Addressing Anger

It is rare to find someone who is happy all the time. Getting mad is just as common as feeling sad, joyful, jealous, and scared or any other emotion. As human beings, we cycle through these emotions and that’s okay; it’s normal. How we feel and respond to things plays a part in what makes us unique. However, it is wise to  never let one emotion rule your life. You take the happy times with the sad. Certain conversations with people can make you angry while some situations can make you scared. Your feelings are valid. However, while your emotions such as getting angry is okay, how you react to your anger is what makes a difference.

Talking to your kids about anger

Outpatient Therapist Ron Bertie suggests letting your child know that anger is normal, but you want to work with them on how they react to that anger. He wants you to help your child come up with positive outlets. This can be something like painting, drawing, or another type of creative outlet. If their child prefers something more on the physical side, it can be dancing, running, or working out. Bertie suggests these kinds of coping mechanisms should already be in place before an incident takes place. He advises talking to your kids about controlling their anger when they’re already angry may not be as effective.

Triggers

Whether it is your child or yourself, Bertie recommends thinking and talking about your triggers. He says when you have identified possible triggers, you can then focus on how you react to that particular trigger. According to Bertie, a way to deal with your triggers better or even overcome is to change your perception of them by being more empathetic, setting boundaries, or if it’s a person – talking to them.

Dealing with anger as an adult

Bertie says his advice would not differ too much when it comes to talking to kids or an adult about their anger. The reason for that is because Bertie explains some issues are derived from childhood. Bertie recommends for adults to learn how to heal from old scars. He also wants adults to evaluate the outcome of their outburst. Once they have completed those steps, Bertie says it will be time to find innate reasons for change.

About SNAP® at the Youth Crisis Center

YCC offers a program called SNAP®, which stands for STOP NOW AND PLAN. This is an evidence-based, cognitive-behavioral model powered by the minds at Child Development Institute (CDI). SNAP® can help children, ages 6-11, and their parents learn how to effectively manage their emotions and ‘keep problems small.’ We know that because small problems can quickly turn bigger or worsening problems if a child or their parent doesn’t have effective emotion regulation, self-control or problem-solving skills. 

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 Six Signs That Your Child May Have Behavioral Issues or Concerns

How to work with your kids to tackle bullying

It’s hard to run into anybody nowadays who has not been affected by bullying. Bullying can be defined as someone who is being hurt by either words or actions on purpose more than once. It can cause physical pain or even emotional pain. According to StopBullying.gov, some bullying can fall into criminal categories, such as harassment, hazing, or assault. Bullying isn’t a new concept as it has been around for generations, it even changes with each generation as today’s youth have dealt with bullying through social media.

The effects of bullying on mental health

Youth who are bullied over time are more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem compared to their peers who have not experienced it, research suggests. It could be difficult for one to determine the exact effect bullying has on someone because we all experience and cope with things differently. That same study also shows that youth who bully others over time are at higher risk for more intense anti-social behaviors like problems at school, substance use, and aggressive behavior.

Duval Charter School Therapist, Clarissa Benitez, MSW claims kids cans often times feel embarrassed after experiencing bullying and will worry that their parents will be upset if they found out. She also says youth may feel like it is their fault and reaching out for help will only cause the bullying to get worse.

How parents can get involved

It is always encouraged for parents to check in with their children and look for any kind of warning signs. Parents should pay attention to things such as whether their child is getting into physical or verbal fights at school. Stop Bullying also says another warning sign could be your child blaming others for their problems.

Benitez suggests to parents to listen calmly and offer comfort while listening to their kids talk about their problems. She says it is vital you offer support during this time. Benitez does admit, for some parents it can be tempting to tell your child to fight back. She says this feeling is common because parents are angry that their child is suffering.

“Let your child know the importance of standing up for themselves by telling someone: a teacher, a parent, or any trusted adult.”

Benitez recommends coming up with a plan with your child on how they can respond to the situation and most importantly, reassure them that you will figure it out. Some other strategies include teaching your child to walk away and telling the bully to stop; however, Benitez says it is important to make sure that your child feels safe and confident enough to do that. She also encourages coming up with a buddy system so your child is never alone and has a friend with them. It is recommended by Benitez to talk to your child’s school about the bullying.

“Don’t be afraid to ask the school what their policies are on bullying prevention and the actions taken if a child is being bullied.”

 

What if my child is the bully?

Benitez says it is important for parents to help their children understand that their actions are hurting others. She goes on to explain that parents need to use this opportunity to tell their child that everyone deserves respect, and that could start with setting examples at home. She recommends modeling nonviolent behaviors for your child and to encourage them from talking to someone. According to Benitez, parents must take this situation seriously and do not pass it off as ‘just a phase.’ She says that being a bully can have long-lasting effects on a child that can lead to aggressive behaviors. Benitez says if the bullying does not stop for your child, seek a mental health counselor.

About the SNAP® at the Youth Crisis Center

YCC offers a program called SNAP®, which stands for STOP NOW AND PLAN. This is an evidence-based, cognitive-behavioral model powered by the minds at Child Development Institute (CDI). SNAP® can help children, ages 6-11, and their parents learn how to effectively manage their emotions and ‘keep problems small.’ We know that because small problems can quickly turn bigger or worsening problems if a child or their parent doesn’t have effective emotion regulation, self-control, or problem-solving skills. 

 

Download our free ebook!

 Six Signs That Your Child May Have Behavioral Issues or Concerns

Why Girls are More Likely Than Boys to Suffer in Silence

Numerous studies, spanning decades, have found that girls talk more often – and earlier – than boys. So, when girls are suddenly quiet or withdrawn, it truly can be a cause for concern.

“Boys act out externally – they are more aggressive or destructive, and their behavior is directed outwards toward others,” explains Sterling Hurst, SNAP® Program Coordinator at the Youth Crisis Center. “But when something is bothering or troubling a girl, her behavior is directed inwards. They internalize more and socially withdraw themselves.”

Warning Signs
Some behaviors girls will exhibit when struggling with an emotional issue will include:

  • Sad, nervous or irritable behavior
  • Changes in their eating habits and sleeping patterns
  • Trouble keeping focus
  • Feelings of loneliness or guilt

What To Do
Hurst cautions parents not to jump into what he calls “detective mode” if they see these signs or suspect something is bothering their daughters. The first step he suggests is to start paying attention and observing whether these behaviors are becoming significant or habitual. The next step is to ask questions, but ask them in an open ended format and be patient. He cautions that parents probably won’t get an answer on the first try.

“Stay calm and let them open up in their own time,” insists Hurst. “Position it in a way that they know they can come back to you when they are ready. Use language like, ‘I understand you don’t want to talk about what’s going on, but if you want to talk about it later, I am here.’”

Hurst says these gender differences is why YCC’s SNAP program is gender specific. Facilitators and parents can address the challenges facing girls and boys with different approaches.

What is SNAP®
SNAP®, which stands for STOP NOW AND PLAN, is an evidence-based program that focuses on how a child thinks, as well as why they are acting out. Developed at the Child Development Institute (CDI), SNAP® is a free program that helps troubled children and their parents learn how to effectively manage their emotions and “keep problems small”.

The SNAP® program is focused on children ages 6-11 who are engaging in aggressive, anti-social behavior and/or have come into negative contact with authority figures at school or in the community. Experienced and highly trained staff works with each family to assess challenges and problems and develop an action plan. The goal is to prevent future anti-social behavior and reduce the chances of conflict with family, peers and authority figures.

Hurst adds that the problems facing young girls often come from either a bullying situation at their school, or feeling ignored or neglected at home.

“Parents are so busy these days. Often, when the young girl in the home wants attention or to talk, it’s not a good time for mom or dad,” remarks Hurst. “Girls will often take that to heart and begin to withdraw.”

SNAP® has trained facilitators that are prepared to provide the tools to help girls, boys and their families work through behavioral issues, whether they stem from school or home.

If you think your child is exhibiting problematic behavior and can benefit from the free SNAP® program, click HERE to read more about the “Six Signs Your Child May Have Behavioral Issues or Concerns”.

To learn more about SNAP® click HERE.

Download our free ebook!

 Six Signs Your Child May Have Behavioral Issues or Concerns

SNAP Expands to Elementary Schools

Conflict is a normal part of a child’s life. In fact, it can be a healthy way for them to learn how to manage their emotions, problem solve and compromise with their peers. However, when conflict is not managed correctly, either at home or at school, it can impact a child’s relationships, self-esteem and ability to focus on learning and healthy play. In today’s classrooms teachers need to be able to resolve conflict and managing students who seem to struggle with social skills and problem solving.

“I wish all students could be given the opportunity to participate in the SNAP® program,” said Rana Azer, a social worker with Duval County Public Schools. Azer has worked for four years in the school system with students experiencing emotional and behavioral disabilities, and believes every student would benefit from the SNAP® program.

What is SNAP®

SNAP®, which stands for STOP NOW AND PLAN, is an evidence-based program that focuses on how a child thinks, as well as why they are acting out. Developed at the Child Development Institute (CDI), SNAP® helps troubled children and their parents learn how to effectively manage their emotions and ‘keep problems small’.

The SNAP® program is focused on children ages 6-11 who are engaging in aggressive, anti-social behavior and/or have come into negative contact with authority figures at school or in the community. Experienced and highly-trained staff works with each family to assess challenges and problems and develop an action plan. The goal is to prevent future anti-social behavior and reduce the chance of conflict with family, peers and authority figures.

Expanding SNAP® To Area Schools

Azer is such a believer in the program that she worked with the Youth Crisis Center to expand the SNAP® In Schools curriculum to S.P. Livingston Elementary School, which is one of 10+ schools that has implemented the 13-week course. “Overall, the SNAP® program is a wonderful tool that can be utilized in multiple settings,” insists Azer. “It helps to provide not only the students with strategies to work through a crisis, but the teachers as well.” Azer believes that SNAP® helps to create a common language in the classroom that is easy to teach, remember and reinforce.   

Schools are selected based on interest and availability. The program generally requires 45 minutes to one hour, and can accommodate anywhere from a minimum of five students up to 30 per session. Below is a list of participating schools that have completed the program or currently offer SNAP® In Schools. If you are interested in learning more about SNAP® or how to bring the program to your child’s school, contact YCC or your child’s school counselor. In the 2018 – 2019 school year SNAP® will also be available in St. Johns County.

  • Gregory Dr. Elementary
  • Bayview Elementary
  • Beauclerc Elementary
  • Southside Estates Elementary
  • Arlington Elementary
  • Jacksonville Heights Elementary
  • Hyde Park Elementary
  • Holiday Hill Elementary
  • P. Livingston Elementary
  • Normandy Village 

If you think your child is exhibiting problematic behavior and can benefit from the free SNAP® program, click to read more about the “Six Signs Your Child May Have Behavioral Issues or Concerns”.

To learn more about SNAP® click HERE.

Download our free ebook!

 Six Signs That Your Child May Have Behavioral Issues or Concerns

Bad Attitudes Don’t Mean Bad Kids

Bad Attitudes Don’t Mean Bad Kids
We’ve all heard these terms: “kids will be kids”, “it’s just a phase, they’ll grow out of it” or “it’s a teenager thing.” Sure, we hear it, but it is no fun to live with this behavior or be the parent of a child or teen acting in this way. Some children and teens will “grow out of it”; but, others will unfortunately continue to struggle, often carrying troubling behavior into their adult lives. At the Youth Crisis Center, therapists and professionals don’t want you to take a chance that your child’s behavior is a phase. Even if it is, there are tools to help minimize your child’s struggle and your stress and worry.

What is SNAP®
YCC offers a program called SNAP®, which stands for STOP NOW AND PLAN. This is an evidence-based, cognitive-behavioral model powered by the minds at Child Development Institute (CDI). SNAP® can help children, ages 6-11, and their parents learn how to effectively manage their emotions and ‘keep problems small.’ We know that because small problems can quickly turn bigger or worsening problems if a child or their parent doesn’t have effective emotion regulation, self-control or problem-solving skills. An angry outburst at school can quickly land a student in detention, suspension – or even worse – expulsion.

Common Reasons for SNAP®
Too often a parent thinks that only “bad” children need to go to counseling or a behavioral education program. That’s not always true. More often, it’s the common, everyday things happening in a family’s life that can be addressed through the SNAP® program.

How SNAP® Can Help Kids
SNAP® can help address challenges and break down barriers between parents and children through 13 weeks of gender-specific weekly group sessions. Children learn SNAP® techniques for different situations through engaging activities, including discussions, role-playing and interactive games. The sessions address a variety of topics, including dealing with angry thoughts and feelings, self-control, problem solving, and bullying.

How SNAP® Can Help Parents
The parent group meets concurrently with the SNAP® children’s group. Parents learn effective child management and SNAP® strategies. The group also provides parents with an opportunity to make connections with other parents facing similar challenges. Parents learn how to establish or re-establish a health relationship with their child. 

SNAP® Results
Research continues to show the SNAP® program relays practical tools that lead to improved life outcomes and even changes in the development of a child’s brain. Some of the impacts of this program can be seen through:

  • Fewer arguments at home
  • Improvement of parent-child relationships and emotional states
  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Increased overall happiness
  • Improved self-confidence

What is the Cost of SNAP®
The SNAP® program is funded through the Department of Juvenile Justice, which allows for the program to be completely free for youth and their families. SNAP® families are provided a meal at each session. Sibling care and transportation are also provided, if needed and at no charge.

After completing the 13 weeks, youth and families enjoy a special graduation celebration that allows them to reflect on how much they have progressed.

If you think your child is exhibiting problematic behavior and can benefit from the free SNAP® program, click to read more about the “Six Signs That Your Child May Have Behavioral Issues or Concerns”.

To learn more about SNAP® click HERE.

Download our free ebook!

 Six Signs That Your Child May Have Behavioral Issues or Concerns

Top Reasons Why Parents Don’t Get Help for Troubled Kids

Parenting is a tough job – even beyond the obvious sleepless nights, endless laundry and constant worry. It’s a job made even more difficult by the seemingly never-ending presence of people who want to tell you how you “should be” parenting your child. From your favorite eatery to your own home, they love to share how their children always had good manners, and lecture you for letting your 6-year-old negotiate a later bedtime.

Parents don’t want to be told how to parent. That’s just one of several reasons keeping some parents from seeking help or counseling for their child.

No Resources
How do you know which therapist is best for your child? Would a group program be a better option? The best place to start is your child’s guidance counselor. School counselors are a great resource of information. They are aware of available programs in your area, as well as those offered at the school, and may have previous experience with local therapists to help you find the best match.

Cost
A therapist or group therapy program can run into the thousands of dollars if your child or family attends for several weeks or months. Insurance can help, but for some families with limited policies or high deductibles, the cost can quickly add up, creating even more stress for a family under duress. 

Time and Transportation
Making the time to drive to regular appointments, often across town and during rush hour, can turn getting help into a big headache. Arranging for childcare can also be costly, and some families operate with only one car, or none at all, making it even more difficult to find consistent transportation.

The Solution May Be SNAP®
SNAP®, which stands for STOP NOW AND PLAN, is a cost-free, evidence-based, cognitive-behavioral program designed for children ages 6-11 who are engaging in aggressive, anti-social behavior and/or have come into negative contact with authority figures at school or in the community.

Experienced and highly trained staff work with each family to assess challenges and problems and develop an action plan. Session times are held based on the needs of the families and transportation can be arranged if needed. Gender-based group sessions at the Youth Crisis Center’s Jacksonville campus are held once a week for 13 weeks. Additionally, SNAP® has expanded to over 10 schools in the First Coast community, where multiple lessons are integrated into classroom settings for 45-minute sessions.

Cost and Convenience
SNAP® services are free through the Department of Juvenile Justice. SNAP® families are fed meals and sibling care is provided at no charge. Transportation can also be arranged as needed at no cost. The parent group that shares effective child management and SNAP® strategies meets at the same time as the children’s group. The group also provides an opportunity to make connections with other parents facing similar challenges.

If you think your child is exhibiting problematic behavior and can benefit from the free SNAP® program, click to read more about the “Six Signs Your Child May Have Behavioral Issues or Concerns”.

To learn more about SNAP® click HERE.

Download our free ebook!

 Six Signs Your Child May Have Behavioral Issues or Concerns

A Graduation Like No Other

A Graduation Like No Other

There are few things more exciting than a graduation ceremony. It represents accomplishment, achievement and an investment in a better future. For families in the Youth Crisis Center’s (YCC) SNAP® program, SNAP® graduation is a time they can reflect on how far they’ve come over the past 13 weeks, and to know they are not alone in their family goals. Sterling Hurst, the SNAP® Coordinator at YCC, finds it rewarding to see the progress the kids and their parents have made, along with the bonds they form with other families.

“When they come into the SNAP® program, they are open to see what will work to build a better relationship with their child,” said Hurst.

In early April, seven families participated in this unique graduation ceremony. Like other graduations, there were caps, gowns and diplomas, but this ceremony also had a SNAP® version of Family Feud. The children challenged the parents, answering questions based on topics learned in their SNAP® class. 

Caps, Gowns and Stories of Success

During this ceremony, diplomas were presented to both the children and their parents, along with a trophy and gift bags. The graduates then heard words of encouragement from their SNAP® facilitators about the progress they had made during the 13-week program.

“We take the time to highlight where they are and the progress they made. Some don’t realize how far they have come until we highlight the challenges they faced when they first came in the program and where they are at now,” added Hurst.

For parents who participate in the program, it’s an opportunity to take advantage of a support system. This system includes other parents who also receive SNAP® skills from professionals on communicating with their child in positive and constructive ways.

SNAP® and Schools Work Together

In many cases, school representatives work with SNAP® facilitators by referring children and their parents to the SNAP® program located at YCC. Additionally, teachers, counselors and administrators work with facilitators on getting SNAP® into their schools and classrooms. Schools are selected based on interest and availability. The program generally requires 45-60 minutes and can accommodate a minimum of five, or up to 30, students per session.

Sometimes SNAP® is Just the Start

“The SNAP® program is a process, and, in a lot of cases, 13 weeks may not be enough for a full transformation, but it does give measurable success to help them continue on the right track,” said Hurst.

For some parents, the SNAP® program is just the start of the journey to help and heal their families. Several will continue on to additional therapy sessions provided through YCC’s Outpatient Behavioral Health program.

If you think your child is exhibiting problematic or concerning behavior and can benefit from the free SNAP® program, download our FREE ebook “Six Signs Your Child May Have Behavioral Concerns.”

Download our free ebook!

 Six Signs Your Child May Have Behavioral Issues or Concerns

What is SNAP®?

Getting Help When Your Child Is Acting Out

New mom Octavia was excited about starting her family. She was a proud momma – to say the least – when she had her first child. Smart and sweet, her son was well behaved at church, during visits to his grandparents and when he played with friends. So, when her son turned five years old and the school called Octavia about some behavior problems, she was truly surprised. “I guess I was in denial,” said Octavia. “Every call from the school made me dig my heels in even deeper in defense of him. I even went to the school board to complain that they were falsely accusing him of being a bad kid.”

Warning Signs

That all changed when a school bus camera captured her son fighting with a school bus staff member who was trying to prevent him from jumping off the bus. Octavia was shocked. How could this be the same sweet boy she knew? Unfortunately, that was just the start. It all came to a head when he was admitted to a behavioral hospital to prevent him from hurting himself and others. It was at that low point when Octavia was told about the Youth Crisis Center’s SNAP® program.

What is SNAP®

SNAP®, which stands for STOP NOW AND PLAN, is an evidence-based program that focuses on how a child thinks, as well as why they are acting out. Developed at the Child Development Institute (CDI), SNAP® helps children and their parents learn how to effectively manage their emotions and ‘keep problems small’.

The SNAP® program is focused on children ages 6-11 who are engaging in aggressive, anti-social behavior and/or have come into contact with authority figures at school or in the community due to poor behavior. Experienced and highly trained staff works with each family to assess challenges and problems and develop an action plan. The goal is to prevent future anti-social behavior and reduce the chances of conflict with family, peers and authority figures.

The Benefits of SNAP®

Octavia credits the program with giving her son the skills to think and work through whatever was upsetting him – before it blew up into something that sent him out of control. She saw his anger and aggression decrease as he went through SNAP® and at age nine, his IQ testedas that of a 14-year-old – in the top 25 percent of Florida students. Her son was allowed to rejoin sports and developed into a star football player. Octavia says her son is about to turn 11 years old and they still employ the SNAP® techniques when he has his “moments.” “I tell him, you know what to do and you know how to put them to use,” said Octavia. “It also helped me as a parent to learn when to use consequences or a reward to get the right response.” Octavia also went through SNAP® with her other son and plans to go through it with her daughter when she is old enough. She believes every child and parent could use the skills from SNAP® to learn how to handle whatever life might throw their way.

If you think your child is exhibiting problematic or concerning behavior and can benefit from our free SNAP® program, download our FREE ebook “Six signs your Child May Have Behavioral Issues or Concerns.”

Download our free ebook!

 Six Signs Your Child May Have Behavioral Issues or Concerns