Risky Play in Early Childhood Education

By Molly Breen

Risky Play in Early Childhood EducationIf you are, perhaps, a mid-millennial or older and grew up in the United States, you likely spent your summers in some amount of unsupervised play. Some of us even remember having a family rule to “come in when the streetlights come on.” We spent hours making our own fun, navigating challenges, seeking adventures, and testing limits. Yes, there were probably more stitches and broken bones (I had both) “back in the day,” but there were also innumerable benefits to the hands-off parenting approach. What we didn’t know then but do know now is that these periods of adventurous play (now frequently referred to as “risky play”) were creating positive neural pathways for resilience, self-esteem, and physical agility and were helping us develop our executive function capacities—all critical life skills.

In this era of Amber Alerts, gun violence, and risk aversion cloaked in vigilant supervision (and scheduling) of children’s activities, we must ask ourselves both as parents and as educators: Are we depriving children of the invaluable experiences of risk-taking in play?

In our preschool program setting, summers are a time when we depart from the rigors of the regular school year with a “summer camp” vibe. We are in Minnesota and, after months spent cooped up indoors (in truth, we go outside Every. Single. Day. at our preschool, but the number of hours spent outside is definitely diminished in the winter months), all of us—both educators and children—are eager to spend as much time outside as possible. At our program, this means walks to area parks, daily water play, and hours of open-ended outdoor exploration, even in our urban setting.

Within this context, we also promote risk-taking in play. Risk-taking in play, or risky play, has a variety of features and can look different depending on the setting. In our program, we subscribe to keeping kids as safe as necessary as opposed to as safe as possible. For example, instead of saying “Be careful” to a child who is scaling a stone wall and navigating a crumbling section, we say, “Think that through—do you notice what I notice?” Our geographical boundaries for exploration tend to expand at the park, but we set up shared expectations before our urban explorers set out, noting physical boundaries and reminding children to come together when the teacher calls. When our students are climbing to new heights in a tree or on a playground, we check in with them: “How do you feel? Can you figure out how to get back down yourself?” (We keep a general rule of “Up on your own, down on your own.”) Just as in other areas of teaching and learning with children, we differentiate our approach to risky play depending on the developmental needs of the individual child. But truly, children really are the very best ones to assess how much risk in play they can handle. In fact, that’s the whole point.

All of us who work with young children have different thresholds for the safe-as-necessary barometer. I have found that this article can be a helpful start for both parents and educators to evolve their understanding of the benefits of risky play. Additionally, research like this literature review can help fortify our resolve to allow for risky play because understanding the lifelong benefits can lead us to make decisions based on research rather than on personal beliefs. Most importantly, we should have an approach to risk-taking in play that is unified across our teaching team and shared with parents when children enroll. This, along with a continued commitment to conversation with peers and parents about what risky play looks like in our settings, will ultimately provide a variety of experiences for our young learners.

Will there be tears, bumps, and bruises along the way? Probably. Is the flip side to that coin increased resilience, confidence, curiosity, pride, and a whole host of other positive outcomes? Definitely.

Here are five ways you can begin or evolve the conversation about risky play in your setting:

  1. Ask your director if your program has a position on risky play. If you are a director, reflect on whether you have clearly shared a philosophical position on risky play.
  2. Devote some part of your staff meeting to reading the research on risky play and discussing individuals’ risk thresholds. Share anecdotes of student success with risk-taking in play. If you work alone, seek out credible and peer-reviewed resources on risky play and read up!
  3. Set a goal for the summer to expand your adventurous or risky play to include a new element—perhaps letting students use tools at a woodworking bench or allowing for some “off-road” hiking so students can practice navigating uneven terrain.
  4. Take the risk assessment at Outside Play to see where you are in your own risky play journey.
  5. Go along with your students! Try something new and challenge yourself, and share what you learn with them.

Molly BreenMolly Breen, M.A., ECE, has worked with kids and families for nearly two decades as an educator. A believer in lifelong learning, her heart is in early childhood, where the seeds of curiosity, character, and community are planted. Through her work with children as a practitioner in the classroom, Molly has developed broad expertise in curriculum development and instruction, behavior guidance, and social and emotional learning. In her role as a program director, she has created innovative approaches to professional and program development, family engagement, and community outreach. She lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, with her husband and three kids.


We welcome your comments and suggestions. Share your comments, stories, and ideas below, or contact us. All comments will be approved before posting, and are subject to our comment and privacy policies.


FSP Springybook Signature(c)© 2019 by Free Spirit Publishing. All rights reserved. The view expressed in this post represents the opinion of the author and not necessarily Free Spirit Publishing.

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Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July!Barbecue and picnics, parades and fireworks—it’s that time of the year, and the Free Spirit staff has left the office to celebrate Independence Day! We hope your Fourth of July is filled with wonderful weather (fingers crossed!), good company, delicious food, and a spectacular fireworks show.

We’re almost halfway through the summer months! If the holiday festivities leave the rest of your week feeling a little bland, check out these tips for surviving summer boredom.


We welcome your comments and suggestions. Share your comments, stories, and ideas below, or contact us. All comments will be approved before posting, and are subject to our comment and privacy policies.


FSP Springybook Signature(c)© 2019 by Free Spirit Publishing. All rights reserved. The view expressed in this post represent the opinion of the author and not necessarily Free Spirit Publishing.

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If I Could Change Something About Our Schools . . .

If I Could Change Something About Our Schools . . .If you could change something about our schools, what would you change? We asked the Free Spirit Advisory Council to tell us their answers to this question. Here are their responses:

“If I could change something about our schools, it would be lunchtime. I teach at a middle school. My kids have lunch at 1:15. There’s no way adolescent kids can go from 8:30 a.m. until 1:15 p.m. without fuel. I let them have snacks throughout the morning. I’m concerned about their basic needs. Kids can’t learn if they are hungry. To me, meeting that need is the most important thing.”
Nancy, rock star teacher


“If I could change something about our schools, it would be to create a climate of support. When teachers and students feel supported by parents, administration, and other teachers, it changes the way we operate in our classrooms. Everyone is overwhelmed at times by deadlines, testing, learning new materials—the job is never-ending and challenging. Getting support from everyone and celebrating successes leads to a positive school culture where we can all enjoy our day-to-day jobs!”
Felicia, gifted specialist, consultant


“If I could change something about our schools, it would be the way in which administrators and teachers communicate with families. We often think that we meet the needs of families, that we answer their questions, that we care for their children, and that we are correct. I ask, are we truly listening? Do we hear what parents have to say? I had an interaction with a parent last year that went badly, and it took a year to resolve. Why? I was being the person I thought I should be and not the person the parent needed me to be. It sounds like such a strange statement, but in summation, I unintentionally offended the parent in a way that resonated so deeply with her that she withdrew her children from the program. I tried to fix it, but it did not work. I made a perfunctory effort to reengage her, but my effort was not genuine. That’s because I let technology get in the way. I was stuck in my own way of communicating. A colleague intervened. Because I thought I was correct, I had to prove my colleague was wrong, but in the process I learned a lot about myself and the way I problem-solve. I had been hiding behind email. The parent and I sat down after some lengthy email exchanges. What she said struck a chord with me: ‘I have feelings too. I am not a bad person.’

“That’s when I truly understood that I had been attempting to prove the parent wrong when it was not about that. She just needed support but did not know how to articulate this. And I did not make it easy for her. The parent always wanted to resolve the issue, and because she could not find a place that provided the same quality for her children, we eventually had a wonderful reunion. Her children are back with us. and I am so glad she had the courage to speak her truth.”
Cecilia, executive director


“If I could change something about our schools, it would be how we teach everything as individual subjects. Real life doesn’t happen in boxes; it’s math, reading, history, science, and emotion all thrown together in a beautiful, chaotic mess. Many students don’t realize the crossover between subjects, and this makes it harder for them to see how important it all is.”
Sarah, middle school counselor


“If I could change something about our schools, it would be the structure of the day to allow more flexibility for all. Students who want to start late could. Staffing would be flexible too! Classes could also be flexible, with some delivered by other means along with traditional classroom instruction.”
Cindy, family and consumer sciences teacher


“If I could change one thing about our schools, it would be to transform all schools into caring communities that use project-based experiential learning through play where the focus is less on results and more on the process. Instead of zero-tolerance policies, we would have tolerance policies where it is okay to make mistakes. Schools would be centered on taking care of ourselves, each other, and our environment—driven by care, not data. I believe all children should have the right to love and the freedom to explore unrestrained.”
Jill, educator


“If I could change something about our schools, it would be to support student learning through a play-based approach. Research shows us that young children learn best through play. Social and emotional learning, literacy, math, science, social studies, and the arts are all best taught through active play for young children. As educators, we must support and advocate for learning through play. It must be the heart of how we teach!”
Adria, MS, curriculum and education manager


“If I could change something about our schools, it would be to get away from focusing on test scores and get back to making connections with children. When we focus on test scores, not only are the children at a disadvantage but so are the teachers.”
Jeni, early learning center director


“If I could change something about our schools, it would be to include more imaginative play and less testing. Children seem to be losing the art of creative play and the ability to turn a large box into a magic castle. I am all for less structured play and electronics and more free time to explore the imagination. We need to look at our rigorous testing protocols and see where we can decrease formal testing and increase opportunities to engage with others and our environment.”
Michele, school psychologist


“If I could change something about our schools, it would be to generate a safe place for students to engage, learn, grow, and nurture into self-sufficient young adults. Often our children are scared, afraid, and lost due to stigmas, bullying, and wanting to fit in. Schools should protect children and be safe spaces.”
Bianca, residential services supervisor


“If I could change something about our schools, it would be to offer more support and services for students with social and emotional needs.”
Donna, MS/CCC-SLP, speech language pathologist


“If I could change something about our schools, it would be to restore wonder and joy to all children in every grade. In infancy and toddlerhood, we celebrate each child’s unique abilities. As they grow older, we become frustrated at children’s lack of ability to conform. My wish would be for us to celebrate the wonderfully unique beings our children are right now, being mindful not to rob them of opportunities for discovery and joy.”
Samantha, center director


“If I could change something about our schools, it would be to respect the expertise of our teachers. Teachers are the most knowledgeable about their practice and about teaching and learning. Therefore, schools should encourage more collaboration between them. Through mentoring, peer coaching, and opportunities for informal professional learning, we can develop a wealth of relevant and timely knowledge to enhance professional practice.”
—Jameelah, early childhood head teacher

“The one thing I would change about our schools would be to make sure all our teachers care. We have to make sure teachers are well-supported too. Teachers need to be given time and resources (mostly in the form of quality professional development) to be at the top of their game. When they feel prepared and successful at their craft, they have more brainpower to focus on their students as people. When teachers feel heard, supported, and cared for, they can turn those feelings back on their students.”
Cheryl, early childhood director


“If I could change something about our schools, it would be our thinking about children’s competencies. I would change our thinking to embrace that all children are competent from the beginning of life. They have big ideas and are competent to explore and find ways to solve problems. They can solve problems and need to be listened to and respected. They are the future citizens of our world and have so much to offer our world in teaching how to problem-solve and listen.”
Debbie, early childhood educator


“If I could change something about our schools, it would be to increase the time spent on teaching social and emotional skills to children and the level of trauma-informed care in our classrooms. Students are coming to school lacking the ability to make decisions, cope with disappointment, and interact with others in a meaningful way. Some students who have been affected by violence, unstable home situations, poverty, lack of parental involvement, and other stressors are especially vulnerable. All students need trusted adults to spend quality time with them. Teachers cannot develop the relationships necessary to help children develop if they have to spend so much time on testing and assessments.”
Kathy, school social worker


“If I could change one thing about our schools, I would make it mandatory for all school teachers to teach social and emotional skills. These skills are invaluable to students’ education. While academics are important for students, social and emotional skills will help them succeed in life. These skills will carry students through jobs, family life, and interactions with others. It is important that our students learn the proper way to interact with others, even those they may not get along with. Social and emotional skills allow for these important life moments.”
Bradley, educator


“If I could change something about our schools, it would be to reprioritize quality education as a civil right and to increase funding from the federal level. I would support free state college tuition and commit more focus on improving the competency and training of educators.”
Deborah, school administrator


“If I could change something about our schools, it would be to remind schools of the importance of fostering a spirit of creativity and intrinsic motivation in our students. Schools often are so focused on teaching to standardized tests that they lose sight of a big part of educating: teaching a love for learning. In order to meet standards, we sometimes overload children with homework and assignments that are both labor- and time-intensive. As a result, children no longer have time to play with peers after school to develop the necessary social skills for their success in future careers. Schools require children to read with an eye for analysis but often leave no time for reading for enjoyment. By shifting the emphasis from meeting standards to fostering a sense of curiosity and creativity, we can help create a generation of lifelong learners.”
Katie, director of field programs

The Free Spirit Advisory Council is a group of professionals who provide feedback that helps make Free Spirit books even more beneficial for kids, teens, and the adults who care about them. Interested in becoming a member? Recruitment is ongoing! For more information about the benefits and responsibilities of membership, download our Free Spirit Advisory Council application.


We welcome your comments and suggestions. Share your comments, stories, and ideas below, or contact us. All comments will be approved before posting, and are subject to our comment and privacy policies.


FSP Springybook Signature(c)© 2019 by Free Spirit Publishing. All rights reserved. The view expressed in this post represent the opinion of the author and not necessarily Free Spirit Publishing.

Posted in Free Spirit News | Tagged | 1 Comment

Tips for Avoiding the Teacher Summer Slide

By Richard M. Cash, Ed.D., author of Self-Regulation in the Classroom: Helping Students Learn How to Learn
Part of our Cash in on Learning series by Richard M. Cash, Ed.D. Click to read other Cash in on Learning posts.

Tips for Avoiding the Teacher Summer SlideBack in the day, when I was teaching, I would spend most of my summertime working a second job (mostly waiting tables). I would, however, take time off to travel or just to do a lot of nothing. I knew I needed to do that to get my head realigned for the challenges of the next school year.

A while ago I wrote a blog post on how to help students keep learning during the summer. This post does the same for you, the teacher. I’m going to use the same framework to help you not only relax and recharge but also get yourself ready for the school year ahead.

1. Deepen your passions.
Summer is a great time to dig into your passions, whether they include gardening, reading, knitting, or hiking. Use this stretch of time to take that passion one step deeper. If you are already accomplished at gardening, try something more exotic, such as going unconventional. Turn that small space between your garage and the sidewalk into a pixie garden—a tiny garden with miniature plants and some fairies sprinkled in. Check out Pinterest for more ideas.

Take what you are good at and deepen it. Go one step further and try something new. Not only will you be amazed at what you can accomplish, but you will also put yourself in the shoes of your students. Document your learning process. Share it with your students throughout the coming school year so that they know you, too, are a learner.

2. Learn something new.
Now is your chance to learn how to ballroom dance, speak Swahili, play the banjo, or skydive. Look for that one thing you’ve always wanted to do but could never find the time to learn. Learning something new, no matter how crazy that thing is, recharges your brain and helps in avoiding neurodegeneration. Some studies show that challenging our brains to do something new can improve cognition and long-term memory.

Another idea is to take in cultural events. Consider the students you will have in the coming year. Getting to know their cultures, foods, and traditions can help you understand them. If you have the money, traveling to countries where your students originate from can be even more powerful.

Speaking of travel, now is the time to hit the open road, whether you do it on a motorcycle, in an RV, or by car, plane, or scooter. Travel opens you up to a world of new ideas and experiences. If you are traveling to a location where you don’t speak the language, think about your struggles with communication. This can be a great learning experience and can help you become more empathic toward your students whose first language is not standard English.

Again, keep a journal, videos, or photos of the challenges you faced in your learning and how you handled them. Putting yourself in your students’ position and sharing your learning with them will do wonders for your classroom climate.

3. Relax and renew.
Of course, you need to spend some of your summertime relaxing and renewing. I am a huge advocate for naps! I love my afternoon naps—I’m a big fan of long naps especially. Because I’ve missed so much good sleep over the school year, I feel like I’m playing catch-up during the summer. I know some will say to limit your naptime to 20 minutes, but for me that’s just the beginning. Whether you are a short napper or a Rip Van Winkle–type napper (like me), make sure you get your Zs.

Another way to recharge is through exercise. I find that when I’m really busy, exercise can get pushed aside. Research shows that the best way to recharge both our brains and our bodies is through exercise. You don’t have to “pump iron” or run long distances to get your exercise in. I’ve moved from distance running to timed walking (due to back surgery and age). I try to walk briskly every day for at least one hour (or 10,000 steps). During my walks I listen to podcasts or audiobooks, combining tip #2 and tip #3!

Yoga, mindfulness, meditation, deep breathing, relaxation techniques, or reading a good book are all wonderful ways to relax and renew. Additionally, neuroscience shows these are also ways to avoid neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

Teaching is a mentally and physically taxing profession. You have to love it to keep coming back year after year. Take this time to treat yourself well so that you are ready for the challenges of the new school year!

Richard CashRichard M. Cash, Ed.D., writes the monthly Cash in on Learning blog posts for Free Spirit Publishing. He has given hundreds of workshops, presentations, and staff development sessions throughout the United States and internationally.

Free Spirit books by Richard Cash:

Self-regulation Advancing Differentiation Revised and Updated Edition Differentiation for Gifted Learners


We welcome your comments and suggestions. Share your comments, stories, and ideas below, or contact us. All comments will be approved before posting, and are subject to our comment and privacy policies.


FSP Springybook Signature(c)© 2019 by Free Spirit Publishing. All rights reserved. The view expressed in this post represent the opinion of the author and not necessarily Free Spirit Publishing.

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10 Strategies for Helping Students with ADHD Cope with Frustration

By Katherine Quie, Ph.D., L.P.

10 Strategies for Helping Students with ADHD Cope with FrustrationAs a child psychologist, I have years of experience working with children and adolescents with ADHD who struggle to cope with frustration. My therapy and testing referrals often have behaviors like:

  • fighting
  • skipping classes
  • throwing desks and chairs at school
  • punching holes in walls
  • swearing at teachers

When I first started practicing, I felt intimidated by these behaviors. I’d only seen a few physical fights in my life. I didn’t even have brothers to roughhouse with growing up. Who was I to try to teach angry kids how to control their frustration?

Then I had my first child. I was 30, a doctoral student in clinical psychology with a specialization in child development, and I was ready to apply these skills to my own parenting.

But things weren’t that simple. Our son Will barely slept, and he craved constant stimulation and motion. It didn’t help that my friends’ babies slept through dinner parties and let them stand still. I persevered and did the best I could.

The fact that Will’s kindergarten teacher couldn’t keep up with his demands felt validating and heart-wrenching. The validating part was that she was only in her mid-20s, and my son still exhausted even her. The heart-wrenching part was that according to her, Will’s behavior was way outside the norm. While my son wasn’t quick to anger, he was impulsive and hard to manage in the classroom, and thus became well-acquainted with the school principal.

Over the years, I’ve learned that most kids with ADHD and poor coping skills cooperate very well if they have the right supports. One thing I try to keep in mind when I’m working with temperamental children or adolescents is that ADHD is a neurobiological disorder that impacts chemical and structural parts of the brain responsible for emotion regulation.

Many kids with ADHD have smaller frontal lobes than neurotypical kids do (Voeller, 2004). And many have lower levels of certain neurotransmitters, or chemicals in the brain, like dopamine (Swanson, 2000). Since the frontal lobe regulates higher-order cognitive functions (like decision-making, planning, and coping with frustration) and dopamine regulates emotions, physical differences in these areas can impact kids’ abilities to manage frustration positively.

Here are 10 strategies I use to help students with ADHD (and their teachers) manage frustration:

1. Develop a strong relationship with the student from day one—from minute one, actually. Success rates in school for kids with ADHD are highly linked to teacher-student rapport (Rogers & Meek, 2015). How does one go about developing this relationship? Ask the student to take on a special classroom responsibility, engage the student’s passions, and show understanding of the student’s needs, such as for extra movement breaks.

As a parent, I always felt relieved when my son’s teachers embraced his quirkiness and focused on his strengths. I made a point of showing my gratitude to his teachers too. They were part of our team, and their patience with Will was a great gift.

2. Make sure you are teaching at the student’s academic level. Since approximately 50–70 percent of kids with ADHD have learning disabilities, teachers can assume that many students with ADHD have uneven learning. As a psychologist, during testing I purposefully start students several grade levels below their age to get an estimate of their academic skill level. This helps them build confidence and remain calm. Otherwise, if the work is too hard, students often refuse to continue or complain of boredom.

As a parent, I sought tutoring for Will when he was in the lowest reading group in first grade. He had already repeated kindergarten, and dyslexia ran in our family. Tutoring reduced his frustration in school, gave him an ally who believed in him, and let his teachers know that we were doing our best to address his learning differences.

3. Consider the use of technology in the classroom for students with ADHD who have anger problems. Since students with ADHD often have learning disabilities, particularly in writing, they may get agitated when doing written work. That’s why removing the physical act of writing tends to reduce frustration and acting out. Diction programs like Dragon NaturallySpeaking are ideal, since students can simply dictate written assignments.

4. Don’t get sucked into power struggles. I’ve had to learn this the hard way. In the past, when kids refused to do the work, I pressed my agenda too hard. Over time I learned that I’m better off giving the child my pitch (“If you try your best today, I can help make school and life easier for you”) and then backing off. Teachers are in a similar position. Instead of trying to strong-arm a student into completing work, a teacher’s effort is better spent trying to identify why the student is refusing to work. And this comes with patience and setting aside your agenda. Kids share their truths when they sense you care.

As a mother, I’ve had to advocate for my son many times when his teachers misunderstood his behavior (for example, viewed his tendency to blurt out answers in class as a purposeful disregard for the rules as opposed to a symptom of undertreated ADHD). Advocating for Will required a willingness on my part to validate the teacher’s point of view (“I realize Will’s behavior is disruptive and it must be hard to teach”), which helped us negotiate a better plan.

5. Remember that praise and rewards work way better than punishments do, but don’t go overboard. Research has shown that if you punish kids with ADHD (give them detention, keep them in for recess), their behavior doesn’t improve (Barkley, 2008). Instead, students with ADHD respond better to sincere compliments (“Nice handwriting. I can tell you slowed down and focused while you wrote that sentence”) and connected rewards (“If you type three sentences in five minutes, you can earn added computer time”).

6. Avoid direct commands. Since the frontal lobe helps us think flexibly and cope with frustration, it makes sense that kids with ADHD respond poorly to direct commands (“Take off your hat now”). Instead, when teachers are more respectful (“Please take off your hat”), kids feel respected and thus rebel less. I think this is true for most people. It just makes sense that we all like to be treated well.

7. Allow students frequent opportunities for movement. This is a big one. One of the things that teachers (or anyone really) often struggle to understand is the intense frustration and stress kids with ADHD experience when they can’t release pent-up energy. I’ve found that active students benefit from supports like:

  • standing
  • chewing gum
  • listening to music with earbuds during work time
  • completing a puzzle at the back of the room once they finish classwork
  • using a wiggle seat (for younger grades)
  • using weighted vests, stuffed animals, or lap blankets (for younger grades)
  • running errands for the teacher
  • helping in the classroom (for example, handing out papers)

As a parent, I found that the teachers who offered to let Will stand in the back of the classroom, chew gum, run errands, or you name it had the best success with him because they didn’t dismiss his intense need to move.

8. Keep feedback neutral. Instead of embarrassing students (“Julie, I’ve asked you to stop talking three times. Stop disrespecting me and your classmates”), keep feedback neutral (“Julie, please be quiet. You’ll have to change seats if I have to ask you again”).

As parents, my husband and I worked on this regularly. It was easy to have a negative tone with our son when we’d repeatedly asked him to do something and he didn’t change his behavior. However, when we reminded ourselves that ADHD is neurological and that most likely Will was doing his best, it changed our perspective and we became much more understanding.

9. Keep classroom rules simple, minimal, and consistent. As a psychologist, I only enforce a few rules in my office, such as no violence and no threats. While teachers have to enforce a few more rules in school, given the nature of their jobs, long lists of rules can cause kids with ADHD to feel stifled, anxious, and targeted. For one, given their memory difficulties, kids with ADHD often can’t retain long lists of rules. This can cause teachers to think that a student with ADHD is purposefully being disrespectful when, in fact, many times the student has simply forgotten the rules.

10. Provide daily incentives and rewards. Kids with ADHD often cope better with a reward in mind. They also tend to live in the moment. As such, working toward daily rewards tends to work much better than working toward a reward at the end of the week.

In fact, when my son was little, the teachers who had a morning and an afternoon reward had the most success with him. That way, if he had a terrible morning, he still felt hopeful and motivated to turn his behavior around.

References

Katherine QuieKatherine Quie, Ph.D., L.P., recently founded ADHD&U as an outlet for her passion in supporting young people and families impacted by ADHD. She is a licensed psychologist and author of the memoir Raising Will: Surviving the Brilliance and Blues of ADHD. She is a mother of two and lives in Saint Paul with her husband. Check out her blog, resource page, and podcast at ADHD&U for more information about how to support young people and families impacted by ADHD.


We welcome your comments and suggestions. Share your comments, stories, and ideas below, or contact us. All comments will be approved before posting, and are subject to our comment and privacy policies.


FSP Springybook Signature(c)© 2019 by Free Spirit Publishing. All rights reserved. The view expressed in this post represent the opinion of the author and not necessarily Free Spirit Publishing.

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