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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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How Anger, Tantrums, and Meltdowns Protect Your Child

Anger, meltdowns, and tantrums get a bad rap. As parents, we worry that these behaviors indicate that our child is choosing to misbehave or that we’re somehow failing as parents. The judgmental stares and glances we get from onlookers only increases those insecure thoughts. We read books about what to do and try to tame […]

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What to Know Before We Teach Children Self-Regulation Skills

What’s the best way to teach children how to regulate their own emotions and behavior? Occupational therapist and educator Leah Kuypers devised one approach, The Zones of Regulation, which has gained international popularity. “The Zones” is a groundbreaking cognitive-behavioral approach that helps adults teach children about self-regulation, which includes self-discipline, emotional control, anger management, and […]

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Parents Know Best: Why the Educational System should Stop Marginalizing Parents

It’s past midnight and “Amanda”can’t fall asleep. She’s focused on her meeting the next morning at the school where her son is struggling in a program not suited to his unique needs. As she mentally rehearses her appeal for better support for him, she’s also bracing herself for the response she expects: polite “no’s” and […]

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Children’s Mental Health: Everyone’s Responsibility

Amelia’s parents contacted me because of a problem in Kindergarten. Her teachers reported that she often began to cry around lunchtime, and when they asked her why she was crying, she couldn’t answer them.  They tried to distract her, and even offered her a trip to the class “store”, (stocked with fun prizes) if she would […]

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The Developmental Iceberg: Looking Below the Surface of Challenging Behaviors

Behavioral challenges are the “tip” of the iceberg, and the answers to helping children are often found below the surface of behaviors. Take Ben, for example, who was a puzzle to his parents and teachers alike. In kindergarten, he struggled to stay in his seat, and his teachers constantly reprimanded him for not complying with […]

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Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.1 day ago
It's Publication day!

I'm so excited to be sharing an approach to reduce suffering for children and teens who are so often misunderstood.

My heartfelt gratitude to all of you who helped me write this book by offering advice and sharing your stories. A special thank you to my incredible editor Tom Fields-Meyer, and colleagues, Tina Payne Bryson, Dona Matthews Joanne Foster Megan Stilwill Mim Ochsenbein Nicole Schwarz, Imperfect Families Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff, Ph.D. Profectum Laura Markham Serena Wieder & Dr. Stephen Porges, and too many others who have been so supportive!
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.2 days ago
Tomorrow is Launch Day!
I wrote the book because I've witnessed too much suffering resulting from our outdated approaches for our most behaviorally challenged children. Together we can create a paradigm shift away from shame and blame and towards an appreciation for neurodevelopment & compassion.
❤️ Thank you for all your support for this project over the past year!
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.1 week ago
Amidst the popular focus on self-regulation among professionals, educators and parents, too often we miss a significant point: we cannot really "teach" a child to self-regulate. #neurodevelopment #challengingbehaviors #resilience #childwelfare #beyondbehaviors #selfregulation #selfcompassion #ACES
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.1 week ago
We had a wonderful conference put on by the Profectum Foundation this past weekend. We learned how PLAY heals trauma and supports children's development. So much fun seeing treasured colleagues from around the globe! Special thanks to Kendra Delahooke MFT, my daughter & colleague who snapped photos & joined the DIR community & to PESI Publishing -- rushed copies to the conference where I had my first book signing! Launch in one week! #shiftingparadigms #childwelfare #neurodiversity #Beyondbehaviors
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.2 weeks ago
Great day at the Profectum Conference in San Marino, Ca. Here's the FB live feed of my closing words about the power of Play. #playbased #DIR #Beyondbehaviors #Preschoolsuspensions #resilience #childwelfare #fostercare
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.2 weeks ago
My book, Beyond Behaviors on their way to Amazon! The mission: Update how we understand and treat behavior challenges based on #neuroscience and #compassion research. #ODD #FASD #DMDD #ACES Its time to stop blaming the child or "disorder". We can do better. #beyondbehaviors ❣️