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Supporting Children Who Take Us to the End of Your Rope Daniel Hodgins

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Presentation on theme: "Supporting Children Who Take Us to the End of Your Rope Daniel Hodgins"— Presentation transcript:


2 Supporting Children Who Take Us to the End of Your Rope Daniel Hodgins

3 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.

4 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.

5 What is Chris Good At? He is not bad at pushing. He is good at it!

6 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….

7 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

8 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

9 A bully believes that “ If you can ’ t be the best, I ’ ll be the worst ”

10 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

11 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?

12 What Challenging Behaviors bother me the most? 1234512345

13 What strategies do I use with these behaviors that bother me? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

14 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

15 What Are the Major Causes of Challenging Behaviors?

16 Unclear Messages Saying What We Mean….

17 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”

18 If the message is unclear to children, they will interpret it anyway they wish. The interpretation maybe completely different then the message sent….

19 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

20 Girls often see the details of the experiences The Female brain often receives more information than boys. Moir & Jessel

21 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

22 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

23 Bunnies and Kittens

24 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. ”

25 Too Many Rules

26 Rules should be set up as “ Guardrails ” Setting up the environment so that children are guided with choices.

27 Guardrails need to be: Simple Have consistent follow through Pertain to the child’s stage of understanding Must be enforceable Individual not group

28 When we have group rules, egocentric children believe you are not talking to them. Ex. “ boys and girls no running ”

29 Rules that are often broken: “No running” “No hitting” “No taking toys from someone else” “No loud voices”

30 What Rules do you have and how do you enforce them?

31 Rules: You may be under the spell from: Your family rules Your neighborhood rules Your school rules Your religion rules

32 What Are the Rules you had in your Childhood?

33 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”

34 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)

35 Do you know adults who do not have these skills yet?

36 Boys are often labeled ADHD six times more often than Girls…..

37 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?

38 Are they really ADHD or are they simply Highly Active? Very Bored?

39 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

40 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

41 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”

42 Expectations that cause Failure:

43 What Causes Failure? Competition Standing in lines Waiting my turn Asking children to share Expecting them to act like a little adult

44 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

45 I Can’t be a good looser until I have lots of experiences feeling successful. Clare Cherry

46 Attention You can never get enough….

47 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”

48 Avoid saying: “ Use your words ” “ I don ’ t have them yet ” …

49 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.

50 It doesn ’ t mean that boys don ’ t care… It often has to relate to a physical task

51 Girls Emotional side of the brain will Initiate and motivate the Cognitive Side. Sometimes decisions are made on emotions …..

52 Choosing Friends If you are next to me, you are my friend. If you give me what I want, you are my friend.

53 Developmental Issues vs. Moral Issues

54 Yankee Doodle: Yankee Doodle went to town A riding on a spider. Stuck an apple up his butt And peed apple cider…. CJ 8 yrs. of age

55 Typical Developmental Behaviors of Young Children Picking their nose Pushing/shoving Not listening Taking toys

56 Keep the strategy that you use with children at their developmental level. Avoid a strategy that uses a moral implication. Their brains are not set up to receive it yet.

57 You Assume I CARE!

58 Adults must learn to be less egocentric than the child. Bev Bos

59 Stages of Social Play Parten Solitary Play(playing by myself) Parallel Play(side by side play) Onlooker Play(watching from a distance) Associative Play(playing in small herds without understanding rules) Cooperative Play(playing in groups, recognizing others needs)

60 Not all children are “ ready ” for a group experience. Social skills for some children take a long time…Placing them in a group doesn't ’ t mean they will become part of it….

61 Are there other options? One on One Small clusters Less distractions “Caves”

62 Strategies for Success:

63 Look at Transitions These times are very difficult for children, especially the challenging child……

64 Transitions: Limit the number of times all children have to transition between one activity and another Minimize wait time Warn children in advance Avoid lines Provide children with something to do during transition times

65 Visual Cues Many children are visual learners. They need visual cues for warnings…..

66 Boys are often better with short term memory. Girls are often better with long term memory.

67 Boys often don ’ t remember what you told them. Each time the incidence happens, it is like it never took place before.

68 How often do you say? “ walk ” “ use your inside voice ” “ flush the toilet ” “ be nice to your friends ”

69 Avoid Activities that are not Relevant to Children When they are bored they will create their own experiences. Some of which are not what adults want.

70 What is not relevant to children under the age of five: The Date, Month and Year Colors Shapes Numbers Manners

71 What is Relevant to Children? Not Relevant Date Colors Shapes Numbers Manners Relevant

72 If information is not relevant it will be pruned from the brain within five minutes…. Ken Horn

73 Adults have been reported to spend 71% of the day teaching information that is not relevant. David Elkind

74 Stop asking children to sit like a “ Pretzel ” or “ Criss Cross Applesauce ” its not normal.

75 Sharing means…I understand that someone else has the same needs as me.. I don ’ t think so!!!!!

76 Sharing Can I keep it as long as I want? Do you have multiples of the same? If I don ’ t share am I still good? What does the child do, while he/she is waiting? 75

77 Change the rule “ We share our toys here ” to “ It is hard to share, you decide when you are ready ” 76

78 Practices that fit what we know about children They like to run They sometimes like to use an “outside voice” They don’t share well They like to be physical

79 Playing “Wild Dogs”

80 If boys respond frequently by using loud voices Why are we always saying “ use you inside voice? ”

81 New Rules for Challenging Children: Be Loud Run a lot Try not to share Talk a lot Look at it before you flush it

82 Do adults give the message that loud children are not as good as quiet children?

83 Elements that Enhance Children ’ s Well Being: Places for investigating and exploring A space they can call their own Hiding places A place to get higher Digging to China Having enough Water everywhere No clutter on the walls

84 Children ’ s Well Being Elements Investigating space Space of their own Hiding places How to get higher Digging spaces Having enough Water everywhere Wall space clutter Changes

85 Share Soothing Skills: Massage Sucking Music Rocking Water Others?

86 A Child who is in Distress, often doesn't ’ t recognize the feelings of others…. They will need “ coaching ”

87 What is the Challenging Child Communicating to You? “You are asking me to do something that is too difficult?” “I cannot cope with being a part of the group right now?” “I want that toy, but don’t know how to ask for it?” “I’m bored, are you paying attention?” “I’m not comfortable sitting here so long?” “I cannot believe that you are asking me to share you with the other children?”

88 Focus always on what you want them to do: NOT TO DO “stop hitting your friends, they don’t like it when you do that” “we don’t take toys away from others” “what is the magic word?” “stop running, you might fall and get hurt” “it isn’t nice to call are friends names” DO

89 The more opportunities we give children to attain power The less they will need to create negative behaviors. Every species is looking for power.

90 What is a Power Struggle? An Individuals Need for CONTROL

91 When do power struggles occur most often? Mealtimes Clean up times When you are in a hurry Whenever anyone is angry Naptimes When sharing is forced Adults asking for something to be done All the time for some children….

92 Notice how often these are times that are adult directed and often adult controlled….

93 Power Builders: Moveable parts Choices Roughhousing Being louder Healthy bullying Construction Pounding Getting higher Singing Movement

94 Painting an airplane, from the block area

95 Standing High

96 Figuring it out

97 Race Car Driving

98 Pounding

99 Being in Control

100 Spray Painting

101 What “ Real ” Choices do children have? Do I have to come to circle time? Do I have to sit down to eat? Do I have to pick up toys by myself? Do I have to always do what you tell me?

102 Look at how much time during the day is child-choice Vs. Adult Choice?

103 Children who wish to attain POWER are looking for you, to push your buttons…. Choose not to let that happen.

104 Ask Yourself: Do you have any control over it? Can you do anything about it? Is it really that bad? Will the world end, if I don’t step in?

105 Sometimes you just need to GET OVER IT!

106 If you don ’ t want superhero or gun play What will you replace it with that is just as powerful?

107 There has been NO evidence that “ Zero Tolerance ” policies have Decreased violence…..

108 When young children pretend “ gun play ” They are not practicing to be “ Killers ” they are just trying to find who has the POWER!

109 What Superhero Were You? Are you still playing that superhero as an adult?

110 I am a “born again” supporter of Superhero Play….

111 Pirate Song When I was one, I had some fun On the day I went to sea I jumped aboard a pirate ship And the captain said to me. Go this way, that way Forwards, backwards Over the deep blue sea.


113 Support Risk Taking It helps develop safety skills

114 Allow Risk Taking Non Risks “Only build as high as your eyes” “Go up the ladder and down the slide” “Be careful” “You can hurt someone” Risk “Wow, look how high it is getting” “Go up the slide and down the ladder” “Hang on with both hands” “Stand back everyone”

115 Building Higher Then Their Eyes

116 How will you support the Active Child?

117 Active Play isn ’ t always….. Organized Planned Filled with rules

118 What to look for in Active Learners? Move around a lot Prance frequently More non verbal Often do not understand consequences Sit on the edge of their chair, or tilt it back and forth Sometime knock over children who are in his/her way

119 Celebrating the Active Child: Activity Meal time Small Group Nap time Large Group Arrival/Departure Change

120 Active Body, Active Mind “If the body isn’t moving, I don’t understand anything” “Sitting is not natural” “Sitting Criss-Cross applesauce or the Pretzel style is not healthy”

121 How often are children sitting down during the day?

122 Bring Back Roughhousing Red Rover, Red Rover Ring Around the Rosie London Bridge Kick the Can Billy Goat Gruff Arm Wrestling Tag Tug of War

123 Their seems to be a connection between the lack of rough and tumble play and ADHD Nikki Gordon

124 A community of Rollers

125 Remember there is no Licensing Rule that prevents Roughhousing…

126 How Much Space Do I NEED? Girls usually need far less space than boys. Boys require (two arms length of space) between each other)

127 Ask Yourself: Is it an unmet need? Is it a lack of skill? Is it a lack of fit?

128 Always focus on the child that has the problem, Not the child who is causing the problem….

129 Why Punishment Fails? It makes children mad It models the use of power It eventually loses its effectiveness It erodes our relationship with children It distracts children from the important issues It makes children more self-centered

130 Remember you only have control of yourself…. What Changes Will You Make?

131 Consider the Following Questions: What do you know about the child’s history? What is the child’s behavior that most concerns you? What changes in the environment could you make? What positive guidance techniques can I use? How can I help the child feel a sense of belonging? What can I do to help the child manage anger? How can I engage the family? What do I have to change in myself?

132 Climate of Trust: Somebody is listening to me Somebody is encouraging me Somebody accepts my uniqueness

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