I am a third-grade teacher and I have a student who is medicated for attention and behavior problems. He is generally fine when he has taken his medicine, but he is totally out of control when he doesn’t. My principal and I have tried everything to try to get his parent to give him his medicine every day. I know the behaviors will get worse when there are no consequences for his actions, whether he is on his medication or not. I don’t know what to do. -Mary, Biloxi, Mississippi
My 11-year-old daughter is extremely nosy, butts into adult conversations, and tends to stand with adults even when kids are around. She even adds commentary that isn’t her business and sometimes honestly it just doesn’t make sense. I often have to get MEAN and yell in order to get my point across and to get her to go away and go be with the kids as opposed to the adults. What is a logical consequence, and how can I break her from this before it gets her in trouble?
My fourth grader is very smart, but very forgetful. He usually leaves his lunch at home and often forgets his homework, either at school or at home. I have ten questions that I will use to prompt him to remember to do things and be more responsible, but I often end up bringing him his homework or lunch or both. I’ve tried everything to try to get him to be organized. Is there anything else that I can do? -Kim, Biloxi, Mississippi
There has been an outbreak of swearing at my school this year. Teachers in my building are at a loss about how to get students to stop. I have looked on the internet and have not found anything to help. Can you offer a suggestion? -Danicka, New York, New York
I am a fourth-grade teacher who is worried about a situation that I foresee happening this year with adults. Last year was my first year in my building. I quickly found that lunch and recess times were stressful times for both staff and students, as these areas were loud and unruly, and staff spent a lot of time yelling at kids. I decided to try and help out in these areas as much as possible. I use your blog and podcast to help me help my school, and we have changed the way we do some things. I have had colleagues tell me to stop helping because they say that if I help during these times, our administration will demand that everyone help too. I am not going to stop helping my school, but I am dreading the conversations with other teachers about this. Any advice? -Kim, Oakland, California
I teach in a PK-K Montessori room. What do you do for children who are hitting/hurting others or saying and doing unkind things on a consistent basis? Parents are involved in this, we’ve had meetings, the student has been assessed, etc… but it just keeps happening to the point that other parents complain about their child, worrying about this student picking on them or hurting them. We go through the steps of helping the student who is hurting to use their words and say, “Don’t hit me,” or “That makes me feel bad,” and then the child who’s hitting will have a chance to say something like, “Are you okay?” and “What can I do to help you feel better/fix your heart?” and so on. This child has gotten really good at these exchanges, but the behavior still gets worse. So now we’ve started suspending him, which has also made the behavior worse. -Lee Ann, Eugene, Oregon
I use Time-Out with my kids: when they do something bad, I put them in their room. When I have a chance, I go and tell them what they did wrong so that they know and then I tell them to knock it off. Then they can come back. Basically, it used to work, and now it doesn’t. I have my 11-year-old in her room practically all the time now. No idea what to change or do differently. -Austin, Lexington, Kentucky
I have heard you speak and you mentioned that the skills that you teach work on adults too. This question involves a child but mostly is needed for an adult. My boyfriend and I have a six-year old girl and we all live together. Very often he is verbally abusive, to me and my daughter. Especially lately, he has really started to belittle, berate, humiliate and threaten us for no reason. Let me be clear that my daughter is in no way a behavior problem. He picks fights with both of us and intimidates us. How do I set limits with him so I can protect my daughter? -Tayla, Dayton, Ohio