Think of Behaviour (And Our Response) Like Smoke From a Burning Building …


Think of Behaviour (And Our Response) Like Smoke From a Burning Building …


Think of behaviour like smoke from a fire we can’t see. The behaviour we see is the smoke. The fire is a brain that has registered threat, and needs to be brought back to a felt sense of safety. The question isn’t, ‘How do I stop the smoke?’ but, ‘What’s causing the fire, and how can I stop it burning?’ The ‘fire’ is being fuelled by a felt sense of threat. ‘Threat’ isn’t about what is actually safe or not safe. It’s about what the brain perceives. For any of us, ‘threat’ might be anything that comes with any risk at all (real or perceived) of missing out on something important, separation from friends or you or their important people, judgement, humiliation, failure, disappointment or disappointing their important people, interruption, waiting, unfairness or loss. ‘Threat’ can be physically driven (sensory overload or underload, pain, exhaustion, hunger, possible physical danger), or relational (not feeling seen or heard, not feeling valued, feeling replaced, not feeling welcome, feeling disconnected from you or someone important).

Young ones have the added force of nervous systems that haven’t got their full adult legs yet. When brains have a felt sense of threat, they will organise bodies for fight (this can look like tantrums, aggression, irritation, frustration), flight (can look like avoidance, ignoring, turning away) or freeze (can look like withdrawal, hiding, defiance, indifference, aloofness).
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Kathleen Notes: All behavior IS communication.

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- - Volume: 11 - WEEK: 3 Date: 1/18/2023 12:54:54 PM -