Brain Based Behavior Interventions 3BI . Understanding the Fight/Flight Response (FFR) and the Frontal Lobe ( FL) or the Prefrontal Cortex (PFC) Developed by: Julie Mendenhall. Understanding the brain and why it matters in the classroom .
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and the Frontal Lobe (FL) or the Prefrontal Cortex (PFC)
Developed by: Julie Mendenhall
and why it matters in the
change their behavior.
Are we teaching children about their brains?
1. Fight/Flight/Freeze Response(FFR)
2. Frontal Lobe (FL)
When working with children I refer to the FFR as firing off in the back of the brain which is more accurate in the low center of our brain. This is where the hypothalamus responds and triggers the endocrine system to secrete hormones.
When a child is threatened or frightened their automatic reaction is a Fight/Flight Response (FFR).
A child who is stuck more often than the average child may show signs of:
The longer the area is stimulated, the stronger and more active it becomes. This is not physically healthy for a child.
When the Fight/Flight Response is extended it can lead to exhaustion and stress related disorders such as:
“People under stress are at a greater risk of developing chronic disease or dying prematurely”
Fight/Flight releases neurotransmitters which are chemicals such as:
Information from Principles of Anatomy Physiology pp.620 by Tortora and Grabowski
“When your brain works right, so can you. When your brain doesn’t work right neither can you.”
The Frontal Lobe (FL), at the front of the brain, is where logic, reasoning, problem solving and thinking skills are derived.
We want our children to develop this part of the brain in order to be successful in developing appropriate life skills.
The Frontal Lobe is the emotional control center and home to our personality
The Frontal Lobe is involved in:
- Ability to Concentrate - Motor function
- Problem Solving - Spontaneity
- Memory - Language
- Initiation - Judgment
- Impulse Control - Social behavior
Information from http://www.neuroskills.com/tbi/bfrontal.shtml
We call these reminders:
2. Crisscross and Shift
Check means for the child to check what they are doing and correct the behavior.
This means to think about what happened and shift from the back of the brain to the front. When the arms and legs are crisscrossedthis activates both sides of the brain. Sitting up tall and straight will get oxygen to the brain which helps the child become a better thinker.
think by asking them:
What happened? Why did I have you crisscross?
You may process more if it is needed. Here are some suggestions:
If a child does not crisscross when told, tell them they are stuck.Remind them that being stuck is not good for their brain but that they can wait until they are ready to crisscross and shiftand be a better thinker.
A child can crisscross for a minute, a minute per age,* until they are ready, or until you think they are ready. This depends on what you decide because you are the one implementing the strategy.
*Practice is needed to achieve the time up to a minute per age.
If you argue or engage with the child, you are feeding the FFR which is strengthening the negative responses of the child’s brain. Refrain from doing this.
Try to avoid using these techniques in a negative way. Of course, children perceive this as discipline when corrected or used in time out, but if it is also used in positive ways it helps to balance out the negative thinking.
Do a crisscross to show me that you are ready for a story.
Do a crisscross when you have finished your chore(s).
Let’s see a crisscross after you have gotten ready for bed.
Refusing to talk
Taking a test
Needing time to think
-Check what you are doing and take care of the behavior
-Crisscross arms and legs and think “What happened”
-Get oxygen to your brain by sitting tall and straight
-Be ready to tell an adult “What happened”
-Crisscross/shift right away
-You may not tell someone else to check or crisscross/shift
-You may crisscross/shift anytime you feel you need to
This program makes students feel safe and has reduced disrespectful behaviors.
OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder)
AD/HD – Inattentive or Impulsive
RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder)
Other Activities with brain exercises may include: Jumping, Swinging, Running, Crossovers, etc.