Must-Know Strategies for the 5 Most Common Student Mental Health Problems

 

teacher classroom management blog

 

Must-Know Strategies

for the

5 Most Common

Student Mental Health Problems

 
 

 

student mental healthThere is no question that you are seeing many more student mental health problems than ever before. Many educators typically lack extensive or even basic training on student mental health problems and end up lacking many or all of the honed, more effective strategies and tools that juvenile mental health professionals have developed. This how-to article for educators and other non-mental health professionals is designed to remedy that oversight as much as possible given the limited space we have for a complex topic. This Top 5 list of student mental health problems is based on the feedback of the teachers, principals, school counselors and special educators that have attended our in-person Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Youth Workshops recently. (You can attend too as our next live conference is coming up soon in Seattle on April 18-19, 2019 — and, even better, our conference scholarships are still open! Just call 800.545.5736 to grab one now.)

Hello from Youth Change Director Ruth Herman Wells, M.S. I have spent my career teaching about key student mental health problems and diagnoses to educators and other non-mental health professionals. I am hoping that you will be able to immediately use the information included in this important article for teachers, principals, special educators and other non-mental health professionals who work with children and teens. Even though non-mental health professionals can’t diagnose, the how-to article below is intended to give you the language to better understand, manage and communicate about your students who are struggling with their emotions and/or thoughts.

 

Must-Know Strategies

for the

5 Most Common

Student Mental Health Problems

 

student with conduct disorder1. CONDUCT DISORDER

If you don’t know this disorder backwards and forwards and inside and out, then you are a vulnerable target for your most seriously acting-out students. In our workshops, we spend hours and hours on this disorder because the student who has this disorder is normally by far your most impossible-to-manage student– and this disorder is very common. Affecting an estimated 11-14% of your students, this disorder means that the child or teen is wired differently than other students. Lacking remorse, empathy and relationship capacity, this child’s signature is his extreme acting-out. That was not a misplaced pronoun. “He” is very often a he, not a she. Girls don’t very commonly have this disorder but they can have it, and when they do, their behavior is often beyond extreme.

Here are some passable examples of this disorder from popular culture: J.R. Ewing from the TV show Dallas, Sid the boy in the first Toy Story movie, and Eddie Haskell from Leave It to Beaver. Everyday, ordinary interventions always fail with this population and generally make the situation worse. That means that your go-to interventions that work well or okay with other students, routinely let you down with this population. That’s why working successfully with children who have or may have conduct disorder requires that you use specialized interventions that are different from what you normally use. Since this youngster lacks a heart and relationship capacity, strategies that require empathy or compassion will always fail. There is no way I can capture this problem for you in this tiny space but there are countless free articles on our site to guide you, plus online courses and books. Go to our free, introductory Conduct Disorder mental health article to learn more about this common, serious disorder and to discover the kinds of strategies that must be used– and those that must never be used– with this very difficult-to-control student.

 

student mental health problem

2. CLINICAL DEPRESSION

Sure, lots and lots of adolescents are depressed but that’s not clinical depression. Clinical depression is more serious, more prolonged and more difficult than ordinary adolescent angst. For all mental health diagnoses, a mental health or health professional is needed to diagnose, but whether or not you can diagnose, you can certainly adjust how you work with children and teens who appear to be clinically depressed. The top go-to step for seriously depressed children and teens is working with  a mental health clinician. Next, after that, there are three major strategies that have been shown to be effective. First, depressed students often can benefit from having the chance to vent their concerns. Almost any adult can do a least some listening. Second, exercise, mindfulness training and meditation offer depressed students really useful tools. Along the same line, teaching students how to better manage their upsetting thoughts, can have a lot of value. The third strategy to consider is to arrange with the family for an anti-depressant but there is a risk of self-harm for this option, and this option can be difficult to set up. Studies suggest all three methods together work better than any of the strategies separately.

Depression needs to be taken seriously and it can definitely spur students to behaviors that are very concerning. As a society we are more attuned to paying attention to acting out, not giving as much notice to the more subtle, less obvious, less overt, more quiet phenomena of depression. Don’t let that cultural norm prevent you from devoting time to students whose behavior may be acceptable but their emotional functioning may still be of great concern. Depressed students are just as worthy and needing of your attention as students who command your attention with acting-out behavior. Read more about how to help students who face clinical depression in our free how-to articles.

 

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bipolar disorder

3. BIPOLAR DISORDER

I am including this student mental health problem here not because it is a very common disorder; it’s actually not as common as many other childhood and teen disorders. I am including it because so many of the teachers and principals that I see in my workshops and at conferences, are confused about what this disorder is all about. This disorder used to be called Manic-Depression and I think that old title was really helpful to remind non-mental health workers what this problems is all about. This disorder means that the child or teen gets really depressed then suddenly starts being out-of-control with little in between. They go from 0 miles an hour to 150 miles an hour in a flash. It is a very unpleasant, distressing disorder that can be extremely hard to manage unless the family gets a diagnosis and follows through very carefully on medication. Medication is the first, second and third best strategy. That is my silly way of saying that medication is just incredibly important.

I’m not sure if there is anything that even comes close to being as helpful as meds, but skill training can be very useful. The skill training must focus on teaching the child to take their meds. Skill training also needs to prepare the child and family to cope effectively with any issues that they may develop about the medication or its side effects as regularly taking medicine as directed is crucial to getting and keeping this youngster stabilized. When the child is unmedicated or missing doses, their manic behavior can quickly get very extreme and inappropriate, even illegal. If you are not a mental health professional and you think you are working with a child who could have this serious disorder, you need to alert your supervisor at once and hopefully you will be able to arrange a thorough evaluation. This disorder typically is found to start when the person is a young adult or older adult but it can occur earlier.

 

 

school mental health4. OPPOSITIONAL DEFIANT DISORDER

This disorder looks at first to be just like conduct disorder but that is not a very accurate perception. The difference between conduct disorder (C.D.) and oppositional defiant disorder (O.D.D.) may not be readily obvious but it is incredibly important. Treatment for O.D.D. varies dramatically from that offered for conduct disorder. While students with O.D.D. and C.D. typically both misbehave and can be aggressive and non-compliant, the behavior of the student with C.D. is normally far more extreme, frequent and damaging to people, animals and property. While that difference is important, the really important difference is that the child with C.D. lacks a conscience and that is a huge problem. Lacking a conscience, relationship capacity and empathy for others, the student with C.D. can track towards crime and other behaviors that society doesn’t permit.

The student with O.D.D. is believed to have a conscience, but that conscience isn’t doing very much to help. A good conscience can provide very good brakes for bad behavior. Absent that conscience, a child will do what they want, when they want, to who they want. That is precisely what makes children with C.D. so potentially dangerous and so very hard to manage in any environment. Being diagnosed with O.D.D. is far more hopeful than being diagnosed with C.D. as the hope is that if that conscience can be better activated, the student can behave better.

While both sets of students need extensive training to manage their fist, mouth and actions, the student with O.D.D. has a far more optimistic prognosis. The student diagnosed with C.D. will never learn to care about others and is pretty much always going to be reined in using consequences and possibly rewards. The student with O.D.D. can really do very well once their conscience is more dominant and they have mastered how to be a civilized, law-abiding, compliant human. If you are not a mental health professional, be sure to try to arrange a thorough mental health evaluation so you know whether you’re working with an apple or an onion. While these two disorders can look somewhat the same, you have to be very careful to proceed differently depending on which disorder is actually occurring in a student.

 

trauma informed5. STUDENTS WITH TRAUMA

Unlike the previous items, this issue is not a mental health diagnostic category. However, “trauma-informed” practice has been a prominent concept lately so that combined with the huge frequency of trauma, led me to include this issue here. If you work with kids, you are working with some youngsters who have faced, or are facing traumatic events such as abuse, violence, abandonment or crises. Students facing trauma who are evaluated by a mental health clinician, can receive varying mental health diagnoses (like depression and PTSD, for example), but it is that common thread of trauma that I wanted to address.

Students who are traumatized often have little energy for school or whatever service your site offers. These youngsters need help from a mental health professional but they also need to not face more unnecessary stress in your environment– even when they don’t do much school work, are selectively mute and uninvolved in activities. The key here, regardless of the diagnosis, is to strike a balance between being sensitive to what this child may be living through and your mission. When the child is more functional, increase expectations a bit but if the increase sends the child into a tailspin, then return to the last level where the youngster was successful. When the child is less functional, decrease expectations a bit and work cooperatively to maximize the child’s involvement but without adding to the child’s already heavy load.

Many of your work refusing students are children who are coping with traumatic events. After enduring serious incidents of trauma, children may be diagnosed with PTSD, Post-Traumatic Syndrome Disorder, which is a very concerning diagnosis. These youngsters, in particular, need your site to be a haven, not more misery, so working with these children very carefully and delicately is strongly recommended. Children who have lived through much horror at a young age and lack resilience, are very brittle and easily broken. The bottom line is that you  may be the only sane, sober adult in the child’s universe. If instead of being helpful, you are yet another harmful adult, you can help track the child in the wrong direction. Conversely, if you offer help, empathy, guidance and a moderate, unstressful intervention plan, you can often engineer some progress, albeit slow.

 

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    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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Social-Emotional Learning Strategies to Improve Student Behavior

 

teacher classroom management blog

 

Better Solve Behavior Problems with

Strategies for Students’
Social and Emotional Learning

 
 

 

teacher classroom management helpIf you’re a teacher and you’re not using social-emotional learning strategies all day long in your classroom, you may be able to really ramp up your academic results if you begin to incorporate that type of methods when working with students who present behavior problems.

Sometimes some students’ behavior can seem incomprehensible. Some students can seem to almost randomly act out with a cycle or pattern of the students being acceptably behaved for a long time, then poorly behaved for no obvious reason. Misbehavior that appears to be random, usually has causes that a teacher may not be able to readily see or even know about. Often, the student has problems at home, in the community, with their family, their mental health, substance abuse, or their functioning that are not readily discernible– even to the adult who may spend the most time with them during the week. But, if you could see into your students’ homes and lives outside of school, you would have all the answers you need to understand what is going on to prompt the problem behavior.

In this issue, we’ll take you behind the scenes as best we can, then load you up with both preventative and intervention strategies. This article is in keeping with the recent national attention being given to social and emotional learning, as well as the use of trauma-informed interventions in schools and classrooms. Here, we’re going to focus on students’ social and emotional problems, as well as the trauma that some youngsters have to cope with. Since most educators get very little mental health training to cope with the serious social and emotional problems today’s students present, this article will hopefully be exactly the help you better identify, understand and manage students’ social and emotional problems.

Hello from Youth Change Workshops’ Director Ruth Herman Wells, M.S. I’m a mental health professional and I am going to be giving you some key mental health strategies to help you better manage your students’ social and emotional problems. Student social and emotional problems seem to be on the rise right now, so this article is well-timed to help you best help your students.

 

social emotional learning methodsStrategies for
Students’ Social and Emotional Problems

Here are some classic behavioral concerns that teachers often encounter with students– and the underlying truth about the powerful social and emotional causes that can be the cause of the evident behavior problem. After reviewing these scenarios, my hope is that you will stay mindful that today’s teachers have to always be stopping to look for the social and emotional causes of students’ behavior problems. It may be futile or quite difficult to try to resolve many common, everyday student behavioral problems without addressing the social and emotional issues that cause and sustain the behavioral concerns. Conventional training for teachers does not necessarily include thoroughly preparing educators to spot and manage students’ social and emotional issues, further complicating the situation.

 

“They’re Not Doing What They’re Supposed to Do”

It is really easy for an overworked teacher to focus on the obvious, things like missing school supplies, tardiness or disinterest. It is also really easy for teachers to come to view some students as just “not doing what they’re supposed to do.” The truth is that sometimes this type of ordinary, everyday problems– like having no pencil– are sometimes the manifestation of an overarching, larger issue that is having serious deleterious impact on a student’s functioning in the classroom and school. What teacher hasn’t chided a student for having no pencil? We’ve all done that countless times. Yet when a student’s social and emotional circumstances are not given sufficient heed, that ordinary intervention of chiding a child for having no pencil can create new problems in the student.

In the example below, the student sounds like he is becoming more angry, discouraged, frustrated and sad. The poem reproduced below, will take you behind the scenes and become a reminder for you that sometimes the real problem isn’t the missing pencil. Sometimes the real problem is what happened at home before the student even left for school. As you read this short poem, notice how focusing on the pencil will never help this student.

Cause I Ain’t Got a Pencil

by Joshua T. Dickerson

I woke myself up

Because we ain’t got an alarm clock

Dug in the dirty clothes basket,

Cause ain’t nobody washed my uniform

Brushed my hair and teeth in the dark,

Cause the lights ain’t on

Even got my baby sister ready,

Cause my mama wasn’t home.

Got us both to school on time,

To eat us a good breakfast.

Then when I got to class the teacher fussed

Cause I ain’t got no pencil

 

“They’re Too Distracted”

It’s true that the typical classroom includes many distracted students. But for many of these youngsters, the biggest problem isn’t their difficulty focusing. For many of these students, the bigger problem is likely to be something that the teacher can’t readily see or be aware of. In one of the schools near our office, there was a 10 year-old who kept complaining of a stomach ache nearly every day just around noon, and he would ask to go home. Understandably, the teacher was concerned about the daily distraction from academics and school. The teacher tried all the conventional strategies to address the somatic complaint:  Sometimes she would send him to the school nurse, sometimes she told him to just put his head down, other times she asked if he had eaten. Eventually, she sent him to the school guidance counselor who tried more of the same type of interventions, all focusing on the distraction of the tummy ache. After conventional interventions that focused on the distraction had all repeatedly failed, the counselor began to ask the boy if something was wrong, if something was troubling him. After a few times of being asked, eventually the boy did reply: “Yes, there is something wrong. There is something terribly wrong. My family is being evicted and I’m scared that if I don’t get home right away, that by the time I get there, the sheriff will come and my family will leave town without me and I’ll end up being an orphan.”

The interventions that focused on the apparent problem could never had engendered any improvement. By switching to an intervention that focused on possible social and emotional issues, the problem could be readily solved. The counselor had the parents explain to their offspring that they would never leave town without him, and the stomach aches stopped permanently. When you look past the apparent presenting problem to consider any possible social and emotional factors, often you can solve the original problem faster and far more effectively. This story is the perfect reminder to stop focusing on just the pencil or tummy ache, and start focusing on the unknown social and emotional concerns that may be the much bigger force behind a students in-school and classroom behavior.


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social emotional learning“They’re Lazy”

It’s easy to begin to see some underperforming students as lazy. Certainly, based on their work completion and quality, these students can appear to simply be uninterested and unwilling to put in the requisite effort needed to succeed in the classroom and school. A teacher came up to me at one of the workshops I was teaching and looking a bit embarrassed, she told me about one of her students, a girl who had begun to do very little work in school. The teacher had been really “on her case”– to use the teacher’s words– to do more of her school work and homework. Then the teacher headed into the teachers’ lounge and while there, she overheard the school guidance counselor talking. The guidance counselor was letting the school faculty know that the reason the girl had been doing so little in school was that the girl’s father hadn’t come home in a month and his absence was causing the family to be swamped with fear and grief. After hearing that, the teacher said “If I’d only known what the student was going through, of course I wouldn’t have added to her misery.” Make this teacher’s confession your guide to always taking the time to check in with struggling students to see if there are any significant social or emotional problems that could be interfering with their performance in your classroom.

“They’re Slow Learners”

It’s hard to imagine the scary, sad or lonely home life that some students face. For some students, their neighborhoods and communities are the setting for a brutal childhood that most of us can’t even begin to conceptualize. Especially if you were blessed to grow up in a home and community that were safe and nurturing, it can be tough to picture and remain sensitive to the grueling circumstances that some of today’s children and teens face.

The reality of our contemporary time is that the teacher may be the only sane, safe, sober adult in some students’ universe. That grossly magnifies the impact of the teacher’s behavior on these emotionally fragile students. When a teacher is not addressing potential social and emotional factors when selecting interventions, that delicate bond between the student and teacher can be quickly damaged. Conversely, when a teacher does factor social and emotional issues into the choice of intervention strategies, the bond between student and teacher can become really strong. That strong bond can create an environment where even traumatized, emotionally disturbed and troubled students attempt to work as hard as they can on days they are able– and that is the perfect goal for working with deeply impaired students.

You must strike a balance between the horrors that a child is living with, and your mission to provide education. The world still requires everyone to have adequate skills and education in order to function, with no exceptions given for people who had rough childhoods. So, by balancing the child’s pain with their need for a complete education, you are being sensitive to difficult circumstances that the child is facing, but you never abandon your mission to educate them. If you prioritize education over their suffering, you tend to lose ground with the child. If you prioritize their suffering over education, you tend to produce a child with limited education and skills. By attending to both priorities, you are still giving this troubled child an education, but without adding to the child’s already heavy load. The excerpt below will cement in this point so you can stay mindful of it in your classroom. The passage is taken from John Seryak’s book, “Dear Teacher.”

Gestures that some teachers make and may consider routine, might be the rays of hope a traumatized child sees shining through the bleakness.  I can’t multiply or divide without a calculator, but more  important, I know how to add and subtract because of a 1st grade teacher who gave me little plastic cars to count as I stood with my classmates who knew the answers off the tops of their heads.  A teacher offered me tools that giving up was not the solution.  Making adjustments and discovering the choices available was the lesson I was guided towards understanding.  Teachers may be lifelines for children in crisis.  All that I had left was school, my saving grace:  I want you to know about me, the traumatized child, who, somehow, survived…I’m not certain that the nature of trauma a child experiences is hidden.  I think, more often, it’s overlooked.

 

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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.


Defiant Students: Stop Your Worst Behavior and Classroom Management Problems

 

defiant student educational article

 

Defiant Students:
Stop Your Worst
Behavior and Classroom Management Problems
 

 Includes Free Anger Management Worksheet and Lesson Plan

 

 

defiant students"Nothing seems to work

with that child!"
 

Have you ever said those words?

If you work with very out-of- control, seriously defiant students, chances are you have said those words more than once. You were right. Nothing was working to rein in that youngster. In this issue, we'll explain why nothing worked, and what you can do that will work. Hopefully, this article will help you avoid saying those words so often.

Just about everybody has one– that child who is almost gleefully defiant and out-of-control. You know the youngster. He's the one who seems to live to torment vulnerable peers. He seems to almost take delight from engaging in problem behaviors like property damage, harm to others, verbal abuse, and defiance. If you noticed the heavy use of "he" in the last few sentences, that was not by accident. This child does tend to be a "he."

Can you name the mental health label that might be used to describe this type of child? If you've come to one of our popular professional development workshops, or been a longtime subscriber to this educational blog, you should know the answer.

defiant studentsThe answer is "conduct disorder," a topic frequently covered in the articles in this blog and also in our workshop. As you hopefully remember, the term "conduct disorder" roughly means that the child has no conscience, remorse, or relationship capacity. That means that these defiant students  don't care about hurting others or damaging property, so they do what they want, when they want, to who they want.

Only a mental health professional can diagnose this disorder, so it is very important that if you are not a social worker, counselor, etc., you never say that a child is conduct disordered (C.D.). However, it is okay for you to carry that concern in your mind.

Here is the most important information: You must work with C.D.s differently than everybody else. If you attempt to use conventional approaches with C.D.s, you will find "nothing works." There is your explanation for why nothing seems to work with some defiant students.

You may be surprised to learn that conduct disorders are not a tiny fraction of your students. Estimates are that 11-15% of your youngsters are C.D.s. That means you probably have more than one defiant student with whom nothing seems to work.

In our workshop, we devote hours to teaching you about this student. Obviously, we can't fit all that information into brief article. Yet, clearly, this isn't a student you want to work with when you have just a smattering of information on how to manage them, so we'll do our best to explain:

(1) Why nothing has been working to manage your defiant students

(2) What to do instead

 

Defiant Students:
How to Stop the Behavior and Classroom Management Problems

 

 Includes Free Anger Management Worksheet and Lesson Plan


 

student defianceWhy Nothing Works with

Defiant Students
 

Children and teens with conduct disorder are "wired" differently than other students. That means that they may not be able to care. Because of that difference, the following interventions will fail: character ed, values clarification, empathy building, second chances, making amends, and more– far too many to list here. These methods fail because the child must care about others if these techniques are to work. These approaches are absolutely fine for other types of children, but will never be of value with C.D.s. In fact, these methods make the situation worse because they communicate to these children that you don't understand who they are, and don't understand how to control them. That perception generally leads these youngsters to believe that they may be able to do whatever they want without having to deal with consequences that would be of significant concern to them.


What to Do Instead
 

First, if possible, stop using any intervention that requires that the child care. For example, stop using empathy-based methods. Stop saying: "Timmy, that makes Juan feel bad when you slap him." For a C.D., with those words, you just painted a target on Juan's back. Review the list of common interventions in #1 above, and discontinue using those approaches with children who may be C.D.s.

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article on defiant students

 

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book on defiant studentsSecond, use approaches that are designed to work with children who appear to lack empathy and compassion. There are lots of methods to replace the conventional approaches that fail with C.D.s. We'll give you one key method here. It's a free student anger management worksheet and lesson plan. Check out this student behavior management worksheet and lesson plan from our Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Youth Free anger management worksheetbook and ebook series. The worksheet is called "Do You Want to Go Through Life Without Brakes on Your Actions?"  and can work well to show defiant students that misbehavior costs them. That worksheet and lesson plan is from our Temper and Tantrum Tamers book which is one of the volumes in the 11 book Breakthrough Strategies series. This type of worksheet begins to powerfully demonstrate to C.D.s that "when you hurt others, you can get hurt too."

Notice that we are compensating for the lack of empathy by showing the C.D. that he will often have troubling consequences to deal with when he hurts people or property. (By the way, this intervention and handout is fine to use with almost any child, but is especially useful with C.D.s.)

So, the key point to include in interventions for C.D.s is: Hurting people or property can hurt you. This approach will do no harm if you have guessed wrong about a child being conduct disordered, but can really make a difference if the child actually is.

Now, you have one key pointer to help you work with your hardest-to- manage youth: keep the costs of misbehavior high. There are so many more methods to also use, that we must emphasize that this brief educational article is absolutely inadequate for giving you all you need to effectively manage your most unmanageable, defiant students.

defiant studentsTo best ensure your safety, and that of your students, be sure to more fully update your skills as soon as possible rather than rely on the limited information we have been able to squeeze in here. Our best resource is called All the Best Answers for the Worst Kid Problems: Anti-Social Youth and Conduct Disorders. It is offered as a book or ebook. We also offer many online courses on how to work with very defiant students.

Please be sure to note that we're not identifying C.D.s as "bad" or "hopeless." Instead, we are asking you to consider that you have a diverse population of youngsters, and you need to always select the correct tools for the correct kids. For students who have conduct disorder, choosing the wrong tools can yield disastrous results. Choosing the correct tools can put you back in charge of even the most out-of-control, conduct disordered, defiant students.
 

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defiant-students/

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    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
     


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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.


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.

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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

    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.


Extra-Strength Attitude-Adjusters That Inspire and Transform Student Attitudes

 

classroom management blog

 

Extra-Strength
Attitude-Adjusters
That Inspire and Transform Student Attitudes

 

 

Check out these awesome devices to improve even the most negative student's attitude. You don't have to put up with bad student attitudes anymore because we have awesome classroom management devices that will help.
 

STUDENT ATTITUDE ADJUSTER

attitude poster 226"I'd Rather Be in the Bathroom"
 

Doesn't it frustrate you when students spend class time in the
bathroom?

Here is an unexpected way to improve that reality. This technique is so unusual, it may catch students off-balance, and accomplish more than conventional
approaches ever could.

Post this device on the wall, or make your own. It looks a bit
like a sign showing where the bathroom is. Students will be laughing when they read it. While they're laughing, they can't be oppositional so the message on the poster may have impact.

Order Poster #226 here if you'd rather buy it than make your own version of it.

 

STUDENT ATTITUDE ADJUSTER


"I Don't Care About Anything"
 

school poster 237It's so hard to inspire discouraged
students, but what if "The Universe" reached out directly to
turnaround these youngsters? This attention-grabbing intervention can be implemented in many ways, but perhaps the most effective way is to make a card or note that resembles Poster #237, shown at
right, and give it to your discouraged students. You can add personalized text if you wish.

This intervention can also be done verbally, or you could record the message. If you do use a recording, you can add sci-fi sound effects to make this strategy even more humorous and light.

Be sure to keep this activity light and don't let it get upsetting. Check with a mental health counselor for guidance if you aren't sure you can keep it fun, and take no risks using this device with vulnerable, upset, troubled or younger  students.

A good follow-up activity is to ask the student to make a list of all the good things "The Universe" might have in store for them if they were open to the possibilities. To order Poster #237, click here.

 

ATTITUDE ADJUSTER for ADULTS


"This is a Rough Time to Be a Teacher or
Counselor"
 

There is a tiny, little-known winery hidden on the Oregon coast. Inside, there are all the usual amenities one might expect to find in a winery, but instead of attempting to get you to open your wallet to buy wine, the owner attempts to get you to open your wallet to donate to orphaned children in Calcutta.

Where you might expect to see wine lists, you find  inspiration. In today's rough economy, it's understandable
that educators and counselors struggle to stay positive. You will be more effective evoking positive attitudes from your students if you are able to stay positive yourself.

All around the winery, there are pretty paper cards that should advertise the vineyard's newest bottles. Instead the cards feature a poem that the winery owner found on the wall of Mother Theresa's children's home in Calucutta. These inspirational words probably weren't written with teachers and youth workers in mind, but they could have been. An edited excerpt from the poem "Anyway" is below.

ANYWAY

People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered
LOVE THEM ANYWAY

If you do good, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives
DO GOOD ANYWAY

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies
SUCCEED ANYWAY

The good you do may be forgotten tomorrow
DO GOOD ANYWAY

People really need help but may attack you if you help them
HELP PEOPLE ANYWAY

Give the world the best you have and you may get kicked in the teeth
GIVE THE BEST YOU'VE GOT ANYWAY

Adapted from a card published by the Anyway Foundation.

Please consider visiting their site or donating.

 

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    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.


Innovative Classroom Management Strategies for Student Behavior Problems

 

student behavior problems

 

Innovative
Classroom Management Strategies
for Student Behavior Problems

 
 

expert on student behavior problems

I'm Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Youth Workshop Instructor and Youth Change Director Ruth Herman Wells, M.S. I've been teaching our workshop all over the U.S. and Canada in the last few months. No matter where we go, we are hearing that there are more and more deeply disturbed children and youth. We have been getting a lot of the same questions over and over again. I'm betting that if you're a teacher, counselor, court worker, juvenile justice officer, foster parent or principal, you've got some of the same questions too.

From what I've been hearing, clearly, many of you are feeling unprepared to manage the increasingly serious emotional and social problems you are seeing in your youngsters. We thought it might help to recap some of our best answers to repeat questions. Since it is very tough to give details in a brief educational article like this, consult the list of Behavior and Classroom Management Blog educational articles at right for excellent follow-up resources and more in-depth answers.

Remember, if you want more details than what we're able to include in this relatively brief blog article, be sure to come to a live workshop  where we can devote hours to your key student behavior problems. You can also sign up now for our online course, or book us for your next inservice day or conference. One way or the other, we've got the innovative strategies that you need for working with severely misbehaved, difficult, troubled and challenged youth. We're here to help you reduce your serious student discipline problems now
.
 

Our Most Innovative Strategies

for Your Most Serious

Student Behavior Problems
 

problem studentWhat can I do to manage ADHD students when they haven't taken their medication?
 

This question was raised in general sessions this fall. Here's a small part of the answer we'll give if that question is asked again in an upcoming live workshop session or conference.

Our interventions for ADHD-affected children are designed to work whether or not the child has taken their medication. You are simply going to substitute structure for that lack or internal or medicinal control. When you tell an ADHD child who is behaving unacceptably, to "stop it," the youngster may not be clear what the problem is, even though it may be obvious to you. It's important to give ADHD-affected children a picture of both the problem behavior and the goal behavior. Here are some terms you can use to paint a picture:

Student with ADHDSlow-Rolling Behavior: This conveys a rate of motion that may be too slow to work well.

Speed-Racing Behavior: This term conveys a rate of motion that may be too fast to work well.

Pace-Setting Behavior: This conveys a rate of motion that isn't too fast or too slow, but just right.

 

Article Continues Below

 

 

student behavior problems

 

Schedule Your On-Site Inservice Workshop Now

It's More Affordable Than You Think

Learn 100s of Strategies for Bullies, Violent,
Uncontrollable, Misbehaved and Withdrawn Students

1.800.545.5736 or Email

One Click Can Solve It All

 

 

Article Continues Here

 

classroom behavior problemsWhat medication works with Oppositional Defiant Disorders and Conduct Disorders?

This question generated a lot of discussion at an on-site inservice class sponsored by the Office of Education in Placerville, California. Hopefully, if you are a youth worker and a subscriber to this internet magazine, you now know the two mental health terms mentioned in the question. You see lots of these youngsters in your classroom or office, so it is critical that you know the terms. If you are unsure of the meaning, be sure to click on the additional blog articles listed at right. As safety issues are a stake here, it's important to do that.

As to the question, there is no medicine that is normally prescribed to rein in these very hard-to-manage youngsters. Instead, you must use methods tailored to each of these youngsters. Although both Conduct Disorders and Oppositional-Defiant youth may use very bad behavior, you have to use different types of methods for each group. If you use conventional methods with Conduct Disorders, you will find "nothing works." Further, the specialized methods that work best with C.D.s aren't the best choice for O.D.D. kids.

Here are some very basic Do's and Don'ts for Conduct Disorders only:

DO use maximum consequences
DON'T use any relationship-based methods like character ed, values clarification, empathy-building, making amends, apologies, etc.
DO provide maximum supervision at all times
DON'T give second chances
DO use multiple, varied consequences
DON'T believe it when C.D.s claim "there's nothing you can do to me"

If you are not really skilled and knowledgeable about C.D. and O.D.D. youngsters, you put yourself and your other students at great risk. Our site has a free, basic introduction article on these behavior problems. Although it offers a great place to start, this intro is hardly everything you need to know as "all you need to know" won't fit on a single web page. To get all the details of managing your most out-of-control youngsters who present the most serious behavior problems, be sure to heck out our All the Best Answers for the Worst Kid Problems: Conduct Disorders" book  and ebook. It has the most thorough summary of the best, most innovative strategies for these two behavior disorders that exist.

 

problem behaviorWhat can I do about students who are so perfectionistic that they won't do anything?

Perfectionism can certainly be one reason why kids won't work. This topic is commonly mentioned in nearly any workshop we teach. In fact, we spend hours giving solutions just for work refusal. Since we can't fit all those hours here, we'll offer you one of the innovative strategies that workshop participants say works particularly well:

Teach perfectionistic students who decline work, the "3 Ps of Perfectionism", which is the cycle of perfectionism. This may help them become a bit more in control of the cycle. For example, a girl wants to be perfect, thus the first 'P', Perfectionism. Doing everything perfect is hard, so she may put things off, thus the second 'P', Procrastination. Now the tasks that have been postponed have piled up, and that is overwhelming, which can cause the third 'P,' Paralysis.

The more you can assist your youngsters to avoid the later stages of the cycle, the better they may function. In our workshop, we pair this type of intervention with strategies that lessen the perfectionistic child's fear about making mistakes. You may want to use that combination also as the two approaches together work better than either separately.

 

Want More Innovative Strategies
for Student Behavior Problems?

 

We can help you locate the resources you need. You can email, call 1.503.982.4220 or click our Live Expert Help button below at right. Our next professional development workshops are coming around the country near you. We hope to see you at a conference soon.

 

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    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.