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      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.       


   
     
      
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      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.      
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              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.

     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      Preventing Student Suicide with Just a Few Simple Questions      Suicide among children and teens   is shockingly on the rise. In the wake of each tragedy, parents, peers, and educators are filled with devastation and regret. Spending so much time with children, teachers often feel guilty that they didn’t realize their student was suicidal. Other times, they sensed something was wrong but weren’t sure how to effectively intervene. So how can teachers determine if their students are at risk for suicide, and what can they do about it?    Learning these simple steps could help you save a student’s life:    1. Separate suicide and NSSI   One of the obstacles in providing proper interventions is educators not grasping the difference between suicidal behavior and non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI). Both are serious and require intervention, but the response for suicidality is different than for NSSI. Properly identifying a student’s behaviors is an important first step in getting them the right help. A few key characteristics of the two include:   Suicidal behavior/ideation:     The person has some   intention of dying       They know that their   behavior could result in death      May   seek the most painless way   to do it     NSSI:     Has   no intention   of dying      Does not believe   their actions could result in death      Seeks physical pain   to escape emotional pain    NSSI has   3 possible functions:      To   obtain relief     from a negative feeling or cognitive state e.g. stress, worry thoughts, loneliness, emptiness    To   resolve     interpersonal conflict e.g. family arguments, divorce, sibling rivalry, peer conflict    To   induce   a positive feeling state e.g. euphoria, decrease numbness       For an in-depth look at NSSI and what to do about it,    click here     2. Explore the C-SSRS   The Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS) was developed to provide a simple, accurate, and effective tool that anyone can use to evaluate risk for suicide. You do not need to be a mental health professional to administer it; all it requires is asking a series of simple questions and referring them to mental health services if their answers raise any red flags.    The full C-SSRS screening tool is available in several versions.   Below are a few quick links to commonly used versions.      Click here to access all versions of the C-SSRS.           C-SSRS for Teachers           C-SSRS for Family and Friends           C-SSRS for Teens to Talk to Friends           C-SSRS for Parents      3. Identify ideation   The first step in applying the C-SSRS is identifying ideation. If you are concerned your student may be at risk for suicide, start by asking these 2 questions:    “Have you wished you were dead or wished you could go to sleep and not wake up?”    “Have you actually had any thoughts of making yourself not alive anymore?”     4. Ask more as needed   When administering the C-SSRS, you only need to ask as many questions as it takes to determine whether your student has had suicidal ideation or behaviors. If your student answered no to both ideation questions, you can rule out ideation and jump right into the behavior questions listed in our next point. If they answered yes to either or both ideation questions, ask a few more ideation questions to gain understanding:    “Have you been thinking about how you might do this?”    “Have you had these thoughts and had some intention of acting on them?”    “Have you started to work out or worked out the details of how to kill yourself? Do you intend to carry out this plan?”     5. Assess for behaviors    Whether or not your student has indicated ideation, you must also ask behavioral questions. Determine whether they’ve engaged in suicidal behaviors by asking the following questions:    “Have you made a suicide attempt?”    “Have you done anything to harm yourself?”    “Have you done anything dangerous to where you could have died?”     6. Inquire about interruptions   Next, ask your student if there were ever times where they had attempts that were either stopped by someone interrupting them, or by them having second thoughts:    “Has there been a time when you started to do something to end your life but someone or something stopped you before you actually did anything?”    “Has there been a time when you started to do something to end your life but you stopped yourself before you actually did anything?”     7. Ask about preparatory behaviors   Even if your student has not indicated making any attempts, it’s important to find out if they’ve done anything to prepare to end their life. Examples could include collecting pills, purchasing a gun, writing a suicide note, or giving valuables away.      “Have you taken any steps toward making a suicide attempt or preparing to kill yourself?”     8. Know when it’s an emergency   If your student answers yes to any questions regarding ideation, behaviors, or non-suicidal self-injury, it’s important to refer them to mental health resources. For a student to require a 911 call and/or immediate escort to emergency services, they should meet either of the following criteria:    Active suicidal ideation with some intent to act, without specific plan    Active suicidal ideation with specific plan and intent     Check out these video clips to learn how to ask C-SSRS questions:    Joanna’s example       </iframe>" data-provider-name=""        Gabriel’s example       </iframe>" data-provider-name=""        Andrea’s example       </iframe>" data-provider-name=""          Click here to watch Columbia University’s C-SSRS webinar      9. Reach out and speak up   If your student’s answers have indicated suicidal ideation, suicidal behaviors, or non-suicidal self-injury, quickly share your findings with the school leadership, crisis response team, school psychologist, school counselor or other mental health professional on campus. If you’re not sure who to alert, call 911. As a preventative measure, advocate for mental health programming to be offered on campus so that all students learn healthy coping skills and become aware of available resources.    10. Host a C-SSRS training   The best way to prevent tragedy on campus is to get your faculty on the same page with effective tools that address mental health emergencies. While you don’t have to be a mental health professional to administer the C-SSRS, it’s best to complete a brief online training and receive additional in-person education from a mental health professional to fully grasp how to evaluate student answers in real-life scenarios.      Here is a listing of C-SSRS training options      including pre-recorded and live webinars.    If you represent a private school or district that would like to do an in-service teacher training, our Specialists can:    Visit your campus for in-person training    Answer questions and review key concepts of applying the C-SSRS    Provide realistic examples of evaluating students’ risk for self-harm    Help teachers prepare students for educational units or aspects of popular culture that may romanticize suicide (example:  Romeo and Juliet,  TV shoes depicting suicide, etc.)        
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              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:   The Columbia Lighthouse Project (2018). The Columbia Protocol for Your Setting.  The Columbia Protocol for Communities and Healthcare.  Retrieved from http://cssrs.columbia.edu/the-columbia-scale-c-ssrs/cssrs-for-communities-and-healthcare/#filter=.general-use.english  The Columbia Lighthouse Project (2018). Community Card for Teachers.  The Columbia Protocol for Communities and Healthcare.  Retrieved from http://cssrs.columbia.edu/wp-content/uploads/Community-Card-Teachers-2018c.pdf  The Columbia Lighthouse Project (2018). Community Card for Friends and Family.  The Columbia Protocol for Communities and Healthcare.  Retrieved from http://cssrs.columbia.edu/wp-content/uploads/Community-Card-2women-2018c.pdf  The Columbia Lighthouse Project (2018). Community Card for Teens.  The Columbia Protocol for Communities and Healthcare.  Retrieved from http://cssrs.columbia.edu/wp-content/uploads/Community-Card-Teens-2018c.pdf  The Columbia Lighthouse Project (2018). Community Card for Parents.  The Columbia Protocol for Communities and Healthcare.  Retrieved from http://cssrs.columbia.edu/wp-content/uploads/Community-Card-Parents-2018c.pdf  The Columbia Lighthouse Project (2017).  C-SSRS Training . [Video webinar]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epTDFFv3uwc&list=PLZ6DpvOfzN1kV1F_lDw9-26JifBSDlIbF&index=2&app=desktop  Shinn, M.M. (2018). Cutting & Other Self-Harm: What Every Parent Needs to Know.  Psychologically Speaking . [Variations Psychology blog post].  Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/cutting-other-self-harm-what-every-parent-needs-to-know    Shinn, M.M. (2018). 8 Tips to Create a Mentally Healthy Classroom.   Psychologically Speaking . [Variations Psychology blog post].  Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/8-tips-to-create-a-mentally-healthy-classroom   Shinn. M.M. (2019). Parent’s Guide: What to do When Your Child’s Friend Dies by Suicide.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/parents-guide-what-to-do-when-your-childs-friend-dies-by-suicide    Shinn. M.M. (2019). Suicide Prevention in the School Setting.  Variations Psychology, Futures Academy.  [Webinar].   Posner, K.; Brent, D.; Lucas, C.; Gould, M.; Stanley, B.; Brown, G.; Fisher, P.; Zelazny, J.; Burke, A.; Oquendo, M.; Mann, J.(2008) Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS). The Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene, Inc. Retrieved from https://cssrs.columbia.edu/wp-content/uploads/C-SSRS_Pediatric-SLC_11.14.16.pdf    How to Cite This Blog Article:    Shinn. M.M. (2019). Preventing Suicide in Students: How 3-6 Questions Can Save Lives.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from: https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/preventing-student-suicide-with-just-a-few-simple-questions

Preventing Student Suicide with Just a Few Simple Questions

We’ve all been pained by recent news stories of teens and even young children dying by suicide. This week’s blog delves into how teachers can save lives with 3-6 simple questions.

     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      The Teacher’s TCIT Toolkit    Children yearn to feel understood but it’s challenging for teachers to build relationships with students who talk back, distract other kids, and refuse to comply with instructions. But what if there was a way to change the dynamic between teachers and disruptive kids? What if there was a method to get these students engaged in lessons, behaving calmly, and complying with commands? Though this may sound like a fairy tale, a behavioral intervention called Teacher Child Interaction Training (TCIT) may be able to make this dream a reality in your classroom.    So what can you do to apply TCIT with your students?       1. Know the need     10 to 22% of students struggle with behavioral issues or psychological disorders, and teachers often feel ill-equipped to support these students’ needs. With the expectation of meeting every students’ unique needs, it’s only natural for teachers to feel frustrated with kids who act out. This begins a vicious cycle of a child acting disruptively, a teacher responding with negative attention, and a classroom missing out on opportunities to learn. With TCIT however, teachers can increase desirable behaviors and create a positive classroom environment.     2. Discover the benefits       Research on TCIT has shown it as an effective way to:      Increase job satisfaction in educators    Reduce disruptive behaviors in students    Improve interactions between children and teachers    Improve students’ emotional intelligence and academic performance    Increase students’ compliance and self-regulation    Decrease teachers’ need to issue commands     TCIT benefits children with a variety of conditions that can be challenging for teachers to support including:    Oppositional Defiant Disorder    Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder    Conduct Disorder    Child Maltreatment & Trauma    Bipolar Disorder    Anxiety & Depressive Disorders     3. Apply the principles      Families around the world have discovered the benefits of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), an intervention that teaches parents how to increase positive experiences with their children. The principles of PCIT improve a child’s compliance by:    Providing clear and consistent expectations for their behavior    Increasing positive attention toward children     Using selective attention by ignoring minor unwanted behaviors    Reducing criticisms and questions    TCIT embraces these principles while adapting techniques to the classroom setting.   4. Educate with PRIDE      TCIT identifies 5 core skills that teachers can use to improve teacher-student relationships. By giving students opportunities to lead activities and incorporating these skills while observing them, teachers can reinforce positive behaviors in students:      PRAISE   – Label the behaviors you appreciate in your students, praising them for acting appropriately.     Younger Child Example : “I love how Marta is using her pencil.”   Older Child Example:  “Thank you for being in your seat before the bell.”     REFLECTION   – Reflect back on things your students say to show that you are listening and appreciate their thoughts.     Younger Child Example :  Student:  “I wrote a story about a superhero who gets his powers from lima beans.”  Teacher:  “You wrote a superhero story!”    Older Child Example:   Student:  “I coded this entire webpage!”   Teacher:  “Coding is your thing!”     IMITATION   – Boost your student’s confidence by copying their creations or ideas. Imitation shows children that you enjoy interacting with them and think their ideas are valuable and interesting.     Younger Child Example : “I’m going to paint an animal picture just like Lola.”   Older Child Example:  “I like how you explained that formula, I am going to explain it that way to the other students.”      DESCRIPTION   – Support your students’ language development and communication skills by describing what you see them doing.     Younger Child Example : “I see you’re carefully gluing each piece of your project together.”   Older Child Example:  “I see you’re writing everything in your planner.”     ENJOYMENT   – Express enthusiasm and enjoyment as you interact with your class. The more fun you are having, the more engaged your students will be.     Younger Child Example : “I’m having so much fun practicing for our spring recital!”    Older Child Example:  “I really enjoy going to competitions with our team!”    Click to download our free PRIDE Skills for Teachers Form       
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       5. Point out the positive     A key element of TCIT is giving more attention to the positive than the negative. When teachers react to negative attention-seeking behaviors, students will continue to seek attention by acting out. When behaviors are only mildly disruptive, ignore them and look for the next opportunity to point out something positive the student does. Of course, there are times when behaviors can’t be ignored, which brings us to our next tips:     6. Set rules strategically     Establishing clear rules is essential for students to understand your expectations. Be strategic in setting rules that are:     Simple  – Rules should be easily understandable for your students’ age      Specific  – Gray areas leave room for students to argue or negotiate     Visible  – Display rules in a noticeable area     Enforceable  – “Respect yourself,” is a great goal to encourage students to have, but it’s too vague to enforce as a rule with consequences     7. Connect your consequences     Let’s say a child pushes a classmate during reading and you don’t allow them to participate in a trivia game two hours later. Your consequence might not make sense to them because they’ve moved on with their day and missing an academic game isn’t clearly connected to pushing. When a child doesn’t understand how a consequence relates to their behavior, they are more likely to break that rule again. A more effective consequence would be to have them sit away from other students until they can keep their hands to themselves. By immediately enforcing clear consequences, your students will be less likely to repeat the same mistakes moving forward.      8. Be a calm commander     The TCIT method calls for giving commands that are simple, calm, and direct. To ensure your instructions are TCIT approved, give commands that are:    Given one at a time    Explained in a calm, neutral tone      Stated after a reason ( Reason : “We are going outside for recess.”  Command : “When I call your table, please line up at the door.”)    Respectful and polite (Starting with, “please,” models good manners)    Specific (“Please stay in your seat.” “Please talk with your group quietly,” rather than, “please behave during group work.”)    Positively stated (“Please keep your feet on the ground” instead of, “stop putting your feet on your desk”)       


   
     
      
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      9. Is managing student behavior stressing you out?     Are you a teacher feeling stressed out with the demands of managing a classroom while meeting academic standards? Do you represent a district or private school and want to learn more about how to implement TCIT in your school? Reach out to us for a consultation and learn about our school-based coaching service to empower teachers with the TCIT model.    Dr. Marta M. Shinn, Ph.D.,  is an expert in child and educational psychology and a U.C. Davis TCIT & PCIT trainer. Dr. Shinn is experienced in empowering teachers and mental health professionals in understanding the TCIT method and incorporating its principles into their school’s culture.     


   
     
      
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              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:   Budd, K.S., Stern, D. (2016). About TCIT.  TCIT.org.  Retrieved online: http://www.tcit.org/home/about/  Budd, K.S., Stern, D. (2016). Educators.  TCIT.org.  Retrieved online: http://www.tcit.org/educators/  Dover, V., Murillo, M., Garcia, A., Curiel, C., & Vargas, L. (2008). University of California Davis. https://pcit.ucdavis.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/3_TCIT-Presentation-for-Conf.pdf  Giebel, S. (2018). E.C.M.H. Teacher-Child Interaction Therapy Model.  University of Pittsburgh Office of Child Development.  Retrieved online: https://www.ocd.pitt.edu/ECMH-Teacher-Child-Interaction-Therapy-Model/354/Default.aspx  Linson, Michael (2015). How to Create the Perfect Set of Classroom Rules.  Smart Classroom Management.  Retrieved online: https://www.smartclassroommanagement.com/2015/07/18/how-to-create-the-perfect-set-of-classroom-rules/  Lyon, A. R., Gershenson, R. A., Farahmand, F. K., Thaxter, P. J., Behling, S., & Budd, K. S. (2009). Effectiveness of Teacher-Child Interaction Training (TCIT) in a Preschool Setting.  Behavior Modification ,  33 (6), 855–884. https://doi.org/10.1177/0145445509344215  McIntosh, D.E., Rizza, M.G., Bliss, L. (2000). Implementing empirically supported interventions: Teacher-Child interaction therapy.  Psychology in the Schools.  Retrieved online: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/1520-6807(200009)37:5%3C453::AID-PITS5%3E3.0.CO;2-2  PCIT & TCIT Training (2018). PCITtraining.com. Retrieved online: https://pcit-training.com/tcit/what-is-teacher-child-interaction-training/  Urquiza, A., Zebell, N., Timmer, S., McGrath, J., & Whitten, L. (2011) Be Direct: Improving Compliance Giving Effective Commands .  Course of Treatment Manual for PCIT-TC.  Unpublished Manuscript. Retrieved online: https://pcit.ucdavis.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/48_BEDIRECTrevised.pdf  Watson, A. (2018). How to Create Class Rules.  The Cornerstone for Teachers.  Retrieved online: https://thecornerstoneforteachers.com/class-rules/    How to Cite This Blog Article:    Shinn. M.M. (2019). The Teacher’s TCIT Toolkit  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from: https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/the-teachers-tcit-toolkit

The Teacher’s TCIT Toolkit

Calling all teachers!Do you feel at your wit’s end with disruptive kids?

Are you stressed with trying to support your students’ emotional health while meeting rising academic standards?

Teacher Child Interaction Therapy (TCIT) has been shown to reduce disruptive behaviors in students and improve relationships between kids and educators - all while improving job satisfaction for teachers! To learn 9 tips on bringing TCIT into your classroom, check out this week’s blog.

     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      8 Tips to Create a Mentally Healthy Classroom   Back-to-school is a hectic time for teachers, but it’s also very exciting. The new year offers a fresh start to get to know each student and create a personalized learning environment to help them grow. With this excitement comes both challenge and responsibility – challenge in learning the unique needs of each child, and responsibility for tailoring teaching methods to empower every student toward success. But learning isn’t one-size-fits-all, and it can be difficult for teachers to know how to respond to the varying needs of each of students.  So what can teachers do to support the mental health needs of their students?   Follow these 8 tips to support students through common learning & mental health obstacles:    1. Limit Distractions   Children with challenges related to motivation, attention, or hyperactivity may all have trouble staying focused in class. Teachers can help students remain focused by establishing eye contact, seating them strategically to keep them on task, and keeping most critical thinking tasks in the morning.  Teachers can also download this   FOCUS skills handout,   developed by   Dr. Marta M. Shinn  , with tips to support on task behaviors in school and at home.   2. Break it up   Breaking up big tasks can make classwork feel less overwhelming and more manageable for students with anxiety, depression, ADHD, motivation issues, and autism spectrum disorder. Instead of giving them a 30-page reading assignment to complete by the end of the week, assign 6 pages per night that will be reviewed the next day. Consider giving frequent, shorter quizzes rather than limiting testing to one or two high stakes exams.   3. Teach emotional regulation   Many mental health issues have to do with a person’s lack of healthy coping skills to process difficult emotions. This is often true for children with anxiety, depression, or self-harming behaviors. By teaching students healthy coping skills to manage their feelings, you can help them reduce negative symptoms so they can focus on learning.  Try the following strategies:    Teach breathing exercises and muscle relaxation techniques    Have the class write positive affirmations about themselves and what they will accomplish this school year    Don’t let students out of tasks that intimidate them – instead, talk to them about ways they can cope with their fears     4. Ignite their interest    You may not be able to make certain subjects easier for students, but you can make them more interesting. This can be especially engaging for unmotivated students or children with autism. Get to know your students’ interests and try to integrate them into your lessons wherever possible, especially on tasks they find difficult or overwhelming.   Examples:   If you have a student with autism that has a fixation on the Lakers, create word problems that incorporate basketball player names.  If you have a student who is unmotivated in English but loves doing ballet, encourage her to write her paper on what dance means to her.   5. Create a uniform front   Students achieve the greatest success when they feel supported by teachers, parents, and counselors. It can be tough to build relationships with every student’s family, but try to periodically check in with parents to discuss what strategies do and don’t work in helping their child learn.   6. Offer Predictability    Many learning disorders and mental health conditions benefit from predictability. Let your students know exactly what they can expect to do in class each day. Offer 10, 5, and 1-minute transition warnings to prepare children to move to the next task. List daily plans and lesson components on the board so students know what to expect. Stick to consistent, predictable routines and give plenty of warning when the routine will be altered.   Example:  “James, next Monday I will be visiting my grandmother, so  you are going to have a substitute teacher that day.”   7. Choose positivity over punishment    Though this can be difficult with students who are especially disruptive, do your best to use positive reinforcement more often than punishment. While there is a place for consequences, try to ignore mildly disruptive behaviors and make sure to praise students when they are on task, well-behaved, and completing work on time. Focusing on positive reinforcement will not only increase desirable behaviors in students with ADHD, behavioral issues, and autism, but it will also boost confidence in students struggling with depression, anxiety, and self-harm.   8. Emphasize Always   Students will only feel comfortable being honest with you if they feel you won’t respond with anxiety, shock, or judgement. When a student opens up to you about mental health challenges, build trust by validating their feelings, expressing understanding, and working with them to find healthy ways to cope.   Example : “I’m glad you felt comfortable coming to me about your depression and how it’s been affecting your school work. I understand how difficult middle school can be and I am always here to listen as you work through this. Can we visit the school counselor to discuss some ways to help you when you’re feeling depressed?”   9. Check out these resources   The following handouts, developed by   Clinical & Educational Psychologist Dr. Marta M. Shinn  , were designed to help educators understand the best ways to support students with common mental health issues. Check them out for detailed tips on supporting students with each specific diagnosis:    Strategies to Supporting Students with ADHD      Strategies to Supporting Students with Anxiety      Strategies to Supporting Students with Autism      Strategies to Supporting Students with Depression      Strategies to Supporting Students with Non-Suicidal Self-Injury      Strategies to Supporting Students who are Unmotivated     Dr. Marta M. Shinn, Ph.D. , is a Psychologist, Research Scientist, and nationally recognized speaker on topics related to clinical child psychology and educational psychology. Dr. Shinn has spoken at several schools and universities to empower educators in policies and methods that promote their students’ mental health.    If you are interested in having Dr. Shinn speak at your school or institution, learn more by clicking here.     If you are a teacher seeking a counselor to refer your students to, you can refer to your school-based counselor or to a community counselor such as the child therapists at Variations Psychology.      To learn more about our child psychology specialists, click here.        Subscribe to our blog for a weekly article on topics that affect your life:         
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              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:   Alberta Education (2001). Teaching Students with Mental Health Disorders.  British Columbia Ministry of Education . Retrieved online: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/education/kindergarten-to-grade-12/teach/teaching-tools/inclusive/mental-health-disorders-vol2.pdf  Anxietybc.com (2018). Retrieved online: https://www.anxietybc.com/educators  Bubrick, K. Goodman, J., Whitlock, J. Non-Suicidal Self-Injury in Schools: Developing and Implementing School Protocol.  Cornell University.  http://www.selfinjury.bctr.cornell.edu/documents/schools.pdf   C8 Sciences. (2014). C8 Sciences: Helping Teachers Recognize the Symptoms of ADHD in their Students. Retrieved online: https://www.c8sciences.com/symptoms-of-adhd-in-students-tips-for-teachers/  Child Autism Parent Café. (2015). Supporting Students with Autism: 10 Ideas for Inclusive Classrooms. Retrieved online: http://www.child-autism-parent-cafe.com/supporting-students-with-autism.html  Crundwell, M.A. & Killu, K. (2010). Responding to a Student’s Depression.  Interventions that Work.  Vol. 68, No. 2, pp. 46-51   Cuncic, A. (2018). How to Teach Students with an Anxiety Disorder. Verywellmind.org. Retrieved online: https://www.verywellmind.com/teaching-students-with-sad-3024340  Ehmke, R. Anxiety in the Classroom: What it looks like and why it’s often mistaken for something else. (2018). Childmind.org. Retrieved online: https://childmind.org/article/classroom-anxiety-in-children/  Gavin, M. L. (2016) What Teachers Should Know. Retrieved online: https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/depression-factsheet.html  GlobalAutismProject.org (2015). What is autism?  Global Autism Project . Retrieved online:  https://www.globalautismproject.org/about-autism/?gclid=CjwKCAjw0ujYBRBDEiwAn7BKt5dJ3ndm1t8-e4mzQEGXvMgd5lzZSo4CaK6yEdkGHYXRgOEXVRM6fBoClFQQAvD_BwE  Hurst, M. (2018). Teenagers with Autism: Symptoms, Treatment, and Help.  CRCHealth . Retrieved online: https://www.crchealth.com/troubled-teenagers/autism-in-teenagers/   Jean, S. (2014). Back to School: Identifying Signs of Depression and Anxiety in College Students. Westbridge.org. Retrieved online: https://www.westbridge.org/identifying-depression-anxiety-college-students/  McCormac, M.E. (2016). Address Student Anxiety.  American School Counselor Association . Retrieved online: https://www.schoolcounselor.org/magazine/blogs/september-october-2016/address-student-anxiety  Preyde, M., Parekh, S., & Heintzman, J. (2018). Youths’ Experiences of School Re-Integration Following Psychiatric Hospitalization.  Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry ,  27 (1), 22–32.   Psych 4 Schools (2018). Unmotivated and Disengaged.  Psych4schools.com.au  Retrieved online: https://www.psych4schools.com.au/free-resources/unmotivated-disengaged/   RaisingChildrenNetwork.net.au (2018). Signs of autism spectrum disorder in older children and  teenagers.  Raising Children Network.  Retrieved online: http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/autism_spectrum_disorder_signs_teenagers.html  Russell, K.R. Hartung, S. Q. (2015) Identifying the Signs of Self-Harm in Students.  NASN School Nurse  Vol 31, Issue 2, pp. 121 – 124  Selekman, M.D.  (2010). Helping Self-Harming Students.  Health and Learning.  Vol 67 No 4 pp. 48-53. http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational_leadership/dec09/vol67/num04/Helping_Self-Harming_Students.aspx  Smith, M. Segal, J. Hutman, T. (2018). Helping your child with autism thrive.  Helpguide.org.  Retrieved online. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/autism-learning-disabilities/helping-your-child-with-autism-thrive.htm  Smith, M. Segal, J. (2018). Teaching Students with ADHD.  Helpguide.org.  Retrieved online. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/add-adhd/teaching-students-with-adhd-attention-deficit-disorder.htm  Shinn, M. (2016). Dealing with Feelings Study. FOCUS handout   Shore, K. (2018). The Unmotivated Student.  Education World.  Retrieved online: http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/shore/shore060.shtml  Stough, L.M., Baker, L. (1999. Identifying Depression in Students with Mental Retardation.  Teaching Exceptional Children.  Vol 31, issue 4. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/004005999903100411?journalCode=tcxa   How to Cite This Blog Article:   Shinn, M.M. (2018). 8 Tips to Create a Mentally Healthy Classroom.   Psychologically Speaking .   [Variations Psychology blog post].  Retrieved from https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/8-tips-to-create-a-mentally-healthy-classroom

8 Tips to Create a Mentally Healthy Classroom

It’s common for teachers to have students with challenges that impact their learning such as ADHD, autism, anxiety, and depression just to name a few. With so many different obstacles, what can teachers do to ensure their classroom supports the needs of all of their students? Our Specialists at Variations Psychology compiled 8 classroom strategies for teachers to use to support the mental health of every student. Check it out before you head back-to-school!