I can’t say it enough: Parents and educators are the unsung heroes of this pandemic.
In my capacity as a child psychiatrist, I’ve held hundreds of Zoom sessions with educators and parents over these last 11 months. I’ve been amazed by the innovative and inspiring ways they’re helping kids who are struggling with pandemic fatigue — even while struggling themselves.
Cognoscenti for WBUR.
“We are living in a reactive time where schools are adopting policies which have no evidence of protecting schools and can actually create more anxiety for staff and kids — hiding under desks, arming kindergartners with cans of food is the wrong direction,” said Nancy Rappaport, a part time associate professor in psychiatry at Harvard medical school. “Building safe communities is about creating caring relationships, anonymous tip lines and a culture where kids share their concerns.”
How to approach sexualized behavior in the classroom.
Describes three main causes of sexualized behavior in schools and presents strategies for intervention.
Rappaport N, Minahan J. “I Didn’t Mean To…”: Practical Suggestions for Understanding and Teaching Students with Sexualized Behavior. Phi Delta Kappan 2013 February: 21-26.
Explores the complex task of engaging immigrant adolescents with underlying psychopathology and their families in treatment through the use of a flexible, responsive approach.
Rajan R, Rappaport N. “When Can I See You Again?”: The Immigration Experience, Insecure Attachment and Psychotherapy. Adolescent Psychiatry. 2011, 1, 35-45.
Cognoscenti – WBUR
Decades after my mother’s battle with intimate partner violence, I’m newly disturbed by the surge of intimate partner violence during the COVID-19 crisis. With staggering unemployment numbers, families sequestered in their homes and physical distancing measures interrupting social networks, intimate partner violence is putting more people at risk than ever.
Cognoscenti – WBUR
This nationwide feeling of parental helplessness — even for me, a trained clinician who has devoted 20 years of my life to doing intensive psychiatric evaluations to avert this strategy — is understandable. Yet I am reminded of Maya Angelou’s words, “And still I rise.” Because we can’t afford not to rise to the challenge of this tragedy. There are still ways that parents can, must, help their children.
Nancy Rappaport, MD, is the inaugural recipient of the Massachusetts Coalition of School-Based Health Centers’ (MCSBHC) 2008 Outstanding School-Based Health Center Supporter Award.
Strategies for preventing and resolving conflict between families and schools.
Rappaport N. A Mindful Approach to Parent Conflict. American School Board Journal 2012 September: 20-21.
The authors discuss clinical and theoretical implications of longitudinal research looking at self-reflection in interview narratives of former adolescent psychiatric patients who are doing surprisingly well in young adulthood.
Barkai A, Rappaport N. A psychiatric perspective on narratives of self-reflection in resilient adolescents. Adolescent Psychiatry. 2011, 1, 46-54.
The suburban mom had done everything she could think of to help her 14-year-old daughter navigate the stormy waters of adolescence. She was alert, accessible and proactive, asking a million questions and calling in a professional counselor when the girl’s behavior and appearance grew troubling. And yet there she was, late one winter night in her Carol Stream home, watching her daughter twist a scarf around her own neck and threaten to commit suicide on the spot.
Every 15 minutes, there is another devastated family faced with the challenge of how to make sense of a tragic loss by suicide. In most cases, there are multiple causes that drive a young man like Junior Seau to shoot himself tragically in the chest.
The impenetrable question: “Why?”