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Supporting Challenging Behaviors During COVID-19: A Coffee Chat with Ross Greene

Hello school psychologist friends! As some of you may have seen in recent posts, the new mantra of the Thriving School Psychologist Collective during this COVID-19 crisis is Simplify, Serve, and Connect.

On our last TSP Member Zoom call, on the topic of SERVING, we talked about how to proactively support our students and families during the COVID-19 school closures. We recognize that this is a difficult time for parents, particularly for parents of students with kids with emotional self-regulation or behavioral challenges.

Kids who rarely show behavioral challenges are showing challenges, and kids who already had challenging behaviors are showing more intense or prolonged challenging behaviors. And understandably, many of our parents who are stressed out themselves are getting into power struggles that add fuel to the fire.

Yet in these challenging times, there is opportunity as well.

We as school psychologist know that adversity is what fosters resilience and these are times we can help parents and our students rise to the challenge.

The longer I’m a school psychologist (and a parent myself!), the more I have realized that our social-emotional learning (SEL) efforts in the school building cannot exist within the 4 walls of a school. We need to equip parents with tools to support SEL at home, in a way that is an “add in” not an “add on” to their already busy or stress-filled lives.

That is why over the past year, I’ve been collaborating with Elizabeth Sautter, of Make Social Learning Stick to provide resources for parents to support SEL at home. *

And in the strange way things work out sometimes, serendipity happens…

About a month ago, Elizabeth and I booked an interview with the one and only Dr. Ross Greene to get some pro-tips on how parents can support their children who are struggling emotionally or behaviorally.

And then the COVID-19 crisis struck and he graciously kept the interview with us because it was a real opportunity to speak specifically on COVID-19 and how to help parents who have children who are presenting with challenging behaviors like:

Emotional outbursts/anger
Screen time battles and difficulties following thorough on assigned home school tasks
Sibling conflicts

Check out this timely video with Dr. Ross Greene, author of The Explosive Child, Lost At School, and other groundbreaking books on how to engage in Collaborative Proactive Solutions during COVID-19.

If you don’t know Ross Greene yet, or you haven’t shared his work with parents, he has free resources and videos at

*BONUS: You may have seen this resource I sent where Elizabeth and I created some COVID-19 specific videos and tools for parents that include:

1) How to structure your “homeschool day” to keep a sense of calm (with free downloadable and customizable schedules–now in English AND Spanish!)

2) How to help children self-regulate their behaviors and feelings (with a free “Calming Toolkit” and a “Mindfulness Menu” to put on the fridge for all family members to use)

3) A system for daily emotional check-ins and Collaborative Proactive Solutions (with a PDF on how to hold a “Morning Meeting” and “Evening Circle” to anticipate and solve unsolved problems each day.)

If you missed it, check out the FREE “Keep Calm and Structure On” training here, download the free PDFs and feel free to share this link with your families you serve!

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