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Posts by signewhitson

St. John Vianney & Swain Presentations for Parents


Thanks so much to the parents at the Swain School for joining me this morning for my Coffee with the Counselor Event  in which we talked about the impact of technology and heavy screen time on kids’ brains, along with ways that parents can help kids manage/mitigate harmful effects of technology.


And thanks, in advance, to those who I will meet tonight at St. John Vianney, as I talk on the subject of Bullying Prevention, including how to help kids avoid the cruelty that some kids act out online and through social media.


As promised to both amazing groups of parents and caregivers, here are some links that I hope you may find helpful:



Stop Debating Whether Too Much Smartphone Time Can Hurt Teens, and Start Protecting Them

World health officials take a hard line on screen time for kids. Will busy parents comply?

The Truth About Research on Screentime

Heavy Screentime Rewires Young Brains for Better and Worse

Electronic Screen Syndrome: An Unrecognized Disorder

17 Apps & Websites Kids are Heading to After Facebook

15 Dangerous Apps Every Parent Should Know About

The 12 Apps that Every Parent of a Teen Should Know About

6 Teen “Hookup” Apps Parents Should Know About

Fortnite Game Review from Common Sense Media

What Parents Need to Know About Fortnite

What is the Momo Challenge?

Talking to Your 8-12 Year Old About Pornography

10 Rules to Help Kids Use Smartphones Wisely

Why Banning Social Media is Not the Best Answer for Kids

The Relationship Between Bullying & Suicide: What We Know & What it Means for Schools

FREE Parenting Webinar Tonight: April 24, 8pm EST


Please join me tonight for my second FREE webinar based on my newest book, Parenting the Challenging Child: The 4-Step Way to Turn Problem Situations Into Learning Opportunities.


Date: April 24, 2019

Time: 8:00pm EST

Cost: FREE, but space is limited

Reserve your spot at

8 Keys to End Bullying is Available in Spanish

Did you know that my 8 Keys to End Bullying: Strategies for Parents & Schools book is available in Spanish?   Please share with those who would find a translated version helpful in their work to bring an end to bullying:

Happy Campers


One of the best things about my work is getting to connect with like-minded people from across the country (and globe).  This past Winter, I had the chance to speak with Audrey Monke, founder of the Gold Arrow Camp in California and author of the forthcoming book, Happy Campers: 9 Summer Camp Secrets for Raising Kids Who Become Thriving Adults.

Audrey sent me an advance copy of the book and I have only superlative words to tell you how fantastic it is!  Here’s how I describe it:

Although I just got my copy of Happy Campers, by Audrey Monke, you would think I had owned it for years already given the multitude of dog-eared pages, the massive amount of notes in the margins, and the number of parents I’ve already lent the book to, urging them to read specific sections.  Happy Campers is the brand-new, but already well-worn book I wish I had had twenty years ago when I first started my career working with children and families.  It is full of practical, realistic, easy-to-implement, no-cost, research-based, transformational strategies that will help parents and caregivers bring the magic of summer camp into daily home interactions.

Happy Campers shines a light on nine overall positive practices used in quality summer camps and offers readers dozens (and dozens!) of ways to use these strategies to help kids and families thrive year-round.  Starting with ideas for building nurturing connections between family members and then exploring critical topics such as the importance of optimism in interactions, how to nurture grit and determination, helping kids experience independence and grow their individual identities, making kindness cool, building healthy friendship skills, and cultivating the kind of self-confidence that makes kids unstoppable, Monke’s book is as realistic and readable as it is invaluable. As a School Counselor, therapist, and parent, Happy Campers is everything I could hope for in a book and more!  I highly recommend it for anyone living or working with young people!




Parenting the Challenging Child is Available!



19 years ago, I took my first LSCI training. 5 years ago, I helped develop the Parents Division of the LSCI Institute, founded on two training programs. Last summer, I embarked on a new book project to translate LSCI concepts to the unique needs of parents and caregivers. TODAY, Parenting the Challenging Child: The 4-Step Way to Turn Problem Situations Into Learning Opportunities is published.

Get your copy today at…/parenting-the-challenging-child-the…/

Training available. Learn more at

LSCI: Reaching & Teaching Challenging Children


Cultivating a Growth Mindset in Kids


This month, I am working with my 3rd grade students on cultivating a growth mindset. Today, I shared one of my all-time favorite lessons: challenging students to build the tallest possible tower out of wooden blocks–using only chopsticks. No hands! It’s an intentionally challenging task that gives kids the opportunity to persist, overcome obstacles, use positive self-talk, learn from mistakes, change tactics, and think outside of the box. Looking forward to sharing this with more students throughout the week!


FREE Parenting Webinar on April 24 at 8pm


Please join me on April 24th at 8pm for a 30 minute webinar based on my new book, Parenting the Challenging Child: The 4-Step Way to Turn Problem Situations into Learning Opportunities.

Registration is FREE, but space is limited so reserve your spot today, at  Direct link to registration form:



How Technology Paves the Way for Passive Aggressive Behavior


Smartphones, email, and social media connect us in countless ways but can also be blamed for muddling human connection like never before.  Indeed, the same technology that makes real-time contact and around-the-clock communication possible has, in many cases, drastically lessened the amount of time that human beings spend actually interacting. For the passive-aggressive person, who prefers to mask their anger and avoid direct confrontation, this technology paves the perfect path for their hidden hostility.

This article, previously posted on Psychology Today, explains four reasons why passive-aggressive behavior thrives online.

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