Don’t you get Fresh with me!!- Behaviour Modification Part 1

This is the 1st part of the series on Behaviour Modification  based on the book- Don’t Give me that Attitude

Picture by Flickr

Doesn’t it really irk you when your child answers you in a very scarstic tone ” Well make me!! I just don’t want to do what you say OK!!”  I’m sure that such a tone will drive any adult up the wall. While you grit your teeth seething in anger you realise that it would be useless to engage yourself in a battle of wits with your child. He is all out to undermind your authority and challenge almost everything you say.

How then should one go about changing their attitude from blatent disrepective and rudness to Respect, Caring and Reverence?
In Borba’s Book she mentioned that first of all you need to be able to address the following questions

  1. Why?
    What is bringing about such an attitude? What does the kid benefit from acting in such a manner?

    I have a student in my class(lets call him Samuel) who constantly loves to answer back and act as the “class clown”.  I learned that he was seeking attention in class but going about it the wrong way.

  2. What?
    Are there certain issues that caused him to act fresh? Attention or seeking revenge?

    For Samuel he was extremely attention seeking and loved to have instant recognition or gratification for his actions.

  3. Who?
    Does he display the same fresh attitude to everyone?

    Samuel was being fresh to me and also to his parents. He however does not use such a tone when interacting with the discipline master or school counselor.

  4. When?
    Is there a particular time of the month or day that he is fresher?

    Samuel was affected by how other pupils interacted with him in class. If they were unfriendly or picked issues with him it would result in him being  “Fresh” with me. I realized that I needed to learn how to monitor his triggers and try to reduce or eliminate them.

It is not an easy process but definitely worth the effort if your ultimate goal is for your child to improve in his behaviour.

Borba recommends a  5 step approach makeover.

Step 1- Clearly Identify Your Kid’s Fresh Behaviour.

Step 2- Announce a ” No Freshness Policy” and Then Stick to It.

Step 3- Refuse to Engage with a Fresh-Mouth Attitude

Step 4- Set a Stern Consequence If Fresh Attitude Continues.

Step 5- Find ways for Positive Contributions.

In regards to Samuel what irked me about his behaviour is his Fresh body gestures. He love rolling his eyes and using sarcastic tones to undermine my authority as teacher in class. He love the attention he was receiving due to his misbehaviour.  Answering back to him was leading no where.

This term I started with a new approach to him and am still monitoring his progress since the new term started two weeks ago.

My approach with him was to

  • let him know that I do not approve of his behaviour and such rudeness will not be tolerated
  • ignore him if he starts acting up again after warning him that he will have to stay back after class for a nice “talk” with me.
  • removing privileges from him when he fails to behave in class.
  • Modeling to him how to ask nicely Ie:” Could I be allowed to sit with my friend Tim during pair work? “
  • praising him when he is attentive and co-operative in class.

In the past two weeks I have seen lesser outbursts from him. He gets along better with his peers also as he is not as curt in his words.

Have you had episodes where your child was being Fresh with you? How did you handle the situation?