Moline-Coal Valley School District No. 40

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Behavior Intervention » Avoid power struggles

Avoid power struggles

Why should I do it:

  • It is a quick method to de-escalate a student
  • It keeps you in control


When should I do it:

  • When student is trying to verbally engage you in an argument


How do I do it:

  • This technique takes a lot of patience, support, self-control and self-talk
  • Keep responses brief; avoid lecturing
  • Try re-direction if student is able to be de-escalated
  • Remove student from situation and discuss the issue after time to calm down
  • Use reflective listening “I am hearing that you feel this assignment is unnecessary”
  • Ask open ended questions
  • Use body language that represents openness: If you are sitting, keep legs uncrossed and lean toward the person; If you are standing, keep arms uncrossed and legs open---people often mirror their emotional response with others’ body language
  • Use humor and validate student’s feelings