Brilliant behaviour is what we all aspire to but, especially in these turbulent times, is it realistic to expect every child to have brilliant behaviour all the time? Perhaps not, but what can we do?
How can we help put the fundamentals in place to support every child on their individual journey towards ‘brilliant behaviour’? Early Years SEND Specialist and SENCO Ali McClure shares with us a few tips to help you on your journey.
Every element of behaviour reveals a communication: there may not be any words involved but we can tell a lot by a child’s body language, facial expression and gestures. Children may not be able to express how they are feeling, especially if it is deep-seated or connected with their emotional wellbeing. So we need to look beyond the behaviour to try to work out what the child really needs and how we can help to fill that gap.
There is much guidance out there for dealing with behaviour when children return to schools and settings but precious little which focuses on relationships. A very wise foster carer once advised me ‘No correction without connection.’ This makes such sense. As adults, how do we respond if someone tries to point out our errors without knowing the first thing about us or our situation? In turn, how we react to situations and respond to the behaviours of others (children and adults) makes a huge difference to the way everyone feels and behaves.
The partnership between an early years setting and the home needs to be a strong one. Communication needs to be open and for everyone to feel as if they are true partners. Trust is important and once again this comes down to spending time, sharing strategies and – perhaps most importantly – truly listening to your parents. After all they know their child better than anyone. Share strategies, send home stories, invite parents into the setting from time to time – and let them feel truly involved in all their child does.
Attachment is something we are all familiar with these days. Every child needs strong attachment, not only at home but with their key person or special person in their setting. Children need to know that, alongside their parents, we are their anchor of attachment. We are the person they can always rely on, always return to and to always feel safe and secure. What a responsibility! What a privilege!
There are some simple things we can put in place to help children on their journey towards ‘brilliant behaviour’:
So many children, so many challenges, so many strategies… I hope these few suggestions have been helpful on your journey towards ‘brilliant behaviour’.
About the author
Ali is an experienced and highly respected educator, published author and creator, who uses a wealth of props, lively and fun activities in her training and consultancy; each is backed with a key message, proven to help you not only make a difference, but really understand the reasons why her strategies work so well.
Ali has up to date and first-hand experience as a Special Needs Coordinator, a Primary and Early Years’ Teacher and a Teacher Trainer.
You can follow Ali’s A-Z of Brilliant Behaviour on https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAjmp4ZhUBf4Xl8ZpC0p3Jw