Top positive review
Put away those sticker charts and pick up this book!
Reviewed in the United States on May 4, 2019
I am a licensed clinical social worker and a mom. I have seen for myself, over 18 years, that reward/punishment/level/privilege systems for “shaping” behavior simply DO NOT WORK to help our most challenging kids. In fact, if you don’t understand where behavior comes from, you cannot help that child. So often, kids with trauma, chronic stress, and neurological differences who behave in non-compliant ways are presumed to be manipulative, willfully defiant, and in need of more discipline. What’s missing in these children’s lives is NOT “accountability” or “consequences”— most of these kids have been punished more harshly and consistently than you can imagine— it’s human connection! Warm, attuned, positive relationships with adults who accept them the way they are.
Does that sound too touchy-feely to you? Dr Delahooke has compelling neuroscientific evidence to back this up. Behaviorally challenged kids generally have an overactive fight-or-flight response to daily stressors, which keeps their brains from developing on par with their peers. They aren’t unmotivated or unwilling to behave better; they simply can’t. What will help? Providing an environment that supports the child in coping with stress and attaining a state of calm security. No one can learn or acquire new skills (academic, social, and self-regulatory skills) when they are in a constant state of fatigue, anxiety, and stress. Dr Delahooke lays out a compelling, readable, engaging blueprint for truly helping our most vulnerable kids.