“5 Is Against the Law” is a curriculum for ages 12-17 to educate about appropriate & inappropriate behaviors, maintain social boundaries, and reflect on how others can interpret one’s words and behaviors.
We need to know what expected behaviors are when interacting with other people. There is a time and place for many behaviors, and it is essential to know when it is ok to do some things and when it is NOT ok. Behaving in some ways can make people feel unsafe or uncomfortable and have serious consequences, such as breaking the law.
Here is a link to the book: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-5-is-against-the-law-kari-dunn-buron/1140997348
We need to know what expected behaviors are when interacting with other people. These factors to consider in social interactions can vary the rating.
We allow some people to break the rules because they may need to learn how to do things differently.
When someone is still learning to behave, this can change how we rate their behavior.
People with disabilities sometimes can’t change their behaviors.
Depending on our relationship with others, our behaviors might change.
When we know people well, we can predict how they will feel about our behaviors.
We feel more comfortable engaging in some behaviors when we know the people around us well.
Different behaviors are ok depending on the time and place of the situation.
Sometimes it is essential to know the social expectations before deciding to do an activity or go to a different place.
Another way to label the level of our behaviors is through the level of harm. Some choices have more significant impacts than others.
Depending on our intentions or the reasons why we do something can change the way we rate that behavior.
There is a five-point rating scale to simplify the different degrees of behavior and the consequences of the behavior. The Zones of Regulation curriculum defines expected behavior as “behaviors that give people around you good or comfortable thoughts about you.”
Everywhere we go, we have expectations about how someone will act when they are in that place. These expectations can feel like invisible rules, and sometimes it is hard to know what the expectation of you in those places. Unexpected behavior is “behaviors that give people uncomfortable thoughts about you.”
Level 1 Behavior is labeled as “Polite” and defined as “expected behaviors with everyone that feels safe and comfortable.”
Examples of Level 1 Behavior:
Level 2 Behavior is labeled “Friendly” and defined as “expected behaviors with people we know well that feel safe and comfortable.”
Examples of Level 2 Behavior:
Level 3 Behavior is labeled “Confusing” and defined as “unexpected behaviors that may make people feel a little uncomfortable.”
Examples of Level 3 Behavior:
Level 4 Behavior is labeled “Unfriendly” and defined as “unexpected behaviors that make most people feel very uncomfortable or unsafe.”
Examples of Level 4 Behavior:
Level 5 Behavior is labeled “Harmful/Illegal” and defined as “unexpected behaviors that are hurtful to others and may get you in serious trouble.”
Examples of Level 5 Behavior:
If the student is under 18 and has committed a crime, they will be tried in juvenile court, except for more severe crimes that are prosecuted in adult court before a jury.
Depending on the crime’s severity and criminal history, they could receive incarceration or non-incarceration sentences.
Incarceration could include:
Non-incarceration could include:
Since their pre-frontal cortex hasn’t fully developed, teenagers are likely not thinking about their criminal record, which can impact their future employment. Therefore, speaking directly with a licensed attorney would be in the teen’s best interest.
After educating the students on the behaviors associated with the rating scale, you can asses their understanding by having them hold up their fingers for the corresponding number.
Taking slow, deep breaths is an effective and accessible method utilized anywhere and anytime. Slow, deep breaths activate the vagus nerve, which activates the parasympathetic system for a calming effect, such as lowered heart rate and improved digestion.
Encourage students to notice if their breaths are deep or shallow, how much their belly is expanding, and if the air is coming through their nose or mouth.
During inhalation, practice holding in the air for ten seconds (but four seconds at a minimum) before exhaling as much as possible.
Nose breathing is best because it filters, warms, and humidifies the air before absorption in the body.
When our emotions feel overwhelming, stepping away from the situation can make a massive difference until we feel more in control.
Students should be allowed to take the time they need to process and regulate their emotions before returning to a challenging situation.
Some examples of taking a break at school could be:
Some examples of taking a sensory break at school include:
Allow the upset teen to vent about their frustrations with a trusted adult. It’s essential to be mindful if peers can overhear the conversation, so find an area where they feel comfortable.
Once they feel like they have expressed their feelings and perspectives and feel calmer, it’s a good time to process the next step. This excellent learning opportunity will impact their conflict management and future social interactions.
Getting their problems out in the open allows for:
Buron, K. D. (2022). A 5 Is Against the Law: Social Boundaries – a Compassionate But Honest Guide for Teens and Young Adults.
Kuypers, L. M. (2011). The Zones of Regulation: A Curriculum Designed to Foster Self-regulation and Emotional Control.
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