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What to do if your child has behavioural problems at school

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Most kids get into at least the odd bit of bother during their school life and usually a stern word from a teacher is enough to get them back on the right track. However, serious and/or persistent bad behaviour is something that needs to be dealt with by parents or carers as well as school staff. If your child’s behaviour at school is becoming an issue then, as a parent, you will probably want to get to the bottom of it and nip it in the bud as soon as possible. It may not be easy and might take some time but it is possible to iron out behavioural problems at school.

Talk to your child

It may seem obvious but talking to your child is the key to understanding what’s going on. Choose a quiet time when there’s nothing much happening and sit down together to chat about school and her behaviour. Stay calm and stress the fact they can be honest without you flying off the handle. If your child trusts you then they’re more likely to open up to you. Find out if there is something troubling them or if they knows why they have been playing up in class.

Get to the root of the problem

It may not be easy but finding out what is causing behavioural issues can be essential to getting over them. Perhaps your child is bored, doesn’t understand the work, isn’t getting enough sleep, is having trouble making friends or maybe is being bullied and is unhappy in school. Whatever the underlying issue, a solution will usually be available and achievable with a bit of effort from all parties.

Arrange a meeting

child doesn't like teacherMeeting with your child’s teacher can be beneficial. As well as giving you an insight into the type of person he/she is, it also allows you to have an in-depth discussion about behavioural issues. If possible, it’s a good idea to include the child in (at least part of) the meeting too. This allows them to have their say, explain any problems they might be having and means they don’t feel left out or like they’re being talked about.

Show a united front

If a child knows their parents and teacher are going to stick together on the issue of behaviour then they’re more likely to comply with the rules. Of course, if you feel your child is being hard done by or picked on then you should speak up, but in most cases adults working as a team sends the message that figures of authority are unified in their approach to bad behaviour and that it won’t be tolerated.

Include your child in the solution

At the end of each day ask your child how they felt their behaviour was today. Get them to come up with ideas about how they might improve tomorrow. It can be tricky for parents to deal with behaviour issues at school as they only get the child’s side of the story. Asking your child’s teacher to provide a note regarding behaviour every day will help you assess what improvement is being made.


It’s important that children understand bad behaviour has consequences. Falling behind in class is the obvious one, however most kids will be oblivious or just plain indifferent to that. Whether you choose to punish bad behaviour or reward good behaviour is entirely down to you and your style of parenting. Smaller targets, such as video games, can be helpful for everyday use while larger things like a trip to the cinema can help focus good behaviour over the space of a week or two.



About Maria Brett

About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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