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Working With Kids: The Best Ways To Deal With Chronic Misbehavior

Updated on September 21, 2011

1. Make sure rules and consequences, both good and bad, are established in your class or group; the old saying, "An ounce of prevention..." really applies here.

2. Sticking to such rules, policies, and consequences is essential.

3. Nip misbehavior in the bud from the beginning, else your kids will see you as a pushover; don't let them get away with anything.

4. Parents must be notified of infractions as soon as occur, and kept informed of any progress, or lack of progress, their child makes. Get them on your side and make them partners in improving their offspring's misbehavior.

5. Every infraction and instance of the student doing something he isn't supposed to do needs to be documented.

This is for your protection, and it provides proof of misdeeds that you can show parents and supervisors, who will be impressed that you're on the ball with this type of thing.

6. A contract between you trouble maker, his parents, and yourself is a good idea. Be sure that the kid's and his parents' signatures is on it, however.

That way if he continues to break rules and/or is disrespectful, you can justify punishing him by showing the contract that he signed and agreed to.

7. Tell your bad behaving youngsters that you will be watching them like a nest of hawks. Then be sure to do so as it's a good deterrent; kids tend to behave better if they know that they're being watched.

8. For those kids who continue to be defiant and clearly show that they don't want to behave and cooperate, don't be afraid to recommend suspension, or even expulsion in the most heinous cases.

I know this is a harsh, hardcore, and old school fashion of discipline, but look at it like this: Children who chronically misbehave, whether it's because of a condition like hyperactivity or ADHD, are like a sort of cancer in your class or group in that it brings such class or group down and ruins things for those youngsters who do behave and follow the rules.

When such is the case, that cancer must be removed, or it will spread and make things miserable for everyone involved.

If the kid does have ADD or some kind of disability that makes it hard to cooperate and behave well, then help is available and the "cancer" that he has, so to speak, can be treated.

But until then, he should be dealt with firmly and strongly, if not removed, for the good of your class, team, or group.

Trust me, everyone will be better off for it.


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    • molometer profile image


      7 years ago from United Kingdom

      Many things appear absurd to a child. Can you remember any specific rules that seemed particularly absurd?

    • Casey Strouse profile image

      Casey Strouse 

      7 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Yeah those are perfectly rational. Sometimes though my teachers would have rules that were just absurd.

    • Dhart profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Culver City, CA

      @ Casey: As someone who worked with kids as a PE teacher, an after school teacher, a coach, an aide, & a tutor for over 20 years, My rules were not only rational, but simple, following along the theme of: Don't play around and follow directions. In all honesty, & with all due respect, if that doesn't seem rational to a kid, them that's not my problem.

    • Casey Strouse profile image

      Casey Strouse 

      7 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      A key from my experience as a kid is this; make sure it's a rule that makes sense (to you and to the kid). If the rule doesn't appear rational it's not very likely to be followed.

    • carcro profile image

      Paul Cronin 

      7 years ago from Winnipeg

      Interesting hub, I feel so bad for anyone involved with troubles youth, there just isn't enough help available for families faced with these problems. Thanks for sharing.


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