Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Published Tuesday, November 20, 2018 with 2 comments

The Pouting Dilemma: How to Deal with a Kid with Behavioral Issues

It isn’t a rare case or an uncommon problem these days. If you are a coach, or working with youth sports, every now and then you come across a kid who has an attitude problem. There’ll be battering, or throwing a tantrum and then the pout. As a coach you become helpless because there are other children watching and learning. How should you handle such a situation, by positively dealing with the child’s anger, or by being upfront and benching the kid?

It is indeed a tough situation, especially for a coach. To understand how to deal with such a situation, as a responsible adult you need to understand what causes this behavior. Children naturally react with anger when they feel incapable of something or powerless in a situation. It can also be an outburst of the frustration from either being lonely, isolated, embarrassed or scared. In any of the cases, the child is perhaps going through something. Talking to the child can help. Politely explain acceptable and unacceptable behavior. Also explain there shall be consequences of unacceptable behavior. Teach the child positive ways of venting out; using the energy to do something. If the child’s behavior does not improve, talk to the parents. This will help you understand the child’s situation. You can work with the parents to improve the child’s behavior.

In most cases you will see a change in the child’s behavior. The child would start responding to the sensitivity and positive changes in the environment. But in some cases, the child may continue showing outrageous behavior in spite of the parents being informed. Either the parents are not being able to control the child’s conduct, or they feel perhaps it’s okay. But as the coach, who is responsible for the conduct of the whole team, you know it’s not.

Here’s something coaches, parents and players need to understand is that discipline is the most important aspect of youth sports. Discipline is indispensable in a sports person. A child can have great talent, but if the kid is not disciplined to go through the journey that is required for an athlete, the kid can never be successful in sports, or other aspects of life for that matter.

That said, if the child persistently behaves outrageously, it may be possible that the kid needs professional help. Talk to the parents and teachers to ensure the kid is given the required counselling or program for the child. You might also have to counsel the parents to take it seriously, a stich in time saves nine.

One of the most important things you do as a youth sports coach is to help children become positively motivated, disciplined and happy individuals. While it can be a very consuming process, it can be very gratifying. Your endeavor can help a child have a happy childhood, and as a result a happy adulthood.

Here’s to helping build a happy nation – CHEERS everyone!



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  2. So true about defining a reason before acting! Once in my team a really quiet and calm child became aggressive to others with sudden anger outbreaks. As I found out later, his parents were fighting day by day and discussing their break up. He also told me that he found onlinedivorcecalifornia.com in his father's PC and was scared of parent's future divorce. I believe that it's always better to be honest with your child, even if you decide to get divorced.