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Idaho: Teachers taught to blame parents, ask 'what happened to you?' (at home)

Nov 17, 2018, Idaho Press: Growing understanding of childhood trauma pushes Idaho leaders to respond The moment a student at Lewis and Clark Elementary feels overwhelmed, they raise four fingers signifying a “flipped lid,” which alerts teachers they are going to take a moment to collect themselves. It’s part of the school’s resilience-based learning method, which guides how teachers and staff respond to students’ conflicting behaviors. The introduction to “mindfulness moments” came in part after the school’s counselor, Angela Layne, learned about adverse childhood experiences and their potential to negatively impact children into adulthood. The school of nearly 500 students is one of a few around the state equipping students and teachers with tools to positively respond to trauma and stress instead of responding with outbursts of anger or frustration. … The Gem State ranks fifth nationwide for children who have experienced more than three traumatic experiences in their life, according to a 2014 study of adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs. Types of ACEs include abuse, neglect or dysfunction in the home, such as substance abuse, divorce, violence or incarceration. … Early traumas can follow a child into adulthood in the form of health problems, substance abuse and financial woes, a study completed in 1997 found. The study was the first to ask “what happened to you?” instead of focusing on “what’s wrong with you?” Myers said. … To help children cope and develop resiliency, adults and parents must recognize their own traumas, he said. A 2018 study found that children whose parents experienced at least one adverse childhood experience were 56 percent more likely to have emotional or mental health issues. … … Sherman would like to see more parenting classes in high schools and beyond to accomplish that. … Students and teachers participate in mindful moments each day, and when students feel like they’re going to “flip their lid,” they can excuse themselves to mindful spaces to gather their thoughts and take part in what Layne calls the “power of the pause.” … When Matthew, a 9-year-old student, gets nervous, he likes to tap each of his fingertips to his thumb. It helps him relax, he said. For other students, they can take a moment in a mindful space in the classroom, try breathing exercises or do yoga poses. …


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