Do you have a child that pushes your limits? Many people do. Many of you may have been one yourself.
After years in the classroom, I have experienced quite a few. I can still remember some of their names from 20 years ago given the number of times I’ve said it in order to redirect them.
This can be a point of exhaustion, however, it can also be a great opportunity. An opportunity to appreciate them, support them, and change your preconceived ideas about how children should behave.
We can applaud their truth-telling abilities, their feisty nature, and the way their grit and determination inspire them to do their own thing. They like to be independent and not follow the rules just because someone said so. These children will question and evaluate and if things come up short to them, you will know it. They may be great leaders in the future.
Some children get stuck in a pattern of behavior that they are not sure how to override. Ask if they’d like you to offer alternatives.
Can you get to a place where you can reframe this behavior in a more positive light?
Could you try to address their anger, their fear, and their defiance with understanding?
Unruly students often have challenges in their family structure. They need our care and concern.
It takes one-on-one talk, respect, and undying patience to interact in a positive manner.
Questions like, How can I help? Would you like to be excluded from this activity? Can you tell me how you are feeling? are some simple starting places.
Teach them appropriate responses to their stress and watch the dynamics soften.
Even if this does not occur, please know there is more here than meets the eye and punishment rarely brings the best outcome to them or you.
These children need limits and structure. Just make sure you dish it up with a large dose of love and compassion.