Why Do Children Harm?

Sometimes children’s undesirable behavior stems from a need or desire for attention. The child learns that the best way to get the adult’s attention is to do something that he or she doesn’t approve of.

On the other hand, children’s inappropriate behavior is often the result of environmental factors beyond the child’s control. For this reason, it is necessary to take into account the external factors that cause undesirable behavior. If the child’s behavior is triggered by external factors, environmental conditions must be regulated. It may not always be possible to regulate environmental conditions. In this case, the teacher should know that the child is under stress and should help him find alternative coping methods.

* Environmental Factors That Teacher Can Be Effective:

Physical environment: The physical environment encourages or discourages the child. For example, a large class may induce an urge in the child to run in the classroom. The fact that the materials to be used are on high shelves causes the child to become dependent on the teacher. The complexity of the activity area causes disruptive behavior and aggression. Standing in line, standing too close, causes scuffles and other aggressive behavior.

Expectations that are not appropriate for the child’s developmental level: Each stage of development has its own characteristics, needs and behaviors. They get frustrated or bored when their expectations are high or low. Expectations should be in line with the child’s abilities. Undesirable behaviors occur when expectations and the environment are not appropriate for the child’s age.

Inconsistent messages: Different responses to the same behavior can occur at different times. In this case, the child cannot understand what is acceptable and what is not. Sometimes, there may be inconsistency between acceptable behavior at home and acceptable behavior at school. Changing undesirable behavior depends on consistent behavior.

            Hypersensitivity to stimuli: Many children thrive with a stimulating environment, but for some, color, sound, activity level, and movement can be overwhelming. Sometimes hyperactive children have difficulty calming down, exhibit aggressive and disruptive behaviors, have difficulty concentrating on the activity they are doing because there are too many stimuli in the environment. In this case, solutions can be found such as taking the child to a place where he can calm down in the classroom, changing the place where the child sits in the classroom and ensuring that he is less affected by the stimuli.

* Environmental Factors That The Teacher Cannot Change

         Health problems: Health has a serious impact on behavior. Children are not as adept as adults at expressing that they are not feeling well. When they are sick, they may exhibit undesirable or unexpected behaviors.

    Allergies: Some children’s behavior may be affected by food or environmental allergies. As a result, the child may be overactive, act agitated, and his attention span may be shortened.

             Not enought feeding: Behaviors are also affected by eating habits. A child who comes to school hungry may act tired, grumpy, fragile, sensitive.

             Sensory problems: Behaviors can also be caused by vision and hearing problems. A child with vision problems may act insecure, clumsy, and have difficulty following directions. Likewise, a child with a hearing problem may shout loudly, become easily distracted, overactive or exhibit destructive behaviors.

          Family problems: Children may exhibit inappropriate behavior when their daily routines change and they do not understand what is going on. (divorce, frequent quarrels between parents, financial problems, birth of a sibling, moving to a new home, family member constantly out of town)

Unwanted behaviors differ among children. There are many reasons for a child to behave inappropriately. Before judging that the child is doing the behavior consciously and voluntarily, other factors influencing behavior need to be carefully considered.

If the problem is caused by a situation that cannot be changed (such as divorce), the child should be helped to gain coping skills.

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