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Aggressive Childhood Behaviour: 3 Causes to Know Before you Become a Child and Youth Worker

become a child and youth worker
It’s not unusual for children to occasionally engage in aggressive behaviour. As they go through different stages of development and face new and unfamiliar challenges, they sometimes lack the skills to articulate their feelings to others, and so they resort to lashing out physically. Taken alone, this isn’t necessarily a source for concern. It’s often just part of growing up, as children learn how to control their impulses and regulate their emotions in a healthy way.

In some children, however, the problem may not be one or two isolated incidents of aggression, but a continuing pattern of behaviour. In these cases, more sustained attention and care will be required. Aggression in children is usually a sign of underlying issues which need to be addressed, so it’s not enough to focus on the external behaviour. The cause of the aggression needs to be addressed as well.

For child and youth workers, it may not always be easy to figure out the underlying causes of aggression. Children often lack the vocabulary or the means of expressing themselves clearly enough to give a strong indication of any one cause. Their outbursts are often as mysterious to themselves as they are to those around them.

The first step for anyone planning to become a child and youth worker is to be familiar with the possible causes. Here are three common ones that you should know.

1. Mood Disorders in Children Can Potentially Lead to Aggression

One potential cause of aggression to consider is the presence of a mood disorder. Children who suffer from bipolar disorder, for example, can experience dramatic shifts in their mood, and unlike bipolar adults who may experience the manic stages of the disorder as elation or euphoria, bipolar children are much more likely to have manic episodes marked by anger and rage. If it’s suspected that a child suffers from bipolar disorder, they should immediately be referred to a child psychiatrist or a childrens mental health expert.

2. Frustration or Impulsivity Can Sometimes Be Mistaken for Aggression

In other cases, children might be suffering from conditions which cause them frustration, provoking aggressive outbursts as they struggle to verbalize or work through the difficulties they’re experiencing. This can sometimes happen with children with learning disabilities, who struggle with their schoolwork and other tasks. It can also happen with children affected by autism, who struggle to communicate. Students in child and youth care worker training at KLC College will learn more about this subject in the autism spectrum disorder workshop.

Impulsivity in children can also sometimes be misinterpreted as aggression. Children may not be intentionally inflicting harm, but simply acting without considering the consequences, as might be the case when a child suffers from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Disorders like autism may cause frustration for children, which can manifest as aggression

Disorders like autism may cause frustration for children, which can manifest as aggression

3. Be Mindful of Children’s Home Situations When You Become a Child and Youth Worker

Underlying mental or psychological conditions aren’t the only potential causes of aggression in children, though. It can also sometimes be a result of stress, which can come from any number of external factors, including parental unemployment or health issues, the breakup of a marriage, poverty and deprivation, or fractured and combative home situations. In these cases, it’s essential for families and the people who support them to manage these external stressors in order to stem the root cause of a child’s aggression, and give them the support and safety they need to develop healthy coping mechanisms.

Aggression in children can be a sign of stressors at home

Aggression in children can be a sign of stressors at home

Are you interested in attending a career college to become a child and youth worker?

Contact KLC College today for more information about our programs.

Effective Communication with Children: Tips for Students in Child and Youth Care Worker Training

become a child and youth worker
When it comes to working with children, communication can be difficult, especially because they are still developing proper speech and thought patterns, as well as their language capabilities. Early childhood and adolescence are vital periods in an individual’s life which can determine habits and behaviour later on. In Canada, communication skills are a high vulnerability area when it comes to 44.2% of children, and this can have a significant effect on how they interact with the world as they grow into adults.

In order to ensure that children are expressing their thoughts and feelings in a healthy manner, it’s important to practice good communication skills. Here are a few tips on how child and youth workers can communicate effectively with children and young adults.

Give Them Your Full Attention

Communication, more or less, is how we interact with not only other people, but ourselves as well. Children, despite the fact that they may not be fluent in language or conversation, are still people with thoughts, emotions, and perspectives. If you want to become a child and youth worker, it’s important to understand that when a child is attempting to communicate an idea or thought, they might not be at the right developmental or maturity level to express themselves, and interacting with an authority figure – usually an adult – teaches them how to behave and respond in social situations.

Engaging with children shows them that they can share their thoughts

Engaging with children shows them that they can share their thoughts

In order to properly address their needs and provide a beneficial lesson in communication, try to set aside any activity you might be engaged in, like using your phone or reading notes, whenever a child addresses you. This shows them that you are fully involved in what they are saying.

Making the effort to demonstrate that you’re paying attention teaches the child that they should also do the same thing when speaking to others. Paying attention to someone when they’re speaking provides them the opportunity to be cognitively engaged in the subject, and encourages future participation.

Be an Active Listener

When a child tells a story, it is often a way that they can review and determine how they should react to that experience based on how you, as the adult, react. Children, at any age before adulthood, are still learning vital lessons in behaviour and expression, and whether or not they admit to it, look to adults for structure and guidance. It can be difficult to show genuine interest or listen actively, but it’s important to demonstrate or reaffirm that you are listening and not simply ignoring or dismissing the conversation.

Actively listening involves patience as well as compassion. Interrupting or dismissing a child when they try to share a story or experience discourages them from sharing in the future. To show that you are engaging with what the child is saying, try to make eye contact and rephrase and repeat what the child has said to confirm or clarify their idea. Be objective, and prompt the child to explain how they feel about what they are trying to say.

Understanding is Key if You Want to Become a Child and Youth Worker

Communication, at its most basic level, is about understanding and being understood. Miscommunication is one of the greatest obstacles in any conversation, and making sure that you and the child are communicating clearly is a significant component of child and youth care worker training.

It’s important to keep an open mind, and think of their perspective. Children don’t have the life experience of a fully grown adult, and they are still learning how they fit into the world. You may have to get on their level, literally and figuratively. Try to be objective, and don’t condescend or talk down to a child. In other words, treat them as you would like to be treated. Additionally, because children seek positive attention, use words of encouragement or praise so that they feel they are being appreciated.

It’s important to have an open mind and consider a child’s perspective

It’s important to have an open mind and consider a child’s perspective

Are you interested in enrolling in a child youth worker college program?

Contact KLC College for more information!

Practical Skills You’ll Learn in a Child and Youth Worker College Program

child and youth care worker training

Child and youth workers play a critical role in the wellbeing of emotionally troubled children and youth. These workers implement a broad range of strategies to address social, emotional and behavioural challenges faced by young people and their families.

From advanced communication to emergency intervention, top training programs will prepare child and youth workers for even the most difficult professional scenarios. These skills are often consolidated through work placements, introducing students to the ins and outs of this challenging but satisfying career.

Are you curious about the practical skills you’ll learn in a Child and Youth Worker program? Keep reading to find out more!

Communication Skills are a Crucial Asset for Child and Youth Workers

Among the skills that set the best child and youth workers apart, communication is essential. Communication strategies are critical for understanding the particular problems young people might be facing – and imparting the expertise they require.

Alongside the best practices in counselling, training programs impart communication techniques for a variety of professional scenarios. In particular, advanced communication techniques can assist in cases of clients with autism spectrum disorders, allowing child and youth workers to adapt their skills to these individuals’ particular needs.

ASD workshops focus on visual, supportive and communication skills

ASD workshops focus on visual, supportive and communication skills

Communication is a key outcome of these comprehensive courses. For instance, KLC College’s Child and Youth Worker program cultivates strong communication with two ‘Communication Skills’ modules, and a specialized workshop on autism spectrum disorders. This prepares graduates to deploy their expertise even when communication proves challenging.

A Child and Youth Worker College Prepares Students for Crisis Situations

Child and youth worker college also builds skills for crisis situations, with prevention often taught as the best approach. In many cases, colleges will impart the skills required to deescalate disruptive or violent behaviours. These skills may be especially helpful when working with adolescents, offering them alternative – and non-violent – channels to express emotional troubles. Exemplifying this learning outcome, KLC’s Crisis Prevention Intervention workshop trains students in non-violent solutions to problem behaviour.

KLC also offers a Level ‘C’ workshop in First Aid and CPR, preparing students for health emergencies. With this type of training, Child and Youth Worker programs prepare their graduates with tried and tested strategies for even the most difficult situations.

Practicum Experience is Crucial for Professional Training

While in a child and youth worker college program, students also benefit from practicum experience, either alongside their studies or upon finishing in-class learning. These work placements are perhaps the most important element of skill development ahead of a child and youth worker career.
A high-paced work environment builds new professional aptitudes and consolidates course learning outcomes. In addition to the skills required to work with youth and children, students learn to work with colleagues and professionals in adjoining fields.

Work placements help students network and find future opportunities

Work placements help students network and find future opportunities

Helping students acquire invaluable professional experience, work placements focus on the practical application of taught skills, professional ethics, and program outcomes. This experience helps round out in-class training, ensuring graduates are ready to excel in their careers.

Are you ready to start your child and youth care worker training?

Contact KLC College to learn more about our program!