Steps To Take If Your Child Is Behaving Badly At School

August 22, 2019

It's the moment every parent dreads.
It's when the phone rings, or when a letter arrives through the post, with information that their child is behaving badly at school.
This can be met with disbelief, especially when their child behaves well at home. Or it can be met with anger, usually at the child if he or she is found to be at blame for something.
Just what is a parent supposed to do? Or, in the context of this article, what are you supposed to do if your child misbehaves at school?

1. Assess the situation
Before you overreact and ground your child for their misbehavior, sit down with them, and explore the reasons why. There might be a perfectly simple explanation, and if you can discover more, you can then approach your child's teacher with the information you have gathered.
Reasons why children misbehave can vary, but you might discover one of these issues are at the root cause when talking with your child.
Children sometimes misbehave to gain attention, be that from their peers or their teacher. Sometimes, negative attention is better than no attention at all.
Some children become the 'class clown,' behaving badly to win the approval of their peers.
Some children have learning difficulties such as dyspraxia, and so to cover up their weaknesses, they might 'act up' in class, perhaps to get sent out, so they don't have to study. Or they might have a behavior disorder that is at the root cause of their misbehavior. Check the previous link for some examples.
In a similar vein, some children struggle to learn because of issues with sight or hearing. If they can't see the whiteboard in the classroom, or if they can't hear their teacher's instructions, they might then misbehave instead of explaining their struggles. It might be that a sight test is in order, or a hearing test, of which you can check the following link to learn more.

Of course, your child might not be struggling in these ways at all. They might simply be misbehaving for the fun of it, or because they have a mischievous streak, in which case, you might want to look at these discipline strategies to get your child back on track, both at home and at school. By being firm with them, and making it clear that you don't approve of their behavior, they might start to realise the error of their ways. 

2. Engage with your child's school
If you have managed to get to the bottom of what is going on, you will be in a better position to move forward. So, if you have discovered your child is struggling, you can work with the teacher to come to a solution. This might include bringing in outside help if your child has a specific issue, such as a health professional if certain conditions have been diagnosed.
If you can't find the solution, your child's teacher might be able to point out possible reasons why. Sit down with your child and their teacher and try to come to a place where you can all move forward. This might involve behavior strategies that the school implements to keep children on track, so you should show support of these where appropriate. 
Some schools have learning mentors or school counsellors, so it might be that your child can benefit from seeing them. There might be other support staff that can work with your child in the classroom, be that because your child has a specific struggle, or because they need a little encouragement to behave accordingly. Seek such assistance and stay in regular contact so you know how your child is progressing. 

By assessing the situation, and by working with your child's school, you will hopefully get to a point where your child's behavior improves. 
We haven't given every conceivable answer here, but continue your research online if you need specific help, and please let us know if you have any advice for our readers. 

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