Yesterday I subbed for second grade. It was a CTT class, which stands for Collaborative Team Teaching. I had the pleasure of co-teaching another teacher. I was taken aback by how effective she was with the kids. It was quite a large group, 28 of them, and at any given moment there was a child having a difficult time paying attention.

When the kid would “act out” by calling out with out raising their hand, start touching the dry erase board in a distracting way, talking to their friend loudly and other disruptive behaviors, the teacher would calmly and quietly turn to that child and say:

“Joey, take a break.”

Joey would quietly confidently walk from the rug (where the rest of the class was sitting) and sit in a seat at an empty table. Then after a minute or so, Joey would meander back to the rug and have a more successful time focusing.

This whole exchange got me thinking about parenting. As a classroom teacher, you are responsible for the well-being of 28 children.

Their well-being encompasses their physical state- making sure they don’t harm themselves or another child physically, and their emotional state, making sure they maintain a level of emotional balance. If they are angry sad, or frustrated, allow them to let it out without hurting themselves or another kid in the class.

As a parent, you are responsible for the same things, but your energy is only focused on one child, your own. What I learned, while watching this particular teacher in action, is that staying calm and consistent when dealing with children is effective.

I know, from my experience with Ari, that when I hesitate and question what I’m doing, he senses it and acts out even more. On the other hand, when I am consistent and say “clean up your cars and put them in this box.” eventually, after he realizes I am not going to waver or change my mind, he will do what I’m asking of him…most of the time.

Consistency is key.

What techniques do you find effective in parenting or teaching? What do you do when your child acts out?