Dear DCHS Families and Students:
Listed below is the schedule for our finals schedule starting today to close out our 2022-23 school year. The Finals schedule can also be found on the DCHS website.
Douglas County High School does NOT allow students to take early final exams. Most, if not all of our staff, do not have their exams ready until the week they are given thus we are unable to accommodate an early request. Please make it a priority that your student(s) are here during finals week.
Please note that we will NOT be running passes to retrieve students at any time during final exams week. If you know your child needs to be released ahead of the school's set schedule, please send a note containing the date and specific dismissal time with them and the student must then take it to the attendance office to obtain a pass. NO EXCEPTIONS. Thanks so much for your help with this as we are trying to eliminate class disruptions during this time.
DCHS will have supervised areas in the Library and Commons for students that cannot make alternative transportation arrangements to stay and study. Students that need to meet with a teacher will need to make an appointment to ensure we don’t inundate any one teacher. If your student(s) are unable to find early transportation home, it is advised that they bring material to study and pack a lunch as there will be a very limited lunch choice from the school’s cafeteria.
We appreciate all your help and support in your student's education. We hope you all have a great summer!
2022-23 DCHS 2nd Semester Final Exam Schedule
Monday, May 22, 2023*
- 7:45 am – 9:15 am – Period 1 Final
- 9:25 am – 10:55 am – Period 5 Final
- 11:05 am – 12:35 pm – Period 7 Final & Announcements
Buses will depart at normal time 2:55 pm
Tuesday, May 23, 2023*
- 7:45 am – 9:15 am – Period 2 Final
- 9:25 am – 10:55 am – Period 4 Final & Announcements
Buses will depart at normal time 2:55 pm
Wednesday, May 24, 2023*
- 7:45 am – 9:15 am – Period 6 Final
- 9:25 am – 10:55 am – Period 8 Final & Announcements
Buses will depart at normal time 2:55 pm
Thursday, May 25, 2023 - NO SCHOOL DUE TO DCHS GRADUATION
* NO LUNCH WILL BE SERVED and we encourage students to leave once final exams are over
TAKE YOUR CHILD TO WORK DAY @DCHS
Home - Reasons to be Cheerful
When the Mind’s Eye Is Blind
In 2003 a 65-year-old man brought a strange problem to neurologist Adam Zeman, now at the University of Exeter in England. The patient, later dubbed "MX," claimed he could not conjure images of friends, family members or recently visited places.
Parental Shaming vs. Encouragement
What feels better, works better.
- Shaming kids is impulsive behavior, lacking forethought and consideration of its effects on the developing identities of children.
- The opposite of shaming isn’t praise or compliments; it’s encouragement.
- Encouragement tends to evoke cooperation, almost as consistently as shaming evokes resistance.
No parent wakes up in the morning thinking of how to shame their kids. Rather, it’s a habit we fall into because, most likely, our parents shamed us. (Shaming children to control their behavior has a long-standing tradition in human history, as seen in ancient literature.) Shaming kids is impulsive behavior, lacking forethought and consideration of its effects on the developing identities of children.
Shamed children tend to misbehave, creating more stress and parental desperation that often results in more shaming.
Examples of Shaming
Shaming Breeds Misbehavior
The fact that we tend to do more of it as children grow should tell us that shaming is an ineffective means to desirable behavior. Shaming fails to guide positive behavior for three major reasons.
- It’s mostly about the past, something the child has done or failed to do. When we think of past mistakes, there’s always a layer of powerlessness over the memory. Powerlessness evokes anger or resentment and reluctance to cooperate.
- It’s focused on what you don’t want, namely misbehavior. Behavior tends to follow focus, that is, you’re likely to get more of what you focus on.
- Worst of all, it implies negative character traits, with no clear remediation. How many considerate, selfless, careful, meticulous, truthful behaviors must the child do, no longer to be characterized as inconsiderate, selfish, careless, sloppy, or deceitful?
Consider your own reaction to something about which you’re ashamed. (Rest assured, we’ve all done or experienced something of which we’re ashamed.) You’ll probably need to think hard because the nearly universal defense against shame is to forget about it. (The root of the word means to cover or hide.) An easier way to think about it is to recall when you were accused or blamed for something. Chances are, your initial, gut-level response was to deny or minimize, distract or deflect, or blame the blamer for being unfair. Your children have the same gut-level response; and they lack your fully developed prefrontal cortex, with its capacity for reflective evaluation of self and behavior.
We want children to be accountable for their behavior, but they’re unlikely to get the message from parents who are not accountable for the ill effects of shaming them. Accountability is a standard we hold others to, not merely because we tend to be a little hypocritical. The real culprit is the brain’s tendency to isolate or compartmentalize shame-invoking experiences to keep them out of consciousness.
It goes without saying that shaming words yelled or spoken in anger or disgust will have more of a negative effect and are more likely to stimulate the child's natural defenses.
Test the hypothesis for yourself. Recall the last four times you used shaming words in describing or disciplining your children. Apologize for using the words, then ask if they remember what you were upset about. They're likely to remember you using the words, but you'll be lucky if they recall what they did to upset you.
The opposite of shaming isn't praise or compliments; it's encouragement. Some parents try to avoid or compensate for shaming behavior through praise and compliments. These differ from encouragement in a subtle but crucial way. Praise and compliments tend to be superficial or unrelated to behavior. Encouragement is more likely to evoke positive action in the present and future.
Examples of Encouragement
“You can be:
Encouragement tends to succeed at modifying behavior because it’s about the present and future, where remediation is possible. It’s focused on what you want — better behavior. Most importantly, it suggests a reserve of positive character traits for children to exercise. Encouragement tends to evoke cooperation, almost as consistently as shaming evokes resistance.
Consider your own reaction when someone cites your positive traits or actions, versus criticism or recitation of your negative traits or actions. Which is more likely to make you cooperative or focused on success?
Most parents are unaware that shaming has negative effects on their children because they react to the automatic coping habits that children display when shamed. They don’t seem hurt; they seem bored, dismissive, angry, or resentful. Children as young as two develop coping habits to prevent or elude the experience of shame. They deny, blame, distract, or otherwise avoid. If your children are blamers or deny responsibility or avoid situations that might involve failure, be especially careful to encourage, rather than shame.
The Top Thing Parents Can Do to Help Their Kids Feel Happier
- Children and teens are struggling with mental health issues at high levels.
- Parents and caregivers who convey understanding strengthen their relationships with their children.
- Being understanding as parents means listening to and validating their children's feelings.
According to a 2023 trends report by the American Psychological Association, kids’ mental health is in crisis. Even before the pandemic, growing concerns about social media, mass violence, natural disasters, climate change, and political polarization—not to mention the normal ups and downs of childhood and adolescence—have all been converging to bring high levels of stress to children and teens.
So what can help our children and teens? One thing I know for sure is that after 30 years of working with children, teens, adult children, and families, no adult has ever looked back and complained to me that their parents tried too hard to understand them. I believe that understanding from parents toward their children is just as important—maybe even more important—than loving them. Just as many divorced people may still love their ex-spouse but never felt understood by them, many children and teens feel loved but not understood.
So, with this in mind, let's look at the power of understanding your child for supporting their emotional health and happiness.
The Power of Parents' Understanding
My book,10 Days to a Less Defiant Child, provides suggestions for how parents can harness their understanding to support their children's emotional health. Here are a few key points:
- Building strong relationships: When parents take the time to understand their children, they can build strong relationships with them. This helps children feel loved, supported, and heard, which can boost their confidence and self-esteem.
- Effective communication: Understanding children allows parents to communicate with them more effectively. Parents who understand their children's emotions, thoughts, and perspectives can tailor their communication style to their children's needs, which can improve the quality of their conversations.
- Meeting children's needs: When parents understand their children, they are better able to meet their needs. For example, if a child is feeling anxious or stressed, a parent who understands this can help them by providing comfort and support.
- Supporting children's development: Understanding children is important for supporting their development. By understanding their children's strengths, weaknesses, and interests, parents can provide opportunities for them to grow and learn.
- Preventing and managing conflict: When parents understand their children, they can often prevent conflicts before they occur. They can anticipate their children's needs and respond appropriately, which can help to avoid misunderstandings and disagreements. And when disagreements do occur, parents who practice and model understanding are more likely to have calm, constructive conversations with their kids to work through those conflicts.
Overall, understanding children is critical for parents who want to build strong relationships with their children, communicate effectively, meet their children's needs, support their development, and prevent conflicts.
Keeping Your Parent Ego in Check
Helping your child feel understood often means keeping your ego and desire to fix problems or to lecture in check. That means validating your child's feelings and not judging them. The way to do this is to know the difference between acknowledging and agreeing with their feelings.
Contrary to what many frustrated parents may think, particularly during those stressful times of conflict, validating feelings is not condoning bad choices or giving in to defiant behavior. This takes focus and discipline to realize that the best discipline you can give your child is having the self-discipline to be patient, empathetic, and loving—especially when they are not acting lovable.
"Understanding" means giving your child or teen that all-important, and seemingly elusive, validating message that "Your feelings make sense. I not only am permitting you to feel what you feel but I am also welcoming and accepting your feelings in a nonjudgmental way.” Validating your child in this way conveys deep empathy. This will help build your child's self-esteem and reduce their defiant behavior, which is often the language choice of children who do not feel understood.
Now that we have discussed the power of understanding your child, here are five ways below to make it happen.
5 Ways to Show Your Child You Understand Them
- Communicate your intent to listen without judging or blaming and calling yourself out if you stray from this empathetic stance.
- Be sensitive to, and acknowledge how difficult it is to be “different” when they want to be like everyone else.
- Acknowledge the problems in your child's life and that they matter. Many children and teens I counsel repeatedly share that their parents minimize or dismiss their struggles.
- Reflect on how upsetting it feels to them when the walls seem to be closing in and how overwhelming it is when their emotions seem to spin out of control.
- Understand how deep shame (often non-detectable to frustrated parents) can keep influencing your child to behave in ways that they may regret later.
It is crucial to remember that when children feel understood, they will be better able to hear you and change their behaviors. Stay mindful of how important this is not only to your child but also to your relationship with them. Validating your child’s or teen’s feelings is crucial to building their self-esteem and will promote solid, overall emotional health.
Listening to the Transgender Teen Phenomenon
Written by: Lawrence Diller M.D. With Erica Anderson, Ph.D.
The publication of a study reporting on the increased number of individuals, especially young people who identify as transgender, confirms for those of us on the front lines of mental health what we have known for several years. There’s been a tectonic shift in the way teens are thinking about their gender and sexual identities.
The Williams Institute of UCLA School of Law, relying on recent CDC surveys, found that the rates of young people between the ages of 13 and 25 identifying as transgender essentially doubled from 0.7% to 1.3% of the general population between 2017 and 2020. Furthermore, those who identified as transgender in the 18-24 year age group, which comprises 11% of the general population, disproportionately represented 24% of transgender-identified people of all ages.
Two major questions arise from this information: Why now? And is this rise a transient or permanent feature of our culture?
The leading theories about the why do not go far enough in explaining the phenomenon. The first theory is that consideration of transgender and nonbinary forms of gender identity is simply now more well-known and more acceptable. The other is that social media has played a critical role as an accelerant in promoting these ideas.
But neither theory explains the why now. We believe a critical mass of cultural factors has led children, upon reaching puberty, to specifically reject rigid heterosexual roles. The early teenage years have always been a period when identity and self-image questions predominate.
We wonder whether traditional male/female identities as exploited by the forces of market capitalism and exaggerated by music videos and easily accessible pornography have “turned off” kids to what’s being offered. It’s easy to imagine the toxic masculinity of first-person shooter games and the hyperfeminity of the Kardashians repelling many average young teens of today.
They either do not like the choices in terms of their natal sex (natal girls are choosing to become males at twice the rate natal boys choose their opposite) or simply prefer to be called “they” because neither sex seems to represent how they feel about themselves. The availability of medical technologies and the support of the general medical community for making changes must also be factors.
But the transgender phenomenon represents only the tip of the iceberg in terms of this cultural shift. There are surveys that report up to 20% of teens are not comfortable with a standard male/female designation. Legislatures and executive orders cannot make this change go away. The other question is whether this major social change is permanent or transitory.
The Stonewall Riots in 1969 and the decision by the American Psychiatric Association in 1973 to remove homosexuality as a disease presaged America’s acceptance of gays and gay rights as a permanent feature of the society. The huge increase in transgender and nonbinary identity in teens may simply be an extension of society’s increasing acceptance of difference and diversity.
However, teens are also infamously associated with fads. We cannot say with certainty whether this new group of transgender and nonbinary teens represents a continuing and permanent change or, like some fashion statement, could come and go. Multiple personality disorder of mid-1990s is an example of recent past “epidemic” that struck the societal/teen psychological nodes for several years and then waned in terms of frequency and media attention.
While the L.G.B.T.Q.I.A.+ community has taken it upon itself to raise the rights and banners of young teens to make decisions about their bodies, including the use of hormones to block puberty or aid in a transition, it is too soon to be clear about long-term outcomes. The data and information on desistors (those who have changed their minds) reflect a previous generation of transgender people and do not take into account the very large number of children now considering the changes and why.
We believe that every young teen should be allowed to consider their own identity in a nonjudgmental fashion. We also believe that there should be a broader discussion about the societal factors and pressures that have led children to reject their natal designations. But we also feel the use of medical procedures to hasten or make permanent a young teen’s desired identity should be taken only after a very careful and deliberate evaluation. To not do so is placing these young people unnecessarily at risk as they mature and find potentially other ways of coping with rigid and, to them, unappealing classic heterosexual roles.