When all else fails...

I have a child in my class who is... very trying. There are different levels of misbehaver and I would have to say that this child ranks about an 8 out of 10. He throws fits, cries at the drop of a dime, refuses to do as he's told, rolls about on the floor, bites other children, is constantly fighting. You name it, he's done it. He seems to have a knack for frustrating both his teachers and his parents.

The majority of the boy's problems are his parents, mind you. I know that I was never given the chance, but had I been given the opportunity to tell my mother to shut up I would have be realigning my face and searching for a cushioned place to sit down for days. (And today I thank my parents for raising me with such discipline to know better.) My assistant seems to think that by forcing the boy to sit out during all the fun activities during the day, he'll eventually learn that he has to behave. That's a great idea, but the child is content to sit out and do nothing, and happily entertains himself during these all day "time out" sessions.

The woman I work with has much more experience in this profession than myself, and is much older than I am at the same time. This situation makes me feel obligated to ask before I act when disciplining the children. I also have a very passive approach to adults and children alike, which works both to my advantage and disadvantage. My assistant is very aggressive and enjoys speaking before she thinks. If I'm not careful, I get mowed over in almost every situation.

Lucky for me she was absent from work last Friday, so I decided to start some intervention with my favorite little troublemaker. Needless to say, everything seemed to be going well. Hey, I'm not talking a complete turn around, but progress is being made. The kid sat still for 45 minutes this morning. Do you know how difficult that is to do when you're 4?

When my coworker arrived this morning at our daily trip to the park, she was aghast to find the child playing. I put my foot down, though, and explained that he had behaved very well that morning and that he had earned his play. I'm sure she muttered a few things under her breath and will leave me a note in the morning informing me that Little "N" must sit at the park again, but hopefully the talk I had with my boy before I left for the day will prevent that note from being written.

I also find that certain children agitate specific adults more than others. For some reason or another, this child can't look sideways at the woman without her jumping down his back. I just believe there's a better way to go about the situation, whether it's mine or not. I hope she realizes that behavior modification takes more than one day to occur. Sitting for an hour and a half watching your friends have fun everyday of the week isn't going to lead to prevention, it's going to lead to one angry child, and eventually a furious adult.


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