(Written by Orla Kelly in Ireland) Children have behavioural problems at school for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes when it happens, parents admit to not seeing it coming, wished they paid more attention to their child, wonder were they so caught up in their own busy lives that they missed vital clues their child was sending out as a cry for help.
This can be distressing and alarming for parents because now whatever problems the child is having has been observed by others in a school setting where all children are closely monitored.
Parents deal with this in many different ways. There may be denial, anger, grief and embarrassment, but no matter what, parents will be given exact details of their childs behaviour at school so that they may be able to shed some light on why this has happened and so that they can then address these issues with their child.
Sometimes parents are alerted by schools even if there is one instance of unacceptable behaviour. This really depends on the teacher, the type of behavioural problems at school and the “school rules” of what is and is not accepted by students.
Other times a teacher will take so much and only alert a parent if whatever strategies they have for dealing with the type of behaviour shown has failed. It is important for all concerned to try to understand the “why” behind the behaviour exhibited at school.
Children are not bad, it is their behaviour that is bad and it is vital to separate the problem from the child first. By doing this, parents and teachers will manage their emotions better and remain detached enough to provide some real help to the child. Especially for parents, it is hard to stand back when your child is causing trouble at school and you are called in to deal with it. However, any bad situation can be made so much worse by mouthing off to a child who is already suffering. If they were not suffering in some way they would not act as they did and continue to do!
There are a number of ways to help a child with behaviour problems at school
- Give the child ownership of the problem and ask them to take responsibility for their actions. While doing this, tell them that you are there to support them to make better choices and to do whatever it takes to get them through this rough time (without covering for them of course).
- Even if they have exhibited a number of behaviour incidents at school, it really just boils down to one main cause that has set all this in motion in the first place. Instead of nit picking each incident, try to ask specific targeted questions that will lead to the “what happened” that triggered it all.
- Unfortunately when things go wrong, they can spiral out of control very fast and this also holds true for a childs life. Provide consequences for their behaviour but do it from a place of love with you as a parent aiming to be a good role model for your child. Never set consequences from a place of anger where consequences can end up building more resentment and be ineffective.
- Involve your child in determining consequences but keep any consequences appropriate to the issue.
- Once you are actively working on solving the behaviour problem, try not to become too fixated on a timeline, once you see some ongoing improvement!
- Finally learn from this and move on. Do not dig it all up again at a later date no matter how tempting it may be!
- Become more proactive in your childs life so you can try to resolve any issues before they come to the attention of the school!
By implementing these steps, you should see an improvement in your childs behaviour. If you do not see any improvement, I would recommend getting some professional and specialised advice for your child.
I am a special needs parenting coach and worked successfully in private practice for more years than I would like to admit! I am now a full time mother to 2 lively kids who put me through a physical and mental workout each day! Writing and learning is a new passion of mine.
What time I have left out of being on call 24 hours a day is spent on special needs, an area close to my heart! If you would like more about being the best parent you can be to your special needs child, download my free guide at http://www.parenting4specialneeds.com