Positive Thinking Boosts Emotional Intelligence

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As part of our curriculum, we at SEL for prevention are dedicated to the power of positive thinking, and how it directly correlates to a child’s education and academic success. With so many negative distractions in our culture that affects the learning process, we cannot always shield our children from them. By teaching them the proper tools, they can navigate their way through these diversions and stay focused on their learning and development.

At SEL for prevention, we teach children to recognize and control their inner self-dialogue. Repetitive negative self-assumptions and self-imposed limitations like, “I’m so bad at fractions. I’m never going to get this, so why bother?” will badger a child into failure and feelings of low self-esteem.  We can help them to reverse these negative trains of thought by replacing them with the power of positive thinking by helping them to understand that help is available if they reach out to those who can help.

We teach children to seek out positive environments that reinforce and enhance their abilities. We encourage them to identify their passions and focus on the positive aspects they bring to their lives, and to the lives of others. We encourage them to develop hobbies and activities that not only boost their confidence and those they encounter, but enhances their knowledge and appreciation of the world they live in. This positive cycle of empowerment is a contagion that reverberates in every life that it touches.

Finally, we encourage children to recognize and reflect on their accomplishments. Although mistakes are inevitable, they are encouraged to understand them as learning opportunities, rather than personal failures. Mistakes will happen, and growth cannot be achieved without them.

Educating Gifted Children Comes With Its Own Set of Challenges

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Educators have long been aware that gifted children can be very difficult to educate and are just as challenging to teach as those with learning disorders

Gifted children are often referred to me by teachers, school counselors and child therapists who have identified red flags and need an intervention.

Why an intervention? Isn’t giftedness a good thing? Well, it turns out that gifted children come with their own set of challenges, particularly in the area of education.

Many gifted children fail to work to their potential and may even have failing grades. On tests, they may get the difficult questions correct while skipping the easy questions. Gifted children are often disruptive in school, complaining of boredom and seem to space out and lose focus. They sometimes get oppositional and argumentative with teachers and parents; they think they are way smarter so, “why bother?”

The motivation of a gifted child waxes and wanes depending on the relationship between the child and the teacher. Gifted kids thrive on praise.  When they feel criticized or misunderstood, however, they often become quite defensive.

When gifted children want to avoid an unpleasant consequence or acquire something interesting, they may use manipulation tactics. A clever child sees this as a game of outsmarting their opponent (parent or teacher).

Intervene Upstream

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SEL for Prevention’s Camp MakeBelieve Kids (CMB) programs, for students K-5 and Upper Elementary, were created with the gifted child in mind. The programs offer positive support, challenging discussions, and interesting activities during structured and unstructured group time.

Gifted children are taught the appropriate way to interact with peers, manage moods, and get their needs met. We equip them with the language of feelings and creative ways to manage those feelings, thoughts, and behavior. They also learn assertive but friendly communication, strategies for handling bullies, avoiding peer pressure, understanding social clues and much, much more.

Gifted children thrive in our programs.

It’s heart warming to hear from group leaders who observe the gradual changes in the gifted child, who often begins with a negative, know-it-all attitude and leaves with gratitude. Finally, they feel they can navigate their social and emotional world.

Given plenty of talk time, role playing time and problem-solving tasks, gifted children soon become program leaders. Peers, as well as their teachers, often pick these children to mentor children with other special needs, such as Asperger’s Disorder or ADHD.

To learn more about SEL for Prevention’s Camp MakeBelieve Kids programs, schedule your free, live overview today.

 

The 5 C’s of Suicide Prevention – An Action Plan for Schools

When it comes to suicidal behavior in students, it’s the responsibility of  teachers and school officials to intervene and provide guidance

Suicide is a serious issue among school-age kids and teens. It’s the third leading cause of death in 10-14-year-old children; almost 10% of high school students have made at least one suicide attempt (CDC).

The following is a basic action plan for teachers and school officials dealing with an individual who is displaying suicidal behavior. It should be used in conjunction with state-federal guidelines, and protocol and guidelines from national suicide prevention organizations.

The 5 C’s of Suicide Prevention

5 C's of Suicide Prevention

Click to enlarge and print / SEL for Prevention

1. Caring
  • Share what you know with the student about his or her suicidal behavior. (Ex. “I noticed in your drawings there is a lot about people dying” or “Another student shared that you were talking about suicide.”)
  • Ask direct questions. (“Are you thinking about suicide?”)
  • Keep information private from those who are not directly involved in the student’s welfare. Gossip from other students, teachers, school staff or parents of other students is not appropriate.
2. Connection
  • Use eye contact to foster a personal connection.
  • Express you care through both non-verbal and verbal communication (sit across from student, show concern with facial expressions, do not allow others to interrupt, show calmness with voice modulation).
  • Allow student to discuss his or her feelings.
  • Don’t minimize. (“It’s not a big deal” or “No worries! Tomorrow you will feel better.”)
  • Don’t generalize. (“All teenagers feel this way.”)
3. Control
  • Emphasize that his/her feelings are temporary.
  • Offer hope for the future. (“This feeling will pass with help. We will need to make a plan.”)
  • Equip with tools to change feelings. Immediate mood-changer tips could be:
    • Focusing on a simple breathing exercise.
    • Talking about any triggers that set off the feelings (bullying behavior, family crisis).
    • Writing in a journal, drawing, or listening to music.
    • Asking the student what mood-changer strategy usually works for him or her.
4. Communication

qtq80-65TKPuBegin a dialogue with the student who is exhibiting the suicidal behavior. Be calm, accepting, and encouraging of the student’s ability to get through this challenging time.

  • Inform chain of command
  • Inform parent
  • Written documentation
5. Considerations for action

Immediate risk – Hospital (inform triage)

  • Ambulance transport
  • Parent escort
  • Police check if student doesn’t arrive at Hospital

Moderate risk – Refer to:

  • Community mental health
  • Parent responsible to supervise, take to hospital if gets worse; Suggest that parent remove harmful items
  • Equip with National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Low risk

  • Notify parents
  • Strategies to reduce stress
  • Equip with Suicide Prevention Lifeline
  • Connect with student frequently

Developed in collaboration with the Nevada Office of Suicide Prevention, Nevada Coalition for Suicide Prevention, Suicide Prevention Resource Center, STEP UP and Camp MakeBelieve Kids.