For: Heart Productions & Publishing, 24 Marcoux Rd., Suite 715, Newton, NH 03858.
Contact: Mary Reynolds, (800)639-8191, (603)382-8848.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

A Shift in Attention Can Make a Difference:
New Book/DVD Set Shows Teachers and Parents How to Transform
Intense Behavioral Situations Using Compassion and Connection

Newton, NH – Are behaviorally "intense" kids, whether at school or in the family, truly beyond hope? According to author, filmmaker and former educational counselor Mary Robinson Reynolds, the right kind of attention can turn around the behavior of any child who acts out of control, seems perpetually hostile or bullies others. Reynolds’ new full-color paperback book for teachers and parents, Make A Difference with the Power of Connection, packaged a inspirational DVD, explains why and how the turnaround starts with compassionate attention (makeadifference.com/FlashBook).

"It breaks my heart when teachers and parents punish, scold and belittle kids, expecting that to change them," says Reynolds, whose works include "Make a Difference: The Teddy Stallard Story," a movie that has been viewed online more than 6 million times. "Instead, in less than a minute, you can transform an intense behavioral situation by connecting to him or her with compassion. With your attitudinal shift, you can cause instantaneous behavior change – for the better."

Reynolds’ book illustrates this principle with a story of two linebackers beginning to punch and fight each other in the high school hallway until she stepped between them, looked compassionately into the eyes of the one doing the most hollering and said, "What do you think this guy has done to hurt you?" This stopped the brawl, made tears well up in the tough boy’s eyes and yielded an emotional lesson for the ones fighting and onlookers alike.

Make A Difference with the Power of Connection includes other powerful stories, such as how Reynolds reached a young boy who seemed addicted to disruption, a little girl who for no apparent reason went from sweet to hateful, and a boy whom all the other teachers had actually labeled "evil." Far from being attributable to some special talent, Reynolds explains how anyone using compassionate attention can reverse even the worst behavior problems at home or at school. "Using the techniques in the book, parents can reconnect with their children who seem to be lost and teachers can succeed with 100 percent of the students in their classrooms," she says.

Make A Difference with the Power of Connection, by Mary Robinson Reynolds, ISBN 978-09628496-8-8, includes a DVD of "The Connection Movie," which presents the main ideas of the book in pictures and music. Make A Difference with the Power of Connection has 96 pages, is published by Heart Productions & Publishing and is available for $15.95 at makeadifference.com/connection .

Interview Questions:

1) "What were your first years of teaching like?"

2) Can you describe the labels and bell curves that you talk about on your website for behaviorally and academically challenged children? Can you explain why this is detrimental for students?

3) You say that as a sixth grade teacher your students were a year or two behind grade level and by the elimination of labels teamed up with engaging instruction they not only gained back what they had previously lost but achieved an additional two or three years of academic growth. Can you give us a few of the strategies you used?

4) You talk about healing students who are living unhappy lives. Many of our teachers have students like this who are "tuning out" due to their chaotic lives at home. How as teachers can we motivate them to do homework and learn in the classroom when they do not seem to care or are distracted by unstable home lives?

5) Later in your career you started writing continuing educational programs to arm teachers with the tools they needed to deal compassionately and effectively with difficult children. Can you explain to us a couple of these tools?

6) As an educator, who later became a parent, what did you discover about the emotional difference of raising your own VS working with other people's children?

7) If you could narrow it down, what would the 3 most important things you did as a parent to raise your three children to have 4.0 GPA's and succeed in enjoying their lives.

8) Did you ever have to discipline your own children? 

9) Your success as an educator was largely with Youth considered "at-risk" - did you ever kick a student out of class or send them to the Principals office?  If not, why not?

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