Today’s training module for new employees is about managing every day behavior. What is the most healing way to deal with the child who leaves a towel on the bathroom floor? Who won’t do her chore? Remember, this is the seventh in a series of ten. This training series is designed to prepare new, inexperienced staff to deliver skillful trauma-informed care. The lessons can be taught by supervisors. Each module consists of a discussion and an exercise to try to explore the topic. And each module includes a tip sheet with ideas for how to put that skill into practice immediately, using practical strategies.
Before I go on to this module, I want to remind you about my on line training course Making It Real! Implementing Trauma-Informed Care in Child Serving Agencies.
Making It Real! is For You!
Making It Real! Making It Real is a team-based course for child serving programs. The classes consist of twelve modules. Each module contains several sub-topics, all of which have three parts:
- A video introduction to the topic
- An Implementation Guide which will lead your team to examine current practice, change strategies, confront barriers and find ways to overcome them, and to develop a specific plan for moving forward.
- Resource(s) which will give you the information you need to change
As your team works through the modules in whichever order best fits your agency, you will see the trauma-informed thinking and actions begin to permeate all aspects of the work you do.
Please check out the course here. There is a limited time introductory special with great bonuses. When you enroll in the course you can download all the materials for lifetime access. And there is a money-back guarantee, so why not try it?
Now for the seventh module in the New Employee Training Series- Managing Everyday Behavior
We do not use consequences for everyday behavior such as leaving a towel in the bathroom, not completing chores, talking in line, coming into the staff office without knocking. All these things are handled by re-direction. If a child leaves a towel in the bathroom, tell them to go pick it up. No need to add on an additional time out or level drop or anything like that. What if they won’t do it? What if they refuse to complete their chore for example? Then life just does not move on until they do. For example, if a child is supposed to clean their room and they won’t, staff should offer to help and be very inviting, but not engage in a power struggle. Staff could say: “Do you need help with that? Because we are going to the gym, and I’d love to have you join us, as soon as your room is done.” If the child cleans her room, she is immediately back in programming with no further consequences. If not, she cannot participate in the fun until she does. Staff remains open to helping her and hoping that she will join in with the group soon.
Many of the everyday behaviors we see are normal for kids, and become more complicated for us because we are managing a whole group. The most effective approach is to stop other activities until the behavior is done, and then welcome the child back into the fun.
The Role of Shame:
Shame is a major barrier to relationships. Shame develops because the child blames himself for everything that has happened to him. The shame-based child is sure that anyone who gets to know his horrible inner core will reject him, and relationships will only lead to pain. Shame leads to attack, to move away from others. Taking responsibility for ones actions is not possible when to do so means experiencing ones utter worthlessness. Their anticipation of rejection is so powerful they avoid connection. The child refuses contact because all contact is painful. He tries to send us away. The impulse of guilt is to reach out and repair…. The impulse of shame is to hide and attack…
The antidote to shame is sharing…to tell the secrets, what is shareable is bearable. These secrets may be specific events, but also may include how sad, confused, hopeless and vulnerable the child feels inside.
Exercise to try:
Discuss what difficulties you foresee with this approach? What behaviors might be challenging? How could we handle them in the moment without additional consequences?
What do we do in our program that adds to shame?
What can we do to decrease shame?
How can we talk about problems in non-shaming ways?
How does shame interfere with “taking responsibility for ones’ behavior”?
For Tips on Managing Everyday Behavior, Click here:
Let me know your reactions to these modules at firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to check out Making It Real!
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