|When a Child Plays Rough|
Ways to help the child who crashes and bumps into other children
One little boy in my class consistently plays too roughly. He crashes into people with a smile on his face and, when we're outdoors, rides his tricycle around children playing, threatening to bump into them. How can I get John to calm down?
The first thing you have to ask yourself is how you define rough. Does John shout during outside play, race around, roar like a lion, and get the other kids caught up in his wild games? Excited shouting and vigorous, active play are normal behavior. As teachers, we can help children channel their energy, but we wouldnt want to stop them from shouting and running in situations where it may be appropriate, such as during outdoor play. On the other hand, does John hurt himself or other children, disturb their games, or break things? If so, he has a problem that needs to be addressed.
What causes rough behavior? There are a number of possible reasons for rough behavior, ranging from the physical to the emotional. Some children (often, but not always, boys) simply have a lot of aggressive energy. Activities that others experience as pleasurable play, such as quietly building a block tower, can feel confining and dull to a child whose urges compel him to RUN and SHOUT and SPLASH and CRASH.
Some children are
slower to develop impulse control. (You and I might want something that
a friend is holding, but our ability to control our impulses keeps us
from snatching it.) Maybe John is still at the stage where wanting turns
into grabbing without thinking.
How can you help? Of course, no matter what the reason is for Johns rough behavior, you cant let him hurt people or destroy their belongings. What to do? Some suggestions: