Classroom Management Strategies
for Student Behavior Problems
I'm Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Youth Workshop Instructor and Youth Change Director Ruth Herman Wells, M.S. I've been teaching our workshop all over the U.S. and Canada in the last few months. No matter where we go, we are hearing that there are more and more deeply disturbed children and youth. We have been getting a lot of the same questions over and over again. I'm betting that if you're a teacher, counselor, court worker, juvenile justice officer, foster parent or principal, you've got some of the same questions too.
From what I've been hearing, clearly, many of you are feeling unprepared to manage the increasingly serious emotional and social problems you are seeing in your youngsters. We thought it might help to recap some of our best answers to repeat questions. Since it is very tough to give details in a brief educational article like this, consult the list of Behavior and Classroom Management Blog educational articles at right for excellent follow-up resources and more in-depth answers.
Remember, if you want more details than what we're able to include in this relatively brief blog article, be sure to come to a live workshop where we can devote hours to your key student behavior problems. You can also sign up now for our online course, or book us for your next inservice day or conference. One way or the other, we've got the innovative strategies that you need for working with severely misbehaved, difficult, troubled and challenged youth. We're here to help you reduce your serious student discipline problems now
Our Most Innovative Strategies
for Your Most Serious
Student Behavior Problems
What can I do to manage ADHD students when they haven't taken their medication?
Our interventions for ADHD-affected children are designed to work whether or not the child has taken their medication. You are simply going to substitute structure for that lack or internal or medicinal control. When you tell an ADHD child who is behaving unacceptably, to "stop it," the youngster may not be clear what the problem is, even though it may be obvious to you. It's important to give ADHD-affected children a picture of both the problem behavior and the goal behavior. Here are some terms you can use to paint a picture:
Slow-Rolling Behavior: This conveys a rate of motion that may be too slow to work well.
Speed-Racing Behavior: This term conveys a rate of motion that may be too fast to work well.
Pace-Setting Behavior: This conveys a rate of motion that isn't too fast or too slow, but just right.
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What medication works with Oppositional Defiant Disorders and Conduct Disorders?
This question generated a lot of discussion at an on-site inservice class sponsored by the Office of Education in Placerville, California. Hopefully, if you are a youth worker and a subscriber to this internet magazine, you now know the two mental health terms mentioned in the question. You see lots of these youngsters in your classroom or office, so it is critical that you know the terms. If you are unsure of the meaning, be sure to click on the additional blog articles listed at right. As safety issues are a stake here, it's important to do that.
As to the question, there is no medicine that is normally prescribed to rein in these very hard-to-manage youngsters. Instead, you must use methods tailored to each of these youngsters. Although both Conduct Disorders and Oppositional-Defiant youth may use very bad behavior, you have to use different types of methods for each group. If you use conventional methods with Conduct Disorders, you will find "nothing works." Further, the specialized methods that work best with C.D.s aren't the best choice for O.D.D. kids.
Here are some very basic Do's and Don'ts for Conduct Disorders only:
DO use maximum consequences
DON'T use any relationship-based methods like character ed, values clarification, empathy-building, making amends, apologies, etc.
DO provide maximum supervision at all times
DON'T give second chances
DO use multiple, varied consequences
DON'T believe it when C.D.s claim "there's nothing you can do to me"
If you are not really skilled and knowledgeable about C.D. and O.D.D. youngsters, you put yourself and your other students at great risk. Our site has a free, basic introduction article on these behavior problems. Although it offers a great place to start, this intro is hardly everything you need to know as "all you need to know" won't fit on a single web page. To get all the details of managing your most out-of-control youngsters who present the most serious behavior problems, be sure to heck out our All the Best Answers for the Worst Kid Problems: Conduct Disorders" book and ebook. It has the most thorough summary of the best, most innovative strategies for these two behavior disorders that exist.
What can I do about students who are so perfectionistic that they won't do anything?
Perfectionism can certainly be one reason why kids won't work. This topic is commonly mentioned in nearly any workshop we teach. In fact, we spend hours giving solutions just for work refusal. Since we can't fit all those hours here, we'll offer you one of the innovative strategies that workshop participants say works particularly well:
Teach perfectionistic students who decline work, the "3 Ps of Perfectionism", which is the cycle of perfectionism. This may help them become a bit more in control of the cycle. For example, a girl wants to be perfect, thus the first 'P', Perfectionism. Doing everything perfect is hard, so she may put things off, thus the second 'P', Procrastination. Now the tasks that have been postponed have piled up, and that is overwhelming, which can cause the third 'P,' Paralysis.
The more you can assist your youngsters to avoid the later stages of the cycle, the better they may function. In our workshop, we pair this type of intervention with strategies that lessen the perfectionistic child's fear about making mistakes. You may want to use that combination also as the two approaches together work better than either separately.
Want More Innovative Strategies
for Student Behavior Problems?
We can help you locate the resources you need. You can email, call 1.503.982.4220 or click our Live Expert Help button below at right. Our next professional development workshops are coming around the country near you. We hope to see you at a conference soon.