Slow down, teacher!
We tend to have at least one child in the classroom displaying difficulty in following directions or instructions and often resulting in power struggle with teachers or other children. Sometimes the child will run away before we could even finish a sentence, thinking somebody will grab the thing in his/her hand and runs away a lot.
Instead of struggling physically or reprimanding the child, I find some of the methods below useful:
- stop dancing along with the child’s movement to escape from you. Move towards the child in a slow and steady manner. Use eye contact and proximity when the child is not looking directly at you.
- Invite other children, especially the older ones to help the disarray child, such as reminding him/her to sit properly, how to behave at the meal table or even to merely walk in a line.
- I also keep telling myself to control my own personality, not letting it to influence the child’s inner guidance. I need to trust the child. Initially, I force my own opinion and personality onto the child, coercing the child to accept the right actions. But then, as I withdraw myself from the situation and observe patiently whilst giving the child space and time to think and act more appropriately, the better side of the child unfolds without me having to praise or chip in my opinion of herhis actions. The child seems to know the right thing to do.
Oh! All the above remind me of an incident in school today. It was my turn to babysit F today. After finishing his snack, I asked F to put his water bottle into his bag, which I helped to open after he had tried several times to unzip it. He refused to put the bottle into his bag, and I repeatedly instructed him to do it, telling him that I would help him in the process. That’s when my personality kicked in and I stared/looked at him in the eyes. He even ‘rebelled’ by dropping himself on the floor and refused to get up. I left the room at that moment, leaving his bag opened and the bottle by the side. After a few seconds, I stood outside the room and peeped from there. What I saw surprised me! F took the bottle , put it into his bag and was trying to zip it up. That was when I went to his rescue. Who ever said timing is not crucial!
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