Handling problem behaviour at school

When the school informs you that your child causes trouble in some way, you might get angry and force an explanation from your child. The first important step though, is to stay calm en listen to what your child has to say.

Only when you have all the correct information you can act on it appropriately.

Ask yourself the question: “What was my child’s motive for the behaviour?” Was it a judgemental error, peer pressure or a cry for help? Sometimes children seek your attention when they need your support for social-, emotional- or other problems. Once you know the root to the problem, you can start working on a solution.

Keep in mind that children have a need to fit into the group and they will do almost anything to experience a sense of belonging amongst peers.

Nevertheless, children should be held responsible for their behaviour. Talk to your child about the reason/s why you do not approve on his behaviour. Talk about possible solutions for underlying issues that need to be dealt with. Discuss the outcomes of her behaviour. Guide your child with love and respect. Your child needs to know that you love him/her unconditionally.

Teach them responsibility in order for them to become responsible teenagers and adults:

  • Start from a young age by giving them age appropriate tasks at home e.g. picking up their toys, caring for the pets or setting the table.
  • Have balance between over-protecting them and giving them free reigns. E.g. they are allowed to visit a friend, but they need to let you know where they are and when they will be back.
  • Help them to set reachable goals and take responsibility for it.
  • Apply consistent, effective discipline. Set clear boundaries and discipline accordingly.
  • Ensure that your relationship with your child is of such nature that they respect you, but feel comfortable to discuss anything with you.
  • Do not set unrealistic expectations.
  • Be cautious not to be unreasonably critical.
  • Love your child unconditionally in such a way that they know it.

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