Establishing ground rules for discussing kids with challenging behaviors

When discussing kids with challenging behavior, a few things are recommended to keep the discussion from falling into a complaining and blaming session. They are as follows:

  • Share your frustrations using “I” statements. For example, “I feel frustrated when Suzie talks through the lesson” or “I feel angry when Tom says he’s bored after I’ve spent hours planning a lesson”.
  • Let the person sharing a frustration have time to say what it’s like – on a human level, before other staff go to problem solve. People want to be heard and acknowledged that it is hard.
  • If someone goes into blaming or running a kid or their family down, gently yet firmly remind them that we are staying away from the blame game.
  • Buddy staff up with a partner to chat together at staff meetings. Some people do not want to share with a bigger group a frustration that’s eating at them, but they will divulge with a partner.