BY SHERI TRUSTY
B-C-S School District staff got a lesson in child behavior management when Scott Ervin, who goes by the moniker “The Kid Whisperer,” returned last week to teach staff how to nurture strong, happy kids. Ervin, who first visited in August, spent the day leading Behavioral Leadership Training for staff. He returned in the evening for a Kid Whisperer presentation for parents at Oak Harbor High School.
Ervin is a former teacher and superintendent who has 23 years of experience working with difficult, at-risk kids. He pointedly said he hasn’t had an argument with a child in 22 of those years.
He spent his first year of as an educator, Ervin said, yelling at kids. That was before learning strategies for teaching children constructive behaviors that help them become positive, pro-social members of society.
“You have to have a high behavioral ceiling with kids,” he said. “Kids will never act better than we do. Positive social behaviors make kids happy long-term.”
Ervin began the parent presentation by teaching the audience a lesson on how not to argue with their children. Among other elements, the strategy included the direction to calmly tell a quarrelsome child that you don’t argue. The strategy, Ervin said, expresses to the child the message that, “I love you. You’re capable. This is your problem.
“I’ve been doing this strategy with great effectiveness with really difficult kids over an extended period of time,” he said. “When you argue with a child, you’re being manipulated by the child.”
Ervin will return to Oak Harbor on Wednesday, Jan. 3 for further teacher and parent training.
“He’s walked the walk, and we decided this would be good for us as educators and good for parents,” said B-C-S Schools Superintendent Cathy Bergman. “After his first visit in August, the staff instituted his strategies, and they said it’s working.”
Ervin is the author of “The Classroom Behavior Manuel.” He writes the nationally syndicated newspaper advice column, “Ask the Kid Whisperer.”
“It’s like a Dear Abby for parents and teachers,” he said.