- Listen to the behavior. Read their actions as messages rather than reacting emotionally. Behaviors are information about the quality of kids’ lives, relationships and self-concepts. Think about the kids you know and what their actions are saying about them. For example, a clingy child is telling you she needs love desperately; maybe she lives in an environment of neglect, abuse or some other chaos.
Factors that influence any child’s behavior are:
- Stability and composition of family.
- Achievement and competition among family members.
- Personality traits and attitude of family members and teachers.
- Appropriateness and consistency of adult’s expectations for the child.
- Love as Jesus loves. Remind yourself over and over that these children, no matter how obnoxious or bull-headed they may be, are children Jesus died for. By loving them as Jesus does, you’ll help them respond to Christ.
- Transform the negative into positive. Give problem children special assignments and responsibilities. Little assignments can sometimes ease children into appropriate behavior.
- Vary teaching techniques. If “problem kids” disrupt your class, you may not yet be on their turf. Their turf can be defined as the way they are most comfortable learning. Use auditory, visual and physical methods with variety. If you use many styles, you’ll better reach children on their natural territories.
- Develop compassion. Realize that children only do what’s been done to them. Home situations play a major role in the behavior and personality of the child. And, realize, that most children cannot control those home situations. Most importantly, remember, “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things” 1 Corinthians 13:7.
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