Sandi and Chris Phoenix on Children’s Behaviour and Life Needs

In this interview, Sandi and Chris explain how human behaviour (including children’s behaviour) and life needs can be explained using an analogy of 5 Cups - the safety, connection, freedom, mastery and fun Cups. We have a ‘will to fill’ the Cups, using the ‘skill to fill’ strategies that we learn during childhood and beyond. Chris explains where their thinking about ‘will-to-fill’ came from, based on classical and modern philosophy. Whichever Cup is empty at that moment, that's where the Will to Fill will motivate you to fill it - sometimes even over your dominant Cup. Sandi explains how that translates into reframing children’s behaviours and responses (and was the founding idea behind her ‘Educators Toolkit for Behaviour) as they try to fill their Cups.

Children (and adults) have to learn the strategies or skills to Cup filling behaviour that are suitable – known as the Skill to Fill.

In this Masterclass video (an hour long) we share lots of practical examples, ideas, tips and strategies for understanding children’s behaviour and responding in ways that meet their needs. We also discuss ways that educators and practitioners can recognise and fill their own Cups.
· December 24, 2021

In this interview, Sandi explains two essential concepts from the Phoenix Cups framework – The Will to Fill and The Skill to Fill.

When it comes to understanding children’s behaviour, it’s important to realise that children are being motivated by the Will to Fill their needs (represented as Cups in this framework). This means that attempting to manipulate them with rewards and consequences will be largely ineffective.

As teachers and educators, we too have Cup filling needs and understanding those can help us to empathise and relate to children’s Will to Fill.

Our role as teachers and educators is to foster Children’s wellbeing while teaching the Skill to Fill. The goals for children’s learning can address the skills they need support with at any given time.

But how do we find out which skills are needed? And how do we plan to minimise behaviour that are challenging us? And how can we use our own Skills to Fill when with the children? Join Kathy, Sandi and Chris in this session to find out.


Cupify this podcast here:

Free Resources:

Freedom Cup Filling Plan

Freedom Cup Filling Plan Example

Phoenix Cups Poster

Phoenix Cups Empty Cups Poster

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