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Signe Whitson
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Signe Whitson is a licensed social worker, school counselor, and Chief Operating Officer of the Life Space Crisis Intervention Institute. She has over fifteen years of experience working with children, adolescents, and families. Signe presents training workshops across the U.S. and Canada for parents and professionals on topics related to child and adolescent mental and behavioral health.

In her articles, books, and training workshops, Signe provides down-to-earth, practical advice for navigating the daily challenges of living and working with children, tweens and teens. As a mother of two young daughters, Signe relates to parents on a personal level. As a clinician, she shares her professional knowledge and advice for approaching complex issues, such as coping with bullying, managing anger, and changing self-defeating patterns of behavior.

Signe is the author of "8 Keys to End Bullying: Strategies for Parents & Schools," "Friendship & Other Weapons: A Group Guide to Help Girls Aged 5-11 to Cope with Bullying" and "How to Be Angry: An Assertive Anger Expression Group Guide for Kids and Teens." She also co-authored the book "The Angry Smile: The Psychology of Passive Aggressive Behavior in Families, Schools, and Workplaces, 2nd ed," Check out her Blog at www.signewhitson.com.

Entries by Signe Whitson

9 Strategies to Help Kids Cope With Social Exclusion and Friendship Breakups

(0) Comments | Posted October 21, 2014 | 5:39 PM

In their younger years, they were inseparable. They begged for playdates, planned out sleepovers, coordinated afterschool activities, and just seemed to find genuine joy in each other's company. It was a match made in heaven, you observed, and you felt so lucky that your child had found such a positive...

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What Happens When Kids Make Mistakes Online: A Story of Social Media Frenemies

(1) Comments | Posted October 14, 2014 | 2:34 PM

Do you work in an elementary school and think you have a few years before you have to start worrying about cyberbullying? Are you the parent of a little one who can't possibly experience the dangers of texting and sexting since she doesn't own a cell phone yet? If you...

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What Professionals and Parents Can Do When a Child Reports Bullying

(0) Comments | Posted October 9, 2014 | 5:01 PM

I am a licensed child and adolescent therapist and school counselor. By nature, I like to help kids feel better--the sooner, the better for my bleeding heart! When it comes to helping young people cope with bullying, I know that I am not alone in wanting to jump...

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Why a Cell Phone Should Come Before an E-Reader For Your Child

(0) Comments | Posted September 10, 2014 | 9:45 PM

My kids -- and many of my friends' kids -- are at that delicate age where they are asking for cell phones. Well, to be truthful, in most of our households the begging began a good three years ago but now that our kids have begun middle school (read: the...

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4 Rules to Help Kids Stand Up to Bullying in Schools

(3) Comments | Posted September 2, 2014 | 6:08 PM

As sure as kids return to school each Fall in the U.S., bullying will be encountered in the classroom each school year. In these early days of September classes, would-be aggressors are getting a feel for who they think might be an easy mark in the class. As the days...

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5 Friendship Strategies for Your Child this School Year

(0) Comments | Posted August 18, 2014 | 4:55 PM

Do you have a student in your school or classroom that struggles to connect with his peers? Is your own child frequently on the receiving end of cruelty at the hands of classmates or "friends?" We know that young people who lack social support are particularly vulnerable to being bullied....

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Is Your Child Old Enough to Text and Post Online?

(2) Comments | Posted August 11, 2014 | 6:55 PM

What is the "right" age for youngsters to begin texting and using social media?

As the Mom of two young daughters and an educator on bullying prevention, I field this question frequently. Truly, there is great debate on the subject among professionals, along with a whole lot...

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8 Ways to Teach Compassion to Kids

(1) Comments | Posted July 10, 2014 | 5:24 PM

Whenever I have the occasion to speak with professionals and parents about the challenges of bringing an end to bullying in schools and communities, I emphasize that "big" solutions -- such as policies, procedures, and trainings (I say, humbly, as a Bullying Prevention trainer) are trumped...

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Three Strategies for Building Classroom Culture and Stopping Bullying in Schools

(0) Comments | Posted May 5, 2014 | 4:56 PM

The 2013-14 school year is winding to a close. (Insert applause and shouts of glee here.) For many, this is the "wrap it up" part of the year where projects are finished, grades are turned in, and report cards are finalized. For others, this is more of a beginning --...

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10 Strategies for Stopping Cyberbullying

(1) Comments | Posted February 27, 2014 | 2:17 PM

It's a fact of life in the 21st century that kids are connected to each other 24/7. A generation ago, young people who were bullied in school could count on hours spent at home as a respite from ridicule. Today, kids are ever-connected through texting, instant messaging and social media...

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How to Respond to Your Child's Angry Outbursts

(0) Comments | Posted February 11, 2014 | 2:26 PM

Several weeks ago, I had to pick up my elementary school-aged daughter early from school for her annual flu shot. I made the appointment as late in the day as I could to accommodate my work schedule and to minimize the time she would miss from class. As most parents...

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The Gift That Keeps on Distracting: 5 Rules for Your Kid's New Smartphone

(0) Comments | Posted January 7, 2014 | 6:53 PM

'Twas the most wonderful time of the year and after much consideration, you decided to buy your child a smartphone for the holidays. Now, the challenge begins: How do you ensure that he uses it wisely? Here are five guidelines to promote respectful, responsible use of your child's new gadget:

...
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6 Reasons Why Bystanders Choose Not to Intervene to Stop Bullying

(4) Comments | Posted November 19, 2013 | 1:50 PM

In October, National Bullying Awareness month came and went. As a parent, a school counselor, and an author on the subject of bringing an end to bullying, it is my hope that the 31 days of media coverage shined a helpful spotlight on a painful, often shameful issue among school-aged...

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5 Things Adults Need to Know About Cyberbullying

(2) Comments | Posted October 4, 2013 | 3:36 PM

According to a recent study by the Cyberbullying Research Center, approximately 20% of kids aged 11-18 say they have been victims of online aggression. In a world of catastrophic headlines and sensational sound bites, these numbers don't actually sound so bad, but take the time talk to any...

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12 Dos and Don'ts for Stopping Bullying

(11) Comments | Posted September 8, 2013 | 11:58 AM

Tomorrow, I will put my daughters on the bus for their respective first days of school. Today, I am letting them sleep late, just one more time, as a last hurrah of summer. While they rest, I am reading news online and can't help but notice dozens -- literally dozens...

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What Does Assertiveness Have to Do with Stopping Bullying?

(1) Comments | Posted August 26, 2013 | 3:18 PM

Round-the-clock internet availability and 24/7 cell phone access gives kids the opportunity to be in touch at any (and every) moment. For many tweens and teens, it is a thrill to be able to connect with friends beyond the school day or a traditional curfew. For those who are targeted...

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The Decisive Element in the Classroom: What Successful Classroom Teachers Do to Stop Bullying

(5) Comments | Posted March 21, 2013 | 1:13 PM

"I've come to a frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It's my personal approach that creates the climate." --Haim G. Ginnot, Between Parent and Child

Classroom teachers have everything to do with stopping bullying. There. I said it. I often hesitate to make this assertion...

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Passive Aggressive Minds Think Alike: Hidden Anger Among Siblings

(0) Comments | Posted March 7, 2013 | 3:31 PM

Siblings without rivalry are like thunder without lightening. The two just go together, although some storms are more damaging than others. One of the most common sources of family conflict has to do with sibling jealousies and all of the ways that envy rears its ugly head -- from physical...

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The Angry Smile: Recognizing and Responding to Your Child's Passive Aggressive Behavior

(1) Comments | Posted February 20, 2013 | 10:30 AM

How does a mother explain how her preschooler remembers every detail of an episode of The Backyardigans, but can't for the life of her "remember" where the puzzles go at clean-up time? What's really going on with a fourth grader who quotes verbatim the whispered conversations of faraway classmates, but...

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'Can't You Take a Joke? Whatever!' Six Passive Aggressive Phrases to Recognize (and Run From!)

(6) Comments | Posted January 29, 2013 | 11:12 AM

Call it hostile cooperation. Recognize it as compliant defiance. Feel the sugarcoating on the hostility. Label it what you will, but know it when you see it -- passive aggressive behavior is a deliberate and masked way of expressing feelings of anger (Long, Long & Whitson, 2008). Passive aggression involves...

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