Last week I talked about coping skills and why I believe they are important. Read more here. To give you a quick recap: Coping skills help you deal with adversity. You can either learn effective or maladaptive coping skills. In this post I am going to review some of my favorite ways to teach coping skills when I was a school psychologist and include links to free resources for parents and educators.
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Resources for Developing Coping Skills:
*Please note most of these resources are geared toward elementary aged children. However, some of the resources also include information for middle and high school students.
- Developing Self-Discipline: One of my professors in graduate school, George Bear, has written many resources on social emotional learning, self-discipline, and coping skills. He wrote this article, Discipline: Effective School Practices, for the National Association of School Psychologists. Be sure to check the end of the article which lists some helpful resources. A few of my favorite points are:
- “Research shows that self-discipline promotes positive relations with others and a positive school climate, fosters academic achievement, and promotes self-worth and emotional well-being” (page 1).
- “Nearly all children tend to excuse or justify moral transgressions with various rationalizations (e.g., ‘‘He started it,’’ ‘‘I didn’t mean to hurt him,’’ ‘‘Others did it, too’’). Such excuses and self-centered thinking should be tactfully confronted, and models of desired thinking, feeling, and acting should be highlighted” (page 2).
- General Resilience: What is resilience? To me, it’s a way to bounce back, to deal with adversity and to overcome it. This can be a challenge and some children need to be guided through this in order to learn resilience.
- The Committee for Children has some great resources for parents. Check out the free media and downloads here.
- They even have suggestions on apps for young children. The Breathe, Think, Do App is free for download. This research-based app teaches one strategy for problem solving.
- I’ve used the Second Step program when I worked in the public school system and absolutely loved it. It is research based and I found the kids to relate to it. If your school doesn’t have the program it can be pricey.
- The good news: Committee for Children has a whole section of free downloads! You have to join the community before you can access them, but it is free to join. Some downloads include: Introducing Emotion Management Activity, Support Tree Activity and SEL Breakfast Club Activity.
- Strong Kids: A research-based social emotional learning curriculum (SEL). Strong Kids has series for younger children and teens. I’ve used them as a school psychologist and found the lessons interesting and easy to use. It’s not as expensive as some other SEL curriculums and I love that the program has some research behind it.
- Love & Logic: I LOVE Love & Logic. As an educator I often used their materials and as a new parent I definitely want to take advantage of their free parenting articles and advice. I’ve written about their idea of enforceable limits before and I’m a firm believer in it. I hope you take time to read the many resources they have available. For example, If Kids Can Hear Promises, They Can Hear Requests, Have a Plan for Dealing With Peer Pressure, and Give Your Children the Values They Deserve.
I am sure there are many other resources out there that help kids develop coping skills. The resources listed above were a few I used as a school psychologist. It is important to remember developing any type of skill is a process and not every single difficult situation can be prevented or overcome in minutes. As a parent and educator my goal is to help our daughter navigate this world and live an abundant life. In the best book of advice, the Bible, it states: Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
Do you teach your children coping skills? What resources do you love?
In the interest of full disclosure, some of the links in this post are affiliate links. They are all for products I truly believe in and buy for myself. If you decide to purchase any of these products through these links, I will earn a small commission. All prices are the same if you decide to purchase through my links. Thank you for supporting Heart of Deborah!