Children’s struggles to meet expectations

At one time or another, all children struggle to meet expectations, but how they exhibit that frustration can range greatly from whining or sulking to hitting, screaming or biting. How adults react may be helpful or not, and could have a lasting impact on relationships.

Ross Greene, Ph.D., is an author and expert in working with challenging students, and he will address these issues in a free talk on Monday, Oct. 8, 5 p.m., at the Clune Center at Wilton High School.

Greene believes “kids do well if they can.” When they cannot do well, it is because they have lagging skills and unsolved problems. Difficult behaviors are how some children communicate that they are struggling to meet adults’ expectations. His work helps adults identify the lagging skills and unsolved problems that lead to the behavior, and then how to work collaboratively with a student to teach new skills and help solve problems.

District cooperation

Greene will also address elementary, middle and high school faculty on Oct. 8, which is a professional development day for district staff. They will continue to work with him throughout the year as each school establishes a 10-person team to become proficient in his techniques and develop skills in coaching others. The district has worked with Greene to create a plan to help teachers, faculty, administration, staff, and parents learn how to help students with effective self-regulation and problem-solving strategies.

Greene served on the teaching faculty at Harvard Medical School for more than 20 years, and is the founding director of the nonprofit Lives in the Balance, which provides free, web-based resources.

His presentation at the Clune Center is appropriate for parents with children of all ages, stages, and abilities. Registration is recommended at The program will begin promptly at 5. Questions may be directed to Genevieve Eason at