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Behaviors At School

The Spoiled

Action: Identify causes of misbehavior. Pinpoint student needs being revealed. Employ specific methods, procedures, and techniques at school and at home for getting the child to modify or change his/her behavior.

Primary Causes of Misbehavior

Attention
This student may have used this behavior since a very young age to gain attention.

Power
This student realizes that he/she gains a great deal of power with such behavior.

Primary Needs Being Revealed

Sex/Sexuality
This behavior may have worked for the student as a way of establishing relationships in the past. Therefore, he/she still uses it in an attempt to establish relationships with peers and adults.

Escape from Pain
This behavior may be used to hide various fears in or out of school.

Secondary Needs Being Revealed

Aggression
This student has a need to be involved with others, but doesn't understand how to assert him/herself in a positive way.

Power
Sometimes people need to know they count. Spoiled darling behavior allows this student to "count," but in a negative way.

Status
This behavior lets the student feel he/she is somebody because of his/her ability to control others.

Autonomy
This student is attempting to get his/her own way.

Actions to Take
  • Solving problems is essential in developing good student relationships. However, examination may reveal that you're a pretty good problem solver with certain students, but you tend to categorize others and experience failure as a result. It is helpful to remember that problem solving requires insight-and insight can only be developed if you give both the student and yourself a chance. Therefore, be careful about developing a "fixation" when it comes to certain students such as the spoiled darling. Don't allow yourself unconscious assumptions or mental laziness. Instead, allow yourself insights, and you'll improve your relationship with a student-or an entire class.

  • Arrange for a private conference when this behavior begins to affect other students, or if you feel the behavior affects your teaching.

  • Students need to learn certain lessons if they want to be successful in relating to others. So it is with the spoiled darling. Teach this student that self-indulgence is simply a way people try to make themselves seem superior by making others feel inferior. In truth, the reason people adopt this protective shield is often that they feel they don't quite measure up.

  • Remind the student that others see what he/she is doing, and that this behavior causes others to dislike him/her. Point out that a person who is self-indulgent is intolerant and is not respected. The self-indulgent student appears bored with everything that doesn't involve him/her, is usually sarcastic and difficult to befriend, and approaches others graciously only when he/she needs something.

  • Explain that maturity has been defined as moving from being a taker to being a giver. Until the student makes such a move, it's unlikely that he/she will be a happy, fulfilled, and productive human being.

  • Make sure the student understands that, although others may yield to his/her demands, you are not intimidated in the least.

  • Define the specific behavior that you find disturbing and precisely what the student can do to change the behavior.

  • Contact parents early if you see no attempt to change this behavior.

  • Prepare well for a parent conference, because parents may be very defensive about their son or daughter. Parents usually have contributed to this student behavior.

  • Keep in mind that this child pits school against home and vice versa to meet his/her needs. For instance, the student may be telling parents that they must provide certain things because the school has requested them.

  • Look for attempts to improve behavior. Recognize that it has taken a long while for a student to arrive at this behavior. Any significant change of behavior will be a slow process.

  • Once you have developed a plan to work with the student, stay with the plan. This is very important.

List of Behaviors

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Please Note
We are labeling behaviors, not children! For the sake of convenience, we will describe behaviors with terms such as The Whiner or The Interrupter.

Never use such labels when talking to—or about—children! Doing so could cause many new problems and seriously damage the teacher-student or parent-child relationship.