signewhitson

signewhitson

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Posts by signewhitson

Helping Kids Cope with Stressful Situations

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I have been so blessed and honored to travel to great schools and organizations and to work with professionals, parents, and kids on strategies for managing anger, anxiety, stress and conflict.  It would be impossible for me to pick a favorite place…but Camp Gold Arrow has got to be way, WAY up there.  I loved the people, the setting, and the belief in nurturing the well-being of children.  I love their commitment to educating staff on how to best support campers and their insight that #relationshipsmatter.  I’m grateful for the wonderful experience at GAC and happy to share their great programming with you!

 

Here’s a post they shared about the training I offered to their staff this past weekend.

Psychologist Signe Whitson Trains Our Staff

Happy Campers: Bringing the LSCI Approach to Camp

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I got to go to camp this weekend!

Since February, I have been chatting with Audrey “Sunshine” Monke, owner of Gold Arrow Camp and author of the new (and phenomenal!) book, Happy Campers: 9 Summer Camp Secrets for Raising Kids Who Become Thriving Adults, about offering training to her camp staff prior to the summer sessions.  I had a feeling that being at camp would evoke nostalgia for the summers of my youth and knew from my conversations with ‘Sunshine’ that she and I are of similar minds when it comes to prioritizing social-emotional health in kiddos, but I never anticipated what a forward-thinking, child-centered, well-educated, relationship-building, warm, fun, all-around-awesome culture Gold Arrow Camp (GAC) would have.   I could have stayed all summer!

Here are some photos from my three days of pure air, pure dedication to kids, and pure joy, talking with the talented and diverse Gold Arrow Camp staff about anxiety in young people, understanding the differences between rude, mean and bullying behavior at camp, and how to use LSCI skills to relate, regulate, and respond effectively to challenging camper behavior.

Teaching GAC staff to look beyond surface behavior to understand the thoughts and feelings that drive challenging camper behaviors

 

 

Keynote at Big Campfire

All smiles with Sunshine & our newest books!  Check out Happy Campers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Game time! Loved playing this camp game that blends brain-aligned rhythms with focused attention and pure fun!

Making “Breathing Beads” to bring mindfulness skills to campers

How to Deal with Mean Kids on the Playground

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Every parent I know has experienced the anguish of seeing their child on the receiving end of hurtful comments or social rejection. This post by writer Ilana Donna Aranzie captures this universal parenting dilemma of what to do (read: should I do anything?) and how to best support their child.

 

Aranzie also links to one of my posts from Psychology Today about how parents can build competence in their kids and disempower young people who bully, which was a super nice thing for her to do 🙂

 

Aranzie’s post:

https://patch.com/new-york/rivertowns/how-deal-mean-kids-playground

End of the School Year Regulation Strategies

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Hi everyone,
Here’s a great post by one of my favorite writer/educators with lots of easy, quick, EFFECTIVE, fun ways to help kids stay regulated and focused as we head into the final stretch of the year:

 

Click here:

Survival Kit for the Last Few Weeks of School

Or, cut and paste this link:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/survival-kit-last-few-weeks-school-lori-desautels/

 

 

 

Practical Strategies to Keep Kids Safer Online

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If you’ll be at the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) Conference in Boston this summer, I’ll be presenting on Practical Strategies to Keep Kids Safer Online. I hope you’ll join me–Monday, July 1!

 

 

Cultivating Kindness as a Bullying Prevention Strategy

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This month, Character Lessons in my first grade classes have been focused on cultivating kindness in our community. We read the book Each Kindness and learned how small, daily acts of kindness can have a large ripple effect–like a pebble tossed in a pond.

This week, we designed and painted our own kindness rocks with encouraging words. We are looking forward to placing them around school grounds next week and knowing that the person who finds it will feel our kindness and hopefully spread it forward to someone else…who will pass it on to someone else…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The most effective bullying prevention efforts in schools and communities are the ones that are cultivated over time, embedded into daily interactions, and focused on skills such as kindness, compassion, empathy, friendship-building, problem-solving, and assertive communication.  Learn more here: https://signewhitson.com/workshop-and-speaking/friendship-other-weapons-group-activities-to-help-young-girls-cope-with-bullying/

 

St. John Vianney & Swain Presentations for Parents

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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

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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 https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_kI7LNlp0TDWd8UykjzfgIw

8 Keys to End Bullying is Available in Spanish

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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

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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!

 

 

 

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