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Child Who Doesn't See You As The Authority?


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I have a little girl in my class who I am not sure sees me as the authority figure! I am wondering whether this is because I am quite young. So is her mum and from what others have told me, she is allowed to get her own way at home a lot. I think she thinks she can do the same with me!!


My TA is much older that me and this little girl will do what she is asked first time. Howver with me, I will have to ask her 3/4 times before she does the same sort of thing.



Advice please on how to handle and manage this! At the mo I am currently turning things into a race which she loves e.g. "Lets see if you can get the toys away in 10 seconds etc" But I can't go on that way forever!! :o


Any tips please? She is the only one in the class like it and I want to nip it in the bud now!

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Hi yellowdaisies, my personal thought is not to go on keep asking her several times but introduce consequences for non compliance...nothing harsh but i think if she's responding to another person there is an element of defiance going on here.


We use 1,2,3 with a reminder before the counting begins. Eg they are instructed (in a nice jolly way etc) and if that doesn't do it then 'I'm going to count to 3 and if the book isn't back on the shelf then it's ....(sanction) this gives another opportunity to comply. Then count and when 2 comes along a second reminder 'if i get to 3 then it's...' and then follow it up.

After a minute of sanction (time out) ask again if they are ready to do whatever it was you asked. If they are great, if not leave them be and ask again after another minute or so. Once things have been done you can chat through the why's and wherefores, praise them and get them back into play etc


Also watch the vocabulary you are using - don't say 'would you' 'will you' 'do you want to' etc as you are giving a choice...and inviting a 'no'! Use 'instruction' words.


It seems harsh but children do appreciate boundaries and I feel they learn persistence when you dont follow things through...touch wood it works for us and there are no raised voices, frustrations etc from staff just a calmness and it's rare we get past 1!!


Obviously it's a slightly different approach for those children new or quite young but for those who know the rules it is effective.


Best if luck and remember things tend to get a little worse before things improve!

Edited by gingerbreadman
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I've been the 'older' figure at times. I havent witnessed deliberate non compliance with an younger persons requests, but i would always back up that person or say to the child 'your teacher has just asked you to...' Does your TA say anything similar?

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I have a little girl like this too. Reading between the lines she does exactly as she pleases at home too.


I make sure I am near her when i give her an instruction and often place a hand on her shoulder, hold her hand, get down to eye level and give an instruction clearly. I have found that this is more successful. For times when I am not in that close proximity I use the counting down method - child's name followed by an instruction, as gingerbreadman says, be careful with your language. If it looks like she is going to ignore then I remind her that her peg(all children start on the sunshine each day and can move up to the rainbow or down to the cloud or further down to the thundercloud) will be moved in 10seconds and then start to count. always a 'well done' when she responds but I then make sure I am over praising the children that are doing the job/task without the count down....hoping to plant the seed in her head that perhaps she would have had this fantastic praise if she had done what I asked the first time. We also have a thinking chair if the instruction she is not following is a serious one.


In my child i believe that her behavior is absolutely attention seeking.


Yes to Gingerbreadman's comment - is your TA making the right 'bounce back' comments and reinforcing who is boss? The message then is a unified one.


Hope this helps.

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