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New Strategies for Challenging Behavior
January 10, 2023
The word failure is not in my vocabulary. I learn something every day. It’s human to make mistakes.
-Helen Reddy (1941 - 2020), Australian-American singer

Sue Watson, writing on the website, Thoughtco.com, offers nine strategies for dealing with children’s challenging behavior that educators can put into practice,
administrators can offer to staff, or college professors can share with students.

Here are two of the strategies:

Do the Opposite of What Is Expected
When a child or student misbehaves, they often anticipate the teacher's response. Teachers can do the unexpected when this happens. For instance, when teachers see children…playing in an area that is outside of the boundaries, they expect teachers to say…’Get back inside the boundaries now.’ However, teachers can try saying something like, ‘You kids look too smart to be playing there.’ This type of communication will surprise children and students and works frequently.

Find Something Positive
Teachers can go out of their way to find something positive to say to their chronic misbehaving students. These children often lack belief in their ability and teachers need to help them see that they are capable.”

Angela Percival-Porter, writing in the Exchange Essentials article collection, “Children with Challenging Behavior Part 3,” offers her own list of strategies for reducing challenges. Here’s one of them:

Offer Choices/Avoid Asking
Choices empower children and smooth the way through transitions. For example,  instead of asking ‘Do you want to go inside?’ say, ‘It is time to go inside. Do you want to tiptoe or fly in?’…Offering choices gives children control, which decreases pushback by allowing them a genuine sense of independence.”


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