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Carolyn L. Jones, MSW Behavioral Consultant for Schools and Parents 503-910-8832.

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Presentation on theme: "Carolyn L. Jones, MSW Behavioral Consultant for Schools and Parents 503-910-8832."— Presentation transcript:

1 Carolyn L. Jones, MSW Behavioral Consultant for Schools and Parents 503-910-8832

2 What ALL kids need… Warm, inviting atmosphere Belonging Experience success Explicit teaching of behavioral expectations Effective supervision Reinforcement for appropriate behavior 4:1 positive interactions Positive relationship with at least one significant adult

3  This is an approach that evolved out of the challenges faced working with families and teachers of intense and difficult children.  Does an approach really make a difference?

4  All ages  All levels of severity…ADHD, ODD, PTSD, etc.  This is all about how to therapeutically create a profound level of inner strength and to promote transformation, not just improvement.

5  Intensity is a good thing.  Medications moderate intensity...  The message to the child is: “You can’t handle your intensity…nor can anyone else.”  Everyone needs to be “seen” and to feel that they have worth.  Behaviors are means of “connection” to others.

6  Normal parenting and teaching methods are designed for the average child and often make the situation worse.  The harder normal methods are applied the worse the situation can get despite the best of intentions.  Behaviors that are “rewarded” will be repeated.

7  And it’s about having powerful ways of making any moment an opportunity to create success.  It is about helping children develop “inner wealth.”

8  Creating a world of first hand experiences: “Here you are being successful…”  Relentlessly reflecting: “This is who you really are… It’s not a question of whether you can or can’t, you are…”  Helping each child build a new “portfolio”—a new way of becoming…

9  More than “catching kids being good”... Cast a bigger net  It’s also about how to add new dimension to the opportunity. Finding the success in what IS happening AND in what ISN’T happening.

10  The approach has three basic aspects:  1. Super-energizing experiences of success.  2. Refusing to energize or accidentally reward negativity.  3. Providing a perfect level of limit-setting and consequences.

11  We are by far our children’s most interesting “toy”. We have, by far, more features. We are the ultimate entertainment centers.  Children are in the process of forming impressions of the world and their effect upon the world. They do this by getting feedback from every interaction.

12  Given traditional ways of disciplining, it is remarkably easy for a child, especially an intense child, to form an impression that this “Toy” is much more animated, interesting, and alive in relation to their unacceptable behaviors.

13  These same “Toys” are relatively boring in relation to positive behaviors.

14  Children experience the truth of what really gets us going  We operate as if we’re interpreted literally but there’s a current underneath the rational  How much are we radiating?  “Thank you” & “Good Job” pale in comparison to the energy radiated in relation to adversity.

15  Our emotions, our reactions, our level of our involvement…our energies are the prize.  Children have an uncanny way of knowing where “more” is.  Fortunately we get to choose what we radiate and how we radiate.

16  It is not an accident that so many children are attracted to games like Nintendo.

17  While the child is playing the game, life truly makes sense.

18  The rules are totally clear and predictable and so are the incentives.

19  Nintendo has a near perfect blend of structure: the positives and the limits are in just the right balance…  The timing is right…always in the moment.  The payoffs are not upside down.

20  Traditional models of teaching and parenting aren’t anywhere near as clear or as powerful as Nintendo.  Kids are confused about what’s an incentive and what’s a consequence.

21  Given the right level of structure, children can really play life to win. The structure helps them to use their intensity and energies successfully.

22  Wouldn’t it be nice if children applied themselves to the game of life with the same zeal? It can be done.  Life is a Nintendo game. We can transpose the same near perfect blend of structure to any other environment.

23  No Blame: The existing models, methods and beliefs are the problem….not the parents, teachers or child.  It’s rarely pathology…and the child’s really not out to get you…

24  As a behavior specialist, I simply want to teach an approach that works.  I am on a “Quest” for transformation, and believe that teachers can be agents of transformation.

25  #1: “I refuse to be drawn into accidentally energizing and rewarding negativity.”  What is our intention?  Toll booth worker

26  Negative attention is like junk food: No nutritional value. Although not intended that way, it makes children weaker on the inside and downloads as failures.

27  #2: “I will purposefully energize and nurture successes.”

28  #3: “There are still rules, and this is what happens when you choose to break a rule. I refuse to not provide a true consequence when a rule is broken.”

29  Negative attention is like junk food: No nutritional value. Although not intended that way, it makes children weaker on the inside and downloads as failures.

30  Normal attempts to be positive get defended against. The child inwardly braces with words or thoughts along the lines of “I can’t hear that compliment...It’s not the truth…I’m not a good kid...” They are basing this on the evidence of what has been energized.


32  Lowering the Rope.  Creating successes that would not otherwise exist.

33  The following techniques will help create a deeply compelling “time in.”

34  Ordinary moments are windows of opportunity to give children a “verbal snapshot” of what we observe them doing.  Notice both actions and emotions. Use encouragement rather than praise.

35  *Describe back to the child what the child is doing, saying, presenting, without any kind of evaluation—be neutral.  Ex: I notice that you are working hard on your drawing. You have chosen 3 colors, red, blue, green.

36 *These are “neutral” moments. *Try to give 10-20 a day (or every 10-15 minutes you are together. *Do not use during delivery of consequences. *Persist even if child reacts negatively.

37  When do we typically choose to teach the qualities and life skills that we value?  How receptive are children to this type of learning?

38  Highlight the healthy aspects of the qualities that you wish to enhance.  Teaching values is like polishing a gem…find the facet and nurture it.

39  Children often do not know how to evaluate their experiences. They need our help.  Ex: I see that you are putting a lot of effort into playing together. You are being so cooperative and that helps our class to be a great place.

40 This builds on the first two techniques to highlight when the student is not breaking rules. This is a way to introduce rules to student when they are being successful. Ex: Jane, thank you for staying in your seat while everyone else is working. You are showing respect for your classmates. I appreciate that you are following that rule.

41  When do we normally choose to teach rules?  How receptive are children to hearing our words of wisdom under those circumstances?

42  We often give out energy to the rules at the worst possible time…we can easily accidentally reward the child for breaking the rule.

43  A fresh look at rules: Old rules and new rules.  What kind of rules best helps intense and challenging children.  Clarity…and more success opportunities.

44  Creating more experiences of success.  Recognition and appreciation when rules are not being broken.

45  Recognition to self-control and healthy power.  There’s always an underlying effort when rules are not being broken.

46  These begin to clarify the limits and set the stage for rules and consequences to really have an effect.

47  How do we normally make requests of our children?  Advertising options: traditional requests imply a choice.  Eliminate the options and confusion by making clear requests: “I need you to….”

48 Always remember to reinforce with recognition and appreciation that is a bigger-than-ordinary reaction.  Use simple, clear commands.  Ex. Jim is in the process of sitting in his seat, past the point of reversing his action. “Jim, I need you to sit down.) Once he is down say, “Jim, thank you for sitting in your seat when I told you to. You are helping me to get the class going on time. You are so cooperative.”

49  Use simple requests that are do-able.  Be sure the content is clear.  Invite compliance.  Use command language and not a question.  Don’t end your command with “okay?”

50  Instead of making a big deal over negativity, make a fuss over the good stuff.  Don’t get drawn into the usual traps: When a child does not comply, we often increase our voice tone, pitch, and volume, displaying frustration and anger. These are “payoffs” in terms of energy. We focus on the negative and show no appreciation.  Ex: “I noticed that you picked up almost all of the toys. I appreciate that you listened and gave a good effort. Now I need you to get the last few toys.”

51  Comments that play both ends of the opportunity:  What IS happening that can be held up as a success, AND.  What ISN’T happening that can be held up as a success.

52 We can’t ignore problem behaviors—that would be a disaster! We need reliable and consistent consequences that require little of the teacher’s energy.

53  Most every consequence is really a form of time- out.  Most attempts to implement a time-out are done under less than optimal conditions.  They are contaminated with “rewards.”  And the level of energy for successes isn’t nearly high enough.

54  Time-Ins: The payoff of excitement, success, and emotional-psychological nutrition when things are going right  Time-Outs: Missing out on life’s payoffs and options.

55  The Speed Limit Story: How to get out of the way and let your child discover the solution of how to be more aware, use more self-control, and stay clear of the limits.

56  You can’t really stop someone from breaking a rule, but you can give a consequence.  Children already know the truth.  It gets old trying to stop them and it communicates fear and inability while further rewarding poor choices.

57  Children need to see what will happen when they break a rule. If you put a new roof on a house, you want it to rain to test its reliability,.  Children are relieved to realize that they don’t have to be perfect and if they break a rule it’s not a big deal.

58  There’s no longer anything to be gained by breaking rules. The big reactions are for the positives. Breaking a rule only gets a true consequence, not a payoff.  Use very short time outs for a “reset.”

59  Like in Nintendo, the child becomes much more interested in not breaking rules.  Like in Nintendo, the attraction to positive forms of success becomes an overriding force.

60  Shamu: The art of creating successes that wouldn’t otherwise exist…  The Toll Booth Attendant: The art of the way we choose to see things.

61 We want to develop the inner wealth and nurture the heart of each child. “Treat people as if they were where they ought to be, and you help them become who they are capable of being. ” Goethe

62  Books by Howard Glasser:  Transforming the Difficult Child  All Children Flourishing  The Inner Wealth Initiative Consultation/Coaching: 503-910-8832

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