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Facilitator’s Guide

Created by:

Kris K. Ramassini, Ph.D., CFLE


Lecturer & Adviser
Department of Human Development & Family Science
College of Human Ecology
The Ohio State University

March, 2003
Table of Contents

Introduction

Communication Module
Lesson 1: Practice on Easy Messages 1
Lesson 2: Make Sure Someone’s Home 5
Lesson 3: Encourage Reflection & Expression 8
Lesson 4: Use Public & Private Comments Wisely 12
Lesson 5: Other Communication Issues 16

Motivation Module
Lesson 1: Take Small Steps 1
Lesson 2: Find Their Niche 5
Lesson 3: Help Them to Take Charge 8
Lesson 4: Teach Them to Try and Try Again 12
Lesson 5: Other Motivation Issues 15

Relationships Module
Lesson 1: Take a Chance with Caring 1
Lesson 2: Get to Know the Whole Child 4
Lesson 3: Relationships Have Stages Too 9
Lesson 4: Stay Connected While They Figure It Out 12
Lesson 5: Other Relationship Issues 14

Behavior Guidance Module


Lesson 1: Understand the Coercive Cycle 1
Lesson 2: Actions Speak Louder than Words 6
Lesson 3: Focus on the Positive 10
Lesson 4: Give Them the Green Light 13
Lesson 5: Other Behavior Issues 18
Introduction 1

Introduction

The Youth Connection interactive training is a collaborative effort of OSU’s Service Learning
Initiative, P-12 Project, and the College of Human Ecology. The training contains four modules
that prepare university students to become volunteers engaging in community service projects
focused on school-age children and adolescents. (The word volunteer and young person or youth
will be used throughout the Facilitator’s Guide.) The topics of the four modules are
Communication, Behavior Guidance, Motivation, and Relationships. Each module consists of
five sections (or lessons). The training is based on a video series originally developed by David
Andrews, Dean of the College of Human Ecology, in collaboration with OSU Extension’s 4-H
program.

Communication Motivation
Practice with easy messages Take small steps
Make sure someone’s home Find their niche
Encourage reflection and expression Help them to take charge
Use public and private comments Teach them to try and try again
wisely

Relationships Behavior Guidance


Take a chance with caring Understand the coercive cycle
Get to know the whole child Actions speak louder than words
Relationships have stages too Focus on the positive
Stay connected while they figure it out Give them the green light

Each of the sections contains:

¾ an introduction of a concept and related points;


¾ 1-3 examples to illustrate the concept;
¾ video clips to further illustrate the concept;
¾ a summary of points raised;
¾ a brief evaluation.

The videos have been partitioned into short clips – simulating a situation where a facilitator
might stop the video and lead a discussion about what was just viewed.

The examples are worded as situations that volunteers might find themselves in during their
work in the community. Each situation has several possible responses and feedback on the kind
of interaction that the response might elicit.

It is important to note that though there may be “wrong” answers, leading to ineffective
interactions and diminishing the experience for the adult volunteer and the student, there is no
one single “right” answer. It is important to view a variety of potential responses so that the
Introduction 2

volunteers can have a broader “toolbox” of responses at their disposal when they are faced with
various situations.

Finally, it is important for the volunteer working with youth to remember that s/he is the adult.
Youth will look to the volunteer for guidance, feedback, validation, attention, and more.

Technical Requirements
You will need either QuickTime Player (recommended for faster connections) or RealPlayer
(recommended for slower connections) in order to view the video clips presented on the site.

Ideas for Using the Modules


The modules can be used in a variety of ways, ranging from complete integration into a course to
independent use by students with no planned or focused classroom discussion.

The web-based learning modules are intended to be interactive and useful in a service-learning
course or independently by any person interested in preparing to work with youth in the
community. The module may be used alone or with other modules developed for training for
community service, located on the Community Connection website at
http://communityconnection.osu.edu/training/yc

Organization of the Facilitator’s Guide

The Facilitator’s Guide is organized in the following manner:


♦ Summary of Module by Lessons

♦ Within each Lesson:


1. Discussion Questions
2. In-class Activities
3. Out-of-Class Activities
4. Multiple Choice question
5. Additional Information
Communication 1

i 15 minutes

Summary

Communication, through listening and talking, lies at the heart of a healthy relationship. This
module discusses communication in general as well as possible responses to potential situations
volunteers will experience. Many times there is more than one appropriate response to a young
person’s words or behaviors. The hope is that the volunteers will combine the information in the
module with their past experiences to create a toolbox of communication skills for their use as a
mentor and future professional. It is important that volunteers use vocabulary that is appropriate
for the grade level of the youth with whom they are working.

In-class or Out-of-class Activity:


i Before reviewing the module online, what are some successful ways you have
communicated with children/ youth in your prior experiences? What facilitated your
success? What acted as a barrier?

Frequent communication about routine topics builds and strengthens the adult-child relationship.
This module uses the metaphor of throwing and catching different types of balls (a beach ball,
tennis ball, or hard ball such as a baseball) and a slippery egg to illustrate various types of
messages we send to another person via our verbal and nonverbal language.

The “beach ball” message is easy to send or say, easy to catch or hear and easy to throw back or
answer. These are messages that build the foundation for the relationship, especially during the
Honeymoon stage (Relationships module, Lesson 3).

In-class or Out-of –class Activity:


You have just finished your first session as Amy’s reading tutor. You enjoyed your interactions
with Amy and look forward to your next session with her.

Write an easy to send message.


What makes it easy to:
1. send or say?
2. catch or hear?
3. throw back or answer?
How do easy to send messages help create a bond between you and your student?
Communication 2

Open-ended questions about the student’s interests, abilities, and life are great ways to build a
rapport with your student.
¾ What’s your favorite TV show?
¾ What’s your favorite book?
¾ What do you like to do to relax?

As the relationship develops, the volunteer will be able to move to topics that may be more
difficult, such as problems the student is experiencing with his/her homework.

The “hard ball” and the “slippery egg” messages are common in the second two stages of the
mentoring relationship (Relationships module, Lesson 3) when it is necessary for the volunteer,
as the adult, to set limits on the young person’s behavior or tell him/her something that is
uncomfortable to hear.

The “hard ball” messages are tough to catch or hear, leaving the volunteer with someone who
doesn’t want to communicate with him/her.

In-class or Out-of-class Activity:


You have been volunteering with an after-school program for about three weeks now and work
specifically with a 10-year-old boy, Mark. You overhear Mark making fun of another student
who is having difficulty with his math homework.

Write a “hard ball” message.


¾ What makes it hard for the child/youth to catch or hear it?
¾ What can you do to make it easier to receive without compromising the serious nature of
the message?

The “slippery egg” message is difficult to send or say and it is difficult to catch or hear. These
are messages that need to be said and heard.

In-class or Out-of-class Activity:


You have been working with Sarah for eight weeks as a coach for her soccer team. You have
decided to cut back on her playing time because she has been being a “ball hog” at practice and
not being a team player. Instead of confronting her directly about her behavior, you make a
choice to let your decision to have her play less speak for itself. After the game, Sarah confronts
you in front of other players and their parents, including hers, saying, “You are so unfair! You
never let me play. I know you like the other girls better than me!”

Activity: Write a “slippery egg” message.


¾ What makes it hard for you to send or say?
¾ What makes it hard for the child/youth to catch or hear it?
Communication 3

¾ What can you do to make it easier to receive without compromising the serious nature of
the message?

In-Class Activity:
Share successful experiences you have had with using “chit-chat” and routine topics to build
relationships with young people.

Frequent communication about routine topics builds skills and strengthens the adult-child
relationship.

Discussion Questions:
1. Have you thought about how it would feel to have someone point out your weaknesses to
you?
2. How do you feel when you meet someone for the first time? How do you think a young
person feels? What do you think affects how someone feels in a new situation?

The following situation can be found on the website:

What would you do?

You have volunteered to work with a fourth grader to help him/her improve writing skills. Today is your
first day and you are a little nervous about relating to this student. You wonder how much help you can
give, whether the student will listen to you, what you will do if the child does not respond to you, and how
you will get started.

Out-of-class to In-class Activity:


i Outside of class:
o Visit the website and read the situation and the suggested responses.
o Reflect on the suggested responses.
ƒ How effective do you think the response would be?
ƒ How likely are you to use the response?
ƒ Choose the response you think would be the most effective for you.
i In class:
o Pair students and have them compare answers, especially the choice they found
most effective for them. Ask them to reflect on why they chose that particular
answer.
ƒ Was it influenced by their personal interaction style and/or personality?
Communication 4

MULTIPLE-CHOICE QUESTION
Which message is hard to send or say and hard to catch or hear?
a. beach ball message
b. hard ball message
c. slippery egg message

Correct answer: c
Beach ball messages are easy to send and catch
Hard ball messages are easy to send but hard to catch

Additional Information

http://www.youthstartswithyou.org/html/MAIN_commq4.html
¾ Question: What are some ways to make sure the lines of communication stay open
between me and the youth I’m working with?
Communication 5

i 15 minutes

Summary

Effective communication with youth requires that the adult has the young person’s attention and
can hold it.

Volunteers need to ask themselves: Are the youth paying attention to me?

Body language is one way volunteers can determine if they are “tuned in” to what youth are
saying. It is important to look for signs of attention, nodding their heads or making eye contact,
as well as signs of inattention, looking around the room or playing with their shoe strings. It is
the volunteer’s responsibility to keep them engaged in the activity. Before an activity begins, it
is helpful to check and make sure no one is hungry, thirsty, or in need of using the restroom.
Once these issues are out of the way, the youth will be able to focus their full attention on the
activity at hand.

It is helpful for volunteers to have a signal when they are working in large groups or in an open
setting such as a gymnasium, park, or playground. The volunteer can use the signal to get the
youth’s attention and/or to get the group organized for a transition within an activity or to a
different activity. The signal needs to be agreed upon ahead of time and practiced to make sure
everyone knows what it is and what to do when they see or hear it. For younger children, the
more senses involved in the signal, the more likely it is they will remember it. In addition, the
youth will be more likely to participate and follow a signal they helped create. It is important
that the signal is simple, easy to do, and easy to remember.

In-class or Out-of-class Activity:


i What signals have you used in the past? Were they successful? If yes, why? If no, why
not?

i After viewing the video clips, do you have other ideas for a way to bring a group of
children together?

In-class or Out-of-class Activity:


List ways you can get the attention of children who are:
a. 8-10 years of age
b. 10-13
c. teenagers
Communication 6

The following situations are included on the website:

What would you do?

In a summer camp group, you need to get the attention of the entire group so that they can move on to a
new activity. Your code is “when the hand goes up the mouth goes shut”. You raise your hand, but the
children are not responding.

What would you do?

In an elementary classroom, you are helping Marcus, a fourth grader, with a math assignment. You have
explained the concept in multiple ways, but Marcus is still not able to complete the problem. You notice
that he is looking around the room and doodling on a piece of paper as you try again to explain the
concept.

What would you do if you were the adult in charge?

Out-of-class to In-class Activity:


i Outside of class:
o Visit the website and read the situation and the suggested responses.
o Reflect on the suggested responses.
ƒ How effective do you think the response would be?
ƒ How likely are you to use the response?
ƒ Choose the response you think would be the most effective for you.
i In class:
o Pair students and have them compare answers, especially the choice they found
most effective for them. Ask them to reflect on why they chose that particular
answer.
ƒ Was it influenced by their personal interaction style and/or personality?

Discussion Questions:
1. Have you thought about the effect YOUR body language has on youth’s behavior?
2. Have you thought about how you would organize a “signal-creating” session with a
group of young people? What would you need to do to make it successful?
Communication 7

3. MULTIPLE-CHOICE QUESTION
When you are working with a group, what is an important first step creating a successful
environment?
a. Create a code or signal to get everyone’s attention that involves several gestures and
phrases
b. Tell the students that every time you want to get their attention you’ll use a different
signal. It is their responsibility to know what the signal means.
c. Before you go outside, sit down with the group and create a simple signal everyone
agrees on
d. Only use a signal when it looks like everyone is done with the current activity

Correct answer: C Æ Youth appreciate being involved in having a “say” about what directly
affects them in their environment.
Suggestion: Based on the website, have your students give an explanation of why the other
answers are not acceptable

A: If the signal is too complex the students won’t be able to remember it and may get frustrated
having to do so many “steps” every time there is a transition in activity. It may create more
noise and activity when you are trying to accomplish the opposite effect!
B: This will lead to confusion for the youth and you will have less “buy in” because they did not
have a “say” in the creation and selection of the signal.
D: You will run into the problem of having too many students waiting and waiting can lead to
disruptive behavior. There will always be a few students who are slower than the rest of the
group. It would be more helpful to give them assistance during the activity or pair them with
others who tend to finish early.
Communication 8

i 15 minutes

Summary

Youth need adults to help them clarify and express complex thoughts and feelings.

Before volunteers can help youth clarify and express their thoughts and feelings, it is important
for the volunteers themselves to reflect on how well THEY clarify and express their own
thoughts and feelings.

Out-of-class Activity:
i How do you feel about your mentoring assignment?
i What do you think the experience will be like? That is, what are your expectations?
i What do you want to gain from this experience?
i How do you think your attitude will affect the young person’s attitude?

Out-of-class Activity:
Keep a journal of your thoughts, feelings, and expectations throughout your mentoring
experience. Use your personal reflections as a way to connect to your young person.

Listening, not telling, is an effective way to build a relationship with a young person. It allows
the volunteer to learn more about the young person and it allows the young person to practice
expressing their thoughts and feelings in the safety of a non-threatening relationship. It is helpful
for volunteers to maintain eye contact and use body language that tells the young person s/he has
the volunteer’s full attention.

In-class or Out-of-Class Activity: The Power of Body Language


Think about the message behind the following body signals. What affect would they have on
communication?
¾ Sitting with your arms crossed
¾ Leaning forward with your body facing the other person
¾ Sitting with your hand under your chin facing the other person
¾ Sitting back in chair looking away from the other person
¾ Nodding your head as the other person speaks
¾ Shaking your head as the other person speaks
¾ Sitting behind a desk
¾ Standing up and looking down on the young person sitting in a chair
Communication 9

If the young person is having trouble beginning a conversation about his/her concerns, it is
appropriate to ask an open-ended question to open the lines of communication. An open-ended
question is one that doesn’t have one right answer, for example, how are you feeling today?

In-class Activity:
Write open-ended questions that would be appropriate for beginning a conversation with a young
person who is clearly preoccupied with a personal concern. Try your questions on a classmate
and see if they work!

The following situations are included on the website:

What would you do?

You have been tutoring Takiya in math for the upcoming fourth grade proficiency test. You have met with
her three times and feel like you and Takiya worked well together. Each time you met with her, you
completed all the math problems in the materials provided by Takiya’s teacher. You are sitting at a table
in the hall outside the classroom. Today, Takiya is late. When she comes out of class, she doesn’t sit
down. Instead, she just looks at you with her arms crossed and says angrily, “I hate math and I hate
fractions."

What would you do as the adult?

What would you do?

You are one of six volunteers assisting at the Medary Boys and Girls Club. You are currently playing ball
with two students on the playground when a conflict between Nick and Maja erupts into a pushing match
over the score and whose turn it was to shoot the next basket. You say, “Come on guys, let’s just do the
shot over” and then try with a little humor, “Hey it’s not a big deal.”

Maja crosses his arms and stares at you. Nick yells, “Why are you always blaming me? You always think
Maja is perfect. You never get on his case. I’m always the one who is wrong."

What would you do as the adult?


Communication 10

Out-of-class to In-class Activity:


i Outside of class:
o Visit the website and read the situation and the suggested responses.
o Reflect on the suggested responses.
ƒ How effective do you think the response would be?
ƒ How likely are you to use the response?
ƒ Choose the response you think would be the most effective for you.
i In class:
o Pair students and have them compare answers, especially the choice they found
most effective for them. Ask them to reflect on why they chose that particular
answer.
ƒ Was it influenced by their personal interaction style and/or personality?

MULTIPLE-CHOICE QUESTION

An important way to encourage reflection and expression in youth is to listen attentively. This
involves:
a. Offering advice
b. Agreeing with their negative comments
c. Telling the student about a time the same thing happened to you
d. Not interrupting

Correct answer: D Æ It is important that the student feel heard. If you interrupt, the student stop
sharing his/her thoughts and feelings.

Suggestion: Based on the website, have your students give an explanation of why the other
answers are not acceptable
A: It is not your place to solve the student’s problem. Your job is to help facilitate the student’s
problem-solving abilities.
B: This will not help the student understand and think through his/her problem. This can lead
him/her to get “stuck” in the problem-solving process.
C: This is not about you, it is about the student. The student has built up the courage to disclose
information about his/her personal life and it is important that the focus remains on the
student.
Communication 11

Additional Information:

You are ready to listen. How do you do it effectively? Gordon (2000) describes a listening
technique, Active/ Reflective listening, in his Parent Effectivenss Training (P.E.T.) program.

How you do it:


1. listen carefully
2. don’t interrupt
3. try to understand the “message”
4. listen for child’s feelings
5. suspend judgment
6. avoid preaching, advising, trying to change their feelings
7. merely “feed back” your perception of the child’s feelings
x active listening doesn’t always bring about an on-the-spot change; it starts a chain of events
(the child may go off and solve the problem on their own)
x It is not simply “parroting” or repeating facts
x the “code” is not the message
x the FEELINGS must be decoded

Gordon, T. (2000). Parent effectiveness training: The proven program for raising responsible
children. New York: Three Rivers Press.
Communication 12

i 15-20 minutes to complete online

Summary

Volunteers are faced with deciding whether a public or private response would be most effective
when giving negative or positive feedback to a young person about his/her behavior.

A “public” message is one that is given to an individual in such a way that everyone in the group
hears it.

A “private” message is one that is given to an individual, but the individual is taken aside and
spoken with outside of the earshot of the group. This type of message is appropriate if the
volunteer thinks the young person will react with resentment, anger, or frustration at his/her
comment. The volunteer does NOT want to embarrass or shame the student in front of their
peers as one of their goals is to build up self-esteem. It is important to remember that peers are a
critical part of a young person’s developing identity.

To decide which message to “send,” it is important to think about what is best for the individual
kids involved, and also what is best for the group.

¾ Volunteers should ask themselves:


o Is this a teachable moment for the group?
o Is one child misbehaving or many?
o Is there an issue of safety?
ƒ If safety is involved, the behavior needs to be stopped immediately and
the group needs to know it is inappropriate. This does not mean it is okay
to embarrass or shame the youth directly involved. Unless the volunteer
has reason to believe otherwise, s/he should give the students the benefit
of the doubt as s/he explains why a different behavior is more appropriate.

It is important for the volunteers to think about the intention behind THEIR messages. If they
want everyone to sit down with their legs crossed, they may be tempted to say, “I like the way
Sally is sitting with her legs crossed.” When you say a comment that includes “I like the way,”
the volunteer is running the risk of creating competition versus cooperation among the youth.
The volunteer, in essence, is telling the youth that s/he likes them because of their positive
behavior. Does this mean the volunteer doesn’t like them when they misbehave?
Communication 13

Additional Resources
This is an issue of praise versus encouragement. If you would like more information about the
effects of praise versus encouragement, we suggest reading the following articles:

Hitz, R., & Driscoll, A. (1988). Praise or encouragement? New insights into praise:
Implications for early childhood teachers. Young Children, 43(5) , 6-13.

Kohn, A. (2001). Five reasons to stop saying "Good Job". Young Children, 56 (5): 24-28.

Marshall, H.H. (1995). Beyond “I like the way…” Young Children, 50(2) , 26-28.

Discussion Questions:
1. Why do adults use “I like the way” comments with youth? Do you think it is effective?
Do you think it breeds competition?
2. How would you feel if, at the beginning of class when everyone is getting settled in their
seats, your professor said, “I like the way Sally is sitting quietly ready for class to begin.”
What is the intention behind the professor’s comment? What is another way the
professor can get the class’s attention?

In-Class Activity
Consider a situation where you are whispering to a classmate during class. How would you feel
if your professor stopped the lecture and corrected you? What do you think is the most effective
way to deal with this situation? Why?

In-class or Out-of-class Activity:


Think of a situation where you had to decide between commenting publicly or privately. How
did you decide? Was your response effective?

The following situations are included on the website:

What would you do?

In a summer camp group, during one of the first activities, a student who is already displaying herself as
the “class clown” interrupts a peer to make a joke. Though the behavior wasn’t malicious or wrong, it was
inappropriate during that particular activity.
Communication 14

What would you do?

You’re acting as a teacher’s aide in a high school classroom. You’re approaching the end of OSU’s
quarter, so you know the students rather well. One student who acts out frequently and tries to get
attention in a variety of inappropriate ways has just started lighting matches in the back of the classroom.
The teacher hasn’t noticed and continues to monitor a small group on the other side of the room. The
student, however, clearly saw that YOU noticed. He stopped lighting the matches, and seems to be
watching carefully to see how you respond.

What would you do?

You are helping to lead an after-school sports camp with a head coach and several other OSU students.
While the group is engaged in an activity, you notice a student go out of her way to help out one of the
disabled students. She clearly wasn’t doing this for any secondary gain (attention, kudos from you or the
coach, etc). However, she is a student who seems to always do the right thing, have the right answer,
and act perfectly in all situations. Her “too perfect” image is alienating her from her classmates because
they see her as a goody-two-shoes, frequently calling her a “brown noser”, even though she clearly
doesn’t intend to kiss up to you.

Out-of-class to In-class Activity:


i Outside of class:
o Visit the website and read the situation and the suggested responses.
o Reflect on the suggested responses.
ƒ How effective do you think the response would be?
ƒ How likely are you to use the response?
ƒ Choose the response you think would be the most effective for you.
i In class:
o Pair students and have them compare answers, especially the choice they found
most effective for them. Ask them to reflect on why they chose that particular
answer.
ƒ Was it influenced by their personal interaction style and/or personality?

MULTIPLE-CHOICE QUESTION
You are supervising a group of children outside on the playground. You notice a student who
appears to be in her “own little world.” She is walking dangerously close to students swinging
on the swing set. What type of message should you send?
a. “private” message
b. “public” message

Answer: b Æ If safety is involved, a “public” message is almost always required


Communication 15

Additional Information:

The following information is taken from the Hitz and Driscoll (1988) article.

Encouragement
x Focuses on process rather than product thus helping the young person reach his/her own goal
x I see you used green, blue, and yellow in your picture vs. Your picture is beautiful
x You picked up 15 blocks and put them in the right place vs. I like how you cleaned up
x It can be used with success or failure; wider application than praise
x Child’s softball team lost: You caught three fly balls
x Praise adult evaluates: I like your picture vs. Encouragement child evaluates: Tell me about
your picture

How do you Encourage:

1. Be specific and descriptive… talk about what you see, hear, taste or touch; direct yourself
towards an event instead of a person
2. Avoid labeling or interpreting
3. Leave judgment of good or bad to the young person
4. Acknowledge young person’s efforts privately
5. Adult/ teacher-initiated (vs. being solicited by the young person)
6. Focus on process (efforts) vs. product
7. Be honest and sincere
8. Give immediately after event
9. Reward effort and small tasks

What encouragement does:

1. Gives hope
2. Reduces competition
3. Eliminates unreasonably high standards and double standards
4. Means accepting youth as they are Æ separating their work (what they do) from their worth
5. Fosters autonomy and self-esteem
6. Fosters a willingness to explore
7. Fosters acceptance of others
8. Builds confidence… the focus is on improvement… no improvement is too small to be
noticed
9. Makes learning tangible… concrete proof of “I can!”
10. Involves young people in solving problems, making rules… young people help each other
Communication 16

i 10 minutes to complete online

Summary
This lesson gives a summary of listening techniques: paraphrase or restate; ask, don’t tell;
reflect; encourage; summarize; and open-ended probing. It gives information on how to do each
one, the purpose of each one, and gives a few examples of each.

The following situations are included on the website:

What would you do?

You are one of two OSU students supervising a group of 20 elementary school students, aged 7-9 years
old. Your faculty supervisor is not at the school today, so you are on your own. Because the children are
so young, you don't expect to hear them insulting one another using profane language and "trash talk".
What do you do?

What would you do?

You are working with a group of high school students and a fight suddenly breaks out. What do you do?

Out-of-class to In-class Activity:


i Outside of class:
o Visit the website and read the situation and the suggested responses.
o Reflect on the suggested responses.
ƒ How effective do you think the response would be?
ƒ How likely are you to use the response?
ƒ Choose the response you think would be the most effective for you.
i In class:
o Pair students and have them compare answers, especially the choice they found
most effective for them. Ask them to reflect on why they chose that particular
answer.
ƒ Was it influenced by their personal interaction style and/or personality?
Communication 17

Discussion Questions

The lesson also includes scenarios that involve sensitive topics such as incarceration,
molestation, and community violence. The purpose of the scenarios is to allow the mentor to
think through such situations so you can think about how you would feel comfortable
responding. They are as follows:

What would you do?

Sometimes you will encounter comments that are sensitive or disturbing. Some of the following are
examples. Consider how you would respond in each of the following situations:

x A student mentions in a group setting that his father is in prison. How do you respond?

x A girl you are tutoring seems distracted so you ask what’s wrong. She tells you that last night she
was molested. How do you respond?

x A boy you are tutoring is distracted, but when you ask him what’s wrong, he just says he’s tired
and didn’t get enough sleep. You suspect it’s more than that, but he won’t tell you, so you need to
make the most of your time with him. How do you keep him on task?

x In a group setting, a student immediately bursts into tears and tells a story of a drive-by shooting
that happened on her street the night before. How do you respond?

The lesson offers tips on how to know when you are “in over your head.” In such situations, it is
important to for you to speak with your site supervisor, teacher, or college professor. The young
person may need to be referred to a professional or supportive group or agency.

When communicating with young people, it is important to ask yourself, “What is my reaction
teaching them?” It is critical to remember that you serve as a role model for them in everything
you say or don’t say and in everything you do or don’t do.
Communication 18

MULTIPLE-CHOICE QUESTION

It is necessary to consider referring your student to a professional or supportive group or agency


if the following occurs:
a. You feel comfortable with the discussion topics your student brings up.
b. Your student threatens to hurt his/her self or another.
c. Your student has been late to two of your five tutoring sessions.
d. When you bring up the subject of your student’s math homework, s/he tries to change the
subject.

Correct Answer: B Æ safety is involved

Suggestion: Have your students write an alternative way to deal with the behavior situations for
answer choice C and D.

Role Play: 2 people

Assign one student to be the adult volunteer and the other to be a 10-year-old boy or girl. The
volunteer has been assigned to help the 10-year-old with his/her reading. The 10-year-old is
frustrated because s/he has failed his/her vocabulary test for the second week in a row.

As the adult volunteer, use the listening skills summarized in Lesson 5 to help the 10-year-old
with his/her problem.

Additional Information

http://www.youthstartswithyou.org/html/MAIN_commq3.html
¾ Question: What do I do when a young person tells me something in confidence? What if
someone else needs to know?
Motivation 1

i 7-9 minutes to complete online

Summary
When working with youth, motivation is a key factor in their success and self-esteem. Regardless
of the volunteer’s formal role with youth (tutor, mentor, coach, teacher’s aid, counselor, friend,
etc.), the fact that the volunteer is a caring adult will make his/her comments especially
meaningful. If volunteers are motivated and enthusiastic about what they are doing, they are
more likely to pass on that motivation than if they are preoccupied or disinterested.

Adults often take for granted:


¾ The SKILLS needed to solve problems
¾ Goal-setting

Out-of-Class Activity:
¾ Think about a problem you faced recently. What skills did you use to solve the
problem? How do you manage your own expectations and personal goals?

It is important for volunteers to remember youth don’t have the same experience level as they
do. Therefore, volunteers need to:
¾ Be careful in evaluating the level of skill in a young person
¾ Ensure they set up a process that is success-oriented for the young person.

One way volunteers can help youth is by teaching them to break down tasks into manageable
parts.

Baby step Æ success Æ baby step Æ success = success at bigger task

¾ Once the young person feels success with the small steps, the volunteer can
point out the progress on the bigger task

Effort versus Ability


If learning a specific skill is important to a young person, it’s possible that s/he will stop trying if
s/he doesn’t experience success early in the process. A young person will do this so his/her
failure can, in his/her mind, can be attributed to lack of effort versus a lack of ability.
Motivation 2

Youth often set unrealistic goals. Volunteers can help by teaching youth to translate their
unrealistic goals into realistic goals. The problem with unrealistic goals is there is an increased
risk of failure for the young person. This failure can cause the young person to feel discouraged
and frustrated. The young person may lose interest in the task, especially if the task seems
overwhelming. The young person will “shut-down,” not knowing how to proceed.

If volunteers find themselves in this situation, they need to help the young person:
¾ Identify their feelings
¾ Identify their personal goals
¾ Explore why they are afraid of failing. Is success important to parents, friends, teachers,
themselves?

The volunteer needs to think about:


¾ How does the young person handle failure?
ƒ Does s/he pick up and try again OR is s/he easily discouraged?
¾ Is the young person attributing his/her failure to effort of ability?
¾ How s/he can reasonably assess the young person’s ability at a specific task
o Has the child done ___________ before/in the past?
ƒ If yes and it was okay, what is affecting his/her performance now?
x Missed class? Stress at home? Æ see the Whole Child Approach
Model included in the Relationship Module, Lesson 2

Discussion Questions:
1. How can you help a young person understand the importance of breaking a task down
into manageable parts?
2. Have you thought about how you can help youth understand that the process of problem
solving plays a critical role in a successful outcome?
3. Have you thought about how you can help youth gain a realistic understanding of their
abilities?

In-class Activity
i Think about a situation where an adult helped you to be more realistic and identify small
steps toward achievement of a goal. Discuss your experience with a classmate. How are
your situations similar? Different?

Out-of-class Activity
i Watch a TV show or movie that portrays school-age or adolescent youth. Find an
example of a young person dealing with a problem. How did s/he handle it? What was
the outcome? How could you apply the information from this lesson to the young
person’s situation?
Motivation 3

The following situations are included on the website:

What would you do?

You are working with Loretta on an art project, but she avoids the work. How would you respond?

What would you do?

You are helping Josh with his math. He is having difficulty and the teacher has told you that he has failed
the last two tests. What would you do?

Out-of-class to In-class Activity:


i Outside of class:
o Visit the website and read the situation and the suggested responses.
o Reflect on the suggested responses.
ƒ How effective do you think the response would be?
ƒ How likely are you to use the response?
ƒ Choose the response you think would be the most effective for you.
i In class:
o Pair students and have them compare answers, especially the choice they found
most effective for them. Ask them to reflect on why they chose that particular
answer.
ƒ Was it influenced by their personal interaction style and/or personality?
Motivation 4

MULTIPLE-CHOICE QUESTION

A young person comes to you with a problem. He tells you his history teacher has assigned a
project and there is no way he can get it done by the deadline. You can help the young person
by:
a. Tell him you have every confidence in his ability to get it done.
b. Remind him that the other students are almost done and suggest he get moving on his
project.
c. Tell him it sounds like he feels overwhelmed by the assignment. Ask him if he’d like
help breaking it down into smaller, more manageable parts.
d. Look at the assignment and write an outline for him.

Correct Answer: C Æ Lets the young person know you are actively listening to his concerns.
Demonstrates an understanding that youth often need help setting realistic
goals for themselves.

Answer A: Doesn’t acknowledge the young person’s feelings and will increase the chance of
failure.
Answer B: Likely to make him feel badly about himself – he is unique and should not be
compared to his peers.
Answer D: Doesn’t teach the young person problem-solving skills.
Motivation 5

♦ 12-14 minutes to complete online

Summary
We all enjoy doing things that we think we can do well. We tend to spend more time and energy
on those things that we do well, whether it’s academics, athletics, relationships, hobbies, or art.

Youth, especially those who are younger, often haven’t explored their abilities enough to know
what they can do well. This lesson explores the idea of helping youth “find their niche”, which
consists of finding out what comes easily to them and what might take more effort.

CAUTION: This includes helping youth understand what they are NOT good at, that is,
recognize their own weaknesses. Volunteers can help youth understand they may have to work
harder or longer than others to learn certain concepts; everyone has areas of ability that are
challenging. Volunteers may need to help direct them in a new, and hopefully, connected
direction.

In-class Activity:
Think about a time you had difficulty doing a skill you really wanted to be able to do. How did
you deal with this? What could an adult have done to help you? Share your reflections with a
classmate.

Volunteers can help youth explore their interests and abilities. They can help youth discover:
♦ What do they BELIEVE in?
♦ What can they do with what or who they are? What fits the young person’s unique
personality, interests, and talents?

One way volunteers can help youth explore their niche is by exposing the youth to new
experiences. They can do this through:
♦ Pictures, videos, music, field trips, books, and guest speakers

In-class or Out-of-class Activity:


¾ Based on the suggestions above, what are some specific things you can do or share
with youth to help them in their search for their personal niche? Share your ideas
with a classmate.
Motivation 6

Discussion Questions
1. Have you thought about how you would help a young person understand s/he may have
to try harder then his/her peers to succeed at a certain task?
2. The website discusses having a social niche. How can you help a young person feel
comfortable in a group?
3. Have you thought about how you can have the members of a group help each other find
their own niche?

The lesson discusses the issue of being comfortable with the niche a young person selects. It is
important for volunteers to remember that, unless safety is an issue, it is not their place to project
their values and beliefs onto the young person they are mentoring. Their responsibility is to
nurture the development of the young person as a unique individual.

In-class or Out-of-class Activity


Think about a time you made a choice that an adult in your life disagreed with. What were the
specific circumstances? How did you feel at the time? What could the adult have done
differently? Looking back on the situation, would you have done anything differently if you
could relive the situation? Share your reflections with a classmate.

CAUTION:
¾ Safety always requires you to stop a child going down a certain path, which often means
taking their freedom of choice and exploration away.

The following situations are included on the website:

What would you do?

You’ve been working with a classroom of students as a teacher’s aid for several months. You know the
students very well, and have been told to work individually with a group of students on their geography
lesson. They are working on a collaborative project, and your task is to help them determine roles for their
project. What do you do?

What would you do?

You are tutoring a ninth grade girl in English, which is her least favorite subject. She is particularly
frustrated today and doesn’t want to even start her assignment, which is to write a creative piece about
her favorite hobby. She seems to think that everything has to be in essay form, even though the teacher
has allowed much more freedom than that on this assignment. What do you do?
Motivation 7

What would you do?

In a conversation during a study break, a student you are working with tells you that she has decided that
she wants to run for class president. This student isn’t popular, is disorganized, and doesn’t seem to have
what it takes to be the president. You’re worried that running for the office will put her in a position to be
taunted by her peers. How do you respond?

Out-of-class to In-class Activity:


i Outside of class:
o Visit the website and read the situation and the suggested responses.
o Reflect on the suggested responses.
ƒ How effective do you think the response would be?
ƒ How likely are you to use the response?
ƒ Choose the response you think would be the most effective for you.
i In class:
o Pair students and have them compare answers, especially the choice they found
most effective for them. Ask them to reflect on why they chose that particular
answer.
ƒ Was it influenced by their personal interaction style and/or personality?
Motivation 8

i 5-7 minutes to complete online

Summary
It is important for volunteers to give responsibility to the youth they are working with because
this allows them to grow and develop leadership skills. As the adults, volunteers will need to
determine where they want to be on the adult-youth responsibility continuum [a tool to help you
think about where the control lies in an activity] and then act appropriately. It is important for
the volunteer to consider the age, maturity, and experience level of each individual young person
when making this decision.

The volunteers will need to mentally weigh the importance of letting students take charge versus
the risks involved with giving them too much responsibility too soon. It is critical for volunteers
to understand it is much easier to go from adult control to youth control then the other way
around. Once the youth have experienced the freedom of leading their own activities, it is very
hard for them to adjust to the adult making all the decisions.

In-class Activity
Think about a time you were in charge of a group of young people when you gave them too
much freedom. What happened when you tried to regain control? What would you do differently
next time? Share your reflections with the class.

Adult control Æ Æ Æ Æ Æ Adult/youth partnership Æ Æ Æ Æ Æ Youth control

Adult sets control Youth provide input Youth set rules

Adult outlines Adult provides structure Youth plan


expectations -- suggests possible activities
and youth can choose

Youth follow through Adult & youth share planning, Youth implement
Implementation & evaluation
“How can we make this better?”
Adult monitors & Youth evaluate &
evaluates reflect

“Mixer” activity Adult advises,


Safety issue Supporter, friend,
Specific lesson to teach Cheerleader
Motivation 9

When planning an activity, volunteers need to consider:


¾ Is the level of control/partnership age-appropriate?
¾ Is everyone included?
¾ Are the choices appropriate?
¾ Are the responsibilities manageable for the young people’s skill set?

It is the volunteers’ responsibility to assess where their group is on the continuum and set the
“control” to best meet the needs of the group.

The volunteers need to figure out where they are and where they want to be in terms of the adult-
youth responsibility continuum. The goal is for the volunteers to help youth develop the sense of
responsibility they will need to succeed in life.

Out-of-class Activity.
Think about a time you were involved with a young person or a group of young people.
Where were you on the adult-youth responsibility continuum? Explore your feelings as
to WHY you choose the “level” you did.

Discussion Questions
1. Where are you most comfortable on the adult-child responsibility continuum? When
does this work well? When does it get in the way?
2. Have you thought about how you would monitor an adult-controlled activity? How
would this differ from the way you would monitor a youth-controlled activity?
3. Have you thought about how a group’s interaction style or dynamic would affect the
adult-youth responsibility continuum?

CAUTION
It is important for the volunteers to understand they are role models for youth. It is normal for a
volunteer to want young people to like him/her but this isn’t a popularity contest. The volunteer
needs to behave in a manner that models the appropriate behaviors and control for a given
situation, even if the young people think it is boring or controlling.

In-class or Out-of-Class Activity:


Think of a situation where a group of young people were out of control. Reflect on the situation
from beginning to end in terms of the adult-youth responsibility continuum. What mistakes did
the adult in charge make? What could s/he do differently next time? Share your reflections with
a classmate.
Motivation 10

The following situations are included on the website:

What would you do?

You are responsible for the evening recreation at a summer camp. You have been assigned a group of
third year campers to help plan the activity. There is no set structure to follow and you want to be sure
that all the campers are included in the activity and that it is age appropriate. How do you involve the
campers in the planning group in the process?

What would you do?

You are tutoring Justin, a fourth grader from Weinland Park, in reading. He has a comic book with him
when you meet with him at the school. You have been given a set reading list that each fourth grader
must read. He isn't being cooperative.

How will you motivate him to begin reading books on the list?

Out-of-class to In-class Activity:


i Outside of class:
o Visit the website and read the situation and the suggested responses.
o Reflect on the suggested responses.
ƒ How effective do you think the response would be?
ƒ How likely are you to use the response?
ƒ Choose the response you think would be the most effective for you.
i In class:
o Pair students and have them compare answers, especially the choice they found
most effective for them. Ask them to reflect on why they chose that particular
answer.
ƒ Was it influenced by their personal interaction style and/or personality?
MULTIPLE-CHOICE QUESTION
You are working with a group of fifth graders and it is time to switch to a new lesson. You have
decided to allow them to set the rules and create the plan for the lesson. You will act as an
adviser, supporter, and cheerleader. You have selected to use which type of control?
a) Adult control
b) Adult-youth partnership
c) Youth control

Correct answer: C
Motivation 11

Additional Information
http://www.youthstartswithyou.org/html/MAIN_motivation3.html
¾ Question: What are some things I can do to help kids understand that this is as much
their activity as my activity?

http://www.youthstartswithyou.org/html/MAIN_motivation1.html
¾ Question: What are some ways that I can get kids to feel that they are really a part of the
group?
Motivation 12

i 10-12 minutes to complete online

Summary
When a task is difficult or life feels unfair, one key to success is to keep TRYING. This lesson
provides tips on helping youth build skills and self-esteem. Volunteers need to remember they
are a role model for effort and persistence, especially in the face of challenge or failure. It is
helpful for volunteers to think of themselves in terms of a coach.

Out-of-Class Activity
Have you personally had the experience, when faced with a seemingly overwhelming job, of:
¾ Trying and succeeding?
¾ Quitting?
¾ Worrying a lot?
¾ Asking for help?

¾ How did you feel? What did you do that worked? Didn’t work? What would you do
again? What would you change?

¾ How can you use these experiences to help the students you mentor?

Volunteers can help youth evaluate their performance at a task that matters to them. The
volunteers can suggest a young person reflect on:
¾ What they did well – what worked – by looking at specific behaviors
¾ What they could do to improve to try again

It is very important for the volunteer to:


¾ Stick with the young person even when s/he feels like giving up
¾ Encourage them to persist – try and try again to do the SPECIFIC things it will take
to improve their performance
¾ Give the young person FOCUSED attention. Their presence as a caring adult may be
the single most important thing they can provide.

Volunteers can show students ways to cope with the problem solving process. For instance, they
can suggest:
a. Taking breaks when working to give their brains and bodies a break – teach them to
check their own body language – are their shoulders relaxed or up near their ears?
b. Walking around the room or some other physical exercise, deep breathing, closing their
eyes for a minute, stopping to get a drink of water or to go to the restroom
Motivation 13

In-class or Out-of-class Activity:


When you feel overwhelmed with class work, what do you do to clear your mind?

If a young person is in a situation where s/he is trying and feels frustrated, it is important for
volunteers to understand that the process of solving frustration when a student is stuck has to be
unique, as a cookie-cutter approach won’t work. It is helpful to ask a lot of questions as a way of
helping the young person generate fresh ideas. For example, how would you do _________?
What do you think would/could be an alternative? What if you did/changed
___________________?

One of the women, Althea Thompson, on one of the video clips says it best:
“I’m here for help so that they don’t bump into a wall and get discouraged and find that
they just want to lean against that wall.”

CAUTION
It is ALWAYS acceptable to consult with the teacher, supervisor, or your professor about a
situation. You do not have to solve all problems alone, and you may not have enough time to
know all the components of a situation.

In-class or Out-of-class Activity


Describe “what works” to keep youth engaged when they experience loss or failure.

In-class Activity: Create a resource of helpful and encouraging comments.


i Have each student generate helpful and encouraging comments. Suggest that they choose
words and actions that are caring and authentic – when adults are really honest, youth can
TRUST what they say.
i Collect them and create a master list of their ideas and distribute the master list during the
next class period or post them on your website. Discuss them as a group.
i Possible categories you can suggest:
x Questions
o Can you tell me how you did that?
o Is this the very first time you did this?
x Caring word or phrase
o Let’s look at just this step.
x Gestures: hugs, high-five

Discussion Questions:
1. Have you thought about what you can do to provide an example of “try and try
again”?
2. What did important adults during your childhood do to help you persist when facing a
challenge?
Motivation 14

3. Have you thought about what you could do when a young person says s/he wants to
give up trying?

The following situation can be found on the website:

What would you do?

You are tutoring Shannon, a third grader, in math. After completing two problems in fifteen minutes,
Shannon wants to quit. She's frustrated and upset and says, "I'm no good at math. I can't do this. I quit!"

How would you handle the situation?

Out-of-class to In-class Activity:


i Outside of class:
o Visit the website and read the situation and the suggested responses.
o Reflect on the suggested responses.
ƒ How effective do you think the response would be?
ƒ How likely are you to use the response?
ƒ Choose the response you think would be the most effective for you.
i In class:
o Pair students and have them compare answers, especially the choice they found
most effective for them. Ask them to reflect on why they chose that particular
answer.
ƒ Was it influenced by their personal interaction style and/or personality?

MULTIPLE-CHOICE QUESTION
You are working with a group of young people on an art project. Three of the young people
have come to you and told you they want to give up. You should:
a. Tell each one the same thing: try, try again
b. Base your comments on the young person as an individual, as each of the problems will
be unique to the specific young person
c. Tell them it is okay for them to go on to the next activity

Correct Answer: B

Answer A: Doesn’t honor the uniqueness of their individuality


Answer C: Doesn’t teach them how to persist in the face of a challenge. It tells them it is okay
to give up when they get frustrated.

Additional Information
http://www.youthstartswithyou.org/html/MAIN_motivation2.html
¾ Question: How can I support accomplishments and give encouragement without
having to give prizes or rewards every time for every thing?
Motivation 15

i 6-8 minutes to complete online

Summary
Motivation consists of three factors:

1. Goals: Has the young person set a realistic goal to work toward?
2. Personal Agency/ Self-efficacy Beliefs: Does the young person believe s/he can do it?
3. Emotions: How does the young person feel about the situation? About the work? About
you, the volunteer? About his/her home life? [teacher, peers, subject, type of assignment]

When motivating a young person, volunteers need to consider the above factors. It helps to try
and see the situation from the young person’s perspective, that is, take a walk in his/her shoes.
Volunteers can help the young person identify and recognize which part is causing him/her to be
unmotivated.

Motivation comes from within – the volunteer can’t do it for them. The volunteer’s job is to
provide support and encouragement for the young people’s efforts, not just the outcome, so they
learn to believe in themselves and their abilities. This serves as the foundation for a trusting
relationship.

Out-of-Class Activity:
How do you build trust with a student? What does it look like behaviorally?

Trust-building suggestions:
¾ Active listening
o Find out what they are interested in (their favorite thing/ activity/ person/ song)
and try and use this information to connect the young person to the present
situation
¾ Talk to the young person privately versus publicly. You don’t want to risk embarrassing
a young person who is feeling vulnerable
¾ Focus on effort and the process versus the product
o Youth need feedback on specific behaviors they have that are leading them to
their desired outcome so they know what to keep doing (or practicing)
¾ Take small steps and reflect on progress
¾ Be honest – don’t tell them they can do something that is clearly outside of their abilities
Motivation 16

CAUTION:
SO, the volunteers need to make SURE the young person has the ability to behave the way the
volunteer is encouraging them to because if the young person can’t act this way, the volunteer is
setting him/her up for failure and disappointment. This will result in a decreased sense of trust in
the volunteer.

Out-of-class Activity:
Reflect on a situation where someone you looked up to encouraged you to do something that was
outside of your ability level. How did you feel? How did it affect your feelings about yourself
and the person you looked up to?

Volunteers need to recognize that the following are natural motivators:


¾ Being successful
¾ Feeling good
¾ Getting excited about something

In-class or Out-of-class Activity:


What would increase the natural motivators? What would decrease them?

Discussion Questions:
1. Have you thought about what affects your thoughts about your ability to do a certain
behavior, for instance, work with youth? How can you use this insight as you try to motivate
a young person?
2. Have you thought about what it takes for you to trust another person? How can you use this
insight in your work with youth?

The following situations are included on the website:

What would you do?

What would you do if it were really hard to find something that a student is good at? What if they’re really
not that good at anything?
Motivation 17

What would you do?

What would you do if you had a totally non-participating student? Not a disruption, but simply a non-
participator?

Out-of-class to In-class Activity:


i Outside of class:
o Visit the website and read the situation and the suggested responses.
o Reflect on the suggested responses.
ƒ How effective do you think the response would be?
ƒ How likely are you to use the response?
ƒ Choose the response you think would be the most effective for you.
i In class:
o Pair students and have them compare answers, especially the choice they found
most effective for them. Ask them to reflect on why they chose that particular
answer.
ƒ Was it influenced by their personal interaction style and/or personality?

Additional Information

x Seven Rules of Motivation (http://www.motivation-tools.com/elements/seven_rules.htm):


This web page lists seven “rules” of motivation. It’s a quick and dirty list of what to do for youth.
x Motivating and Engaging Youth
(http://www.youthstartswithyou.org/html/MAINysy_motivatinghome.htm): This page from
the original Youth Starts With You website has links to "Quick Tips", "Ask the Experts", and
"Other Links".
x Some Ideas for Motivating Students (http://www.virtualsalt.com/motivate.htm): A brief 9-point
article on the components of motivating youth.
x Motivating Youth at Risk (http://www.careerccc.org/products/getstart98/motivati.html): An
excerpt from a larger work that outlines three strategies for motivating youth.
Motivation 18

Readings related to self-efficacy:

Bandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change.


Psychological Review, 84, 191-215.

Bandura, A. (1982). Self-efficacy mechanism in human agency. American Psychologist,


37, 122-147.

Bandura, A. (1989). Regulation of cognitive processes through perceived self-efficacy.


Developmental Psychology, 25, 729-735.

Bandura, A. (1995). Exercise of personal and collective efficacy in changing societies. In


A. Bandura (Ed.), Self-efficacy in changing societies (pp. 1-45). New York: Cambridge
University Press.

Gecas, V. (1989). Social psychology of self-efficacy. Annual Review of Sociology, 15,


291-316.

Shelton, S. H. (1990). Developing the construct of general self-efficacy. Psychological


Reports, 66, 987-994.

Stanley, K. D., & Murphy, M. R. (1997). A comparison of general self-efficacy with


self-esteem. Genetic, Social, & General Psychology Monographs, 123, 79-99.

Stanwyck, D. J. (1983). Self-esteem through the life span. Family & Community Health,
6, 11-28.

Swick, K. J. (1987). Teacher reports on parental efficacy/involvement relationships.


Instructional Psychology, 14, 125-132.

Wang, A. Y., & Richarde, R. S. (1988). Global versus task-specific measures of self-
efficacy. The Psychological Record, 38, 533-541.

Watt, S. E., & Martin, P. E. (1994). Effect of general self-efficacy expectancies on


performance attributions. Psychological Reports, 75, 951-961.
Relationships 1

i 8-10 minutes to complete online

Summary
This module is designed to help volunteers understand the importance of the relationship they
have with youth. When volunteers work with youth, they are entering into a relationship with
them. As with any relationship, the more the volunteers invest in it, the more they and the youth
will benefit from that relationship. The volunteers’ actions and behaviors will help to teach the
young people how to have a healthy, positive relationship with an adult.

CAUTION:
The more time you invest into the relationship, the more you and the child will benefit.

Don’t promise more than you are willing or can deliver; the relationship will be affected by the
amount of time and structure of the mentoring assignment

Out-of-class Activity:
Think about someone you looked up to as a child/ teenager (coach, teacher, tutor, or
mentor). What specific behaviors influenced your positive feelings and thoughts about
them?

If a young person doesn’t CARE about the volunteer, s/he won’t listen to the volunteer or care
about what the volunteer has to say. It is the responsibility of the volunteer to initiate contact
with the young person and make the young person feel comfortable.

CAUTION:
What’s appropriate?
¾ A hug, gentle touch or pat if the child seems open to it. It may be appropriate to check
with the teacher/ youth supervisor about the “norm”/ boundary for this for the
particular group with whom you are working
¾ Say, “Hi!”
¾ See/ask how they are doing
¾ Notice the quiet ones; their voice is important
o Consider giving them a responsibility such as passing out papers, designing cover
of class book etc. that doesn’t require being the center of attention yet gives them
validation for THEIR personality type
¾ Listen, giving full attention to the child (active listening).
o NO multi-tasking!!!
Relationships 2

Discussion Question:
¾ What are appropriate ways of initiating contact with a young person?

The lesson refers to the idea that youth need a “neighborhood of people who care.”

In-class Activity:
In your ideal world, what would a “neighborhood of people who care” look like?
¾ Who would be in it?
¾ How would they treat each other?
¾ What type of relationship would adults and youth have?
¾ What types of activities would occur?

It is important for volunteers to think through how they are going to organize their initial
interactions with the young people in their group.

Discussion Question:
1. How would you show interest to the young person, yet keep track of time and limit off-
topic conversation to a few minutes?
2. Have you thought about what you would do if your young person tells you from the
beginning that s/he wants you to be his/her best friend? How do you manage their needs
and expectations? Remember that your relationship is confined to the structure, especially
the length of time, of your assignment

CAUTION
It is critical for volunteers to understand how serious their role is in a young person’s life. Many
young people don’t have an adult they can turn to in time of stress and need, no one to offer
unconditional acceptance of them, regardless of what they “can do.” Many youth think of a
mentor as a STATUS symbol. Volunteers need to take their responsibility very seriously; they
are dealing with a young person’s self-esteem and sense of trust in others.

Discussion Question:
How do you think it feels to have a person, who is not related to you, want to spend time with
you and help you, no strings attached?

Out-of-class Activity
Reflect on a time you had a relationship with someone not related to you. Did the person live up
to your expectations or did s/he disappoint you? What specific things did s/he do? How can you
use this information to strengthen your relationship with your young person?

In-Class Activity
¾ List ways an adult can let a child know they care about them. Reflect on your answers
with a classmate.
Relationships 3

The following situations are included on the website:

What would you do?

To help you envision the difference between showing the students you care and limiting your interactions
to professional ones, consider the following situation.

You volunteered as an after-school tutor at a local high school. Your student asks you how your weekend
was.

How do you respond?

What would you do?

You are working with a group of children and one of the younger girls is very quiet. You notice that she
comes with her friend's parent every day and you have never met her parents. How can you let her know
you care about her and draw her into the group without making her more self-conscious.

Out-of-class to In-class Activity:


i Outside of class:
o Visit the website and read the situation and the suggested responses.
o Reflect on the suggested responses.
ƒ How effective do you think the response would be?
ƒ How likely are you to use the response?
ƒ Choose the response you think would be the most effective for you.
i In class:
o Pair students and have them compare answers, especially the choice they found
most effective for them. Ask them to reflect on why they chose that particular
answer.
ƒ Was it influenced by their personal interaction style and/or personality?

Additional Information

http://www.youthstartswithyou.org/html/MAIN_motivation4.html
Question: How can I make things more fun and exciting for the kids? What might be
happening?
Relationships 4

i 8-10 minutes to complete online

Summary
Volunteers need to pay attention to all four aspects of development as they build relationships
with young people. The four aspects of development are physical, cognitive/ intellectual
emotional, and social. Effective interactions with youth require attention to all four areas.

PHYSICAL:
¾ 5 senses: singing, act out songs, role play, measuring, listening, tasting, touching
¾ Fine motor Æ manipulatives
¾ Gross motor Æ hop, skip, gallop, walk, run, crawl, slink
¾ Field trips Æ Magic School Bus book and video series

COGNITIVE/ INTELLECTUAL:
¾ Vocabulary
¾ Rules Æ explain the WHY behind the boundaries of an activity with an emphasis on
SAFETY
¾ Ask questions:
o What do you think about _______?
o What would happen if ________?
o How do you know?”
o “Why do you think so?”
o “What will happen next?”
¾ Keep in mind: each person’s perspective is unique and valuable – their “personal” reality

EMOTIONAL
¾ How do you FEEL about ____________?
o Remember: feelings are NEVER wrong
o Give them different words for feelings
ƒ Disappointed, frustrated, confused, scared, hurt, anxious, nervous

SOCIAL
¾ Pair children who do NOT know each other
¾ Skills to foster: sharing, respecting opinions of others, taking turns, taking responsibility
for one’s behavior, contributing to the classroom/ group community

Look for ways to help youth think about and feel good about:
¾ Helping classmates
Relationships 5

¾ Take care of the classroom and larger environment


¾ Listening to others

What can you do to foster prosocial skills? Empathy?


¾ How would you feel if __________?

Erikson’s theory of socioemotional development addresses the areas of social and emotional
development.

Using Erikson’s theory, a helpful way to assist children in their interactions is to find out what
their needs, wants, and feelings are. Once these are established, you can help the child think
through how to get these met within the rules of their classroom/ educational setting. For
example:

I want the truck that Sally has and I am frustrated I can’t have it. My behaviors of hitting
Sally or taking the truck from Sally aren’t options because they are against the rules of
the classroom. My needs, wants, and feelings aren’t misguided… the way I am trying to
meet them is.

Volunteers can help youth learn socially acceptable ways of getting their needs, wants, and
feelings met within the rules of the educational setting

The following situations are included on the website:

What would you do?

If you are assisting with an after school volleyball program, how can you incorporate all four areas of
development?

Out-of-class to In-class Activity:


i Outside of class:
o Visit the website and read the situation and the suggested responses.
o Reflect on the suggested responses.
ƒ How effective do you think the response would be?
ƒ How likely are you to use the response?
ƒ Choose the response you think would be the most effective for you.
i In class:
o Pair students and have them compare answers, especially the choice they found
most effective for them. Ask them to reflect on why they chose that particular
answer.
ƒ Was it influenced by their personal interaction style and/or personality?
Relationships 6

In-class Activity
Think of a young person. Write down a comment about each of the areas of his/her
development. Share your reflections with a classmate.

It is important for volunteers to look BEYOND the development of the person. Young people
develop within a family and the family is within a community. Events in a child’s family life or
community affect the day to day development of children. It is important to be sensitive to each
child’s unique life situation and developmental needs.

Additional Information:
The Whole Child Approach Model (Skeen & Ramassini, 1998) was designed to facilitate the
process of gathering and thinking through information about a specific person. Volunteers can
use it as a way to organize the information they learn about a young person as well as a way to
generate questions they have about the “subsystems” of the young person.

The Whole Child Approach Model

Behavior is a result of: the interaction of the subsystem or parts


x What is the system?
x What are the subsystem or parts?
x How do they interrelate?
x The relationships are multi-directional
Relationships 7

The physical environment and time are represented by squares because both of these are
underlying phenomenon and not a human relationship.

The circles represent human relationships.

The family is represented as a semi-circle because the individual interacts indirectly with the
community through the family yet s/he also interacts directly with the community. An example
of this is when a young person is at school.

Below are examples of what is included in each subsystem. The list is by no means exhaustive;
it is meant to be a guide.

Cognitive Development – child’s level of cognitive functioning; leadership style; knowledge;


IQ; test history; educational background; is the child paying attention?, does the child
understand/ comprehend?, can they remember?, are they motivated?

Emotional Development – Emotions of child... scared, confident, depressed, happy

Physical Development – Stress level, diet, sleep, cold or hot, healthy or sick, do they have the
physical ability to perform a given task (beyond skill level, disability)?

Social Development - Personality style: introverted or extraverted, calm or energetic; prefer to


study in groups or alone; does child possess the skills necessary to make and maintain
friendships: share, cooperate, trust, and negotiate

Child... in a Family... in a Community …in a Physical Environment… at a certain Time:


Relationships 8

x Family - parents’ jobs, economic level, commute, number of parents, siblings, birth order,
extended family

x Community - school, church, neighborhood, history of culture, politics , youth services,


higher education, law enforcement, business, industry, social services, recreation, medical
services, media, legislators, private sector

x Physical environment in the home, school, and community - color, temperature, space,
room arrangement, available food and other resources, cigarette smoke, safe?, parks, grass,
trees, traffic patterns, transportation availability

x Time subsystem includes: (1) cohort, (2) historical, (3) birth order & age composition of
family, (4) generational, and (5) developmental for individual and family

Example: College student as a system: describe test-taking ability... what affects how you do?
Cognitive - leadership style, knowledge, IQ, test history, educational background
Emotional - emotions... scared, confident
Physical - stress, diet, sleep
Social - personality style, study in groups

In-class Activity:
What else could fit in the different subsystems of the Whole Child Approach Model?

Out-of-class Activity:
Apply the Whole Child Approach Model to a young person you know. What additional information
would you find helpful to know? Organize your questions by subsystem of the model.
http://www.youthstartswithyou.org/html/MAIN_commq2.html
¾ Question: How can I restore order when kids quit listening and start acting up during an
activity or presentation?

Skeen, P., & Ramassini. K. (1998). The Whole Child Approach. Unpublished Manuscript.
Relationships 9

i 10-12 minutes to complete online

Summary
There are three predictable stages or phases to relationships with youth. Knowing this can help
volunteers plan for and enjoy each stage as they build a relationship with the youth in their
assigned setting.

Out-of-class Activity
It is helpful if volunteers keep a log/ journal of the stages and critical incidents and discoveries in
their relationship(s) with the youth in their assigned setting. This can provide perspective and
help the volunteers see the changes as they get to know each other. If a volunteer has a one-on-
one relationship with a young person, the volunteer should consider suggesting the young person
keep a journal as well. The volunteer could set aside a scheduled time to reflect on their
relationship at set intervals.

While much of the volunteers’ focus will on ways to meet the needs and personality of their
young partner, they will want to prepare by also looking at their own style and goals for the
relationship. Knowing their own goals and thinking through the benefits for them in the
relationship will help them through any rough spots they may hit as they navigate through the
three relationship stages. Like in any relationship, growing pains are normal and are a sign that
each one cares.

Out-of-class Activity
Thinking about your personal goals for your mentoring relationship:
¾ Do you want to build interpersonal skills?
¾ Do you want to learn about how to work with youth?
¾ Do you want to learn how to work with diverse members of the local community?
¾ Will this help you to prepare for a career?
¾ Do you want to contribute to others and help improve their opportunities in life?

CAUTION
It is important for volunteers to be dependable and keep promises they make. You should never
make a promise you know or think you can’t keep.
Relationships 10

First Stage: The Honeymoon Stage… Getting to know each other


¾ Youth enjoy social interaction and really want positive relationships
o If the young person seems distant at first, the volunteer should think about how
s/he is feeling. The sheer novelty or newness of the situation can make someone
cautious (nothing personal meant against you!).
ƒ Be respectful of shyness and personal boundaries
o Youth are curious. Volunteers should answer questions openly and patiently.
Sharing their background and culture (a bit at a time) can build an understanding
and trust that is part of a good relationship
¾ Youth connect well with adults in this stage – relax and get to know each other!
¾ Activities: fun things
o Going to arcades
o Interactive games – air hockey, pool
¾ Ask questions to find out what your partner’s hobbies and interests are.
o Expect and celebrate differences – this can provide richness to your relationship

Second Stage: The Reality Stage… Setting limits


¾ This stage involves increasing behavior guidance, support, & two-way communication.
¾ Common pattern: starts off great, eventually takes a downturn when the adult has to set a
limit.
o REMEMBER: Your reaction to their “testing the limits” is teaching them what is
appropriate and what’s not – be sure you set your expectations at a level that is
realistic for the child’s development.
o If they like you ALL the time, you may be being too permissive.
¾ Try a positive problem solving approach:
1. give choices
2. provide opportunities
3. include warnings
¾ Moving into the reality stage of the relationship can be very difficult. If you have
concerns about the depth of the issues that are surfacing, check with your supervisor,
professor, or program coordinator for help in determining what to do next.

Third Stage: The “Real” Relationship Stage: Striking a Balance


¾ You have established you like the child and enjoy spending time with them, but you will
set limits when necessary.
¾ Once a real relationship is established, both the child and the adult can be comfortable
letting each other know if they have any issues with the other person.
¾ Mutual respect
o If child isn’t doing what she needs to do, you let her know.
o If you are doing something the child doesn’t like, she lets you know.
Relationships 11

In-class Activity:

How long do you think it might take to go through the 3 relationship stages? What will affect
your time line?

Discuss how the stages apply to a relationship you had as a child with a mentor or one you
presently have with a young person.

The following situations are included on the website:

What would you do?

You are feeling unsure about the tutoring relationship you have with Kevin. Lately he seems to tune out
everything you used to talk about. He just keeps saying, “You don’t care about me.” You wonder what
happened to your mutual communication.

Out-of-class to In-class Activity:


i Outside of class:
o Visit the website and read the situation and the suggested responses.
o Reflect on the suggested responses.
ƒ How effective do you think the response would be?
ƒ How likely are you to use the response?
ƒ Choose the response you think would be the most effective for you.
i In class:
o Pair students and have them compare answers, especially the choice they found
most effective for them. Ask them to reflect on why they chose that particular
answer.
ƒ Was it influenced by their personal interaction style and/or personality?
Relationships 12

i 5-7 minutes to complete online

Summary
Youth need adults to support them as they solve their own problems. As the volunteers develop
a relationship with youth, the youth will come to see the volunteers as role models and will come
to them for advice and help thinking through situations they encounter in their lives.

Many times, youth need to figure out a solution for themselves. Active/reflective listening
(Gordon, 2000) is a great tool to use in these situations.

How you do it:


1. listen carefully
2. don’t interrupt
3. try to understand “message”
4. listen for child’s feelings
5. suspend judgment
6. avoid preaching, advising, trying to change their feelings
7. merely “feed back” your perception of the child’s feelings
x active listening doesn’t always bring about an on-the-spot change; starts a chain of
events (for example, the child may go off and solve the problem on their own)
x It is not “simply parroting” or repeating facts
x the “code” is not the message
x the FEELINGS must be decoded

Too often, adults are quick to “jump in” to prevent youth from going down the “wrong” path.
Yet, what is the definition of the “wrong” path? Unless safety is an issue, it is best for the
volunteer to step back and let the young person make the decision s/he thinks is best for him/her
and then experience the consequence, whether it be positive or negative. The volunteer’s job is
to offer the young person unconditional support by listening without judgment and by helping
the young person reflect on what went well and what s/he can change for the next time.

Discussion Question:
How do adults support youth while they solve their own problems?
Relationships 13

The following situations are included on the website:

What would you do?

You are working in an after-school program, and two 10 year-old girls in the program are quarreling even
though they are "best friends". They are both asking you to decide who is "right".

What do you do?

What would you do?

You are a volunteer counselor at a summer camp and you overhear some older boys discussing plans to
"sneak out of their cabin" on the last night of summer camp to toilet paper another cabin.

What do you do?

Out-of-class to In-class Activity:


i Outside of class:
o Visit the website and read the situation and the suggested responses.
o Reflect on the suggested responses.
ƒ How effective do you think the response would be?
ƒ How likely are you to use the response?
ƒ Choose the response you think would be the most effective for you.
i In class:
o Pair students and have them compare answers, especially the choice they found
most effective for them. Ask them to reflect on why they chose that particular
answer.
ƒ Was it influenced by their personal interaction style and/or personality?

Gordon, T. (2000). Parent effectiveness training: The proven program for raising responsible
children. New York: Three Rivers Press.
Relationships 14

i 9-11 minutes to complete online

Summary

CAUTION
This lesson deals with sensitive topics such as drug use, suicide, sexual orientation, teenage
pregnancy, and sexual harassment. There is a difficult balance between staying there and being
supportive and seeking help. It is best to for the volunteer to trust his/her instincts. If a
conversation makes the volunteer uncomfortable, s/he needs to impose a limit on the depth and
detail of the conversation. The volunteer needs to remember they are the adult.

If volunteers are involved in a situation where the health and/or safety of youth is in jeopardy,
they must act immediately. They must get a supervisor’s help.

In less urgent situations, volunteers should continue to be supportive, interested listeners. They
should provide information when they can, but recognize they are allowed to say “I am not
comfortable sharing that with you” or “You really need to talk to someone else about this
situation. Would you like me to help you find the school counselor?”

The following situations are included on the website:

What would you do?

What would you do if you were a counselor at a camp and you found out that one of the students brought
some marijuana to camp. He invited you to party with him and some of the other senior campers tonight.

How do you respond?

What would you do?

A student tells you they’re thinking about committing suicide.

How do you respond?


Relationships 15

What would you do?

You’re in a long-term placement where you know the students well and feel that a hug or pat on the head
or an arm around the shoulder is not unwelcome. But one day, a student says “I’m going to have you
arrested for sexual harassment.”

How do you respond?

Out-of-class to In-class Activity:


i Outside of class:
o Visit the website and read the situation and the suggested responses.
o Reflect on the suggested responses.
ƒ How effective do you think the response would be?
ƒ How likely are you to use the response?
ƒ Choose the response you think would be the most effective for you.
i In class:
o Pair students and have them compare answers, especially the choice they found
most effective for them. Ask them to reflect on why they chose that particular
answer.
ƒ Was it influenced by their personal interaction style and/or personality?

Discussion Questions:

What would you do?

Consider what you would do in the following situations. Share your responses with a friend, roommate,
classmate or instructor.

x How would you respond if a child you were mentoring told you she was pregnant and asked you
what she should do?
x How would you respond if a child asked you personal questions about your relationships, your
sex life, your home address and phone number, or whether you drink or do drugs?
x What would you do if you were talking with a child’s parent and all of a sudden they begin to
unload far more information than you are comfortable with?
x How would you respond if a child told you they think they’re gay, lesbian, bisexual, or
transgendered?
x What would you do if the student told you she was pregnant and contemplating suicide?
x What would you do if a student told you (s)he was being sexually harassed or abused?
Relationships 16

Links have been provided for the following sensitive topics:


¾ Addressing Gay Issues in the Classroom
¾ Sexual Orientation
¾ Substance Abuse
¾ Sexual Harassment
¾ Suicide Prevention
¾ Teenage Pregnancy

Web Resources

The following are some additional web sites that you may find useful in your work with youth:

Addressing Gay Issues in the Classroom (http://www.womedia.org/elem/fiveways.html)


This site outlines five ways to address gay issues in the classroom.

Adolescent Substance Abuse Knowledge Base (http://www.adolescent-substance-abuse.com)


The Adolescent Substance Abuse Knowledge Base has many good links including “Signs of Drug Use”,
“Myths About Alcohol”, and “Current Statistics".

Ages and Stages of Youth Development and Implications for Volunteers Working With Youth
(http://www.youthstartswithyou.org/html/FS_literature.html)
This link shows general information about understanding and working with children. The page is
separated into Physical Development, Emotional Development, Cognitive Development, and Social
Development. If you can begin to understand what the average child is like, you’ll better understand the
one(s) you’re working with.

Columbus Public Schools Anti-Harassment Policy


(http://www.columbus.k12.oh.us/website.nsf/4DC27264632C602A85256A8E00756671/$File/GUIDE+
-+2002-2003.pdf?OpenElement)
This is a PDF file that is long but outlines important information for anyone working with CPS students.
The document includes things like the anti-harassment policy as well as student, parent, and teacher
rights and expectations.

Learning Styles and Multiple Intelligences (http://www.ldpride.net/learningstyles.MI.htm)


This link is repeated from the “Behavior” section, and provides an explanation of what learning styles and
multiple intelligence are all about, an interactive assessment of your learning style/MI, and practical tips to
understand learning styles and the styles people affect their approaches and interactions.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (http://www.gsu.edu/~dschjb/wwwmbti.html)


This link is repeated from the “Behavior” section. The file discusses briefly (1) the four dimensions
underlying the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), and (2) several teaching approaches that will appeal
to different MBTI profiles.

OSU Policy on Sexual Harassment (http://hr.osu.edu/policy/policy115.pdf)


This site describes The Ohio State University's definition of sexual harassment.

Sexual Orientation (http://www.uwstout.edu/student/10percent/reducing_homophobia.htm)


This link has tips for how to be supportive of someone you know who is gay, lesbian, bisexual, or
transgendered.
Relationships 17

Suicide Prevention (http://www.psycom.net/depression.central.suicide.html)


This page links to many resources on suicide prevention, but the most applicable is the link “Read this if
someone you know may be suicidal”.

Suicide Prevention Publications (http://www.afsp.org)


This link offers a list of publications from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Teenage Pregnancy (http://www.teenpregnancy.org/resources/reading/tips/default.asp)


The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy is a non-profit, non-partisan, and non-ideological
initiative to reduce teen pregnancy. This site has tips for parents, for teens, and for educators on
preventing teen pregnancy.

Saying Good-bye…
An inevitable aspect of your relationship with your student is that it will end. It is helpful to
prepare the student, and yourself, for your eventual departure.

In-class Activity:
What are some ways you can create memories for you and your student?
¾ Take photographs
¾ Draw pictures
¾ Record stories
¾ Create a book
¾ Write a poem or song together

Discussion Questions:
1. Have you thought about you can prepare yourself for the end of your volunteer
experience?
2. Have you thought about how you will respond if your young person asks to continue your
relationship beyond your volunteer assignment?
Behavior Guidance 1

i 9-11 minutes to complete online

SUMMARY

One of the responsibilities volunteers face when they work with youth is behavior guidance. The
youth will watch the volunteers’ every move and listen to everything the volunteers say and
repeat it. Therefore, the way volunteers act, how they communicate, and what they choose to
respond to will give the youth concrete examples of what behaviors are acceptable or
unacceptable. Setting appropriate standards for behavior will help the youth develop a sense of
normal and healthy behavioral expectations, setting them up for success in their future
interactions with others.

Remember there is no one way to guide behavior, but there are some ways that are more likely to
foster the positive, prosocial behaviors volunteers are trying to model and teach the youth they
are mentoring.

To help guide the behavior of youth, volunteers need to recognize and avoid coercive
interactions. A coercive interaction is one in which the volunteer makes a request of a young
person and, if the youth reacts with hostility, the volunteer then reacts with either hostility in
return or avoids the conflict by withdrawing. The result usually involves the initial request of the
volunteer not being met. Another way to conceptualize a coercive interaction is to think of it as
a power struggle.

When volunteers learn to identify coercive interactions, they can avoid contributing to the
development of a coercive cycle.
Behavior Guidance 2

To break the pattern:


1. Stay in control of your emotions, words, and nonverbal behavior.
2. Stay in touch with the child.
3. Stay focused on the initial request.

Discussion Questions:
1. Have you thought about what would make a young person respond defensively?
2. Have you thought about what it would feel like to a young person to be stuck in a pattern
of coercive interactions?
3. Have you thought about how a young person’s interaction style affects his/her ability to
form and maintain friendships?
4. Have you thought about how you will handle your emotions when a young person
directly challenges your knowledge and/or authority? How do you usually react when
you feel threatened? Given your own reaction, how do you think the young person would
feel?

In-class or Out-of –class Activity:


Recall a situation where you were involved in a coercive interaction. What would you do
differently now?
¾ Can you see where the problem started?
¾ How would you change the situation to keep it from entering the coercive cycle?
¾ How can you use questions to avoid the coercive cycle?
¾ What other techniques could you use to avoid a coercive “power” struggle?

Out-of-Class Activity:
Select a television program that portrays a family. Record instances of adult-child
conflict, including the topic of the conflict, how the conflict began, and how the conflict
was resolved. Make sure you record the specific verbal and nonverbal behaviors of the
adult and the child. How does what you viewed relate to the information in Lesson 1:
Understand the Coercive Cycle?

The following situations are included on the website:

What would you do?

You are tutoring a fourth grader in reading over the summer. You have asked him to
read aloud from a book. He throws the book on the ground. What do you do?
Behavior Guidance 3

What would you do?

You are working with a group of sixth graders by yourself for the first time and you are
nervous. One of the students is being loud and disruptive. You want to involve her in the
activity, but she is not cooperating. What do you do?

Out-of-class to In-class Activity:


i Outside of class:
o Visit the website and read the situation and the suggested responses.
o Reflect on the suggested responses.
ƒ How effective do you think the response would be?
ƒ How likely are you to use the response?
ƒ Choose the response you think would be the most effective for you.
i In class:
o Pair students and have them compare answers, especially the choice they found
most effective for them. Ask them to reflect on why they chose that particular
answer.
ƒ Was it influenced by their personal interaction style and/or personality?

MULTIPLE-CHOICE QUESTION
You are tutoring a twelve-year-old boy, Thomas, in math. The two of you are in the routine of
going over Thomas’s homework from the previous day as a way to start the session, and it is
working well for both of you. You sit down and ask Thomas to take out his homework from
yesterday and he says, “You can’t make me!” His reaction is a way of trying to get you involved
in a coercive cycle. You should respond by saying:
a. “I have had enough of your rudeness. I’ll be back next week.”
b. “Oh yes I can.”
c. “It sounds like you are frustrated about something.”
d. “Okay, let’s forget it.”

Correct answer is: C Æ This choice avoids engaging in a power struggle. It acknowledges the
“humanness” of the young person and lets him know that you aren’t going to be
“scared off” when things get frustrating for him.

Answer A: This is too rough of an answer and too serious of a consequence for a first time
offense. If this was a pattern of behavior, it might be necessary to let him know that
you aren’t going to engage in arguing with him about his homework. If he wants
your attention and help, he will need to be respectful

Answer B: This is a direct way to engage in the power struggle he is seeking. What will this
prove?
Behavior Guidance 4

Answer D: Giving up? You are the one who is supposed to be there for him unconditionally.
This is the easy way out and hurtful to both of you.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The coercive cycle is discussed in Dinkmeyer, McKay, and Dinkmeyer’s (1997) Systematic
Training for Effective Parenting (STEP) manual. In the manual, the coercive cycle is referenced
in their discussion of the mistaken goal of power. The authors argue that all of a person’s
behaviors are goal-directed; that it, behaviors achieve something for a person. In addition, it is
vitally important to each of us to belong to a group, especially during our school-age and teenage
years. A person’s goals can be categorized as healthy or mistaken. They argue that when youth
misbehave it is because they feel discouraged and don’t believe they can belong in useful ways.
They misbehave because they believe it is the only way to gain a place in the group. In other
words, in the case of the mistaken goal of power, they don’t know the socially acceptable ways
to assert their personal power. It is the volunteer’s job, as someone who cares about the young
person, to help direct their behavior in a healthy direction.

A brief description of the mistaken goal of power follows.

Goal: power, autonomy


x Young person believes that their personal value comes from being in charge and showing
others they are boss
x a loss of power for this young person is the same as a loss of personal value
x Young person seeks to do only what s/he wants to do: “No one can make me do
anything!”
x Young person develops techniques for involving adults in a power struggle and for
gaining control over them

Typical adult reaction:


x Adult feels angry, upset, provoked & frustrated; they feel as if his/her authority is
threatened

Don’t do the following:


1. Fight back: Turn on the child and attacks them (lose your cool)
x the child is in charge in these situations because he succeeds in engaging the adult
in a struggle for power
2. Give in

If you do….Young person’s behavior:


x Both reinforce the young person’s power-seeking behavior; the young person will
continue to defy the adult and do the behavior, often with more intensity or s/he may
submit with “defiant” compliance
Behavior Guidance 5

DO:
1. Resist first impulse to fight back
2. Decide to respond differently
3. Disengage from power struggle; withdraw from conflict
x it is useful to label interaction as a power struggle
x “It looks to me like you feel like fighting about ….. I don’t feel like fighting so
I am going to……”
x This is helpful because it helps create an atmosphere in which the adult can
help the young person develop prosocial skills
4. Encourage decision making; express confidence in the child

Additional Web resource:


http://www.youthstartswithyou.org/html/MAIN_commq1.html
¾ Question: What are some ways to get youth to come to order quickly and pay attention

Dinkmeyer, D., Sr., McKay, G. D., & Dinkmeyer, D. Jr. (1997). The parent’s handbook:
Systematic Training for effective parenting. Circle Pines, MN: American Guidance
Service, Inc.
Behavior Guidance 6

i 8-10 minutes to complete online

Summary
Concrete expressions of approval have more impact than words. This can include physical
objects, tokens (for example, receive five stars and turn in for a pencil), and privileges. Other
ways of saying “expressions of approval” are encouragement, rewards, and reinforcement.

Concrete expressions of encouragement:


¾ The most effective types of encouragement and reinforcement are those that are logically
connected to the current activity. For example, the video clip gives an example of
children working on bikes. The logical incentive the children received were bike rides
and even the opportunity to earn a bike to keep.
¾ Reading – earn a book, trip to the library
o If you do __________, you will receive or get to do ______________.
¾ The great thing about logically connecting the reinforcement to their behaviors is that this
is the way our society works. For example, if you study for a test, you will probably get a
better grade than if you didn’t study. If you drive over the speed limit, you are more
likely to get a speeding ticket. If you borrow money and don’t pay it back, you may not
be able to borrow money again.

In-class or Out-of –class Activity:


i Give some examples of how your daily behavior is linked logically to consequences.

In-class or Out-of –class Activity:


i Name examples of concrete expressions of approval you have used successfully.

Discussion Question:
i When do you think concrete expressions of approval work better than verbal forms of
approval?

Working with high-risk kids:


The volunteer may find him/herself working in an environment with youth that come from a
high-risk background. By definition, high-risk environments are unpredictable, unstable, and
usually unsafe. Youth that live in these environments on a daily basis have learned to be
defensive as a means of survival both physically and emotionally. It is important to show these
youth that the volunteer is only there to offer kindness, support, and caring. In the beginning, it
will be helpful to offer concrete expressions that are not dependent on any specific behavior by
the young person. This type of concrete expression is called noncontingent reinforcement, that
Behavior Guidance 7

is, receiving the reinforcement is not contingent on the young person doing a specific behavior.
They don’t have to earn it; they get it just because the volunteer wants to do something kind for
them.
Be aware that gifts and bribes can have a downside. If a volunteer uses reinforcement too much
or as a way to manipulate the young person’s behavior, it is possible that the young person will
choose to behave for the sole purpose of receiving the reinforcement or s/he will choose not to
perform the behavior as s/he realizes that the volunteer is manipulating her/him. The volunteer’s
ultimate goal is for the young person to choose to behave positively because s/he wants to do so
(that is, because s/he is internally versus externally motivated).

It is important for volunteers to think carefully about what concrete rewards they use, how they
are related to the project or young person’s motivations or feelings of accomplishment, and what
the short term and long term effects can be.

Discussion Questions:
1. Have you thought about what it would feel like to get a “gift” unsolicited from someone
you looked up to?
2. Have you thought about what it would feel like to give a “gift” for the sole purpose of
making a young person feel good about him/herself?
3. Have you thought about how you would feel if the youth you were working with
expected to be rewarded any time they comply with your requests?
4. Have you thought about how you will help the youth you work with make the transition
from needing external rewards for their sense of motivation to an internal sense of
motivation?

The following situations are included on the website:

What would you do?

You are beginning a 10-week program with a group of fifth graders. You need to get started with
the activity very early in the 10 weeks in order to complete the project. What will you do to get
the kids "on task"?

Out-of-class to In-class Activity:

i Outside of class:
o Visit the website and read the situation and the suggested responses.
o Reflect on the suggested responses.
ƒ How effective do you think the response would be?
ƒ How likely are you to use the response?
ƒ Choose the response you think would be the most effective for you.
Behavior Guidance 8

i In class:
o Pair students and have them compare answers, especially the choice they found
most effective for them. Ask them to reflect on why they chose that particular
answer.
ƒ Was it influenced by their personal interaction style and/or personality?

MULTIPLE-CHOICE QUESTION
An example of a concrete expression of approval is:
a. “Great job!”
b. a bicycle

Correct Answer: B Æ Concrete means something in the physical world you can experience with
your five senses

Additional Information:
There are different ways to give or apply reinforcers.

The first way is to give the reinforcer continuously, that is, every time they behave the way the
volunteer would like to see them to. For example, the volunteer would like to see everyone in
the class sitting in their chairs within one minute after the volunteer turns the light switch on and
off. When they succeed at this task, the volunteer gives them a reinforcer. This can be helpful at
the beginning when the volunteer is trying to get a behavior started, especially if it isn’t a
behavior they are motivated to perform, like stopping a fun activity to sit in their seats. One
problem with this is if the volunteer does it too long, the “law of diminishing returns” kicks in
and it isn’t effective.

Therefore, after they appear to have a clear understanding of what the volunteer’s expectations
are, volunteers can switch to giving the reinforcer intermittently, the second way of applying
reinforcers.

There are two ways to do this.

The first is on a fixed ratio, that is, the volunteer gives it after they perform a behavior a certain
number of times. The number of times is up to the volunteer. For instance if the volunteer wants
them to pick up building blocks, he could decide to reinforce them every time they finish picking
up 10 blocks.

Another option is to reinforce them on a fixed interval, that is, after a certain amount of time.
For example, the volunteer has asked them to work together in groups. The volunteer can decide
that he will give a reinforcer for every five minutes of focused attention on the project.

The last form of intermittent reinforcement is very powerful and often causes problems for those
who interact with youth. It is the random form of reinforcement. There is no predictable pattern
to this type of reinforcement. It can be planned or unplanned. This is the form of reinforcement
Behavior Guidance 9

that causes (or explains) the “candy bar in the grocery store” dilemma. A young child sees a
candy bar at the check-out line and asks for it. The parent tells the child no and the child
proceeds to throw a fit. The parent gives the child the candy bar to get the child to stop throwing
a fit. The parent has inadvertently reinforced or rewarded the child’s behavior. If a young
person is motivated to do a certain behavior and the volunteer gives him/her any kind of
reinforcer, concrete or verbal, the young person is more likely to behave that way again in the
future.
Behavior Guidance 10

i 9-11 minutes to complete online

Summary
Adults encourage desired behaviors when they focus on the positive aspects of a youth’s
behavior. This can be hard sometimes because what they are doing wrong is often more obvious
than what they are doing right. This requires the volunteer to make a conscious and deliberate
effort to “catch them being good” and offer attention, encouragement, and rewards for the
positive, prosocial behaviors s/he sees in the youth with whom s/he is working.

At first, it is possible that the youth will compete for the volunteer’s attention and may even
intentionally break the rules to get that attention. Misbehavior is often loud while positive
behavior is often quiet and unobtrusive. If a young person chooses to misbehave, the volunteer
needs to remember the young person is misbehaving because misbehavior has “rewarded” the
youth in the past (thus teaching the young person that these behaviors are ways to gain an adult’s
attention). The volunteer can break this negative pattern by ignoring the misbehavior and by
only giving attention to the young person’s positive behaviors.

CAUTION:
If a child chooses to behave in such a way that is clearly unsafe, the volunteer must intervene to
keep the child from hurting him/herself or others (or materials). After the volunteer intervenes
and deals with the unsafe behavior, it is important for the volunteer to look for any positive
behavior by that young person and give him/her positive attention for it, especially if that
behavior displays constructive contributions. This will teach the young person that s/he can be
involved and contribute to the group by choosing positive, prosocial behaviors.

Discussion Questions:
1. What helps adults to stay focused on things youth are doing right?
2. Have you thought about effective ways of making sure you are giving positive attention
to each and every child you are working with?
3. Have you thought about how it must feel to only hear about your negative behaviors?
4. Have you thought about how powerful positive attention is in shaping the behavior of
young people?

In-class Activity:
i Write down at least five different ways you can let children know you are noticing their
positive behavior. Share your ideas with a classmate.

Out-of-class Activity:
i Go to the local grocery store or toy section of a local store OR school or child care
setting. Observe parents and children interacting OR teachers/staff and children
Behavior Guidance 11

interacting. Look for instances of the adult focusing on negative behavior and instances
of parents focusing on positive behavior. What response did they get from the children?
How does what you observed compare to the information included in the Behavior
Guidance module?

The following situations are included on the website:

What would you do?

You have just started working in an after-school program that spends a semester working with students in
a variety of ways, including sports, chess, and tutoring. You are in your first week of service, so you are
just getting to know the students. Because they don’t know you well, you know how important it is to set
the tone for future interactions.

During an activity, the group cooperates well, helping one another and giving positive encouragement to
one another. There is one student, however, who persistently makes sarcastic remarks, acts out, and
doesn’t cooperate.

What would you do?

You’re tutoring a student after school in Spanish, and have noticed that she is increasingly down on
herself for what she perceives as a lack of talent in Spanish. As a result, she is becoming a behavior
problem during her Spanish class and is paying less and less attention to her work. You want to help her
snap out of this downward cycle.

Out-of-class to In-class Activity:


i Outside of class:
o Visit the website and read the situation and the suggested responses.
o Reflect on the suggested responses.
ƒ How effective do you think the response would be?
ƒ How likely are you to use the response?
ƒ Choose the response you think would be the most effective for you.
i In class:
o Pair students and have them compare answers, especially the choice they found
most effective for them. Ask them to reflect on why they chose that particular
answer.
ƒ Was it influenced by their personal interaction style and/or personality?
Behavior Guidance 12

MULTIPLE-CHOICE QUESTION:
You are interested in helping the youth you are working with make good choices through their
behavior. The best way to do this is to:
a. Give verbal encouragement to a young person when s/he makes a responsible choice
b. Give negative comments to a young person when s/he misbehaves (safety is not an issue)

Correct Answer: A Æ You will increase the behavior you give attention to. Your attention is a
powerful motivator for the youth with whom you work!
Behavior Guidance 13

i 14-17 minutes

Summary

One of the responsibilities of a volunteer is to help youth figure out what the important rules in
life are. Youth need to learn how to follow these rules while still feeling empowered and
independent. Good rules help youth feel safe and be safe.

The most important aspect of applying and teaching rules to youth is being CONSISTENT. The
behavior that wasn’t acceptable five minutes ago or yesterday is still not acceptable today.

As volunteers work with youth in various settings in the community, they will encounter many
rules. At any new site, it is critical to find out what the important rules are.
¾ Volunteers are advised to ask the staff or supervisors which rules are the MOST
important.
¾ It is important for volunteers to think about the rules of a given setting to gain an
understanding of their purpose, logic and the reasons they are important.
o Are they based on concern for the safety of the youth or materials?
o Are they based on learning to be respectful of others feelings and rights?
¾ If volunteers are not sure about the rationale behind a rule, they need to ask the staff or
supervisor about the rule. If volunteers don’t understand the “why” of a rule, they will
not be able to explain it or teach it to the youth.
¾ Volunteers need to get a sense of how the rules are communicated to the youth as they
interact in a particular setting so they can use a similar communication pattern –
remember, consistency is the key!

Discussion Questions:
1. How many rules would you suggest sharing with children at one time?
2. How do you think rules can be used to “give children the green light?” Æ how do we
encourage positive behaviors without setting a multitude of limits?
3. How many rules are enough?
4. Can there be too many rules?

In-class Activity:
i What are the benefits to explaining rules in terms of safety: Safety for self, others, and
materials? Compare your answers with a classmate’s answers.
Behavior Guidance 14

i Write down the rules you remember from home and school in your childhood. Reflect on
your thoughts and feelings at the time. Share your experiences with a classmate. How do
your reflections compare to the information offered in Lesson 4?

It may be necessary to have general rules and rules that are specific for certain activities. For
example, some of the rules for outside play are different than the rules for inside play. An
explanation of the difference in setting will help the children/youth remember and adhere to the
rules.

In-class Activity:
i Give an example of a time it would be appropriate to have different rules in two different
settings. Share your answers with a classmate and see if you agree with each other.

Children/youth appreciate being involved in the creation of rules and the consequences, positive
and negative, for a particular setting. If they are a part of creating the rules, they will have more
“buy in” when it comes to following the rules. If at all possible, it is always helpful to allow the
children/youth to make choices from a range of acceptable alternative behaviors. Rules aren’t
about controlling children/ youth for the sake of controlling it. Rules exist to teach children/
youth have to co-exist with each other is a way that is supportive of the community-at-large.

In-class Activity:
i Think back to a time in your childhood where you were allowed to participate in the
creation of rules. How did it make you feel? Did you follow these rules more than rules
you didn’t help create? How did it affect your ideas about justice? Share your reflections
with a classmate.

The following situations are included on the website:

What would you do?

It is the beginning of the school year. You’ve just started volunteering in an after school gym program
(because it sounded like fun and you want to check out your interest in a possible major in the Recreation
and Sports area). Along with one other OSU student, you’ve been assigned as the “coach” for a team of
six adolescents. Your time with them during this school year will be split between developing these youth
into an intramural basketball team and study time on their school work. Other OSU students are assigned
to teams of other youth with similar goals.

What do you do about “THE RULES?”


Behavior Guidance 15

What would you do?

Your service for an intermediate horticulture class is to coordinate activities for a local Girl Scouts Troop.
You are starting a series of six after school sessions to help four 12 year-old girls interested in earning
their Horticulture Badge. After your first meeting you are concerned that even though you love plants -
and thought you liked children - that this could be a very long six sessions. The girls seem to have a short
attention span, don’t listen and squabble with each other a lot. You feel you will need some “positive
discipline techniques”. Since your career goal is to become a 4-H Agent or teacher, you are very
interested in figuring out how to work well with children

Out-of-class to In-class Activity:


i Outside of class:
o Visit the website and read the situation and the suggested responses.
o Reflect on the suggested responses.
ƒ How effective do you think the response would be?
ƒ How likely are you to use the response?
ƒ Choose the response you think would be the most effective for you.
i In class:
o Pair students and have them compare answers, especially the choice they found
most effective for them. Ask them to reflect on why they chose that particular
answer.
ƒ Was it influenced by their personal interaction style and/or personality?

MULTIPLE-CHOICE QUESTION

You are responsible for guiding the behavior of eight 10-year-olds. You will be supervising
them in an open, outdoor setting. You are trying to decide if it is necessary to have rules as your
group seems mature for their age. You should:
a. Have a few ground rules because rules help youth feel safe and be safe.
b. Have no rules as having rules may make them feel like you think they are immature.

Correct Answer: A Æ Part of a volunteer’s job is to help youth figure out what the important
rules in life are. Youth need freedom within limits. Answer B puts too much
responsibility on the youth. They are still children and need to relax and have
fun – the volunteer is the adult!
Behavior Guidance 16

Additional Information:

Rules usually come from these five areas:


1. Safety for yourself – We make safe choices for our own body based on “It is not okay to
hurt ourselves.”
¾ Walk with scissors facing down; Use walking feet in the hall
2. Safety for others – We chose behaviors that are safe for our friends based on “It is not
okay to hurt others.”
¾ I talk to someone when they take something I am playing with versus hitting or taking
the object from them
3. Safety for materials – It is not okay to be destructive.
4. There are some things/activities we only do outside.
¾ Running, yelling, throwing
5. Respect – We will act in a way that is respectful of others feelings, thoughts, and beliefs.
¾ Sharing, manners, cooperation vs. competition

In-class Activity:
i Have students think about the rules they experienced in childhood or ones that they come
into contact in their work with children. Have them try to fit them into the five
categories above. If a rule doesn’t fit in one of the categories, have them reflect on the
“why” behind the rule. Is it a rule they think is fair? Ask them to justify their answer.

TIP Æ Activity: Note: This information is NOT on the website

Volunteers will get a better response if a rule is worded in a way that tells the youth what they
CAN do versus what they can’t do.
¾ For example: Use walking feet in the hall versus don’t run in the hall. It is easier for
the brain to process information presented this way.

A good way to understand this is to think about a room full of people sitting in chairs. Next,
a person standing in front of the group tells them “don’t sit down.” How long do you think it
will take the group to realize they have just been indirectly asked to stand up? Wouldn’t it be
more effective for the leader to say “please stand up?” As you imagine the frustration you
would feel if you were in this situation, it is important to recognize that youth often feel this
way.

Adults often focus energy on telling youth all the things they can’t do: Don’t touch the
outlet, don’t yell at your friend, don’t jump on the sofa, don’t drink in the living room. This
leaves the child standing there thinking, “I understand what I can’t do, but what is OKAY for
me to do?” An explanation of why the behavior is unacceptable is a MUST with a focus on
how it is related to a rule for the group. Keep in mind, there is usually one part of the
behavior that is acceptable and one part that is unacceptable. You will go a long way in
preventing a coercive cycle or power struggle (Lesson 1) if you focus on the acceptable
behavior. For example, in the previous examples, touching, yelling, jumping, and drinking
Behavior Guidance 17

are all acceptable behaviors in SOME situations. You can redirect the behavior of choice to
a different setting. They can touch safe objects, yell outside, and when they are calmer, they
can talk to their friends, jump on the ground, and drink in the kitchen.

It is critical for children to come to understand that there are natural and logical consequences for
their behaviors; each of their behaviors is a choice as we all have free will. They need to
understand that “so-and-so made me do it” isn’t an acceptable excuse; they alone are responsible
for their behavior. If they choose a behavior and they don’t like the consequence, they need to
look at the behavior they chose and reflect on why it came with a negative consequence.
Through this reflection, they can consider alternative behaviors and the consequences associated
with those behaviors.

In-class Activity:
i How can you help a child think through the effects (the natural and/or logical
consequences) of their behavioral choices?
Behavior Guidance 18

i 14-16 minutes

Summary

Many times the youth who are most in need of a volunteer’s special, personal attention present
the greatest challenges to a volunteer’s behavior guidance skills.

It is important to realize that the majority of the time, a young person’s behavior is “not about”
the volunteer. It is about the young person trying to get their needs, wants, and feelings met the
best way s/he knows how. For some youth, their “best” way doesn’t follow socially acceptable
rules. The good news is that volunteers can offer them guidance by helping them learn that if
they choose different behaviors, they will get different results.

What affects a young person’s behavior?


¾ Need to belong through gaining attention, being in the spotlight
¾ Emotional and psychological disorders
¾ Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
o See the website for specific information about these disorders
¾ Diet, rest
¾ Family issues such as violence, crime, alcoholism, absent parent

The Whole Child Approach introduced in the Relationships module in Lesson 2 is a helpful tool
in beginning to understand what could be affecting a young person’s behavior.

A volunteer’s focus should be on providing guidance, feedback, validation, and attention to the
young person. The volunteer may be the only person in his/her life who offers unconditional
acceptance of him/her.

The following situations are included on the website:

What would you do?

You have a long-term tutoring assignment with a student whose attention is everywhere except on the
schoolwork that you are trying to help with. This distracted behavior has occurred every time you’ve met
with the child. You’ve already tried rewards, punishments, and positive comments, but nothing seems to
work. You’re feeling as though you’ve exhausted all your options. You suspect the student has ADHD or
ADD, but you haven’t been told specifically. What additional strategies can you try?
Behavior Guidance 19

What would you do?

You are tutoring a student who absolutely refuses to cooperate. The behavior seems to be conscious, as
if the student is angry and letting it out on you, so you asked a teacher for assistance. The
teacher said it might be the student’s response to a nasty divorce where the parents were talking
about moving, custody, property ownership, and splitting up the kids. What do you do?

Out-of-class to In-class Activity:


i Outside of class:
o Visit the website and read the situation and the suggested responses.
o Reflect on the suggested responses.
ƒ How effective do you think the response would be?
ƒ How likely are you to use the response?
ƒ Choose the response you think would be the most effective for you.
i In class:
o Pair students and have them compare answers, especially the choice they found
most effective for them. Ask them to reflect on why they chose that particular
answer.
ƒ Was it influenced by their personal interaction style and/or personality?

The following are additional websites on behavior guidance and on differences in learning styles and
approaches to people or activities that you may find useful in your work with youth:

http://www.ldpride.net/learningstyles.MI.htm: This page provides an explanation of what learning


styles and multiple intelligence are all about, an interactive assessment of your learning style/MI, and
practical tips to understand learning styles and the styles people affect their approaches and interactions.

http://www.gsu.edu/~dschjb/wwwmbti.html: This file discusses briefly (1) the four dimensions


underlying the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), and (2) several teaching approaches that will appeal
to different MBTI profiles.

http://chiron.valdosta.edu/whuitt/col/behsys/behmod.html: This website outlines several principles for


using behavior modification. It discusses developing and strengthening new behaviors, maintaining
established behaviors, stopping inappropriate behavior, and modifying emotional behavior.

http://www.athealth.com/Consumer/farticles/Rabiner.html: This website is specifically about


behavioral treatment for ADHD.