Misbehavior to Mistaken Behavior
We have discussed many classroom management strategies. Now, let’s talk about mistaken behavior and what you can do when it occurs.
It used to be a normal occurrence when we would hear the word “misbehavior.” We grew up calling behavior that we see “misbehavior,” when oftentimes that’s not what it ever was. Misbehavior implies that the behavior that occurred was intentional. If an 18 month old cannot talk and someone upsets them, they bite. It’s not intentional, they haven’t learned that biting isn’t an appropriate way to communicate that they are upset.
Instead, we have moved to using the words “mistaken behavior.” This implies that the behavior was unintentional. They may not have learned yet that it’s not an appropriate way to do something. We should not assume that a child will know how to behave in different situations without teaching them how to do so. We should not assume that a child will know how to behave in different situations after teaching them how to appropriately one or two times. It can take a dozen times for them to finally understand and be able to make the right choices for themselves.
It takes patience, persistence, and understanding to help with those mistaken behaviors, but once the change happens, it can be amazing.