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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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What to Consider before Starting Childhood Behavioral Therapy

Aly’s sleep problems were becoming so challenging that now her parents were losing sleep. For years, the five-year-old had woken up several times nightly. When a pediatrician’s advice failed to alleviate the problem, her parents sought help from an agency that offered their daughter sleep training using a behavioral approach. After just three weeks, Aly […]

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Three Keys to Helping Children Build Resilience

I was walking on a paved path beside the Pacific Ocean when a little girl approached on a bike, obviously in her first, tentative days of learning to ride. Spotting me in her way, she wobbled a bit to avoid hitting me. As I prepared to help her, she regained her bearings and quickly swerved […]

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The Key to Improving How IEP Teams Support Children’s Social and Emotional Needs

Since his first day of kindergarten, “Justin” had struggled to manage the demands of his new school. When teachers asked him to transition from one activity to the next, he would often fuss, kick or run away. He routinely “overreacted”  to simple tasks and activities, and it seemed that no matter how much praise, or […]

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Why It’s a Mistake to Prioritize Behavior Goals Over Social-Emotional Development

It was almost dinner- time, and little “Max” was hungry and tired. After a busy and active afternoon, he was in the midst of a lengthy home session with his behavior therapist when his mother stepped in the door from work. Smiling with delight, the boy instinctively ran toward the door to offer a greeting, […]

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Early Intervention: Don’t Let a Diagnosis Define Your Child

More children are being identified with developmental challenges and receiving early intervention than ever before. While a diagnosis is critical to securing services to help children develop to their true potential, it can also have unintended negative consequences, including stress and anxiety for parents. It’s essential to find the help, energy and time for services […]

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Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.19 hours ago
This new post explains why we can do away with the blame- game in helping children with behavioral challenges. #challengingbehaviors #mentalhealth #beyondbehaviors #polyvagaltheory #ODD #Positiveparenting #specialeducation #childwelfare #ACES #conductdisorders Psychotherapy Networker
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.20 hours ago
Powerful tip from Tina Payne Bryson & our local treasure, The Center for Connection. When you move your body into different positions, you activate emotions, thoughts, and feelings associated with that posture. Add playfulness while doing this! Ask your kids to show you what their bodies look like when they feel brave — have them actually strike a physical pose. Standing brave helps us feel brave or take 2-3 minutes to assume a floppy noodle posture, or an octopus, or any other posture that is super floppy and relaxed. Hold it for a couple of minutes.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.1 week ago
Do you know the difference between top- down and bottom- up behaviors? If you’re a parent, teacher, provider (or know a child) understanding the difference is so important. #parenting #socialemotionallearning #childwelfare #ACES #Beyondbehaviors #Education #Specialeducation #Fostering #Positiveparenting #Traumainformed
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.1 week ago
... girls’ confidence drops 30 percent between ages eight and 14. The good news is that 80 percent of those girls say they want to feel more confident, and parents can help". Great advice for raising resilient daughters from Phyllis Steinberg Fagell.