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

 

classroom management problems blog

Most of What You Know About
Violent Students
is Wrong


Includes Online Class
with More Effective Strategies

 


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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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

 

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


1. Learn Targeted Methods for Conduct Disorders


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


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


2. Learn the Operating System of Conduct Disorders
 

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

3. Learn Targeted Behavior Control Methods
 

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


4. Avoid the Predictable Pitfalls
 

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

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

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

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

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

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    Bring the Breakthrough Strategies Workshop to Your Site

    Help Unmotivated, Failing, Troubled and Unmanageable Students

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

     

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

     

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

     

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


    Behavior & Classroom Management Problem-Solver Blog Articles

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


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

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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.


Why Do Some Students Become Violent? The Answer Can Prevent a Tragedy

 

teacher classroom management blog

 

Why Do Some Students Become Violent?

The Answer Can Prevent a Tragedy

 
 

 

 

"We were on a collision course with disaster."


That phrase has started showing up a lot on our workshop evaluations lately.

That phrase is also being used a lot by participants during workshop sessions.

The recent school shooting seems to have crystallized many school staff's concern that their site could face a tragedy. Educators seem intensely worried about best managing and preventing student violence.

Educators are offered so little basic mental health training to help them understand deeply troubled students. When a school shooter does not fit the profile of a consistently aggressive, acting-out student, it can seem confusing.

In the recent incident, the shooter did not fit that classic profile of someone who was routinely assaultive, bullying, or verbally abusive. It can seem very scary when student violence can have an aspect of mystery.

Nor was this violent student someone who was being constantly bullied or tormented, another stereotype of shooters often offered in the media.

Human beings are more complex than either of these two options.

Educators are often more accustomed to preventing and addressing violence from acting-out youth, and may feel far less prepared to prevent or address violence from other types of youth. We have gotten quite a few calls and emails asking for help.

Here are some of the questions we have been receiving at our office and at our workshops around the country.

We're providing this information to you now in the hopes that it will help non-mental health workers compensate a bit for any deficiencies in their mental health training.

However, this article isn't the full training you need on this topic. You're urged to fully update your skills for violent students by learning much more than the headlines provided below.

We also encourage you to pass on this issue to colleagues. If you want to attend one of our workshops so you get a complete understanding of potentially violent students, note that we always offer half-price work-study slots at each workshop so nearly anyone can afford to come.

As possible, we also provide our books on violence at greatly reduced prices to school and agency staff who have little budget but still need resources.

If you do need assistance locating or getting resources, contact us. We're here to help.

 


Plan Your Staff's On-Site
Professional Development Workshop

While Open Dates Still Remain

Learn 100s of Strategies for Work Refusers, Violent,
Tardy, Angry, Disrespectful and Bullied Students

1.800.545.5736 or email

Working with difficult students
doesn't have to be so difficult

 

Answers to Your Questions About

Violent Students

 

Question: Why are some depressed, withdrawn kids becoming suddenly violent?

Answer: Perhaps some of these kids are like pressure cookers that build up so much steam that they literally explode.

Many professionals are used to seeing serious youth depression that includes withdrawal, lethargy, reduced verbiage, reduced activity levels, self-harm and/or threats of self-harm, and comments reflecting hopelessness and despair.

But, some depressed youngsters may explode out of that "acting-in" into serious acting-out. Note that the depressed youngster can explode due to bullying, but it is critical that you realize that he can explode over anything at all, not just bullying. We recommend that you watch for depressed students not just bullied students.

Bullying does not have to occur to prompt a tragedy.


 

Question: Our staff has training on preventing and managing violence by acting-out students like conduct disorders. Will those methods work with other types of students like depressed kids?

Answer: No, you must use completely different methods with different types of students, or else you will be completely ineffective. You can't extrapolate your training on conduct disordered youth and have it work with depressed students.


 

Question: I now understand that the acting-out youngster and depressed youngster have the potential for extreme misconduct. Anyone else I need to know about potentially violent students?

Answer: Absolutely. There is another mental health disorder called "thought disorder." This disorder means that the student's thoughts are disordered. These youngsters may hear voices or have visions that compel them to do bad behavior. Like the other disorders, only a mental health professional can diagnose the problem but anyone can be alert for the disorder and adjusting how they view and work with a youngster who may have the problem. An extreme example of this disorder is John Hinckley. Many clinicians around the country are reporting a big increase in young thought disorders, especially in elementary students.


 

Question: How does my school or agency know if we are on a collision course with disaster?

Answer: Here is a quick test. Your staff must be able to:


(1) Identify at least three types of students who may be at highest risk of extreme violence. (The three types are named in the preceding questions.)

(2) Specify exactly how they must work differently with each type of student as one-size-fits-all methods will fail with all three of these youngsters. If your staff can't answer these two questions, you may have legitimate concern that your site is "on a collision course with disaster." There's no substitute for acquiring a more sophisticated understanding of the different students at risk of extreme violence, and learning which tools to use with each kind.
 


 

Question: Some states are considering laws to penalize bullies. Will that reduce extreme violence like shootings?

Answer: Probably not. Depressed students don't necessarily blow up over a single problem like being harassed. Bullying laws will also likely have little or no impact on whether conduct disorders and thought disorders engage in extreme violence. We all need to understand that violent students aren't all uniform, identical entitites.


 

Question: I am totally confused about thought disorders. What helps?

Answer: The proper medicine taken correctly won't be magic, but the closest thing to it. It's by far the most important tool to help thought disorders. There is no second best option.

Conduct Disorders bookQuestion: Where can I go for more details on the three disorders described here?

Answer: Go to the menu at the top of the page, and click on Blogs. It will show you all our articles including our Introductory issues. Read Introductory Issues 2 and 3 to get more basic information.

There is comprehensive information in our books.

 

  •  


    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.