Youth group workers, any top tips on managing behaviour?(9 Posts)
I help to run a group of 10-12 year olds. There's only 13 of them but we are really struggling at the moment and I wonder if our expectations are out of line, particularly with a complete inability to listen. We really do try to hand things over to the children where appropriate but I think we are all very nervous of doing this as we are inexperienced. There's two specific diagnoses which might require a modified approach in the group, don't want to out myself but one of them is ADHD. Whole group work is a complete nightmare, small group work is lovely or at least a lot more manageable. My instinct is just to cut whole group work to a minimum but I wonder if more experienced workers might have other ideas!
Can you give them the issue and get them to make up some ground rules. Also what happens if the ground rules aren't followed.
Also would an assertive child be interested in leading some elements if they had clear instructions
Also during whole group work is it worth allocating one youth worker to support the young person with ADHD.
Do you know, isn't that daft but none of us thought of what to do if the ground rules weren't followed...
You're right we need to get more structured about letting the kids lead, we are scared of doing it because we haven't thought it through properly and how to support the kids
i think we feel a bit stuck between the kids who would find leading elements absolutely terrifying and those who would love to 'lead' or at least to shout at the tops of their voices for 30 minutes and then run off because they were bored. more structure needed.
I worked for a youth centre for 3 years. the only way we could really try and control their behaviour was a 3 strikes and then you're out policy. If 3 warnings in one session didn't stop the undesired behaviour then they were banned for the next week or 2 depending on how serious the behaviour was - we were open 4 night a week. This worked for the majority of kids obviously there were a couple that would try and flout bans, but the risk of permanent exclusion from the project (we had a good relationship with the beat police would would help us out if people were refusing to leave).
I found that whole group activities rarely worked (although we could have up to 30 kids per session), so we would have a couple of activities going on with a worker leading them, and then a chill out area where the kids could just chat and mess about a bit without affecting the activities. This was also supervised by a worker.
How many workers do you have? As a pp has said is it possible to have some one on one or one on two support with the children with ADHD?
Could you chat to some of the assertive kids and explain the situation, then ask them to brainstorm with the whole group about how to make things better and what to do when people step out of line or behave well. Is there a reward that can be worked towards?
Also does the group need a good run round/some physical activity before settling down to sessions? Would a game of rounders or an assault course or crazy races led by a different group of kids each week help? Just before you get down to other stuff.
If the child with ADSD is acting out, can you have a chat and ask him what techniques you should use to help him get the best out if sessions. What techniques work at school/home. Agree some strategies to minimalist disruption for others. If the sessions are too much for him, possibly he might even prefer to do a different activity while the others are cracking on with group work.
I really appreciate all the responses, thank you! I have called a leaders' meeting in a couple of weeks and feel quite inspired, I'm sure we can improve things.
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