The One Student who Takes ALL your Time!

One teacher sent Dr. Marcie this question:

Hi Dr. Marcie, I took your Challenging Behavior workshop last week and it was so inspiring and helpful in terms of reframing my approach to behavior. With ongoing challenges in the classroom and parent teacher conferences coming up I wanted to pick your brain about a child. I have a classroom of 17 3 year olds, half of which are just turning 4. As I mentioned in the workshop, I have a group of 4-5 boys in the room that engage in a lot of physical play that is not appropriate for them classroom setting (i.e. wrestling, headlocking, bodyslamming, running). Since your workshop, I’ve begun to redirect a lot of this by modeling more appropriate ways to play such as pushing on a table while jumping, playing a sit down “tug o war” type activity, etc. Along with this, I’ve spent a lot of whole group time modeling apprpriate ways to play physically and continue to frame Outdoor time as the time to run, be physical, etc.

This all has been helpful for most of the children however there is one boy (a younger 3) that continuously pushes others, wrestles, hits, etc. While in your workshop I was convinced he was doing this because it felt good, but after observation and talking with Dad I’m convinced it’s for the attention he gains from other children. He spends a lot of time watching the other boys play and it seems he doesn’t quite know how to initiate play, and that by being physical with the other kids whether through pushing or putting his body of top and wrestling, he is gaining their attention whether positive or negative. Myself and my assistants have been trying to model language and ways for him to initiate play but he often becomes resistant and runs away. It also doesn’t help that he found another friend who likes when he comes up to him and topples him or pushes him (his friend laughs and smiles and it becomes a mutual thing).

This is quite loaded and there is always more detail to add however my concern is HOW to get him to stop pushing, hitting, tackling. It is feeling like 95% of my classroom time is thinking about this as it is something that is happening constantly and I feel like I am trying to prevent it and praise when I see he is using his language.

I hope you can give me some insight!

Dr. Marcie gives the answer! Watch now and help the kids in your own classroom today!

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