One of the first questions I ask parents who come to me with teens who are experiencing behavioral issues is, “Are you using consequences or punishments?” You would be surprised at the number of parents that have never really thought about the difference between the two. (more…)
Here are some startling facts when it comes to teens and sexting. Many teens just do not understand the importance of privacy, and the ease in which explicit texts, pictures, and videos, can make their way from a phone to the Internet, or eyes of those they did not intend their personal and private messages to be read by. (more…)
I’d like to introduce you guys to another fabulous guest blogger. I have asked Michelle Winters to talk a little bit about teens and sleep because we both feel that it’s a very important subject when it comes to helping teens make the best possible choices. Michelle is a Pediatric Sleep Consultant and has a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology from the College of William and Mary, and worked at a Montessori school for over eight years working with children ages 3 months to 6 years. She was trained as a Gentle Sleep Coach by the Sleep Lady®, Kim West, author of several sleep books, including “The Sleep Lady’s Good Night, Sleep Tight”, and has also been trained as a Maternity and Child Sleep Consultant through the International Maternity Institute. (more…)
Over the course of a lifetime humans develop in many ways. From infancy to adulthood human beings will go through different developmental stages. Social development is very important, and plays a large role in how students develop their own self-perception. This of course will change with age and experience, but the stages of social development will inevitably evolve based on physical, social, and even academic aspects of their lives. Let’s discuss the stages of social development and the role in which they play in how educators teach in the classroom, as well as how teachers can present a positive sense of self, and what the educator’s role is in moral and prosocial development in the classroom.
Whether we are talking about Erickson’s stages of development, or even a broader sense of the stages in which we develop as humans, it’s important to recognize the stages involved. We all begin life in infancy. This stage is where trust and mistrust starts to be established. As infants rely on their caregivers to provide for their basic needs they develop a basic outlook on the world, it’s either a place of comfort and reliability, or unpredictability and danger (Ormrod, 2000). Post infancy, the next stage is early childhood, a time when children learn to begin satisfying some of their own basic needs. During this time children will learn to flourish in their own abilities, or begin to doubt what they can accomplish by themselves. This happens primarily due to the amount of encouragement and support a child receives from their parents and caregivers. During this phase children will develop their own interests and intentions, seeking out ways to pursue independent activities (Ormrod, 2000). As children advance to the stage of childhood, they begin to see themselves as students. During this stage students begin to seem their sense of self-worth directly related to the amount of achievement and recognition that they receive from peers, parents, and educators. Recognition encourages students at this stage to work harder, and seek out acceptance and recognition for a job well done. Adolescence can be a trying stage for children. They are beginning the long transition towards adulthood and truly trying to establish a sense of identity. This stage is an adventurous stage that involves students reaching out into the world in order to develop an understanding of exactly who they are, and where their place will be in the world. In this stage it’s not uncommon for students to experiment with different ideologies, behaviors, and activities. Towards the end of this stage, students can start to develop a sense of self-sacrifice and compromise, and learn the value of putting the needs of others before their own. This of course leads into adulthood. During adulthood students learn to make more long-term commitments, establish potentially long-lasting relationships, and truly start to make a place for themselves in the world. As you can see, each of these stages are quite different, yet may overlap at times, especially in the social and educational settings of school.
For educators, social development is going to play a major role in the way that they teach, and the way that they communicate effectively with students. Depending on where students are in the various stages of social development will determine how students learn the most effectively, what obstacles may present themselves, and how to best encourage and recognize student success in the classroom. During early education it’s important for educators to identify any difficulties in social-emotional areas, due to the fact identification and intervention can be most effective during the early stages of these difficulties (Aubrey, & Ward, 2013). Teachers can play a major role in promoting a positive sense of self in the classroom. Promoting diversity among students, avoiding gender stereotyping, and allowing students to try on different roles within the classroom, will help students find areas in which they are successful, and generally help promote a greater sense of self. Teachers should be encouraged to promote a positive verbal environment because it can help student’s foster positive feelings and beliefs about themselves and their accomplishments. This interactions between adults and children can increase the sense of value a student has when it comes to their contributions in the classroom (Meece, & Soderman, 2010).
Teachers play a major role in the development of moral and pro-social behavior. In my experience, teachers are the first adults, outside of the home, who have the unique ability to demonstrate what appropriate behavior looks like, and the way other should be treated. As students grow from children to adolescents, they become ever so dependent on social relationships within their peer groups, and learning pro-social behaviors can have a very positive effect on the way adolescence develop relationships (Hartup, 1996). Having firsthand experienced teachers who went out of their way to correct moral transgressions, and promote prosocial behavior, I have been able to reflect on what I have learned, and how it has defined me as a person. My own teachers have demonstrated positive interactions that benefit others, and those actions have help sculpt the way I stated treating others. Teachers who made it a point to speak to me in a way that was courteous, respectful, and without interruption, have taught me the benefit of a positive verbal environment, and how it can create positive interactions among students and educators, and leave everyone feeling respected. These educators never made judgmental comments about students, or other teachers or peers, allowing students to develop a more positive perception of everyone involved (Meece, & Soderman, 2010). Teachers, in my opinion, calibrate a student’s original “moral compass” and define where “True North” is when it comes to morality.
In conclusion, it is of the utmost importance to understand the stages of social development and the role in which they play in the classroom. The way lessons are taught, the way information is received, and the way students will connect with educators, all depend on where a student is at in these various stages of development. Teachers, and all educators, can present a positive sense of self, and demonstrate behaviors that promote moral and prosocial development in the classroom and beyond.
Aubrey, C., & Ward, K. (2013). Early years practitioners’ views on early personal, social and emotional development. Emotional & Behavioural Difficulties, 18(4), 435-447. doi:10.1080/13632752.2013.807541
Hartup, W. W. (1996). The company they keep: Friendships and their developmental significance. Child Development, 67(1), 1–13.
Meece, D., & Soderman, A. K. (2010). Positive Verbal Environments: Setting the Stage for Young Children’s Social Development. Young Children, 65(5), 81-86.
Ormrod, J. (2000). Personal and Social Development. In Educational psychology: Developing learners (8th ed., pp. 62-64). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Merrill.
Here is a Cyber Bullying infographic from Cyber Smart.
Cybersmart put up this really great infographic with some great tips for dealing with cyber bullying.
Most of you know that I’m a huge anti-bullying supporter, and cyber bullying is a serious matter that should be dealt with quickly and efficiently.
Cyber bullying can take many forms:
- Sending mean messages or threats to a person’s email account or cell phone
- Spreading rumors online or through texts
- Posting hurtful or threatening messages on social networking sites or web pages
- Stealing a person’s account information to break into their account and send damaging messages
- Pretending to be someone else online to hurt another person
- Taking unflattering pictures of a person and spreading them through cell phones or the Internet
- Sexting, or circulating sexually suggestive pictures or messages about a person
The teenage brain might be a mystery to some parents, but today we’re going to explore a few topics and see what we can uncover about this unique puzzle. (more…)
Talking to kids & teens about a recent suicide, or attempt, can be difficult. Usually we’re still full of raw emotions ourselves, and trying to help little minds understand can be overwhelming.
I wanted to post a few thoughts/tips on how to talk with kids when a loved one or friend has committed suicide, or has attempted to commit suicide. (more…)
Call it shyness, social anxiety, or whatever you want, but the truth is that this type of behavior is horrific when it comes to teens and how they handle their own social circles and situations. (more…)