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Behavior: reacting to eye-rolling

Date: March 12th, 2015
By: Polly Bath

Polly Bath: When a child rolls his eyes at us, how do we feel?

Aggravated, right?

The problem is, we can’t do an eyeball restraint. It just doesn’t work! You can’t measure it, there’s no technique for it, we can’t control it!

Sometimes eye-rolling is unconscious. So, when dealing with an eye-roller, the best thing to do is NOT go down the “disrespect lane.”

Instead, pull the kid aside and say something like, “You know, every time I hand you a paper, I don’t know if you know this or not, but you do one of these with your eyes. This can cause you trouble later. It can be interpreted a lot of ways. For example, most people view it as disrespectful, not listening, pushing things away. So, from now on, every time you roll your eyes, I’m going to call your attention to it. I really need you to work on this, because it will impact you later.”

A lot of times, especaially for high school kids, they roll their eyes without even realizing that they’re doing it.