Basic Mentoring May Prevent Child Disciplinary Issues

There are many reasons why a parent or guardian might approach a child counselor or therapist with their concerns, but in many cases, issues surrounding school suspensions and other disciplinary actions play a role. Helping to discover the potential issues underlying certain behaviors is one of the main goals of child psychology, and treatment is often successful in giving children and parents alike insight they can use to create and enjoy happier and healthier experiences. In many parts of the world, however, access to child psychology is extremely limited, and parents may not be able to retain such services, leading to a need for more widely available options.

A study recently performed at the University of Rochester Medical Center points to such a potential alternative. The research focused on the effect of mentoring and the teaching of anger and emotional management upon children in terms of their likelihood to be involved in disciplinary actions at school. During the three-month period of a series of sessions designed to help children understand their feelings and express them in more constructive ways, the researchers found that the treatment had a significant effect. Those children who participated in the emotional management sessions were around half as likely to be involved in any events requiring disciplinary actions.

These benefits extended into a one month period beyond the initial gathering of data, and was especially pronounced in terms of lowering rates of school suspensions. As the mentors who participated in the study were not licensed therapists or counselors, the researchers argue that basic training of those in the educational setting may help provide effective help for children in areas and personal situations that may make traditional treatment difficult to acquire.

© Copyright 2010 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • Nancy Q

    Nancy Q

    March 9th, 2010 at 10:09 AM

    If we were to make it a habit to get more proactive instead of always acting in a reactive manner then a lot more problems could get solved. It is easy to see the kids that need a little more care and guidance in school- why not take those children and give them this guidance rather than simply waiting for them to screw up and then kicking them out of school and making them hate everything that the classroom education stands for? Sure it may cost a little more and take a little more effort but what a return on investment the end results are sure to be!

  • Donald F.

    Donald F.

    March 9th, 2010 at 7:28 PM

    Children learn things very fast;whether the thing is good or bad.So it is very important that they be taught the right things while they are young so that they follow them for the rest of their lives.
    Inculcating something like emotional management can be a life-long asset for any person and parents who are doing this are doing the right thing in my opinion.

  • Amy

    Amy

    March 10th, 2010 at 5:47 AM

    Mentors are people who make a difference, sometimes without even trying. Kids look up to these people and try to learn from them. I agree that if a kid has someone like this in his life from a very early age then it could make such a difference in a positive way.

  • bruce

    bruce

    March 10th, 2010 at 10:05 AM

    its not that children need to be punished or be dealt with a lot of strictness but then letting them off for any mischief they do is not good either…if we let go of their childish mistakes now,they may commit bigger and worse mistakes later in life and this is exactly why moderate mentoring is required.

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