13 Discipline Tricks from Teachers
How teachers get their kids to behave (and how you can too!)
WHEN THEY'RE ACTING UP
Channel their "superpower"
When a child repeatedly acts out in a particular way, find the positive in it and help her use this "power" for good, not for evil. Christine Herring, a third-grade teacher from Monroeville, PA, recalls one girl who was ¿ber-bossy, which caused her classmates to reject her -- and led her to misbehave. "I told her, 'You know, you have a strong personality, and someday you could be President. But the problem is, to be President, people have to like you. Your friends don't like it when you're bossy. So think of yourself as a President-in-training, and start really working on respecting your classmates, listening to them, and knowing when to use your bossiness.'" Once Herring had helped the girl understand the best times to use her strong leadership ability, like when organizing a game, things went more smoothly.
If your child can't sit still, his superpower might be "energy," which you can direct him to use at the right time and place (for the fastest cleanup on record, maybe, or when he's out in the yard). If she's a cutup and disturbs other diners in the restaurant with her Hannah Montana medleys, praise her ability to make people laugh, but give her an outlet where her superpower will be appreciated -- a musical-theater class, for instance, or an evening performance for you and your husband. If she breaks into song at the wrong time, you can say, "You're not using your superpower correctly," says Herring. "They start to get it after a while."