Trauma and the Growing Number of Hard-to-Manage Kids

Published by — Kids with a significant history of trauma get a reputation for being bad kids, which only makes things worse. Today we’re at a training in Trauma-Informed Care for Children and Adolescents.  Hosted by Bradley Hospital, the oldest pediatric mental-health facility in the country, our teacher is Margaret Paccione-Dyszlewski, PhD.  The hostsContinue reading “Trauma and the Growing Number of Hard-to-Manage Kids”

We’re Crippling Our Kids with Fear

Published by — What I hear us saying to the kids is:  “The world is terrifying and you can’t handle it, so we’ll protect you.” While hiking in the Finger Lakes region, I watched as a three-year-old did a major face plant on a stone path.  Fellow hikers gasped with horrified “Oh, no!”s and wereContinue reading “We’re Crippling Our Kids with Fear”

Colorado Cuts School Exclusions, Racial Disparities Persist

Published by — Suspensions are a lazy, useless way to deal with poor social skills. Last year in Colorado, a group called Padres Y Jovenes Unidos (Parents and Youth United) managed to get their Legislature to pass the “Smart School Discipline Law.”  Now schools must, by law, use “restorative justice or other disciplinary policies before resortingContinue reading “Colorado Cuts School Exclusions, Racial Disparities Persist”

The Educational Use and Abuse of Shame

Published by — Conscience isn’t innate.  We learn it. Shame.  A feeling we all hate.  A subject we avoid.  Our faces flush when we can suddenly see ourselves being the sort of person even we don’t like.  Guilt is also unpleasant, with regret and remorse about something we did, a hurtful action.  Shame is “IContinue reading “The Educational Use and Abuse of Shame”

Graduating From High School With Great Work Habits

Published by — At this school students take ownership of their behavior as well as their learning. “Aaaaah, someone let the chickens out.” Melissa Hall, Vice Principal of Greene Charter School in W. Greenwich, RI, has been keeping an eye out the window behind her desk while she and others were answering my questions.  AContinue reading “Graduating From High School With Great Work Habits”

It Takes Guts To Depict A Healthy, Happy Childhood

Published by — This film’s 1950s vision of heaven for children’s play is as relevant today as it was when it was made. Medieval storytellers and play-masters always faced the huge problem that Evil was so much more fun to portray than Good.  Devils often made their entrance from the back of the audience,Continue reading “It Takes Guts To Depict A Healthy, Happy Childhood”

Puberty, The Elephant in the Middle School Classroom

Published by — Early adolescents are roiling in a whitewater transition, but the ed industry isn’t talking about it. In 1989, a Carnegie Foundation report dared to boldly go where every man has gone before, but had hoped to forget — puberty. Turning Points was a rare exploration of those morphing from little kid intoContinue reading “Puberty, The Elephant in the Middle School Classroom”

Meet the Class of 2013 Through Child Trends’ Lens

Published by — If the 3 million-plus grads were 100 kids, here’s what their backgrounds would be: The mortarboards have been tossed. The “Congratulations Grad” balloons have withered. Grandma’s gift check has been cashed — and likely spent. In short, the high-school class of 2013 is launched into official adulthood. So, who are they? ChildContinue reading “Meet the Class of 2013 Through Child Trends’ Lens”

The Importance of Having a Father

Published by Cool-headed, rational Rob DeBlois, Director of the Urban Collaborative Accelerated Project (UCAP), once had to get this haunting story off his mind: A UCAP social-studies teacher gave students a crime scenario, and divided them into groups to determine who was guilty and why.  Students get into UCAP’s alternative program if they shouldContinue reading “The Importance of Having a Father”

A ‘Forest Kindergarten’ Grows Great Kids

Published by — These schools give kids a totally fun way to gain autonomy, confidence  and resilience When people say “mental health,” what they usually mean is mental illness.  Laudably, mental health advocates support people with mental illness, but that doesn’t help us imagine what it looks like when we’ve got mental health right.Continue reading “A ‘Forest Kindergarten’ Grows Great Kids”