Q: I teach 3- and 4-year-olds in a childcare center in Australia. I always have a few difficult children in any group and the book in which you describe Alpha Speech ["The Well-Behaved Child"] has been very helpful. My disciplinary options are limited to separating a misbehaving child out of the group for a few minutes and talking, but I cannot isolate or take privileges away. Besides, it seems that the worst kids' parents undo at home what we accomplish in the classroom. Some of them even side with their children when they misbehave. Meanwhile, we walk on eggshells when it comes to discipline so that a parent doesn't file a complaint against us with child protection. What suggestions do you have for preschool teachers?
A: Go back to school and learn automobile repair. Better yet, learn baking. Hardly anyone ever sends dessert back to the kitchen.