I thought the first two weeks of primary went so well because of our new meeting time. As it turns out, the first two weeks of primary went well because my instigator was absent from class.
I’m at a loss of what to do. All of the kids in my class know what it means to be reverent. All of them can tell you that they need to sit in their chairs, listen quietly, not speak out of turn, and pay attention. But for some reason, if the instigator is present, none of them seem to be capable of doing that.
This past Sunday was going well. With only a couple of reminders I was able to keep them in their seats and mostly participating for Singing Time and Sharing Time. When we got to class, that all changed. My instigator decided that he needed to make weird noises, turn around in his chair, hang off his chair, move his chair around, whine about not wanting the Scripture Journal he was given during sharing time, and about a zillion other things to disrupt the class. I tried ignoring it, but that just led to the other kids copying him and me having to quiet down all 5 boys and 1 girl. I tried quickly asking him to sit reverently and getting back to the lesson, but that led to the other kids copying him and me having to quiet down all 5 boys and 1 girl. I tried telling them that I had stuff so they could color when we were done with the lesson. That worked real well for everyone else, but only for about 2 seconds with him, and then he started laughing and that led to the other kids copying him and me having to quiet down all 5 boys and 1 girl. Do you see a pattern here?
It wasn’t my proudest moment, but at the end of the lesson I was so done that I said it was time for prayer and only those who could be reverent would be allowed in the classroom while we said prayer. He, of course refused to even sit right-side-up in his chair, and the other kids were all laughing, so I asked him to sit in the hall so we could have a reverent prayer. I left the door open a crack to make sure he didn’t go anywhere, we said our closing prayer, and then I looked out and saw that he was very disappointed. I asked him if he thought he was ready to be reverent so he could come back and color his picture. He came back in, threw another fit about not wanting the Scripture Journal, and when his big brother came by to pick him up he left the class with a smirk on his face that said he was glad he had made class as miserable as possible for yet another week. It’s the same smirk he leaves with almost every week.
At this point I’m not sure what to do. I’ll most likely be at a funeral this weekend and need to get a substitute for my class, but I’m not sure who to call because I don’t want anyone to have to go through that torture. I would call his parents and ask them to sub just so they can see what he does in primary, but I have a feeling that he would behave differently if one or both of them were there.
Are there any miracle cures for getting a 6-year-old boy to be reverent who seems bent on doing the exact opposite of anything that you ask just so they can get attention? What do you do if giving positive attention first doesn’t help? The only way that would help was if he was the only person in class because the second my attention slips to one of the other kids he’s doing anything he can to get it back. I feel like I have been jumping through hoops every week for the last year trying to find just one thing that keeps his attention and nothing has worked so far. What would you do?