A new type of coronavirus, abbreviated COVID-19, is causing an outbreak of respiratory (lung) disease. It was first detected in China and has now been detected internationally. While the immediate health risk in the United States is low, it is important to plan for any possible outbreaks if the risk level increases in the future.
Concern over this new virus can make children and families anxious. While we don’t know where and to what extent the disease may spread here in the United States, we do know that it is contagious, that the severity of illness can vary from individual to individual, and that there are steps we can take to prevent the spread of infection. Acknowledging some level of concern, without panicking, is appropriate and can result in taking actions that reduce the risk of illness. Helping children cope with anxiety requires providing accurate prevention information and facts without causing undue alarm.
It is very important to remember that children look to adults for guidance on how to react to stressful events. If parents seem overly worried, children’s anxiety may rise. Parents should reassure children that health and school officials are working hard to ensure that people throughout the country stay healthy. However, children also need factual, age appropriate information about the potential seriousness of disease risk and concrete instruction about how to avoid infections and spread of disease. Teaching children positive preventive measures, talking with them about their fears, and giving them a sense of some control over their risk of infection can help reduce anxiety.
Remain calm and reassuring.
- Children will react to and follow your verbal and nonverbal reactions.
- What you say and do about COVID-19, current prevention efforts, and related events can either increase or decrease your children’s anxiety.
- If true, emphasize to your children that they and your family are fine.
- Remind them that you and the adults at their school are there to keep them safe and healthy.
- Let your children talk about their feelings and help reframe their concerns into the appropriate perspective.
Make yourself available.
- Children may need extra attention from you and may want to talk about their concerns, fears, and questions.
- It is important that they know they have someone who will listen to them; make time for them.
- Tell them you love them and give them plenty of affection.
Avoid excessive blaming.
- When tensions are high, sometimes we try to blame someone.
- It is important to avoid stereotyping any one group of people as responsible for the virus.
- Bullying or negative comments made toward others should be stopped and reported to the school.
- Be aware of any comments that other adults are having around your family. You may have to explain what comments mean if they are different than the values that you have at home.
Monitor television viewing and social media.
- Limit television viewing or access to information on the Internet and through social media. Try to avoid watching or listening to information that might be upsetting when your children are present.
- Speak to your child about how many stories about COVID-19 on the Internet may be based on rumors and inaccurate information.
- Talk to your child about factual information of this disease—this can help reduce anxiety.
- Constantly watching updates on the status of COVID-19 can increase anxiety—avoid this.
- Be aware that developmentally inappropriate information (i.e., information designed for adults) can cause anxiety or confusion, particularly in young
- Engage your child in games or other interesting activities instead.
Maintain a normal routine to the extent possible.
- Keep to a regular schedule, as this can be reassuring and promotes physical health.
- Encourage your children to keep up with their schoolwork and extracurricular activities, but don’t push them if they seem overwhelmed.
Be honest and accurate.
- In the absence of factual information, children often imagine situations far worse than reality.
- Don’t ignore their concerns, but rather explain that at the present moment very few people in this country are sick with COVID-19.
- Children can be told this disease is thought to be spread between people who are in close contact with one another—when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
- It is also thought it can be spread when you touch an infected surface or object, which is why it is so important to protect yourself.
- For additional factual information contact your school nurse, ask your doctor, or check the https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html website.
Know the symptoms of COVID-19.
- The CDC believes these symptoms appear in a few days after being exposed to someone with the disease or as long as 14 days after exposure:
- Shortness for breath
- For some people the symptoms are like having a cold; for others they are quite severe or even life threatening. In either case it is important to check with your child’s healthcare provider (or yours) and follow instructions about staying home or away from public spaces to prevent the spread of the virus.
Review and model basic hygiene and healthy lifestyle practices for protection.
- Encourage your child to practice every day good hygiene—simple steps to prevent spread of illness:
- Wash hands multiple times a day for at least 20 seconds (singing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star slowly takes about 20 seconds).
- Cover their mouths with a tissue when they sneeze or cough and throw away the tissue immediately, or sneeze or cough into the bend of their elbow. Do not share food or drinks.
- Practice giving fist or elbow bumps instead of handshakes. Fewer germs are spread this way.
- Giving children guidance on what they can do to prevent infection gives them a greater sense of control over disease spread and will help to reduce their anxiety.
- Encourage your child to eat a balanced diet, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly; this will help them develop a strong immune system to fight off illness.
Discuss new rules or practices at school.
- Many schools already enforce illness prevention habits, including frequent hand washing or use of alcohol-based hand cleansers.
- Your school nurse or principal will send information home about any new rules or practices.
- Be sure to discuss this with your child.
- Contact your school nurse with any specific questions.
Communicate with your school.
- Let your school know if your child is sick and keep them home. Your school may ask if your child has a fever or not. This information will help the school to know why your child was kept home. If your child is diagnosed with COVID-19, let the school know so they can communicate with and get guidance from local health authorities.
- Talk to your school nurse, school psychologist, school counselor, or school social worker if your child is having difficulties as a result of anxiety or stress related to COVID-19. They can give guidance and support to your child at school.
- Make sure to follow all instructions from your school.
Take Time to Talk
You know your children best. Let their questions be your guide as to how much information to provide. However, don’t avoid giving them the information that health experts identify as critical to ensuring your children’s health. Be patient; children and youth do not always talk about their concerns readily. Watch for clues that they may want to talk, such as hovering around while you do the dishes or yard work. It is very typical for younger children to ask a few questions, return to playing, then come back to ask more questions.When sharing information, it is important make sure to provide facts without promoting a high level of stress, remind children that adults are working to address this concern, and give children actions they can take to protect themselves.
Information is rapidly changing about this new virus—to have the most correct information stay informed by accessing https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.
Keep Explanations Age Appropriate
- Early elementary school children need brief, simple information that should balance COVID-19 facts with appropriate reassurances that their schools and homes are safe and that adults are there to help keep them healthy and to take care of them if they do get sick. Give simple examples of the steps people take every day to stop germs and stay healthy, such as washing hands. Use language such as “adults are working hard to keep you safe.”
- Upper elementary and early middle school children will be more vocal in asking questions about whether they truly are safe and what will happen if COVID-19 comes to their school or community. They may need assistance separating reality from rumor and fantasy. Discuss efforts of school and community leaders to prevent germs from spreading.
- Upper middle school and high school students are able to discuss the issue in a more in-depth (adult-like) fashion and can be referred directly to appropriate sources of COVID-19 facts. Provide honest, accurate, and factual information about the current status of COVID-19. Having such knowledge can help them feel a sense of control.
Suggested Points to Emphasize When Talking to Children
- Adults at home and school are taking care of your health and safety. If you have concerns, please talk to an adult you trust.
- Not everyone will get the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease. School and health officials are being especially careful to make sure as few people as possible get sick.
- It is important that all students treat each other with respect and not jump to conclusions about who may or may not have COVID-19.
- There are things you can do to stay health and avoid spreading the disease:
o Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
o Stay home when you are sick.
o Cover your cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
o Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
o Wash hands often with soap and water (20 seconds).
o If you don’t have soap, use hand sanitizer (60–95% alcohol based).
o Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
Talking With Children: Tips for Caregivers, Parents, and Teachers During Infectious Disease Outbreaks, https://store.samhsa.gov/product/Talking-With-Children-Tips-for-Caregivers-Parents-and-Teachers-During-Infectious-Disease-Outbreaks/SMA14-4886
Coping With Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks, https://store.samhsa.gov/product/Coping-with-Stress-During-Infectious-Disease-Outbreaks/sma14-4885
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/transmission.html
Handwashing and Hand Sanitizer Use at Home, at Play, and Out and About, https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/pdf/hand-sanitizer-factsheet.pdf
© 2020, National Association of School Psychologists, 4340 East West Highway, Suite 402, Bethesda, MD 20814, 301-657-0270
TRIPLE P IN A NUTSHELL
The Triple P – Positive Parenting Program ® is a parenting and family support system designed to prevent – as well as treat – behavioral and emotional problems in children and teenagers. It aims to prevent problems in the family, school, and community before they arise and to create family environments that encourage children to realize their potential.
Triple P draws on social learning, cognitive behavioral and developmental theory as well as research into risk factors associated with the development of social and behavioral problems in children. It aims to equip parents with the skills and confidence they need to be self-sufficient and to be able to manage family issues without ongoing support.
And while it is almost universally successful in improving behavioral problems, more than half of Triple P’s 17 parenting strategies focus on developing positive relationships, attitudes, and conduct.
Triple P is delivered to parents of children up to 12 years, with Teen Triple P for parents of 12 to 16-year-olds. There are also specialist programs – for parents of children with a disability (Stepping Stones), for parents going through separation or divorce (Family Transitions), for parents of children who are overweight (Lifestyle) and for Indigenous parents (Indigenous). Other specialist programs are being trialed or are in development.
BENEFITS OF TRIPLE P
Triple P is unlike any other parenting program in the world, with benefits both clinical and practical.
Triple P’s flexibility sets it apart from many other parenting interventions. Triple P has flexibility in:
Age range and special circumstance
Triple P can cater to an entire population — for children from birth to 16 years. There are also specialist programs – including programs for parents of children with a disability; parents of children with health or weight concerns; parents going through divorce or separation; and for Indigenous families.
Intensity of program
Triple P’s distinctive multi-level system is the only one of its kind, offering a suite of programs of increasing intensity, each catering to a different level of family need or dysfunction, from “light-touch” parenting help to highly targeted interventions for at-risk families.
How it’s delivered
Just as the type of programs within the Triple P system differ, so do the settings in which the programs are delivered – personal consultations, group courses, larger public seminars and online and other self-help interventions are all available.
Who can be trained to deliver
Practitioners come from a wide range of professions and disciplines and include family support workers, doctors, nurses, psychologists, counselors, teachers, teacher’s aides, police officers, social workers, child safety officers and clergy.
Triple P is the most extensively researched parenting program in the world. Developed by clinical psychologist Professor Matt Sanders and his colleagues at Australia’s University of Queensland, Triple P is backed by more than 35 years’ ongoing research, conducted by academic institutions in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Iran, Hong Kong, Japan, Turkey, New Zealand and Australia.
Triple P has been designed as a population-based health approach to parenting, typically implemented by jurisdictions, government bodies or NGOs (non-government organizations) across regions or countries. The aim is to reach as many people as possible to have the greatest preventative impact on a community. The Triple P system can go to scale simply and cost efficiently. It has been shown to work with many different cultures and ethnicities.
All Triple P interventions are supported with comprehensive, professionally produced resources for both practitioners and parents. The resources have all been clinically trialled and tested. The parent resources have been translated, variously, from English into 21 languages.
Triple P’s dissemination experts around the world have experience assisting all levels of government and non-government organizations and are available to advise through all stages of a Triple P rollout – from planning and training to delivery, evaluation and beyond. Triple P uses an Implementation Framework to help support the success and sustainability of Triple P.
An integrated communications strategy, which helps destigmatize parenting support and reaches parents via a range of communications materials, puts parenting on the public agenda. It creates an awareness and acceptance of parenting support in general – and Triple P specifically.
The success of Triple P is easily monitored on both a personal level and across a population. Triple P provides tools for practitioners to measure “before” and “after” results with parents, allowing them to demonstrate Triple P’s effectiveness to the parents they work with and also to their own managers. computerized scoring applications can also be adapted to collate results across a region to show effects community-wide or within a target group.
Triple P’s system works to prevent overservicing and wastage, with its range of programs able to cater to the diversity of parents’ needs – from light-touch to intense intervention. It’s also a program that promotes self-regulation and self-sufficiency, as Triple P gives parents the skills they need to become problem solvers and confidently manage their issues independently, rather than rely on the ongoing support of a practitioner.
On a broader scale, as an early intervention strategy, Triple P has been shown to reduce costs associated with conduct disorder, child abuse and out-of-home placement, delivering significant benefits when compared to the cost of the program. Read more about Triple P’s cost efficiency.
If you represent an agency, organization, jurisdiction or government and would like to discuss implementing Triple P in your region, or inquire about training your staff to deliver Triple P to parents, please contact:
All other countries
Unconditional Positive Regard
Carl Rogers described unconditional positive regard (UPR) as love and acceptance that are not dependent upon any particular behaviors. He often used the term “prizing” as shorthand for this feature of a relationship. According to Rogers, prizing is particularly important in the parent-child relationship.
Unconditional Positive Regard
Carl Rogers described unconditional positive regard (UPR) as love and acceptance that are not dependent upon any particular behaviors. He often used the term “prizing” as shorthand for this feature of a relationship. According to Rogers, prizing is particularly important in the parent-child relationship. Rogers argued that children who are prized by their parents experience a greater sense of congruence, have a better chance to self-actualize, and have are more likely to become fully functioning people than those whose parents raise them under “conditions of worth.”
Unconditional positive regard is also a crucial component of Rogers’ approach to psychotherapy. In fact, along with empathy and genuineness, Rogers asserted that UPR was one of the necessary and sufficient elements for positive psychotherapeutic change. When Rogers described UPR as “necessary,” he communicated that an unconditionally accepting and warm relationship between therapist and client is a prerequisite for therapy to be effective. This assertion is not particularly shocking; most individuals seeing a therapist would probably expect the therapist to have this type of nonjudgmental attitude, and would also probably expect therapy to progress poorly if the therapist was in fact judgmental or conditionally disapproving. When Rogers described UPR as “sufficient,” however, he made a bolder statement. The term “sufficient” suggests that if a therapist provides UPR, along with empathy and genuineness, to a client, the client will improve. No additional techniques or strategies are needed. The therapist need not analyze any dreams, change any thought patterns, punish or reward any behaviors, or offer any interpretations. Instead, in the context of this humanistic therapy relationship, the client will heal himself or herself by growing in a self-actualizing direction, thereby achieving greater congruence. This “necessary and sufficient” claim holds true, according to Rogers, regardless of the diagnosis or severity of the client’s problem.
In addition to the parent-child and therapist-client relationship, Rogers also considered the value of UPR in other relationships and situations. For example, he spent significant time and energy discussing the role that UPR might play in education, and in the teacher-student relationship in particular. Rogers criticized the mainstream American educational system as overly conditional. He believed that educators too often used the threat of poor grades to motivate students, and that students felt prized only when they performed up to educators’ standards (as measured by grades on exams, papers, etc.). He further believed that students may emerge from school having learned some essential academic skills, but also having learned that they are not trustworthy, that they lack internal motivation toward learning, and that only the aspects of themselves that meet particular academic criteria are worthy.
Rogers strongly recommended that teachers and administrators take a more humanistic and less conditional approach to education. He argued that UPR in schools would communicate to children that they are worthy no matter what; as a result, their sense of congruence and their tendency toward self-actualization would remain intact. Students, according to Rogers, should be trusted to a greater extent to follow their own interests and set to their own academic goals. Rather than threatening students to study for exams and write papers in which they have little interest, prize them wholly and allow them greater freedom to choose that which they want to pursue. Advocates of Rogers’ humanistic approach to education argue that it would enhance students’ self-worth, which in turn may preclude many of the psychological and social problems that children encounter. Critics of Rogers’ humanistic approach to education argue that without conditions of worth based on academic achievement, students would have no provocation to learn, and would demonstrate lethargy rather than self-motivation.
Andrew M. Pomerantz, Ph. D.
“Be a good listener, your ears will never get you in trouble.” – Frank Tyger
“If speaking is silver, then listening is gold.” — Turkish saying
“I think the one lesson I have learned is that there is no substitute for paying attention.” — Diane Sawyer, newscaster
“One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.” — Bryant McGill, author
Turn taking is a social skill that can take time to develop in young school aged children. By providing different opportunities to practice the skill the student in time will be more adept at using those skills in a social setting with peers and adults. This post will show some ideas for promoting Turn Taking.
TURN TAKING is a life skill necessary for social success in all environments. TURN TAKING is not a skill that develops naturally for many children. Many children need to be taught TURN TAKING skills and offered many opportunities to practice. Teaching TURN TAKING involves many skills such as: 1) a social understanding of why we share; 2) self-regulation skills; 3) what to do when I am waiting; and, 4) knowing when to take a turn. By preparing a child to learn about TURN TAKING you are setting them up for successful play with peers.
Source:HOW TO TEACH: “Turn Taking”
Taking Turns at Circle (Word Document)
Read: My Mouth is a Volcano by Julia Cook, (2005)
Use this lesson to talk about blurting and interrupting.
Using a Talking StickThis is a method of enforcing turn-taking in conversation which is part of Native American lore and tradition. Making simple Talking Sticks and using them can provide a fun and useful series of social skills lessons for young people on the autism spectrum.
APA suggests these tips to help parents effectively manage holiday stress
- Strengthen social connections – We know that strong, supportive relationships help us manage all kinds of challenges. So, we can view the holidays as a time to reconnect with the positive people in our lives. Accepting help and support from those who care about us can help alleviate stress. Also, volunteering at a local charity on our own or with family can be another way to make connections; helping others often makes us feel better, too.
- Initiate conversations about the season – It can be helpful to have conversations with our kids about the variety of different holiday traditions our families, friends and others may celebrate. Parents can use this time as an opportunity to discuss how some families may not participate in the same holiday traditions as others. Not everyone needs to be the same. It is important to teach open-mindedness about others and their celebrations.
- Set expectations – It is helpful to set realistic expectations for gifts and holiday activities. Depending on a child’s age, we can use this opportunity to teach kids about the value of money and responsible spending. We need to remember to pare down our own expectations, too. Instead of trying to take on everything, we need to identify the most important holiday tasks and take small concrete steps to accomplish them.
- Keep things in perspective – On the whole, the holiday season is short. It helps to maintain a broader context and a longer-term perspective. We can ask ourselves, what’s the worst thing that could happen this holiday? Our greatest fears may not happen and, if they do, we can tap our strengths and the help of others to manage them. There will be time after the holiday season to follow up or do more of things we’ve overlooked or did not have the time to do during the holidays.
- Take care of yourself – It is important that we pay attention to our own needs and feelings during the holiday season. We can find fun, enjoyable and relaxing activities for ourselves and our families. By keeping our minds and bodies healthy, we are primed to deal with stressful situations when they arise. Consider cutting back television viewing for kids and getting the family out together for fresh air and a winter walk. Physical activity can help us feel better and sleep well, while reducing sedentary time and possible exposure to stress-inducing advertisements. Source
Motivating all students can be a challenge. This post focuses on the issues and strategies to help support those pupils who need us as teachers to meet them where they are at and help them find their way to motivation.
How can parents help
- Provide a warm, accepting home environment.
- Give clear directions and feedback.
- Create a model for success
- Build on the student’s strengths
- Relate schoolwork to the student’s interests
- Help build a family structure that fosters consistent work towards the goal.
- Help the student to have some control over how and when he learns.
- Emphasize the child’s progress rather than his or her performance in comparison to the other students in the class or family.
- Remember to reinforce the behavior you want.
- Use reinforcers wisely. Recall that intrinsic motivation works best. Follow a child’s interests, when possible, rather than spending time building elaborate reward systems Source
Motivation — Helping Your Child Through Early Adolescence – U.S. Department of Education
What the Research Says: Students who believe that they have the ability to complete a particular academic task (self-efficacy) do better and have higher levels of motivation (Jacobs et al., 2002). Yet students often sabotage their academic performance by engaging in negative self-talk about their abilities and by making faulty attributions to explain poor academic performance (Linnenbrink & Pintrich, 2002). Source
Reasons for Lack of Motivation Stipek
Why Students Are Not Motivated to Learn
Why Intelligent People Fail
- Present activities not seen as related to important goals.
- Do not have (or believe one does not have) the ability to do present activities or obtain future goals.
- Distractibility and lack of concentration
- Spreading oneself too thin or too thick
- Inability or unwillingness to see the forest for the trees
- Lack of balance between critical, analytic thinking and creative, synthetic thinking
- Using the wrong abilities
- Feelings/emotions about present activities are generally negative.
- Satisfaction of achieving goals seems in distant future.
- Personal problems interfere with present activities.
- Misattribution of blame
- Fear of failure
- Excessive self-pity
- Excessive dependency
- Wallowing in personal difficulties
- Too little or too much self-confidence
- Do not have a written list of important goals that define success personally.
- Believe that present goals or activities are wrong for individual.
- Important goals conflict with present activities.
- Failure to initiate
- Lack of motivation
- Lack of perservance and perseveration
- Inability to complete tasks and to follow through
- Lack of impulse control
- Inability to translate thought into action
- Lack of product orientation
- Inability to delay gratification
- Extrinsic incentives are low.
- Sternberg, R. (1994). In search of the human mind (395-396). New York: Harcourt Brace.
- Stipek, D. (1988). Motivation to learn: From theory to practice. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
“Motivational Interviewing is a collaborative, goal-oriented style of communication with particular attention to the language of change. It is designed to strengthen personal motivation for and commitment to a specific goal by eliciting and exploring the person’s own reasons for change within an atmosphere of acceptance and compassion.” Miller and Rollnick (2012)
“When we think of failure; Failure will be ours. If we remain undecided; Nothing will ever change. All we need to do is want to achieve something great and then simply do it. Never think of failure, for what we think, will come about.” ~Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
Classroom meetings are an effective way to help build classroom community, establish behavioral expectations and norms, as well as explore social issues that need tending to help continue supporting a thriving learning environment.
Class Meeting Guides
CREATING POSITIVE ENVIRONMENTS THROUGH CLASS MEETINGS– Diana Browning Wright
Class Meetings Creating a Safe School Starting in Your Classroom– Ophelia Project
The Classroom Meeting-PowerPoint
|An agenda where everyone has a say!|
|Class Meetings with a Stopwatch||
|An easy tip for “keeping things moving” in class meetings.|
|Speak Up with a Microphone||
|A quick idea to encourage only one speaker at a time!|
|Character Trait Spotlight||
|Focusing on positive character traits at class meetings.|
|“Some Things Are Scary”||
|This picture book is an excellent springboard for discussion in a class meeting!|
|Class Meeting Sign||
|An easy sign so that everyone knows when the class meeting is!|
|A Time to Spotlight Students||
|Spotlighting students at class meetings|
Visuals to Support Learning