child sitting at desk in school
In some school classes there is lots of shouting. Most children can deal with the teacher raising their voice to tell off the children that are being disruptive. Some children can’t. They find it very scary when there is lots of noise in the classroom and they are afraid that they are going to be told off too.

Now I know you may not think this is a problem but to a child it really is. The problem is the velocity of the shout. It comes from nowhere and the loudness of the voice bounces off the walls of the classroom. To a young child that can be scary.

Learning to Cope with the Fear of Being Told Off

We need to be able to reassure children that this is a situation that they cannot change. They are not responsible for the behaviour of their classmates. They are only responsible for themselves. If they are behaving well then they will not get told off. They need to remember that the teacher has to shout sometimes to get the attention of those few children who are not paying attention.

The child needs to look around the classroom to identify who the teacher is shouting at so they know it is not directed at them. The child who is afraid of getting told off needs to think, “I am behaving. The shouting is not aimed at me. I should not worry”.

There are some children who want to take control of the situation by telling their classmates to behave and be quiet. The downside to this is that no one wants to be told what to do especially by someone who is supposed to be their friend. They may think they are bossy. It is best if they say nothing and let the teacher handle things.

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