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Why Being a Happy Mom (or Dad) is a Gift to Our Children

Mother’s Day always transports me back to my days as a young mom, juggling my psychology practice with the activities of our household: three young children, a wonderful husband, and a rambunctious dog named Lacy. With all three girls active on their soccer teams and their dad serving as coach, we sometimes needed a spreadsheet […]

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When a Child Cries, Ignore the “Experts,” Not the Tears

Every parent knows how difficult it can be to watch your child burst into tears. Your instinct is to do whatever you can to bring comfort and calm the child. But in my work as a child psychologist, I sometimes observe behavioral interventionists suggest a different reaction for the children they work with, including those […]

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Why We Misunderstand Traumatized Children’s Behavioral Challenges and How We Can Do Better

By the time he turned eleven, “Luke” had consistently displayed such challenging behavior that he had been kicked out of four foster homes. Finally, a social worker placed him with parents who had been trained in a program that focused on behavior management.  That placement was also unsuccessful, and he landed in a residential school […]

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Moving Beyond Autism Awareness and Acceptance

According to the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), “autism acceptance” shouldn’t be limited to a specific day or month. Rather, it should be an ongoing, collective effort to  create a world that values, includes, and celebrates all kinds of minds. As a child psychologist who has worked for decades with families of children on the […]

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Can Rewards and Consequences Make Kids’ Behavior Challenges Worse?

“Martina,” a 7-year-old in a special-needs classroom, wanted to let her teacher know that she was feeling anxious,  so she tried to connect with her, repeatedly grabbing at her arm and shirt. The teacher had been trained to ignore “negative” behaviors, so the more Martina grabbed, the less attention she gave her. Her strategy was […]

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Challenging Behaviors: Why We Shouldn’t Expect Kids to Self-Regulate Too Soon

Five-year-old Nathan was excited about a family outing to the zoo, but his mother worried he would not be able to control his behavior. So she explained her carefully devised plan. She had ten gummy bear candies with her. If Nathan behaved well, she would give him all ten at the end of the visit. […]

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Considering these Popular Parenting Techniques? Proceed with Caution

As anyone who has ever struggled to manage a toddler’s meltdown in a busy supermarket line can attest, parenting can be both confusing and humbling. To make matters worse, seeking out advice from so-called experts can often lead to even more confusion since their wisdom can be contradictory and bewildering. So it’s worth a quick […]

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It’s Time to Do Away with Seclusion and Isolation Rooms and Replace them with Compassion

Recently, a 13-year-old autistic student died after staff members at his Northern California school physically restrained him for an extended period. And the parents of a non-speaking, autistic 12-year-old  have sued his school for placing him in a seclusion room after a behavioral outburst. Teachers forced the child to strip naked before they placed him in a […]

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He’s Having a Meltdown! Four Possible Triggers—and How to React

In my last post, I suggested that we should appreciate meltdowns for what they are: a child’s way of signaling that he needs something from the adults around him—or from his environment.  When a child experiences a meltdown or tantrum or acts aggressively, he is communicating that he has exceeded his ability to intentionally control his […]

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Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.7 days ago
“We are failing to help children with disruptive behaviors because our understanding and approaches are not consistent with current brain science,” Thrilled that Beyond Behaviors is featured in this article on Classroom Management. #Beyondbehaviors #Education #Braindevelopment #IEP #SpecialEducation
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.7 days ago
I was interviewed about disruptive behaviors for this free summit beginning tomorrow, Thursday May 16th.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.1 week ago
Here's my response to why planned ignoring is missing the bigger picture of behaviors as the tip of the iceberg with important meanings we must first identify-- to make sure the child isn't in an instinctive (not learned) stress reaction. #specialed #paradigmshift #emotionsmatter
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.1 week ago
What are your thoughts? Thank you in advance.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.1 week ago
A whole-child vantage point, letting us view a child from above and below the surface of observable behaviors, offers the best way to understand and solve children's behavioral challenges. #wholechild #Beyondbehaviors #relationshipsfirst