Where, oh where should you send that troublemaker???

(One minute read)

Gosh! Where did the summer go?? For some students, school starts this week – perhaps even today or tomorrow. How do we set up kids to have a successful school year?

One final example to “Choose the Situation/Setting” that will lead to success..


A 12-year-old boy claims that the boys sitting near him make him laugh, get silly, and throw food, especially at lunchtime. He doesn’t know why he’s getting into trouble instead of the other kids who are instigating him.


First, when teachers create their seating charts for the school year, it is important that they avoid placing like-minded troublemakers near each other. Instead, place well-behaved neighbors as good role models.

(Parents and therapists: advocate for your child/student!)

Second, a 12-year-old can be taught to choose a situation/setting that will lead to success and can be encouraged to come up with a plan for lunchtime or recess so that he will not be tempted to do trouble.

Here’s a simple red and green that can be drawn and role-played:

Sitting near instigators vs.
Surrounding myself with the cooperators

Perhaps he might choose to sit near or play with a different group of kids. Or, at lunch, he can sit right next to his rabbi where the students are on better behavior.

Whereas for younger children, we (the parents and educators) might choose the situation or setting, it is more helpful if we explain this strategy to older children so that they can apply it themselves to challenging situations in the future.

By doing so, we empower them with tools they can use for the rest of their lives.



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