Mental Health

How to Support LGBTQ+ Students at School

A 2022 national survey of nearly 34,000 LGBTQ+ youth, ages 13-24, paints a clear, distressing picture of the trauma endured by LGBTQ+ students in America. Nearly three-quarters reported symptoms of anxiety, 58 percent reported symptoms of depression, and 45 percent said they had seriously considered committing suicide within the past year. However, the survey also shows that educators can make a very big difference. High school and college-aged LGBTQ+ youth who found their schools and…

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Lockdown Drills and Student Mental Health

While active shooter drills have become common practice across much of the country, some experts and parents worry they may do more harm than good, particularly if they involve simulation. One of those critics is Dr. David Schonfeld, director of the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. He spoke to NPR’s Steve Inskeep about how high-intensity drills can harm students’ mental health, and shared what alternatives he would…

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10 Reasons Kids Have Trouble Paying Attention

Many children have trouble paying attention in class at some point in their academic career. When this happens, especially with young students, it leaves parents wondering why their child can’t focus—and whether he or she could have a learning difficulty. It’s important to know that not every student who has a hard time focusing in school has a learning difficulty such as ADD or ADHD. In some cases, the concentration issues children have in school…

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The 5 Stages of Childhood Friendships

When your child is younger, you as a parent have a lot of control over his social life, selecting whom he should interact with, the length of the interaction and where the interaction takes place. That changes when your child reaches school age. Suddenly, these decisions about friendships— with whom to be friends, how much time to spend with a friend and how to spend that time together — are made largely on his own…

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Teaching Forgiveness to Children

You may have never thought specifically about teaching your child about forgiveness, but it’s an essential social-emotional lesson we all must learn. Maybe you’ve apologized to your child only to have them stare back at you blankly, or maybe your child had a misunderstanding with their friend on the playground, and even after it had been resolved they refused to play with that friend. Maybe their brother accidentally pushed them and they still lashed out…

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How Parents Can Help Children Feel Seen

How good are parents at seeing their kids? We mean really seeing them for who they are — perceiving them, making sense of them, and responding to them in timely and effective ways. This is how your child comes to experience the emotional sensation not only of belonging and of feeling felt, but also of being known. Science suggests, and experience supports, that when parents show up for their kids and give them the opportunity…

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Signs of Overscheduling in Kids

Psychologists have long warned about overscheduling, which undermines children’s ability to develop non-academic skills that they’ll need in adulthood, from coping with setbacks to building strong relationships. Now a trio of economists say they’ve been able to calculate some of these psychological costs. In a new data analysis published in the February 2024 issue of the Economics of Education Review, three economists from the University of Georgia and the Federal Reserve Board found that students…

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How Parents Can Help Anxious Children

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health concern in children. The rates of anxious children have been growing dramatically; in 2021, a meta-analysis found that 20.5% of children worldwide have symptoms of anxiety. It is very normal for children to have fears that seem irrational or out of proportion to the danger actually posed, such as being afraid of the dark or worried about parents leaving. However, most children seem to outgrow these fears…

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Talking to Kids About Difficult Emotions

While we may wish our kids could be happy all the time, as it turns out, they wouldn’t be healthy if they were. Studies show that those who experience emodiversity, a range and abundance of both positive and more difficult emotions, are happier and healthier than those who remain numb or tend to fixate on any one emotion for a long period of time. Additionally, in environments that place a premium on expressing positive emotions…

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4 Beliefs to Inspire Motivated Mindsets

Many instructors have observed variability in students’ motivation to learn and grow. How can educators enable engagement, persistence, and improved performance in the classroom? Mindset science has uncovered actionable insights into the academic behaviors of students. What students believe about themselves and their capabilities tremendously influences their learning motivation, as beliefs are called mindsets when they filter how we make sense of the world and ourselves. Mindsets act on our choice of goals and goal-pursuit…

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