The best way to deal with behaviour

Relationships: The key to effective behaviour management

I’ve spent years developing behaviour management systems and individual plans in schools.

These were sometimes correctly viewed as inflexible and, as you can imagine, elicited different responses from colleagues! Some were supportive and bought in because they knew there was an issue with behaviour, discipline and consistency, others were noticeably indifferent but went along with it anyway, while some, well… wanted nothing to do with it.

Despite the mixed responses, the purpose was always clear: to help the child get the most out of his school day and to better understand how we could support them!

In my opinion, the point of a behaviour intervention is to one day no longer need a behaviour intervention! All behaviour supports and interventions should work toward this end.

RELATIONSHIPS: The best behaviour management system

Years ago, I attended a seminar by clinical Psychologist Dr. Robi Sonderegger. He says there are two ways of raising kids:

1. Fear-based- punishment and authority is the focus

2. Love-based- relationship, respect and restoration are the focus

We can either foster relationships rooted in consistent love and trust, or compound a sense of fear through isolation and punishment.

I think Dr. Robi was spot on and, in a roundabout way, see non-verbal techniques as one way to help with this because we see every interaction as having purpose and meaning. Nothing can replace positive relationships with our kids.

The answer?

Sinatra sang about it, Hollywood fantasises and romanticises it, and everyone desires it. So what is it?

I like the version I often hear at weddings, taken from an ancient text:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails...

I try to use this definition to influence how I work with kids. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I fail. As you know because you work with or have your own children- it's a journey and there is no shortcut!

Maybe you’re far along on this journey? If so, you've got a lot to offer the people around you.