How to decide whom to help

pediatric profiler pictureHave you ever come upon someone who needed help that you didn’t know?  Or even someone you knew but felt was somehow different? Did you stop to help?  Or did you avert your eyes as you veered away?
This video shows what happened as a social experiment using two individuals: What would you do? One looked like a businessman who fell while trying to use his crutches along a busy street.  The other was a homeless man who also fell while trying to use his crutches on a busy street.  How did it make you feel to see the difference?
Did you know that this same type of scenario occurs in schools every day with students who are seen as lazy, unmotivated, disrespectful, etc.  Having talked with over 3000 of these students in the last 30 years, I have heard their frustration of feeling like they are not being listened to.  That they are discounted by teachers and sometimes parents because they are judged on appearances.  They feel that no one actually tries to understand how they are struggling, how they are trying but not succeeding academically, socially, or in everything they try to do. 
Next time you see a child, adolescent, or student not achieving, will you take a minute to just stop and ask how you can  help.  Assume that they don’t want to fail, but rather need support to succeed.
Can you do it for them?  Please?

Need a reason not to spank? I have 10!

pediatric profiler pictureI have just found an article that provides 10 reasons why spanking is not effective. The reasons are all well thought out and are backed by the latest research on child development, especially brain development. I would like to hear what you think about the article and also about my insights.

I have it on my curated site of Scoop It.

Why positive behavioral supports work better

pediatric profiler picture

It is refreshing to see that schools are now recognizing that zero tolerance and negative responses to all actions does not allow the student to develop a sense or mastery over their own behaviors.  Students need to know that they are meeting expectations, not to just assume that if they are not being criticized or punished they are doing what the teacher or principal wants.

As a society we need to remember that children and teens don’t have all the answers.  They need to hear often that they are making progress and developing mastery skills.  They are not choosing to do it wrong or to make things worse.  They need us to help them learn the steps to success.

Check out this article about how well positive behavioral supports work.

Rebranding How We See Children and Adolescents

pediatric profiler pictureI just returned from the National Speakers Association (NSA) and they announced that they are re-branding themselves to reflect how the speakers industry has changed since it was founded 40 years ago.  We will now go by Platform (with the o looking like a microphone). This is very important because the membership has expanded beyond keynote speakers to trainers, online course providers, teachers who go beyond the classroom and most importantly to the many speakers internationally who call us their family, their community. At this last convention 20+ countries were represented.  What we all have in common is that we use the spoken word (and many of us also us the written word) to share our messages. Some speak on diversity. Some on leadership. Some on sales.

And then there is me – The Pediatric Profiler.  I help people understand challenging children and adolescents.  I have realized that what I am doing is working to re-brand these children and adolescents to realize more of their strengths, understanding where they struggle, and how to help them to succeed in life.

Part of re-branding is to understand the hows and whys of their behaviors. Looking at temperament, the children/adolescents who are slow to adapt to change are literal, concrete, explicit and rule bound (frequently as they interpret the rules). They will be compliant as long as they understand “why” they are being asked/told to do something, why at that exact moment rather than a little bit later when they finish what they are doing, and why you want it done a certain way, if another way appears to make more sense to them. When adults deal with these “why” questions, however, they label (brand) these children/adolescents as argumentative, oppositional, and/or disrespectful.

If we were to re-brand these behaviors we may want to try “conscientious” because they want to be sure that they are doing the task at the most appropriate time.  Or “respectful” since they want to be sure that they are the correct person to do the task.  And then there is “competent” by making sure that they can complete the task to the best of their ability.

My goal is to create a groundswell of change in terms of how we approach and label children and adolescents.  To do this we have to understand the 3 layers of people (which starts in childhood).  These layers are temperament profile, any neurodevelopmental disorders that they may have (of which one person in 6 has one of the 6), and the role of any mental health problems and the interactions that they experience in their homes, schools, and communities.

I invite you to join me in this change. As you consider a label for a child, determine if it is a negative/derogatory label or a neutral/positive label.  If you are not sure, check it out in a thesaurus under antonyms.  If you are not sure how to do this and you or your organization would like to learn how and more strategies to help challenging children, just contact me at

Parents’ Yelling Is as Harmful as Hitting, Study Finds

See on Scoop.itDevelopmental & Behavioral Challenges in Children

Parents who yell at their adolescent children for misbehaving can cause some of the same problems as hitting them would, including increased risk of depression and aggressive behavior, a study found.

Dr. Pat McGuire‘s insight:

This is another in a line of studies that look at the effect of adult responses to children and adolescents on their future mental health and behavior.  Previous studies published this year have found that physical punishment of children led to increased aggressiveness of the children, which is the opposite of what the adults intended.

Basically all the studies point to the fact that in developing brains a sense of loss of love, acceptance, and respect changes the social and emotional trajectory from one of productivity and self worth to one of a belief in self failure and lack of worth.  This results in self-fulfilling prophecies of underachievement, juvenile deliquency, and for some suicide attempts.

Let’s begin to approach children and teens for what they are, individuals who are looking for mentoring, teaching, and support as they try to become competent, productive members of society.

See on

Nice Kids Get Treated Nicely: Study

See on Scoop.itDevelopmental & Behavioral Challenges in Children

Reputation matters among kindergarteners, Japanese researchers found

Dr. Pat McGuire‘s insight:

This is an important study not just for children but for parents and teachers when working with children.  In my practice I will frequently hear parents complain about their children not respecting them.  I ask if they model respect to their children and their reply is “I will show my child respect when he starts showing me respect.”  How do they know how to “do respect” if they have not seen it or experienced it?  Remember, our children learn from watching us – just think about swear words for example.

Let’s focus on being the models and providers of respect to children so they can learn how to do it. Then when they do it, let them know immediately that you appreciate their respect.

See on

Want to understand why some children are hard to deal with?

different yet beautiful

different yet beautiful

I am excited to offer my first free report, O.D.D. Not What You Think. I highlight why some children struggle with compliance despite the fact that all children are born wanting to be loved, accepted, and respected.

This report is the beginning my new project, Parenting Challenging Children.  I am putting together a member site with monthly webinars directed at understanding the 6 neurodevelopmental disorders of 1) Intellectual Disorders, 2) Communication Disorders, 3) Autism Spectrum Disorders, 4) Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD), 5) Learning Disorders, and 6)Motor Disorders. There will also be webinars providing knowledge and strategies for working with mental health problems that up to 20% of children/youth experience. Temperament will be highlighted on its own and in conjunction with the neurodevelopmental and mental health issues of our young.

I am excited to be at a time and place to be able to share this knowledge and strategies that many families, schools, and other organizations/agencies that work with these struggling youth.  I will update you as the different levels of training are available.