Student can't accept being wrong

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by missrebecca, May 30, 2015.

  1. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    May 30, 2015

    There's one child in my 1st grade classroom who has an extremely difficult time with being wrong -- whether it's inappropriate behavior (he disrupts class and misuses objects constantly) or an incorrect answer on a worksheet. He gets extremely upset, argues, cries with or without tears, hides under tables, etc. In order to be right, he will copy other students' answers and make up lies when he is caught doing something inappropriate. He has also done things like bringing money or an extra Lunchable to give to other students "so they will be nice to me." People tend to dislike working with him because of the aforementioned behaviors.

    I know this could be normal behavior on occasion, but it happens ALL the time, every day, and he spends a significant portion of the day not participating.

    It seems like he simply can't handle being wrong. I've been googling around for ideas on why this might be/how to deal with it, and everything from ADHD to childhood narcissism reflects his behavior. Not that I want to label the child, just trying to hunt down solutions.

    The parents are extremely supportive of him, and have told me that because of his difficulty in school, they try to be very positive/encouraging with him at home. He seems to have a good family environment.

    When his behavior or answers need to be corrected, what do I do? Just telling him once and leaving him alone doesn't tend to have any effect... but making him change the situation right away often results in a power struggle. Should I give him more space? Give him more/less praise? More/less attention?
     
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    May 30, 2015

    How does he handle it when someone else is wrong?
     
  4. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    May 30, 2015

    By giving support are the parents telling him how smart he is, or are they encouraging trying and working hard?

    I always point out when I make a mistake and let the kids know that we still all survived!
     
  5. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    He doesn't seem to mind unless it affects him. For example, if he copied the wrong answer from someone else, he'll say "But she had it on her paper!" Or if someone tagged him at recess but he thinks they didn't (or just doesn't want to be tagged), he'll shout at them and tell them to stop/leave him alone.
     
  6. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    From what the parents tell me, they are encouraging him to try and do his work in school, not just praising him, and they have spoken with him about better ways to handle these situations. They have explained that he just wants to "be number one" at everything, and if he's not, he gets very upset. I'm guessing that eagerness to succeed might have rubbed off from the parents to some degree.

    That's a good thing to emphasize! I try to point out my mistakes, too, but maybe I should do it more obviously. All students can benefit from that. :)
     
  7. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    May 31, 2015

    Hi, speaking from over 20 years experience working with young children, this is far more serious than anyone realizes. The children I speak of required extensive therapy, at least weekly and as they grew older, their problems didn't go away. Most
    times these types of problems arise from being coddled by parents, etc. Sometimes there are medical issues. Beware of doctors who hastily medicate. There should be better alternatives.
     
  8. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I'd be the type to let him have his space.
     
  9. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    Thanks for the advice, everyone. Looks like giving him space will be the best option... I guess it's one of those issues I can't "fix," but I can work with it.
     
  10. Securis

    Securis Cohort

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    Jun 3, 2015

    Modeling appropriate behavior. Set up with another teacher. You be wrong and play it out in front of the entire class. It may or may not be effective but it is worth a shot. It's what we would do when I worked with special needs young adults.
     

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