Help More Challenging Children, Self-Regulate Better. Read Help for Billy by Heather T. Forbes
Updated: Jun 8
"Billy" in the book, Help for Billy, represents children with trauma. They bring a lot of challenging behavior into the classroom, that teachers struggle to manage and are at a loss of what to do.
This book gives so much hope and, best of all, practical concepts and tools on how to work with the "Billys' in your classroom so that they and the other students can socially, emotionally, and academically grow in the classroom. One of these concepts was in the chapter called Regulation and Dysregulation. It is called the "Window of Stress Tolerance".
Heather T. Forbes states, "A child's window of stress tolerance is defined by his ability to withstand pressure, overwhelm, and fear without becoming dysregulated and without reaching his "breaking point." For a child without trauma, referred to as "Andy" in the book, the window of stress tolerance is large. For "Billy", on the other hand, the window of stress tolerance is small. The key is to work with "Billy" over time to help him increase his window of stress tolerance.
Another big concept was to "Create a Classroom Designed for Regulation. For students to be motivated, they have to be regulated." The author gives many suggestions on incorporating movement, sound, animals, simplicity, food and water, and safety. One example of movement was to pace. "We naturally pace when we are anxious. It is a way for the body to regulate."
Whether you're a teacher, a parent, or were a child at one time (ok, now that covers all adults), this book offers we adults much practical help on understanding and being able to support children to regulate themselves, especially "Billy". This is an important book to have in your library.
I invite you to comment on helping Billy.