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Do you use questions to manage behavior?

Date: January 11th, 2017
By: Polly Bath

Polly Bath: I don’t want to ask kids questions anymore. I really will refrain from asking kids questions. We’re not talking about critical thinking. Of course, we want to have kids think critically and ask questions.

However, I’m not going to ask you a question that I feel is going to be a silly question, or a question I’m hoping to get an answer that I’m never going to get, like, “Don’t you know how to behave?”


I’m never going to get the answer I want, because what kind of answer do I want?

“Yes! I do know how to behave, miss, but right now you’re tapping off a fine motor skill deficit, and because I have a processing challenge, it’s very difficult for me to write this long paper. So I’m wondering if there’s some sort of ways I might be able to use my expressive language skills in a different type of medium.”

That’s not what I get. I get, “This is stupid, I’m not doing this.” I get rip up the paper. I get break the point of the pencil so many times that you have to go up and sharpen and sharpen and sharpen it to the point where now the bell rang and the class is over, because the function of your behavior was to avoid the situation.

So, do you know how to behave in every circumstance? Not necessarily.