Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Shunning Classmates Who Behave Poorly Versus Setting Stronger Boundaries

There are kids in every class who struggle more than their peers to behave appropriately. In preschool these are the kids that turn to biting, pushing and hitting to communicate. By the time they are in grade school, their inappropriate behavior often leaves them isolated by their classmates.

There are many reasons kids may lag in developing interpersonal skills. It may be due to growing up in a traumatic environment, having sensory integration issues, being anxious or some other factors.

Kicking Out The Troublemaker Or Helping The Child Grow

A cooperative preschool in Seattle had a boy who regularly hurt other kids. In his article "I Won’t Hurt You", Teacher Tom wrote about his school’s response to this boy and his family. He described “a five-year-old boy in class named ‘Jerry’ who had been diagnosed with sensory integration issues, the kind that caused him to at least once a day, often more, hurt classmates by pouncing on, hitting, or biting them. He was not ‘being mean’ and it was not done in anger, but rather as an act of pure, uncensored impulse.”

Teacher Tom overheard some boys planning to no longer play with Jerry. While this is a natural consequence, Teacher Tom felt it “would result in a kind of cruelty that would do little more than to make a young, confused child even more confused.”

Parents in this cooperative preschool help in the classroom so they saw the problems with Jerry’s behavior. At a parent meeting, some parents brought up the idea of asking Jerry’s family to leave the school. Other parents declared they would also leave if Jerry’s family was asked to leave. So instead they decided to work together to help Jerry.

How did they adjust their behavior to help Jerry improve his behavior?

(finish reading article on PricelessParenting.com)