In the last post, we discussed how important it is to change your mindset when it comes to children’s behaviors. We also worked on three action steps that can help you change your mindset when you become stressed or angry. In this post we will look at two more action steps that will build on the answers that you gave in the previous action steps. These action steps are adapted from the Conscious Discipline program by Dr. Becky Bailey.
Step Four: Identify the action that the child does that causes you to feel stress. Does the child:
Run around the classroom?
Hit other classmates?
Bite other students?
Some other action?
Step Five: Recognize what your actions are when you become upset. What do you feel inclined to do when you are upset? A good place to start is to fill in the blanks in this statement:
While upset, my inclination is to punish by ________________ or get the child to feel bad by _______________ or to blame ________________.
Children are much more than their behaviors, and it is important for you to develop a process by which you can separate your feelings for the child from your feelings about the child’s behavior. In order to change anything about the environment or how you implement your curriculum, you must first change your mindset about the behaviors that you see in the classroom. It is so easy to begin characterizing children by their behavior: “That one is bad,” “That one never listens.” But the important thing to remember is that children are people, just like you, and you wouldn’t want anyone characterizing you by traits that aren’t you: “She doesn’t listen to anything,” or “She is a bad teacher because she never does ________.” We all do the things that we do for a reason, and just as you wouldn’t want to be characterized by what others perceive as faults, neither does a child.
In the next few posts I will be outlining a series of action steps that you can take in order to begin changing your mindset about a child and his/her behavior. These steps are adapted from the Conscious Discipline program by Dr. Becky Bailey. Today we will work with the first three action steps:
Step One: Identify the child in your class that creates the most stress for you.
Step Two: Return to the post about trigger thoughts and identify the trigger thoughts that you regularly experience in connection with this child’s behavior.
Step Three: Identify the feelings or emotions that you go through during the child’s behavior. A good place to start is the list of emotions in this post.
In the next post, we will work with the next two action steps.