There are many indications that aggression is escalating among our children and youth - between the more violating acts of aggression that capture media attention, and also the ground swell of attacking energy that erupts in our kids' interaction, music, language, play, games, and fantasies - not to mention the alarming increase in suicide and suicidal ideation among children.
Anxiety in children is reaching epidemic proportions, as one of the most common diagnoses in children. Anxiety takes many forms, including obsessions, compulsions, phobias, and panic. Various hand-me-down strategies attempt to address this age-old problem. But anxiety begs for an explanation in order to arrive at a solution that addresses the roots, not just manages the symptoms.
There are many kinds of attention problems - most rooted in emotional and developmental dynamics. Many professionals diagnosing attention problems are experts at describing the symptoms, but come up short on explanations - without the foundational understanding of how the attention system develops, what can go wrong, and why. Knowing the nature of the problem is key to managing the symptoms and addressing the root cause.
Counterwill is the instinctive reaction of resistance to being controlled - so universal at certain stages of development that it has given rise to terms like 'terrible twos' and 'rebellious teens.' This resistance can come out as opposition, negativity, laziness, noncompliance, disrespect, lack of motivation, belligerence, incorrigibility, resistance to learning, and even antisocial attitudes and actions.
Time-out? Consequences? When dealing with children, parents and teachers often want to know what to do when. However, a larger context, including an understanding of the underlying emotions and instincts in a child, is of the utmost importance when considering how to impose order and teach responsibility. In this course, common discipline strategies are discussed in the context of what a child needs for healthy development, and attachment-safe and developmentally friendly discipline strategies are introduced.
Play is becoming an endangered activity, even though the term has become ubiquitous. We play piano, play cards, play games, play ball. Our children use PlayStations and have play-dates. We've never had more toys, games, and apps. but that doesn't necessarily translate into the kind of play that builds brains and forwards development.
No one is more susceptible to being misunderstood than the preschooler - especially when adults are trying to rush them out of their untempered nature, inconsiderate relating, or separation problems. Making sense of these wondrous and confusing beings lays a foundation for intuitive and fruitful interaction with them, and helps us provide the conditions that are conducive to their transformation.
A growing number of children and youth are presenting as demanding, prescriptive, bossy, and controlling. Alpha children are more challenging to parent and predisposed to a number of problems including anxiety, aggression, oppositionality, and eating problems. An understanding of the alpha dynamic opens the doors to change in the family, classroom, and society.
Emotion, long dismissed as a nuisance factor, is now confirmed to be at the core of development and well-being. Yet little is being taught about the nature of emotion or the implications for parenting, teaching, and treatment. To make sense of emotion is to make sense of us all. There is no better way to glean insight into oneself and others than through a working knowledge of the science of emotion.
The science of relationship exists in fragmented pieces all over the empirical map: biology, sociology, embryology, ethology, epigenetics, neuroscience, psychology, medicine, and so on. We have never known more about the relational context required for parenting, teaching, and treatment. Yet this knowledge fails to inform our everyday practice and policy. This course distills the science of relationship to its essence and explores the implications for working with children.