Monday, 19 July 2010

The Link Between Behaviour & Emotions

A good friend of mine who regularly comments on this blog suggested that I investigate a more creative approach to "managing behaviour". She doesn't feel the term behaviour management is appropriate because the word behaviour is mainly attached to "good" and "bad" and management implies "supervision". The articles I have read demonstrate a strong link between behaviour and emotions. This is backed up by the results of my behavioral diary which showed undesired behaviour being triggered by anger, stress, worry, disappointment and jealously. Therefore, it would make sense that behavior (both desired and undesired) is an outlet for emotions.

I regard myself as "autistic-ish" which has gifted me with many abilities neurotypical people do not have. But I think it has left me less able to understand my own emotions. This presents me with a complex problem if I am to emotionally educate my own children. Emotions are divided into four main categories: Glad, Sad, Mad and Scared. Whilst I support my children's Glad emotions I think I am guilty of trying to "fix" my children's Sad, Mad or Scared emotions through discipline or distraction. Owen and Anya should understand that emotions are not bad. I plan to support my kids in identifying their emotions and help them to understand and respond to their feelings in an "acceptable" way. I am going to try the following strategies to help them identify, explore and understand their emotions.

Working with Images (Help The Aged, Salvation Army, RSPCA, NSPCC)
Feelings Meters/Barometers
Books for Exploring Emotions

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