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 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

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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

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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

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