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The Surprising Truth About Winning Power Struggles with Students Every Time -by Ruth Wells
Here's the absolute, no-fail way to win every power struggle with every kid every time: Don't struggle for power. Think about it. The minute an adult wrestles with a kid for power, they've immediately lost. And, the younger the child, the more true that statement becomes. To give you an image, you want to take your "sails" out of their wind, so to speak. Here are some specific tips and tricks to use instead of getting caught up in the "Yes, you will"-"No, I won't" battles when everybody loses.
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*** It's Fun to Torture Adults: For many youngsters,
it can seem like sport to "trap" an adult in a power
struggle. What better way to get out of doing what
you are supposed to be doing than to debate it? For
example, if you run a counseling group, you may notice
that it seems impossible to get some youngsters to
come to group on time. Instead of taking group time
to debate if "the bus was late" is a satisfactory
excuse, turn it over to the group. The group may
decide, for example, to have the latecomer clean
up after the group is over, a natural consequence of
inconveniencing the group members. Notice the issue
switches from being an adult-kid issue to a
kid-to-kid issue. Once your group has set a
standard policy, never waste time debating again.
*** BONUS TIP: Set an on-going limit on how long
you'll discuss compliance issues. Your youngsters
will know that they have only a brief time frame,
and that this time can not be during group or class
time, but on their own time.
*** Meet the Bickersons: Teach kids about the "bicker-
backs", when people get into a griping match. Teach
them how to spot the "bickers" and to stop the
"backs". They'll learn that you won't bickerback and
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