ERIC Number: EJ1038559
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Reference Count: 6
Pain-Based Behavior with Children and Adolescents in Conflict
Anglin, James P.
Reclaiming Children and Youth, v22 n4 p53-55 Win 2014
Many actions of troubled children and adolescents can disguise and conceal their ever-present and deep-seated psycho-emotional pain. Adults living and working with these youth may overlook this pain in a strategy of avoidance. Labelling troubling behavior as "outbursts," "explosions," or "acting out," ignores the inner world of the child. Often, adults in authority react with superficial verbal demands (e.g., "Get a grip on yourself!" or "Don't speak to me like that!"). This can quickly escalate into conflict cycles with consequences such as time-out, grounding, withdrawal of privileges, or exclusion (Long, Morse, Fecser, & Newman, 2014). Much educational or child and youth care literature is overly focused on behavior management or even controlling children's behavior. The literature on adult survivors of childhood trauma suggests that the pain may never fully disappear. However, being able to cope with a sense of normality requires that the pain be named, owned, understood in its developmental context, and placed within a personal story that can lead to a positive future. Effective programs assist in launching this process by fostering investment in education, meaningful employment, sustainable relations with family members, and successful independent living. These successful outcomes are closely linked to an acceptance of the past, the development of self-management skills, and a sense of hope for the future. Given the depth and pervasiveness of psycho-emotional pain experienced by traumatized children and youth, it is essential to prepare educators and caregivers to meet these demanding and complex challenges. Effective intervention requires a deeper understanding on the origins and management of this pain-based behavior so that responsive human relationships can help these young people heal.
Descriptors: Pain, Children, Adolescents, Conflict, Trauma, Coping, Intervention, Child Behavior, Behavior Modification, Psychological Patterns, Adults, Responses, Emotional Response
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A