SUNDAY STRATEGY: Working with Students Who Have Experienced Trauma

Happy Sunday to all!  I hope it is as beautiful where you live as it is where I am!
This week’s Sunday Strategy offers you a BONUS!  It’s 10 strategies in 1!  This post from the Childhood 970074_10151808097644363_1420057388_nTrauma Blog Series, sponsored by Starr TLC, provides 10 important insights and practical strategies for working with children who have experienced trauma:

SUNDAY STRATEGY: The Most Effective 20 Minutes You Can Spend with Students

Hello readers,

Here’s the Sunday Strategy for the week; all around, it’s one of my favorites because it hits at the heart of some of the most important things that I believe, namely:

1.  It’s the little things we do with kids on a regular basis that make the most difference.  Policies, procedures, and plans (behavioral, lesson, etc) are great…but the little things make the biggest impact.

2.  Along those lines, interventions don’t have to be time-consuming!  This strategy calls for just a total of 20 minutes of your time over a 2-week period…but it can be transformational.  Compare this cumulative 20 minutes with the amount of time you would otherwise spend re-directing, filling out Behavior Forms, calling parents, consulting with other teachers, and banging your head against the wall!

3. Positive relationships are everything.

Have a great week, all!



8 Keys to End Bullying featured at Trauma Summit


8 Keys to End Bullying: Strategies for Parents and Schools was featured at the Trauma Summit at California Lutheran University, co-sponsored by Casa Pacifica.  Get your copy today on and don’t forget to PRE-ORDER the brand new 8 Keys to End Bullying Activity Program for Kids & Tweens.



What Matters Most When It Comes to A Child’s Education



SUNDAY STRATEGY: 5-Minute Class Culture Builders for Schools

Hello everyone,

I hope you’ve had a fantastic weekend!

SUNDAY STRATEGY: I’m a huge proponent of making time to build class culture and a sense of community among students. Here’s a great, 5-minute way to make community-building as much a part of your routine as taking attendance. If you try this out for a few days/weeks/rest of the year, please keep me posted on some of the questions you come up with–and the kids of outcomes you notice!

“Because learning is fundamentally a social and emotional experience, achieving a sense of WE is critical before students fully engage in classroom activities.”

When Your Kids Don’t Answer You Until You Scream



For more information on how to confront and change passive aggressive behavior at home, in school and in the workplace, please check out The Angry Smile text or register for our online training at

How LSCI Skills Help Adults Understand Kids


Life Space Crisis Intervention is the advanced skill of using problems as opportunities to create long term behavioral changes in young people.  The certification in LSCI teaches professionals to look beyond surface behavior in schools and treatment settings and to seek to understand what’s really going on in the world of students.  When we respond constructively to kids’ thoughts and feelings rather than reacting punitively to their misbehaviors, we begin to truly make a difference in their lives.


One teacher from an urban high school in New Orleans recently sent me this message following her LSCI training:


I used LSCI with one of my advisees yesterday, and it helped me find out the central issue of why he had walked out of class–very different from what I originally thought. He was struggling to do an assignment on the American Dream because he felt like the American Dream was not possible to achieve, so why even talk about it. What a revelation, which wouldn’t have been possible without LSCI.


Imagine how different the outcome would have been if this teacher had NOT taken the time to listen the student to find out what led him to walk out of class.  If she had applied a kneejerk, rote consequence, it would have been an efficient–and even justifiable–official school response, but it would not have shed any light on the reasons for the student’s behavior.  What’s more, it would most likely have further alienated a student who was already feeling disenfranchised and virtually guaranteed that the same issue would happen again (and again and again).


Instead, in under 10 minutes, this LSCI-trained teacher made a choice to truly CONNECT with the student, VALIDATE his feelings, and TEACH him better ways to cope with them in the future.  A learning opportunity was seized, a relationship was improved, a young person felt valued, and new skills were taught.  Never miss an opportunity to make a difference in the life of a young person.


To find out more, visit


Look beyond behavior

Should You Let Your Kids Play Pokemon Go?


Good Monday morning to all!  Below, please find a guest post, written by Amy Williams, a journalist based in Southern California.  As a mother of two, Amy hopes to use her experiences as a parent to help other parents raise their children to be the best they can be.

pokemon go

As parents, we are faced with decisions on a daily basis. Many of these dilemmas are minimal in the grand scheme of life, because we ultimately understand that in ten years from now it won’t matter if we served green beans or asparagus for dinner. In the same breath, however, we are frequently faced with choices that ultimately affect our sons’ and daughters’ safety and well-being.


Some of these questions are obvious topics we need to consider. Whether we are debating rear facing car seats or vaccinations, many of us sit down and weigh the pros and cons of each choice. We don’t take lightly our children’s well-being. After all, the decisions we make today can affect our kids for years to come. Recently, millions of parents came face to face with a dilemma that can directly influence our kids’ safety.


This epic question: should we let our children play Pokémon GO?


Pokémon GO and Our Children: Safety First


At first glance, we simply notice Pokémon GO is a free app that is getting our children outside and exercising. However, upon closer inspection, parents, experts, and authorities are starting to see a trend of hazards popping up around Pokémon GO players. Lately, there have been numerous incidents where drivers are distracted by trying to “catch em all” leading to accidents. And pedestrians are also at risk, because the distractability of the game has caused countless trips and falls resulting in trips to the emergency room. If those aren’t cause enough for concern, police are worried criminals and pedophiles are locating potential targets by using this app.


After reading about the serious pitfalls facing players of Pokémon GO, we need to examine the benefits this app offers the 21 million plus users who have already downloaded it onto their devices. In a remarkable twist, this video game is improving our children’s health and social skills. As they navigate our neighborhoods in search of elusive pocket monsters and gear, they are walking away calories and meeting people. This social aspect of the app is unifying players as they develop a sense of camaraderie. Stories are surfacing about the unique ways the game is helping people’s mental health, especially those who suffer from depression, anxiety, PTSD, and autism at the macular level.


Eight Strategies For Playing Pokémon GO Safely

As our kids unplug their Xboxes and PlayStations in favor of Pokémon GO, they may encounter frightening scenarios they don’t have the necessary skills to handle these situations. Making it essential we empower our children with the know-how to safely play Pokémon GO and reap the multiple benefits this game offers. If you decide your child can handle this trending app, consider following these tips for kids to safely play Pokémon GO:


Only play with friends or family members. Stress the importance of the buddy system and never play alone.


Always be polite. Avoid confrontations and dangerous situations by following rules, being nice, and respecting others.


Avoid the dark. Dress children in bright colors and outerwear to help them be seen easily by drivers. Also, consider setting curfews before the sun sets to reduce the dangers associated with walking at dusk.


Map out defined areas a child can or cannot go to help keep children in safer locales near home.


Have children check in and keep us informed regarding their whereabouts. For parents of teens, this is critical, because it makes locating them easier if a situation would arise. To help make this connectivity a reality, consider arming them with an emergency charger in case their device’s battery would die.


Carry devices in a pocket so they can feel the device vibrate when a Pokémon is nearby. This will allow our sons and daughters to pay attention to their whereabouts and movements without hyperfocusing on their devices.


Avoid secluded areas. Only play in public, well lit areas and make sure someone knows a teen’s whereabouts.


And finally, NEVER operate a moving vehicle while playing Pokémon GO. Encourage children to walk or park cars in a safe location before turning on the game.


Will you allow your son or daughter to get in the action and play Pokémon GO? Why or why not?

Warmth Matters When It Comes to How We Approach Kids


Words matter. The words we use and the warmth we choose to show to young people can make all the difference in their feelings about school, about adults, about classmates, and even about themselves. Choose kindness always when it comes to our littles!  Check out this video featured on the Huffington Post to see warmth and kindness in action at school:



What Kids Remember Most About School




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