Changes taking place in modern society have put forward a number of problems, one of which is the problem of educating the child with difficult behaviour. The urgency of it is that every year there has been an increase of juvenile delinquency, alcoholism, drug abuse, etc. Hence there is the tendency to an increase of the number of children with deviant behaviour. This behaviour is characterized by a deviation from the accepted moral and in some cases law patterns. It includes antisocial, illegal and auto-aggressive (suicide and self destructive) actions.
Reasons for deviations in behaviour occur as a result of socio-economic, political and environmental instability of society; changes of the level of value orientations of young people; adverse family relations; lack of parental control over the behaviour and the free time of their child; over-employment of adults; great number of divorce, etc. All this undermines the child’s confidence in him/her-self, a capacity for self-regulation and self-assertion in critical situations.
The personality of the youngster is not formed in a vacuum and by itself, but in the surrounding social environment. The last is crucial to the process of education.
The first manifestations of deviant behaviour are sometimes observed in the early school years and can be explained by:
· the relatively low level of the intellectual development of the child,
· “defects” in the process of identity formation,
· a negative influence of family and community.
The older the child, the more reasons contributing to deviations in behaviour they have. This may be dependence of child on the requirements of groups and adopted value orientations in these groups as well as persistent school failure, which is manifested in absence school knowledge and cognitive interests.
Systematic school failure is a serious cause of deviant behaviour. The growth of school failure leads to a complete lack of desire to learn. As a result, the student has a lot of spare time, which is nothing to fill with, because there are neither cognitive aspirations, nor the interested works and assignments.
An important group of factors of deviant behaviour are associated with the spreading of various kinds of social pathologies such as an increase in mental illness, impaired gene pool of the population, alcoholism, suicidal feelings, etc.
The most important issues are concerned to the child’s family such as deprivation, family discord, educational incompetence of parents, criticism, punishment for nothing, bad language when interacting with family members, parents’ alcoholism and even the fact of belonging to a dysfunctional family itself.
No less important problems of the child are illness leading to gaps in learning, loneliness, obscurity by others and some emotional and intellectual characteristics of teenagers such as irritability, aggression, low emotional and volitional control. Their mass sprawling creates the illusion of a normal adolescent behaviour, at least the absence of something extraordinary, immoral. As a result, adolescent subculture appears with its “rules” which allows to do everything what they want. That leads to denying the norms established by adult society, imposing their ideas of normal behaviour, appearing of the youth system of values with their bosses and priorities.
Student’s family plays a huge role in the mechanisms of social adaptation to all the living environment of the society. There is no such type of education in the family, which would definitely cause abnormal behaviour of the child or adolescent. But the families of children with behavioural problems are some of the features. Parents in these families are usually ” in little knowledge” of their children or not well aware of their feelings, pay them little time and attention, cannot control their behaviour, almost do not know about their friends and what they do in their spare time.
Adverse family environment contributes to disrupt process of socialization of the student and leads to the accumulation of its deviant potential. Professionals such as teachers, social workers, psychologists, school doctors can adequately examine the conditions of the child and family in order to organize the work with parents. For example, the interaction of these professionals aim to identify shared behavioural problems in a child or group of children, that in turn will help to forecast the possible development of students and the organization of work for the prevention and correction of deviant behaviour. The effectiveness of work of an integrated team of these specialists at the school with children and adolescents who have behavioural problems are strongly dependent on the well-organized process of studying the individual child and his inner world.
Among the factors that explain the deviant behaviour of children and adolescents is the position of the child in the group. This may be a school team, class, interest groups, etc. The loss of comfort in a school community leads to the fact that the child seeks for a more comfortable group. Thus, the more likely we can predict that a violation of the child’s relationship in a group is a main cause to deviant behaviour.
The next factor to be taken into account when forecasting – is the effect of the group on a student. Such factor considers the child to be the leader of a particular group when he/she fully accepts the values and objectives or is able to defend the views on things and events.
Although all the above factors are closely related, for a particular student, a particular factor may be dominant. Therefore, educational support for children and adolescents with behavioural problems aims to restore their normal social status, self-improvement through adequate study of psychological difficulties and challenges: motivational, behavioural, informational, emotional, and personal. Any measure is as effective as it takes into account the uniqueness and originality of the child. What counts is the individual approach, which means to identify the specific nature of the psychological difficulties of deviant child and effective teaching mechanisms that underlie children’s issues.
The most important task for cooperative work of teachers and parents is preventive work, which aim is to identify children and adolescents who are prone to deviant behaviour or having initial signs of deviant behaviour. In a broader sense, an individual approach should be applicable equally to all children, suggesting a good knowledge of the personality by each child’s teacher. An important step to increase the effectiveness of both general and individual preventive work is the development and implementation of activities that have a common goal – to control the process of socialization of children and adolescents and the elimination of antisocial influences.
The next way is re-education of a “difficult” child in schools, which aims to displace accumulated negative experiences by positive in the process of communication. Thought-out plan of educational work with “difficult” students largely determines success in their rehabilitation. In this respect, there are two aspects that are highly complementary. First, the event is designed for all “difficult” students at the school. Second is an individual work with each of the students. The first aspect is embodied in the school-wide level, and the second – in terms of class teachers and caregivers.
As a rule of thumb, an educational plan of correction must answer three questions:
· what should be eliminated (negative factors of family and school education, negative personality traits);
· a way to fix the problem (how to analyze school student, who changes the nature of the relationship);
· Who is to do it and what to do (distribution of responsibilities among educators, psychologists ).
Response to the plan gives us a list of goals and objectives for a specific period, indicating the ways and means of achieving them.
The school-wide plan should include:
· measures to identify “difficult” children,
· measures to form culture of student conduct,
· research on best practices and scientific advice on the problem rehabilitation of students with behavioural disorders.
Plan of individual work with “difficult” students may include the following sections :
· identify specific deficiencies and the objective difficulties of educating the child in family and school,
· analysis of the moral and psychological features of his personality,
· the positive identification of existing interests and hobbies,
· a list of the ways and means of forming positive personality traits and the organization of social and valuable experience.
It is important that all of the planned activities constitute a system and continue to complement one another, being not accidental, not contrary to other educational activities.
The most difficult task of the teacher is to find a key to understanding the “difficult” child or adolescent. One key that will make a system of adequate educational measures to work is to promote an environment in which a child would want to change their behaviour. In developing strategies for working with these children for teachers, it should be understood that for any student behaviour problems there are certain motives. Moreover, the same behaviour can be caused by different reasons. For example, the aggressive behaviour of a child in the school can be caused by a desire for power, the development of leadership qualities or as compensation to increased anxiety.
Respectively, the educational strategy in each case will be built individually, based on the understanding of the causes of the child’s behaviour. Thus, teachers need to find the motives of “difficult” child in other words they must understand them. Such strategy or stage clarifies the understanding of cause and effect of “difficult” student behaviour.
During the life adults develop certain stereotypes related to “difficult” children, a set of typical reactions to a particular student’s negative behaviour. Most often, when faced with challenging behaviour of children, many teachers have enough destructive feelings: anger, resentment, frustration, anxiety, fear, grief and so on which paralyze the creative approach to the selection of non-standard behaviour of educational strategies. It is important to recognize the feelings and not allow them to control the mind. The ability of the teacher to see themselves through the eyes of a child, to put yourself in his place, to think not only about their own feelings, but also about a child’s feelings – these steps are necessary in order to understand “difficult” student as he or she is. This is the second important emotional stage.
The third stage – the stage of educational influences on the “difficult” students – will have positive results only if the success of the first two was achieved. Teachers will be able to help a child if he/she feels and understands that adults feel and understand their problems and take it for what it is. If a child or adolescent will be open for communication and education, only then he will want to change his negative behaviour.
In conclusion, only individual appeal to the individual child’s interests and hobbies, taking into account the peculiarities of its development will help teachers find a way to the “difficult” children. It is well known that it is always easier to prevent than cure. The same principal may be applied to education. The best way to prevent is to assist in the implementation of the basic needs of the “difficult” child of love, security, attention, satisfaction. It is important to foster a strong-willed, moral, intellectual and spiritual qualities that sustain people. Self-determined individual with his own life-centre is unlikely to fall under the influence of negative norms and patterns of behaviour.