Sunday, 11 October 2009

Change in behaviours???

One thing i have noticed during my career working with children is the change in behaviour, or is it childrens' behaviour that has changed? Yes unwanted behaviour is much more noticable in schools and even pre-schools but i feel we nedd to question why? Behaviour in children is as it has always been, it is a natural part of childrens' development and learning to hurt other children to get what they want, to answer back and to genrally push the boundaries.
So if it's not the behaviour that has changed or got worse is it the way teaching staff deal with their unwanted behaviour? In my experience the answer to that would be no. Teachers and people who work with children don't ignore the behaviour, they correct the children and punish them in an appropriate manner. Is it the change in the way teachers punish children now? we can all say 'a smack never done us any harm' and we would be just in saying that but years ago not every teacher smacked the back of your hand with a ruler or hit you with a slipper, there were teachers that didn't use physical punishments and still managed to get children to behave.
So why is it that unacceptable behaviour is more noticable now than it has ever been? After observing childrens' behaviours i feel there could be a couple of reasons why. 1, adults working with children need to  connect better with children and keep in mind they were children once. When i work with the children  at my school i make time to listen to what they have to say no matter how trivial it may seem, when they ask questions about me and things about me i answer them rather than saying something like ' i don't think that is anything to do with you, i'm an adult and you are a child'. I want them to feel they can talk to me about anything, i don't mean be their best friend and act like their school friends, but adults can be friends with children. This way i have found that when i need them to listen to me and behave, they respond  majority of the time. So one reason for noticable bad bahaviour could lie with the adults guiding them at school?
2, When working with children you also have to work as close as possible with the parents, this becomes an obstacle when parents don't back up the teaching staff. If the parents aren't behind the staff 100 per cent then there is no point the staff trying to correct unwanted behaviour. When i had told a parent how her child had refused to do his work, swore at me and hurt other children i expected a totally different response to what i got! The mother had a nervous giggle, from embarassment, and just said 'oh dear, better have a better day tomorrow' and took her child home. I was expecting her to have a cross face, tell him off, make him apologise and back me up by giving him a punishment of her own; such as grounding him! How can i or any other member of staff teach the children how to behave correctly if the parents don't give us their support. The children pick up on it straight away and automatically the respect is lost : children won't listen and do as they are asked if there isn't any respect. I, as a parent, haven't always agreed with the punishments teachers have given my children or why they have given them but i back them up every time so my children know they won't get away with bad behaviour. It is so fustrating when there is no back up from parents, it makes our line of work so much harder and there is no point teaching them how to behave at school. So please this is a plea to all parents ; please back up your teachers even if you don't agree at the time, you can always see the teacher about your grievance when your child isn't there.
So as far as i'm concerned children behave the way they always have and they don't need a good smack, they need to learn RESPECT with parental support and guidance to continue through school and gain RESPECT through the teachers and staff getting on their level, being someone they want to communicate with and having time for them.
What do you think? Is the nation getting parenting wrong? should we bring back a 'bloody good hiding'? Is it childrens' behaviour has worsened through change in diets or change in lifestyles? Or is it all the adults faults?

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