A Perspective on Challenging Behavior

While reading the December 2019 Edition of the Early Childhood Education Newsletter published by the Texas Education Agency, I came across the article below about students when they have bad days. It was too good not to share.

Challenging Behavior: Have You Ever Considered?

Have you ever considered?

Have you ever had a bad day, a really bad day? Recently I was driving home from work, taking my usual one-hour route when I realized I was stuck behind a serious traffic accident. There was nothing I could do but sit in my car. And, that is what I did….for 2 ½ HOURS! When I finally got home, I was in a foul mood. Normally, I am a rational adult and am fully capable of self-talking myself out of my misery, but I found it impossible that day to control my feelings and snap out of it. I went to sleep that night thinking “At midnight, even bad days come to an end.” (quote from Ms Moem)

Have you ever considered that young children also have bad days? They are, however, sometimes without the neurological capacity to reflect on why they are feeling the way they do. They walk into our classrooms and appear to want to make everyone as miserable as they are. They are impossible to console and seem to be deliberately unmanageable. Our efforts at helping them snap out of it fail.

What can we do? We can listen, just listen to them. They need to know someone understands and someone cares, even when it looks like they are pushing us away. There is no need to “fix it.” It can’t be done. It is important to recognize that this student will need more of our attention on this school day and that is ok. An unknown author states that “the best thing about memories….is making them.” On those really bad days in the life of a child, let’s strive to make positive, long-lasting, supportive memories.

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