How to Deal With a Kid Who Intentionally Destroys Things

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I have a 6-year old who likes to destroy things. She has ruined a coffee table (sanding down the edges with a pencil), ruined a carpet (scissors), and ruined a wall (markers). We have talked to her over and over, trying to find out why she’s doing it. She says she doesn’t know. Is she needing more attention? Is she angry? We want to find the root cause of this behavior so we can stop it. We are starting to lose our patience with her at times. What do you think? -Jaime, New Albany, Ohio

Read More

How to Use Consequences When You’re Not a Homeroom Teacher

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I am a reading tutor. I have had Love and Logic training and feel proficient at behavior management. At the beginning of January I started working at a new school, and I am now working with students who don’t know me very well. In addition, my caseload does not allow me to spend a lot of time with any students for very long. Is it possible to give kids consequences even when we have not built a solid relationship yet? -Morgan, Canton, Ohio

Read More

How to Apologize to Your Students

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I am a sixth-grade student teacher. Because I attended your conference last summer, I am the only adult at my urban school who doesn’t yell all day long, every day. It’s been amazing. That was, until yesterday. I was with a sub when my cooperating teacher was out. The students got out of control because the work left for them was three grade levels too difficult. I lost it and yelled at them – a lot. They had never heard me yell, and they did what I said, but they acted very hurt and/or angry the rest of the day. What do I do when I see them after the weekend? I have been asking the other teachers and everyone says not to apologize. What do you think? -Brad, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Read More

How to Deal With a Kid Who is Addicted to Screens

Dear Kid Whisperer,

My seven-year-old son loves his iPad so much that he has started to ignore the rest of the world. He doesn’t care about anything else. We recognized this as a problem, but my husband and I have had a very hard time taking the iPad away. My son goes into hysterics when we do, and he will scream and yell until he gets it back. We went to family therapy about this. We tried talking to him about how using the iPad so much is bad for him and how he should play outside, or go to a friend’s house, etc. This does not help. What should we do?    -Tana, Des Moines, Iowa

Read More

How to Troubleshoot When Consequences Don’t Seem to be Working

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I attended your Kid Whisperer University last summer. I am struggling with the delayed consequences skill. For most students, the interventions are working well. The students for whom I need to delay consequences are repeat offenders. It’s typically attention seeking kids that are abrasive with any type of authority. They are constantly searching for the grey area and loopholes in rules and directions. Do you have any suggestions?  -Scarlet, Shaker Heights, Ohio

Read More

How to Handle a Kid Who Refuses to Wear a Coat

Dear Kid Whisperer,

My four-year old loves to go out and play outside without a coat or long pants, even when it is 5 degrees out. I used to yell at him and lecture him. Then a friend told me I should just let the natural consequence of being cold happen so that he would get cold enough and put on appropriate clothing. I tried that. He went outside for 45 minutes straight in 5-degree weather and played happily. Thinking that someone would call children’s services on me, I had him come inside and forced him to put on winter clothes while we yelled at each other. Now what? -Jeanne, St. Paul, MN

Read More