Lesson 70: Sometimes You Just Need to Ignore. No Reasoning is Needed.




There were a lot of mischievous kids but this one was really a hard one.


Coach Lynn had to stop her lesson, looked at Jake and said, "Jake, don't run, sit down." Jake cheered and continued his running. "Jake, stop it." Jake still continued to run. "Jake, now it's time for lesson, so sit down." Jake remained deaf to Coach Lynn.



In the end, coach Lynn reached out her hands and caught Jake when he ran passed her. Coach Lynn twinkled and said, "Sit down," while she was bringing him and placing him onto his seat.



Once Coach Lynn turned around, Jake started to run around the classroom again.



Coach sighed, "Jake, didn't I say that you should be sitting down, did I?" So she tried to catch Jake again.



This time Jake had learned his lesson, detoured and escaped from her.




Suddenly I noticed something odd when I was looking at Jake. He peeped the coach and me wherever he ran to. He secretly observed us.


All human behavior has a reason. All behavior is solving a problem. (Michael Crichton)



My intuition told me that Jake was trying to get our attention. It was an attention seeking behavior. Sometimes, kids will purposely do something annoying to attract adults' attention because we tend to focus more on the bad behaviors than the good behaviors. Aren't we? 

If you go to any classroom, you would usually hear the teachers shouting at the naughty, playful and mischievous students, commenting these, "hey xx, do not make noise!"; "hey xx, why didn't you complete your homework?"; "hey xx why couldn't you listen? Everyone please do not learn from him." We almost never say "Hey xx completed his homework today! Good job!", "Hey xx was very polite today! Well done!", or, "Hey look at xx, he helped his friend today and we shall learn from him!"



Ya, almost never.



How would the kids think?



"The teachers seem to like him a lot because they often called his name. I would like to be like him."



Hence, some obedient kids learned the bad behaviors.



I guessed Jake was one of them. Thus, I signaled Coach Lynn to ignore him and avoid looking at him. 


Jake continued running around and peeping us. We chose to ignore him. When he ran to the left, we looked at the right. When he ran to the right, we looked at the left. He intentionally paraded around us but we avoided him and paid attention to the other students.

After a while, he sat at his seat. Great! Finally!

Unexpectedly, Jake started to knock the table loudly.

"Knock-knock-knock! Knock-knock-knock! Knock-knock-knock-knock!" The knocking sounded louder and louder each time as if he would break the table.

Coach Lynn could not bear with it, "Jake, don't knock on the table! We are having class."

As a result, Jake knocked even harder.

Coach Lynn looked at him, wanted to stop him but was intercepted by me. I was giving sign to her so that she could ignore him.

Therefore, there is no one who responded to Jake while the students were listening to the lesson attentively.

The knocking disappeared. After a while, it came back and disappeared again. A few moments later, it came back but that time it was softer than the previous two times. Again, it vanished into the air. The next knocking was even shorter, lighter and softer before it ended.

The knocking never came back after that.

Usually we would take time to explain what were the good behaviors that the kids should display when we encountered kids who disobeyed the instructions. If the kids continue to disobey the rules, That would be the time for some light punishments, like deducting points, quiet zone or time out. Coach Lynn tried several ways to teach, to advice,  and to stop Jake from his inappropriate behaviors however, none of the methods were working for him.


Judgement is wisdom. It is a must to judge properly, differentiate before we do anything (Joshua J). 


Jake understand the instructions but his intention was to attract our attention and care. However, the coach did not understand his intention thus any efforts would be in vain. Sometimes, adults do behave in the same way. When you encounter somebody who intend to attract attention via negative behaviors, you may want to differentiate his intention before you decide the way to respond instead of spending efforts reasoning with him.

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