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Behavior: is it inappropriate, unacceptable, or insubordinate?

Date: December 11th, 2014
By: Polly Bath

There are three words I never use when referring to behavior. Watch this video [1:38] to see what they are and why I won’t use them.

Polly Bath: Behavior is not inappropriate.

Behavior is not unacceptable.

Behavior is not insubordinate.

Why? Because these are three words that are really undefinable. They are based on the way we are wired. What we view to be inappropriate, unacceptable, or insubordinate may not be the same as what someone else views them to be.

When we are speaking to children about their behavior, we need to be careful not to say, “That’s inappropriate.” Because then we’re running the risk that they do not have the same information in their brain that we do about what’s inappropriate. They recognize that you don’t like what they just did. But most children don’t know what is appropriate and what is not.

Personally, I eliminate these terms completely. I eliminate them from my building referral forms to the office. I don’t even want to use them in everyday language because, as I said before, everybody has a different idea of what is inappropriate, unacceptable, and insubordinate.