How then can you control Little Johnny and the rest of the class? You can’t.
Attempts to control the class or make a child behave will only be an exercise in frustra-
tion. The only person you can control is you. The better question is how to expand
your sphere of influence so that you can help the class function better and help Little
Johnny make better choices. There are many strategies under your control that will
expand your sphere ofinfluence over the children in your care:
• Strengthen your personal relationship with children and their families.
• Learn new guidance techniques,attend workshops,read books,and consult col-
• Make a plan to help all the children develop the beliefs and skills they need to
manage their own behavior.
All these strategies are within your control.You will never have control over Little
Johnny’s bedtime or the discipline choices of his family, but by working to build
bridges of trust and respect, you can expand your sphere of influence and begin to
work with them as a team.
Be clear about those things over which you have direct control, those you might
influence, and those about which you may have concerns but no control.
Remembering the limits of your control will help you invest your time and energies
wisely when you make plans on how best to approach children’s behavior and social-
With an awareness of our sphere of control, what is our overall plan to empower
children to manage their own behavior?
Our Behavior Plan
Our plan is to help each child develop positive beliefs about how the world works and
learn the social and emotional skills they need to succeed in school and in life.
• We will provide a supportive and nurturing environment that meets children’s
needs physically,emotionally,socially,and cognitively so that children feel cher-
ished and safe.
• We will commit to providing interactions and experiences that help children
develop the strengths ofattachment,affiliation,self-regulation,initiative,prob-
lem solving,and respect.
• We will design specific intervention programs and support for children who
need additional help in developing the strengths they need for success in today’s
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