How to Keep Classroom Items From Becoming a Distraction

Dear Kid Whisperer,

How do you allow kids to use a fidget spinner in class as long as it doesn’t become a problem? If it does become a problem, how would you suggest letting them know it’s now a problem and they can’t use it? I have been studying Love and Logic™, so I know to use an enforceable statement: “I allow students to use fidgets as long as they don’t become a problem…” but I don’t know how to end the statement. -Ruby, San Diego, California

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How Principals Can Save Their Sanity

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I am a school principal. I came to one of your workshops recently. I wanted to ask you a question, but I didn’t want to ask it in front of the group and you were swarmed by people afterwards. I loved the skill you taught and I thought the overview you gave of the procedures and skills used to train kids to behave was awesome. This past year was the worst year of my professional life. I did nothing but put out “behavior fires” every day from 8-3. We have a system of giving kids tickets when they behave, but that only works on 70% of our students, at best. The other 30% are out of control and take 95% of my time and their teachers’ time. By the end of the day, half of them are in my office. How can I, as a principal, use these skills to support my teachers if my teachers don’t know these skills?  I don’t know if you usually do this, but please change my name and location if you publish this question. -Valborb, Neptune, Milky Way

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How to Curb Loud, Goofy Behavior From Middle School Students

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I attended your Kid Whisperer University last summer and it has really improved my life this year. I have recently, however, been getting frustrated with one of the teams of five students in a sixth-grade period for goofing around and being too loud. I used the interventions that you taught me, but it only worked with three of the students. The other two didn’t stop. So, just like you taught me, I delayed the consequence on those two. The problem is that now I don’t know what a logical consequence would be for loudly playing around for these two boys. Thoughts? -Missy, Cincinnati, Ohio

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How to Avoid Giving Attention to an Attention-Seeking Behavior

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I teach 3rd grade and I recently had a student purposely roll around in mud on the playground. I had no idea what to do and I let my frustration be known. I had to teach and I had a nine-year-old standing in front of me covered head to toe with mud, and that made me react in a way that may not have been most effective. What would you have done? -Becky, Evansville, Indiana

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How to Teach Your Kid to Keep Track of Important Belongings

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I have a 16-year-old who has now lost three house keys. I have tried to figure out all kinds of ways for her to keep tabs on them, and none work. I am considering not giving any more keys and just have her walk out through the garage door and giving her a garage door opener. I feel like the opener is bigger and harder to lose. Other than that, I’m out of ideas. -Crystal, Springfield, Ohio

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How to Deal With Teenage Theft

Dear Kid Whisperer,

My 15-year-old son charged $105 on my credit card for video games to download to his PlayStation 4. I am so upset I can’t see straight. I yelled at him and told him that I was so angry that I had no idea what I was going to do, which I feel stupid about now. How do I redeem myself? What do I do now? -Tyler, Houston, Texas

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How to Handle Phone Calls from Your Child’s Teacher

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I am really frustrated with my son’s school. He is in 3rd grade and every week or so they call me to tattle on my son. They call me to tell me that he isn’t listening, or that he isn’t doing his work. Yesterday, they called after school to tell me that he was being disruptive. Sometimes it’s the teacher, sometimes it’s the principal, but they keep calling and they have suggested that I give him a consequence. Isn’t that their job? He is generally OK at home, and when he’s not, there are consequences. I’m not sure how to deal with this. -Cheyenne, Dayton, Ohio

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