Dealing with Misbehaviour

How we Deal Respectfully with Misbehaviour
  • Most teachers and parents talk about childhood misbehaviour

    The behaviour one sees is not the problem, but rather the child’s solution to a problem that the child thinks they have. The problem is not feeling the Crucial C’s

    — The “4C” model

    Our approach is pro-active so most misbehavior disappears as the child acquires the crucial C’s they need. In the meantime, we do have respectful methods for helping children learn about how to make good behavior choices for themselves. The Adlerian method maintains that we should encourage children to become good decision makers, and to learn that every decision has a consequence. By experiencing the outcomes of our decisions we learn which choice we prefer, which in turn develops an intrinsic or internal motivation to behave in a socially acceptable way.

  • Adlerian Time Out Example

    If a child is behaving in a way that is disruptive to the group, behavior that does not meet the current needs of the situation, we will ask the child to make a choice. At the Early Years Learning Centre, a child always has a choice:

    Can you sit quietly with us (or whatever the needs of the situation are) or do you need to leave?

    — Teacher
    This is a choice the child makes for him/herself.

    We hope that you will decide to stay, we enjoy your company – but if you do decide to go, we understand.

    — Teacher
    The child then chooses – not with their words, but with their behaviour. If the behaviour continues to be disruptive to the group, the child is “saying” they have chosen to leave. (They have chosen to take a “time out.” We don’t actually use the word “time-out” in the classroom as children associate it with punishment and there is NO PUNISHMENT at this school.)

    I see you have chosen to go.

    — Teacher
    The teacher takes the child to a safe and comfortable area.

    Please come back as soon as you are ready to be with us.

    — Teacher
    No time limit is set – we want the child to choose appropriately behaviour quickly. A child can decide to behave differently in a blink. To make a child wait for an externally decided time is perceived by the child as punitive and they will misbehave further. When the child returns to the group it shows that he/she has decided that he would rather be with the group. To be with the group requires sitting still. He/she has decided for himself that he would prefer to sit quietly and be with the others than to be alone. That is inner-discipline! The teacher did not “teach” this – but rather created a respectful learning situation to occur which was completely positive and showed respect for the child when their behaviour was socially acceptable and when it was not. The teacher had faith in the child’s desire to want to be with the group and respected the child’s decision whether to be with the group or not.

    The child may not learn the consequences of decisions the first time, or even the second time. But with firm, friendly consistency on the part of the well-trained teacher – the child will learn to make socially acceptable choices about his/her behavior.
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