Previous research studies have indicated that some children who demonstrate behavioural disorders later develop academic problems that require special education services. The studies also indicated that children who develop such challenges do not receive appropriate support from teachers and other students. Teachers have been identified to hold an important role in ensuring that a positive, supportive and inclusive learning environment is provided to young children. The strategies employed should aim at reducing chances of behavioural disorders amongst young children. The study of child behavioural health is an important step in the process of determining the best approach and procedure that can assist in the support of constructive behaviours in schools. Childhood development can be affected by both maternal stress and depression. Stress can cause an increased risk of mental health problem. Stress on children brain can also result in difficulties in social adjustments in schools and lower performance on the cognitive, poignant and behavioural assessment.
The Consequence of Stress and Depression on Brain Development
Early childhood brain development affects the behaviour of a child at school. Stress and depression from the mothers affect the brain development process. It is, therefore, necessary for the caregivers to provide a favourable environment to mothers and infants to avoid the negative effects on their brains development. The negative effects of child stress and depression is evidenced by the similarity of patterns between children of depressed mothers and other categories of depressed patients. Depression increases stress chemicals which negatively affects the fetal growth and increases the risk for premature labour during the pregnancy. Stress and depression also change the genes that control stress chemical production. Parents especially mothers, should always receive adequate support from the society to help them avoid chronic stress. In an attempt to improve the cognitive development, therapy should be provided for mothers and their children. Though the treatment of mother's symptoms does not indicate any signs of effects on their children, mother and child coaching have shown positive improvements. Daily support and education opportunities should be provided to the child and the mothers.
Proper brain development requires constant interactions and positive feedback and response. Pathways for response to normal stress should be established. A child is affected by the mothers' depression since the drive, energy and enjoyment needed for building positive family relationships is taken away. A depressed mother is also less likely to respond to infant cues as attachment and bonding is decreased. The problem arises when the mothers do not receive the required attention and love from the caregivers. The hostile environment provides less positive child interactions, and this situation slows the brain development process. The anxiety and feelings of fear brought about by a hostile environment results to stress, and negatively affect the development of the child's brain.
On the Issue of Classroom Behaviour Management
Violence, aggression and other forms of extreme behaviours by children and young students in the schools have been a major issue of concern by the parents, teachers and the public. There is a great relationship between such behaviours and the outcomes of the brain development process at a young age of a child. The education sector has been more concerned with the collective effects of the disturbance originating from relentless incidences of child misbehaviours (Hart, 2010). The previous research studies also indicated that the most important factor for consideration in the achievement of the best standards of classroom behaviours is the teachers' group management skills. The practice of individual teachers in school plays an important role in the improvement of child behaviours and can be improved through proper training and leadership, consistent and continuous monitoring of behaviours through the use of information systems. The services of education psychologists (EP) such as consultations and advice can play a major role in addressing issues related to misbehaviours in schools. The EPs can advise and train young children who exhibit the problematic behaviours in an effort provide a solution to the behavioural problem.
Effective classroom behaviour management constitutes construction of firm and fair rules which use positive and simple language to promote good behaviours. Verbal reinforcement techniques used by teachers is considered as the most important tool that increases the rate of positive response from the children and hence improve the behaviours. The management of classroom behaviours requires a set response to undesired behaviour. The response can take a form of reasonable punishment or verbal reprimand. Interactions and relationships between the children and the teaching staff should be improved to provide positive working relationships as a result of care and respect.
Behavioural approaches can be adopted to increase the desirable behaviours in schools through reinforcement and extinction. As an assertive discipline, the behavioural psychology plays an important role in the definition of behaviour management approaches aimed at reducing the disruptive behaviours in the school. The behavioural approaches advocate for the use of prizes to promote the behaviours of children at the school. However, some researchers have indicated misgivings associated with this approach. The argument against the method is based on lack of motivation in a situation where the prizes and gifts have been withdrawn. Other approaches include the psychodynamic, systematic and humanistic approaches that emphasise the significance of safe and trustful associations between the teachers and students that include emotional containment and expression.
On the Worth of Praise, Ignoring, and Rules For Children at Risk of Behaviour Disorders
Praise can be expressed as a verbal statement intended to provide positive feedback to encourage and support the continuous occurrence of such behaviours in the future. For achievement of the above intention, the praise should be appropriate and properly timed depending on the situation and the circumstances. Praise has been associated with increased accurate child responses and higher frequencies of appropriate behaviours. The teachers use the planned ignoring strategy at a certain age of the year when the children start to develop the self-regulatory behaviour (Hester, Hendrickson, & Gable, 2009). The importance of the planned ignoring hence turns out to be to assist the child to discriminate between the appropriate and the inappropriate behaviours. Planned ignoring is a strategy in which the teacher intentionally withdraws and terminates the reinforcement that maintains certain behaviour.
The classroom rules provide for established standards that are easy to comprehend and to enforce. Teachers are responsible for setting positively stated rules. The most parsimonious rules are those that cover multiple situations that are likely to cover routine activities in the classroom. Apart from the discussed praises, planned ignoring and the rules, there is a strong feeling amongst researchers that a lot of other factors that affect and influence positive behaviours amongst the young children need to an examination.
Hart, R. (2010). Classroom behaviour management: Educational psychologists' views on effective practice. Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties, 15(4), 353-371.
Hester, P. P., Hendrickson, J. M., & Gable, R. A. (2009). Forty years later-The value of praise, ignoring, and rules for preschoolers at risk for behaviour disorders. Education and Treatment of Children, 32(4), 513-535.
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