School Psychology

     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      “How Do I Keep My Kids Entertained All Summer?”   Ahhh summer… the freedom, the sunshine, the world of opportunity. The kids look forward to it all year.   Notice we said “the kids.”   Parents on the other hand, tend to be a little wary of the school-free season. While all parents love spending time with their children, summer means 3 whole months without the time consumption and mental stimulation that school provides. It means having to come up with activities for the kids yourself, which often translates to spending a lot more money. If both parents work, it can also mean having to find reliable child care and camps that aren’t exactly in the budget. So what’s a parent to do?   First of all – relax! That’s what summer is for   Many parents go into summer concerned that their child will be bored out of their minds. Research suggests, however, that constructive boredom is not only healthy, but essential for a child to develop their creativity, discover their personal identity, and explore ways to foster their own mental stimulation. If parents are always doing the heavy lifting in filling their child’s time, their child gets robbed of the opportunity to contemplate their own thoughts and interests and explore new ideas.   Here are 9 tips for giving your child a fun and stimulating summer, without scheduling every second:    1. Brainstorm beforehand   Foster your child’s creativity by having them make a list of things they would like to do over the summer. While they may choose a few unrealistic items such as riding a dragon or traveling to Hong Kong, their list will probably include many attainable goals such as going on hikes, having a picnic, or running through the sprinklers. When they complain of boredom over the summer, tell them to revisit their list for ideas to fill their time.   2. Structure Unstructure   By now most of us have heard of the damage that excessive screen time can pose to children. Too much TV or video game consumption can contribute to obesity, low self-esteem, social disorders, and decreased academic performance. When your kids are home all summer, it’s easy to let them binge watch cartoons when you need them out of your hair so you can clean the house or pay the bills. Remind yourself to limit screen time by establishing a few hours every day that will be used for “unstructured play.” Let the kids know that after lunch, they’re on their own until 3 PM – no gadgets allowed!   3. Let them make a mess   This tends to be a tough one for many moms, and it’s understandable. Keeping a halfway clean home takes daily diligence, and having kids can feel like there are tiny tornadoes spinning around behind you every time you tidy up. In the summer, try to stretch your patience toward the mess-making. You can set boundaries, like limiting messy projects to the tiled kitchen and away from your off-white rug, but let them do some experimental baking, indulge in some glue-heavy art projects, or create a mad scientist’s laboratory. Giving them the freedom to make messes will encourage innovative ideas.   4. Make summer about self-reliance   Since the 1960’s, American schools have shifted away from teaching basic life skills to focusing almost exclusively on academics. The additional time with your kids in the summer is a great opportunity to teach them what they aren’t getting in the classroom. Have them plan and prepare meals with you, teach them how to do laundry, have them create a savings plan for the new gadget they’ve been wanting, or teach them how to safely refuel a vehicle at the gas station. Summer is a perfect time to foster your child’s sense of self-reliance.   5. Commit to learning a new skill   A wonderful aspect of summer is that it gives kids time to pursue ideas and activities that they feel inspired to chase. As the school year comes to an end, ask your child to pick one new thing they want to learn over the summer. Even if they say something like, “Kung Fu,” you don’t need to invest in expensive lessons. Watch online tutorials a few times a week to empower them with some basic skills. Letting your child take the lead in what they pursue will excite them about learning and help their brain to “decompress” from the constant frontal lobe focus during the academic year. Don’t forget to choose something for you to learn over the summer as well! This will model creativity, persistence, and the importance of life-long learning.   6. Reduce the dreaded “brain-drain”   Many parents fear that summer will drain their child’s brain of everything they learned the prior school year and make it difficult for them to adjust in the fall. While a small regression is not the end of the world, it can be helpful to maintain some academic activity over the summer. Buy a grade level workbook for them or invest in some occasional tutoring in a subject they’ve struggled with. Just be conscious not to burden them with too many textbook obligations over the summer – they have the school year for that! Remember that there are academic benefits to recreational activities as well. Swimming, for example, is not only a fun total body workout but also a science in understanding the different ways our bodies are able to stay afloat.   7. No cost, no screens, no problem!   It can feel like there aren’t many options for summer fun that don’t break the bank. While there’s nothing wrong with splurging on an occasional trip to the zoo or amusement park, don’t feel guilty if most of your summer days are a bit simpler. Encourage your child to use their imagination by turning their favorite book into a play, making a “pretend” carnival in the backyard with a ticket booth and concession stand, or take on a family project like planting a garden or repainting a fence.   8. Find ways to help others   Today’s children are tomorrow’s leaders, and summertime is a great opportunity to engage your children in looking outside of themselves and into the community. Look into different volunteer opportunities – drive meals to seniors as a family, bring care packages to terminally ill children in the hospital, or join a pen-pal program with orphans in third world countries. Volunteer activities will foster compassion in your child and add meaningful memories to summer that go beyond having fun.   9. Join the fun   During the school year, parents don’t get to participate in many of the fun and explorative activities their kids experience in school. Take advantage of this time by making sure to set time every day to act like a kid. Squeeze into that blanket fort, believe that the floor really is lava, and give an Oscar worthy performance as the villain in their puppet show. The memories you will share with your children will be worth far more than anything money can buy.   Variations can help   If you would like additional support in learning ways to stimulate your child’s mind and foster their creativity, Variations can help.       
	 Click here to find a specialist who can help 
       Subscribe to our blog for a weekly article on topics that affect your life         
     Y.on("domready", function(){
     Y.all('input[name="lname"]').setAttribute("value", "X");
     });
          

 
   
     
      
        
     

     

       

        
          

            

          

            
               

                 
                   First Name 
                   
                 

                 
                   Last Name 
                   
                 

               
            

          
        

        

          
             
               Email Address 
               
             
          

        

          

        

       

       
            Sign Up    
       

     

    
        We respect your privacy.  
    

     Thank you! 
      

   

 
      Found this article helpful?     Rate and review us on Google and Yelp               

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
          
             
                  
             
          
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
          
             
                  
             
          
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


              The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the highlighted topic. For a full consultation, assessment, and personalized treatment plan, schedule an appointment  with one of our specialists.   More about Variations Psychology   Variations Psychology is a group practice specializing in Child and Family Psychology.  Our specialists provide therapy to infants, children, adolescents, and adults to help them overcome the many challenges they may face throughout the lifespan of a family. We also conduct diagnostic testing of child and adult conditions that may impact the family’s mental health and development (e.g. ADHD, Autism, Depression, Anxiety, Learning Disorders, college entrance exams).   See our   Specialists   page to select the specialist that best suits your need, or simply give us a call and we will guide you.  Variations Psychology is located in Newport Beach, CA and provides counseling to residents throughout Orange County and its surrounding areas including Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Irvine, Shady Canyon, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Coto de Caza, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Yorba Linda, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo, Pelican Hill, Crystal Cove, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, Lake Forest, Huntington Beach, Sunset Beach, Seal Beach, and more.      
  
       References   Biddle SJH, Asare M Physical activity and mental health in children and adolescents: a review of reviews  British Journal of Sports Medicine  Published Online First: 01 August 2011. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2011-090185   Gasper, K. & Middlewood, B.L. (2013) Approaching novel thoughts: Understanding why elation and boredom promote associative thought more than distress and relaxation. Department of Psychology, The Pennsylvania State University, USA   The Benefits of Boredom. Melboune Child Psychology. Retrieved Online. https://www.melbournechildpsychology.com.au/blog/the-benefits-of-boredom/  Tremblay, M.S., LeBlanc, A.G., Kho, M.E., Saunders, T.J., Larouche, R., Colley, R.C., Goldfield, G., Gorber, S.C. Systematic review of sedentary behaviour and health indicators in school-aged children and youth (2011) International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 20118:98 https://doi.org/10.1186/1479-5868-8-98   Wahi G, Parkin PC, Beyene J, Uleryk EM, Birken CS. Effectiveness of Interventions Aimed at Reducing Screen Time in ChildrenA Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.  Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med.  2011;165(11):979–986. doi:10.1001/archpediatrics.2011.122

“How Do I Keep My Kids Entertained All Summer?”

“I just love entertaining my kids for every second of summer!” – Said no parent ever. If you’re a mom or dad trying to figure out how you’ll keep your kid engaged over the summer, check out this week’s blog on 9 Easy Tips for a Stimulating Summer.”

     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      10 Tricks for Talking Back and Keeping Safe from Bullies     It used to be that kids would only have to face bullies on the playground or school bus. With today’s technology, kids can be bullied 24/7, day and night, leading to an increase in depression,   suicide   ,  and other mental health issues. Parents want to protect their kids, but shielding them from bullies has become an increasingly difficult task. Fortunately, there are tips you can teach your kids to help them protect themselves.    So how can kids stay safe while standing up for themselves? Here are 10 tricks to share with your children:    1. Understand why      If you have a clear understanding of why people bully, it will be easier not to take their actions to heart. Remind yourself that people often bully because they feel inadequate about themselves and pick on others to try to feel a sense of power. A bully’s words and actions have everything to do with how they feel about themselves, and nothing to do with the person they are bullying.    2. Recognize it    Being able to label what’s happening is the first step in accepting that it’s not your fault and making a plan to stop it. Know that bullying happens in several forms: name calling, intimidation, pushing or hitting, gossiping and spreading rumors, isolating you, trying to manipulate you, etc. If you suspect you’re being bullied, it’s important to act quickly. Bullies tend to “test the water” to see how much you’ll put up with, and their actions will only get worse if no one stands up to them.    3. Protect yourself online   Modern day bullies often hide behind screens but can cause serious damage to reputations and self-esteem. Protect yourself online by only sharing passwords with your parents and no one else. Think about who sees you posts - strangers? friends? friends of friends? Ensure your privacy settings only expose your posts to people you trust. Always think through what you post and consider whether it’s something that could be used to shame or humiliate you. If someone posts something mean about you, screenshot it to show a trusted adult, report it, and block them.   4. Cultivate confidence   Kids who are victims of bullying sometimes have   difficulty in social situations   or may be bullied as a result of rumors spread about them. Overcome these challenges by walking tall, focusing on your strengths, attempting to make new friends, and practicing positive affirmations.    Examples:     “The rumors they are spreading are not true and my real friends know that.”  “I am strong and I can stand up for myself.”    Does your kid have challenges with self-esteem or making friends? Our Specialists can help. Click below to schedule your free 15-minute consultation.       


   
     
      
        Click Here
      
     
   


 
   15 Minute Consultation  
   
     
      
         

        

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            
               
               Name  *  
               Name 
              
                 
                    
                  First Name 
                 
                 
                    
                  Last Name 
                 
               
            

            

            

            

            

            

        

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            
               
               Phone  *  
               Phone 
              
                
                 
                    
                  (###) 
                 
                 
                    
                  ### 
                 
                 
                    
                  #### 
                 
               
            

            

        

            

            

            

            

            
               
                 Email  *  
                
                 
               
            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

        

            

            

            
               
                 When is a good time and date to call you?  *  
                
                 
               
            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

        

         

      

      

      
       
         
       
      

      

       Thank you! 

        
     

   

 
      5. Control your reactions   What the bully wants is a reaction – crying, yelling, etc. Avoid giving them what they want by keeping calm and ignoring them. Bullies tend to target people who come off as timid because they don’t think they’ll stand up for themselves. However, acting out in aggression can also be a problem, as it may lead to violence. The best option is to assertively tell them to stop. Believe it or not, bullies don’t think they deserve your respect, so they admire when you show self-assurance. Practice being assertive by keeping your head high and using a calm, clear voice to tell them to stop.    Examples:     “Don’t talk to me like that.”  “You don’t need to do this to be cool.”     6. Laugh it off   A bully feels power when they think they are getting to you. Laughing off their actions shows that they cannot control you with bad behaviors. If possible, try to laugh off what the bully says; this will lighten the tension and take away the reaction they aim to get out of you.    Examples:      Bully:  “You dress like my grandma!”   Kid: “ I actually borrowed this dress from her. I love her style!”   Bully:  *Posts on Instagram photo of teen*: “Ew, you look like a whale!”   Teen:  “Thank you, I love whales! What a compliment! #Whalelife”    7. Plan around them   While it’s important to stand up for yourself when needed, it’s also wise to avoid situations where you know you’ll be vulnerable and exposed to bullies. Block them on social media, eat lunch on the other side of the quad, or walk a different way home from school.   8. Lean on others   Bullying usually happens when adults aren’t around, so try to stay near adults when you know you’ll be in the presence of a bully. Let them know what’s going on - adults need to know when bullying happens so they can help you put a stop to it. Bullies are also less likely to confront you when you’re in a group, so ask friends to tag along when you when you know you’ll be in a bully’s path.    9. Join the movement   A group of anti-bullying warriors is a lot stronger than one mean bully! You can be a leader in preventing bullying in your school by joining a school safety committee or talking to your principal about starting one. A committee can identify where bullying is happening and create plans to stop it. They can also provide resources for kids to use if they or someone they know is being bullied.    10. Get a Specialist’s support    Being bullied can have severe effects and should not be taken lightly. It may be time to seek help from a specialist if you are experiencing any of the following:     Feeling afraid, stressed, depressed, or anxious    Having thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself    Having trouble with school work    Having problems with mood, energy level, sleep and appetite     If you don’t feel your school is doing enough to stop bullying or if you’re a parent who is concerned that   your child may be the one doing the bullying   ,    our specialists can help.      
	 CLick here to find a specialists that's right for you 
       Subscribe to our blog for a weekly article on topics that affect your life         
     Y.on("domready", function(){
     Y.all('input[name="lname"]').setAttribute("value", "X");
     });
          

 
   
     
      
        Sign up with your email address to receive news and updates.  
     

     

       

        
          

            

          

            
               

                 
                   First Name 
                   
                 

                 
                   Last Name 
                   
                 

               
            

          
        

        

          
             
               Email Address 
               
             
          

        

          

        

       

       
            Sign Up    
       

     

    
        We respect your privacy.  
    

     Thank you! 
      

   

 
      Found this article helpful?     Rate and review us on Google and Yelp               

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
          
             
                  
             
          
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
          
             
                  
             
          
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


              The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the highlighted topic. For a full consultation, assessment, and personalized treatment plan, schedule an appointment  with one of our specialists.   More about Variations Psychology   Variations Psychology is a group practice specializing in Child and Family Psychology.  Our specialists provide therapy to infants, children, adolescents, and adults to help them overcome the many challenges they may face throughout the lifespan of a family. We also conduct diagnostic testing of child and adult conditions that may impact the family’s mental health and development (e.g. ADHD, Autism Depression, Anxiety, Learning Disorders, college entrance exams, graduate and professional licensing exams such as MCAT, LSAT, GRE, CBEST, NCLEX, GMAT, CA Cosmetology Exam, CA Contractors State Licensing Exam, and CA Bar Exam).  See our   Specialists   page to select the specialist that best suits your need, or simply give us a call and we will guide you..  Variations Psychology is located in Newport Beach, CA and provides counseling to residents throughout Orange County and its surrounding areas including Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Irvine, Shady Canyon, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Coto de Caza, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Yorba Linda, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo, Pelican Hill, Crystal Cove, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, Lake Forest, Huntington Beach, Sunset Beach, Seal Beach, and more.      
  
       References:   Barth, F.D. (2017). 6 Smarter Ways to Deal With a Bully.  Psychology Today . Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-couch/201702/6-smarter-ways-deal-bully  Bullying. (n.d.). Retrieved from   https://www.apa.org/topics/bullying/index  Featured Topic: Bullying Research|Youth Violence|Violence Prevention|Injury   Center|CDC. (2018, July 16). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/youthviolence/bullyingresearch/index.html  Gavin, M. L. (Ed.). (2019, February). Dealing With Bullying (for Teens). Retrieved from   https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/bullies.html  School Bullying is Nothing New, But Psychologists Identify New Ways to Prevent It.   (2004, October 29). Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/research/action/bullying  Shinn. M.M. (2019).Could My Teen Have Autism?  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/could-my-teen-have-autism   Shinn. M.M. (2019). My Kid is So Defiant! Is It My Fault?  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/my-kid-is-so-defiant-is-it-my-fault   Shinn. M.M. (2019). Preventing Student Suicide With Just a Few Simple Questions.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/preventing-student-suicide-with-just-a-few-simple-questions   What Kids Can Do. (2017, September 28). Retrieved from   https://www.stopbullying.gov/kids/what-you-can-do/index.html    How to Cite This Blog Article:    Shinn. M.M. (2019). 10 Tricks for Talking Back and Keeping Safe from Bullies.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from: https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/10-tricks-for-talking-back-and-keeping-safe-from-bullies

10 Tricks for Talking Back and Keeping Safe from Bullies

“Child in critical condition after fight at school,” “Teen dies by suicide as result of cyberbullying” – it seems that week after week, new tragedies occur as a result of bullying. Check out this week’s blog for 10 tricks to teach your kids on talking back and keeping safe from bullies.