BEHAVIOUR AND SELF-REGULATION
Children are not the people of tomorrow, but people today. They are entitled to be taken seriously. They have a right to be treated by adults with tenderness and respect, as equals. They should be allowed to grow into whoever they were meant to be - the unknown person inside each of them is the hope for the future”. -JANUSZ KORCZAK
The following section gives key information about our approach to managing and changing behaviour. Much of the information below can be found in our BEHAVIOUR AND SELF-REGULATION POLICY.
We will also be including helpful videos and some suggested reading materials click here
“When I say manage emotions, I only mean the really distressing, incapacitating emotions. Feeling emotions is what makes life rich. You need your passions”.(Daniel Goleman)
At Haywood Grove our aim is that our children should achieve their academic potential and lead independent and fulfilling adult lives. We enable this by building mutually respectful relationships with them and showing them how to have respectful relationships with each other and with other people. This helps them to reflect and take responsibility for themselves, and is a form of discipline that is constant, immediate and consistent.
We aim to achieve positive behaviour change through conversation. And are strongly against the traditional punishment/reward model of behaviour management.
The warmth, humour and pleasant firmness with which our office staff engage with children from the moment they arrive in the school each day demonstrates the way in which we set boundaries on behaviour, and is reflected throughout the school.
In order to create a cohesive social environment we do not just focus on the behavioural labels. We offer more than just a traditional classroom environment – we provide an environment where “stuff can and will happen - “nurture, play, fun, resolving conflicts, loss of tempers, learning, tears and tantrums.
Central to how we manage behaviour are the 3 Elements:
1. Secure attachments:
A secure attachment bond ensures that your child will feel secure, understood, and be calm enough to experience optimal development of his or her nervous system. Your child’s developing brain organises itself to provide your child with the best foundation for life: a feeling of safety that results in eagerness to learn, healthy self-awareness, trust, and empathy.
An insecure attachment bond fails to meet your child’s need for security, understanding, and calm, preventing the child’s developing brain from organising itself in the best ways. This can inhibit emotional, mental, and even physical development, leading to difficulties in learning and forming relationships in later life
People with poor self-esteem often rely on how they are doing in the present to determine how they feel about themselves. They need positive external experiences (e.g., compliments from friends) to counteract the negative feelings and thoughts that constantly plague them. Even then, the good feeling (such as from a good grade or compliment) is usually temporary.
Healthy self-esteem is based on our ability to assess ourselves accurately and still be accepting of who we are. This means being able to acknowledge our strengths and weaknesses (we all have them!) and at the same time recognize that we are worthy and worthwhile.
3. Emotional development and Self-regulation
Emotional intelligence is the ability of individuals to recognize their own and other people's emotions, to discriminate between different feelings and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behaviour.
Emotional 'literacy' implies an expanded responsibility for schools in helping to socialise children. This task requires that teachers go beyond their traditional mission and a develop an understanding of the direct impact of emotional regulation on learning and progress.
The importance of providing our children with the opportunity to develop the skills around emotional regulation as an essential part of teaching at Haywood Grove.
….and we play
‘Play’ is sometimes contrasted with ‘work’ and characterised as a type of activity which is essentially unimportant, trivial and lacking in any serious purpose. As such, it is seen as something that children do because they are immature, and as something they will grow out of as they become adults. However, this view is mistaken. Play in all its rich variety is one of the highest achievements of the human species, alongside language, culture and technology. Indeed, without play, none of these other achievements would be possible. The value of play is increasingly recognised, by researchers and within the policy arena, for adults as well as children, as the evidence mounts of its relationship with intellectual achievement and emotional well-being’ - Dr David Whitebread University of Cambridge
A new approach…
A new approach in the classroom for the developmentally traumatised child: The developmentally traumatised child benefits from an individualised approach to helping them participate in school life to the best of their potential.
This is likely to involve trying strategies, which are different to traditional, behavioural based techniques that work for some children but not those who have experienced developmental trauma.
The following table compares the traditional view versus the new proposed approach:
Regulation of the child based
Rewards and incentives create motivation
Relational influence creates motivation
External controls (star charts, removal of privileges, detentions)
Internal controls (sense of self, sense of accomplishment, self acceptance, self-love)
Expectation based on chronological age
Expectations based on emotional/ social age
Community/ family focus
Performance/ outcome based
Major transitions identified
All transitions identified
Child to fit into the environment
Environment to fit the child
Behaviour is a matter of choice
Stress drives behaviour
The above table is adapted from ‘Help for Billy- A Beyond Consequences Approach to Helping Challenging Children in the Classroom’ By Heather Forbes (2014).