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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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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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Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.12 hours ago
The Children Come First Conference of Wisconsin is shifting paradigms to support a relational, strength-based, trauma-informed approach, truly inspirational to be with you all today! Thanks to artist Sue Keely for recording my keynote.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.2 days ago
Yes! and we can identify when the brain is beginning to wire with protection in children. Some signs— persistently challenging, fight or flight behaviors signaling distress ...& the need for compassionate social engagement ❤️
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.4 days ago
It’s pretty simple, healthy neurodevelopment begins with adults attuning to a child’s individual needs in real time❣️
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.5 days ago
Important study published in JAMA on Monday. Likely that child and parent screen time is reducing face to face interactions. "There are parent-child activities we know help children's development: reading, singing, connecting emotionally, being creative, or even just taking a walk or dedicating some time in our busy days to laugh together" This doesn't necessarily mean that the screen exposure itself impacted brain networks, but that it limited joyful experiences with caregivers. *Important to note that screen use is vital for many neurodivergent individuals who rely on technology to communicate, this study didn't include those children. #braindevelopment #resilience #socialemotional
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.6 days ago
"Kids learn what’s important to adults not by listening to what we say, but by noticing what gets our attention." I like this article because caring is at the heart of social engagement, which is the main building block of resilience. Great article by Adam Grant & Allison Sweet Grant.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.2 weeks ago
Self-regulation (emotional and behavioral control) is developed through co-regulation (emotionally attuned relationships) creating zones of relational safety.

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