How to Help a Child with Behavior Problems at School?

Many parents get embarrassed and furious on getting a note or a phone call from a teacher about their child’s behavior problems.

Whether they get into a fight at recess or say something unkind or vulgar to the teacher or other kids, as a parent try not to panic.

Once in a while, even the good kids are allowed to slip up.

However it is important to take action so that you can prevent future behavioral problems at school—specially if your child tends to get into troubles often.

Working with the school administration, the teacher, and the child himself to address the problem is the only solution.

With a team approach, we can create a child’s behavioral plan that will help get rid of behavior problems earlier and faster.

It’s not often that a child under 5 years old receives a diagnosis of a serious behavioral disorder.

However, some might begin displaying symptoms of a disorder that can be diagnosed later in childhood. Types of behavioral problems include:

  • attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)
  • autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
  • anxiety disorder
  • depression
  • bipolar disorder
  • learning disorders
  • conduct disorders

Take out time for regular communication with the child’s teacher

Incase a child’s misbehavior is an isolated incident, try to keep an eye on the problem for some days to make sure it gets better.

However if you notice that your child is getting in trouble at school more often, establish daily communication with the child’s class teacher.

Contact the respective teacher and talk about ways you can learn about your child’s behavior on a daily basis.

Having a journal or daily record or report card could help you monitor the situation more closely and accurately.

Usually at schools, teachers already have some sort of system which they prefer to use for teacher to parent communication.

Some teachers prefer to color in a smiley face green, yellow, or red throughout various times of the day while others communicate with parents through quick notes.

You can easily request the school to provide you with a teacher who sends you information about your child’s behavioral changes throughout the term, not just on the days when your child misbehaves.

This will not just keep parents informed but children will feel good about themselves when they can show their parents that they had a good day at school and can avoid misbehaving since they know that they will get caught.

Reward the kids for good behavior

Many parents punish kids for bad behavior, instead set up positive consequences in order to reinforce good behavior.

Praise and hype up your children when they receives good reports from their teachers.

Celebrate their success and motivate them to keep doing well both behaviorally and academically.

To give them a bait or incentive to do well, create a reward system like a token economy system. Promise them a daily goal and reward them for reaching their goal.

Tasks to be achieved can include smiley faces from teachers on daily report cards or check marks for good behavior from the teacher etc.

Kids are kids after all, so their rewards don’t have to be costly. Link your kid’s good behavior to privileges, for instance more video game time or their favorite cereal for breakfast.

Daily rewards like this can keep your child motivated to perform better voluntarily and with time it will become a habit instead of a task.

For better results, bait them with larger rewards on a weekly basis to encourage them to manage their behaviors all week long.

A trip to their favorite park or getting them McDonald’s on the weekend may motivate your kid to keep up the good work.

Not asking you to expect perfection, but keep challenging your child to work harder and become a better person than they are.

Problem solving with your child

During days when your child struggles with behaviors problems, discuss with them about how they can do better the next day.

Ask them what happened and tell them calmly that you want to help him to do better tomorrow and ask for their input about what would be helpful.

Using a problem-solving approach may make a child more comfortable with you and willing to share their issues.

Sometimes kids are able to explain their problems easily and the solutions are simple.

For instance a child may be disrupting class because he is bored to avoid which the teacher can introduce more challenging work.

Similarly, misbehavior may also arise from not knowing something and getting agitated by it.

To avoid being embarrassed, a kid might act out rather than ask for help to solve which the teacher should be available and alert.

Samantha Kindler

Samantha Kindler is a world traveler, with four continents conquered and three remaining. She lives in Hawaii, where she enjoys hiking and has the beach available to her throughout the year. She recently got the opportunity to spend over ten months in Korea and fell in love with their minimalist way of life. She has driven to 49 states with her father, but upon visiting Hawaii, she just wanted to stay.

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