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Enforceable Statements

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by

Miriam Johnson

on 14 May 2013

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Transcript of Enforceable Statements

Setting Limits
with
Enforceable Statements The happiest students are those with teachers who set reasonable limits. The Enforceable Statement Over the next few days, you may want to
identify one enforceable statement,
experiment with it, and
see how it works. The happiest teachers are ones who know how to set and enforce these limits without having to raise their voices. When we say, "You will . . . ," we lose control.

When we say, "I will . . . ," we gain control. The Power of Questions "You will" statements . . .
create resistance
trigger the "fight or flight" response Arguing Will some students try to argue, even when you've done a great job of using these skills? This Module Teaches:

Techniques for setting limits while minimizing power struggles.

Tips for consistenly enforcing limits without raising your blood pressure.

How to take really good care of yourself. What's Wrong with Telling a Kid What To Do? Exercise 6.1:
Setting Limits with Enforceable Statements Avoid trying to set too many limits at once.

The KEY is setting the ones that we really need and the ones that we know we can back up. Teachers who know how to set and enforce limits experience fewer discipline problems, enjoy teaching more, and have a lot more energy left over at the end of the day. Love and Logic claims . . . ? Are there some students
who immediately get defensive or resistant when limits are set? How do demands, threats, or warnings work on these kids? Charles Fay, Ph.D.: How to Get Kids to Listen (3:00) The key to setting enforceable limits is to describe what WE are willing to do instead of telling students what THEY should do. The only thing we can truly control is OUR OWN behavior. Whatever happened to the "good old days" when just about every kid would do as told?

When "we" were kids, didn't we HAVE to listen to our teachers? If we didn't, did we not believe that horrible things would happen?

What do today's kids believe? Do many behave as if their constitutional rights have been violated if teachers tell them what to do?

Do many of them seem to have "CAN'T MAKE ME!" stamped across their foreheads? The quickest way for a teacher to lose power with tough kids is to tell them what to do.

What is likely to happen if a teacher orders, "Keep your hands to yourself!"

How long might it take the resistant students to start touching one another . . . just to prove they can?

How long will it take for them to prove to themselves - and the rest of the class - that the teacher is powerless?

Mere seconds. Focus on the only thing we can control:

There are sweet, compliant students all over the world who always do what teachers tell them.

They are a joy to teach, but they do teachers a great disservice by "tricking" us into believing we can control what we really cannot . . . another human being.

Success with giving orders is akin to playing a slot machine. It "pays off" in an unpredictable manner. Have you known adults who seem compulsively addicted to giving orders? With Enforceable Statements, our words become gold because we avoid setting limits we can't enforce. Unenforceable Statements Our words are garbage.

Hand your papers in on time.

Quit arguing with me!

Raise your hand when you want to talk.

Stop talking!

Put your names on your papers!

That's it! You have afterschool detention until you get a better attitude!

Do your work! Enforceable Statements Our words are gold.

I assign full credit to papers handed in on time.

I'll listen when your voice is calm.

I listen to students who raise their hands.

I teach when there are no distractions.

I grade papers with names on them.

I'm going to do something about this. We'll talk later.


I will like you regardless of how well or how poorly you do in my class. Come see me if you want help. Don't overwhelm yourself!

Teachers who are successful with Enforceable Statements

Take it slowly

Experiment with just one or two at a time

Modify them to fit your unique style

Enjoy!! Using Enforceable Statements is a powerful way of staying focused on the controllable . . . and maintaining your authority in the classroom.

Like any other skill, it requires planning and practice. Betsy Geddes, Ed.D.: Relationships & test scores - fight or flight (1:29) Remember . . . Avoid trying to set too many limits at once.

The key is setting the ones we really need and the ones that we know we can back up. Charles Fay, Ph. D.: Questions (2:06) For most people, talking in enforceable statements and questions is not second nature.

The more practice we have, the more natural it becomes. Exercise 6.2:
Enforceable Statements and Questions I listen to one person at a time. Three students respond with, "Teacher, teacher, teacher."
a. "Will you please be quiet and wait your turn?"
b. "Can't you ever remember what I've told you?"
c. "So, how do you get me to listen?" I'll be grading all papers that are turned in on time. A student responds with, "But I have a really good reason."
a. "Why can't you just live with the rules?"
b. What papers do I grade?"
c. "Is your dad the superintendent? I don't think so. You have to turn your papers in on time, too." I'll be sending kids who have a coat in hand to recess. A student responds with, "But it's not cold out there today."
a. "Who am I sending?"
b. "Why do you always argue?"
c. "Did you know you can die of hypothermia?" I allow students to stay with the class when they aren't causing a problem. A student continues imitating the sounds made by noisy barnyard critters.
a. "How many times do I have to tell you to stop that?"
b. "Do you think that's funny?"
c. "When do students get to stay with the class?" Limits are meaningless if students are able to hook us into arguments over them. What do we say when a student tries to manipulate us through arguing? I respect you too much to argue. One of the benefits of using enforceable statements is that it helps us avoid getting hooked into trying to control what we can't. One Final Thought:

Orders and demands create defensiveness.

Enforceable statements stimulate thinking. Our words are garbage.

Hand your papers in on time.

Quit arguing with me!

Raise your hand when you want to talk.

Stop talking!

Put your names on your papers!

That's it! You have afterschool detention until you get a better attitude!

Do your work! Unenforceable
Statements
Full transcript