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Incorporating Psycho-Education into your Teaching: Giving Advice to Children Using Parallel Speaking

Incorporating Psycho-Education into your Teaching: Giving Advice to Children Using Parallel Speaking

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Teachers and parents can enhance their communication and persuasion skills by indirectly giving advice, embedding commands, and giving suggestions using storytelling.
Teachers and parents can enhance their communication and persuasion skills by indirectly giving advice, embedding commands, and giving suggestions using storytelling.

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Published by: The Psycho-Educational Teacher on Jun 15, 2011
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06/20/2013

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Incorporating Psycho-Education into your Teaching

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Giving Advice to Children Using Parallel Speaking

The Psycho-Educational Teacher
Blog http://thepsychoeducationalteacher.blogspot.com/ Facebook http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000487354629 Twitter http://twitter.com/psychoeducation

Teachers can enhance their communication and persuasion skills by indirectly giving advice, embedding commands, and giving suggestions via stories. Therapeutic storytelling, or storytelling that soothes and heals troubling feelings, has a strong metaphoric and symbolic component. To be able to influence children, the elements in the metaphor or the aspects of the symbol must correspond to elements or aspects of the child’s experience. A psycho-educational teacher knows how to use symbolism to expand and enrich meaning, or to reframe (create a new meaning) how an angry, sad, or insecure child understands and interprets the conflictive event (Mahony, 2003). In parallel speaking, the teacher does not talk directly about the event, but tells the child or the class a story that includes key elements of the event or conflict; that is, the story parallels the child’s experience of the event. According to Mahony, when we present the event as a story, this brings a whole host of different meanings and new associations to re-interpret the actual event. In using parallel speaking, the psycho-educational teacher advices indirectly by using metaphors or analogies; the story brings new insights as the child compares and expands mentally the different aspects of the metaphor with the real event.

that is. but this time. A variation of parallel speaking is the reflective story. but we are also helping him or her activate a deeper search for meaning and coping resources. Another variation of this technique is having children analyze metaphors and analogies already contained in children’s classical stories. for example. both the child and the story character are dealing with feelings of jealousy.g.g. that is dealing with the same problem the child is confronting. we interpret it as an embarrassing event. The metaphor helps the student understand the problem by relating it to what the child already knows. the original meaning also changes. e. resolution) for the therapeutic story and then use key elements in the actual problem to tell the story. . as long as the conflict and the child’s feelings about the conflict reflect or parallel each other from the story to the actual event. We can change the context. and when the meaning of the event changes. The metaphor will be the journey from the present state (problem) to the desired state (resolution). setting. problem. To create a successful metaphor. characters. one that leads to the resolution of the conflict or problem. for example. the same age and gender. the relationship between the elements in the story mirrors the relationship between the elements in the problem. metaphors are reframing devices that tell. the ugly duckling that turned into a beautiful swan. For instance. telling the child a story about another child from a similar background. or from hopelessness to problem solving). The authors recommend that we develop a context (i. we connect the problem in the story with a strategy (coping resource) that leads the story character to the desired state or resolution.e. we plot the story so that it has the same form as the present problem or state. In other words. so we feel humiliated and embarrassed).O’Connor and Seymour (2002) define a metaphor as a story with many levels of meaning and interpretation. . When a teacher or parent guides children in changing the original frames they put on troubling events (e. we are not only distracting the child. According to O’Connor and Seymour (2002). or discussing how the slow turtle managed to defeat the speedy rabbit. troubling feelings and acting-out responses to the event change too. or feel insecure about how to deal with a particular situation. we can put our story character in a sports setting. from embarrassing to challenging. “This could mean that…” The meaning of an event depends on the frame we put in (our interpretation of the event. making sure that we keep the same relationship between elements from the actual event to the story’s event. When we are telling the therapeutic story.

“Persuasive Discipline: Using Power Messages and Suggestions to Influence Children Toward Positive Behavior. Brooklyn: NY). Carmen has a bachelor’s degree in psychology (University of Puerto Rico) and a master’s degree in special education with a specialization in emotional disorders (Long Island University. Introducing NLP: Psychological skills for understanding and influencing people. J. has more than twenty years of experience as a self-contained special education teacher.” visit Carmen’s blog.References Mahony. You can read the complete collection of articles on Scribd or her blog. She also has extensive graduate training in psychology (30+ credits). Her classroom background. in New York City and her native Puerto Rico. O’Connor. She is an expert in the application of behavior management strategies. “The Psycho-Educational Teacher. and educational diagnostician. and in teaching students with learning or behavior problems. Carmen is the author of 60+ books and articles in child guidance and in alternative teaching techniques for students with low academic skills.. Carmarthen. J. includes ten years teaching emotionally disturbed/behaviorally disordered children and four years teaching students with a learning disability or low cognitive functioning. from kindergarten to post secondary. (2003). Hammersmith. & Seymour.” To preview her books and download the free eguide. Carmen has taught at all grade levels. . (2002). London: Harper Element. About the Author Carmen Y. resource room teacher. T. Wales: Crown House. Words work! How to change your language to improve behaviour in your classroom. The Psycho-Educational Teacher. Reyes.

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