of Difficult Children
deficit disorder (ADD /ADHD)
Have the children repeat your directions.
Announce what you
are going to say before you
Provide the children with a quiet place to
work in addition to their
"Chunk" their work and provide frequent
Have the child work with a non-ADD child (but
not the same child all the
Make frequent eye contact.
Keep them busy but provide breaks.
Seat the child close to the parent or the
Use extra motivation but think in terms of
challenges, not bribes.
Monitor progress often; they need frequent
Teach organizational skills.
Actions of ADD children are impulsive because
their thinking processes
are so slow. They need structure, rules, routines, and adult direction.
Preplanning is the opposite of impulsivity.
Help them think through a
situation and plan their actions ahead of time.
Help the children to have an organized
schedule for their daily homework
Provide feedback to help these children
become observant of their own
Provide social coaching to help them deal
with situations which could provoke
Prepare these children for unstructured times.
Pre-teach desired behaviors.
Handwriting is very difficult for some of
these children. Consider
alternatives, particularly keyboarding.
With other children, stress preparation prior
to going to school.
Provide extra supervision.
Train automatic behaviors, routines, and
Use instruction; tell them what to do; have
them repeat instructions;
reinforce correct responses.
Children in Sunday School Classes
today's Sunday schools,
servants are faced with extraordinary demands. To be successful,
be able to minimize any disruption within the classroom. To protect the
integrity of the learning environment, servants need the following:
- Servants need to lead by example.
- Examine your seating arrangements. If you
have arranged, children desks
in a manner which stimulates conversation and interaction between them,
your classroom design is part of the problem.
- Attention-seeking is the one
behavior which responds positively to being
ignored. Continue your lesson while moving toward the attention-seeking
using your physical proximity to subdue the behavior.
- When dealing with interruptions,
consider the age of the children. Young
children interrupt because whatever is on their mind is the most
issue in the world at that moment. They are absolutely convinced that
be just as concerned about it as they are. At this age, they must be
when interruptions are appropriate and when they are considered rude.
- For older children the key is to respond by
an eye contact and a signal
such as holding out your hand in a typical "Stop" motion. Then, at
the right time, remember to ask them what they wanted to say.
- For children who throw objects around the
room, remove all potential
objects from them. Use physical proximity and supervision to limit the
of students to engage in such behavior.
- When a child wanders around the
classroom, work avoidance is one of the
possible causes. Investigate whether or not the child is capable of
attention. Redirect the child; some children need to move around every
often, especially those who are diagnosed as ADD or ADHD. These
be provided with opportunities to have their needs met in non
- If a child enjoys bothering others, move his
desk to a location close to
where you spend most of your time. If necessary, use isolation. Ensure
the student practice his skills for sitting quietly and respecting the
- Crosses and icons in the class room inspire
children to the presence of
- Some children love to play the
role of class clown. Often, such a child
will truly have a great sense of humor. Teach him how to choose the
right time and
place for inserting humorous comments, how to respond positively to
from you, and how to judge the appropriateness of comments.
- Lower your voice and become more assertive,
not more confrontational.
Stay calm. Becoming agitated suggests the defiant student is winning.
- Do not allow the child to draw you into
conflict. Avoid unnecessary
confrontation. If necessary, deal with the defiance later.
- Defuse the situation. Humor is often a
powerful tool to use in these
- Do not challenge a defiant child,
particularly in front of his peers.
This would force the child to save face by doing something dramatic.
possible, deal with the child in private.
- Distinguish between "deliberate" defiance and
"spontaneous" defiance. Only punish deliberate defiance. Choose a
punishment which makes it absolutely clear that this behavior is
- When dealing with these children, it is
important for servants to insist
on compliance with minor behaviors such as greetings, please, thank
this up, and put this away, and so on.
- Keep in mind that the biggest issue in
dealing with an incident is what
will be done to ensure the behavior doesn't occur again.
- Teach defiant children effective ways of
dealing with any frustration or
anger which may have precipitated their behavior.
- After an incident, watch for occasions when
the child handles similar
situations appropriately. Acknowledge the child's efforts in this
children are the ones who have a dramatic, negative effect on the
- Resist the temptation to offer bigger and
bigger rewards in an effort to
convince these children that cooperation is worthwhile. This type of
feeds their selfish attitudes. The children will happily go along with
playing you to see how much they can get while simultaneously giving
less. Never try to out-manipulate manipulators. You will lose.
- Apply higher levels of supervision, not
because they deserve it but
because they need it.
- Train small behaviors, including courtesy
skills and entry routines.
- If rewards are used, ensure they are
“shared” so everyone benefits from
- These children tend to be extraordinarily
self-centered and selfish. Insist
they do things for others, including the community at large.
- Create opportunities for difficult children
to work with young children.
They often display excellent behavior when they are engaged in these
difficult children only make successful transitions to positive
they have something on which to “hang their ego.” Unless
their pride comes from
skills which we develop in them, it will come from association with a
particular group. Hence, pay special attention to the need to identify
potentially great skill in each child and design opportunities to
skill. Be creative. There are many examples of boys being proud of
in hymns. Girls may likewise be proud of sports and debating.