Here’s the story – your child misbehaves in school and you received that much dreaded complaint call from his teacher. I mean, face it, 3 out of 5 times a teacher calls, it’s bad news.
And we all know hell hath no fury like a mother who just received a teacher’s complaint about her child.
But before you lose your cool, question your every parenting move including letting your child cry it out when he was a 10-day-old infant and regard both you and your child as complete failures, stop and breathe.
Here are some things you can do to get a clearer picture of what happened and how to deal with it if your child misbehaves in school.
1. Get a grip
We all know what a terrible idea it is to act on impulse. Now, this is even more apt when dealing with a child. If you receive the call and immediately react, you might end up saying things that you later regret. And by then it will be too late.
You have to be the adult in this situation. Take 5 to 10 minutes, or take even a day to cool off and when you feel that you have regained full composure, then start thinking of how to deal with the situation.
If you happen to be out with other family members or friends and you receive the call, one thing you should never do is to talk to your child about it in front of everyone. Make sure he has adequate privacy when you deal with this issue.
There might be more to the story than you just heard.
I’m not insinuating that teachers are not trustworthy, or are making up stories about your child. All I’m saying is that sometimes even the teachers may not have the full picture of what exactly happened.
Do not jump to conclusions upon hearing that your child misbehaved. Try to find out what exactly happened.
Even before asking your child what happened, try to find out more by talking to other parents. They might have heard some things from their children and might be able to fit the missing pieces for you.
There’s another important thing that should be done, but most parents omit this. You need to reflect on whether there are other underlying factors that could explain why your child misbehaves in school.
More often than not, when a child misbehaves in school, or acts up in any way, it’s a distress signal for a deeper problem. There could be something affecting them or it could be a cry for attention.
Did something happen recently? Was there a change in your child’s everyday patterns? Did you lose a family member? Is your child tremendously pressured or stressed?
Have you been comparing your child to other children or his siblings?
Do everything that you can to get to the bottom of it.
3. Alternate Perspectives
Now, while we like to believe that we have it all figured out and there’s no need for intervention, it never hurts to find out what others think.
The key point here is that when it’s your child who misbehaves in school, your judgement and ability to act rationally is impaired. Why? Simply because your emotions are involved.
A neutral party may help you to better put things into perspective, or even tell you if you are overreacting to the situation.
You do not have to listen to them, or act according to what they suggest. But it might open up your eyes to something you didn’t previously consider. Give it a shot moms and dads.
Discuss your problems with other mums and see what they have to say.
4. Innocent until proven guilty
Moms and dads, please do not be incriminating towards your child. Even someone who is accused of murder has a chance to explain and fight the case. Likewise, when you find the right place and time, ask your child what happened.
Your approach is important. Instead of asking, Why did you do…, try asking, Is it true that this happened? Did something like this happen?
Of course children won’t always admit to their wrongdoings or misbehaviour, but at the very least, give them a chance to explain, and look at both sides of the story. Make an objective conclusion about what happened.
5. It’s a team effort
When your child misbehaves in school, please do not form the impression that the onus is solely on you to correct the problem.
You have to work with the teachers, for don’t forget that they know the class and student dynamics best. They might offer suggestions or corrective behavior for your child.
Be aware and keep yourselves in the loop about what’s happening. If you think that the teacher is being unreasonable, or not taking the right approach, you can let her know in a polite manner.
But it is important that you do not tell your child that you disagree with the teacher. When children know that there is a conflict of interest, and that their teachers and parents don’t sing the same tune, they will use it to their advantage.
6. Resolve the problem
Of course, if your child misbehaves in school, you have to act upon it. Once you know the details and get the full story, decide what you want to do next. If it’s the first time and you want to let your child off with a stern warning and a threat of what you will do if it happens again, that’s fine.
A warning is ok but don’t yell or say something damaging to your child.
You must however, ensure that you follow through with your threats. If it happens again and you do not carry out what you said you would, then it will keep happening and your child won’t take you seriously.
Having said that, be reasonable in whatever punishment that you mete out. Violence, caning or yelling might exacerbate the problem so be tactful in your approach.
7. Preventive Measures
Prevention is always better than cure. When your child misbehaves in school, use what happened as a platform for learning and put in place some steps for your child to cope with a situation better.
To do this you first need to identify the triggers that cause him to misbehave in school.
Teach your child how to manage his impulsivity, or to contain his anger. If it is a case of always interrupting, then teach him how to take turns and be patient. Whatever the problem is, there is always a solution.
Moms and dads, we hope that this information is useful in helping you to deal with the situation when your child misbehaves in school. Do remember that the most important thing is to have a good relationship with your child.
It is only when they have a good relationship with you that they will open up to you and you will not be the last to know about what happens in their lives, be it good or bad.
Children with a really good relationship with their parents even tell them about the mistakes they make!
If you have a good relationship with your child, he will open to you about everything.
Also, always be aware of what’s happening in your child’s life. Pay close attention to what they tell you and what they don’t tell you. Observe their behavior and actions and if anything seems different, find out what’s going on before it becomes a problem.
And remember, you know your child best!
source: Channel News Asia
This article was originally published on theAsianparents Singapore
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