Have you been hearing all the buzz about Dr. Mona Delahooke's new book, Beyond Behaviors? In my opinion, it’s the best new book of 2019.
Dr. Delahooke is a practicing pediatric clinical psychologist of thirty years. She is gaining critical acclaim and grassroots support for challenging the prevalent and pervasive behaviorist bias in schools. As a result, she is an emerging authority in the growing revolution to re-interpret children's misbehavior. She highlights much of the books' content in her blog and shares it on her FB page.
It’s her mission to provide parents, providers, and educators with a neurobiologically-informed interpretation of children’s misbehavior. She acknowledges that schools typically respond to misbehavior from a paradigm that existed before brain science. It is the same paradigm she was trained in. In an article just published by psychotherapy networker, Dr. Delahooke writes,
Previously, I’d been taught that children and teens primarily “use” behavior either to get something or to get out of something. In other words, children’s behaviors are always driven by incentives. But after several years of studying neurodevelopment, I came to realize that this notion was wrong.
In April when PESI, Inc. released Delahooke's second publication Beyond Behaviors: Using Brain Science and Compassion to Understand and Solve Children's Behavioral Challenges it quickly soared to the #1 best seller in its Amazon category.
Educators, parents, and providers are hungry for Delahooke's message. Many have tried various forms of reinforcement to reshape behavior and have experienced its failure, sometimes with damaging consequence. Delahooke says:
Unfortunately, many of our strategies for children with disruptive behaviors involve measures which only serve to reinforce a pattern of toxic stress. Punishment of behaviors can increase stress responses and behavior challenges, not decrease them. That's why we need a shift in our thinking."
Like many of us, she believes that schools need more compassionate and neurobiologically-informed actions to address the needs of children.
We look forward to hearing more of what she has to say.