The seeds of discouragement in work with young people INTRODUCTION Discouragement by definition is the act of or instance of being discouraged, the state of being discouraged or something that discourages. In other words it is simply the feeling of despair in the face of obstacles. Young people may become defiant or hard if seeds of discouragement are sown into their lives especially during their childhood years. This essay will seek to demonstrate how discouragement can be used positively by a child and youth care worker (CYCW) to try to help the youths they work with develop positively.
It will discuss how CYCW behaviors encourage or discourage youths by addressing the four ecological hazards linked to the profiles of discouragement. The 10D’s of deviance will be explained and then it will further explain what the impact of personal theories of behavior can be. This paper will conclude by looking at what the impact on assessment will be if the child or young person feels discouraged by his or her interactions with the CYCW. CYCW’s are in daily contact with children and young people and they assume a very large and important role in their lives.
Gannon (1990) suggests that they interact, observe and spend a lot of time with them hence they know them and their ways very well. Gannon (1990) further suggest that CYCW’s represent children and youth, share their hopes and aspirations for the future as mature, responsible and independent adults. A CYCW can use discouragement in a positive way so as to try to develop appropriate behaviors and attitudes by discouraging them from engaging in dangerous and negative activities that can affect their growth, development and achievements.
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This can be achieved by focusing on transitions within their environments instead of concentrating on the negative traits of troubled children. Four ecological hazards which are destructive relationships, climates of futility, learned irresponsibility and loss of purpose can be used to address this. Destructive Relationships Children affected by this hazard are for example those children who are unclaimed or rejected by their families. Their needs are failed to be met by their caretakers.
This usually leads children to lose the ability of being able to create meaningful and real attachments with anyone. They feel like outcast and in most instances those in foster homes are moved constantly from one home to another. Stout & Kipling (2003) suggested that those who practiced detachment effectively distanced themselves from the source of hurt, whether by “shutting down,” not speaking or hearing or joking and laughing about the source of pain. They end up being involved in delinquency such as stealing, drugs use and abuse and even prostitution. Some end up having suicidal thoughts.
Ackerman (2012) suggests that one of the elements of reclaiming discouraged youths is by earning their trust therefore the CYCW can discourage this negative behavior by gaining trust and building a meaningful relationship with these children. By this they can be influential in the children’s lives, discourage them from negative activities and behaviors and correct and comment them when their behavior is unacceptable. Climates of Futility This ecological hazard consists of children who fear failure because they feel inadequate. It looks at achievement or mastery.
Grose (n. d) suggests that most children like adults can be stung by discouragement and if they receive enough of it, their self-esteem takes a dive and they begin to take fewer risks for fear of being criticized for making mistakes. These children are seen as ignorant and arrogant. A rather negative, cynical and pessimistic approach does not work because negative discouragement by a CYCW can lead to negative futility being breed. Punishing them can also lead these children to be more difficult as boredom may be the main cause of them following destructive paths.
They are unmotivated, give up easily and avoid risks hence the CYCW should discourage these traits and encourage them to focus on their strengths, be creative, persistent and motivated in what they do. This can be achieved by creating non-threatening environments and having experimental activities that involve social engagement by teaching those concepts and not facts. Mentoring and teaching them accountable cooperative learning can discourage them from engaging in the negative activities they were once involved in or might get involved in as a sense of a future and purpose is created. Learned Responsibility
This ecological hazard consists of children who are rebellious and defiant as they try to mask their sense of powerlessness. This in most cases leads these children to join gangs in search of a feeling of belonging. Another reason for these gangs to be created is for these children to look for loop holes and go against authority. This is because their needs are not being met by the existing social structures. This may lead to drug and alcohol abuse, theft, prostitution and even killings. Responsibility cannot be learned because of these negative and destructive ways that would have been learnt.
CYCW’s can discourage these children from gangs by teaching them to become independent, self-sufficient, responsible and self-disciplined. This can help these children from refraining themselves from negative and bad ways of living as they would be obedient to authority, respect social responsibility and have self-control by having inner values. Loss of Purpose It is portrayed by self-centered youth in search of meaning in this world that is full of confusing values. Many of these children end up using drugs on the street corners if they are poor or in their mansions if they are rich.
Regardless of their different backgrounds and social statuses, these children find it hard to develop a sense of own value if they do not have the opportunity to be of value to others. Instead they become affectionless, selfish, bullies and narcissistic. The CYCW should use discouragement of drugs taking and self-centeredness in order to encourage them to be caring, loyal, sharing, generous, empathetic and supportive. This in turn helps children learn to be responsible, courageous, do things for others and be hooked on helping, create attachments to other people and have empathy for the condition of those who are less fortunate. 0 D’s of Deviance The 10 D’s of deviance on approaches to difficult children help us understand how a problem is viewed by adults and what typical responses that often follows. It shows the link between naming a problem and the typical responses that often follows. There are ten D’s of deviance but only three are going to help explain the link between the naming of the problem and the typical responses that follow. Looking at the educational theory, children are often viewed or the problem is always named as them being disobedient. The typical responses are that the child can be reprimanded, corrected or expelled from school.
Argyris (1958) states that studying human behavior in schools as in organizations involves ordering and conceptualizing a buzzing confusion of simultaneous existing, multilevel mutual variables. So it may not be the case that the child is being disobedient but simply looking for attention as there might be things that would be troubling the child and they might not know how to express themselves. This is seen in children who bully other children as they usually come from broken and abusive homes where they might have been or are being abused.
Expelling the child will not help anything but instead the best response is to try to get help for the child by counseling and protecting them. Redshaw (2011) suggests that from establishing a caring and nurturing therapeutic environment, focusing on developing their personal strengths, interests and talents, providing intensive support for targeted behaviors, to ensuring that day? to? day practices around discipline and corrective guidance are focused on teaching and treating, rather than punishment.
The special education theory suggests that children are labeled as being disabled and the following responses are likely to be segregation or remediation of the child. In medieval times disabled children were seen as a curse and were usually killed at birth. Segregating the child will only further damage the child psychologically and emotionally. Instead resources at the adults’ disposal should be used to develop the child based on their needs and condition so that they can become independent. The folk religion states that children are labeled to be possessed by a demonic being.
The response that would follow was an exorcism, chastise or the child being banished. Possession might not be the case as the child might be having psychological or behavioral disorders that require a different approach to cure or treat them. At times it is not necessary to label children as being possessed before ruling out every other alternative because the whole exorcism process will traumatize the child especially is it does not work. Positive Personal Theories of Behavior These theories try to explain how behaviors attributed by challenges faced by and the positive traits of the youth affect them leading them to take certain actions.
Cognition esteeming labels show positive traits which the youths possess such as being strong, competent and worthy. These positive traits affect the youths positively as they get affection and attraction. They feel wanted and in turn reciprocate the feeling. They most likely get involved in activities that help them grow and develop. They are able to create attachments and hence the chances of them disassociating from the world are low since they have mentors such as the CYCW’s who help shape their character on positive ways. They are nurtured and empowered with positive skills that will help them aspire in life.
Empathizing labels make them feel like they are being rejected, discouraged and frustrated. This affects them because they become concerned and they sympathize about being labeled like that. They use this for the positive as they defriend those people who bring negative things in their lines or they may be encouraged to work harder at trying to be better than those people that discourage, frustrate and reject them. We are all different, and a lot of people believe in themselves and use this negativity to their advantage if they are in the care of caring CYCW’s, mentors or guardians who will help them channel it in a positive way.
On the other hand the negativity can depress, unmotivated and bring a child down because of its discouraging and frustrating manner. In conclusion assessment will become difficult if a children or a young person feels discouraged by their interactions with a CYCW. This is because discouragement will only encourage the same old behaviors to be maintained and therefore the CYCW might not be able to assess the child properly as they will still be blocked out by the child. Assessment requires creating an attachment, opening up to each other and feeling comfortable around each other.
Even though assessment is affected negatively if the child feels discouraged by the CYCW, the CYCW can pick up some of the negativity in the child’s behavior and speech or even by how they will be interacting. WORDS (1831) References: Ackerman, R. J. 2012. Developing Resilience and Achievement Skills in High Adolescents: Victory or Violence Conference. Lexington, KY, July 11, 2002. Argyris, C. 1958. Some problems in conceptualizing organizational climate: A case study of bank. Administrative Science Quarterly, 2(4): 501-520. Brandton, L. K. & Brokenleg, M. 2002. Reclaiming Youth at Risk: Our Hope for the Future. Bloomington, Indiana: National Education Service. Gannon, B. 1990. Staying sane as a child care worker. The Child Care Worker. 8(4): 10-12 Grose, M. (N. d). How to Help your Child at Sport Without Embarrassing them or yourself: Our Kids. A newsletter for Parents. Redshaw, S. 2008. Meeting the needs of children and young people in care: What is the ethical response? Australian College for Child and Family Protection Practitioners, Stamford Grand, Adelaide. Redshaw, S. 011, theurapeutic Residential Cre Porgram: Model of Practice. Sanders, M. R. 1992. Every parent: A positive approach to children's behaviour. Sydney: Addison? Wesley Publishing Company. Seita, J. R. 2006. Troubled but talented: Finding hidden strengths. Reclaiming Children andYouth, 14(4): 194? 195. Stout, M. D. , & Kipling, G. 2003. Aboriginal people Resilience and the Residential School Legacy. Ottawa, Ontario: Anishinable Printing Walsh, J. , & Aubry, P. 2007. Behavior management through adventure. Reclaiming Children and Youth, 16(1): 336? 339.
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