|Dinkmeyer, McKay, &
Dinkmeyer developed a summary table describing the goals of
|Goals of Misbehaviour
||What child might be
||How adult might feel and
||Child's response to
||What might we do?
||I count only when I am
|Annoyed; wants to remind,
disturbing action when given attention but soon continues
|May begin new behaviour
to gain attention.
Ignore when possible.
Give attention in
for positives not on demand.
||I count only when I am
dominating, when you do what I want you to do, when I can do whatever I
generally wants power;
"I'll make him/her do it"; "You can't
get away with it."
|Intensifies action when
Student wants to win, be boss: defiance.
|Withdraw from conflict;
act, rather than talk.
Be friendly. Establish equality. Redirect efforts into constructive
||I can't be liked;I don't
but I'll count if I can hurt others as I feel hurt by life.
|Hurt; "How can he/she do
me?"; - retaliates,
tries to get even.
|Wants to get even. Makes
Seeks more revenge.
|Maintain order with
minimum restraint. Avoid retaliation. Take time help. Build trust.
||I can't do anything
right so I won't try to do anything at all; I am no good
discouraged; "I give up."
|No reprimand therefore no
Feels there is no use to try.
Passive and no improvement.
|Encourage any positive
Have faith in a child's ability; Don’t give up, pity or criticise.
of us has the resources needed for change and the potential to learn
An environment that support positive behaviour facilitates change more
than one that focuses on negative behaviour.
All behaviour is communication. A person cannot not respond. Even no
response is a response
– although an ambiguous one. All communication matters and is worthy of
We cannot change past events. We can change the impact they have on us.
If what you are doing is not working – do something different
Need help in processing information.
Tasks need to be broken down into smaller steps or presented in a few
Avoid verbal overload. Be clear. Use short sentences.
Need preparation for all changes in routine.
Respond well to positive statements and challenges “You can’t do that,
Uneven skills development – sometimes good at maths but poor at
writing; can need specific learning program.
Will often have detailed knowledge about interests and this can be used
to stimulate learning.
Normal levels of auditory and visual input can be perceived as too
much/too little. This is sometimes the same for temperature.
Often need training/support in organisational skills such as using a
diary, noting down homework.
specific reminders to “don’t forget to use your diary” or “this is
homework, you will need to get this done by (give specific date).
Need help choosing partners/forming groups - work better when seated
beside a good student, so
appropriate behaviour can be modelled.
Sometimes have problems with abstract and conceptual thinking - need
very concrete interactions and instructions especially if being
Use and interpret speech literally. Avoid: idioms (eg., save your
breath, jump the gun); double
meanings (jokes have double meanings); sarcasm; nicknames or ‘cute’
names (e.g., Pal, Buddy).
Irony can be absolutely lost and read as criticism.
Facial expression/other social cues may not work – needs a direct, calm
statement such as
An increase in unusual/difficult behaviours can indicate an increase in
stress often caused by feeling a loss of control. “Sam, I can see this
is stressful. Do you need to take some space?” often works. They really
want to be seen as ‘normal’. Have a place in the school where they can
go to get it together.
Poor behaviour is usually the result of efforts to survive experiences
which may be confusing,
disorienting or frightening. Often have extreme difficulty reading the
reactions of others.
Consistent treatment and expectations from everyone is vital.
Interrupt and re-direct repetitive verbal arguments/ repetitive
Do not rely on them to relay important messages to parents about school
stuff. Phone calls to home work well.
the capacity for productive work and a sense of competence and
emotional security, self-acceptance, self-knowledge, and a realistic
and undistorted perception of
oneself, others, and one’s surroundings;
social competence and the capacity for warm and caring relating to
others and for intimacy and
a sense of purpose and future.
can schools do?
Provide strong transition programs
Increase opportunities pro-social relationships – clubs and social
Set clear, consistent boundaries
Teach study skills
Teach non-violent conflict resolution
Make sure there is academic mastery
Teach life skills
Provide care and support
Set and communicate high expectations
Make sure there are strong vocational and career programs
Talk up strengths and help work on needs
Provide opportunities to celebrate all achievements – including those
outside the school.