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My commitment is to help as many educators, parents and children as possible with the knowledge that I have learned over my continuous journey working inside and outside of schools.
For example one thing I have learned is that some adults like to pretend that they have all the information and knowledge they need because if they don’t have all the answers, they make up something negative about themselves. Not true at all. You know what you about the areas in your life that you are an expert in. There is no reason a new(er) parent or teacher should have any idea what they are doing until they practice and learn from mistakes and successes and ask questions of their mentors who have become masters in their field.
The children in your lives look up to you and trust you to do your best to make sure they are taken care of. That means learn from experts in areas that you aren’t an expert in. Your bravery for being ok not knowing will allow you access to learn…and show off amazing new things you have learned to others.
I invite you to learn more about behavior management, bullying and other games the mind plays on us. This is my specialty and I promise to give you easy to understand and mind opening information.
If you feel If you have a moment to click on any of the social media links below, and if you find the videos and links valuable then like and subscribe for free. I appreciate you.
Ron Shuali, M.Ed.
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Universal energy: It’s there to help you with your children.


Have you ever thought of someone and their face pops up in your mind and just as you think about them and wonder what they are up to, your phone rings and it’s them? Have you walked by  your closet  and something  told you to grab an umbrella  on a sunny day  and then later on  it rains? Have you ever  made eye contact with someone  and just knew that you should go over and talk to them  and you didn’t? The word ” weird” tends to be spoken when these situations happened. I started practicing Reiki 10 years ago and was introduced to Universal energy and I’d like to share a story with you about how Universal energy help me while I was teaching the class.

It was three summers ago and I had just come back from a retreat in Upstate New York where the focus was about waking up and discovering your true you while also getting in tune with yourself on a mind-body and spiritual level. Two days later I was teaching a soccer class and I had two children in the class that never participated. One was a girl who would simply run around the field and would have no interest in kicking a soccer ball. As long as she was safe and didn’t interrupt any of the other children, I let her be. The other was a boy who just stood on his poly spot and didn’t move. He would be observing his fellow students however never wanted to move from his spot. I normally would have let them be  however I just had a feeling that there was another solution. I took a deep breath

The first thing in connecting intentionally with universal energy is to take a few cleansing deep belly breaths. When you focus on your breath, the mind quiets and the messages can come through clearer. I waited patiently and kept on breathing. Then I heard that quiet, subtle and confident voice speak and say “take their hands”… so I did. Once all 3 of our hands connected, I felt an energetic yet calm feeling come over me. I passed the soccer ball over to the girl on the right and she trapped the ball by placing her foot on it. This was the first time that she had done that. I then asked her to pass the ball back to me even though she’s never done it in class and she did. I then passed it to the boy on the left and he amazingly trapped it and passed the ball back to me.
All three of us proceeded to dribble the ball up and down the field while passing to each other and enjoying the smiles and amazement of the teachers that were watching these two children finally participate. Then the universal energy whispered one more time and said ” put their hands together” and I did. Still to this day I can see the boy and girl running hand in hand with the soccer ball as if when they touched each other their opposite energies balanced each other out.
When I train teachers in their continuing professional development I introduce this concept and offer it as a possible solution when trying to implement behavior management strategies. If you ever have a question that needs to be answered about a child. I invite you to try the same. What could it hurt? Why not? Think about a problem that a child in your life is having and take a few deep belly breaths, wait, listen and try what you hear. If you have a story to share, please share it with me and everyone else. Good luck!

Picture by Wonderlane

Behavior Management Strategies: For the Home

VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100

Over the last 15 years I have had the wonderful opportunity to work with teachers and parents in helping them wake up and truly understand why their children behave the way that they do. One of the most difficult concepts to get across to a parent is their role and responsibilities in the raising of their child and how to effectively discipline them. Discipline is not a bad word, by the way. When I was growing up being disciplined was a virtue and led to leading a more successful life. Now some people hear the word discipline and only associated with physical punishment. Children yearn for discipline and structure. The problem comes from the adult in the child’s life believing that there are other people responsible for teaching their child how to behave in hopes that they will behave the same way with that adult. If you are a parent or a teacher reading this post, I invite you to think about who you expect to implement rules and consequences so that your life is easier?
I have presented continuing professional development workshops on behavior management strategies in schools and conferences across the country. I continuously hear teachers placing responsibility on the parents for the way that the children act in the classroom at school. They say things like “if only their parents would…

  • Discipline them at home.”
  • Feed them better food.”
  • Make them go to bed.”

Of course as a teacher they know that that is better for the child however they don’t realize that when they blame parents they throw away their power while they put the responsibility of the child behaving in the classroom on the parent. Unfortunately as humans we create expectations of how other people should be that only exist in our minds and then get upset at that person for not fulfilling the expectation that we created for them without even letting them know what the expectation was. Read that last sentence again and slowly until it makes sense.
That is completely unfair to the person that the expectation was created for and now there is upset between the two people because communication wasn’t clear.
As a parent, do you have an expectation that your child’s teachers will teach them how to behave and discipline them so that when they come home they will behave and be disciplined for you? If you do, how is that working? It probably isn’t. Try on that a child tests every individual adult that they meet and based on the way that the adult responds and reacts is the way that the child interacts with that adult from now on.
Whoever lets the child get away with whatever they want is the one responsible for the lack of discipline. Whoever reinforces consequences for negative behaviors no matter how much the child cries or throws a fit is the one that the child will listen to and be disciplined for. That’s it. If your child doesn’t listen to your instructions the first time, then just be responsible that you have trained them incorrectly and now start the training over.
I have spoken to many parents who only get to see their children for two to three hours an evening and makeup some silly story in their minds that they haven’t seen their child all day and they feel bad about not giving them what they want.
If you are more interested in appeasing your child instead of teaching them rules and how to act in a civilized society, then just be responsible that it is more important for you to be selfish than to be a strong parent. I know that is a strong statement and it is a fact. So now you get to choose.
Next time your child breaks a rule, do you let them get away with it and appease your selfish want for quiet or do you choose to be the powerful parent and teach them that there are rules and consequences in life? The actions that you take will be mimicked by your children. What would you choose? Good luck.

Photo by Mindaugas Danys

Behavior Management Strategies: Correcting a Child When They Make a Mistake


ACE (Acknowledge, Correct, Encourage)

 ACEing is a great tool from your toolbox of behavior management strategies to give a child a correction without leaving them diminished or upset. As human beings, we do not like it when another human being gives us a correction, even if that person is our superior and we know it is going to help us with our jobs and self-improvement. When we are given a correction, instantaneously we realize that we did something wrong. As one of the most important needs for a human being is to be right and to avoid being wrong, a correction puts us in a place of upset. To avoid having a child get upset, or even worse, refuse to try, we use our language to remove the negativity that exists around a correction. The first part of ACEing is acknowledge.

Acknowledge: First and foremost, set the pace for the correction by giving the child an indication that you like a particular behavior that they are displaying. This typically begins with “I like the way…”

Correct: After we acknowledge the child, we must offer the correction so that the child may choose to try the correction. Notice how I said “offer” instead of “insist”. We must give the child the opportunity to choose to try the correction so that they have freedom in making that choice. Do you like it when another adult gives you a correction and assumes that you will make the correction immediately? Neither do children. Start the correction with “if you want to make it better…” When you include the “if” then the child feels like they have a choice in making the correction and  the majority of the time will choose to make the correction to impress the teacher or parent.

Encourage: Lastly, before the child even has the opportunity to make the correction, we instantaneously give them a “high five” so that they feel successful immediately. This maintains the positive environment that we are looking to sustain. For example:

We would like a child to read a sentence and they get to a word that is troublesome. They mispronounce the word and your first instinct is to say the correct pronunciation of the word. If you were to ACE the situation it would go something like this:

“I like the way that you are sounding out the letter slowly. If you want to make it better, take a deep breath before you start a new word.” And then give them a HIGH FIVE.

I applaud your journey for continuing professional development. Now give yourself a high five for trying out a new technique.

Photo by Fivehanks

Behavior Management Strategies: When My Child’s Behavior Keeps Getting Worse!

parent child yelling

A young child throws a toy aimed at another child. His teacher, of course, reacts either by raising her voice or giving a stern look. The child stops the behavior instantly. However, as soon as the teacher calms down, the child throws the toy again.

In my twenty years as an educator and martial arts instructor, I’ve witnessed the same scenario time and time again. What is it that makes the child want to repeat a negative behavior for a second, third, or forth time? The answer is simple – attention.

I was recently invited to speak on this topic at the New Jersey Education Association’s yearly convention held in Atlantic City for continuing professional development. My seminar entitled, “Take Your Classroom Back,” gives teachers insight into the actions of young children and the reactions they are trying to elicit from adults when they misbehave. Time and time again, the bottom line will be that the child is looking for attention.

For behavior management strategies to work effectively, one of the key components to my workshop is for a parent and teacher to learn empathy. Put yourself in the child’s place. Think of a preschooler who might be distracted and just plain bored in school. They play, they eat, drink, and for a little excitement they learn to push the adult’s buttons. Ultimately the child looks for a reaction. Even if the reaction is negative, that does not matter to the child, if the reaction leads to attention. If they do get attention in whatever form, they remember the action, store it in their mind and focus on this way of behavior in the future. If repeating the same behavior and getting the same result is working for the child, you can expect the child to try his best to get the same reaction over and over and over again.

Usually, the more aggressive the behavior the greater the adult reaction. Therefore it is not uncommon for a child to continue to be more disruptive as a way of getting a bigger reaction, hence, greater attention. As children grow and socialize in schools, they pick up behaviors from others that they would not normally learn on their own.   When I see a four year old teaching a three year old how to stomp his hands and feet harder and scream louder, I have to laugh. I find myself always in awe of their extreme intelligence and their adaptability.   It’s incredible how a negative behavior is learned and mastered.

A director of a preschool asked me to speak to a mother who was perplexed by her child’s behavior. The mother asked what I would recommend for her one year old daughter who continually slapped her across the face. First, I needed to know where the behavior was learned. The mother confided that her three year old daughter was in the habit of practicing the same behavior. Second, I asked the mother what her reaction was when her child hit her. She replied that she would get mad and angry and carry on. Third, I asked, “When you get angry and upset about what your child is doing, I would be curious to know what his reaction is”? The answer of course was not surprising. The mother said, “Well, he laughs, he loves it.” I hope that you are starting to get the picture. In a child’s mind, defiant behavior is all about getting a reaction from an adult, a reaction that leads to attention.

So what is the solution? I informed the frustrated mom to simply stop reacting. I explained to her a technique which has been quite successful in my life skills workshops. There is an acceptable action I call a power look. To do this yourself, when addressing your child, look above the child’s forehead instead of into their eyes. This removes all emotion and micro expressions from your face, thus stopping the continuous reinforcement of the negative behavior. Practice this look in the mirror and master it. I also sing a song in my mind so that no self-talk sabotages the power look.  The more you practice, the better you will be at showing no emotion when a child decides to test you, and believe me, you will be tested. Repeat this power look over and over if the aggressive behavior continues. In conjunction with the look make sure that the child is verbally told, in a calm manner of course, that the behavior is not allowed. It may take a little while, but eventually, when there is no reaction from the adult and ultimately no attention given for a defiant act, the intelligent child will realize that his approach is just not giving him the desired effect. It is not worth the effort and soon the behavior will stop. Remember that you should expect to get tested, but don’t give in.