How to Deal with Your Kid’s First Day of School Meltdown

Dear Kid Whisperer,
My youngest child will be entering kindergarten in August. He has two older sisters. Both times that I dropped his sisters off for kindergarten, they threw huge tantrums. It was really embarrassing and I want to avoid this situation with my youngest. He, too had a screaming, crying fit last year when I dropped him off for the first day of pre-kindergarten. I know it’s coming. How do I avoid it?
Selena, Los Angeles, CA

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How to Deal with a Parent Who is Determined to Destroy Her Child’s Life… and Yours

Dear Kid Whisperer,

 

I teach 6th grade in Toledo.  We have a tough group, but my colleague and I manage them well. My question, though, is about parents.  We have a student who is disrespectful, mean, etc. etc.  I had a meeting with the parent who stated that her child has freedom of speech and he’s allowed to disrespect adults if he feels the need to.  What does one do when the parent reinforces the child’s behavior? – Michelle, Toledo, Ohio

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How to Take Care of Yourself and Your Students in the Lunchroom

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I am just an aide and my question is about our lunchroom, so I don’t know if you will be able to answer it. The kids in my K-5 school are out of control at lunch. They are loud, they make a huge mess and don’t follow the rules. We aides are literally running around the cafeteria trying to clean their messes, and help them with their food, all while they are yelling and acting crazy. How do we make it so the kids act right and how do we make it so that our jobs aren’t awful? Because right now I want to quit. -Cheyenne, Charleston, WV

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How to Handle a Kid Who LOVES His Consequence

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I attended your training a few weeks ago and have been putting your ways into practice. I have a few kids who are really testing me since I’ve been trying new methods. The other day, one child starting breaking pencils for the fun of it. I thought “fantastic, I know just how to solve this”. So I said “Bummer, it takes a lot to make a pencil, and since you’ve been taking so much of my energy anyway, let’s give it back by sharpening pencils.” This was during recess, because it’s the only time available. Well…he loved doing it!!! He asked me for more!!!! Talk about my blood boiling. This was not how I pictured this going. What are your suggestions to react when they seem to enjoy what’s supposed to be a not fun consequence? I need help with this kiddo! Thanks for all you do and for your great ideas. -Lilly, Nashville, TN

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How to Deal with Kids Being Disrespectful to Adults

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I am a middle school principal. I had a situation in the lunch room where one of our eighth graders was making fun of a custodian by calling him “baldy”. Both the custodian and I reacted by yelling at the kid. As he and his friends started to laugh, I realized that it wasn’t the best move. My idle threats of suspending kids who were laughing stopped most of the laughing, and me physically intimidating the remaining two laughers by getting in their faces quieted the rest. I realized that what I did was not effective, but I’m not sure what to do next time to not put myself in that position. – Malik, Los Angeles, California

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