Helping kids who find it hard to wait….

A year one teacher asked me this week what he could do to help a six year old in her class who kept calling out, waving his arms around to get her attention and was unable to wait his turn. I suggested the teaching assistant in the class take the child out of the class for ten minutes every day and provide him with opportunities to practice and develop the skills of being patient and waiting his turn. I encouraged her to read to him and before she turned each page to say ” I wonder what will happen next?” To enable him to wait and think before he found out. I encouraged her to read it slowly, and ensure she praised him for being able to wait, by saying ” You are doing really well waiting, it can be hard to wait.”
This will enable him to practice the skills he needs to manage being in class more easily and enable him, his teacher and the other children to feel more positive towards him.
If children have poor self-regulation and impulse control this may mean they find it difficult to be patient, wait their turn and not shout out or interrupt in class. This can be very frustrating for school staff and the other children, resulting in them being reprimanded by adults and disliked by their peers. The more opportunities we can provide for children to practice and develop these skills at school, the easier it will be for children and staff and the more positive children will feel about themselves.

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