Kid Whisperer

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

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How to Respond When Your Child is Rude

Dear Kid Whisperer,

What are some ways to help my 10-year-old with voice tone? He is very rude to people. I’ve tried “I’m sorry, but I don’t respond to unkind voices” and it just frustrates him. He does it at home and school. I am a teacher, which makes this even more frustrating to me. -Maria, San Luis Obispo

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How to Deal With a Student Who Wants to Derail Your Lesson

Dear Kid Whisperer,

Any thoughts on what do to with the student who is an ‘A’ student but likes to ask questions to derail your whole lesson? I have tried one-on-one conversation, parent phone call, limiting his questions per class as well as changing his seat, emphasizing positive behaviors, and using consequences. What am I missing? -Elizabeth, Hoboken, New Jersey

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How to Train your Kids to Remember the Things they Need

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I am so tired of taking things to my kids after they forget them at home. So far I have delivered a cheerleading outfit, homework folders, and yesterday, I delivered basketball shoes. No matter how much I remind them, they still forget everything. I can’t let my kids not have these things. They need them so they can participate in activities, school, and sports. I also don’t want to keep driving 15 minutes one way to school three times a week because they can’t remember anything. Please help.

-Beth, Des Moines, Iowa

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How to Minimize Attention to Negative Behaviors

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I am a kindergarten teacher. I have a well-behaved class except for one student. He is impulsive, he touches people, he blurts out, he takes materials from other students. I feel like I am constantly saying his name to tell him to stop doing all of these things. I think I spend 30% of all of my time talking to this student about what he is doing wrong, and his behavior just keeps getting worse. What do I do? -Kimberly -Des Moines, Iowa

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How to Handle an Unmedicated Student

Dear Kid Whisperer,

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

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How to Retrain Your Kid to Stop Bothering Adults

Dear Kid Whisperer,

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?

-Kim, Abilene, Texas

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How to Help Your Kid Remember Things

Dear Kid Whisperer,

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

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