It looks like the description of the “drip, drip dripping” of behaviors resonated with some people.
People asked (rightfully) whether I had “strategies” for such children, like Carter who was previously referenced (.“Drip, Drip, Dripping”)
It will be essential that Carter’s teachers and parents are fully on the same page. The parents and teachers need to agree on a targeted behavior of concern and define it clearly for Carter.
For example, if Carter tends to push on line or make clicking mouth noises, then those become the targeted behavior. It will be helpful get a basic baseline as to how often it happens in the day (recognizing you will miss some).
Talking to Carter directly would be a next step. The goal is not necessarily improving Carter’s behavior, but increasing his self-awareness.
My theory would be that if Carter becomes more self-aware, then behavior will incrementally improve.
Here’s what a teacher might say to Carter.
“Carter, we need to talk about something. You’re a nice kid and I feel bad that other children don’t want to play with you. You do want to have friends, right? You feel bad because you think others are mean to you, is that true?”
(Carter nods his head.)
“OK, we need to work on that. I know other kids can be mean to you, but if you want to have friends you need to think about a few things, ok?
(Carter nods again.).
“Well, I’ve noticed that you make a lot of clicking noises through the day. Those noises really gets on other kid’s nerves. You also push on line a lot to try and get up front. What do you think happens then?”
(“They get mad at me and don’t want to be my friend.”)
“Brilliant!!!! I knew you were so smart! So, how about we have a plan. When I come around to your table I’m going to listen carefully and if you are not making any clicking noises or making silly faces, I’m going o put a big green check on this chart that I’ve set up for you. At the end of the week if you get at least 10 checks then you can pick out a little prize from my bag of prizes. It’s just going to be between us. So what are we working on together?”
(“Me, not making clicky noses or silly faces.”)
“Right again! And what might happen after a while of doing that?)
(“They might start being my friend.)
Look, I know this is a made up dialogue and it’s not going to be this easy, but it’s a start. The Carters of the world have a tough time of it.
You, as parents and teachers are looking to help Carter understand that he has some choice and that by choosing better over time things can improve for him.
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