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Using Brain Based Intervention (3BI) When a Child Tests Boundaries

parenting Nov 07, 2022

When a child tests boundaries by being disrespectful, defiant or destructive this is an effective way to handle that test for the child to be successful and adults to get an A+!

1. Check yourself (prepare for change)

  • Stay calm
  • Soft eyes
  • Voice low and slow

2. Select a brain shifter to move brain activity from survival mode (fight-flight-freeze) to logic/self control mode based on child’s need to calm or wakeup.

To wake up or work off tension:

  • Jumping on a mini trampoline (approx. 5 minutes)
  • Jumping Jacks (5) Straight arms, counting out loud at the top
  • Brain Jumps (5) opposite of jumping jacks; “French fry” (feet together, hands over head together) & “pizza” (feetapart, hands on thighs)

To calm down/ relax:

  • Crisscross (strong sitting) still, straight & silent (30 sec.)

3. Give clear direction: “ I want you to jump on the mini-tramp.” or “Hop over here and crisscross.” (“Please” is used for requests not a direction or they will opt out)

4. Wait for child to shift gears by showing calmness, and self control (30 seconds to3 days) During waiting give no negative feedback, bribes, or pressure. RELAX! When child has shifted (calm breathing, color change, followed directions A+)

5. Call & TOUCH (Hug the child if yours. High five or pat on back if not the parent)

6. Ask: “ What happened?” (use soft eyes & low, slow voice) Let them think!

7. Wait for acceptance of responsibility and honesty or send back to #2 and re-ask

8. Say: “ good job telling the truth!” with a smile and pizzazz

9. TOUCH (Hug the child if yours. High five or pat on back if not the parent)

10. Ask, “ What are you going to do to fix it/clean it/ repair relationship?” Let them think of a plan!

11. Say, “Good idea!” or “I like that plan!”

12. TOUCH (Hug the child if yours. High five or pat on back if not the parent)

As quickly as possible have the child make restitution. Some good restitution ideas at home are: back rubs, hand rubs, clearing place at the table, helping with chores, folding the persons laundry etc.

Good ideas in school are: clean up after another student’s art work, carry things for teacher, tidy up class, wash desks, work with custodian on cleaning playground litter , sidewalks etc.

Completion of restitution should always be met with a “thank you!” and hug from parents or high five from teachers and others.

For more information check out our webinar Brain Based Behavior Interventions© (3BI©)


Photo by Monstera

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