Behavior Issues

There are many factors that may influence your child’s behavior at school, including his or her age, group of friends, and possible academic difficulties. Regardless of the cause of your child’s behavior problems, it’s important to address the issue quickly and positively to make sure it doesn’t continue.

  • Remember: Behavior problems come in many forms. Your child may be disruptive in class, be rude to teachers, bully other children, or take part in any combination of these or other behaviors. To begin addressing your child’s problem behavior, it’s important to talk to her teacher to find out exactly how she is behaving.

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  • [Related: Anti-Bullying Action Steps for Schools and Educators]

    • Don’t discount the possibility of an easy solution—you may find that if you simply ask your child why he is misbehaving, you’ll get an honest answer. You can then begin addressing the underlying issue that is causing the problems.
    • Do: Talk to teachers, counselors, and other staff members of your child’s school who interact with your child. They may have insights that help you understand and address the behavior problems.
    • Make sure the expectations for your child’s behavior are the same at school and at home. Get a list of the school’s behavioral guidelines and enforce them in your home. Young children often have difficulty adjusting to being outside of the home for long periods of time, so helping them become accustomed to the new rules they have to abide by may be helpful.

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    • If your older teenager disagrees with a rule in place at her school and is acting out because of it, encourage her to write a letter to the school board, school newspaper, or local newspaper and make a well-reasoned case against the rule.

    Remember that just because your child may be having behavioral problems doesn’t mean that he or she is a “bad kid.” There can be many reasons for kids getting into some trouble at school, all of which can be remedied with good communication, a willingness to change, and some effort from your child, your child’s teachers, and you.

     

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