Teaching a 4th grader when to speak up and not speak up


There’s a segment of kids I work with who are strict “rule followers” meaning they like following rules AND they also insist that others follow rules as they see fit.

When these rule followers perceive that other kids aren’t following rules they may tattle on them or “police” them in an attempt to try to change their behavior.

As you may imagine, this often results in negative backlash from the kids who they have tattled on/ trying to police. Often,(due to their difficulty with perspective-taking) the rule follower then perceives that they are being bullied because of their peers negative reaction to their behavior.

This past week, I was working with a fourth grader who has a strong sense of social justice and sticks up for others, a wonderful trait to have at a young age. Because he is also a very literal thinker he tends to see things in “black and white” and doesn’t always understand the nuances as to when he should speak up or not speak up.

We worked on discerning the difference between when he should stand up for a peer, when he should not say anything and when he should getting an adult involved.

This type of nuanced thinking can be very challenging for kids with ADHD who tend to be very literal which is why we need to teach how to put things in a relevant context.

Sign up at http://www.adhddude.com to learn how you can help your child improve their ability to think socially.

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