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How Teachers Can Take A More Compassionate Approach to Behaviors

Jalene’s teachers were at a loss about how to deal with the fourth grader’s habit of dashing wildly through the halls of her public school. Her IEP team made an effort, devising a behavior plan that called for teachers to reprimand her for the behavior, remove her from the classroom, or even force her to […]

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Do Time-Outs Work? It’s Time to Reframe the Question

Are time-outs an effective strategy for parents to cope with children’s challenging behaviors? Before I studied early childhood development, I occasionally used time-outs with my own children because they were touted as an effective and appropriate discipline technique. Decades later, a debate is raging about whether or not this is true. A recent Time article tried […]

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Are Baby-Soothing Gizmos a Good Parenting Choice?

Years ago, as a sleep-deprived mother of a colicky baby, I once felt so desperate after trying every imaginable way to soothe my crying infant that I finally placed her in her car seat atop the washing machine, holding her in place with one hand as the washer rumbled below. After a few minutes of […]

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Top-Down and Bottom-Up Behaviors: Understanding the Critical Difference

Did you know that there are (at least) 2 different kinds of behaviors? Most people don’t. I didn’t, even after years of college, training, and earning a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. Most graduate programs in mental health, education, social work, and medicine don’t yet consider this dichotomy important enough to teach or train about. But […]

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Why We Misunderstand Behaviors in Autistic Children— And How We Can Get It Right

An Indiana school recently made headlines after one of its special education teachers presented an autistic fifth grader with an award for “Most Annoying Male” at a school ceremony. While the incident was unfortunate in many ways, perhaps most disturbing was how it revealed that even people who work closely with such children can utterly […]

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The Two Life-Changing Qualities That Make Teachers Extraordinary

In my job as a clinical psychologist and as a mother, I have repeatedly observed two qualities in extraordinary teachers: * They provide a warm, calming presence and regulate their own emotions. * They are relationally connected and engaged with their students. It’s not difficult to see what a difference a good teacher can make. […]

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Childhood Trauma: Understanding Behavioral Challenges as Survival Instincts

This is a blog post I never wanted to write. In light of the tidal wave of neuroscience research, I had hoped that by now the fields of education, mental health and juvenile justice would change the way they view and support children and teens exposed to trauma. That hasn’t happened yet. And while I’m […]

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How To Cut Stress in Kids’ Transitions from School to Summer

The end of the school year can ban bring both fun and challenge for both parents and children. Some parents find it easy to transition their children to beloved and familiar settings such as local summer programs, day camp, or sleep-away camp.  But others experience stress and scramble to find appropriate options for their children […]

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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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Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.4 days ago
This important article highlights something we must face: there are better ways to keep students safe that consider the nature of suffering & fight or flight behaviors. Let’s #flipthenarrative #endseclusion #traumaresponsive Thanks Beth Tolley & Alliance Against Seclusion and Restraint
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.7 days ago
I'm weighing in here on popular parenting approaches like PCIT, Triple P, and 123 Magic-- with a deeper look. Here's a short history of parenting research, the influence of behaviorism and how neuroscience sheds light on potential updates for the future. #Childwelfare #Paradigmshift #Positiveparenting #Mindfulparenting #Resilience #Beyondbehaviors #earlyintervention #traumaresponsive #PCIT
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.2 weeks ago
My latest post, on something I observe every week in public schools, a hyper-focus on behavior management. Our education system is working from a model that views behaviors in isolation of the child’s body, mind and relationships and the new paradigm replaces behavior focus with compassion at the core. Everyone wins. #Compassion #Brainscience #Resilience #SEL #Teachers #Educators #Traumaresponsive #ACES
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.2 weeks ago
Hey Friends, I’m realizing how popular the “elf on the shelf” tradition is and have been asked to comment on it. Mamas and daddies, what do you think of this little elf, friend or foe? does it help your child have better behavioral control? 
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.2 weeks ago
Thanks to graphic artist @SueKeely and Wisconsin Family Ties for this illustration of my talk about changing the paradigm in how we view behavioral challenges. #Resilience #ACES #traumaresponsive #Beyondbehaviors

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