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More common mistakes to avoid

Sorry for the gap in between postings, I have been away working. Here are three more common mistakes when working with young people.

Do not tell stories about your own misspent youth.
This might "talk up" the behaviours and may not provide very good role modelling. By all means empathise but think about what type of message you send by the stories you tell. You might be trying to sharing reasons why not to do something while they might hear it and think of it as a rites of passage - hey you did it and it didn't harm you so I should give it a go.

Make sure that you avoid give them consequences that provide a double punishment.
Giving someone a time out (excluded from a group for a period of time) and then not allowing them to go out on an outing is really doubling up. It is much better to only have one consequence unless it is part of a scaling strategy - that is as behaviours continue or escalate the consequences become greater. I would only ever use two or more consequences if the consequences where discussed before hand, so that the persons knows if they continue to act in a certain way then this is what will occur. Note that by discussions I do not mean threats in the heat of the moment but as part of behaviour agreement conversations on what is expected and what will occur if those expectations are not met.

Avoid physically contact with angry people as this could be seen as a threat.
In most situations contact is avoided anyway - unless you are a parent - but when people are in a heightened emotional state contact can have poor outcomes. When feeling threatened it can cause people to lash out, further worsening the situation for all parties. Instead give very simple instructions of less then five words like "put it down" or "move outside" repeatedly in a firm but calm tone. Once the situation has calmed then discuss the problem and issue consequences if required.
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