Any parent will yell “Help!” whenever she gets reports that her child is misbehaving at school. It is truly a cause of concern, especially when the child is relatively behaved at home but acting otherwise at school. Because misbehavior can easily become a pattern, it is highly important to address this issue at once. In many cases, failure to correct a bad behavior can cause serious character flaws in the child as he grows up. And by this time, it is much harder to correct the problem. So if, as a parent, you find yourself receiving misbehavior reports every now and then, here are some ways to stop your child’s unacceptable behavior.
- Find out the cause of the child’s misbehavior. Behavioral experts say that all types of behavior have an underlying cause. There’s some sort of trigger, in other words. So if your child misbehaves at school, you need to find out what causes it. It can be that he wants to get attention, he is bored or struggling at school, he channels emotions differently, or he asserts self-confidence in an aggressive manner. You can sit down with your child to talk about it, although, of course, he won’t tell the cause straight. No child would ever say, unless he is old enough to understand his own behavior that he wants to get attention. You have to decode his verbal and non-verbal language to determine what causes his misbehavior.
- Assess how your family life affects the child’s behavior. Your household has a great impact on the child’s behavior. For instance, the rigidity of a discipline plan, or the lack thereof, shapes up your child’s behavior and carries it through the school. Family problems like divorce, financial downfall, or sickness can have an affect on your child, too. If any of these is the cause of your child behavior at school, immediately plan a course of action to address it.
- Sit in the class. Take some time out to join your child in the classroom. This way, you can know what it feels like to be in his school, in his classroom, with his teachers, and with his friends. You can have a fair understanding of your child’s misbehavior and possibly find out its root. Sitting in will also alarm your child and send him the message that you are serious about correcting his behavior and you will go as far as observing him at school .
- Meet with the teacher. When the school asks you to come and talk, respond and meet with the teacher. Or you can take it upon yourself to set a meeting with the teacher any time you receive a misbehavior report. Ask the teacher how exactly your child is acting at school and what could be the possible cause of the misbehavior. To encourage transparency, you can also have your child join you in the discussion. This way, you will know both sides of the story.
- Establish a discipline strategy. Disciplining a child is very necessary in correcting his behavior. But however you discipline your child, whether you cut his TV time or ground him for days, you should explain to your child why you are doing this. Remember that when children are being disciplined without knowing why, they might develop worse misbehaviors.
When your child improves, make sure to give him some reward or commend him verbally. Positive reinforcement will make your child aware that you are appreciating his efforts and will result in his consistency.