Behavioral problems in children

Behavioral problems in children:

Behavioral problems have been highlighted in recent years by media. Nothing more telegenic indeed a family overwhelmed by a three years running and jumping around the house, insulting his brothers and sisters. We do not comment here on the possible etiologies, or on the excesses of political the use of scientific data. Whatever the origin of these disorders mentioned behavior presented by children, Disorder Attention Deficit with Hyperactivity or restlessness due to the lack of limits on parents, a project must be carefully developed coherent involving various institutions Home of the child. Among these, the school. School psychologists are solicited (s) including orientation RASED or CMP linked to neighborhoods hospital institutions. As teachers of elementary schools (primary and tongue), it should be noted that in recent years they participate in professional Children of trying to manage the behavior of some children while little or no tools are given to them during their training to understand the dynamics groups and manage them.

From these findings, in response to requests from teachers who are search for new teaching tools, and to promote a peaceful school life, the project "Promoting social skills and learning at school" was developed in the district of Strasbourg Cronenbourg district classified Area Priority Education (Clement & Stephan, in press). Social skills consist in the ability to integrate thoughts, feelings and behaviors to succeed in achieving social tasks expected in a social and cultural given. Specifically there is specific interaction skills as the ability to enter a peer group or the ability to make compromises (Fantuzzo, Manz & McDermott, 1998).

This project is developed in partnership with teachers, the school psychologist schools, a psychiatrist at the CMP of the neighborhood. It is based on the application of theories learning in the proactive management of the class (Rathvon, 1999). These are 1) of design a class organization that reduces the opportunities to present inappropriate behavior rather than reacting after they occur, hence the use of the term proactive * 2) to link the educational aspects and schools in understanding the operation of Class 3) to focus on "class group" rather as behavior shown by individual children. To achieve this, Our project focuses on modeling or peer learning through imitation (Bandura, 1995), a reformulation of instructions presented to children, and the token economy to foster positive group dynamics. Use peers as models is particularly appropriate when children have difficulties to achieve certain behavior, whether children special education or regular classes. We can thus use pictures or photos of children correctly performing the required tasks, but also Children do mimic the expected behavior or make them participate in RPGs.

The reformulation of the guidelines is an important step. This is to remind Teachers set an "I can say," I can do "and" I can show. A child should therefore be able to repeat the mime and the recognition from a peer. In addition a deposit must be simple, concise and positive. Teachers and other circumstances parents, children repeat "not running", "not annoy their brother, "do not cry." The instructions are almost sytématiquement Suppress negative behaviors. This formulation does not value lines children and especially do not make explicit the behaviors. If they are a obvious to adults, it is not for children! It is therefore to make explicit the expected behavior rather than that one wants to see backwards "to keep his feet and his hands to himself "rather than" do not type "" cutlery are used only for eat "rather than" do not play with the covers "and" does not bother her neighbors. If this seems simplistic, these formulations accompanied by pictorial representation and discussion around the set are very effective.

When we ask teachers to discuss their difficulties in managing their class, they often evoke the case of children in particular. Children with behavioral disorders or disruptive behavior are often stigmatized by their conduct. However, analysis of classroom situations, shows that all difficulties are masked by those few children * The term proactive, straight from the English language means "dynamic, which takes the lead, full of initiative." (Rathvon, 1999). To minimize this situation, it is to focus on the group rather than on those few children. To do this, we can programs offer so-called token economy for class time when the teacher feels in trouble (the time of lunch, the playground, the transitions between activities, etc..). The principle is to give the group tokens (plastic tokens representing such a hero or just pieces of paper) to as symbolic rewards behavior in specific situations.

These are then exchanged against something more attractive. In a class of Mother, this delayed gratification may take many forms, access to tricycles during recess in viewing a videotape or time for a special event or time off (see figure below). Example of a poster where tokens are crystal balls of a hero cartoon). It is always exceptionally proposed activities for children and non routine activities. The method of the token economy may seem equivalent to the good points, the permit system dot or the green light, red light used in many schools. This is not the case. Several key elements stand out.

First implementation of a program saving chips accompanied by a reflection on the overall functioning of the class. Of Moreover, reflection is conducted on the behavior that we wish to target, which leads to a Assessment of the frequency of these and can give tokens and rigorously measure the effectiveness of the method. Finally, in most proposed interventions, no token is removed, that is to say that undesired behavior is not punished, the system is designed as a slope positive reinforcement of behaviors that we want to see. In the penalty points for example, some children never fail to keep their points: their progress, their efforts are vains.Avec the token economy group, children who are not rewarded often win with the group and are more comforted in their self-soi.L obtaining collective tokens promotes cooperation and positive peer pressure. It is common to observe that Children help each other physically and / or remember the rules to be observed achieve the goal.

The presentation of this project in class to promote skills social schools can not be here that parcel. In particular, we emphasize enough how the use of savings programs tokens must be with great caution. They tend to spread in many Institutions: misused they can be at best irrelevant (no change line), at worst they may be harmful (lower expected behavior). The teachers or educators must always consider the dynamics of group and its rules of life before putting them up. In many cases, loan attention to desired behaviors may be sufficient for them to develop and allows the child to gain confidence. Unfortunately, we we tend to regard such behavior as "natural" and obvious for children: this is not the case. We refer readers interested in the development of such programs to consult with the texts practical applications (Clement & Stephan, in press; Alberto & Troutman, 2003).

The device thus formed is not a substitute in any case the proposed child care suffering from behavioral problems, however it may perfectly fit the collaborative project school / department care in the preparation of the draft carefully. The inclusion in the same class of children with and without disturbances behavior, provides important opportunities for social development but launches new challenges for educational teams. Leff, Power, Manz, Costigan and Nabors (2001) emphasize the promotion of prevention projects involving closely schools, families and community centers for mental health. If the statement concerns a project in regular classes in mainstream schools, proactive management can be used in special education, or in various institutional frameworks allowing groups of children or adolescents with poor social skills or academic and / or behavioral disorders.


Alberto, P., Troutman, A.C., 2003. Applied Behavior Analysis for Teachers. Prentice Hall, NJ. Bandura A. 1995. Social learning. Mardaga, Brussels. Clement C. & Stephan (In press). Promoting social skills in school: An example of Action Research in Education Priority Zone. Practices Psychological.

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