How to Acknowledge a Child Who Needs A Lot of Attention

Dear Kid Whisperer,

My daughter is 7, requires a lot of attention, and is a wonderful little performer. She really is talented and very funny. She performs little sketches and dances and songs that her father and I really enjoy. The problem is that she is very prolific and probably performs for us for at least 45 minutes per day. We hate to tell her that we can’t watch every performance, and she has a really high need for attention that we need to fulfill, but we just don’t have the time to sit through these long performances. What do we do? –Carrington, Key Largo, Florida

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How to Respond to a Child’s Threats

 

Dear Kid Whisperer,

What do I do when my 4-year-old threatens to do something? Yesterday, we were painting and she took a small jar of oil paint, tipped it so that it was about to spill all over the floor, looked at me, and smiled. I told her that she better not spill the paint, and that she would be in a lot of trouble if she spilled the paint. I counted to three. As I started to say “three”, she poured it all over the floor. She does this kind of thing all the time. I’ve tried calmly telling her how that hurts my feelings. I’ve tried yelling, and I’ve tried spanking. Nothing works. What’s left? — Brianna, Miamisburg, Ohio

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How to Handle a Student Who Runs Out of the Classroom

Dear Kid Whisperer,

What would be a logical consequence for a 5th-grade student running out of the classroom and hiding in the building? This keeps happening, and my administration wants to put this girl on home instruction because they feel that it is too big of a disruption to have her remain in school. This girl has a really hard home life and I know that sending her home during school hours will be terrible for her. Help! – Kelley, Cincinnati, Ohio

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How to Hit Control-Alt-Delete On Your Classroom

Dear Kid Whisperer,

 

I have about 12 out of 24 fourth grade students who cause issues in the classroom. They shout out whenever they wish. They will get up during a lesson and talk to each other. I have two that throw tantrums when asked to do school work. I have had many things stolen and broken. The stealing and vandalism happens when I am not looking, so I am not sure who is doing it. I have tried positive rewards such as classroom cash but it was being stolen. Grades and behavior comments do not mean anything. After 27 years in education, I am out of ideas. I have signed up for your workshop this summer but I still have 5 weeks of school. Please help! –Jessica, Bexley, Ohio

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How to Effectively Manage Games in Your Classroom

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I love playing dice/board games with my 4th graders. I have dice in plastic cups. The rule is the dice are “rolled” while they remain in the cups. Most kids are able to do this. However, some students fling the dice out of the cups, even though there are lids on those cups. This is obviously intentional. I feel like if I remove the student from the activity for doing these things, it leaves their partner stranded and it didn’t change their behavior. Any advice?  Renee, Omaha, Nebraska

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How to Handle Kids During Bus Duty

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I have daycare van duty at the end of the day at school, and it’s pretty much the worst way to end my day. Kids have their hands all over one another, they scream, they’re not in their lines, they push and shove to be first, and it’s just miserable. I never tolerate these behaviors in class or on recess duty (I’m a specials teacher, so I know every one of these students.) This is throwing me for a loop. It’s not just one or two students. It’s the group as a whole. Everything I’ve tried isn’t working, and it’s a stressful way to end an otherwise amazing day.       -Stephanie, Miami, Florida

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