Moderate Behaviour

Life Skill Number 2 - Moderate Behaviours

An important life skill is being able to moderate your behaviour. This means being able to calm yourself when your emotions are running high and use respectful behaviour. Find out more

Image of town for moderate behaviour

What do you think moderate behaviour is? 

Have a think about the last time that you got angry or upset or you were stressed……….How did you behave? Do you think the way you behaved or what you said was acceptable? Or could you have perhaps behaved in a different way?

There are 2 behaviours that we could find ourselves using: One is what we would call “Moderate Behaviour” and the other is “Extreme Behaviour.” 

In this blog you will learn……..Why should we use “Moderate Behaviour” instead of “Extreme Behaviour?” sounds simple enough, but is it?

Let’s look a little bit closer into “What is Moderate behaviour?”…….It is acting in an acceptable manner and reacting in an acceptable manner. Moderate behaviour is expected.

What is Extreme behaviour?……It is having unmanaged emotions. It is over reacting to a situation. Like lying, yelling or screaming, kicking or punching or getting really angry and being aggressive or sending hurtful or nasty emails or text messages. This type of behaviour gets us in trouble. Sometimes with the law or sometimes with ex-partners, friends or family or work colleagues.

 It’s the kind of behaviour you want to avoid using. 

Some people think it’s ok to respond to situations by using extreme behaviour – IT’S NOT. Extreme behaviour is driven by extreme emotions and feelings. Using extreme behaviour can lead to very bad consequences. 

These consequences can be avoided, simply by using moderate behaviour. 

Some people have never been taught how to behave in an acceptable manner or they have learnt from a parent who uses extreme behaviour and they think that it’s ok to yell.

We tend to think of extreme behaviour as physical actions but they can be verbal too. Sometimes words can be very hurtful and once they are said, they cannot be taken back. 

We have all seen someone over react in stressful situations, we have probably done it ourselves. Our brain is in that defensive mode and shuts down the problem solving brain. This is where our extreme behaviour comes from……and 9 times out of 10 we usually regret what we said or did. We wish we could take back that text that we sent or email that was sent or how we yelled at our child, but we can’t. It really is a vicious cycle.

Everyone gets angry now and again. You may have an argument with your partner… may end up not talking for a few days or even weeks. This is extreme behaviour. 

We then need to fix or apologise for our behaviour. Wouldn’t it be easier to discuss the issue in question? Having arguments doesn’t get you anywhere. Reacting in an unacceptable manner just creates more issues. Teaching kids to think on this level will create awareness when a stressful situation arises in their world. It won’t happen overnight but with practice this skill can be implemented and used on a day to day basis.

In the New Ways 4 Life course we teach young people to become aware of their behaviour and to use moderate behaviour at home, at school, when they play sport and when they are with their friends. This skill will be able to be used in so many situations as they journey through school and into the big wide world.

So, why do we need to learn Skill 2 – Moderate Behaviour?

Learning to use moderate behaviour is a way of staying calm when your surroundings are seeming out of control.

We need to avoid over reacting and letting our right brain defensive thinking take over. WE have all heard of the term “Don’t sweat the small stuff!” Be aware that your right brain can switch off your left brain even for the smallest of issues.

Be a the bigger person – be that person that calms the situation instead of escalating it! Act with moderate behaviour all the time. 

If you’re in a situation where the other person is using extreme behaviour – like yelling – You can choose to stay calm and use moderate behaviour even when the other person is upset or over reacting.

You can choose to use moderate behaviour when someone is being extreme.

Bullying is extreme behaviour!

It often takes a lot of time trying to make up for your wrong doing or fix the damage caused if you use extreme behaviour. By educating our children to use moderate behaviour we hope to reduce bullying. Bullying occurs when a child is using extreme behaviour and has unmanaged emotions. If a child is aware that this is extreme behaviour and the emotions that are coming from the extreme behaviour are because they are unmanaged, then we may see a reduction in bullying. We need more children or young people to be aware of the extreme behaviour versus the moderate behaviour…….What is better?

Why do some young people resort to extreme behaviour first? It may be the case of “Monkey see, Monkey do” – they have witnessed this kind of behaviour at home and don’t know any better. It may be the case that by using extreme behaviour they get their own way. They have not been told that there is another way of reacting to situations that cause them stress.

What happens at your house?

You and your teenager or child have gotten into an argument and things have not gone so well. You may of yelled at them out of sheer frustration or your child might of yelled at you. You’re not alone. It happens in every house – Your child may not have done their chores, yo’ve asked them to clean their room or they have been involved with sibling rivalry and you have threatened to take something off him/her or you have said they can’t go to the party on the weekend. In this situation, you could probably calm yourself down (manage your own emotions) and realise that you are using extreme behaviour by yelling.

If your child has done the life skills program – they too will understand that they are using extreme behaviour. You can both manage your emotions and use moderate behaviour. What do you think the outcome would be if you both used moderate behaviour?

This is a perfect opportunity to show your child an example of moderate behaviour.

Stop and think – am I using Moderate or Extreme behaviour? 

What happens when someone is angry at you?


The above picture demonstrates what happens when an argument isn’t controlled by using managed emotions. What it does, is it, creates extreme behaviour. What is also involved is another part of our brain called “Mirror Neurons” – When we watch someone doing something or acting in a certain way, in our mind, we picture ourselves doing the same thing. We absorb all of that in our brain. In terms of emotions: If someone is angry, we start to act inside ourselves as if we are angry “Emotions are contagious”

The key to Moderate behaviour is knowing that emotions are contagious. You have complete control over your own feelings and emotions. Without managing your own emotions, leads to extreme behaviour!


Contact Us to find out more about how you can implement the New Ways for Life program in your school or youth group.

Checking Yourself

Life Skill 4 – Checking Yourself! Checking yourself ties all the 4 life skills together. Read about what Flexible Thinking, Moderate Behaviour and Managing Emotions

Read More »

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *