I coach youth wrestling and this year I’ve ran into my first trouble kid. He teases other kids, makes undermining comments about practice and clearly has a problem with authority. My initial reaction was to pull him aside and reprimand him for the behavior but I believe that might be an all to common problem at leading to the behavior now. I recently got my certification and I’m sure I’ll run into people down the road with similar problems. Not sure what to do any suggestions?
I too agree with chatting with the parents, but also think you may not get the result you’re looking for, as they may be contributing to the problem. I’m also not sure that making the child your “assistant” is the right way to go either. Not only would you be rewarding the behavior, but what message would it be sending to the other children who are following the rules and doing as you’ve asked.
Often times when children act out, we first look to punishments as a way to correct the behavior. I have found that with older children, if we treat them with respect and value their opinions that we can gain their cooperation. I like Noel’s suggestion of talking to the child. He may not want to be there. This may be something his parents have pushed him into doing. He may feel inadequate or have other things going on at school or home that are causing him to act out. A talk with him is warrented and possibly setting up a way to positively reinforce the behavior you’d like to see from him. An award for the class or individuals if they follow the rules. Acknowledging a child of the “class” for most improved, most helpful, best leadership or encouragement/support/sportsmanship.
Opening up lines of communication with the children and their parents will help you to spot issues before they come up and make you all act better as a team.