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Behavior: teach kids to control their responses

Date: September 3rd, 2015
By: Polly Bath

Polly Bath: One of the things we are constantly dealing with in our schools and with our kids is that it’s always someone else’s fault. The kids blame other people for the way that they respond.

When I was an administrator, there was a parent who was very upset because someone had spit on their child. What would you do if somebody spit on your child in the hallway during an altercation?

Let’s be real, we would want to know who that child is, where they were from, what their address was, and we would want to spit on him!

The problem was, the child who got spit on had punched the other kid in the face.

So we actually had two things going on. The school’s natural reaction was to find a bunch of witnesses and see who started it. But the bottom line was that this kid punched the other kid in the face.

It was very difficult. The parent kept saying, “but that kid spit on my kid.” It took a long time to get past that. We understood where the parent was coming from, but the point was their kid had punched the other kid.

We need to teach our kids that they are responsible for how they respond to a situation. None of us can control what another person does. And even if we don’t like what someone does, each one of us can control our response. That’s what we need to teach our kids.