COMMON PRACTICES TO AVOID
There are traditional practices, especially discipline practices, currently being used in schools that are counterproductive to meeting the needs of students:
EDITORIAL: Behaviour Management Part I: More Harm than Good? Using the Agenda
Eva de Gosztonyi
From a developmental perspective, I have come to see chronic “inappropriate” behaviour as a sign that the child is experiencing difficulty in certain aspects of his development, indicating emotional immaturity. Or, that the child is being affected by life circumstances over which he has little control and which are causing him to become over-reactive to situations that most children can handle.
Behaviour Management Part II: More Harm than Good? Digital Behaviour Management Systems
Eva de Gosztonyi
As I deepen my knowledge and understanding of the optimum conditions for helping our children reach their full potential, I have come to realize that development comes in a context of rest.
Rewards are Still Bad News 25 Years Later
The field of social psychology is sometimes accused of doing no more than ratifying common sense, so it’s worth paying attention when its findings are genuinely surprising. Experimental results that challenge entrenched beliefs and practices are even more noteworthy. Case in point: the discovery that when we are rewarded for doing something, we tend to lose interest in whatever we had to do to get the reward. This outcome has been confirmed scores of times with all sorts of rewards and tasks, and across cultures, ages, and genders.
The Trouble with Time-outs
Time outs have become a popular disciplinary practice, aimed at replacing spanking and broadly supported by health and parenting professionals. Like a magic wand, they seek to immediately change a child’s behaviour but rarely is the question asked, “Why do they work and at what cost to the child? From the naughty chair to sending a child to their room, time-outs typically involve excluding or isolating a child from others and/or activities. Time-outs are hailed as a ‘success’ when a child returns from one willing to listen and behave but what is the long-term impact on a child’s development and their relationship to adults? Based on the last seventy years of research in developmental science, it is clear the reason time-outs ‘work’ is the same reason we shouldn’t use them in the first place.
The Problem with Consequences for Young Children
If you have a preschooler you will know they don’t pause or think twice before acting or reacting. In the heat of the moment they won’t tell you one part of them wants to scream at you while the other side of them thinks they should use their quiet voice instead. They don’t contemplate or reflect before they act, they are moved by their impulses, emotions, and instincts unless they are following an adult who is directing them. They are like fast cars without any brakes and tricky steering systems.
Do Time-Outs Work? It’s Time to Reframe the Question
Are time-outs an effective strategy for parents to cope with children’s challenging behaviors? Before I studied early childhood development, I occasionally used time-outs with my own children because they were touted as an effective and appropriate discipline technique. Decades later, a debate is raging about whether or not this is true.
Can Rewards and Consequences Make Kids’ Behavior Challenges Worse?
“Martina,” a 7-year-old in a mixed inclusion classroom, wanted to let her teacher know that she was feeling anxious, so she tried to connect with her, repeatedly grabbing at her arm and shirt. The teacher had been trained to ignore “negative” behaviors, so the more Martina grabbed, the less attention she gave her. Her strategy was to reward positive behaviors and provide consequences for negative ones.