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Dealing With Disruptive Children

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 10 May 2016 | comments*Discuss
 
Disruptive Kids Children Working Rules

Working with kids often involves dealing with disruptive children. As the teacher, group leader or person in charge, it is your responsibility to deal with this situation appropriately, whether that means disciplining the disruptive child or rewarding the children that are behaving well.

For parents of school-age children, a common complaint, especially at schools with large class sizes, is that the disruptive child or children get more than their fair share of the teacher’s attention, which reduces the time the teacher spends with the better behaved children.

It is very important to mention that disruptive behaviour in children is often an indicator of some unhappiness or difficulty in the child’s life, so it is imperative that you do not act in too heavy handed a way until you have addressed any possible underlying causes of the negative behaviour. It is wise to seek advice from another qualified person in how to handle this process.

Here are a number of ways to deal with disruptive children in a working environment.

Be Flexible

If you are finding that one or more children in your class or group are being particularly disruptive and this is out of character, try changing your plans for the lesson or class to suit the mood. For example, children can be especially boisterous after play time on a very windy day, so a class that involves close concentration work is unlikely to go smoothly. If you are unable to do this, try to offer extra activities to the disruptive child or children, although be careful not to be seen as rewarding their behaviour – don’t make the extra activities too fun!

Set Rules

Disruptive behaviour can often be reduced or averted by setting clear rules of what is acceptable. Children respond well to realistic boundaries. Setting clear rules that establish suitable behaviour both from the child to you and from you to the child is a very adult, responsible way to address difficult behaviour. You may say that name calling, shouting and leaving the area untidy are unacceptable from the child and that raising your voice, not listening and not making classes fun is unacceptable from the teacher or group leader, for example.

Rewards and Privileges

It is up to you to decide what the most appropriate rewards and privileges are, but charts are well-known for changing negative behaviour patterns. As before, you have a responsibility to not reward bad behaviour while overlooking good behaviour as this can cause long-term issues for the quiet or well-behaved children in your class or group. Rewarding good behaviour and ignoring bad or disruptive behaviour is a good approach to try.

Ask For Advice

If you are the teacher of a child that is behaving in a disruptive manner and you do not feel able to affect their behaviour, you need to seek further advice. It is unfair on you, the child in question and other children in your class if the situation is not dealt with. Ask your head of year for advice. It is also likely to be a good idea to ask the parents or guardian of the child to have an informal chat at the school in order to ascertain if there are any external factors in the child’s behaviour.

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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Mum3 - Your Question:
Our child is increasingly disruptive & the teachers can't seem to cope. We've asked the teacher for advice & suggested a reward chart which has worked brilliantly at home but the behaviour has increased at school. We're made feel like We're to blame & can't seem to do enough to help them.We've tried to see if there's anything at home that could be affecting behaviour as most sites suggest problems at home/life. Is there anything as a parent we can do to help school life? As our child's gone from enjoying school, doing work to hating it & not wanting to go to school. Please can someone help?

Our Response:
In a situation such as this many parents will put the blame on everything else but their child, so the most important thing here is that you recognise the problems your child is having and that he may be at fault. Therefore, hopefully the school in turn will recognise that you are both working together towards helping your son's behaviour improve. With regards to his teachers, if you are having more success with his behaviour at home then you may wish to advise them on how 'you' deal with such issues. Sometimes children have issues with certain types of approaches i.e bullying or strict approaches can make children more disruptive than gentle encouragement. However, if you continue to re-inforce to your son's teachers that you are on their side and want to work together and share different approaches, then I'm sure this will diffuse any blame being put on you and hopefully the new approaches will work in favour of your son.
WorkingWithKids - 11-May-16 @ 11:26 AM
Our child is increasingly disruptive & the teachers can't seem to cope. We've asked the teacher for advice & suggested a reward chart which has worked brilliantly at home but the behaviour has increased at school. We're made feel like We're to blame & can't seem to do enough to help them. We've tried to see if there's anything at home that could be affectingbehaviour as most sites suggest problems at home/life. Is there anything as a parent we can do to help school life? As our child's gone from enjoying school, doing work to hating it & not wanting to go to school. Please can someone help?
Mum3 - 10-May-16 @ 9:41 AM
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