As a mother, a teacher, and now as a grandparent, I realize how much children want and need sensible limits. I also appreciate that the way adults set limits and redirect behaviors makes a big difference. I want my grandchildren to recognize that life works on a system of consequences. Even more important, I want the children to learn ways to manage their own behaviors. Consequences and solutions toward self-management go together.
The last time I wrote about behavior management, I suggested that consequences that make sense to children produce much better results than punishments such as spanking or yelling. Punishments produce resentment. Consequences should connect to behaviors in ways that seem reasonable to the child. A consequence provides a way for a child to learn and take responsibility. The child realizes, “When I do ____, ____ results.” Matching the consequence to the behavior makes the difference. However, solution thinking beats both punishment and consequences. Continue reading
We all face occasions when we need to correct a child. How we make the correction has a powerful impact. Although this entry is written for classroom teachers, the message is applicable and useful for parents.
Dignify Wrong Answers
Embarrassing a student who offers a wrong answer constitutes one of the quickest ways to anchor fear of failure and feelings of stupidity. While your job includes giving corrective feedback, the way you respond to a wrong answer will make the difference in whether a student continues to try or refuses to participate. Continue reading
Sometimes, well-intentioned teachers and parents create new problems by giving more praise and rewards than a child can accept. Gushy praise and extravagant rewards tend to detract from the pleasure of intrinsic satisfaction. The child receiving the praise or reward may feel I’m not really that great. I don’t deserve this. Sometimes a child will revert to negative behavior to reveal her true self to you.
William Glasser designed reality therapy as a questioning technique to assist children in evaluating behaviors and in planning more effective ways to get needs (and wants) met. Types of questions to ask for in depth consideration are included below.
Here are my current publications:
Slaying the Dragons
We know that those fearsome, fire-breathing creatures known as dragons do not truly exist. Yet, in the world of literacy instruction, teachers often feel as though they are battling equally severe and frightening conditions that hinder literacy success. Continue reading