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

 

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

     

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

     

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

     

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Social-Emotional, Mindfulness Strategies for Depressed Students

 

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Moderate Depression with Mindfulness Methods
for K-12 Students

 
 

 

teacher professional development trainerThe holidays are happy times for many students, unhappy times for many others. That makes it a good time to load you up with brand new strategies for depression and sadness.

If you keep up with the latest in K-12 education, you know that social-emotional education and mindfulness instruction are really popular right now. I'm Ruth Herman Wells, Director of Youth Change Professional Development Workshops. We've been offering social and emotional strategies for more than two decades, and many of our approaches are very similar to the mindfulness methods you may have encountered.

Below you will find intervention strategies to help you manage student depression and sadness whether you are a teacher, counselor, foster parent, guidance counselor, therapist, MFT, social worker or school psychologist. While the very simple strategies included here can be useful to almost any student who struggles with their emotions, be sure that you carefully observe for safety issues and immediately consult with your supervisor if you find any. In addition, non mental health clinicians should always seek guidance from a mental health resource person when working with troubled students.

 

Mindful Methods to Mitigate Depression

in Adolescents and Children

 

You Are Not Your Brain

For many students, depression means trying to cope with swirling thoughts that are sad, fatalistic or worrying. Mindfulness methods emphasize teaching children and teens that they are "not their brain'" so that they recognize that they can control their thoughts and potentially feel less victimized and trapped by them. Building this separation between the student and the brain is a key element of Mindfulness.

Introducing the idea that students should not believe everything they think, can be a powerful tool assisting depressed, sad and anxious youngsters. Neurobiologists have noted that this strategy builds new brain pathways. They report that by limiting negative thoughts, the negative pathways can be reduced. They also note that by increasing positive or neutral thoughts, more positive pathways are built. They compare it to shrinking a freeway and building a new, more positive one. Use this image to demonstrate the concept more concretely to students.

 

Productive or Destructive

Another key concept from Mindfulness is to work to limit time devoted to thinking non-productive thoughts. Students may worry about tests or grades or Dad's drinking or Mom's hitting. In some youngsters,  these negative thoughts can trigger depression– especially if the student has profoundly upsetting or persistent thoughts. Many Mindfulness methods offer potential relief.

A simple technique to use is to ask the student to consider if the upsetting thoughts are productive or destructive. They can be asked to specifically identify the benefits and consequences of persistent negative thoughts. Most students can be assisted to realize that they are experiencing significant consequences from frequent negative thoughts while few positive benefits are found. To make this strategy work with younger students and others, have them make a list. Have them start by writing down a frequent negative thought then sorting the Benefits and Consequences in columns.

 

Accepting the Hand You're Dealt

mindfulness posterSome students have trouble accepting the ups and downs of life and become depressed when life isn't what they imagined. You can use card games to teach them to accept the hand they are dealt. Also use card games to explore if becoming sad or depressed fixes or improves anything. To help cement in the message of acceptance, offer and discuss the meaning of the words shown on our Poster #334: If the leaves didn't fall, there would be no spring.

 

Thoughts Are Just Visitors to the House

Mindfulness expert Jack Kornfield has shared a very sweet but effective strategy that stems from Buddhist practice. To implement this simple intervention, simply tell students that they can imagine that upsetting thoughts are like visitors to their home. Next, ask your youngsters to imagine that the visiting thoughts are coming in through the front door of the house. Suggest that instead of screaming at this visitor, cooking for that visitor, or hiding from this other visitor, that students simply watch the visitors and what they do. This wonderful emotion management technique helps students become more detached and distanced from the negative thoughts that have been upsetting them.

 

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Turn Down the Voices Inside My Head

"Turn Down the Voices Inside My Head" isn't just a line from a popular Bonnie Raitt song, it's a very quick and effective technique to help students manage troubling emotions like depression. Ask the student to imagine that there is a volume control and that they can turn down the volume on upsetting thoughts, or even mute them. For younger students, help the child create a drawing of the volume control knob working to help them better manage their upsetting emotions.

 

Fight-Flight-Freeze or Flow

Many Mindfulness practitioners and other mental health clinicians believe that humans have four basic states: Fight, Flight, Freeze or Flow. Mindfulness is an emerging counseling style with distinct Buddhist roots and current neurobiology as its base. Distilled down, it means paying attention to the present while observing thoughts and feelings in a non-judgmental manner. It has been clinically demonstrated by neurobiologists to help improve depression and other problematic emotions so you can rest assured the kind of techniques suggested here have wide acceptance and a strong research foundation.

To help students who are depressed or facing similar negative emotions, teach them about the four states and encourage them to move towards Flow. The more students can identify their current state, the better the chance that they can manage that state rather than be swept along by out-of-control feelings. This is part of what is meant by "Name it to tame it." Emotions have less power on people when the emotion has been identified. Conversely, students can feel "freaked out," "crazy" or like they are spiraling down when the emotions seem to be this powerful, frightening unnamed thing that's in charge.

Help students become familiar with each of the four terms by soliciting examples of each. An example of Fight: Verbally sparring with your mom. An example of Flight: Running out of the room when bullied. An example of Freeze: Seizing up and not being able to talk after a car accident. An example of Flow: Pure happiness and joy when swimming.

 

Distraction is Subtraction

Distraction is a fantastic initial strategy to help children and teens manage problem emotions. You can teach them that "Distraction is Subtraction," meaning that by re-focusing, the student can sometimes subtract or reduce the problem emotion. Suggest that students find three things they see in the present and then find three things they like about each. Not only does this simple strategy interrupt what may have been on-going negative thoughts, it also re-orients the student to the present. Being oriented to the present moment is a key principle of Mindfulness, and has the benefit of being a perfect antidote for depression, sadness, anxiety and other troubling emotions that may be impairing students' functioning.

 

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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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    © Copyright 2019, All Rights Reserved | Permission granted to forward magazine to others.


Our Most Amazing Motivational Strategies For Your Most Unmotivated Students

 

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Our Most Amazing
Motivational Strategies
For Your Most Unmotivated Students

 


 

Chances are you have way too many unmotivated and apathetic students in your classroom again this year. You've probably noticed that conventional methods of inspiring students to care about school, tend to routinely fail, especially with your most unmotivated youngsters.

workshop trainer Ruth Herman WellsI'm trainer and consultant, Ruth Herman Wells, M.S. As a workshop instructor, I read thousands of evaluations every year. I know that this magazine issue has some of the best student motivational strategies that exist, because that's what our workshop participants note on our seminar evaluation form. Hopefully, you'll agree that these devices are powerful interventions to turnaround even the most unmotivated students.

Grad Mag:
For Students Who Know That
Life Without a Diploma
Can Be a Drag

Classroom Motivation PosterTo reach the most students possible, it's critical that you use a variety of styles of intervention. Not all students learn best with their ears, for example. This motivational intervention is geared for students who respond best to active, tactile activities.

Intervention: Ask students to create "Grad Mag," a magazine that touts the benefits of graduating high school. Poster #283 provides an example. Students can use conventional art supplies or computers to create their magazine. Prior to starting on the art work, allow students to research the benefits and hazards of getting a high school diploma. They can consider variables like income, type of job, and job status.

If a group or classroom of students is involved in this project, students can be assigned to make different components of the magazine, such as the cover, back page, table of contents, and so on. Once the elements are completed, the magazine can be assembled, reviewed and discussed.

Indirect motivational methods such as this strategy, may pack a bigger punch than more straight-forward, verbal approaches proclaiming the importance of education and a diploma. While it might be easier for you to present this point of view instead of having your students research and create it, you will find this method to be far more effective, especially with oppositional youngsters.


Man vs Machine

poster to motivate studentsPower up your students to care about school by showing them how automation is quickly taking over entry level jobs, as well as many jobs that have been available to people without a high school diploma.

Intervention: To implement this intervention, use a voice that sounds like a robot, or alternatively, record your voice using a device to make it sound robotic. If you search for "make my voice sound like a robot," you'll see plenty of options. Say in a robotic voice: "Any job you can do without skills, a robot can do better." If you prefer, you can substitute the word "diploma" or "math" for the word "skills."

Next, discuss with your students why employers might much prefer virtual employees to real ones. Include answers like "robots never have to take lots of bathroom breaks" and "robots know how to do math." Poster #148, pictured at right provides illustration.

 

Education:
Now, More Important Than the Air You Breathe

motivational posterIt may be a sad commentary on our culture, but it is probably necessary to sell and market the value of school and education to students who have not discovered that truth for themselves. If you have disinterested, unmotivated students, part of your job must include convincing those youngsters that school and education will be absolutely essential to their survival.

Intervention: If you look at Poster #168, you can see that the word "diploma" is literally made of money. That is a concept that can reach some of your most uninterested students: that schools offer free diplomas that are made of money. One estimate is that high school grads out-earn dropouts by $329,000 per lifetime. Ask your students to estimate what an extra $329,000 per person –$658,000 per couple– could buy. Also ask students to choose whether they would prefer to have $329,000 more or less than everyone else.

 

There's No Excuse
For Dropping Out

Classroom PosterDon't let students' unrealistic excuses ever justify leaving school. A classic reason some boys offer for quitting school is that they plan to be famous sports stars so they will never need an education.

Intervention: Open students' eyes to the truth. Poster #170 illustrates that the NFL, NBA and MLB all want players to have a diploma. There are plenty of other types of excuses so be sure to confront whatever untrue explanations your students present. In our books, we have interventions for virtually all of these excuses, including "I'm going on welfare," "I'll marry a wealthy man," and "I'm going to win the lottery."
 

 

 

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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
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    © 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

 

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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."

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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.

     

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    Library of Congress ISSN: 1526-9981 | Youth Change, Your Problem-Kid Problem-Solver
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    © 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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    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.


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

 

student behavior management blog


The Best
Back-to-School
Bad Behavior-Busters


Includes Online Class
with Surprising Strategies

 


workshop trainer Ruth Herman Wells

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

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

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

Get Control Uncontrollable Students Online Class
  FREE!

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

 

The Best Back-to-School Bad Behavior-Busters

Motivation: As Close to Magic as You Can Get

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


Teach Specific Classroom Behavior Skills remote control student activity

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

 

Provide On-Going School Skill Training quiet spray

 

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

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    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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    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.
 

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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
     


    Behavior & Classroom Management Problem-Solver Blog Articles

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    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.

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    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.


Gender-Proficient Strategies for Troubled Girls

 

classroom management blog


Gender-Proficient Strategies
for Troubled Girls

 


workshop trainer Ruth Herman Wells"I just finished counseling a student for 45 minutes. It's amazing how
rough life is on kids, and it seems to especially be girls. She's been to
20 plus schools, hasn't lived with her parents since she was 6, has been
living with first one sister then another. Her parents are into drugs, in
and out of prison. She couch hops through friends' houses so she can
play sports because the last bus out of town is at 7. Now her sister
wants her to change to a new high school, where she doesn't know
anyone. It's hard to see kids under so much stress. Sadly, this is an
epidemic. I'm not sure if girls are just more vocal about what's wrong
in their life or if affects them more, but this is the fifth or sixth girl I've
taught that has had just a dismal life, and has a hard time dealing with
just the daily stresses of what school and friends bring. Of those 5 or 6
girls, I can only think of one or two that have escaped the calamity of
their surrounding to do something. I hope this new girl ends up making
it. I'll do my best to see services start coming her way, but the cycle of
discover, help, and fail is hard to take."

Many of you can relate to the comments above, sent by a high school special ed teacher. His comments are especially true right now. When government faces hard economic times, service cuts are inevitable. Often, cuts to services disproportionately affect girls versus boys. When boys are troubled, they often act out in ways that affect the community. When girls are troubled, they often act out in ways that the community may not even notice. Troubled boys may slash tires, troubled girls may slash their wrists. The boy will leave behind angry victims demanding the child's behavior be addressed and controlled. The troubled girl will have no one demanding anything on her behalf.

When budget cuts come, they are not dispersed across the continuum of children's services. In tough economic times, girls tend to take the brunt of service reductions. In all classes of services, troubled girls receive fewer services, less intense services, for less time, and they're served later in life than their male counterparts. There is no indication that troubled girls have fewer problems than boys; all indicators suggest they may have more. So, in today's difficult economic times, where services for young females are very limited, it is imperative that everyone who works with youth, have gender-proficient strategies for girls. One-gender-fits-all strategies fit no one, so here are some gender-proficient strategies crafted especially for troubled girls.


Gender-Proficient Solutions for Troubled Girls


TEACH GIRLS TO
THRIVE DESPITE ROUGH LIVES

Finding help for troubled girls in these difficult economic times is
tougher than ever. If you're not a trained mental health professional,
it's never wise to attempt to provide therapy when you can't find
qualified help for a girl who is struggling. Instead of offering therapy
without having the necessary training, attempt instead to be a bridge
for the girl until help can be found.

Here is a strategy that may help without becoming as personal and intimate as a therapy techniques. When a girl is struggling to find her way, and feels lost and uncertain, offer her this guideline: Find a course of action that is good for the girl and good for others. This mantra helps train the girl to habitually choose actions that avoid self-harm.

You can vary this strategy by having the girl identify someone she admires, and imagine What Would X Do?, and emulate that.

Another variation on the first strategy: Say "no" to bad thoughts. The girl can imagine erasing or canceling upsetting thoughts so she can concentrate on school and other critical activities. All these strategies are just stopgap measures until qualified help can be found; ultimately severe problems will necessitate professional intervention if the girl is to avoid lasting consequences.

 

TEACH GIRLS TO
BETTER MANAGE DEPRESSION

Studies suggest that depression may affect girls at a higher rate than
boys. While skilled help would be optimal, you can offer some interim
assistance so that your girls can improve their skills coping with
adversity without being overwhelmed by depression. Here are a few
interventions that both mental health workers and others can use. Be
sure to follow your site's rules about reporting safety issues if you have
any concerns that a girl may be at risk of harm.

For girls who are sad about their difficult circumstances, teach them to
"bloom where they're planted," and discuss how to do that. For girls
who devote a lot of time to ruminating about their problems, refocus
them to the present, and help them turn their thoughts to "now"
instead of yesterday or tomorrow, which they can't influence anyway.
To further re-orient girls to focus on now rather than past or future
problems, suggest that every time they catch themselves mulling the
past or future, they stop and find three positive things about the
present. That disrupts the on-going ruminating.

Finally, for girls who report upsetting thoughts like mulling over events
from the past, offer interventions that teach the brain some new,
healthier habits. For example, when a girl is upset by thoughts like "I'm
always going to be upset," teach her to be the boss of her brain and to
reject her "bully brain" hassling her. It's a way of making the invisible
cognitive process more concrete and understandable so the girl can
visualize how her thoughts deepen her upset. Once she realizes that she
doesn't have to submit to the upsetting thoughts, she has a much
better chance of taking control of them, making her less vulnerable to
persistent, deep upset.

  •  


    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 Classroom Management Problems Before They Start

 

classroom management blog


Stop Classroom
Management Problems
Before They Start

 

 

School Skills Training.

It could change your life, your classroom management, and the lives of your students.

School Skills Training means that you teach your youngsters how to be students, just like you teach your youngsters academic subject matter.

Your school district has a carefully planned curriculum for teaching academic content, but no curriculum at all to teach the foundation School Skills that youngsters need to take advantage of the academic offerings.

Even though all schools want students to be motivated, have a good attitude, be appropriately dressed, arrive on time, have class discussion skills, and complete assignments, few schools have any plan at all to teach students how to do all that.

Then, we wonder why there are so many classroom management problems in so many classrooms.

Here it is, the start of a new school year, and all around the country schools are expecting students to have basic School Skills that they've actually never been systematically taught.

That is why so many kids don't look, act, or sound like students. They haven't been taught.

If you are tired of the endless classroom management problems that gobble up a whopping 22 minutes of each 50 minute period of instruction, then be sure you develop and follow a School Skills Training game plan for transforming kids into prepared, motivated students with positive attitudes.

 

Classroom Management School Skills Training Strategies


Stop Classroom Management Problems
TEACH SPECIFIC SCHOOL SKILLS
 

classroom management poster 226 Stop talking about the rules and start teaching the rules.

You wouldn't just talk about calculus because that doesn't teach students calculus.

When you just talk about the rules,
that doesn't teach students how to follow the rules.

Just talking about the rules is ineffective because so many youngsters don't have the
requisite needed skills to comply.

So, instead of just saying
poster203 "Dress appropriately" or "Don't miss class," provide specific instruction about what to wear, what not to wear, as well as attendance and punctuality.

Include skill training on key elements such as how often to wear dirty and stained clothes, how to be sure to have clean school clothes available, and so on.

Poster #203, pictured above, gives an unmistakable image of the problem behavior, and makes it tough for students to claim "But I didn't know what was considered saggy pants."

Poster #226, shown at left, can start the conversation about attendance. In the discussion, assist students to develop quantifiable guidelines, such as the number of times per class period to use the rest room during class, and how to plan to use the bathroom in between classes, and so on.

Stating the rules should always be just a small part of the process. To gain compliance with your rules, and have satisfactory classroom management, the main thrust must be to provide on-going instruction that gives students the skills they need to follow the rules.

To order these full color, glossy posters, for $8 each, click here.

 

Stop Classroom Management Problems
TEACH MOTIVATION

career poster #180Schools seldom include motivation as part of their curriculum, but without motivation, education may seem irrelevant to students.

You need to actually "sell" school to your students. That's right. To provide thorough
School Skills Training, you have to show the value of education. It's obvious to you, not at all obvious to some of your students.

If you convince students of the value of school, you won't have to struggle so much with classroom management.

Motivated students recognize that school is as important as the air they breathe, and act accordingly.

It's your choice. You can continue to struggle to manage unmotivated, uninterested students, or you can take the time to show them the enormous benefits that school delivers, and
watch your classroom management problems moderate or go away entirely.

Poster #180 shows students how education is required to succeed in the contemporary work world.

To order this poster for $8, click here.

 

Stop Classroom Management Problems
BUILD POSITIVE ATTITUDES

Motivational Poster 168You don't have to just suffer students' negative attitudes all year long.

As part of School Skill Training, turnaround the negativity about school and education.

It's hard for students of any age to be sour and negative when you help them discover that a high school diploma is worth $329,000 more in salary over the course of their lifetime.

Consider asking students to stop referring to you as "teacher," and start referring to you as "banker."

Poster #168, shown at left, offers an attention-grabbing tool to start the process of reversing negative attitudes among your students.

Click to order this poster for $8.

 

  •  


    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.