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When Trauma Underlies Challenging Behaviors: New Answers for Vulnerable Children

After years of struggling with infertility, Julia and Samuel finally decided to adopt. They were thrilled when a social worker called with news of a pair of brothers who needed a home. It took a few months of paperwork, but then they were elated to welcome home “Matt”, 3 and “Rett”, 2. Their new family […]

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What We Can Learn from a Seven-Year-Old’s Arrest

A Florida elementary school made national headlines after video emerged of a police officer hauling off a seven-year-old boy in handcuffs. According to reports, a teacher had scolded the child for playing with his food in the cafeteria and the boy reacted by lashing out at the teacher, repeatedly striking and kicking her. By the […]

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Freedom of Choice: Why Special Education Programs Should be Transparent About their Approaches

When parents enroll their children in a school, they often don’t realize they’re choosing not only a program, but a whole approach. I was reminded of this when I was asked to observe a little girl at a state-sponsored preschool for children with developmental differences. “Ana”, 3, was happily playing when she noticed that a […]

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Why Preschoolers Shouldn’t be Suspended or Expelled: Lessons from Neuroscience

Luke struggled to get through nearly every day at his preschool. The four-year-old had difficulty sitting still and following directions, and when teachers reprimanded him, he usually responded by hitting something or someone. The more they admonished him, the more disruptive his behaviors became. Finally, the school ran out of options and suspended him. His […]

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How Experiencing Joy Can Help Children and Promote Optimal Development

Joy is a powerful tool for solving childhood challenges and promoting brain health. Yet in our culture of doing, teaching, treating and pathologizing, too often we forget that when a child needs help, the first thing we should increase is joy.  This is certainly true in my own field, child psychology, in which we often […]

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The Secret to Helping Children Thrive (And It’s Not a Theory or a Technique)

I recently visited a kindergarten classroom to observe a child with “behavior problems.” When I arrived, the little boy was busying himself with an art project. He and his classmates were building towers out of cardboard box pieces. Everything seemed fine until a peer suddenly grabbed the glue from him, knocking his beloved project to […]

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The Essential Question to Ask Before You Discipline a Toddler

Susan was enjoying a weekend breakfast with her family when her three-year-old son, “Marcus”, suddenly hit his big sister. When Susan reached out to pick him up, Marcus abruptly threw his head back, knocking Susan in the mouth so hard that she bled. Susan was stunned, at once furious and confused. Why did her son […]

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A New Lens for Understanding Behavior Problems

Six-year-old “Yvonne” was an only child and the apple of her parents’ eyes. After she was diagnosed with developmental differences, they enrolled her in a preschool class that included typical children as well as those with special needs. She did so well that the following year she moved to a mainstream kindergarten class. Just a […]

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Parenting: When Being Consistent Backfires

As a psychologist, I frequently hear the same complaint from frustrated parents.  We have made every effort to be consistent in disciplining our child, they say, but our child’s problematic behaviors won’t go away. In other words, what should you do when consistency fails? Consider “Maya”, who as a toddler was pegged as a “spirited” […]

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Mona’s Facebook

Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.1 hour ago
Dear Friends, THANK YOU for your support! Yesterday was a wild Amazon ride, as the book sold out immediately! Anyway, Amazon figured it out and you should receive copies very soon. GRATITIDE to PESI & to Tom Fields-Meyer, my editor, AND mostly, ALL OF YOU for your interest not only in the book, but the cause. I can't wait to hear what you think! Mona ❤️
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, Katie Hurley, LCSW 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.