Avoiding the Power Struggle
Being positive and playing it cool is the best strategy for helping a student with difficult behavior. Sometimes, when I'm working with a student who is oppositional, I point out a positive before I address the more serious issue. For example the student may want to play a game instead of coming to his science lesson. So, I become interested in his game and tell him what a fun game that is and perhaps we can play it with the class during recess. I put him in charge of setting up the game and he now has something to look foward to later in the day. I didn't demand that he come to science or that it wasn't time to play a game. This would have threatened the student and made him dig his heels in. So, what if he still doesn't come? Then I would give him a directive and walk away to give him time to make the right decision. If he still doesn't come then I rely on natural consequences, such as making up his work before a prefered activity. I believe it is important for the student/child to feel in control of his/her perdicament.
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Special Educator living and loving life in the Hudson Valley of New York!