Dealing with challenging behaviour is something that features regularly in Youth Work (certainly my work!). It’s been an issue that comes up often with workers and volunteers on their staff development wish lists, and each time it does I go straight to my main man, Rudolf Dreikurs.
Dreikurs wrote mostly about classroom behaviour management but I’ve found it translates easily enough. However, each time I’ve gone to find a straight forward example for Youth Work settings I can only find poor quality scans of photocopies or tables with five or six columns or versions that are obviously about kids in class so I’ve adapted it (below). This (below again) is also something that people seem to have found useful as a practical guide of different approaches to verbal challenges, especially in response to offensive language. Another model that I’ve found useful in the past has been John Heron’s Six Category Intervention Analysis (1975) which helps to look at different intervention styles. Without suggesting that one is better than another it can just be helpful to try something different if what you’re currently doing isn’t working.