Archive | Social and Emotional Growth

Does Your Confidence Propel or Sabotage You?

How confidence affects our happiness There are two different kinds of confidence a person may embrace. One comes from a strong, quiet strength and the second type comes from a fear-based confidence. Quiet confidence is an inner strength that when attained doesn’t have to be talked about or placed on a résumé; it shows in a […]

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Starting Fresh

Beginning a new year. Or a new day. Note: I started this post on Feb. 8, 2014 and, like many things I started during the time I was working on the perfectionism book, lost track of it before I finished. I think the idea of coming back more than 2 years later to complete this […]

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Ways to Build Tolerance and Respect for Diversity

Practical strategies for positive change • Pay attention to peer-to-peer interactions. Increase awareness, advocacy, and a willingness to take immediate, positive action (regarding how kids treat one another). • Advocate for the underdog. Encourage kids to connect with children who seem isolated. Emphasize the value of inclusion. • Interrupt any instances of meanness, name calling, […]

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The Elementary and Secondary Education Act

Background and ESSA Context The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA—now also coined as the “Every Student Succeeds Act”—ESSA) was passed by Congress and signed by the President on December 10, 2015. It will be phased in over the next two years, and will not be fully in place until the 2017-18 school year when […]

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I-Messages: The Handout

More information about a destructive communication pattern This handout was developed to accompany a free online article, “What’s Wrong with ‘I-Messages’?” I first wrote about the problems with using this formula to try to get people to change their behavior in 1991. Evidence based on outcomes of using this formula has only strengthened my opinion. There are […]

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Preventing Bullying in the Digital Age

Understanding and managing cyberspace aggression Guest blogger Amy Williams shares what to watch for and how to prevent meanness in the digital age. The ripple effect of bullying can be felt across all lanes of life. Similar to raging drivers on the road, aggressive Internet users can create a threatening environment for the people around them. […]

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An Alternative to Advice Giving

Asking questions to guide problem solving The questions that follow are provided to help with the mechanics of mastering the technique of “asking—not telling,” an effective alternative to giving kids advice that encourages independence and problem-solving competence. The questions are (more…)

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Non-Supportive Responses to Avoid

Yes, these really do make things worse! If people trust us enough to share an experience that has had an emotional impact on them, we usually do the most good when we can respond with empathy and support. Unfortunately, the following non-supportive or negative responses are so common and pervasive in our culture that avoiding […]

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“Bully” is a Four-Letter Word

Understanding the Concept to Manage the Territory by Dr. Jo Ann Freiberg Columbine was the crucible. Whether because of its scale or because it happened in an upper middle class suburban community, what occurred in Littleton, Colorado forever changed how schools and communities in the United States respond to “bullying.” Prior to this event, the […]

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Healthy vs. Unhealthy Friendships

Learning to tell the difference Think about someone in your life who leaves an open space for you to be yourself. No one is more valuable. I would rather have a pillar of trust in my life than a pillar of strength. —Deepak Chopra Do you have friends who leave you feeling happy and uplifted? […]

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Perfectionism with Dr. Miriam Adderholdt

What’s Bad About Being Too Good? Episode Summary: In a culture that praises and rewards excellence and accomplishment, how can we avoid crossing the line to a dangerous desire for perfection? Dr. Jane Bluestein talks with Dr. Miriam Adderholdt about what perfectionism is, how it can negatively affect our social and emotional health, and the difference […]

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Bullying Podcast with Stan Davis

Learn what kids say works best, and what makes things worse Episode Summary: Dr. Jane Bluestein talks with author and retired therapist Stan Davis about the true value of the advice kids receive and the interventions they experience when they experience mistreatment at the hands of their peers.  (more…)

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Are We Still Guilty of Gender Stereotyping?

A self-assessment survey for teachers, childcare workers, and others Ted, a 32-year-old math teacher, meets up with Jack, a 38-year-old PE teacher and Joyce, a 28-year-old science teacher in the hall on the first day of school. As they were discussing the recent departure of Debbie, the former school librarian, Ted suddenly notices Joan, the […]

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Appreciating Diversity

What kids are really learning Kids get lessons in diversity all the time. Whether in our homes, in school, or out in the world, they receive message after message about how people are the same or different. A great deal of the information they receive will be out of our control and sadly, some of […]

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What’s Wrong with I-Messages?

Problems with a popular formula © 1991, 1999, 2003, 2013 This article was originally written for an issue of Families in Recovery, a parenting magazine that is no longer in print. Although the examples primarily feature parent-child interactions, the dynamics, issues, and alternatives are applicable to any relationship. A man in one of my workshops […]

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Improving Student Behavior through Positive School Climate

It’s not about the rules! From the January 2013 newsletter: There is a strange myth around kids’ behavior that if we just have enough rules (and severe enough punishments), the misbehaviors will disappear. What I’ve observed, however, is an even stranger reality in which the opposite tends to be true. In schools, the longer the […]

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Prefectionism vs. Healthy Pursuit of Excellence

Explaining the difference The following information was excerpted from Perfectionism: What’s Bad About Being Too Good? by Dr. Miriam Renée Adderholdt and reprinted with her permission. Perfectionists reach for impossible goals. Pursuers of Excellence enjoy meeting high standards that are within reach. Perfectionists value themselves by what they do. Pursuers of Excellence value themselves by who they are. Perfectionists […]

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