Children Are Cute, But They’re Not Puppies

Nor are they pigeons, rats, or any other animal to be “trained” I have extensive training in positive reinforcement because I was a certified dog trainer for 11 years, but I will never use this approach with children. I want my son learn and practice the skills of decision-making and taking responsibility for his actions.Continue reading “Children Are Cute, But They’re Not Puppies”

Opposing Opposition

And defying defiance: My story series on O.D.D. Opposing Opposition and Defying Defiance My story series explaining the many problems with diagnosing children with Oppositional Defiance Disorder (O.D.D.). Firstly, stop calling children “defiant”. Just. Stop. Stop Calling Children “Defiant” Secondly: Yes, I’m okay with my son calling me out Also, O.D.D. Does Not Exist! O.D.D. Does Not Exist IContinue reading “Opposing Opposition”

The Power of Validation

A profound way to strengthen the parent-child relationship Have you ever had someone tell you that you were “being too sensitive” or “overreacting” to something? How’d that work out for them? How did you feel about them after they said that? If someone tells me that I’m overreacting it is highly likely that I will alsoContinue reading “The Power of Validation”

Help With Challenging Behaviours

In this case challenging is an adverb, not a verb. We’re not challenging the kids, even though their behaviour is sometimes challenging. What NEED is the behaviour meeting for that child? “ADHD is a deficit of regulation, not a deficit of knowledge.” – Dr. Russell Barkley “Instead of viewing behaviours purely as difficulties we needContinue reading “Help With Challenging Behaviours”

Punishments Don’t Teach Skills

Okay, maybe one: They teach people how to be better at avoiding punishment. Punishments do not teach skills. They use threat, intimidation, and manipulation to coerce children into doing what we want. And by “we”, I usually mean adults, the ones with all the power in the situation, using that power imbalance to force children into doingContinue reading “Punishments Don’t Teach Skills”

Oppositional Defiance?

I have written three extensively-researched articles about the topic of Oppositional Defiant Disorder (O.D.D.), in particular as it relates to ADHD.

Lucky vs. Unlucky Behaviours

Why some people get support while others just get punished As a child and young adult with undiagnosed ADHD, I always experienced my emotions very intensely. I did not learn, and was not taught, adaptive coping skills or social skills, so I was punished for my “misbehaviour”. In childhood, I frequently acted out with both verbal and physicalContinue reading “Lucky vs. Unlucky Behaviours”

“Punishment” Does. Not. Work.

…And it’s particularly ineffective with neurodiverse kids. Bear with me. Before you read the title and dismiss the premise, I am not advocating for a permissive style of parenting, and I am not suggesting that children shouldn’t have boundaries. Boundaries vs. Punishment The difference is that boundaries and discipline are about teaching, whereas punishment isContinue reading ““Punishment” Does. Not. Work.”

Kinder, More Effective Alternatives to Punishment

We can guide our children, and set appropriate boundaries, without resorting to threats, intimidation, coercion, or punishment. “The kids who need love the most will ask for it in the most unloving ways” – Dr. Russell Barkley “As adults, we often view children’s behaviour through an adult lens, making assumptions based on adult life experiencesContinue reading “Kinder, More Effective Alternatives to Punishment”

“Misbehaviour” is Actually STRESS Behaviour

“The concept of misbehaviour is fundamentally tied to those of volition, choice, and awareness.” (Siegel & Bryson, 2020) “A child who seems to be misbehaving is, in the process, adapting and surviving. (Delahooke, 2019) “When we are ignored as human beings, it decreases our emotional links to other people, who should be our life raftsContinue reading ““Misbehaviour” is Actually STRESS Behaviour”