students, and your school to be a place where bullying and ensuing tragedies are less likely to happen. This article is a first step in that effort to help bullied students.

For more help, come to our Seattle or Portland Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Youth Workshop (click).

Bad budget? We've got work-study slots if you need financial aid. Call 800.545.5736 for details.

You can also take the distance learning workshop (click), or schedule us to provide a professional development inservice at your site. We also have free online articles, tutorials, strategies and more throughout our site.
 

New Methods to Help Bullied Students Now
 

EDUCATE VICTIMS
AND POTENTIAL VICTIMS


poster for suicidal studentsA good place to start is by educating vulnerable students on how and when to ask for help from adults.

It may seem obvious to you that a child would seek aid, but to the child the bullying can just seem so overwhelming,
massive, and permanent, that the child can feel there is no useful help out there. The printable poster (Poster 248) makes a good visual that can be an on-going reminder.

The resource can also be used as a worksheet to start off a
discussion of issues like these: "Will adults know how to help? " and "What should you do if you feel so hopeless that you want to hurt yourself?"

Gear the discussion to fit the age of your students, but have the discussion right away. Suicides often seem to engender more suicides, and that is why you need to tackle this safety issue right away.

 

STOP USING INEFFECTIVE APPROACHES TO
CONTROL BULLIES


anti-bullying poster 90If only popularity was the best gauge of a method's
effectiveness. The truth is that many very popular methods that are commonly used to rein in bullies are incredibly ineffective and outdated.

Many bullies are not capable of developing a "normal" conscience and compassion, yet many bullying intervention methods– like character ed– rely on students having those traits, or being able to learn them. If you truly want to become more effective at controlling bullies, you must switch to more up-to-date
interventions that don't require a conscience or compassion in order to have impact.

Here's a few examples of strategies that don't rely on the bully being able to have or rapidly develop compassion. Ask the bully to make a list of all the activities that he wants to do in life, then have the youngster go through the list and cross out all the items that "go well" with bullying. For example, the student may list his desire to be a truck driver. Ask the student to consider if the trucking company boss or the truck dispatcher is going to want to want to take time to deal with a driver who bullies dispatchers, co-workers, customers, or superiors. If the student resists, have the student actually talk to a truck company boss or dispatcher, and ask. If the student says "But I won't bully on the job," challenge the student to prove it by stopping bullying now for
one month. If the student can't or won't stop, ask the student who else will help him learn how to be different by the time he's on the job.

Use the expression "Bully Today. Bully Tomorrow." Notice how all these techniques show the bully that by hurting others, she is hurting herself. It is critical that all the interventions you use with bullies contain that element. Bullies may never care about others, but they almost always care about "Me-Me-Me." Use that to reduce the bullying behavior by convincing the bully "I can't hurt others without hurting me." Our Poster #090 (shown above) is another good example of how the bully will only alter her behavior when she sees it's in her own interest to do so. To order this bully prevention poster for $8, click here.
 

WORK WITH BOTH BULLIES
AND BULLIED STUDENTS

Most schools tend to focus on the bully. While a focus on the bully is certainly essential, since it takes two for the situation to occur, it is as important to work with the victim as it is to work with the bully. If you fail to assist the victim to develop the skills, motivation, and attitude needed to avoid further victimization, you are failing to use half the tools you have available.

To leave all the accountability with the bully– who has a demonstrated record of not being trustworthy or compassionate– is unwise, potentially dangerous, and
inappropriate.

It is always critical that you upgrade the victim's skills to prevent and manage victimization. To not do so could be considered negligent. To upgrade the bullied student's skills, focus on spotting aggression before it starts, what to say or do to avoid victimization, where to go, where to never go, and so on. But the recent student suicides are a reminder that adults have to help victims cope. Learning to cope  emotionally may be as important– perhaps more important– than just learning bullying prevention and survival skills.

Create a worksheet entitled "The Consequences of My Actions." This intervention can be used effectively with both bullies and bullied students. Design the worksheet to have three columns. In Column 1, students list their Behaviors such as bullying or being bullied.

In Column 2 and 3, they list the Money Cost and the Pain Cost of those behaviors.

For bullies, the worksheet captures the consequences of bullying, and how those consequences can be so distasteful that it can make bullying less appealing. For bullied students, this worksheet can show what positive outcome can happen when these youngsters learn and use new skills to actively avoid bullying. This worksheet also shows bullied students how failing to take protective steps can predictably yield poor results.

The hallmark of depression is powerlessness. This worksheet can help bullied students feel that their actions can have impact and power. For bullied students, this worksheet can help convince them to learn and use new skills, while also helping to combat the feelings of powerlessness that lead to depression and potentially, to desperate behaviors.

If you prefer to order this worksheet, purchase our Coping Skills Sampler book here.

 

  •  


    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.


Inspirational Apathy-Buster Strategies That Inspire Apathetic Students to Aspire

 

classroom management blog

 

Inspirational
Apathy-Buster Strategies
That Inspire Apathetic Students to Aspire

 

 

If you've got apathetic students, we've got fantastic strategies for them.

workshop trainer Ruth Herman WellsThis is Ruth Herman Wells, M.S., author of many books and posters for apathetic students. We have so many awesome strategies to turnaround apathy, that it's hard to pick just a few favorite interventions for this issue. I hope you enjoy the strategies I've picked out for you and your students.

 

INSPIRE SELF-DESTRUCTIVE STUDENTS

poster for apathetic studentsIt can be tough to inspire students who are "anti-self" but this creative intervention can be a good start. The quote on the worksheet has been attributed to the late Les Paul. It says "The same power you have to destroy yourself, you have to save yourself." You can use this device verbally; it can quickly start a productive discussion. You could also enlarge the worksheet into a poster.

Here is a wonderful alternative activity: Ask your students to research the life of Les Paul, who overcome many challenges to reach great heights as a musician and inventor.

You can order Poster #166 here.


INSPIRE UNMOTIVATED STUDENTS

motivational classroom posterThe little thumbnail picture at left does not adequately capture the special graphic effects on this worksheet. When viewed at full size, the word "DIPLOMA" appears more hidden in the background, creating a bit of a subliminal effect. When students realize that the background also contains the answer to the sentence featured on the poster, they may have an "Aha!" moment that you might not accomplish with a more straightforward approach.

This intervention hinges on the reality that each degree doubles the dollars that students earn. A high school diploma tends to generate about $329,000 more income for graduates compared to dropouts. This handout highlights that in a very memorable fashion.

If you read this worksheet to young students and non-readers, this intervention can work with almost everyone. This device will work best as a worksheet but you can also use the information verbally. If you prefer experiential approaches, use $329,000 in play money to make the activity more vivid.

You can have students use art supplies or computer design programs to make diplomas out of money, or order Poster 168 here.

 

INSPIRE HONESTY

You are going to love this enjoyable, potent activity that can reduce lying. While this device works with almost any age group, it won't be useful to use with the 11-14% of your class that may be conduct disordered. However, this terrific experiential activity can have a lot of impact on the balance of your students.

To conduct this activity, you need lots of big books, or other heavy objects. Dictionaries work really well. Before starting, remind students of the requirement for you to report any disclosures that include safety concerns.

To begin the activity, initiate a discussion of lying. Part way into the discussion, ask for a student to volunteer to help with a demonstration. Select a student who has already revealed a lot of past lies– but be sure to pick a youngster who revealed lies that are not serious, consequential, or personal. Do not select youngsters who reveal lies that are serious, intimate, or personal. Ask that student to briefly re-state the first lie. As they speak, hand them the first big book.

Ask the student to say their second lie, and hand them another book. Continue the process until the student is having great difficulty holding all the books, or until the student drops some books, or the student declines to continue.

Discuss with the class how lies weigh you down until they become impossible to carry. Thanks to special ed teacher, Chris Wells for this creative, fun device.

 

INSPIRE SAD STUDENTS

Students often face struggles that their teachers and counselors can only imagine. Many students don't disclose the nature of their distress, and that makes it very hard to intervene.

Here is a powerful intervention that can help you better understand what your students face. If you have non-writers, you can do the writing portion of this activity as each youngster dictates to you.

Ask students to capture their year as if they were writing a Twitter tweet, which is just 140 characters. Reducing a year to 140 characters may reveal information that could be more readily hidden in conversation. Once you know more about the child's world view, you will have a better idea how to reach and inspire them.

You can adapt this idea to Facebook by asking students to give a several sentence long status update summarizing their year. You may permit some students to use graphics or music instead of just words. Before using this intervention, be sure to remind students that if they reveal abusive situations, that you are required to take protective action.

This intervention is better suited for use by counselors; if you are not a counselor, consult with one before using the device.

  •  


    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.