Schools Claiming ‘He’s Too Damaged to Manage’ – Can’t Excuse Poor Behaviour Management!

Adults must get the message that they should be in the driving seat where children’s behaviour is concerned. Children behave badly when they are allowed to behave that way due to adults not managing behaviour effectively or competently.

Schools don’t intentionally allow bad behaviour to happen or get worse. But, unless teachers take effective action there is no doubt that the situation will worsen. Children’s behaviour will become more demanding and challenging and in some cases the behaviour becomes extreme and finally, unmanageable.

Children’s behaviour frequently becomes so extreme that schools can no longer manage. Teachers may feel they’ve used effective behaviour management strategies and the strategies have failed. But, if they had used the strategies this dire situation wouldn’t have arisen! The teachers simply haven’t known what to do. By not managing the child properly the matter has descended to the point where the child can’t be contained in school, even with extra adult support.

Schools sometimes say, with some pride, that they’ve managed to keep a child in the school in spite of their worsening behaviour. But, all they’ve done is contain the problem. They haven’t changed the child’s behaviour patterns. However, it’s change that’s needed so the child can grow up with the emotional maturity to cope in an adolescent/adult environment.

At this point, where things have gone so disastrously wrong, what do schools and teachers say?

This is the cue to reach for the list of excuses offered when schools are faced with the ‘we can’t cope any more’ problem.

These excuses are common to those having trouble dealing with children’s behaviour problems — there are dozens. They’re all well used and practised… And guess what? They blame the child or some other adult or agency involved with the child and their family.

It’s extremely rare for adults to look at their own behaviour when faced with difficulties in managing children’s behaviour. They just don’t think that way…

What’s the worst excuse in my mind? Well one of the worst…

It’s adults who claim, ‘He’s so damaged’… As though he’s (sorry, it’s usually a ‘he’) a chipped plate… Or a plate that’s been dropped on the floor and smashed into pieces…

Oh, of course, this ‘damage’ has always been inflicted by the other adults or agencies who’ve been involved.

A child who is allowed to behave badly, particularly over a long period of time, without adults addressing the situation, is being emotionally damaged and will become even more emotionally damaged unless the behaviour problems are addressed. The longer the behaviour is allowed to continue the more emotional damage will be suffered. So much emotional damage is caused by adults allowing children to behave badly, but even more is caused by adults throwing up their arms in despair, saying that nothing can be done to change the situation.

Parents, teachers and schools faced with children starting to behave badly are responsible for addressing the behaviour and managing it effectively.

Does that seem tough? Maybe it is. But blaming others and claiming a child is ‘damaged’ can’t excuse adults from dealing with children’s problem behaviour.

There’s no doubt that children enter school with a vast ranges of backgrounds and previous experiences — some dreadful. Nobody would wish their backgrounds on anyone. Frequently, schools claim these previous experiences lead to children’s bad behaviour. But, it’s these very troubled children who need adults to control and manage their behaviour more than other children who have more fortunate backgrounds.

You can learn to manage children’s behaviour – anyone can. Just follow some common sense behaviour management strategies consistently and you’ll get good results pretty quickly. Adults, whether teachers or parents, have a duty to guide and manage children’s behaviour.