As spring break passes and the end of the school year gets closer, the topic of retention starts to move back to the forefront. Despite decades of research showing that retention is NOT an effective intervention, school personnel start to bring up this topic as if it were a good idea. In layman's terms, it sounds like a good idea. The child is too immature or not going to thrive in the upcoming grade level even if placed. Why put that stress on the child? I would agree, no one wants to stress a child out more than what they already feel. However, it is also a sign that something else needs to be done. Exposing him or her to another year of more of the same does in fact, show short-term gains in progress. Think about it, why wouldn't it? The child has already been exposed to the curriculum from last year. What the research shows though, is that is a short-term gain that is quickly erased, and then the child is back to struggling again. Why? Well, if you have not addressed why the child was struggling in the first place, there will always be new stuff to learn, but this time they are older and the learning demands have continued to increase even though the only thing that was done was to have them repeat a grade.
There are many factors as to why a child is struggling, it could be environmental, a teaching fidelity issue, or perhaps learning or attention problems run in the family? Consider digging deeper to finding the root cause of the child's learning difficulties. It's important to find out his/her style of learning and adapt to this, rather than make him/her adapt to the instruction.
I realize that every case is different. I am writing to express my concern in general about the practice of retention and to open the discussion of what we know works and does not work from what the facts show from longitudinal studies. My hope is that it provides information for parents to carefully consider other options when deciding on whether or not to retain their child.
Dr. Dyanna Villesca
Have you heard about Our Pact? A free app to help you control Internet and phone options for your child? It has helpful contracts parents can use to discuss appropriate limits for "screen time" while allowing parents the control to turn their child's devices on and off--thus limiting power struggles.
With the digital age advancing our technological minds, it is important not to lose sight of the importance of exercising our children's "social minds". Devices should be put away when at the dinner table, during visits with relatives, etc. as a form or courtesy but also respect to the people that are right in front of you.
More information can be found at: http://ourpact.com/
Relational bullying most commonly happens between girls, but boys are affected too. It is the discreet form of bullying that takes shape in the form of excluding a peer, giving a dirty look, or doing subtle but mean things to another girl (or girls) to make them feel inferior, rejected, and alone. Because of the stigma still today about telling another adult, and rather than risking embarrassment (and fear that the problem will get worse, not better) many children/adolescents suffer in silence. You may see small changes in their behavior, becoming more withdrawn, or disengaged in activities they once used to enjoy. Add that we now live in the age of social media, cyberbullying in the form of texts (Instagram, Snapchat, etc.) makes it difficult to escape a bully. This is a serious problem that needs a voice because no school is immune to relational bullying, sad but true. Don't let your child be a victim and if you suspect they are (or have been) please seek us out for further help. There may not be physical scars, but the emotional ones can be even larger and more painful.
I have listed below a website designed specifically designed to give you strategies to combat relational bullying, it's called a "Girls Guide to End Relational Bullying":
Also, I would highly recommend the extremely insightful and powerful video, "A Girl Like Her" available on Netflix or Amazon:
Check out the link for support groups sponsored by the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance of Houston.
This website is a guide for Texas parents and caregivers of children with diagnosed or suspected disabilities from birth through 5 years of age
AutismSpeaks.org always has great information to share with parents. Check out this resource with information about apps that support children diagnosed with autism. Check out the link below:
Welcome to KPS' Blog Page. ! I just wanted to inform you of a new website that provides the best research for children and families. It is an effort created by the Consortium for Science-Based Information on Children, Youth, and Families and it also sponsored by seven divisions of the American Psychological Association. Each website resource had to pass a rigorous and non-biased review that included solid research.
Check out www.InfoAboutKids.org today!