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Saturday, July 27, 2019

Beyond Behavior: Chapter 9

The final chapter of Dr. Delahooke’s book describes the innovative work of New York State’s Center for Discovery.  Clients are fitted with a wristband that is able to measure stress and generate information on stress contributors. This method allows pairing “the physiological state with observable behaviors.”
The National Institutes of Mental Health is now looking into underlying processes instead of only viewing DSM diagnostic categories. They are integrating both behavior and the neuroscience behind it. There is hope for a better way, even if it is slow to come.

What We Can Do Right Now

Since the brain is neuroplastic, it is open to evolve and change.  First, we must begin to view behavior with a new mindset.  We need to remember that behavior is a child’s adaptation to experiences in their lives.  As humans, we are predisposed to a “negativity bias.”  This was an adaption from millions of years surviving from predators.  This is one of the reasons we experience hypervigilance when caring for children and are on high alert to protect them from harmful conditions.

In spite of the negativity bias, we can replace negative thoughts with regular positive experiences.  As the positive begins to out way the negative, we will become more optimistic.
Children need nurturing relationships and experiences to build healthy social emotional skills. 

There are many places where Dr. Delahooke and Dr. Bailey overlap in their teaching.  Dr. Delahooke talks about how teachers can intentionally create positive morning experiences.
This Conscious Discipline chart explains how you can do this.

Here is an example of Conscious Discipline's Brain Smart Start:

Dr. Delahooke ends her book with these reminders for working with children:

  • Look at children warmly and lovingly without judgement
  • Allow the child to choose the activity he/she would like to do with you
  • Take relaxing walks outside
  • Sit down together for meals and talk without media or television
  • Carve out time for play and fun
  • Plan opportunities to move the body
  • Bring music into your lives sing and dance

I really enjoyed reading this book and I recommend it to anyone that wants to look deeper into behaviors.  There are many worksheets included in the book for you to use when analyzing what is going on behind the behavior you are seeing.  There are worksheets to help determine individual preferences.

Although, there is overlap between the strategies in this book and Conscious Discipline, this book went deeper into the causes of behavior enabling a person to tailor strategies specifically to the child. It has added more skills to my "teaching tool belt."

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