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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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Sensory Processing and Challenging Behaviors: Below the Iceberg

Grant, age four, was asked to leave two preschools because of misbehavior. With tousled brown hair, big brown eyes, and a playful spirit, he both charmed and confused most of the adults in his life. He had such difficulty following directions that his teachers had to reprimand him every few minutes. They described him as […]

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The Key to Supporting Victims of Childhood Trauma: Safe and Supportive Relationships

Arms and legs shackled, the teenage boy paces back and forth in a courtroom’s holding area as he awaits his hearing. This is “Tim’s” third juvenile hall visit. The charge: punching a security guard who approached him from behind, startling him into an immediate reaction. Anxious, he begins to panic, his eyes darting around the […]

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Mental Health Disorder or a Sensory Processing Challenge?

“Angela” was such a puzzle to her parents and teachers alike. In first grade, she struggled to stay in her seat, and teachers constantly reprimanded her for not listening to instructions. At home, her parents often felt confused by her constant need for movement and habit of jumping off tables and countertops. Her teacher secretly […]

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Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.3 days ago
So many decisions when school lets out! My latest post on reducing stress and increasing joy in the transition to summer vacation. #Resilience #Positiveparenting #Joy #Coregulation #Relationshipsfirst
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.2 weeks 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.2 weeks ago
I was interviewed about disruptive behaviors for this free summit beginning tomorrow, Thursday May 16th.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.2 weeks 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.2 weeks ago
What are your thoughts? Thank you in advance.