How I continue to whup that cursing Mexican-American kid into shape.

@TheHorse (153571)
Walnut Creek, California
May 14, 2022 11:43am CST
His teacher couldn't handle him any more. He will transfer into the classroom where I usually work in a week. He was cursing out his teacher in Spanish (she speaks Spanish), hitting other kids, and refusing to nap at nap time. I would be called in at nap time. I got him to sleep by patting his back in rhythm to the music they played. I told him that's what I was doing. It worked. When he said "What the f*ck are you doing" as he approached a group of kids playing "family," I grabbed his wrist, took him over to the sand box, and said something like "Here we don't use that word you just used. Can you say 'What the heck are you doing?'" I had him practice it with me. After a couple of weeks, I asked him "Can you say 'What are you playing?' 'Heck' is not a really bad word, but it's a bit rough." So now he's cursing less, falling asleep at nap time even when I am not there, and interacting better with his peers. But he still randomly hits kids when he passes by them. And he takes pleasure in making other kids cry. My next task is to teach him about "macho man" greetings like a gentle pat on the shoulder and high fives. One cannot "extinguish" maladaptive behaviors. One can only teach "replacement behaviors," as Albert Bandura and others have taught us. I will keep on keeping on with this kid. As a male, I am a role model for him. I see him imitating some of my behaviors. I will try to engage him more outside, and to model the behaviors I would like to see in him.
12 people like this
12 responses
@DaddyEvil (79076)
• United States
14 May
I hope he doesn't eat grass and hay like you do... The other teachers and kids might not understand.
4 people like this
@TheHorse (153571)
• Walnut Creek, California
14 May
I think they would understand. This kid does have natural empathy. I have already taught him the words, "Are you OK?," in English. I may empower him by asking him to teach me those words in Spanish.
4 people like this
@DaddyEvil (79076)
• United States
14 May
@TheHorse You don't already know how to say that in Spanish? If you know and he figures out you're not serious, that could go against you.
4 people like this
@TheHorse (153571)
• Walnut Creek, California
14 May
@DaddyEvil How do you say "Are you OK?" in Spanish? I suppose I could look it up. I do say "OK?" to him if he falls. That word seems to be pretty universal. I am not sure what you mean by "not serious." He knows I am generally "fun," but that I mean it when I say "We do not hit our friends here."
1 person likes this
@marguicha (186455)
• Chile
14 May
He might have had a horrible man role in his house. In Mexico, even some men with post grade schooling can be roug with their wives. Cultures has changed a bit but not enough. In my country, violence against women is a problem too. It is difficult to erase those ways without having the boys feel that they are sissies.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (153571)
• Walnut Creek, California
14 May
Yep. I want him to know that "macho" men can be gentle with women and children. And even with other men who are not their enemies. As you know, I am a ("white") macho man. I won a softball championship along side of a teammate who guarded Michael Jordan (a famous American basketball player--have you heard of him?) in college. I want this kid to know that you do not have to hurt those weaker than you to be "strong."
1 person likes this
@marguicha (186455)
• Chile
15 May
@TheHorse I hope you teach him that. What do you mean by "white macho man?" The adjective does not have to do with race but with behaviour.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (153571)
• Walnut Creek, California
15 May
@marguicha Most of the kids I have worked with over the years have been black or Latino. I have often wondered if my pallor is relevant to the kids. I address it in one of my "scholarly articles." I actually believe it is irrelevant to younger children.
@Deepizzaguy (65493)
• Lake Charles, Louisiana
14 May
Wish you the best in changing the student to act like a gentleman instead of a mean person.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (153571)
• Walnut Creek, California
14 May
We are moving in the right direction.
1 person likes this
@Deepizzaguy (65493)
• Lake Charles, Louisiana
15 May
@TheHorse That is good to know.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (153571)
• Walnut Creek, California
15 May
@Deepizzaguy One of my influences is something called "Humanistic Psychology." Some of its proponents were/are Abe Maslow and Carl Rogers. The assumption is that humans are basically "good," and that negative experiences can undermine that innate "goodness." It runs counter to the ideas of "conservative" Christianity and Sigmund Freud. This kid has a loving side that I want to nurture. I can't "extinguish" his tendency to curse and hit other kids. Rather, I will try to "redirect" those tendencies to appropriate situations. If he and his dad want to hit each other, or wrestle, and curse each other out, that's fine with me. But I want him to know that macho man behaviors at the preschool and later in school, can be manifest through sports, protecting others, etc. And that we don't use bad language at school. Another of my influences is Albert Bandura. He writes about the importance of "modeling." Kids imitate the behaviors of those they look up to. So I will continue to model playing catch, helping other kids up when they fall, etc., for this kid. I enjoy this kind of work.
1 person likes this
@Hannihar (121130)
• Israel
15 May
@TheHorse You work miracles with kids. I bet you can whip him into shape. Good luck. He sounds like a real bully. It sounds like he listens to you.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (153571)
• Walnut Creek, California
15 May
At his age, he is "experimenting" with being a bully. I assume his father is a bit of a bully. But I am going to keep working with him on on other ways to be "macho."
1 person likes this
@Hannihar (121130)
• Israel
16 May
@TheHorse Yes, kids pick up traits from their parents or siblings and this one was not a good trait. Good luck with working with him on other ways to be macho.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (153571)
• Walnut Creek, California
16 May
@Hannihar Thanks! Kids do model the behaviors of those they look up to. I have a plan for him today. I'll write more about it later.
1 person likes this
@FourWalls (42515)
• United States
15 May
It’s too bad you can’t randomly hit him to show him how wrong that is. But, maybe you could give him some “play money” and randomly take some from him to show him that it’s NOT cool.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (153571)
• Walnut Creek, California
15 May
The kids and I sometimes use leaves as currency (for buying pretend ice cream, pretend gas, and other goods). But I think I'll stick with the occasional whuppin', to show him who's boss.
1 person likes this
@FourWalls (42515)
• United States
15 May
@TheHorse — oh, you’re Tony Danza? Who’s the boss????
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (153571)
• Walnut Creek, California
15 May
@FourWalls Tony who? Heh. I didn't have a TV in those days.
1 person likes this
@wolfgirl569 (53819)
• Marion, Ohio
15 May
Glad he is doing better. He might have a rough life at home
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@TheHorse (153571)
• Walnut Creek, California
15 May
He does have empathy for other kids most of the time. I think his father (at least he HAS a father) talks rough with the child's uncles in front of him and is "dominant" toward his mother. His father does not realize that the child will imitate everything he says and does.
1 person likes this
@wolfgirl569 (53819)
• Marion, Ohio
15 May
@TheHorse It could be. But that stuff needs to stop before he gets in school as many will just send him hime.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (153571)
• Walnut Creek, California
15 May
@wolfgirl569 That's the plan. I haven't worked in elementary schools recently, so I don't know what their threshold is for sending kids home.
1 person likes this
@RubyHawk (59621)
• Atlanta, Georgia
14 May
You are a gift to these kids who need your help. I wonder what kind of parents these kids have to be such horrible role models. The kids suffer for it.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (153571)
• Walnut Creek, California
15 May
Many parents don't seem to understand that a child will imitate much of what they say and do.
1 person likes this
@RubyHawk (59621)
• Atlanta, Georgia
15 May
@TheHorse But parents should know that and try to be a good role model for their kids. No parent is perfect. I certainly wasn’t But mine did grow up to be good men. I take pride in that. They might have grown to be good men no matter how they were raised. I don’t know.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (153571)
• Walnut Creek, California
17 May
@RubyHawk Heh. Give yourself more credit. The apple does not fall that far from the tree.
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (387233)
• Switzerland
15 May
You can surely do a lot more for him as you are an adult male and he can see you as an example. I am sure he lives in a family where men are rude and gross and they curse and they abuse the women.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (153571)
• Walnut Creek, California
15 May
Yep. So it seems.
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@LadyDuck (387233)
• Switzerland
16 May
@TheHorse - I hope he is young enough to be reprogrammed.
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@TheHorse (153571)
• Walnut Creek, California
16 May
@LadyDuck That's one of the reasons I like working with the young ones. There's still a chance to radically alter the course of their lives.
1 person likes this
@LindaOHio (92294)
• United States
15 May
I'm glad that this kid has a role model in you. Perhaps he'll be a proper young man yet.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (153571)
• Walnut Creek, California
15 May
He has it in him!
1 person likes this
@BarBaraPrz (36476)
• St. Catharines, Ontario
14 May
You're a good man, Charlie Horse.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (153571)
• Walnut Creek, California
14 May
Yes I am. I admit it. As Americans, we can only stand proud an tall against enemies if we are unified.
1 person likes this
@Morleyhunt (21773)
• Canada
14 May
Children will mimic those they look up to. It sounds like he is responding to your redirection. Good luck.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (153571)
• Walnut Creek, California
14 May
So far so good. I would love to chat with his dad, but I don't know if that will happen. If the child looks up to me, he WILL model some of my behaviors, including being a good athlete awhile simultaneously not being mean to the "weak."
1 person likes this
@marlina (144297)
• Canada
14 May
How old is he?
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@TheHorse (153571)
• Walnut Creek, California
14 May
He is 4-years-old.