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Question 3 of 5: Evaluating a Youngster’s Self-Esteem

There are five questions that pertain to the evaluation of a child or adolescent’s self-esteem. It is probable that a child with low self-esteem will have difficult in more than one area addressed by these five questions.

These questions come from a downloadable guide for parents, grandparents and teachers entitled, “Improving a Youngster’s Self-Esteem.” For more information about this informative guide, go to: http://www.docspeak.com/Ebooks/esteem.htm

James Sutton, Child and Adolescent Psychologist

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Question 3 of 5: Evaluating a Youngster’s Self-Esteem

HOW DOES SHE HANDLE CRITICISM, EVEN CONSTRUCTIVE, WELL-INTENDED CRITICISM?

Does she accept criticism graciously and use it as a springboard for improvement, or does just about ANY criticism bring about a response like, “How come you’re always picking on ME?”

Some youngsters feel they have long since met their quota of mistakes … for the rest of their lives! So, when one more is help up in front of them, they’re not exactly happy about it.

Sometimes there is an opposite effect. This is the youngster who had difficulty accepting comliments. This situation is actually part of the same concern.

We all have an image of ourselves as a total person. If that image is a poor one, compliments will be in conflict with it. In other words, the compliment can’t find a place to “fit.” Consequently, the youngster might reject a compliment in order to maintain consistency of a poor self-image and of low self-esteem. One might say that this is self-defeating and that it doesn’t make much sense at all. But it is consistent.

NEXT: Question 4 of 5: Evaluating a Youngster’s Self-Esteem

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August 31, 2006 Posted by | Difficult Child, Educators, Parents, Self-esteem, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Question 2 of 5: Evaluating a Youngster’s Self-Esteem

There are five questions that pertain to the evaluation of a child or adolescent’s self-esteem. It is probable that a child with low self-esteem will have difficult in more than one area addressed by these five questions.

These questions come from a downloadable guide for parents, grandparents and teachers entitled, “Improving a Youngster’s Self-Esteem.” For more information about this informative guide, go to: http://www.docspeak.com/Ebooks/esteem.htm

James Sutton, Child and Adolescent Psychologist

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Question 2 of 5: Evaluating a Youngster’s Self-Esteem

HOW WELL DOES HE HANDLE FRUSTRATION?

Can he handle quite a bit before he “loses it?” Can he creatively use setbacks as challenges to try even harder, or is he overly reactive to aggravation and setbacks?

It’s easy to see how the behavior of an angry youngster can bring about consequences that only create more frustration when the consequences are applied. The frustrated child finds himself in a hole that moves only in one direction … deeper, then deeper still.

If self-esteem is a container from which we manage our stress,then some folks carry buckets; others have thimbles. You can size them up easily during moments of frustration. Said another way, a low tolerance for frustration is almost always a tip-off to low self-esteem.

NEXT: Question 3 of 5: Evaluating a Youngster’s Self-Esteem

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August 29, 2006 Posted by | Difficult Child, Educators, Parents, Self-esteem | Leave a comment

Question 1 of 5: Evaluating a Youngster’s Self-Esteem

There are five questions that pertain to the evaluation of a child or adolescent’s self-esteem. It is probable that a child with low self-esteem will have difficult in more than one area addressed by these five questions.

These questions come from a downloadable guide for parents, grandparents and teachers entitled, “Improving a Youngster’s Self-Esteem.” For more information about this informative guide, go to: http://www.docspeak.com/Ebooks/esteem.htm

James Sutton, Child and Adolescent Psychologist

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Question 1 of 5: Evaluating a Youngster’s Self-Esteem

HOW DO YOU BELIEVE SHE (OR HE) VIEWS HER OWN IMAGE AND ABILITIES?

It’s not unusual for youngsters to have issues with their physical appearance. Our bodies stay with us for life (fortunately). They are an individual’s direct connection with the outside world, and the only part of us that others can see, hear, and touch.

Is she confident regarding her physical appearance? If she is not comfortable, is the problem an authentic one, perhaps even one that could be repaired (like crooked teeth)? Or is her issue with her appearance primarily in her own perception only, such as an attractive child believing somehow that she is ugly?

Does she put herself down when it comes to appearance and physical characteristics? What is the nature of her complaints and concerns?

Does she feel up to the challenge of comparing herself and her abilities with age and grade peers?

Sports is another area which showcases a youngster’s abilities, or lack of them. How is she in this area? Competitive sports like soccer and Little League come into a child’s life early on and continue through school and non-school functions and events for years. For some youngsters, the pressure to perform is anything but fun.

NEXT: Question 2 of 5: Evaluating a Youngster’s Self-Esteem

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August 28, 2006 Posted by | Difficult Child, Educators, Parents, Self-esteem | Leave a comment

Collision Course: One Size DOESN’T Fit All

Collision Course: One Size DOESN’T Fit All 

When two related circumstances come crashing together on the same day, it’s hard to cast it off as circumstance. The real question becomes one of, “What is the lesson here, and how do I best learn from it?”

(My apologies for the HTML “scramble” on the fonts here. It’s what happens sometimes when you cut-and-paste. I worked on it, and it only got worse!)

 James Sutton, Psychologist http://www.docspeak.com/

Event #1: On a flight home from Washington, D.C., a fellow passenger passed me a copy of the May 5th, 2001, US News and World Report. The magazine contained a gripping article about youth suicide (“Where Do Hopes Go?”).

According to the article it had been a year since two friends, a couple of teenage boys, deliberately ended their lives by crashing a parent’s vehicle into a huge tree in front of a church in East Haddam, Connecticut. The whole community was shaken by the event.At first, nothing seemed “typical.” The boys came from caring, middle-class homes. The act had been planned for weeks, and the boys had freely discussed their plans with friends (who were sworn to remain silent about it).

In hindsight, however, there were clues. Between the two boys there was unresolved grief, persistent drug use, serious deterioration of grades, abandonment of commitments and talk of no-way-out hopelessness. In the end, neither of these boys felt that things could ever improve or that anyone, even friends, could help them. (If you think about it, this is a type of arrogance, but I don’t fault youngsters for it; their perception is flawed. Strongly insisting that they are wrong usually just adds fuel to their fire. If anyone, adults included, knew exactly what to do to make their life work out, wouldn’t most of them do it?) No wonder the Surgeon General has proclaimed youth suicide to be a national crisis in this country.

What makes this East Haddam story even more gripping is the fact that a survey taken some time before the dual suicide had indicated that 30% of the community’s 8th-graders reported being depressed “All or most of the time.” To the question, “Does your community care about you?” 80% of the teens reported, “No.”

To their credit, the folks of East Haddam are working on the problem in a community-wide effort to not only care about their young people, but to make certain the kids know it.

Event #2: It’s the evening of the same day as I check my email. There’s one from a worried mom. Her 13-year-old daughter had shut down in school. There were other related concerns, but the primary problem was noncompliance.

This girl was not dangerous; her behavior threatened no one. The remedy consisted of removing her from her regular school and placing her into a behavioral class in a very tough alternative school. At this facility, youngsters and their things are searched upon entering the school, and they are forbidden to bring a lunch from home (a security issue). Apparently there’s a physically demanding, boot-camp-like component to the program.According to the mother, the girl was traumatized by the whole experience. She lost focus, lost sleep, lost weight and lost hope. There was some temporary improvement in some grades, but at what cost? If the situation actually was as this mother described (an important if), her concerns seem justified.I was an educator long before I was a psychologist. I know full well the challenges schools face today in providing education that is accountable and fair to all concerned. But in this girl’s case it is possible that the school’s “cure” for her noncompliance could do serious harm to her one way or another.

Instead of trying to figure out why she might be having trouble (something that might respond better to focused intervention than punishment), someone in charge seemed more concerned about how many weapons she might try to pack into a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Ignorance, indifference and a one-size-fits-all approach to handling young people and their problems are worse than ineffective. They might eventually start running some kids into trees.

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August 23, 2006 Posted by | Difficult Child, Educators, Parents, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What Parents Need to Know About ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder)

This posting is to let folks know that I have finally completed a downloadable guide for parents Difficult Kidsof difficult and defiant youngsters. This 140-page guide (a simple, downloadable, pdf format e-book) is actually a major revision of an earlier one. It will be available in bookstores in 2007, but here’s a chance to have it in your hands IMMEDIATELY.

This new, downloadable publication addresses oppositional and defiant behavior in young people from the perspective of difficulties they can create in their homes, at school, and in their own futures. Although it is well-referenced (22 references to the work of other experts in the field, in addition, of course, to my own 30+ years of “been there; done that” experience), What Parents Need to Know About ODD, revised, is easy to read and full of common sense applications and interventions.

This revision is VERY unique in that it contains two whole chapters on school issues with the difficult and defiant youngster. These came from educators in the trenches; folks who have a reputation for working wonders with difficult students.

Folks linking from this posting will be able to get this whole downloadable guide on working with oppositional and defiant youngsters at an introductory nominal charge that is MUCH less than the cover price that will appear in 2007 (and I will personally GUARANTEE your investment).  To check it out, go to the links on this blog and click on Real Help for Frustrated Parents of Defiant Children, or click on the link (next to the photo of the book) at my homepage of DocSpeak.com. Or you can email me at suttonjd@docspeak.com.

 By the way, keep you eye on this blog for more on the subject of experiencing more success with the difficult and defiant child or adolescent.

James Sutton, Psychologist

August 21, 2006 Posted by | Difficult Child, Parents | 1 Comment

Part 2 of 2: Protect Your Children from Cyberbullying (Internet Bullying)

Part 2 of 2: Protect Your Children From Cyberbullying (Internet Bullying)

Here is an article from Israel Kahlman; he wants the word to get out to as many folks as possible. I personally had the opportunity to spend the day training under Izzy, and feel that he knows of what he speaks. As a bonus, he has a big heart for young people. As you will notice, it is written for young people. Show it to your children; it might save them a world of trouble.

I’m printing it here in two parts. I’m not sure Izzy’s links will show up as I cut-and-paste, but I do encourage you to visit his website at http://www.Bullies2Buddies.com.

James Sutton, Psychologist

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5. Don’t try to get kids in trouble for cyberbullying. If you tell the school or the police on them, they will hate you and want to be even meaner to you. Furthermore, getting them in trouble would be against the Golden Rule – “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” What would you rather have someone do to you: 1) Write something mean about you to other kids, or 2) Get you in trouble with the school or the police? Of course you’d prefer the first. One of the meanest things you can do to people is to get them in trouble with the authorities. Therefore, if you get kids in trouble for cyberbullying, what you are doing to them is much worse than what they did to you. Just because they did something mean to you, it doesn’t make it right to be even meaner to them. When people are mean to you, talk to them directly, without anger. They will like and respect you much more than if you go to the authorities.If people are making serious threats against you, and you think they are actually planning to harm you, that is a different matter. Then you should tell your parents or the school, or go to the police if necessary. But if you are reasonably sure they don’t intend to carry out their threats, it’s best not to pay attention to them.

6. There’s an old saying, “Bad publicity is better than no publicity.” Have you ever stood in line at a supermarket? Have you noticed the magazines at the checkout counter? They are full of nasty stuff about famous people, or “celebrities”. And these things are often true! How can celebrities stand it when their pictures, along with nasty stories about them and their families are in every supermarket in the country? And you know who gets made fun of the most? The President! Newspapers, magazines and TV shows are always criticizing him. How does the President handle it?The simple truth is that the more famous and powerful you are the more people are going to want to make fun of you. So if other kids are spreading mean things about you, tell yourself they are giving you free publicity and helping to make you famous. Remember, when kids read mean things about you on the Internet, it’s not like they’re reading it in a newspaper. They know that a lot of the nasty stuff is nonsense. So don’t worry that they’ll all believe it.  

7. There’s always a chance that kids are bullying you over the Internet because they are mad at you. It’s a good idea to ask the kids writing the nasty stuff “Are you mad at me?” If they answer “Yes,” ask them why. If they tell you, discuss the matter with them – without anger – and apologize if it seems right to do so. If they are not mad at you, they may realize they have no good reason to be so mean will stop. If they continue to do it, you might then ask them why they are doing it if they are not mad at you. If they still don’t stop, let them do it all they want and show them it is perfectly okay with you.  

8. You may be really upset because they are “destroying your reputation.” Destroying the reputation of adults can cause serious, real-life harm to them. For instance, it can hurt their ability to get a job or a marriage partner. The crimes of “slander” and “libel” are not protected by Freedom of Speech, and adults can take people to court for doing it to them. You may feel like doing so, too. However, if you’re a kid, it’s usually not the same as with adults. You don’t have much of a “reputation” to be destroyed and the cyberbullying isn’t going to affect your life in a real way, other than hurting your feelings and getting kids to laugh about you. If you take the opportunity to show that it doesn’t bother you because you know it’s nonsense, people will respect you and you will even come out a winner in the situation. It’s different, though, if, for instance, your school principal wants to expel you because she believes the mean things that are being written about you. Then you do have a good reason to fight the cyberbullying.

9. Respond with humor. This is possibly the best way to win and get people to like you and respect you.Most people, including adults, aren’t aware of what humor is about. Humor is not nice. Humor involves making people look bad. If you are not sure about this, pay attention to the comedy shows you like. You will discover that it’s only funny when people look stupid, clumsy or miserable. Do other kids laugh about the nasty things written about you over the Internet? It’s because they are making you look bad. You can choose to get upset about it. This will make you look like an even bigger fool and they will laugh even more at you. Or you can take it as a joke and add your own jokes about it. Then people will see that they can’t upset you, and that you don’t take yourself so seriously that you can’t laugh about yourself.For instance, if kids write that you wet your bed at night, you can say, “No I don’t. I sleep in the bathtub so that I won’t have to change any sheets!” If they say that you slept with the football team, you can say that your dog did, too. If they pass around a doctored-up picture of you, you can respond, “I just got plastic surgery. Isn’t it great!”

10.The last rule is to be nice to others over the Internet. Can you expect others to write only nice things about you if you write nasty things about others? Even if they are nasty first, it doesn’t make it right to be nasty back. Being nice to others is the best guarantee that people will be nice to you.

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August 19, 2006 Posted by | Educators, Parents | Leave a comment

Part 1 of 2: Protect Your Children from Cyberbullying (Internet Bullying)

Part 1 of 2: Protect Your Children From Cyberbullying (Internet Bullying)

Here is an article from Israel Kahlman; he wants the word to get out to as many folks as possible. I personally had the opportunity to spend the day training under Izzy, and feel that he knows of what he speaks. As a bonus, he has a big heart for young people. As you will notice, it is written for young people. Show it to your children; it might save them a world of trouble.

I’m printing it here in two parts. I’m not sure Izzy’s links will show up as I cut-and-paste, but I do encourage you to visit his website at http://www.Bullies2Buddies.com.

James Sutton, Psychologist

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In recent years, kids have found another way to pick on each other: the Internet. This is being called “cyberbullying”.

It is natural to get upset when other kids write terrible things about you, either to you or about you, in emails, IMs (Instant Messages) and websites or blogs. Your parents may also get upset if they discover you are a victim of cyberbullying. Parents often want the school to handle the problem. Sometimes parents even get the police or the FBI involved.

There is a good chance that if you are being bullied over the Internet, it is also happening to you in school. Kids torment you during school hours and continue to do it at home over the computer. If so, it is a good idea to read the free online manual, How to Stop Being Teased and Bullied Without Really Trying at http://www.Bullies2Buddies.com, or the book, Bullies to Buddies: How to turn your enemies into friends.

It is really not hard to handle cyberbullying by yourself if you wish. All you need is change your attitude. Use the following rules, and it shouldn’t be a problem.

1. Life is not Heaven. It would be really fantastic if you could live a life in which everyone is always nice to you. Unfortunately, no one is so lucky. You may have heard of a place in which everyone is always nice to each other. It is called Heaven, and you first have to die to get in. But as long as you are alive, you are going to have to deal with people being mean. In fact, there is a good chance that the people who are meanest to you are your own family members! And a very easy place for people to be mean to you is the Internet. So, the sooner you learn how to deal with people being mean to you, the better the rest of your life will be.

2. There is an old saying, “If you play with fire, you can get burned.” Most things in life have both good sides and bad sides. It is fun to play with fire, but it stops being fun if you get burned. So, if you are not willing to risk getting burned, you shouldn’t play with fire. Basketball is fun, but you can fall, scrape your knees, and even break your bones. The great thing about the Internet is that it has made communication possible like never before in the history of the world. The bad side is that it is easier to spread nasty things about people than ever before. If you are not willing to face the possibility that kids will use the Internet against you, you shouldn’t get on it. Of course kids can spread nasty things about you even if you never get on the Internet, but it is much more likely to happen if you do use it. So remember – if you insist on using the Internet, be prepared that kids will use it against you, and don’t get upset when it happens.

3. The real fun of spreading nasty things about you is to see you getting upset. If you respond by writing angry emails, the kids who wrote them will have a great time and want to do it even more. However, if it doesn’t bother you, then the kids will not have as much fun and are more likely to leave you alone.

4. Dealing with cyberbullying is similar to dealing with rumors. The “Magic Response” to rumors is, “Do you believe it?” (See the chapter on rumors in How to Stop Being Teased and Bullied Without Really Trying.)

You can’t stop people from believing what they want to believe. People know that not everything that is written in emails and IMs are true. Don’t you recognize nonsense when you read it? Well, so do other kids. So you don’t have to worry that they will believe the nasty things written about you. However, if you try to convince them not to believe the stuff that’s going around about you, you look foolish and automatically lose. And you can be sure the nastiness will continue.

The solution is to give people “Freedom of Speech”. Take the attitude: “Kids can say or write whatever they want about me and it’s perfectly okay.” If kids tell you about the mean things they read about you, ask them, “Do you believe it.” If they say, “No”, you can answer “Good”, and you win. If they say, “Yes,” answer “You can believe it if you want,” and you also win. The kids will admire you for not letting anything bother you. It will be no fun to pick on you so they will eventually leave you alone. [Note for adults: If you object that Freedom of Speech does not cover slander and libel, read #8.]

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August 17, 2006 Posted by | Educators, Parents | Leave a comment

Careful What You Eat!

Careful What You Eat! 

I thought this was good. It just goes to show you that doctors don’t know everything. Thanks to Marvin Royal for this one. Have a great week,

James Sutton

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A Doctor was addressing a large audience in Tampa.
“The material we put into our stomachs is enough to have killed most of us sitting here, years ago. Red meat is awful. Soft drinks corrode your stomach lining.
Chinese food is loaded with MSG. High fat diets can be disastrous, and none of us realizes the long-term harm caused by the germs in our drinking water. But there is one thing that is the most dangerous of all and we all have, or will, eat it. Can anyone here tell me what food it is that causes the most grief and suffering for years after eating it?”
After several seconds of quiet, a 75-year-old man in the front row raised his hand, and softly said, “Wedding Cake.”

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August 14, 2006 Posted by | Humor, Special Occasions | 1 Comment

Part 2 of 2: Noncompliance: The “Good Kid” Disorder

This is the second and final part.

Noncompliance: The “Good Kid” Disorder  This article appeared in the Jan/Feb, 1997, issues of Learning. That issue also designated Dr. Sutton’s book (If My Kid’s So Nice, Why’s He Driving ME Crazy?) as “Editor’s Choice.”

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6. Spit in the Soup. Predicting a child’s oppositional and defiant behavior can help eliminate it. For example, sometimes Simone “accidently” drops a box of crayons just as the other students are lining up for lunch (obstructionism). The next day, as the children are lining up, pull the crayon dropper aside and say gently, “You know, I was wondering whether you were going to drop your crayons again, like you did yesterday.” She won’t. Though this is a temporary measure, it can help a teacher or a parent to get past a tough spot.

7. Reward compliance—strategically. This works especially well with the youngster who has difficulty getting on task, and it can help you get more out of your instructional time. For example, Christopher regularly camps out at the pencil sharpener. He spends so much time “getting ready” that he never gets anything done! The next time that Christopher is grinding the life out of another perfectly good pencil, announce that students who are in their seats and working have just earned a five-minute bubble-gum break.

Of course, Christopher will know he’s been set up—so announce that another break like this will occur tomorrow. Guess who will stay in his seat? On the off chance that he doesn’t, wait until he goes to his seat and then announce the break. He’ll know you cut him some slack—and he’ll be more likely to cut you some slack, too. A refinement of this strategy is to set one or two timers to go off during an activity and to reward students who are in their seats and working when the timers sound.

8. Appeal to reason. Appealing to a child’s sense of fairness and reason can lead to compliance, as long as this tactic isn’t overused. For example, let your students know that you’d appreciate their working quietly at their desks on a day when you’re not feeling well or while you set up Friday’s field trip. Parents can ask for this kind of cooperation as well.

9. Use humor. Overstatement can be useful in redirecting an upset youngster. For example, when Alexandra comes slamming into the classroom after an argument with her mother, you could say, “Hey, looks like you ate your Wheaties this morning!” This may be just enough to break the tension and put her in a better frame of mind.

10. Note improvement—and say so. Whenever there’s any measurable improvement, you and the child’s parents should make it clear that you’ve noticed. Keep theses comments casual to avoid causing the youngster to feel patronized or manipulated. Whenever children realize that their efforts have been recognized, they’re motivated to continue improving.

 STRINGS ATTACHED

Most children aren’t born with oppositional and defiant behavior. Okay, there may be a few who are—the doctor pops them on the fanny, and they say, “I ain’t crying!” In most cases, though, opposition and defiance are reactive behaviors, a duel for the reins of control. These scenarios seem to spark oppositional and defiant behaviors:

Acute emotional distress. This includes crises and losses such as divorce, death, or natural disasters such as fires, floods or hurricanes. The children are forced into abrupt and unacceptable changes. Part of the natural recovery process is for the children to regain control over their lives—a process that is manifested in oppositional and defiant behavior. This behavior is usually temporary.

Chronic emotional distress. This condition is more subtle and has more damaging long-term consequences. These children typically live in highly dysfunctional families: They’ve suffered abuse or abandonment, or their parents abuse alcohol or other substances. In short, these children’s lives are one ongoing crisis. And in many cases, these crises are well-kept family secrets.

Overdependency. Children who haven’t experienced major emotional distress can also show oppositional and defiant behavior. This is especially true of children who feel they can’t freely express themselves, children who believe they must act a certain way to get approval from key adults in their lives, or children who have had excessive expectations placed on them. Perception is reality here. A parent’s expectations may not seem excessive to you, but may to the child. These children fear that in being honest about their resentment, they might be rejected. Their anger and bitterness leak out, one drop at a time. They’re in a silent rebellion.

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August 6, 2006 Posted by | Difficult Child, Educators, Parents | Leave a comment

Part 1 of 2: Noncompliance:The “Good Kid” Disorder

Noncompliance: The “Good Kid” Disorder  This article appeared in the Jan/Feb, 1997, issues of Learning. That issue also designated Dr. Sutton’s book (If My Kid’s So Nice, Why’s He Driving ME Crazy?) as “Editor’s Choice.”

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Nathan frustrates the dickens out of his teacher. Though he’s clearly bright and capable, he’s never prepared for class, and he rarely does his homework. He’s always saying something like “Oh, I though this assignment was due next Friday.” He earnestly promises to do better but never follows through. He’s charming and pleasant—and on the brink of serious trouble in school. His parents say his behavior is similar at home. There’s one more thing: Though Nathan spends plenty of time joking around, at the core he seems to be miserable.

Teachers nationwide are seeing more and more students like Nathan. The psychological name for his problem is oppositional defiant disorder (a classification which includes an older term—passive aggressive), though many students exhibit the behavior without ever being diagnosed. In contrast to children who can’t sit still and are always in trouble for what they’re doing, oppositional and defiant youngsters are in trouble for what they don’t do.

Schoolwork and chores at home top the list. Oftentimes, these students are well mannered and seem to have good intentions, but they quietly defy your directions. In short, they’re just plain difficult. As Nathan’s teacher told me, “Maybe Nathan doesn’t act out, but he surely doesn’t act right.”

In the late 1960s, no classification existed for children like these. Today, this disorder takes up several pages in the American Psychological Association’s diagnostic manual. The way we typically confront an oppositional and defiant youngster are ineffective: Ignoring, pleading, bargaining and helping don’t work. “Get tough” approaches such as threatening and showing anger aren’t successful, either. They give the child the message “Do this or else,” and the child opts for the “or else.”

The suggestions that follow have proved effective with children and teachers nationwide. Be sure to share them with parents, too—these interventions will work best if they’re used at school and at home.

1. Eliminate excessive expectations. If the child perceives you as reasonable and fair, you’ll be able to work more effectively with him or her. Every day, set aside 20 to 30 seconds for interacting with this youngster. Discuss something of particular interest to the child, such as sports, a hobby, or a family vacation. Make sure this interaction contains no expectations—this might be the only unconditional interaction that the youngster has with an adult. Parents can set up these same types of interactions.

2. Encourage assertiveness. Since this child prefers silent noncompliance to verbal assertiveness, it’s important to encourage the child to be assertive. For instance, when other students in the class explain that they don’t have enough time to complete a long assignment, you can comment on the appropriate manner in which they expressed their concern. At home, parents should recognize and praise the child’s siblings when they show appropriate assertiveness.

3. Offer options and choices. Letting children select three assignments (or chores at home) from a list of five empowers them to make other decisions. Also, they’re more likely to complete tasks that they’ve chosen.

4. Give the youngster specific responsibilities. Asking this student to explain and demonstrate an important assignment or job, for example, accomplishes two things: It provides the child with status within the class, and it eliminates any subsequent excuse for not understanding the assignment. Parents can do the same by putting the youngster in charge of the family’s chore board.

5. Take control of homework. Homework can become a weapon that these kids use against you and against their parents. To combat this, have your class develop daily homework checklists. Be forewarned, though—the next thing the child forgets or loses might be the list. Also, work with parents to set up a structured time and place during the school day for the student to complete homework; before or after school, during detention or tutorials, or during a pullout class such as special education.

(to be continued)

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August 3, 2006 Posted by | Difficult Child, Educators, Parents | Leave a comment

The Passport

This little piece goes to prove that, regardless of one’s race, creed or color, there’s no call for being rude. 

I’d like to dedicate this one to the memory of my wife’s father, Bob Richardson, and the thousands more like him who make that historic landing on Omaha Beach.

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An elderly gentleman of 83 arrived in Paris by plane. At the French customs desk, the man took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry-on bag.
“You have been to France before, monsieur?” the customs officer asked sarcastically.
The elderly gentleman admitted he had been to France previously.
“Then you should know enough to have your passport ready.”
The American said, “The last time I was here, I didn’t have to show it.”
“Impossible. Americans always have to show passports on arrival in France !”
The American senior gave the Frenchman a long, hard look.
Then he quietly explained “Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day in June of 1944 to help liberate this country, I was a little busy. Besides, I couldn’t FIND any Frenchmen to show it to.”

August 1, 2006 Posted by | Humor, Inspirational, Special Occasions | Leave a comment