Email this pageEmail This Page

How to stay in control with a young defiant student

Date: October 10th, 2012
By: Polly Bath

Watch this video [1:46] for a tip on how to keep yourself under control, as well as the situation, when a young defiant student says “NO!”

Polly: “Depending upon the age of the student, if I say to a child, “Go ahead and sit down,” and he says, “No,” I will turn around and give him a Directive Cue. I’ll say, “Go ahead and take your seat, I’ll be right back to check on you.” Then I’m going to walk away from him at that moment, because I know he’s safe, and he’s just looking for what?

Audience: Your reaction.

Polly: That’s right. He’s looking to see. How hard is it not to get into it with that student?

Audience: Very.

Polly: Very hard. But the point is, what can I do that will lead to success for him, what can I do to help him follow the direction? My guess is this is a youngster who doesn’t follow directions on a regular basis anyway. I could have been saying, “OK, you pack your things and we’re going to Disney.” And he would have said, “No!” That’s the kind of kid we’re discussing, the kind of kid who is defiant no matter what you say.

How we work with him is going to be with as few words as possible, with little non-verbal cues – things that we’ll talk about a little later – to get the kid to just have a little control. What that kid wants to have, more than anything, is control over the situation. But then, we want control too.

We are in control, and you’ve heard me say this before, we are in control when we give a kid a redirection and then we turn to something else, because we’re not picking the fight.
Click on my video above for more.