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De-escalating behavior: LISTEN

Date: May 28th, 2015
By: Polly Bath

Polly Bath: When a child comes to us about a matter, one of our biggest mistakes is that we can’t seem to be quiet and just listen. We are too quick to try to de-escalate the child that we don’t let them talk and get it off their chest.

I’m guilty of it. Everybody is.

The kid will stop talking to think about what he wants to say next. But he doesn’t do it fast enough. So, we prompt the child. Inside, we have a response right away. We know what we want to say, what we want to give the child.

But we have to be able to just sit, and let them talk. And let them keep talking, we don’t have to say anything.

I have found that, sometimes, after being able to talk, the kid will say, “You know what? I know what I’m going to do now.”

People will come to me and say, “Wow! You did an amazing job solving that kid’s problem!”

I didn’t do anything. I sat there and listened. He was able to solve his own problem because I gave him the time of day and listened to him.