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Tag Archives: Understanding Behavior

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By Father Steven Boes, President and National Executive Director, Boys Town

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Acceptance and Equality Must Be Part of Every Child’s Life Lessons

Father Edward J. Flanagan was far ahead of his time, sometimes dangerously so. When he founded his home for boys (later to become known as Boys Town) 100 years ago in Omaha, Nebraska, he welcomed youngsters of all races, religions and cultural backgrounds, and he provided care for all of them under one roof. This approach was unheard of in the early 1900s, and even though many local citizens supported Father Flanagan’s work, there were those who disapproved and even made threats ...

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Maggie McGill, Boys Town In Home Family Consultant

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3 Tips for Creating a Parenting Plan with your Co-Parent

This article was originally published on momaha.com. Co-parenting can be difficult because you need to remain consistent with addressing behavior, and you might have different expectations than your child’s other parent. Creating a parenting plan can help parents work together to appropriately and consistently address children’s behaviors. Use the following steps to create a parenting plan of your own. Find a time to sit down and discuss what rules you have for your children. Make a list if needed to help you remember. ...

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Boys Town Contributor

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Raising Compassionate Children

Compassion literally means "to suffer together." Emotional researchers describe compassion as the feelings and motivation that arise in us when we are confronted by the suffering of others. Most young children have an innate sense of compassion, but the development of this important feeling must be nurtured if it is to survive into adulthood. This is where parents come in. So, how do you go about raising a compassionate child? The most important way is by allowing your child to routinely experience compassion ...

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Greg Snyder, Ph. D. | Boys Town Staff Psychologist

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A Toy by Any Other Name Is Still a Toy

Are fidget spinners or other toy-like devices helpful in reducing restlessness, inattention and motor spillover behavior in the classroom setting? My answer is unequivocally, NO. Don’t buy in to the hype. Fidget spinners, fidget cubes and small handheld manipulative devices produced by toy manufacturers and co-opted by advocacy groups and children themselves are not helpful for children — unless they are used solely for enjoyment during free time. Many children with ADHD and other neurodevelopmental delays oftentimes present with excessive motor ...

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Dr. Reznicek, Superintendent, Boys Town High School

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Trauma, Tragedy and Children

An earthquake in China kills thousands. A suicide bomber in Iraq destroys a mosque during Friday prayer. A gunman takes the lives of scores of innocents in a Florida nightclub. On every television, on every device, tragedy is everywhere. Sometimes the tragedy may be closer to home, such as the death of a friend or family member. So, how should you address these situations with children in school? The first thing to understand is that children are exceptionally resilient. They’re often ...

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Father Steven Boes, Boys Town National Executive Director

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More to Pokémon Go than Meets the Eye

I recently attended a birthday party for the children of my dear friends, Tim and Pam, at their home. I’ve known Tim and Pam for many years and presided over their wedding. As the party was winding down, the couple’s 16-year-old daughter Elly asked permission to go out and play Pokémon Go. I had heard about the game and asked Elly to explain how it works. As she spoke, I realized that many of the skills and attitudes required for success ...

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Steph Jensen, MS, LPC, Boys Town National Training

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What’s in a Label? – Moving Beyond Behavior Labels

Disrespectful, rude, defiant, lazy, inappropriate, irresponsible and out-of-control are all common labels we may be quick to assign to children exhibiting challenging behaviors. While these labels may be correct in describing our perceptions of their difficult behaviors, they are rarely an accurate assessment of the child who is engaging in them. Childhood, by definition, is a time of change, challenges and growth. Children are experiencing many physical, mental and emotional changes as they progress through their natural growth and development. ...

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By Connie J. Schnoes, Boys Town Psychologist and Behavioral Expert

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Sleep Problems in Anxious or Worried Teens

Any event that causes a person to feel that their safety or their life or the lives of others are at serious risk is considered a traumatic event. The resulting response manifests in many ways — emotionally, psychologically and/or physically. Teenagers are already experiencing a wide range of emotions, so if your teen experiences a traumatic event, his/her response may seem overwhelming to both of you. Anxiety, depression and anger are common reactions to trauma, and for teenagers, any or all ...

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Boys Town Contributor 

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Getting Your Parenting Skills on Track

Ever have one of those days? You know, when it seems as if you’ve failed as a parent. You’re not alone. Raising kids is one of the most difficult jobs on the planet, and whether you’re dealing with a tantrum-throwing toddler or an “I know everything” teen, you are occasionally going to need support. Everyone does. Luckily, the child behavior experts at Boys Town have seen some of the most difficult parenting situations imaginable. They’ve worked with virtually every issue in ...

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Elizabeth, caller of The Boys Town National Hotline

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A Desperate Call for Help is Answered

The following is an actual letter from a young woman who was engaging in self-harm. I want to thank you for all you have done for me. I remember learning of the Your Life Your Voice website when I was around eighteen, and I used it often between the ages of eighteen and twenty. I have struggled with self-harm for about four and a half years. I remember at my lowest points I was self-harming badly multiple times a day, and I’ve ...

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Kristin E. Bieber, Ph.D., a staff psychologist with Boys Town Center for Behavioral Health

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Self-Harm: Signs, Prevention and How to Talk to Children, Adolescents About It

This post was first published on Momaha.com. Self-harm can sometimes first occur at the transition between childhood to adolescence. It's around this time that adolescents begin to think more about their feelings, pay more attention to peers’ behaviors and place more of an emphasis on fitting in. Boys Town Center for Behavioral Health shares information to help prevent and respond to self-harm. How is self-harm prevented? The first step in addressing self-harm is educating parents. Upon discovering their adolescent is self-harming, parents may become ...

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Boys Town Contributor

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Thoughts of a Self-Harming Teen

As Boys Town counselors, we deal with the issue of self-harm on an almost daily basis. In result, we gain a unique insight into why teens engage in an activity that seems so unfathomable to parents. The following are actual statements made by teens whom at one point in their lives, engaged in self-harm: “Why sit, and wait, and dwell on your feelings, when in less than two minutes you could let them out, and then go on with your day?” “I'm worried ...

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Dr. Amanda Whaley NMD is a board-licensed, naturopathic physician in Arizona and the mother of one 14-month-old busy boy.

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Self-Harm: Her Experience and Advice to Parents

I think it started small.  I would retreat to the bathroom for a session of “poking” myself with a pin. Why? I couldn’t tell you.  It just felt good.  That started after my parents divorced and my mom and I moved out of the house I was growing up in. Their divorce wasn’t particularly eventful.  They didn’t even yell at each other.  Even at age 14, I could tell they didn’t love each other.  After my dad told me he was ...

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Laura Kelley, Crisis Counselor for the Boys Town National Hotline and the Nebraska Family Helpline, Mother of three boys

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Lying: How to break the habit in children

This post was first published on Momaha.com. Are you tired of calling your child out for lying? Does he or she lie with ease? Lying usually starts at a very young age. Even a 2-year-old can be guilty of it. A simple question of “Do you need to go potty?” will be answered with a “no” if the last time she was whisked off to the bathroom left her without her toys for a few minutes. Children are constantly testing what they can ...

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Dr. Tanya Martin, Director of Special Education and Transition Services at Boys Town High School

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What Did You Just Say?

Have you ever been riding in the car and had your children utter words or phrases that make you think, “What did they just say?” Every generation has its vocabulary of slang; it’s one of those things that sets the youngsters apart from their parents. Tweens and teens enjoy the secrecy of their own “private” slang language, thinking that parents and adults are too “uncool” to understand what the kids are talking about. So if you feel you have been left behind ...

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Erin Green,
Director, Boys Town National Training & Boys Town Press Services

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One Size Does Not Fit All When It Comes to Teaching Students Social Skills and Behavior Management

Every year, Boys Town National Training provides training and consultation services to hundreds of schools and thousands of educators across the United States and throughout the world. These services are based on the Boys Town Education Model®, which focuses on skill-teaching, relationship-building and implementing effective discipline procedures. With a multi-tiered intervention approach, our services assess a school’s or district’s needs; develop a service plan, training and consultation to support the school’s or district’s goals; and, when necessary, build capacity within ...

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Boys Town Contributor, Mother of six-year-old daughter and four-year-old son

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Why Your Smart Phone is Ruining Your Parenting

I admit I am slightly addicted to Facebook. I find myself in any 30-second break (at a red light, waiting in line at the grocery store, during TV commercials) I pull out my phone and open up the app to see the latest status updates. Half the time I actually find myself bored with what I see but it has become such a habit. My 6-year old daughter has started playing pretend phone. The other night during story time, in the ...

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Boys Town Contributor, Mother of eight-year-old son and six and one-year-old daughters

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Little Minds That Don’t Mind

I struggle with behavior and discipline with my children, as I’m sure most parents do. I read a lot about correcting misbehavior and the best ways to deal with discipline and I found the following to be very interesting. There are significant differences between our brain and our child’s brain. First of all, young children have a very poor concept of time. The longer you wait to react to their behavior, the less effective it will be. In fact, if you wait ...