I keep coming back to what one of Brady's teachers said to me. She said:
"I just try to help him make better choices and to stop and think sometimes. He doesn't want to get in trouble."
I wasn't sure why I kept thinking of that, other than it is a great comfort to me that someone in his life outside of his family sees him that way. And let me tell you, he absolutely loves her, as well as his regular school teacher who sees him that same way. And another who always tells him, "Tomorrow's a new day and we
aren't going to worry about the past." That, too, is really awesome. He
respects her and listens to her. Every day is a new day for him with
her, a new day to make good choices. He starts fresh.
And they are by no means lenient with him. They can be tough, but also kind and caring, and he responds well to them.
I realized, that one statement above is what makes the difference in how a teacher approaches a child. If he or she believes the child is misbehaving simply to be bad, well then they are going to treat them in a very different way than if they believe the child is struggling and needs a different kind of guidance.
If your goal is simply to make them mind, to fall in line, to be like everyone else, the manner of speaking and the method of discipline will be much different than if the goal is to teach them the skills they need as a unique individual to make better choices.
Brady feels bad when he misbehaves. He really does want to do well and he tries SO hard. He tells me that every day and I believe him. I know he still makes bad choices, loses control, does what he shouldn't sometimes, but he does try. I know there are teachers who think he doesn't. They think he acts up on purpose, to be bad. They think he makes excuses. As I've mentioned once before, I was told by a teacher that he did something "just to be mean." And that statement was not true.
So how do you suppose that teacher would approach his misbehavior if she sees a mean intention in it?
Gosh, I wish somehow I could get every teacher to realize that Brady has a harder time staying in control than other kids. That he responds differently to things. He flat out does. Not because he's mean or bad. Because he's just who he is. And I know, more than anyone, that he has a lot to learn. That doesn't mean you don't give punishment, consequences, discipline. It doesn't mean you don't hold him to the same standards as other kids.
But it does mean you approach it in a very structured way with the idea that this kid needs something extra. It's not all on him. It's not all on me. It's also on the teacher or care-provider to find ways to manage him that don't break his spirit, that don't have you assuming he's trying intentionally to misbehave.
If one teacher can see that he is 1) remorseful when he acts up and 2) actually trying to do better, then why can't they all?
He does much better in some classes than others, with some teachers than with others. And it is not because the ones he does better with are more lenient. It is because they understand and they go the extra mile. He senses that. If they respect him as a unique individual, certainly not an equal, but as an individual - even with strict, structured discipline - he will trust them and do his best for them (Gosh, isn't it the same even with adults? How do you like the boss that rules by demeaning and degrading and yelling and bullying? Not much, I'd guess).
Kindness, understanding, compassion, firmness, strength, patience and consistency go a long, long way, and make their point much quicker than strong-arming. I've seen it. I've lived it. It works.
Don't assume this kid is trying to act up. Don't assume he's making excuses. Don't assume he "gets away" with stuff at home. Don't assume anything about him. I know it's hard when one kid is different and doesn't respond to traditional methods like everyone else. Or in a large classroom. But, please, step outside what you need and see what he needs to truly learn to get himself under control.
He requires something extra. He requires creativity. He presents a challenge. And, darn it, the adults in his life should be able to rise to that. (I always add the disclaimer that I am far from perfect and I don't always rise to the challenge, but, like Brady, I try to do better every day.)
- ► 2017 (53)
- Biscuit Topped Chicken Pot Pie
- My $4 Mudd boots from Salvation Army store
- 5 reasons I choose not to homeschool
- Deals at Aldi and Dillons, through April 2
- 3 free snailmail Sunmaid raisin recipe books
- 6 reasons collecting is a good kid hobby
- When the problem is behavior, not learning
- ADHD: teacher's attitude makes all the difference
- Proctor & Gamble free samples: I got lots of them!...
- Winter's last gasp? We enjoyed it...
- Spring brings lots of work to do...
- A claim code test, please disregard
- Natural talent: Brady's Super Square
- Free stuff from Smiley360, Campbells new soups
- The same boots, 2 Goodwills, 10 years apart
- You know you're in a small town...homemade cookies...
- Finding contentment in what we have...
- God's my King of Rock 'n' roll, 47 songs
- Anxiety buster: Eat more almonds!
- Cool American environmentalist folk art
- This weeks Aldi and Dillons deals....
- Getting your way may not be best
- Day 44 Getting Off Paxil: All done
- Try Something New Thursday: Almonds!
- 1st grade homework help: Spelling, reading, writin...
- Spring is here, but snow is coming...
- A cool Memphis/Southern/American experience
- Cool church sign...
- You know you're in a small town when... lost dog
- When to act and when to sit back?
- Dillons and Aldi deals (March 13 - 19)
- Follow your dreams, find your niche
- Pandora: Free music website
- Finding faith is like falling in love
- Behavior booster: Finding common ground
- Good behavior: practice makes...a lot better!
- Weight loss tip: Grocery store salad bar
- Improving spelling ... teacher's advice worked!
- "Love chemicals" wear off after 12 to 18 months
- Music releases feel-good brain chemicals
- Funny things Brady says ... about dreams...
- 80 easy, frugal, healthy packed lunch ideas
- Behavior booster: teaching "inside voice"
- Positive self-talk & 2 sermons that changed my lif...
- Try Something New Thursday: Hummus
- The power of rewarding a kid...
- A good laugh about my patio garden pots...
- Behavior booster: Work as a team
- Diverse friends keep us from judging
- God bless understanding teachers
- Almost time for the garden!
- Teachable moments: the new kid at school
- This week's deals at Dillons
- Ask yourself, "What can I do for them?"
- Change your hair, change your outlook
- Funny things Brady says... about commercials...
- Sweet things Brady says... about being a parent......
- I love Little Critter books!
- Divorce Care support group: A wonderful resource
- Coaching kids to fight their own battles
- A powerful idea: You can't change others
- No-tech Saturday: An exception & crafts
- A strong marriage is your best parenting tool...
- Food allergies: 7 alternatives to coloring eggs
- Wisdom from my mom: God's entertainment
- Why keeping a landline phone is a good idea
- Organizing tip: Tissue boxes for grocery bags
- Bunny tracks in the house we're building
- ▼ March (68)
I cannot believe that this blog started three months ago. At the beginning I wasn't sure if I'd have enough to say. Well, LOL, I n...
According to this article, Wichita has received the 2nd largest snowfall on record, reaching so far 14.2 inches, with the highest being 15 ...
Today I want to start talking about a topic very near to my heart: postpartum depression. According to the agency I volunteer with, Postpart...
Apparently Brady has learned about "humus" - broken down organic matter which makes wonderful soil - as opposed to "hummu...
This post is a part of the Fantabulous Valentine's Day Favorites blog chain put together by a great group of bloggers. The theme ...
So a recent discovery, given to me by my wonderful mother-in-law, is Walgreens' knock-off perfumes. They have all kinds, like fake Opium...
There's a good guest post at the Money Saving Mom blog today . Here's an excerpt: "Because of increasing gasoline prices we n...
Do you like my little depiction of a "worry bully" over there? I think that's kind of what they look like sitting on some...
Saw this article today and they had some good ideas. I forgot peaches in my 100 low-cal snacks! Here's the link: Spark People 100 cal tr...
Back in January, I posted this deal from Proctor & Gamble (I don't know if they have the same ones available or others now, but...