Picking Your Battles

Sometimes you just need it let it go.
Sometimes you just need it let it go. | Source

Nobody is perfect

Sometimes as adults we seem to waffle between expecting a child to be perfect and making excuses for or overlooking what the child is doing or saying. I think in this hurried world most of us are so exhausted from everyday life that sometimes we have no energy left to contend with our everyday life. The trick is to find a happy balance between expecting a child to behave perfectly and overlooking the times when they are not.

It seems that these days we are all running around trying to keep our jobs so we can have a room over our heads, food on our plates and clothes on our backs. When we have others depending on us, it makes it that much more important. I look around me and I see people with exhaustion and stress written all over their faces. In their hurried lives we seem to be picking and choosing our priorities. After all, there is only so much a person can deal with in a day. There are only so many problems have the energy and patience to deal with. Unfortunately, dealing with children seem to be one of those problems that some parents seem to push to the side or ignore. Everyday we run across a parent who feels their child can do no wrong and make up any number of excuses for their behavior. On the other side, we also have the parents who can never be reached, don't return calls and never show up for a requested conference. Of course, there are many parents out there that the children are lucky to have.

When I first started working with children in a classroom setting I began to wonder why we seem to have so many of them getting in trouble these days. Everyday it seemed as if one or more of them were sent there to try my patience. The behavior ranged from sullen and disrectful to overly eager to please.

As I started sorting out the many different behaviors and personalities I began to look for an answer as to why children act the way they do. Guess what, there isn't one. Some of these children spent their days trying not to do what was asked of them and some of them tried to anticipate what you were going to say before you could complete the thought in your head. I understood the children that were always trying to help were looking for more attention but the sullen ones were a puzzle.

At first it seemed as though they just wanted to be left alone in a corner to vegetate. But I found they would do little things to get themselves in trouble. They never seemed to just sit and be invisible the way you would think they would. These were the children who would talk out, call people names, stick out their foot to trip anyone walking by, and general anything else they could think of to irritate, aggitate, and aggravate you. And you know what, in most cases they succeeded. After all, it appears that these children who are always in trouble were craving attention. Even negative attention was better than none.

Not all children who do not and cannot behave have parents that are often times absent or enabling. Some of them have the most wonderful, caring involved parents you ever want to meet. Often times they have done everything right and still have a child that is one of those with repeated school suspensions.

In school we find our patience tried many days by the same bad behavior by the same students. Its hard to know where to begin to help these children not turn into statistics. I can't tell you how many times I have heard someone say "That's a child you will see on the Ten Most Wanted List someday." Unfortunately, that is a distinct possibility. However, I would like to think that somewhere someone can reach this child and find a way to lead them to a better more productive life.

Once the child begins to show themselves as a troublemaker some people begin to expect this behavior from them. It seems that once they have earned the behavior problem label they have a very difficult time losing the label. All of the sudden they seem to be in the middle of every problem there is in the classroom and hallway. Everything they do or say is examined. Believe it or not, sometimes these aggravating children are not the ones causing every little problem. Sometimes children can be cruel. I have seen a child instigate an incident and blame it on the one that is always in trouble. It appears that some children like to see others in trouble.

When this happens you need to take a deep breath and decide what is important. Is it more important to punish the child that was calling the other one names or is it important to you to punish the child who instigated the problem. Or, do you need to send either one down to the office for a talk. Sometimes it's better to just use a little of you patience and understanding for the child who is always in trouble. If someone was always watching everything I do or say and expecting me to do something I shouldn't I would eventually prove them right. Sometimes we need to overlook the little things these kids do for their own good. Everyone has a bad day. We often don't know what is going on at home. many times these children are internalizing problems or situations at home and reacting when they are in a safer environment.

Not every child will respond to a little kindness and understanding but what about the few who do. Who knows, maybe by talking calming and breifly to these children will make a difference. Nobady is perfect. Not even the people who are punishing these children. There are degrees of understanding, I cannot overlook anything that continually happens that takes time away from other children for extended periods of time.

Working with children
Working with children | Source

Working With Children in a Classroom Setting

When I first started working with children in a classroom setting I began to wonder why we seem to have so many students getting themselves in trouble these days. Everyday it seemed as if one or more of them were sent there to try my patience. The behavior ranged from sullen and disrespectful to overly eager to please.

As I started sorting out the many different behaviors and personalities I began to look for an answer as to why children act the way they do. Guess what, there isn't any one answer. Some of these children spent their days trying not to do what was asked of them, and some of them tried to anticipate what you were going to say before you could complete the thought in your head. I understood that the children that were always trying to help were looking for more attention but the sullen ones were a puzzle.

At first it seemed as though they just wanted to be left alone in a corner to vegetate. But I found they would do little things to get themselves in trouble. They never seemed to just sit and be invisible the way you would think they would. These were the children who would talk out, call people names, stick out their foot to trip anyone walking by, and general anything else they could think of to irritate, agitate, and aggravate you. And you know what, in most cases they succeeded. It appears that these children who are always in trouble were craving attention. Even negative attention was better than none.

Not all children who do not, and sometimes cannot behave, have parents that are often times absent or enabling. Some of them have the most wonderful, caring, involved parents you ever want to meet. Often times they have done everything right and still have a child that is one of those with repeated school suspensions.

In school we find our patience tried many days by the same bad behavior by the same students. Its hard to know where to begin to help these children who you feel will one day turn into statistics. I can't tell you how many times I have heard someone say, "That's a child you will see on the Ten Most Wanted List someday." Unfortunately, that is a distinct possibility. However, I would like to think that someone somewhere can reach this child and find a way to lead them to a better more productive life.

Once the child begins to show themselves as a troublemaker there are people who begin to expect this behavior from them. Unfortunately, once they have earned the behavior problem label they have a very difficult time losing the label. All of the sudden, they seem to be in the middle of every problem there is in the classroom and hallway. Everything they do or say is examined. Believe it or not, sometimes these aggravating children are not the ones causing every little problem. Sometimes children can be cruel. I have seen a child instigate an incident and blame it on the one that is always in trouble. It appears that some children like to see others in trouble.

When this happens you need to take a deep breath and decide what is important. Is it more important to punish the child that was calling the other one names, or is it important to you to punish the child who instigated the problem? Or, do you need to send either one down to the office for a talk. Sometimes it's better to just use a little of your patience and understanding for the child who is always in trouble. If someone was always watching everything you do or say and expecting you to do something wrong you would eventually prove them right. Sometimes we need to overlook the little things these kids do for their own good. Everyone has a bad day. We often don't know what is going on at home. Many times these children are internalizing problems or situations at home and reacting when they are in a safer environment.

Not every child will respond to a little kindness and understanding. But, what about the few who do? Who knows, maybe by talking calming and briefly to these children will make a difference. Nobody is perfect. Not even the people who are punishing these children. There are degrees of understanding. A child who continually causing disruptions and taking an inordinate amount of learning time from the other student,s needs and should get that extra help from Student Management.

So what do you do? You clearly have to pick your battles. You need to decide what is really important and what you can let slide. Always keep in mind the fact that nobody is perfect.

pick your battles
pick your battles | Source

How to avoid a battle

  • Don't argue just because you feel challanged.
  • Do not raise your voice.
  • Ask yourself if you are really right in this situation. Sometimes there is no right or wrong.
  • Is arguing over this particular situation going to make a difference in the long run?
  • Is this a situation that ultimately will not change?
  • Is it something you really can not do anything about?
  • Do not try to persuade the child to see your point of view.
  • Think about the reason you are angry. Is it legitimate?
  • Ask yourself, "Is it really that big of a deal?"
  • Talk to the child privately. Sometimes they are looking for attention from their peers. If you don't give it to them they may settle down.
  • Let them know you are not going to argue with them.
  • Make sure you set the rules from day one.
  • Do not accept behavior one time and not the next.

"Sometimes by losing the battle you find a new way to win the war."

— Donald Trump

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Comments 2 comments

hubpageswriter 6 years ago

Lots of great pointers which can be used.


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KoffeeKlatch Gals 6 years ago from Sunny Florida Author

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for your comment.

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