MindShift

How To Handle Anxiety-Fueled Refusals To Go To School

Your child doesn’t want to go to school. It’s a daily struggle that many parents are familiar with.
But what if your child refuses to go to school?
Mental health professionals and educators say what used to be considered run-of-the-mill truancy could actually be something else. Some cases of chronic absenteeism are now being called “school refusal,” which is triggered by anxiety, depression, family crises and other traumatic events. It can lead to weeks or even months of missed school days.

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The Importance of Sleep and Strategies For Sleeping Better

The National Sleep Foundation recommends an average of eight hours of sleep per night for adults, but sleep scientist Matthew Walker says that too many people are falling short of the mark.
“Human beings are the only species that deliberately deprive themselves of sleep for no apparent gain,” Walker says. “Many people walk through their lives in an underslept state, not realizing it.”

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10 Tips for Creating a Fertile Environment for Kids’ Creativity and Growth

The excerpt below is from the book “Lifelong Kindergarten: Cultivating Creativity through Projects, Passion, Peers, and Play” by Mitchel Resnick, published by MIT Press.  
TEN TIPS FOR PARENTS AND TEACHERS

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Science of Learning: Marijuana, Achievement and the Teen Brain

A funny thing happened in the Dutch city of Maastricht in the fall of 2011. A policy went into effect banning the sale of marijuana at the city’s 13 legal cannabis shops to visitors from most other countries. The goal was to discourage disruptive drug tourism in a city close to several international borders. The policy had its intended effect, but also a remarkable unintended one: foreign students attending Maastricht University starting getting better grades.

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How A Stereotype Threat Intervention Can Help Students in STEM Fields

When he came to the United States 12 years ago, Edgar Velazquez hardly spoke a word of English. Most days of his first year, the 14-year-old Mexican immigrant went to the library after school to read the dictionary, determined to learn 250 words — the minimum for basic conversation.
At home, Velazquez often did his homework in the bathroom. It was the quietest spot in his family’s 500 square-foot studio in the Tenderloin, a San Francisco neighborhood with “needles on the ground and a lot of homeless on the streets,” he recalls.

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For Teens Knee-Deep In Negativity, Reframing Thoughts Can Help

“Why didn’t she text me back yet? She doesn’t like me anymore!”
“There’s no way I’m trying out for the team. I suck at basketball”
“It’s not fair that I have a curfew!”
Sound familiar? Parents of tweens and teens often shrug off such anxious and gloomy thinking as normal irritability and moodiness — because it is. Still, the beginning of a new school year, with all of the required adjustments, is a good time to consider just how closely the habit of negative, exaggerated “self-talk” can affect academic and social success, self-esteem and happiness.

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In The Weeks Before Starting College, Money Worries Aplenty

During the last few weeks of August, Torri Hayslett’s room at McKinley Technology High School feels more like an accountant’s office than a college adviser’s.
“Thirty-one thousand dollars minus $4,000, minus $2,500,” she says, saying the numbers out loud before punching them into the calculator. She’s sitting with one of her students, who recently graduated from McKinley. They’re looking over her first college bill.
“Does the $9,000 include the $3,000?” Hayslett asks. “I think that is including,” the student responds. “Again, I do not know a lot of logistics right now.”

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4 Digital Tools to Help Students Increase Appreciation and Self-Worth in Any Classroom

As teachers, we sometimes forget that little, everyday actions in the classroom have a huge impact on our students’ lives. Just a small offering of appreciation can transform relationships and boost student self-worth.

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Tips to Help Kids with Back-To-School Anxiety

The start of the school year can be rough on some kids. It’s a big shift from summer’s freedom and lack of structure to the measured routines of school. And sometimes that can build up into tears, losing sleep, outbursts and other classic signs of anxiety.
“Going back to school is a transition for everyone,” says Lynn Bufka, a practicing psychologist who also works at the American Psychological Association. “No matter the age of the child, or if they’ve been to school before.”

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Having A Best Friend In Your Teenage Years Could Benefit You For Life

David Thomas and I met when we were about 5 years old. We celebrated his 26th birthday last weekend, marking roughly two decades of friendship. Once, while walking down the street, a man looked at us and said, “Ain’t it Harold and Kumar!” He was almost certainly making light of our race, but perhaps he also saw how comfortable we were with each other. The comparison fits in more ways than one since David is my oldest and closest friend.

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