Squirrel…or rather, Bunny

Apr 9, 2023

Did the Easter bunny hop by your house this morning? All this Easter talk today made me think about two of my boys who had difficulty with “hopping” issues when they were younger. Our fourth son had difficulty paying attention. He’d regularly “hop” from one thought to a completely different one without skipping a beat. Our second child struggled when he had to remaining still. With his proclivity for activity, he physically “hopped” all over the place.

When working with children who have these challenges, remember that the external world has a big impact on internal behaviors. The more chaotic, loud, or unstructured the environment, the harder it is for them to self-regulate behaviors. So slow down, model a calm state – and since auditory information often gets lost in a sea of never-ending words – say what you need to say in the fewest words possible.

Given the fast-paced world we live in, very few individuals slow down to focus on any one thing for long periods of time. We change activities as quickly as scroll through the screens on our phone. This means issues of inattention and hyperactivity are probably going to continue to plague our kids for years to come. The good news is that these behaviors do often settling out with time.  Trust me; I have two boys as living proof.

Hoppy Easter, friends.

Generalizing to Extremes

As I lay awake last night staring at the ceiling, it was clear to me that my original idea for this week’s post would have to wait.  Given the incident that occurred at yesterday’s presidential rally, I believe there is a bigger issue to address. I’ve been...

The Concerning Colorful Spectrum of Language

Though actions may speak louder than words, we best not underestimate how language modeling shapes the behavior of the children we are collectively raising.  I guess it’s a hazard of my profession, but I regularly see and hear the world through the eyes and ears of...

Teacher Dads

Dads, today I celebrate you as teachers.  In fact, I believe it is one of your most important roles.  Fathers are always teaching, continually by example, and most of the time without even knowing they are doing so.  In this regard, I have seen some masterful work.  I...

Predictable Routines Needed

“The only person who likes change is a wet baby.” This quote from Mark Twain seems appropriate given the changes occurring in homes as another school year ends. Parents, we’re lucky. Our kids have had nine months of consistency thanks to the hard work of teachers. We...

One Chapter at a Time

Relieved. Happy. Discouraged.  Exhausted. These were some of the adjectives teachers mentioned when asked how they were feeling about the school year ending.  Although the responses varied, all teachers agreed - they were ready to have some closure with their...

Surrogate Teacher Moms

“Do you have any kids?” I once asked a teacher friend. “Absolutely,” she said. “I have a classroom full of them.” I laughed and walked away, but that thought stuck with me. Let’s face it - some of the best mothers in our lives weren’t our mothers, in the biological...

Get Physical

I’ve done a great deal of yard work over the past few weeks and have been reminded of an important behavior strategy. It’s one I don’t talk about nearly enough, given its effectiveness. Of course, with most people’s busy schedule it’s also hard to come by. The...

Look for the Foundation

Did you know that behaviors have a build-up effect over time?  Most teachers do.  And although there is an ebb and flow pattern to the behaviors of students, we see them all at the tail end of the school year – the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Fortunately, we have...

Coming Together

So I’ve been thinking about this post all week.  Though the original inspiration hit me in the middle of the eclipse last Monday, it was driven home again yesterday.  (Being a spiritual man, I believe sometimes God circles back around and gives me reminders – to make...

Positive Collective Memories

As we move into the final months of the school year, now is a great time for educators to celebrate successes.  However, the problem with trying to do so is that we don’t always see the results of our labor right away.  Oftentimes our efforts are laying a foundation...