Question Detail

How to deal with very rowdy children?

Aug 18, 2013 1:03am

I teach 4 year olds and have 4 boys in my class that are extremely rowdy, rude and abusive in nature. Attention span on these boys are short and parents are not helpful as they are having issues at home with them and seek my assistance. It is very hard to teach my other students when I am constantly stopping the class to deal with these 4 students. Time outs do nothing, nor does talking. HELP! any other suggestions.

  • Pre K-2
  • Behavior


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    • Aug 18, 2013 12:38pm

      Thank you, I will try this with my students.

      • Aug 19, 2013 4:27am

        Some ideas -
        1) Try to pair a "rowdy child" with a calmer one for partnerships and errands. When a child likes another child, he/she will do almost anything to keep their approval.
        2) As best you can, ignore the "rowdy behavior" but jump on it when the child does the right thing. Get the other kids to support you by saying things like "Did everyone notice that --is sitting quietly on the rug so we can read our book. Let's clap for him!"
        3) Try to assess how long the child can hold it together. Then head off the problem by giving him something else to do before he disrupts. For example, in the middle of the story whisper to him to go get a tissue or throw something out.
        4) If your relationship with these little guys has deteriorated to the point where they may be unsure about how you feel about them, try to rebuild it by chatting pleasantly with them during snack or centers.
        5) If the rude behavior is rude language that expresses frustration or anger work with the whole class on appropriate ways to express those feelings.
        6) 4year olds still believe in magic and the power of adults. If one of them does something good, make a big deal about you can see they grew up. eg.1Turn them around , examine them and declare them better behaved and then reinforce it everytime you can. 2 I brought you these special magical shoes that are for walking not running. Let me put them on you. They are so beautiful. Now lets see you walk.
        7) Take it one day at a time. Focus on one behavior ( running, cursing, walking around) not all of the "rowdy" behavior and if it dimishes even a little feel good about it. Let their parents know what you are working on so they can work on that "one behavior" at home.

        • Aug 19, 2013 10:37pm

          4 year olds cannot be still for long. Make sure you let them know that they are a valuable part of your classroom by giving them jobs, with hands on activities, and trying to keep them separated as much as possible.

          • Aug 21, 2013 9:57pm

            You have some great advice here. I would add that four year olds have very limited experience with real school settings. You have to teach student skills and social skills very deliberately. Make all your centers and work times about this and let the academics come later in the year. It will be easier to teach the whole group when then are working together as social unit. Eventually you will be able to see who is the instigator of the rowdies and coach that little one in how to be a leader.
            Good Luck with your year