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School Refusal and the Power of Social Engagement

Eight-year-old Charlise struggled to get through nearly every day of third grade. She refused to go to school so often that her mother had to physically escort her into the car, and then into the classroom each day. All week, she complained of stomach aches brought on by anxiety. But at home on the weekend, […]

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Child Discipline: Time to Shift the Lens

The Monitor on Psychology’s October 2019 article, “Teaming Up to Change Child Discipline” described how parenting advice such as “spare the rod and spoil the child” is now debunked and outdated. This is an important shift, considering that 60% of children aged 3-4 in the US are spanked by their parents. In regards to the […]

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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 the “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 […]

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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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Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.10 hours ago
Thanks Janet Lansbury for the reminder about the powerful, non-verbal shared back and forth!❣️

“The most important stuff is left out – the meaningful dialogue, observation, and listening, the back and forth that makes our babies and toddlers feel understood, included, and valued. This is the language of bonding, calm words that help prepare them for the next “surprise” in their overwhelmingly novel environment; acknowledgments and shared observations that guide, validate, and empower them as they navigate their world...”
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.14 hours ago
I’m so excited to be a keynote at this conference along with @bessel van der Kolk, Tina Payne Bryson, & others!! Would love to see you there.❣️
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.2 days ago
Thanks Beth Tolley for this amazing presentation about moving paradigms forward for our children! #resilience #emotionalhealth #ACES #traumaresponsive #Beyondbehaviors
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.5 days ago
The Polyvagal theory helps us become more effective in our parenting and in our teaching and provides a new direction for parenting and education, to nurture the physical and emotional health of our children and ourselves. #polyvagaltheory #Beyondbehaviors #positiveparenting #education #specialeducation #neuroscience #emotionalhealth #resilience

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