“Oh my… you’ve got some troublemakers in your classroom, haven’t you?” says one of the teachers to a colleague in the meeting room, sipping her tea.
No. I have got kids in my class that have challenging issues to deal with. Kids that are giving a signal with their behaviour, that they aren’t doing so well. Most of the time they have a tough past or are going through a sad situation now.
Kids ‘have’ difficulties, instead of ‘being’ difficult. That is a totally different way of approaching them. They don’t need another label.
“Wauw, I never looked at it this way… You are probably right!”
We (moms, dads, grandparents, teachers, nannies, doctors, … all adults!) ought to look at every single child without judgement, listening his (her) story and just being there for him (her). Why should a child give trust and open up to someone that might hurt him (her)? We must invest in building our relationship with him (her). We should stimulate his (her) talents and motivate them to accept themselves the way they are. Because they are all entitled to gentle care and true friendship, no matter what worries they bring to school, or back home.
Every child is unique.
Every child is perfect.
Every child has talents.
Every child has feelings.
“I am good just the way I am.” Wouldn’t that be wonderful, if a child believes this about him(her)self? When you notice disturbing behaviour, try to connect with your kid. Put all your stuff aside (no smartphone. No TV. No laptop. No one else around). Lower yourself to the same height. Pick a spot where the kid feels comfortable and safe to open up to you. Reach out to hold hands. Maybe he/ she would love to feel a hug and a caress on his (her) back? Silence can be healing too. Maybe he/ she wants to speak. Don’t interrupt. Tell them you understand their feeling. Just let them ‘be’. And more than anything: don’t force them to be like anyone else.
They need that space too.