In this counseling answer:
“Do not blame the child for your frustration with his parents. There may be physiological reasons for his behavior that are out of his control, as is the case with children who suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. He may also be dyslexic. He may have hearing or vision problems that when undiagnosed manifest themselves as behavior problems. Remember that this is an innocent child.”
As-Salamu `alaykum, dear sister.
It seems from your letter that you are a teacher having problems with a student and his parents. The nature of the child’s problems are unclear. The attempts that you and your school have made with the parent’s are also unclear. Because of this I can only attempt to help you in general terms.
It is not uncommon for parents to refuse to recognize the problems their child has. In fact, they will often make excuses for their child. He is misunderstood. He is only very active. The teacher does not challenge him or give him enough attention. It is possible that some of these things are contributing to the problem, but usually there is some underlying issue that the parents may really see but refuse to admit. This may happen from fear or ignorance or embarrassment. They may feel guilty or overwhelmed by what is going on.
There are many techniques and tips in dealing with specific behaviors and problems. If you can be more specific I can try to help you use them. In general:
1- Do not blame the child for your frustration with his parents. There may be physiological reasons for his behavior that are out of his control, as is the case with children who suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. He may also be dyslexic. He may have hearing or vision problems that when undiagnosed manifest themselves as behavior problems. Remember that this is an innocent child.
2- Make a fresh start with this child. Renew your intention as a Muslim teacher to try to help him for Allah. To try to help him have a brighter, successful future one day at a time, or one hour at a time, or five minutes at a time.
3- Use positive reinforcement in your class. For example, if it has been five minutes since this child’s last outburst, then praise him. “Wow, you made it five minutes without a problem. That is great! Now, let us see if you can make it ten minutes! I know you can do it. You are a wonderful young boy. We can do this together.”
4- Have a reward system in the class. Use it to reward the children for any positive things they do. “Everyone who is sitting at circle time ready for a story gets a sticker” then count to three, giving the stragglers time to succeed and get into place. At three pass out the stickers or put them on the name chart next to the names. Encourage the ones who did not get a reward by reminding them that there will other opportunities during the day for them to get a reward.
5- You can point out to the parents what techniques work for you in the class. Do not force them to see things they are not willing to admit, like a big diagnosis.
6- Work on one behavior at a time. “Your son has trouble concentrating in class. When we work on that together, I am sure then can help him.” Even in the case of no parent cooperation, maintain your composure and have a plan of action that you can implement on your own.
7- Remember to use Islam and Islamic examples and keep making du`aa’.
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