A Day In My Life: A Student With A Behavior Problem - With Strategies

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I Need Strategies!

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I Have Behavior Problems

Wow. It’s another bad day. It’s always a bad day for me. As soon as I get up, things start going bad, and they just get worse and worse as they day goes on.

This morning, when I got up I couldn’t find my favorite shirt that I wanted to wear. I had it yesterday, all ready to wear today. But I couldn’t find it anywhere! I asked my mom where it was and she said she had thrown it in the laundry. Just because it had a little bit of ketchup on the front of it! It was still clean enough for me to wear!

I finally found another shirt to wear, but I didn’t like it. It was the orange one – the one with the stripes. I don’t like stripes. Mom said I had to wear it. She told me to hurry up and get my teeth brushed and come to breakfast. I hurried to brush my teeth, like she said, and then I got water all over the ugly shirt. I wanted to change it, but mom said it would dry. I was really mad and didn’t want to wear it. I yelled at mom and told her I was changing. But then I couldn’t find another shirt so I put the ugly, wet shirt back on. Then I went down to breakfast.

Mom had eggs ready for me to eat. They were cold. She said it was because I took too long to get ready. I told her I wanted to have cereal instead. She said there wasn’t enough time so I would just have to eat my eggs. I told her to put them in the microwave, at least. She wasn’t happy that I was telling her what to do. I had to eat my cold eggs.

When we got in the car, I got to sit in the front seat with mom. My sister was in the back seat. She wasn’t happy, but she was still good. I don’t know how she can always be so good…I can’t ever seem to be good.

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Strategies For Dealing With Behavior Problems

First you must understand the reason behind the behavior. Is the child confused about what the proper behavior is? You must make sure that, as a teacher or parent, you have made it clear what you expect of the child. Do you want the child to get ready for school? Help make things easier by laying out clothes the night before. Let them know what breakfast plans are. Make sure the child gets plenty of sleep by making an appropriate bedtime and sticking to it. Let the child set his or her own alarm to give him or her the power of being in control. Remind the child that you will also help him or her to get up in the morning. You might also set a timer the next morning for individual tasks. If you want them to get up at 7:00 am and be ready to leave by 7:45, set a timer for 20 minutes to shower and brush teeth, for ten minutes to get dressed and brush hair, and then for 15 minutes to have breakfast. This way the child knows what to expect and how much time he or she needs for each activity.

It is important for everyone to make sure your expectations for behavior are clear and concise. Ask your child if he or she understands your expectations. If not, explain in a different way.

Behavior Problems At School

When I got to school, I wanted to run to my classroom. My teacher, Ms. Friend, is like her name. She is a friend to her students. I like being in her room. But the principal saw me running. She made me stop and go back to the beginning of the hall and try again. I stomped my foot really hard to show her that I was mad about going back. She asked if I needed to practice walking at lunch recess. I turned around and started walking, this time I didn’t stomp.

When I finally got to my classroom, Ms. Friend wasn’t there. There was a substitute teacher there. She was the old lady who didn’t like me. She always yells at me. My day was just getting worse. I walked in the class and threw my backpack down on the floor. I needed to get my homework out. The substitute yelled at me and told me not to throw my stuff. I yelled back and said I wasn’t. She told me that she was going to call the principal if I didn’t stop yelling and pick up my stuff. I yelled at her again and told her I WAS picking up my stuff! She called the principal…

Mrs. Canton, the principal, came to my class. She told me to get into the hall. I went, but I wasn’t happy about it. Mrs. Canton told me that I would have to be good for the substitute. I told her I would be good if the sub wouldn’t yell at me. Mrs. Canton didn’t like that answer. She told me that I would have to go to my special class and stay there all day. She didn’t want me to cause problems with the sub.


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Strategies For Dealing With Behavior Problems

There are also biological reasons for children to have behavioral problems. In these cases, medication can help. ­­Even though there is a biological reason behind the behavior, I often tell my students that they are in control of their behavior – not their medications. I tell them that the medication helps them to control the behavior, but at the end of the day, it is the child that is in control. These children need to learn compensating behaviors. If they can’t sit still, allow the child to stand at his desk or at a countertop in the classroom. Balance boards, specialized seat cushions, and other special equipment can help a fidgety child. I often place a tennis ball on a front chair leg, and another on an opposite back chair leg to give the child a “rocking” chair that allows them to fidget. Exercise balls make good seats for these children. Another trick is to put the rough side of a piece of Velcro on the underside of the child’s desk, giving her something to fidget with. There are also specialized pencils and other equipment that will help these fidgeters.

My Teacher Helps With My Behavior Problems

I went to Mrs. Campbell’s room. I don’t like being in her room. People think I’m stupid if I go to her room. They think I need help with my math and my reading. But I just need help with my temper. Mrs. Campbell tries to be nice, but I just don’t want to be nice to her. But even if I yell at her, she just talks calm to me. She is kind of like Ms. Friend, but I like Ms. Friend better. I try to listen to Mrs. Campbell. I want to do the right thing. But it’s hard. She has the little kids in her class. Today they are working on a fun project because they earned a treat. I have to work on my reading and math, but I want to work on their project. I keep trying to take away the materials, so that I can work on my own project. Mrs. Campbell says I have to put it back. But I don’t want to. She says I have to.

I throw the stuff at her. I yell at her and scream. I see that I am scaring the little kids, but I don’t care. I have had enough bad things happen today. I can’t control myself and I start throwing more stuff. I throw my book and it almost hit a little kid. Mrs. Campbell told the little kids that it was time for them to go back to their classes. I know that it’s not time for them to go. She just doesn’t want them to be around me.

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Strategies For Dealing With Behavior Problems

Sometimes children exhibit behavior problems when they want or need attention. If this is the case, think about your own behavior. Are you letting your child know how important they are, or is work, significant other, or one of your activities more important? If your child is not getting enough attention from you, he or she will find ways to get your attention – sometimes in inappropriate ways. Make sure that you spend time with your child. Read a book. Do an art project. Take a walk. You don’t have to spend money on your child to show how much you love them – you just need to spend time. Make sure that your child knows that he or she is one of the most important things in your life.

Help For My Behavior Problem

Mrs. Campbell tries to talk calmly to me. It just makes me madder. I start throwing the projects that the little kids were making. Mrs. Campbell just stops talking to me. She just stands by the door. Last time I got this mad, I ran out of her class and outside. I guess she is scared I might do it again. I just keep throwing things. I tear a poster from the wall. I know Mrs. Campbell likes it and I hope she starts talking to me again. I wish she would yell and get as mad as me. But she doesn’t. I ask her why she is talking. She doesn’t answer me. I yell and tell her to answer me. Finally, she talks. She tells me that she will talk to me when I am as calm as she is. She doesn’t understand. I am never that calm.

I try, though. I go to the corner. I try to tell myself to take deep breaths and count to ten. That’s what Mrs. Campbell said I should do. I also sit down on the floor and put my head on my knees. I try to think of good thoughts. That’s hard when only bad things happen to you. I can finally talk without yelling.

Strategies For Dealing With Behavior Problems

Sometimes, a child who lacks self-confidence will often misbehave. Their behavior problems might range from being mean to other students – picking on them and bullying them to being disrespectful to adults. This gives the child some control over circumstances. You can help build self-confidence by allowing the child to do activities that they will excel in. If the child is a leader, put him or her in charge of a task such as taking attendance or taking the lunch count. Put him or her in groups in which he or she will be looked up to in a positive way. If a subject is a difficulty for them, give them an assignment that they can be successful with. Have them read to younger students. Give them chances to “show off” what they know. Any activity that they are successful at will build self-confidence.

Strategies For Dealing With Behavior Problems

Children who have been or are being mistreated or abused are more likely to behavioral problems. Children learn what they live. If all they have seen is abuse and mistreatment, they think that this is the only way of life. These children need more help than a teacher can give them, but there are ways to help these children in the classroom. First, be understanding. Do not treat the child different from other children, but understand the reason behind the behaviors. Make expectations clear and consequences fair. Follow through on consequences, but be gentle and caring about doing it. Be kind, but tough. Help the child to understand that there are kind people in the world and that most people are kind when others are kind to them. If they have never experienced peace at home, they might not know how to act when there is peace. They will want to make things more familiar by misbehaving and causing disorder. Again, treat these children with care.

My Behavior Problems Can Get Better

Mrs. Campbell talks with me. She almost acts as if nothing was ever wrong. She asks me what is going on. I tell her about my bad day. She agrees that it was bad. But she also told me how I could have done things different so that my day wouldn’t be so bad. She told me that I had to wear clean clothes to school and my mom was just trying to help me out by washing my favorite shirt. She told me that my mom had made me a good breakfast and that it was my fault I waited so long and the eggs got cold. She told me that I knew that I should walk in school and if I wasn’t in such a big hurry, I wouldn’t get in trouble. And she told me that sometimes I had to work with people that I didn’t like. That she even had to work with people she didn’t like and it was okay.

I listened to Mrs. Campbell. I felt kind of bad for being so mean. I want to try to be better. I want to be calm like her and Ms. Friend. Maybe I will just keep working on it. One of these days will be the best day ever.

© 2013 LaDena Campbell

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Comments 9 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

Excellent approach used in this hub, and your suggestions carry a lot of weight coming from a veteran classroom teacher who has been there and done that. Well done my friend.


justateacher profile image

justateacher 3 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

Thanks, Bill! I am trying to do a series of these from a child's point of view...and then add the suggestions...glad you liked it!


carter06 profile image

carter06 3 years ago from Cronulla NSW

Great take on this subject justateacher..so cool to approach this subject from a childs perspective.. It truly takes us into the heart of what it's like for a child who struggles..excellent hub..will share this every way..cheers


justateacher profile image

justateacher 3 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

carter06 -thanks for reading! I'm hoping that more people will understand what the child goes through by writing it this way...


jainismus profile image

jainismus 3 years ago from Pune, India

You have written on an important subject, a very useful hub.


CarlySullens profile image

CarlySullens 3 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

This is a great read. I love how you write from a child's perspective because as an adult it gives me more empathy. Sometimes as adults we forget all the stress kids go through. Voted up!


justateacher profile image

justateacher 3 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

Carly...Thanks for reading! I'm glad you liked it!


torrilynn profile image

torrilynn 3 years ago

dealing with behavior problems can be difficult. I feel that as long as parents and teachers help to nip the behavior problems in the bud at an early age then the children won't have those problems as they get older. Voted up.


justateacher profile image

justateacher 3 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

torrilynn - thanks for reading! I agree - parents and teachers need to take care of this problem when children are young! Thanks for the vote up, too!

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