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Helping Children Cope with Challenges

Let us temper our criticism with kindness. None of us comes fully equipped.
Carl Sagan

It’s no secret that after the past year, many children are exhibiting signs of trauma. But the issue of children experiencing challenges in their lives has been one that early educators have been dealing with for a long time.
In 2017, Cissy White, writing on the PACES Connection website, discussed an interview with Dr. Ross Green, author of The Explosive Child and Lost and Found: Helping Behaviorally Challenging Students (and While You’re at it, All the Others) on his ideas about educating children who have experienced trauma. Here is a direct quote from Dr. Green, and a paraphrase from Cissy White on Green’s thinking:


"Kids with trauma history don’t need more punishment, and frankly, they don’t need more stickers…It’s the same 10 to 20 kids who are on the receiving end of detentions, suspensions. They keep getting it over and over, which is proof that it’s not working."
– Ross Green


"What they need, he said is ‘to be heard’ and for their concerns to be ‘clarified, understood, validated and addressed.’ A kid with a trauma history needs ‘their voices to be heard more than any of the rest of us do,’ he said.
– Cissy White, paraphrasing Ross Green
And Holly Elissa Bruno, in her bestselling book, Happiness is Running Through the Streets to Find You, writes about how she herself dealt with childhood trauma and the gifts that she, and others, have received as they healed from challenges. "Trauma faces has become our spiritual guide home," she explains.


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