Supporting Children Who Take Us to the End of Your Rope Daniel Hodgins DKJ5075@aol.com www.danieljhodgins.com
Children with challenging behaviors are often looking for what they are good at… Adults often give attention to negative behaviors that challenging children are good at.
Chris is his Name Chris is his name and pushing is his game You can catch him pushing, in the sun and rain He is pushing high, and pushing low He is pushing, pushing, wherever he goes. So if you want some pushing and you don’t know what to do Just go ask Chris and he’ll help you.
What is Chris Good At? He is not bad at pushing. He is good at it!
Swearing Have you ever heard a child swear? They are not bad at it, They are good at it: Sometimes it is the time they are most articulate, use letters in a complete sentence and use more then one word….
Disappearance of Play: • Children are lured indoors with electronic devices • Creativity is not encouraged • Amount of outdoor time is declining • Safety issues/concerns • Over-emphasis on academics • Wanting the right answers not the most interesting
The study of Texas prisons found that the absence of play in their childhood was as important as any other single factor in predicting their crimes. Stuart Brown, MD
A bully believes that “If you can’t be the best, I’ll be the worst”
When Faced with Challenging Behaviors Adults often: • Perceive the behavior as deliberate noncompliance • Attempt to “control” • Neglect to address the needs of the child • Engage in power struggles
Three Questions to Ask Yourself When Developing Discipline Techniques: • What challenging behaviors bother me the most? • What practices do I use most often with these challenging behaviors? • What do I need to change to make my beliefs and practices decrease challenging behaviors?
What strategies do I use with these behaviors that bother me? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Most Common Challenging Behaviors Reported by Adults • Biting • Hitting or pinching • Throwing objects • Swearing • Name calling • Tattling • Whining • Refusing to share • Disrupting • Running • Throwing tantrums • Non-participation
Unclear Messages Saying What We Mean….
Most Common Unclear Messages: • “use your inside voice” • “use your walking feet” • “be nice to your friends” • “use kinder words” • “in five more minutes, it will be time to clean up”
If the message is unclear to children, they will interpret it anyway they wish. The interpretation maybe completely different then the message sent….
Boys and Girls Sometimes See Details Differently American School Board Journal; Learning and Gender; Michael Gurian ACSD: Educational Leadership: With Boys and Girls in Mind
Girls often see the details of the experiences The Female brain often receives more information than boys. Moir & Jessel
Females have a wider peripheral vision, because they have more of the receptor rods and cones in the retina, at the back of the eyeball, to receive a wider arc of visual input.Moir & Jessel
Messages Unclear “Use your inside voice” “Use your walking feet” “Be nice to your friends” “Use Kinder words” “In five more minutes it will be time to clean up” Clear
How Boys and Girls Tell Stories:Vivian Paley Girls Story: “once there were four kittens and they found a pretty bunny. They went to buy the bunny some food and they fed the baby bunny and then they went on a picnic.” Boys Story: “We sneaked up in the house. Then we put the bad guys in jail. Then we killed some of the good guys. Then the four bad guys got some money and some jewels.”
Rules should be set up as “Guardrails” Setting up the environment so that children are guided with choices.
Guardrails need to be: • Simple • Have consistent follow through • Pertain to the child’s stage of understanding • Must be enforceable • Individual not group
When we have group rules, egocentric children believe you are not talking to them. Ex. “boys and girls no running”
Rules that are often broken: • “No running” • “No hitting” • “No taking toys from someone else” • “No loud voices”
Rules:You may be under the spell from: • Your family rules • Your neighborhood rules • Your school rules • Your religion rules
Rules from your Childhood • “no elbows on the table” • “eat everything off your plate, there are people starving in China” • “no singing at the table” • “were you born in a barn?” • “what happens in this house stays in this house” • “always wear clean underwear when you leave the house, because you never know when you are going to get in an accident”
To Follow Rules the following skills are needed: • Skill 1 - sensitivity to the viewpoints of others • Skill 2 - ability for mutual understanding • Skill 3 - willingness to delay gratification • Skill 4 - high degree of cooperation Hughes (1991)
Signs that are often used to identify ADHD in Preschoolers: • Inability to sustain attention • Fidgets • Lack of interest in quiet activities • Can be talkative • Clumsy • Difficulty waiting for turns • May grab toys from others This describes more then 75% of children in preschool?
Are they really ADHD or are they simply Highly Active? Very Bored?
A boy’s brain frequently develops from the back (the doing part) towards the front (the thinking part) Girl’s brains develop more from the front to the back. Anne Moir, Brain Sex
Frontal Lobe Development • For females around 16 - 18 years of age • For males around 21-25 years of age You must have a fully developed frontal lope to recognize the difference between right and wrong. Leonard Sax
Frontal Lobe Statements: • “Make a better choice” • “How would you like it if someone hit you?” • “You don’t want to hurt your friends do you?” • “Use your words, not your hands”
What Causes Failure? • Competition • Standing in lines • Waiting my turn • Asking children to share • Expecting them to act like a little adult
Failure: When a child is placed in failure experiences he/she will do anything to avoid it. Even if that means getting hurt or hurting. Failure adds so much stress to the brain. Leo Toupin
I Can’t be a good looser until I have lots of experiences feeling successful. Clare Cherry
Attention You can never get enough….
I get lots of Attention when • I scream • I run • I hit • I throw tantrums • I smile when I have done something you don’t like • I say “make me, you are not my mom” • I make enemies • I make “all hell break loose”
Avoid saying:“Use your words” “I don’t have them yet”…
Males emotional response is on the right side of his brain, while the power to express his feelings in speech is on the left side. Because the two sides are connected by a very small Corpus, the flow of information between one side of the brain and the other is restricted.
It doesn’t mean that boys don’t care…It often has to relate to a physical task
Girls Emotional side of the brain will Initiate and motivate the Cognitive Side. Sometimes decisions are made on emotions…..