Robert Hamilton gave the following suggestions for times when we work with challenging behaviors:
1. Don’t take it personally. It’s not about you.
2. The behaviour is challenging. The person is not.
3. De-escalate first. Problem solve later.
4. Sometimes we might not see it but there’s always a reason.
5. Have empathy. Just imagine what the person is going through.
This reminds me of The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. What they are both saying is crucial for us as educators and parents to remember. We especially must remember to not take things like challenging behaviour personally and to never make assumptions. People who act out are still trying to have power in their lives. They just haven’t chosen the behaviour that we like. But remember that they are always doing the best they know how based on the present situation and their past experiences.