Possible

Possible

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Do Kids Need Positive Thinking?

Like adults, children are not immune to the stressors of life. In managing personal and academic challenges, kids quite often experience frustration, expressing high concern and self-doubt with remarks such as:
  • I can’t do anything right.
  • I messed up again.
  • I’m so stupid.
  • I’m a failure if I can’t do this.
  • Nothing works out for me.
  • I’m going to do awful.
  • I know I’m going to fail this test.
  • The other kids think I’m weird.
  • Everybody makes fun of me.
  • I know something bad is going to happen.

Most children seem unaware of this pattern of negative thinking, missing the important connection between repetitive and pessimistic self-talking (negative thoughts) and a low self-confidence with high anxiety. Like with the rest of us, these kinds of negative judgments or beliefs put us down; we criticize ourselves harshly for common errors and mistakes, doubt of our skills and abilities, and anticipate only the worst. With children specifically, negative and pessimistic thinking strongly correlates with low motivation in school and learned helplessness; the latter is the tendency to give up when facing challenging and difficult tasks in school, even when the child has the skills and ability to deal successfully with the academic task. As we can see, habitual (common and recurrent) negative thinking and beliefs are extremely damaging to anyone’s self-confidence, especially children’s. When we think positively, on the other hand, we anticipate good and favorable outcomes, trying harder and perseverating longer when things get tough. Positive thoughts and more optimistic expectations open the mind to ideas, words, and images that are in harmony with good mental health. This is why is so important for teachers, parents, and caregivers to openly discuss the value of positive thinking and talking with children, so that we help build resilience, or the ability to recover quickly from troublesome experiences. Here are some activities that caregivers can use to train children in positive thinking:

Help the child write a list of five-to-ten positive things about himself or herself. When the list is ready, have the child practice by saying the list softly a number of times. Discuss events or times when the child can use the list (e.g. when coping with angry feelings or when teased).

Have the child complete an Inventory of Strengths where she lists her positive qualities, skills, and efforts. Questions to answer can be:
  • What are my strengths?
  • When do my strengths help me?
  • Where do my strengths help me?
  • Do I use my strengths?
  • When do I use my strengths?
  • Where do I use my strengths?
  • How do I use my strengths?
Use the child’s answers to customize a set of positive self-statements that she can use to reinforce her self-confidence and to stay motivated. Examples of customized self-statements for a specific child can be:
  • I’m hard worker and I want to do well in school.
  • I enjoy poetry and love writing stories.
  • My spelling is strong.
  • I have tons of friends; my parents call me a people’s person.
  • My friends like about me that I’m a good listener.
  • My friends also like the fact that I know how to keep a secret and I can be trusted.
  • I’m strong-willed; I do not give up easily.
  • Okay, I may be stubborn, but I’m fair and respect other people’s opinions.

Once children develop skills in recognizing negative and anxiety producing thoughts, and they identify their strengths, the final step will be teaching them to reverse the thinking, substituting negative and pessimistic thoughts with more positive and optimistic ones. Children experiencing high anxieties and insecurities benefit from having at hand a set of coping self-statements that they can use to neutralize the worrisome thought. The insecure child can use these coping statements individually; several statements combined, or coupled with other behavioral management interventions such as anger management and/or relaxation. Some examples:
  • Things will be fine.
  • I’m upset now, but things will get better.
  • Soon, I’ll feel happy again.
  • When I start to worry, I relax and feel better.
  • There’s no problem so big that it cannot be solved.
  • I can problem solve. And I will.
  • One-step at a time will get me there.
  • Trying my best is what counts.

Related Reading...

The Heart of Disciplining- For Parents: Understanding and Delivering Feedback, Criticism, and Corrections that Teach Positive Behavior- To preview this book on Amazon, click here.


A Call to All Teachers:


Proudly announcing our new group for educators worldwide, “We Teach the World.” Our aim is to connect teachers and related school personnel all over the world, so that we can share much-needed ideas, strategies, and lesson plans as well as all kinds of resources in classroom management and in student discipline. Coordinating our effort worldwide, we can tell each other where to find important resources and information. If you administer a teaching blog or have created educational resources to facilitate our job, you are welcome to share them here. As long as they contribute to education, we want to know of your business. Teachers with questions, post them here; mentors and seasoned teachers, your valuable experience and unique perspective matter to us, so make your voices heard. Because isolated, we teachers are imaginative, resourceful and resilient, but connected, connected we are imaginative, resourceful, resilient AND powerful. To join us, click on, “We Teach the World.”

Monday, September 29, 2014

Educational Strategies for Children with Emotional and Behavioral Problems / CECPAIR

To read article, click on this link: cecp.air.org/aft_nea.pdf


A Call to All Teachers:


Proudly announcing our new group for educators worldwide, “We Teach the World.” Our aim is to connect teachers and related school personnel all over the world, so that we can share much-needed ideas, strategies, and lesson plans as well as all kinds of resources in classroom management and in student discipline. Coordinating our effort worldwide, we can tell each other where to find important resources and information. If you administer a teaching blog or have created educational resources to facilitate our job, you are welcome to share them here. As long as they contribute to education, we want to know of your business. Teachers with questions, post them here; mentors and seasoned teachers, your valuable experience and unique perspective matter to us, so make your voices heard. Because isolated, we teachers are imaginative, resourceful and resilient, but connected, connected we are imaginative, resourceful, resilient AND powerful. To join us, click on, “We Teach the World.”

Behavior Management Tips 5: Student Attention and More / Education World

Click on the link to read article:

Education World: Behavior Management Tips: Student Attention and More


A Call to All Teachers:


Proudly announcing our new group for educators worldwide, “We Teach the World.” Our aim is to connect teachers and related school personnel all over the world, so that we can share much-needed ideas, strategies, and lesson plans as well as all kinds of resources in classroom management and in student discipline. Coordinating our effort worldwide, we can tell each other where to find important resources and information. If you administer a teaching blog or have created educational resources to facilitate our job, you are welcome to share them here. As long as they contribute to education, we want to know of your business. Teachers with questions, post them here; mentors and seasoned teachers, your valuable experience and unique perspective matter to us, so make your voices heard. Because isolated, we teachers are imaginative, resourceful and resilient, but connected, connected we are imaginative, resourceful, resilient AND powerful. To join us, click on, “We Teach the World.”

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

8 Weeks of Free Teacher Resources for Back to School | Edutopia

Click on link to get your resources:

8 Weeks of Free Teacher Resources for Back to School | Edutopia


A Call to All Teachers:


Proudly announcing our new group for educators worldwide, “We Teach the World.” Our aim is to connect teachers and related school personnel all over the world, so that we can share much-needed ideas, strategies, and lesson plans as well as all kinds of resources in classroom management and in student discipline. Coordinating our effort worldwide, we can tell each other where to find important resources and information. If you administer a teaching blog or have created educational resources to facilitate our job, you are welcome to share them here. As long as they contribute to education, we want to know of your business. Teachers with questions, post them here; mentors and seasoned teachers, your valuable experience and unique perspective matter to us, so make your voices heard. Because isolated, we teachers are imaginative, resourceful and resilient, but connected, connected we are imaginative, resourceful, resilient AND powerful. To join us, click on, “We Teach the World.”

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Assertiveness - An Introduction | SkillsYouNeed

To read article, click on link:

Assertiveness - An Introduction | SkillsYouNeed


A Call to All Teachers:


Proudly announcing our new group for educators worldwide, “We Teach the World.” Our aim is to connect teachers and related school personnel all over the world, so that we can share much-needed ideas, strategies, and lesson plans as well as all kinds of resources in classroom management and in student discipline. Coordinating our effort worldwide, we can tell each other where to find important resources and information. If you administer a teaching blog or have created educational resources to facilitate our job, you are welcome to share them here. As long as they contribute to education, we want to know of your business. Teachers with questions, post them here; mentors and seasoned teachers, your valuable experience and unique perspective matter to us, so make your voices heard. Because isolated, we teachers are imaginative, resourceful and resilient, but connected, connected we are imaginative, resourceful, resilient AND powerful. To join us, click on, “We Teach the World.”

Behavior Management Tips 4: Student Behavior / Education World

Click on link to read article:

Education World: Behavior Management Tips: Student Behavior


A Call to All Teachers:


Proudly announcing our new group for educators worldwide, “We Teach the World.” Our aim is to connect teachers and related school personnel all over the world, so that we can share much-needed ideas, strategies, and lesson plans as well as all kinds of resources in classroom management and in student discipline. Coordinating our effort worldwide, we can tell each other where to find important resources and information. If you administer a teaching blog or have created educational resources to facilitate our job, you are welcome to share them here. As long as they contribute to education, we want to know of your business. Teachers with questions, post them here; mentors and seasoned teachers, your valuable experience and unique perspective matter to us, so make your voices heard. Because isolated, we teachers are imaginative, resourceful and resilient, but connected, connected we are imaginative, resourceful, resilient AND powerful. To join us, click on, “We Teach the World.”

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Contributing Factors to the Escalation of Behavior Problems

In the psycho-educational field we firmly believe that adult behavior strongly influences child behavior, often creating an emotional atmosphere that is more conducive to noncompliance than to compliance. More specifically, what we say to children and how we say it can either accentuate or de-escalate a behavior problem. Caregivers need to be vigilant of those communicative (i.e. messages) and interactional (e.g. strained adult-child interactions) factors that may inadvertently fuel inappropriate behaviors in children. Next, I share some insights of things we say to children that may be contributing to disruptive behavior at school and at home. Among them, we can find:
·        Creating on-the-spot penalties for misbehavior rather than developing and discussing consequences for negative behavior with children before problem behaviors happen. Children need to know the consequences for misbehavior in advance.
·        Describing inappropriate behavior rather than appropriate behavior; for example, saying, “Stop playing with that pencil!” instead of “Please, hand me the pencil.”
·        Using too many “stop” messages (e.g. “Stop talking!”) and not enough “start” messages (e.g. “Put the toy away so that you can start doing your work”). Compliance is easier when we tell the child what to start doing rather than just telling the child to stop a behavior.
·        Using vague commands; for example, “Knock it off!” An effective command is descriptive, and in 15 words or less tells the child exactly what we want her to do to comply. An example would be, “Pick up all the toys from the floor and put them on the bottom shelf.”
·        Giving negative directions that tell the child what not to do (e.g. “Do not hit,” “Do not make noises,” or “Do not color on the desk”) rather than using positive wording that identifies an acceptable alternative and tells what to do to fix the inappropriate behavior. For example, “Try hitting this toy if you feel angry” or “You can color on this paper, not on your desk.” The child may be willing to change his behavior if he receives a good suggestion (alternative behavior) of what to do instead.
·        Using name-calling (e.g. “What a baby you are!”), put-downs (e.g. “You are just lazy” or “You just never use your head”), and/or threats (e.g. “You are going to get it if you keep that up!”).
·        Labeling the child with “you-messages;” attributing negative qualities to the child’s character or identity. For example:
a.     “You are just lazy.”
b.     “You’re rude and obnoxious!”
c.      “You are so disorganized.”
d.     “Cindy is stubborn!”
e.     “Daniel is such a troublemaker!”
f.       “You enjoy stirring up things.”
·        Criticizing the child in ways that indicate stability and permanence (e.g. “You are always messing up” or “You never listen”), suggesting that the problem behavior is here to stay.
·        Failing to reinforce the child’s compliance with our appreciation (e.g. a smile and a “thank you”).

What We Can Say Instead...

Constructive criticism is specific and behavioral, describing the child’s actions or behavior; negative criticism, on the other hand, is judgmental and concentrates on blaming the child for her behavior and in finding faults in the child’s character (e.g. “You are so rude and obnoxious!”). When correcting behavior, teachers, tutors, and parents need to communicate a basic acceptance of the child even when we disapprove of a particular behavior. Simply put, we describe and disapprove the behavior, even expressing disappointment if we want, but never condemning the child’s identity or character; for example, we can say to the child, “I feel disappointed with this behavior; you behaved in a rude and obnoxious way.”

Related Reading...

All Behavior is Communication: How to Give Feedback, Criticism, and Corrections that Improve Behavior- To preview this book on Amazon, click here.


A Call to All Teachers:


Proudly announcing our new group for educators worldwide, “We Teach the World.” Our aim is to connect teachers and related school personnel all over the world, so that we can share much-needed ideas, strategies, and lesson plans as well as all kinds of resources in classroom management and in student discipline. Coordinating our effort worldwide, we can tell each other where to find important resources and information. If you administer a teaching blog or have created educational resources to facilitate our job, you are welcome to share them here. As long as they contribute to education, we want to know of your business. Teachers with questions, post them here; mentors and seasoned teachers, your valuable experience and unique perspective matter to us, so make your voices heard. Because isolated, we teachers are imaginative, resourceful and resilient, but connected, connected we are imaginative, resourceful, resilient AND powerful. To join us, click on, “We Teach the World.”

Monday, September 1, 2014

Skills Related to Effective Interpersonal Communication / W&M School of Education

Click on link to read article:

W&M School of Education - Skills Related to Effective Interpersonal Communication


A Call to All Teachers:


Proudly announcing our new group for educators worldwide, “We Teach the World.” Our aim is to connect teachers and related school personnel all over the world, so that we can share much-needed ideas, strategies, and lesson plans as well as all kinds of resources in classroom management and in student discipline. Coordinating our effort worldwide, we can tell each other where to find important resources and information. If you administer a teaching blog or have created educational resources to facilitate our job, you are welcome to share them here. As long as they contribute to education, we want to know of your business. Teachers with questions, post them here; mentors and seasoned teachers, your valuable experience and unique perspective matter to us, so make your voices heard. Because isolated, we teachers are imaginative, resourceful and resilient, but connected, connected we are imaginative, resourceful, resilient AND powerful. To join us, click on, “We Teach the World.”

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

What Building Relationships With Students Really Means / Smart Classroom Management

Click on link to read article:

What Building Relationships With Students Really Means — Smart Classroom Management


A Call to All Teachers:


Proudly announcing our new group for educators worldwide, “We Teach the World.” Our aim is to connect teachers and related school personnel all over the world, so that we can share much-needed ideas, strategies, and lesson plans as well as all kinds of resources in classroom management and in student discipline. Coordinating our effort worldwide, we can tell each other where to find important resources and information. If you administer a teaching blog or have created educational resources to facilitate our job, you are welcome to share them here. As long as they contribute to education, we want to know of your business. Teachers with questions, post them here; mentors and seasoned teachers, your valuable experience and unique perspective matter to us, so make your voices heard. Because isolated, we teachers are imaginative, resourceful and resilient, but connected, connected we are imaginative, resourceful, resilient AND powerful. To join us, click on, “We Teach the World.”

Monday, August 18, 2014

How To Set The Tone On The First Day Of School / Smart Classroom Management

Click on the link to read article:

How To Set The Tone On The First Day Of School


A Call to All Teachers:


Proudly announcing our new group for educators worldwide, “We Teach the World.” Our aim is to connect teachers and related school personnel all over the world, so that we can share much-needed ideas, strategies, and lesson plans as well as all kinds of resources in classroom management and in student discipline. Coordinating our effort worldwide, we can tell each other where to find important resources and information. If you administer a teaching blog or have created educational resources to facilitate our job, you are welcome to share them here. As long as they contribute to education, we want to know of your business. Teachers with questions, post them here; mentors and seasoned teachers, your valuable experience and unique perspective matter to us, so make your voices heard. Because isolated, we teachers are imaginative, resourceful and resilient, but connected, connected we are imaginative, resourceful, resilient AND powerful. To join us, click on, “We Teach the World.”

Avoiding Common Mistakes When Implementing Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) | Edutopia

Click on the link to read full article:

Avoiding Common Mistakes When Implementing SEL | Edutopia


A Call to All Teachers:


Proudly announcing our new group for educators worldwide, “We Teach the World.” Our aim is to connect teachers and related school personnel all over the world, so that we can share much-needed ideas, strategies, and lesson plans as well as all kinds of resources in classroom management and in student discipline. Coordinating our effort worldwide, we can tell each other where to find important resources and information. If you administer a teaching blog or have created educational resources to facilitate our job, you are welcome to share them here. As long as they contribute to education, we want to know of your business. Teachers with questions, post them here; mentors and seasoned teachers, your valuable experience and unique perspective matter to us, so make your voices heard. Because isolated, we teachers are imaginative, resourceful and resilient, but connected, connected we are imaginative, resourceful, resilient AND powerful. To join us, click on, “We Teach the World.”

Friday, August 8, 2014

The 5 Critical Categories of Rules | Edutopia

To read this article, click on the link:

The 5 Critical Categories of Rules | Edutopia


A Call to All Teachers:


Proudly announcing our new group for educators worldwide, “We Teach the World.” Our aim is to connect teachers and related school personnel all over the world, so that we can share much-needed ideas, strategies, and lesson plans as well as all kinds of resources in classroom management and in student discipline. Coordinating our effort worldwide, we can tell each other where to find important resources and information. If you administer a teaching blog or have created educational resources to facilitate our job, you are welcome to share them here. As long as they contribute to education, we want to know of your business. Teachers with questions, post them here; mentors and seasoned teachers, your valuable experience and unique perspective matter to us, so make your voices heard. Because isolated, we teachers are imaginative, resourceful and resilient, but connected, connected we are imaginative, resourceful, resilient AND powerful. To join us, click on, “We Teach the World.”

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Facts About Motivating Students / Teaching Community

To read article, click on the link:

The Facts About Motivating Students - Teachingcom


A Call to All Teachers:


Proudly announcing our new group for educators worldwide, “We Teach the World.” Our aim is to connect teachers and related school personnel all over the world, so that we can share much-needed ideas, strategies, and lesson plans as well as all kinds of resources in classroom management and in student discipline. Coordinating our effort worldwide, we can tell each other where to find important resources and information. If you administer a teaching blog or have created educational resources to facilitate our job, you are welcome to share them here. As long as they contribute to education, we want to know of your business. Teachers with questions, post them here; mentors and seasoned teachers, your valuable experience and unique perspective matter to us, so make your voices heard. Because isolated, we teachers are imaginative, resourceful and resilient, but connected, connected we are imaginative, resourceful, resilient AND powerful. To join us, click on, “We Teach the World.”

Behavior Management Tips 3: Task Orientation / Education World

Click on link to read article:

Education World: Behavior Management Tips: Task Orientation


A Call to All Teachers:


Proudly announcing our new group for educators worldwide, “We Teach the World.” Our aim is to connect teachers and related school personnel all over the world, so that we can share much-needed ideas, strategies, and lesson plans as well as all kinds of resources in classroom management and in student discipline. Coordinating our effort worldwide, we can tell each other where to find important resources and information. If you administer a teaching blog or have created educational resources to facilitate our job, you are welcome to share them here. As long as they contribute to education, we want to know of your business. Teachers with questions, post them here; mentors and seasoned teachers, your valuable experience and unique perspective matter to us, so make your voices heard. Because isolated, we teachers are imaginative, resourceful and resilient, but connected, connected we are imaginative, resourceful, resilient AND powerful. To join us, click on, “We Teach the World.”

Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Positive Discipline Model

Click on the link to read full article: The Positive Discipline Model


A Call to All Teachers:


Proudly announcing our new group for educators worldwide, “We Teach the World.” Our aim is to connect teachers and related school personnel all over the world, so that we can share much-needed ideas, strategies, and lesson plans as well as all kinds of resources in classroom management and in student discipline. Coordinating our effort worldwide, we can tell each other where to find important resources and information. If you administer a teaching blog or have created educational resources to facilitate our job, you are welcome to share them here. As long as they contribute to education, we want to know of your business. Teachers with questions, post them here; mentors and seasoned teachers, your valuable experience and unique perspective matter to us, so make your voices heard. Because isolated, we teachers are imaginative, resourceful and resilient, but connected, connected we are imaginative, resourceful, resilient AND powerful. To join us, click on, “We Teach the World.”

Friday, June 27, 2014

Creating an Emotionally Healthy Classroom Environment | Edutopia

Click on the link to read the full article:

Creating an Emotionally Healthy Classroom Environment | Edutopia


A Call to All Teachers:


Proudly announcing our new group for educators worldwide, “We Teach the World.” Our aim is to connect teachers and related school personnel all over the world, so that we can share much-needed ideas, strategies, and lesson plans as well as all kinds of resources in classroom management and in student discipline. Coordinating our effort worldwide, we can tell each other where to find important resources and information. If you administer a teaching blog or have created educational resources to facilitate our job, you are welcome to share them here. As long as they contribute to education, we want to know of your business. Teachers with questions, post them here; mentors and seasoned teachers, your valuable experience and unique perspective matter to us, so make your voices heard. Because isolated, we teachers are imaginative, resourceful and resilient, but connected, connected we are imaginative, resourceful, resilient AND powerful. To join us, click on, “We Teach the World.”

Establishing a Positive Classroom Climate: Teacher Advice | Intervention Central

Click on link for full article:

Establishing a Positive Classroom Climate: Teacher Advice | Intervention Central


A Call to All Teachers:

Proudly announcing our new group for educators worldwide, “We Teach the World.” Our aim is to connect teachers and related school personnel all over the world, so that we can share much-needed ideas, strategies, and lesson plans as well as all kinds of resources in classroom management and in student discipline. Coordinating our effort worldwide, we can tell each other where to find important resources and information. If you administer a teaching blog or have created educational resources to facilitate our job, you are welcome to share them here. As long as they contribute to education, we want to know of your business. Teachers with questions, post them here; mentors and seasoned teachers, your valuable experience and unique perspective matter to us, so make your voices heard. Because isolated, we teachers are imaginative, resourceful and resilient, but connected, connected we are imaginative, resourceful, resilient AND powerful. To join us, click on, “We Teach the World.”

Positive Classroom Environment and Student-Teacher Rapport / University of Minnesota

Click on link to read full article:

www.cehd.umn.edu/ceed/publications/tipsheets/preschoolbehavior/posclass.pdf


A Call to All Teachers:


Proudly announcing our new group for educators worldwide, “We Teach the World.” Our aim is to connect teachers and related school personnel all over the world, so that we can share much-needed ideas, strategies, and lesson plans as well as all kinds of resources in classroom management and in student discipline. Coordinating our effort worldwide, we can tell each other where to find important resources and information. If you administer a teaching blog or have created educational resources to facilitate our job, you are welcome to share them here. As long as they contribute to education, we want to know of your business. Teachers with questions, post them here; mentors and seasoned teachers, your valuable experience and unique perspective matter to us, so make your voices heard. Because isolated, we teachers are imaginative, resourceful and resilient, but connected, connected we are imaginative, resourceful, resilient AND powerful. To join us, click on, “We Teach the World.”

The Positive Classroom:Seven Strategies for Building Positive Classrooms / Educational Leadership

Click on link for full article:

Educational Leadership:The Positive Classroom:Seven Strategies for Building Positive Classrooms


A Call to All Teachers:


Proudly announcing our new group for educators worldwide, “We Teach the World.” Our aim is to connect teachers and related school personnel all over the world, so that we can share much-needed ideas, strategies, and lesson plans as well as all kinds of resources in classroom management and in student discipline. Coordinating our effort worldwide, we can tell each other where to find important resources and information. If you administer a teaching blog or have created educational resources to facilitate our job, you are welcome to share them here. As long as they contribute to education, we want to know of your business. Teachers with questions, post them here; mentors and seasoned teachers, your valuable experience and unique perspective matter to us, so make your voices heard. Because isolated, we teachers are imaginative, resourceful and resilient, but connected, connected we are imaginative, resourceful, resilient AND powerful. To join us, click on, “We Teach the World.”

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Defusing Anger in Others: How to Talk with an Angry Student / EWU

Click on link for article: EWU | Defusing Anger in Others


A Call to All Teachers:


Proudly announcing our new group for educators worldwide, “We Teach the World.” Our aim is to connect teachers and related school personnel all over the world, so that we can share much-needed ideas, strategies, and lesson plans as well as all kinds of resources in classroom management and in student discipline. Coordinating our effort worldwide, we can tell each other where to find important resources and information. If you administer a teaching blog or have created educational resources to facilitate our job, you are welcome to share them here. As long as they contribute to education, we want to know of your business. Teachers with questions, post them here; mentors and seasoned teachers, your valuable experience and unique perspective matter to us, so make your voices heard. Because isolated, we teachers are imaginative, resourceful and resilient, but connected, connected we are imaginative, resourceful, resilient AND powerful. To join us, click on, “We Teach the World.”

Free Classroom Lessons: Getting to Know You / The Morningside Center

Click on the link, so that you can start downloading:

www.morningsidecenter.org/sites/default/files/documents-pdfs/knowyou.pdf


A Call to All Teachers:


Proudly announcing our new group for educators worldwide, “We Teach the World.” Our aim is to connect teachers and related school personnel all over the world, so that we can share much-needed ideas, strategies, and lesson plans as well as all kinds of resources in classroom management and in student discipline. Coordinating our effort worldwide, we can tell each other where to find important resources and information. If you administer a teaching blog or have created educational resources to facilitate our job, you are welcome to share them here. As long as they contribute to education, we want to know of your business. Teachers with questions, post them here; mentors and seasoned teachers, your valuable experience and unique perspective matter to us, so make your voices heard. Because isolated, we teachers are imaginative, resourceful and resilient, but connected, connected we are imaginative, resourceful, resilient AND powerful. To join us, click on, “We Teach the World.”

Helping Children Cope with Angry Thoughts and Feelings

Forman (1993) defines coping skills, or coping efforts, as sets of information and learned behaviors that children can use purposely to bring about positive outcomes in potentially stressful situations. Coping techniques teach psychological, social, cognitive, affective, and behavioral skills that children and adolescents can use to deal with potential stressors. According to the author, knowing and using coping skills can prevent or reduce a variety of academic, emotional, behavioral, and health problems in children and adolescents. On the other hand, the inability to handle potentially stressful situations or stressors may result in emotional, behavioral, and/or physical health problems. Coping skills are a way of promoting general, emotional, and social competence in children, and we can divide them into two major categories:
a)     Problem-Focused. Acting on the stressful stimuli to change or to solve the problem. Using problem-solving techniques, we focus the coping effort in managing or altering the problem that is causing distress in the child.
b)    Emotion-Focused. Managing how the child perceives the situation and reacts to it (the emotional response) by changing the way the child thinks about the stressor; cognitive procedures and self-talking procedures are two examples of an emotion-focused coping effort. For example, the child uses a coping technique like relaxation or selective attention, focusing on the positive aspects of the situation while ignoring the negative aspects of the event (Folkman and Lazarus, 1980).
When we teach coping skills to a distraught child, we help the child move from a state of anger and helplessness to a stage of problem resolution, or at least, a better understanding of the troubling situation.
Recognizing Anger Signals
As an initial coping intervention, we can teach troubled and anger-prone children to recognize when they feel angry. There are several ways of doing this. One way is by paying attention to action signals, or to what they are doing. The second way is by paying attention to thought signals, or what they are thinking, and the third way is by paying attention to feelings signals, or the way the child is feeling. Examples:
·        Actions: punching or hitting, cursing, screaming, yelling, crying, threatening, withdrawing, tantrum, or fidgeting.
·        Thoughts and feelings:
a.     I don’t care!
b.     This is stupid!
c.      I hate myself!
d.     I’m stupid!
e.      I hate Mr. Evans!
f.       He has no right to do this to me!
g.     I hate _____!
h.     I can’t do anything right!
i.       I feel like hurting myself!
j.       I wish I were dead!
k.     I’m going to hit her!
l.       I give up!
A fourth way children can recognize anger is by paying attention to their body signals. We can train children in identifying the body signals that cue them to anger; for example, face feels hotter and flushes, body feels warmer and tensed, muscles tighten, faster and shallow breathing, sweating, and heart pounding rapidly.
Anger Coping Strategies for Children
When we teach a child a game-like strategy, the child is more likely to use the strategy than when we simply ask the child to follow a set of steps or rules. We can teach children informal, and fun, anger coping strategies that they can use when other children tease them and/or they feel frustrated. Some examples:
The Turtle Technique. The child imitates a turtle when he is provoked, retreating back into his shell; that is, lowering the head, and pulling the arms and legs tightly to the body. The child cannot act aggressively when he is in this position (Schneider and Dolnick, 1976).
Put on a Happy Face. The child simply smiles and acts happy. It is a lot harder to feel angry when we are smiling.
The Calm and Cool Technique. Teach the child to think of someone that is always calm and cool; someone that the child truly likes. Then have the child emulate the calmness and coolness of the hero. For example, imitating the terminator, the child acts calm and cool.
The Ally Technique. This ally can be a real or an imaginary person, another “cool guy.” What this ally will say and do when others tease him, when he is provoked, or when he feels frustrated?
The Superhero Technique. Spiderman, Wonder Woman, or another superhero is with the child. The superhero gives support when the child feels troubled, and congratulates the child when he manages to keep his anger under control. With the superhero and ally techniques, the child is using his imagination to see himself as better able to deal with frustrations.
The Fogging Technique. The child downplays the importance of another child’s taunting; for example: “Pinocchio!” “Yeah, yeah, I have a big nose. So what?”
The “Make a Promise to Change” Technique. The child promises that, for the next hour, she will not get angry or throw a tantrum. After the hour, the teacher or caregiver challenges the child to extend the promise for longer periods; for example, for an extra hour, then for the whole morning, next for a whole day, for two days in a row, and finally a whole week. The caregiver gives a small reward to the child for each promise kept.
The “Big C” Technique. The child makes a C with her thumb and index finger. The C stands for “control.” The child looks at it and calms down. This is one way for the child to cue herself.
The Distraction Strategy. The child uses a distraction to angry thoughts and feelings; for example, counting backwards, counting evens only or odds only, skip counting, or reciting the timetables. Other ways that the child can distract his attention are by focusing on a specific stimulus, visual or auditory (e.g. singing a tune), or thinking about something funny. The child can use a physical disruption like snapping a rubber band on his wrist or pinching himself. Alternatively, the child can use a mental disruption or a thought-stopping like, “Stop!” or “Cut it out.”
The “Stop” Technique. Teach the child to say, “Stop!” to himself, first aloud and later under his breath. Direct the child to write “stop” in big colored letters on an index card that he can look at anytime, or teach the child to imagine a stop sign coming down in front of him. Make sure the child understands that “stop” means, “Stop doing it straight away” (Butler and Hope, 1995).
The “Talking to Yourself” Strategy. The child can keep talking to herself to calm down, or the child can recite self-calming statements.
The Ignoring Technique. Teach the child to ignore the first and the second ideas, thoughts, or responses that come to his mind. The child only responds to his third idea or thought.
For the Teacher or Caregiver:
Informal and quick interventions that a teacher, a counselor, or a parent can try to defuse angry feelings and acting-out behaviors in children are:
·        Use a planned shift in attention. For example, you ignore the angry feelings or acting-out behavior, and then distracting the child by interesting her in doing something else.
·        Ask the child to do something else, such as going for a walk, playing a board game, playing basketball, reading (or listening to) a short story, or coloring.
·        If the child is angry with another child, convince the angry child to be “extra nice” to the other child.
·        If the child is angry with another child, have the angry child recall positive experiences she had with the other child, until she stops feeling angry.
·        Reinforce a competing response. Give the anger-prone child positive attention, such as praise, privileges, or recognition when she behaves in ways incompatible with angry feelings and acting-out behaviors. For example, praising the child when she is acting calm, when apologizing or saying “thank you,” or when sharing materials with other children.
·        Use the restitution technique; for example, you might say, “If you wronged _____, you must do something good for him.” This technique can go both ways, asking both the anger-prone student and the other child to, daily, do at least one positive thing for each other. After (three, five) days, reward the two children for compliance.
·        Encourage the anger-prone and/or acting-out child to “stay one step ahead of the problem.” Predict when anger and/or acting-out episodes are more likely to happen, and plan for dealing with those moments, including identifying the strategies that the child will use to cope.
Explicitly discuss with the anger-prone child when and how she can use these informal coping strategies, and reward her each time she uses a strategy to cope with angry feelings and/or acting-out behaviors.
References
Butler, G., & Hope, T. (1995). Managing your mind: The mental fitness guide. NY: Oxford University Press.
Folkman, S., & Lazarus, R. S. (1980). An analysis of coping in a middle-aged sample. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 21, pp. 219-239.
Forman, S. G. (1993). Coping skills interventions for children and adolescents. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Schneider, R. A., & Dolnick, M. (1976). The turtle technique: An extended case study of self-control in the classroom. Psychology in the Schools, 13, pp. 449-453.

Related Reading...
Thinking, Feeling, and Behaving: A Cognitive-Emotive Model to Get Children to Control their Behavior. To preview this book on Amazon, click here.


A Call to All Teachers:


Proudly announcing our new group for educators worldwide, “We Teach the World.” Our aim is to connect teachers and related school personnel all over the world, so that we can share much-needed ideas, strategies, and lesson plans as well as all kinds of resources in classroom management and in student discipline. Coordinating our effort worldwide, we can tell each other where to find important resources and information. If you administer a teaching blog or have created educational resources to facilitate our job, you are welcome to share them here. As long as they contribute to education, we want to know of your business. Teachers with questions, post them here; mentors and seasoned teachers, your valuable experience and unique perspective matter to us, so make your voices heard. Because isolated, we teachers are imaginative, resourceful and resilient, but connected, connected we are imaginative, resourceful, resilient AND powerful. To join us, click on, “We Teach the World.”

Effective Classroom Management / Center for the Advancement of Mental Health Practices in Schools

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www.schoolmentalhealth.org/Resources/Educ/CAMHPS/Effective Classroom Management.pdf


A Call to All Teachers:


Proudly announcing our new group for educators worldwide, “We Teach the World.” Our aim is to connect teachers and related school personnel all over the world, so that we can share much-needed ideas, strategies, and lesson plans as well as all kinds of resources in classroom management and in student discipline. Coordinating our effort worldwide, we can tell each other where to find important resources and information. If you administer a teaching blog or have created educational resources to facilitate our job, you are welcome to share them here. As long as they contribute to education, we want to know of your business. Teachers with questions, post them here; mentors and seasoned teachers, your valuable experience and unique perspective matter to us, so make your voices heard. Because isolated, we teachers are imaginative, resourceful and resilient, but connected, connected we are imaginative, resourceful, resilient AND powerful. To join us, click on, “We Teach the World.”