How can a teacher handle a child who becomes argumentative when confronted?


How can a teacher handle a child who becomes argumentative when confronted?

As a teacher, it’s not uncommon to have to deal with confrontational students.

However, when a child becomes argumentative during confrontations, it can be challenging to know how to handle the situation.

To effectively manage such behaviours;

  • The teacher needs to remain calm and composed.
  • Listen actively and acknowledge the child’s feelings while also setting clear boundaries.
  • By using positive language and providing options, the teacher can help the child feel heard and understood.

In addition to the above;

  • Do not confront the student in a group situation.
  • Do not use an accusatory tone upon approaching the student.
  • Evaluate the situation that led to the confrontation.
  • Do not back the student into a corner. Leave room for options.
  • Do not make threats that cannot be carried out.
  • Allow your emotions to cool before approaching the student.
  • Maintain the appearance of control at all times. Use a clear, firm voice.
  • Give the child an opportunity to speak his/her piece.
  • Allow for role-playing, and doing role reversal.
  • Try to explore and discover what led to the confrontation. Avoid repeating these circumstances.
  • If you made an error, admit it!

With patience, empathy, and persistence, a teacher can help a child overcome their argumentative behaviour and create a positive learning environment for everyone.


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