Bunny's TMI

More than you ever wanted to know about what goes on in my life and my brain.

Connect – Co-regulate – Communicate – Continue

on September 15, 2022

TLDR: Most of these methods boil down to what I’m calling the 4Cs.
Use the 4Cs:
1: Connect
2: Co-regulate
3: Communicate
4: Continue (session, progress, working towards goals, practicing, etc.)
to counter the 3Es:
1: Expectations (too high)
2: Emotions (too big/challenging/ignored) 
3: Escalate (to Eruptions/Meltdowns)

I can’t find the article, but when kiddo was biting more, I remember reading that you can’t tell a child not to bite when they are flooded (Gottman term for their amygdala being in charge – fight, flight or freeze modes, lizard/animal/primitive brain), and just telling them not to bite when they are calm doesn’t work – they can’t remember in the heat of the moment. You have to role play appropriate responses. Like training for martial arts so that when you are in fight/flight/freeze your automatic reflexes take over. This is why pretend play is SO important and needs to be taught if they don’t do it naturally.

We have a policy that once we’re all calm we first figure out the why (Dale Carnegie – don’t tell someone they are wrong, just keep asking why until one of you figures things out). Once we’ve figured out what the problem was, we help the kiddo roleplay a healthier/more adaptive method at least 3 times so that those neural pathways are reinforced more than the maladaptive one that were defaulted to. And for really big things like hitting or biting we do at least 5 – and include variations and provide scripts. Basically we’re acting out the possibilities like the “What Would Danny Do?” (there is a Darla one out now too) books, but using our situations. We also tell (and keep meaning to write up) “choose your own adventure” versions – the first is what actually happened and why, and then we come up with two or three more other options and results. I also try to provide scripts. Kid: “Water!” Me: “Kid could say – I’m thirsty, I want water please.” Often kid repeats it. Echolalia can be functional! Me: “Of course! I’ll get you some, thanks for asking so nicely!” And oh boy did those big positive responses feel REALLY weird and awkward at first.

Also, everyone should try to learn ASL, but that’s for another post.

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