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When It Seems Like Every Behavior is Disrespectful…

Date: December 6th, 2012
By: Polly Bath

Watch this video [2:02] to learn what might be going on if you are seeing most problem behaviors in your classroom as disrespect. Behavior expert Polly Bath offers her usual useful advice.

I want to talk about a sensitive topic right now.

It’s called respect, or disrespect, or lack of respect.

It’s something that really gets to us because we can’t understand why a child, or another adult for that matter, would treat us disrespectfully.

I want to caution you about the word disrespect. We can take a lot of things personally. If a student doesn’t do their work in class, or a student doesn’t have their homework, or a student doesn’t have the materials they’re supposed to have, we may say, “That’s disrespectful to my curriculum.” Or, “That’s disrespectful in my classroom.”

When, in fact, in essence, it’s usually refusal.

When we define it as refusal, instead of disrespect, we’re less likely to take it personally.

If you find yourself calling many behaviors disrespectful, you may be taking things too personally.

When we do that, we have a very difficult time climbing out of a situation.

And remember: In order to teach respect we have to maintain our own dignity in the process. If we approach a child who we consider is very disrespectful to us by screaming, yelling, or chasing them down the hall with a finger, we may have lost our own dignity and our own self-respect.

So we don’t ever want to do that if we want a student to learn how to be respectful.
Click on my video above for more.