Little People UK
Achieving positive behaviour policy
1. Statement of intent
Little People UK (LPUK) believes that we flourish when our personal, social and emotional needs are met and where there are clear and appropriate expectations for our behaviour. At LPUK we believe that we should be free to play, learn and live, without fear of being hurt or unfairly restricted by anyone else.
We aim to teach people that they need to consider the views and feelings, needs and rights, of others and what the impact their behaviour has on people, places and objects. This is a task that requires support, encouragement, teaching and setting the correct example. The principles that underpin how we achieve positive and considerate behaviour exist by promoting personal, social and emotional behaviour correctly.
- LPUK supports personal, social and emotional development, including issues concerning behaviour and involves the LPUK committee and its members to provide consistency.
- We require all responsible persons to:
1. Keep her/himself up to date with legislation, research and thinking on promoting positive behaviour and on handling behaviour where it may require additional support.
2. Access relevant sources of expertise on promoting positive behaviour within our group for supporting personal, social and emotional development.
- We recognise that codes for interacting with other people vary between cultures and require LPUK and its members to be aware of, and respect, those used by members of the LPUK.
- We require all LPUK members to provide a positive model of behaviour, by treating children, parents and their families, with friendliness, care and courtesy.
- We familiarise new LPUK members with the LPUK Achieving Positive Behaviour Policy and its guidelines for behaviour.
- We expect all members of LPUK to keep to the guidelines, requiring these to be applied consistently.
Strategies for those who engage in inconsiderate behaviour
- We require all LPUK members to use positive strategies for handling any inconsiderate behaviour, by helping them to find solutions in ways that are appropriate. Such solutions might include, for example; acknowledgement of feelings, explanation as to what was not acceptable and supporting them to gain control of their feelings so that they can learn a more appropriate response.
- We acknowledge considerate behaviour such as kindness and willingness to share, giving praise for positive behaviours.
- We support each person in developing self-esteem, confidence and feelings of competence.
- We support each LPUK member and their families in developing a sense of belonging in our group, so that they feel valued and welcome.
- When others behave in inconsiderate ways, we help them to understand the outcomes of their action(s) and support them in learning how to cope more appropriately.
- In cases of serious misbehaviour, such as racial or other abuse, we make clear immediately the unacceptability of the behaviour and attitudes, by means of explanations rather than personal blame. The incident is recorded and reported as appropriate.
- We do not shout or raise our voices in a threatening way to respond to peoples inconsiderate behaviour.
Rough-and-tumble play and fantasy aggression
- Young children often engage in play that has aggressive themes - such as superhero and weapon play; some children appear pre-occupied with these themes, but their behaviour is not necessarily a precursor to hurtful behaviour or bullying, although it may be inconsiderate at times and may need addressing using strategies as above.
- We recognise that teasing and rough and tumble play are normal for young children and acceptable within limits. We regard these kinds of play as pro-social and not as problematic or 'aggressive'.
- We will develop strategies to contain play that are agreed with the children, and understood by them, with acceptable behavioural boundaries to ensure children are not hurt.
- We recognise that fantasy play also contains many violently dramatic strategies - blowing up, shooting etc., and that themes often refer to 'goodies and baddies' and as such offer opportunities for us to explore concepts of right and wrong.
- We are able to tune in to the content of the play, perhaps to suggest alternative strategies for heroes and heroines, making the most of 'teachable moments' to encourage empathy and lateral thinking to explore alternative scenarios and strategies for conflict resolution.
- We take hurtful behaviour very seriously. Most children and some adults will at some stage hurt or say something hurtful to another person, especially if their emotions are high at the time, but it is not helpful to label this behaviour as 'bullying'. For children under five, hurtful behaviour is momentary, spontaneous and often without cognisance of the feelings of the person whom they have hurt.
- We recognise that children/adults behave in hurtful ways towards others because they have not have the means to manage intense feelings that sometimes overwhelm them.
- We will help them in trying to manage these feelings.
- We understand that self-management of intense emotions, especially of anger, happens when the brain has developed neurological systems to manage the physiological processes that take place when triggers activate responses of anger or fear.
- Therefore we help this process by offering support, calming the child (or adult) who is angry, as well as the one who has been hurt by the behaviour. By helping the child (or adult) to return to a normal state, which will help them to manage his or her own feelings.
- We do not engage in punitive responses to a child's/adult’s rage as that will have the opposite effect.
- We recognise that people require help in understanding the range of feelings experienced. We help them to recognise their feelings by naming them and helping them to express them, making a connection verbally between the event and the feeling.
- We help children/adults to learn to empathise with others, understanding that they have feelings too and that their actions impact on others' feelings.
- We help to develop pro-social behaviour, such as resolving conflict.
- We are aware that the same problem may happen over and over and offer support by patient and clear boundaries.
- We support social skills through modelling behaviour, through activities, drama and stories. We build self-esteem and confidence in LP/AH, recognising their emotional needs through close and committed relationships with them.
- We help an LP/AH to understand the effect that their hurtful behaviour has had on another person; we do not force people to say sorry, but encourage this where it is clear that they are genuinely sorry and wish to show this to the person they have hurt.
- We take bullying very seriously. Bullying involves the persistent physical or verbal abuse of another child/children or adult(s). It is characterised by intent to hurt, often planned, and accompanied by an awareness of the impact of the bullying behaviour.
- A child/children or adult(s) who is/are bullying is able to plan to carry out a premeditated intent to cause distress to another.
- If a child or adult bullies another child/children or adult:
1. We show the child/children or adult(s) who have been bullied that we are able to listen to their concerns and act upon them if we can.
2. We explain to the child/children or adult(s) doing the bullying why her/his behaviour is not acceptable.
3. We give reassurance to the child/children or adult(s) who have been bullied.
4. We help the child/children or adult(s) who has done the bullying to recognise the impact of their actions.
5. We do not label children/adults who bully as 'bullies'.
6. We recognise that children or adults who bully may be experiencing bullying themselves, or be subject to abuse or other circumstance causing them to express their anger in negative ways towards others.
7. We recognise that children or adults who bully are often unable to empathise with others and for this reason, we do not insist that they say sorry, unless it is clear that they feel genuine remorse for what they have done. Empty apologies are just as hurtful to the bullied child/children or adult(s) as the original behaviour.
4. Further guidance
This policy was adopted:
Date: August 2017 Next Review Date: August 2018
Signed: S.Davis (Chairperson) On behalf of Little People UK Committee