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The Better Behavior Show with Dr. Nicole Beurkens

Jan 1, 2020

My guest this week is Amanda Morgan, who holds a BA in both elementary and early childhood education and an MS in family and human development. Her past experience includes teaching in public, private, and migrant school settings as well as teaching preschoolers, grade-schoolers, college students, teachers, and parents. She writes, speaks, and trains on the topic of intentional, whole child development and is the creator of the blog, Not Just Cute. In her free time, she can usually be found exploring the Pacific Northwest with her husband and four boys or procuring copious amounts of chocolate.

In this episode, Amanda and I discuss what developmentally appropriate practices are and how they are essential for our children’s individual learning and development process. Often children are faced with expectations in the classroom that are far from where they stand developmentally resulting in behavioral issues and developmental delays. These issues occur starting in pre-school and often carry into high school levels. Learn more as Amanda helps navigate and explain the why’s of our school system expectations and how parents and teachers can advocate for their children and students. To learn more about Amanda click here


Episode Highlights

Developmentally Appropriate Practice 

  • Taking what we know about how children grow and learn and ensuring those principals and understandings are being applied within the home and school environments
  • Respecting childhood in and of itself and for each individual learner 


Results of Shift in School Expectations

  • Behavior issues become an immediate problem when school expectations do not “match” where they are developmentally 
    • This simply relates to the fact that these children are not the actual age they are expecting to be at
    • Expecting a 3-yr to act like a 6-yr old only ends in frustration for both involved
  • Inappropriate academic expectations usually take the place of play and social skills and interactions
    • Academic struggle results from this as children miss the hands-on play experiences before jumping to performance-based tasks like worksheets etc.


How Did We End Up Here?

  • When we start to work from fear, competition, and comparison we realize how we are poorly focused only on performance and testing


What Can We Do To Address This? 

  • As parents: where can we slow down in our home and offer outlets for more movement or sensory interactions? Looking to address whatever it is they need more or less of
    • Do not understand your voice as a parent for your child and their peers to administration, never stop advocating
  • As teachers: Use your knowledge on developmentally-appropriate practices and get creative with the “homework” that is required instead of the routine textbook worksheets
    • Amanda’s example: former 2nd-grade teacher of her son gave assignments on a point system of completion with activities to do while at home such as; help your family make dinner, take care of your animal, play outside, help a neighbor


Where to learn more about Amanda Morgan…


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Need help with improving your child’s behavior naturally? 

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  • Looking for more? Check out my Blog and the Better Behavior Naturally Parent Program - a resource guide for parents who want to be more effective with improving their child’s behavior. 
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