Classroom Discipline Tips for Children & Youth Workers, Sunday School & Other Bible Teachers

What do you do with the child who is in constant motion?

What you do depends on the cause.

First, is the child moving hands and feet all over the place to get attention?

If so, ignore this behavior where possible so as not to reinforce his efforts. Negative attention is better than no attention. Perhaps you can give him opportunity to use movements constructively by acting out the story in front of the class, helping to distribute materials, etc. Know your students' needs and get them involved before they begin acting up.

Second, it could be that the child flies into motion as a means of release from fatigue or emotional stress.

The way to discern this as the cause is to find out what is happening in the child's life. Whatever the emotional upset, this child will need a large dose of love, understanding, and a listening ear. Where accepted, help may be given in the home situation. You may find it necessary to give the child a time out from the classroom in which he goes to a quiet place to pull himself back together. If this approach is used, be sure it does not come across as punishment. That will only complicate his problem.

This method may be employed successfully for the third possible cause as well -- that of hyperactivity.

Sometimes a teacher's only recourse to minimize disruption to the class is to recruit a helper specifically assigned to this child. The helper would watch for pre-explosive signs and work toward deploying the problem by calmly talking with the child, distracting him from what is causing his anxiety, or removing him to the quiet environment previously discussed.

"For teachers, counselors, principles, parent or other authority figures, the series Marching to the Beat of a Different Drum will help you learn about, and how to best help, your students with ADD/ADHD."

Marching to the Beat of a Different Drum

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(Last updated 9/01/15)

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