Understanding Behaviour as a Communication | Ali Martin

Published On: 15 March 2023

In this episode, Ali Martin talks to Clare about understanding behaviour as a communication, specifically when working with children and young people. She focuses particularly on anxiety levels and the messaging children and young people can hear. Ali discusses how we can often misread behaviours which are driven by fears and anxieties, and clarifies the differences between having worries and anxiety. Ali also discusses ways that we can explicitly link feelings and emotions to help children and young people recognise and understand the emotions they feel.

Ali Martin is a freelance trainer for the Thrive approach and has previously lead an Alternative Provision setting after many years working as a SENDCO. She provides support for schools around Social and Emotional Mental Health (SEMH) and helps staff to understand communication behind behaviour.

In the episode, Ali recommends a book, The Power of Showing Up by Daniel Siegel and Tina Bryson.

She also shares 3 tips:

As adults, we need to maintain curiosity, so when we’re faced with a behaviour we are thinking about what they are communicating and the unmet need behind the behaviour.

We need to steady and calm ourselves. How we present and show self-regulation ourselves will impact on whether a child can regulate.

We need to be validate feelings them by wondering about how a child or young person is feeling, making guesses, naming emotions, and showing them it’s okay to have that feeling.

You’re listening to the Team Teach podcast. In each episode, you’ll catch Team Teach Principal Trainer, Clare Edmondson, talking with a guest about an aspect of behaviour. Find out the latest thinking in behaviour, continue your own professional development, and leave with three practical tips you can use in your setting. It’s perfect for any professional working in education and health and social care.