Treat the Cause, Not the Syndrome

I truly admire Gavin McCormack’s devotion to children and his brilliant articles about how to be a master educator. This week McCormack posted an article on children’s behaviours. He said, “Beneath every behavior, there is an emotion. Beneath every emotion there is a need.”
When we as teachers and parents meet that need, rather than focussing on the behaviour, we begin to change our mindset to deal with the cause of the behaviour rather than the symptom.
As educators and parents, it is our job and responsibility to respond to the child’s behaviour in a kind and understanding way. We must consider that something is triggering the behaviour and look deeper to discover the root cause.
We all have 5 basic needs that we are behaving for. These needs are love and belonging, power, fun, freedom and safety. The more of these needs are not met, the worse our behaviour will be. It is so important that we ask which of these needs are not being met for the child.
Giving a child some time and caring will help the child feel supported and possibly tell you what they need to be happy. Asking questions is a very important thing to do when our children are acting out.

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