Skills for Responding to an Angry Child



Validation is the verbal skill of helping kids regain control over their behavioral responses by putting language to their emotional state.  This simple, but powerful verbal skill can be the difference between escalating a no-win conflict with a child or helping them feel & understood in a way that improves your overall relationship.


Click here to read my full post on Psychology Today, featured as an Essential Read!

FIRE SALE on the 2nd edition of the LSCI textbook



The 2nd edition of the LSCI text, Talking with Students in Conflict, was the LSCI Institute’s primary text for the last two decades. Now, however, we are proud to use the 3rd edition of the text in all of our courses and trainings!

If you’d like to own a copy for posterity, reference, or even timeless reading, we are offering a fire sale on our remaining 15 copies of the 2nd edition.

Click here to order your copy today, before they are all gone!

Anti-Bullying & School Safety Conference Resources


Thanks so much to all who attended my Practical School-Based Strategies for Bringing an End to Bullying workshop at the NJ Anti-Bullying & School Safety Conference on 5/26/21.  I hope you learned a lot and are able to apply specific ideas with your students.


Here is the Zoom recording of the event:


Passcode: 23Pvj!q4


Rather than post the PPT for general audiences, please email me directly (signe@signewhitson.com) if you would like to receive a PDF version.

Here is the direct link to the screening tool for discerning rude, mean & bullying behaviors.

Please check out my 8 Keys to End Bullying book and Activity Book for additional ideas, strategies, games, discussion ideas and activities for students.

Have a great summer!


Bullying Prevention Tips from the Resilient Purpose Podcast


Last week, I had the chance to join my friend and former LSCI Trainer extraordinaire, Doug Pfeifer for a conversation about Bullying Prevention on his podcast, The Resilient Purpose.  Please check it out here or on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0Vl_L3JeIY.


Great Bullying Prevention Video by IKEA


A parent from my school just passed on this great Bullying Prevention campaign being run by IKEA.  This is such a great way to teach young people about the impact their words, tone, and voice have on all living creatures.  Such an easy & impactful experiment to do in schools!


Kindness Activities, Videos and Links for Kids


I’ve had a lot of fun this school year creating “Virtual Offices” for my students to visit, even when I can’t be in their classrooms as often as I’d like due to COVID.  This month, we are celebrating Kindness in words, actions, and as a way of being.


Here’s a thumbnail of my Virtual Office, along with this link that you can use to enjoy it with students.  Click on the various objects and phrases in the “office” to discover all of its fun features.




How to Talk to Kids about the Capitol Breach


The world moves so quickly. Just as we, as adults, are trying to process the events that unfolded in Washington D.C. yesterday afternoon, so many of us are called upon today to help our students cope with their intense thoughts and feelings.

Here are a list of resources, compiled for those of you navigating difficult discussions with children and adolescents.

Teaching Tolerance–When Bad Things Are Happening
Responding to Events at the Insurrection of the US Capitol
Resources for Teachers on the Days After the US Capitol
Caring for Students in the Wake of a Traumatic News Event
Engaging Kids In Civil Discourse
How to Talk to Your Kids About the Breach at the U.S. Capitol

Talking to Kids About Violence: Tips for Parents & Teachers

Responding to Children’s Emotional Needs During Times of Crisis

School Climate & Anti-Bullying Conference


Thanks to some determined and talented organizers, the School Climate & Anti-Bullying Conference was able to pivot from a live event to a Zoom one and go off without a hitch yesterday.

Here’s the cloud recording of my 1-hour session, Keeping Kids Safe Online: What Professionals & Parents Need to Know.  The passcode is B.c4@Mi.

I hope you enjoy the workshop.  If you are interested in learning more or bringing this type of presentation to your school or organization, please feel free to email me or check out similar options here.

ASCA Webinar: Group Activities to End Bullying


Presenting to ASCA professionals is always one of my favorite things to do!  I love the energy and the generous spirit  of collaboration among professional School Counselors!


Here’s a link to my most recent ASCA webinar, Group Activities to End Bullying (which includes ideas for engaging at home learners!), along with feedback from an attendee:


I just watched the ASCA webinar that you led and I just wanted to say THANK YOU! It was such a helpful training with tons of resources that I will be using immediately. A lot of webinars tend to take the first twenty minutes to go over credentials and books they have written so thank you so much for an organized, well-rounded webinar for school counselors.  –Kelsey Brand, School Counselor, Allen Jay Elementary


Elaboration on ideas + full lesson plans can be found in my 8 Keys to End Bullying Activity Book 🙂

How to Listen So that Your Child Will Talk About Bullying


October is National Bullying Prevention Month. In hopes for more civility and decency nationwide, among people of ALL ages, I’ll be sharing some key articles, strategies and insights. Please read and share with those who work and live with school-aged kids!

How to Listen So that Your Child Will Talk About Bullying

In the last several years of working as a School Counselor and speaking with professionals, parents, and students across the United States on the topic of Bullying Prevention, one of the observations that stands out to me the most is that parents, in general, are very eager to talk about bullying while their kids, on the other hand, seem to want to do anything but talk to their parents about this topic. The more parents pry, the more kids withdraw. The more parents push, the harder kids pushback—with excuses, minimizations, abrupt subject changes, stonewalling, silence, and sometimes even complete denial that a peer problem exists.

Why is it that so many young people are so loathe to talk to their caregivers about bullying? The more I ask students this question, the more often they tell me some version of this frustrated rationale:

If I tell my parents, they are going to make a big deal out of it and tell everyone what’s happening to me.”


“If I tell my parents, they’ll rush into school to try to meet with the Principal, which will definitely make things way worse for me.”

What can parents, caregivers, educators, and other trustworthy adults do to help a young person feel safe enough to confide in them about a bullying situation? How can you make your child feel supported—instead of embarrassed or endangered—enough to tell you when they really need your help?


When I ask school-aged kids how they would like their parents to respond when they tell them about a bullying situation, again the responses are nearly universal. Most commonly, kids tell me, “I just wish they’d listen.” This is frequently followed by, “I wish they’d give me some advice but let me try to handle it on my own first.”


What follows are five guidelines for parents and professionals on how to listen well and respond in helpful ways when a young person reports an incident of bullying:


1. Stay Calm
First and foremost, when a young person takes the leap of faith to talk to you about a bullying situation, stay calm. Avoid freaking out. The dynamics they describe may be very run-of-the-mill or they may be entirely appalling, but either way, your role as a helpful adult is to listen well and respond as if the situation is completely manageable. The steadfastness of your response will go a long way in shaping the child’s attitude as the two of you begin to move forward toward solutions.

2. Express Sympathy
Next, it is helpful to express sympathy to the child. Something as simple as, “I am sorry this is happening to you” goes a long way in signaling to the young person that the dynamics they have described are not just a “normal” part of growing up and that you feel badly that they have been on the receiving end of cruelty.


The remainder of this post is available on Psychology Today.  Click below for the direct link or cut and paste the following one in your browser: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/passive-aggressive-diaries/201610/how-listen-so-kids-will-talk-about-bullying

How to Listen So that Your Child Will Talk About Bullying
Go to Top