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More common mistakes to avoid #3

Working with young people can have many challenges. There is lots we can do to help and there is some things we should look to avoid. Here are three more things to avoid.
Ignoring small problems
By ignoring small issues you are saying that these things are okay to do. It is hard to set a line between when it is a small problem and it becomes a larger problem. It all comes down to consistency. If you do not allow the use of putdowns but then allow them to use 'light' versions of putdowns, it lacks consistency and young people will find it hard to know what is right and wrong. Keeping on top of smaller problems helps make sure they do not grow into larger ones.

Telling them what they need to stop.
Continually communicating what they cannot do does not help them learn what they can or should be doing. So tell them what you expect. Telling them what is required is far more positive then saying stop or no all the time.

Ordering compliance through a demand
'I demand that you apologise!' This is unlikely to get the person to apologise in heartfelt way and really mean it. By demanding, you are using power over the person to get them to do something. This creates resistance and powerful emotions that normally do not help the situation. You need to convince the person why they should change their behaviour with a valid reason. You could make a suggestion to apologise and the reasons why it appears to you that one is needed. However demands are unlikely to get the lasting change that you are seeking.
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