I am sure that this is not new to anyone, but it is expressed in the very first paragragh- All students have a reason for their behaviours. Whether we understand these reasons or not, there is a reason none-the-less. As educators and adults, it is our responsibility to determine what that reason could be. Now if it were just me, I would have absolutely no clue what students were saying with their behaviours! Thankfully the authors Jane Nelsen and Kelly Gfroerer were kind enough to us a “Mistaken Goal Detective Clue Form” (page 11, continued on page 16) and a “Mistaken Goal Chart” on pages 12-15 to help us determine these reasons.
When I look at a repeated incident that happened with my youngest son while he was at daycare, I can see that he fit under the misguided power. He would intensify his behaviour whenever the adults in charge got angry wih him and tried to make him dowhat they wanted. He would get into the “You can’t make me” mode and intensify his behaviours even further, including throwing materials within the room, yelling, ignoring, and even running on top of the tables. In the end, I would get a phone call to come pick him up. If only they had used some of the ideas to be proactive and empowering of my child, they may have gotten different responses from him in the first place.
It is very important to ensure that issues are dealt with at an appropriate time and inan appropriate way with the child. Making sure that he/she feels safe is essential. Talking with the student privately when they are calm is needed to maintain the dignity of the child. The authors suggest asking the child, in an age appropriate way, if their behaviours fall under the different mistaken goal-whichever ones you feel their behaviours may fall under, then responding in a way that makes the child feel heard and understood, allowing the relationship to be repaired. It is absolutely imperative that empathy for the child is genuine-they can tell when you are being insincere. This will help build and maintain connections between the adult and child, allowing the child to feel they belong.
I will go through each of the Mistaken Goals seperately before moving on to Chapter 2.
- Look back on an incident you have had with a student (or even your own child) andd try to place their behaviours on the Mistaken Goal Chart. What could you have done differently?