Podcast Resources / Show Notes
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#22_A Therapist’s Perspective on the Impact of Trauma on Children’s Behavior
Interview with Megan Wolf, LCSW – Play Therapist
Here are some Resources / Links to go with the Podcast!
Cosmic Kids on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nM3e5eFf0Qg
Grounding Techniques for Anxiety: Grounding Techniques
Conscious Discipline Link There are lots of Free Resources on their website –
Dr. Becky Bailey – Keys to Connecting with Relationship-Resistant Children Podcast
Resistant to Relationship: Strategies for Reaching the Most Difficult Children Podcast
All 4 Breathing Techniquest You Can Teach Your Kids
A Play Therapist’s Perspective on the Impacts of Trauma on Children’s Behavior
“You need to work on building your relationship with that child.” How many times have you heard this from a supervisor or coach, when trying to get support for dealing with extremely challenging behavior? What more do we have to DO, beyond what we do with all students? Our guest today will answer this question, as we explore the reasons why the RELATIONSHIP you build with a challenging child is the KEY to healing their heart and changing their behavior. In today’s podcast, play therapist Megan Wolf expands our understanding of how things like abuse, neglect, and dangerous home environments can impair children’s ability to form relationships and get along with others. Megan is a licensed clinical social worker in the state of Missouri who works with all ages of children, and their families. Her caseload includes some of the most challenging kids who have experienced abuse, neglect, developmental trauma, severe medical issues or disability.
Developmental trauma is the cumulative impact of chronic, high levels of stress and fear. These experiences can elicit strong feelings and physical reactions that impact children’s development and cause major disruptions in their behavior and their ability to form relationships. As teachers, we can provide immediate aid to these children in ways that are fun and helpful for the child. This episode is going to open our eyes to some simple but very effective methods of building relationships, calming, and building social skills with some of our most challenging children.
Make sure you tune in to this podcast, share it with colleagues, as we discover the inner secrets of being Every Child’s Champion!
(Refer to the Chapter Markers tab for time-stamped highlights)
04:42 A child’s emotions have such a huge physical component in developing the right behaviors and in regulating their bodies.
06:58 Just when their senses haven’t fully integrated with their bodies yet, how can we help them to figure out what’s going on with their bodies and their emotions?
07:35 Let’s see what Bessel van der Kolk’s research tells us about the physical movement for these kids.
09:07 Check out some of these children’s yoga or movement programs that are fun to do with the kids!
09:39 Megan does this activity with difficult kids to ground them and make them feel their bodies.
11:49 So for teachers who want to do preventive things, what can we do to ground children who suddenly dysregulate and throws big tantrums?
13:22 The conscious discipline is one way.
14:06 What then is the value of deep breathing for little kids?
16:21 The advantage for teachers who practice their own mindfulness practice and co-regulates with the children.
18:31 What Megan does for kids who come in for therapy.
19:38 After building the relationship, what comes next?
20:18 Here’s a cheap tool that’s very useful for Megan
22:00 Listen to what Megan has to say for teachers who can’t seem to match a kid’s actions and reactions.
23:20 Children who have been in abuse situations or trauma situations still sometimes react negatively even in a safe environment. Let’s discover why.
24:43 Some kids are just testing it daily, but why??
25:44 If a teacher doesn’t match where a child’s at, here is what really happens and what we can do to shift the situation.
28:08 Considering all the connecting activities, how can these help them heal?
29:00 Simplifying a complicated and hard concept for kids.
30:57 The importance of first making a really positive, strong connection and creating that bond with the kid.
31:21 Let’s introduce you to play activities you can do.
32:40 From a nice moment of connection to suddenly being wild, what happened in between?
33:24 The thing with eye contacts for these kids … It’s healing.
36:24 Help them melt away the freeze or the fight response. How??
36:51 Here’s another technique you can use with your voice.
38:45 The child bites, kicks, pulls and scratches. What to do?!
40:57 Talking usually doesn’t help. Here’s why.
41:33 Or do this other thing …
43:03 The Sunshine Circles
44:38 These kids don’t know how to have a safe or a normal connection so we have to be intentional in helping them.
46:34 Yes! We teachers can also help these children heal just by knowing these simple techniques.
48:23 You can reach out to MeganHERE. For other details of our show, go to the website for easy access.
About Megan Wolf
Megan Wolf is a licensed clinical social worker in the state of Missouri. She got her MSW from Washington University in St. Louis Brown School of Social Work, and her undergraduate degree was from Augustana College in Illinois in sociology and social welfare.
Megan works with lots of different types of families and lots of different types of kiddos. She does early intervention and deals with children who have developmental delays, medical issues, and disabilities. She also helps parents work through that. She practices play therapy with some of those children, specifically the children who’ve had mental or medical traumas who are in foster care or were in the foster care system and subsequently were adopted. She helps these kiddos survive to learn some skills and to learn how to regulate their bodies and deal with their traumas.
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Have you missed the last episode?
Take a listen here → Children and Trauma: A Look at Resilience in Early Childhood Development, with Allen Rosales, Ep21
021 Children and Trauma: A Look at Resiliency in Early Childhood / Interview with Allen Rosales
Allen’s 4-Book Series of Children’s Books on Resiliency:
Allen’s Book Mathematizing: An Emergent Math Curriculum Approach for Young Children
020 Push Past It! An Interview with Dr. Angela Searcy!
- Strategies Form for Teachers
- SAMPLE Behavior Review Process for Parents
- Behavior Review Process for Teachers
- SAMPLE Behavior Review Process for Teachers
- SAMPLE Re-Evaluation Form
- Time Analysis Form
- Meaning-Making Machine Chart – SPANISH
- Three Phases of Implementation
- What About the Other Kids? Balancing the Needs of All Children Multitiered Systems of Support
- What Is Said in the Teachers’ Lounge Bias
- WERK It!
- Meaning-Making Machine Chart – MANDARIN
- They Don’t Act Like That At Home