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5 Adjustments in Child Misbehavior to Change the Learning Cycle


Learning cycle

Knowing why a child is misbehaving doesn’t always help in the classroom setting. Other times, we don’t always have the information to diagnose what the problem is. Consequently, this struggle only gets easier with lots of conscious practice, support and model repetition. In this post, we will discuss the five critical adjustments needed to change child misbehavior.

Change the Cycle of Child Misbehavior

To make permanent changes in child misbehavior, you must get students to change their routines. Often these misbehaviors include the use of profanity, getting out of seats, arriving to class late and interrupting others. To get students to break these cycles, they must:

  • want to change
  • know how to change
  • have opportunities to practice change
  • be conscious of choices being made as they make them
  • receive consistent modeling and support from the teacher

#1 Want to Change

Sometimes students act out as a result of frustration. Even if teachers provide rewards for completing tasks promptly. There could be a variety of reasons for this.

Firstly, you need the student to want to change consciously. Providing incentives can be helpful but should be done thoughtfully. In some cases, children cannot handle complex tasks. Communicate and model your expectations. Explain the benefits of meeting these expectations. Encourage student buy-in by making tasks smaller in scope.

#2 Know-How to Change

If a student doesn’t know how to change, the modified behavior will not occur. In general, students need to be given the tools and knowledge to do what is requested. You can provide a list of steps for the student to take or literally model the behavior you expect. A student’s know-how is subject to what you have taught him or her.

#3 Opportunities to Practice-Changing

Sometimes your expectations are not realistic if they have not had practice performing the desired skill. Improving any skill must be practiced. Create a drawn-out procedure for a behavioral skill. For example, this includes how to enter the classroom.

Modification of child misbehavior can be practiced by using correct procedures. Do this often at first with a nurturing mindset. Positively reinforce conscious student “relearned behavior.”

#4 Being Conscious of Choices

Having the right attitude and thinking pattern directly relates to meeting teacher expectations. One of the most significant issues with student choices is that they don’t think out their decisions. Often students don’t make a conscious effort to think how their choice affect others and themselves.

Help the child self realize the impact their choices have. Once the child understands the domino effect, individual decisions have, help them pace their thinking process. This conscious effort enables the student to reflect on possible future outcomes or recent actions. As a result, this act helps moderates a child’s level of misbehavior.

#5 Receive Continuous Teacher Role Model Attention and Support

When a child misbehaves, they are still a child. A child needs a role model, attention, support, and a feeling of being wanted. A parent and teacher have a truly influential role to play in the life of a student. In these roles, you model skills that you hope they will be able to emulate and take with them as they move on in life. Provide continuous support for a child, and their behavior will eventually conform to your expectations.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, children have particular basic needs. If these needs are not met children often misbehave. Provide your students with safety, structure, and care, and they will listen to you. The road to behavior management is not easy but is key to a child’s “long-term game.” Care for a child and provide the support they need, and they will pass the good-will on.


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