All about behaviour


After completing sessions 1 and 2, you’re well on your way. Session 3: All about behaviour differs slightly as it requires you to have spoken to some young people to try and work out why they behave in certain ways - whether they’re always well mannered and polite or shy or even a little talkative at times!

Have your teachers ever told you to behave yourself and stop acting like a child? Perhaps you did not think you were behaving badly. Perhaps you thought your actions were justified. Maybe you felt aggrieved about something that was said or done to you. Maybe you thought that your actions or behaviour were an appropriate response to what happened. In your mind you had perfectly good reasons for behaving the way you did. 

Clearly, your teachers did not see things from your perspective, or they would not have commented on your behaviour. Their opinion of your actions was very different to yours – possibly they felt that they were unjustified, inappropriate or childish. 

In short, regardless of the rights and wrongs of the situation, what you exhibited was ‘challenging behaviour’. Your actions (which you thought acceptable) were seen as rebellious, childish and wrong by others - in this case your teachers.

What is challenging behaviour?

Challenging behaviour is certain behaviour that others can find difficult to manage, could be disruptive or is not the norm. It’s important to recognise that challenging behaviour may not just be the person who always shouts out, and it could be the young person always alone in the corner. 

The mind map below outlines examples of behaviours which could be challenging. There is usually a motivation to behave in such ways, or a trigger. For example, if a beaver is bored whilst a game is explained, they may begin talking to their friends. This is disruption and therefore challenging behaviour. This example shows the motivation doesn't need to be hugely bad, simply being bored can trigger talking when you don’t want it.

What is challenging behaviour

At the end of the session, you should have:

Session objectives:

Check you:

  • Recognise challenging behaviour
  • Understand the ‘process of behaviour’
  • Can encourage good behaviour
  • Know how to minimise disruptive behaviour
  • Are able to manage different behaviour in relation to the Orange Card

The 3 step process to behaviour

Check out the 3 point process to all types of behaviour, including challenging behaviour:

3 point process

The motivation is a key step and can be managed - this is identifying the motivation to behave in a certain way. It could be something as simple as being bored.

Equally, the action of the behaviour itself could be stopped. This could be managed by simply moving young people to avoid bad behaviour.

As an example - a young person could be bored and could therefore become disruptive:
  1. The motivation is boredom - the young person needs to be engaged
  2. The action is the young person choosing to be disruptive (talking etc.)
  3. The consequence is that the young person disrupts the session
Check out how you can manage this below:

Managing challenging behaviour

Intervening and managing behaviour is key. You must decide at which point to intervene - whether that be removing the motivation (e.g. ensuring boredom doesn't set in); preventing the action directly (e.g. removing someone from a game if they do not follow the rules). Both of these strategies therefore prevent the consequence. Interventions at the point of action should be used as a last resort. Here are some examples of intervention techniques at two different points:

Intervening with the motivation:

  • Encourage good behaviour
  • Work in small groups to control behaviour easier
  • Ensure extra help or support is available for those who do not understand or are struggling
  • Always ensure the activity is sufficiently fun, challenging and adventurous

Intervening before the action

  • Separate people if they become disruptive
  • Name individuals who are disruptive (e.g. 'Thanks for listening Nathan')
  • Use a technique to gain attention (e.g. hand up means quiet)
  • Remove individuals from a situation if they are disruptive

Remember to always follow the Orange Card guidelines when dealing with behaviour. If in any doubt, remember that your section leader is there to help you.

Jack Fletcher,
5 Aug 2015, 03:19