Speaker: Clancy Blair, Ph.D.

Episode 20: To Pop or Not to Pop

Episode 20: To Pop or Not to Pop

To pop or not to pop the bubble. This is the kindergartener’s dilemma. Jung-ah Choi writes that during a parent-teacher conference she discovered that her son was misbehaving in his kindergartener class. Upon further inquiry it turned out that her son was having a hard time complying with the class rule about not invading other people’s personal space. The teacher called it the “do-not-pop-the-bubble” policy. Choi’s son did not know how best to achieve the balance of engaging his classmates playfully without grabbing onto their hands or pulling them closer. A teacher expects her students to cooperate in the class, meet the policy expectations, and those who can’t or don’t know how to ‘not-pop-the-bubble’ often get in trouble. When such trouble escalates, it leads to suspension or even expulsion. Today, my guest, Clancy Blair, Ph.D. will talk about ways to promote fundamental abilities, which helps children meet the classroom expectation of HOW to regulate yourself.

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Episode 19: Shock Absorbers in the Brain

Episode 19: Shock Absorbers in the Brain

At age 6, his mother said to him, “Why don’t you just kill yourself? You’re such a burden to me.” At age 9, his mother drove him away from home to the unfamiliar part of Baja, California and walked him into an orphanage saying that she found this orphan kid and left him there for 90 days before his grandmother got a hold of him and brought him back. Throughout his elementary school she beat him senselessly. This is a story of a gangster, Sergio, from the roughest neighborhood of LA as told by father Greg Boyle in his book, Barking to the Choir. This gut wrenching and sad story traces the roots of a young man turning to the streets to escape his misery. Children who grow up in poverty, unstable homes, and highly unpredictable circumstances experience chronic and unabating stress, which takes a toll on the very shock-absorbing system in the brain, the Executive Function. Today, my guest, Clancy Blair, Ph.D., will discuss the distinction between acute and short lasting stress that buffs the adaptive and resiliency skills and chronic stress which dismantles it.

* This is Professor Blair’s first podcast where he discusses the what of Executive Function.

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