Unkind Behavior in Students

This morning, Caryn Navis, our school counselor, met with teachers to discuss ways to address unkind behavior in students. While bullying receives a lot of attention (and rightly so), smaller instances of unkind behavior often go unaddressed. Karyn’s instruction to us, and my advice to you is that we address every single instance of unkind behavior we see. Whether in school or at home, this can be exhausting! Here are five simple steps to follow when addressing unkind behavior:

Take the child aside and talk privately in a calm voice. Don’t argue. Stick to these points:

  1. I saw you _____. (Repeat to them what you saw and heard exactly.)
  2. That was unkind.
  3. I would never let someone treat you this way, and it’s not ok that you did that to ____. (Name other child.)
  4. We don’t do that here (I often say, “This is not who we are as a family.”).
  5. That needs to stop.

Unfortunately, our children have unkind behavior modeled for them throughout our communities. They are growing up thinking this is an acceptable way for people to treat one another. Simply being kind ourselves might not be enough to undo the effects of the behavior they’re seeing all around them. We must be intentional in teaching the behavior we wish to see.  

Thank you, parents, for partnering with us as we seek to raise our children to treat others with the love of Christ.  

Tim McAboy

Head of School


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