When you have a child who is well-behaved at home it can certainly come as a shock when you receive that call from their teacher saying that, well, they are not behaving at school.
This Jekyll and Hyde act can be common for children, who are accustomed to one set of rules at home and another at school. However, it can leave a parent feeling helpless – how can you correct a behaviour when you are not even there?
#1: Get to the Root of the Problem
Every behaviour has a reason, so if your child is acting out at school you need to figure out why. Children don’t typically act out without a reason for doing so. The easiest way of eliminated a behaviour is eliminate or work around what is causing it.
Issues at school are usually caused by underlying struggles such as frustration, the inability to sit still, teasing, bullying and imitation.
So, for example, if your child is acting out because they are frustrated with the material being taught, you may want to consider a tutor or providing them extra help at homework time. You could even speak with their teacher about providing modified lessons that your child can better comprehend.
Once you know what is causing the behaviour, you can begin to take steps to correct it.
#2: Talk with the Teacher
Ask to have a meeting with your child’s teacher. Here you will dig into the cause of the problems and have the opportunity to discuss the rules at home with the teacher.
It’s possible that the cause is simply a difference in routine between home and school. You can troubleshoot ideas with the teacher to try and align the home rules with the school rules.
Meeting with the teacher will also give you an insight into the relationship your little one has with their teacher. If there are incongruencies between their personalities, this may be causing behaviours as well.
#3: Talk to Your Child
Since your child is at the center of these issues, it is best to get their opinion as well. Keep the lines of communication of open with your child and let them know you care and want to hear their side of the story.
A simple conversation may be all it takes to uncover the cause of the problem. When your child feels comfortable being open and honest with you, they are more likely to disclose why they are behaving the way they are.
Otherwise, explain to your child the expectations you have for their behaviours at school and make sure they understand that you are receiving feedback from the teachers. They may become more conscious of their behaviour if they know you are likely to hear about it.
#4: Get Outside Help
In the event that the behaviour is out of control or detrimental to your child or other children, you may want to consider getting outside help.
Have a meeting with your child’s doctor about resources available to deal with the behaviour. Meet with the principal of the school and discuss the possibility of getting your child a classroom aid.
If the situation is extreme and/or dangerous, look into a therapist for your child.
Use this team of professionals to strategize how to help your child work through the behaviours and succeed in school