Always Model Kindness, Especially to Children

Published by — The kindest response to unwanted behavior is to ask good questions. The trim, tall elementary teacher, whom we’ll call Ms. Larch, paused before answering the question that had been posed to everyone in the circle.  Larch was among a group of teachers from all levels in a Restorative Practices (RP) training.  RP, inContinue reading “Always Model Kindness, Especially to Children”

What If South Carolina’s Body-Slammed Teen Had Been Treated Restoratively?

Published by — There may be no good excuse for disrupting class, but a punitive response can just exacerbate the problem. Restorative practices are simple tools for handling conflict in ways that maximize the possibility of a happy ending.  The practices are habits of the mind and heart.  So let’s revisit last October’s nasty incident atContinue reading “What If South Carolina’s Body-Slammed Teen Had Been Treated Restoratively?”

Teachers Must Be Mindful of Traumatized Children

Published by — Misbehavior may seem like a choice, like willful defiance.  But sometimes it’s a cry for help. Today we’re in the brightly painted library of an urban elementary school.  It’s the last day of professional development before the summer officially ends.  The faculty are still in shorts and sandals.  While they sigh over howContinue reading “Teachers Must Be Mindful of Traumatized Children”

5 Smart Ideas for Reducing the Effects of Kids’ Trauma

Published by — Kids will only care about how their behavior affects others when they feel cared for themselves. Out there — in schools, playgrounds, pediatricians’ offices, neighborhoods and summer camps — are traumatized kids.  Some have witnessed violence in the home, suffered the death of a parent or loved one, lost their home inContinue reading “5 Smart Ideas for Reducing the Effects of Kids’ Trauma”

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”

Put Kids’ Mental Health at the Center of Education

Published by — Kids’ mental health is at least as important as their physical health. For me, it’s all about mental health.  And by “it,” I mean improving education, and a thousand other aspects of kids’ lives. What does a kid learn with?  Well, that would be her brain.  And if you’re thinking thatContinue reading “Put Kids’ Mental Health at the Center of Education”