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The Connected Child (Chapters 9 & 10)

December 29, 2010

I’m determined to finish this before 2011.  Right now, I have a three-year old boy who had a rough day. And right now he just can’t seem to fall asleep and is instead making lots of noises. I wouldn’t really mind except that his brother would actually like to sleep on the bunk above him.

And so, Chapter 9: Proactive Strategies to Make Life Easier…practical advice from Dr. Purvis (and her co-authors):

  • Give choices: we’ve got this one down. As fans of Love & Logic, we have done this since our first placement with S. D2 & A often ask, especially at meal time, “What are my choices?”
  • Rehearse for what’s coming: I find this is great not only to prepare the boys for what to expect and who we might meet, but also to let them know how we expect them to behave.
  • Avoid Overload: Our boys hit meltdown mode at Christmas celebration #4. We should have planned better for some down time.
  • Practicing self-awareness: Throughout the day, remind your child to “stop and breathe” and ask them, “What they need?” Dr. Purvis also suggests a designated “quiet space” for a child to go “listen to your heart.”
  • Work toward behavioral goals: I would say for both our boys, their number one behavioral goal is to listen. I already feel like we are moving in a positive direction with them on this. D2’s secondary goal should probably be learning to be respectful. He certainly loves to tell us when we are wrong (or when he thinks we are wrong). A’s secondary goal needs to be to use his words. If something does not go his way, he tends to go straight to whining/crying rather than using words. Dr. Purvis recommends reviewing the goals daily and using the “sandwich technique” of beginning and ending with positive feedback.

On to Chapter 10: Supporting Healthy Brain Chemistry

This chapter talks about the benefits of good nutrition and the behavioral effects of what is going on chemically in a child’s brain. The whole nutrition thing is a bit tricky as Dr. Purvis urges parents to tread lightly on food issues. Our boys would gladly eat hot dogs, chicken nuggets and french fries. Right now, I’m sneaking veggies into their food when I can. There are a few fruits that they are happy to eat – oranges, grapes, and apples. We limit juice and milk to once a day usually and the rest of the time they are getting just water. I have not really noticed any significant effects on their behavior based on the diet yet but I probably need to pay more attention.

There is also a lot of interesting information on neurotrasmitters and therapy done with amino acids, however, I’m not scientific enough to do justice in explaining this part of the chapter.

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