Reaching all participants how to adapt and work with challenging behaviors
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Reaching All Participants: How to Adapt and Work with Challenging Behaviors. What is Behavior Management?. “all the things used in teaching individuals what you want them to learn, including: social behaviors, but also related to cognitive, motor, language, and emotional development.”

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Reaching All Participants: How to Adapt and Work with Challenging Behaviors

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Reaching All Participants: How to Adapt and Work with Challenging Behaviors

What is Behavior Management?

“all the things used in teaching individuals what you want them to learn, including: social behaviors, but also related to cognitive, motor, language, and emotional development.”

(Glen, Sally and McCoy, Youlanda, 1980)

Goal of Behavior Management


Redirect to behavior we want

Behavior is a form of…


Two ways participants…


What are they?


Actual Words

  • Avoid BIG Words





  • I said be quiet

  • I said be quiet

  • I said be quiet

Participants engage in challenging behavior because

IT WORKS for them!

Our Behavior Management Philosophy

  • Bad behavior does not mean bad kids.

  • Leave your personal baggage at home.

  • It’s not about you. (QTIP)

Why Don’t They Participate?

  • Lack of understanding – they do not understand the activity

  • Lack of ability – they do not have the skills to do the activity

  • Lack of interest – they do not want to do the activity

    What else can you think of?

3 Elements

That can cause a child to act out

Environmental Influences:

Outside factors that may effect a child’s behavior (i.e., weather, program structure, transitions).

Personal Attitudes:

Inside feelings and emotions from another child or a staff that may effect a child’s behavior.

  • Add pic

Inability to cope:

The child’s inability to respond or react appropriately to situations, feelings, and things that they can not control or they do not understand.

So…How do we manage the behaviors we see?

Focusing on the Target

Target the Behavior you want STOPPED!

  • Most disruptive

  • Prevents appropriate participation

  • Is dangerous to themselves or others

  • Occurs frequently

Exercise: “Name that Behavior”

Click on the link below to begin interactive portion of this training

Situation #1:

One of the campers continuously has verbal outbursts and says how much they hate you, they hate the class, and they hate all the other kids. No one wants to play with him and often he is playing by himself during an activity, swimming or on field trips. When he is engaged in a activity he seems to enjoy them very much.

Poll Everywhere App

Situation #2:

During the gym activities, you notice that a camper likes to squeeze himself into a corner and rub his body back and forth against the wall. Eventually, Sam, one of the camp counselors comes over and after several attempts, he is able to get his to participate in the activity for a couple of minutes.

Situation #3:

It is time to get ready to go home. Each day this particular preschooler throws off his shoes and destroys the contents of his back pack. It is a physical struggle to get him out of the room everyday.

Situation #5:

Kite flying was cancelled for the day due to stormy weather. The camper refused to participate in any other activities, yelling that he was going to fly the kite. As the afternoon progressed, he remained non compliant refusing to participate in any activity by going to sit by himself and pouting. The camper tried several times to leave the building and had to be physically stopped.

The of behavior

A= antecedents

Conditions that occur before behavior which triggers the behavior.

B= behaviors

Observable actions that immediately follow the antecedent.

C= consequences

What happens after the behavior occurs, as a result of (or in response to) the behavior.

Natural consequences

Staff or peer responses

The Process

Trigger for behavior

Consequences of behavior




Document! Document! Document!

Planning Ahead to Prevent Behavior Problems

Setting up Your Program

  • Program Structure

  • Physical Space

Programmatically: Unstructured time or time with no planned activity

  • Behaviors: boredom, engaging in inappropriate ways of entertaining self.

  • Action Needed: develop well-planned activities that fill the entire day. Always be prepared with back-up plans.

Activities that are inappropriate, do not challenge, and are uninteresting

  • Behaviors: boredom, non-participation, rebellion

  • Action Needed: plan a variety of activities that are relevant to the participants’ age, culture, abilities, challenging, and meaningful to them.

Activities that do not provide opportunities for SUCCESS

  • Behaviors: low self-esteem could lead to aggression toward self and others; inappropriate attention seeking; learned inappropriate behaviors.

  • Action Needed: plan activities that are within the realm of each participant’s skills and abilities. Reward success. Make sure that each participant has the opportunity to succeed.

Sudden changes in routine

  • Behaviors: resistance, non-compliance, rebellion

  • Action Needed: prepare and follow a routine schedule; ask for the participants’ input; inform them in advance of the schedule; post the schedule in a visible area so they can SEE what will happen; discuss any program changes with participants.

Overstimulation or high excited states

  • Behaviors: difficult transition, situation getting out of control

  • Action Needed: prepare for the transition to less active events:

    • Gradually decreasing the excitement level

    • Transition count downs

    • Timers

    • Post a schedule

Let’s Check your Understandingclick the link below to go to the next quiz

Therapeutic Rapport

  • Drop in physical and emotional energy after a crisis/behavior.

  • Rebuild the relationship/trust

  • Tomorrow is a new day!

Rational Detachment

At Work

At Home

  • Deep breaths

  • Debrief as a group

  • Ask for help

  • Ask questions

  • Take a break

  • Play a game with campers

  • Team building exercises

  • Know what you did well

  • Walk the dog

  • Music

  • Exercise

  • Talk to friends/family

  • Watch TV

  • Do something you enjoy


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