Are You Teaching Deeply, or Redirecting Behavior?

Several years ago I was working with a five-year-old boy named Drew. One morning at school, he was hanging up his coat and backpack when another classmate arrived, accompanied by her mom. It was just like the start of any ordinary day, but then I heard Drew’s voice… “You are scary!” I paused, hoping I had heard him incorrectly. Then I heard it again, “Yeah, you look really REALLY scary.” Yes, it was happening. Drew was calling the mom of one his peers scary. Repeatedly, in fact. I wasn’t sure why AND I was the one “in charge.” Taking a deep breath, I considered my options:

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