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Not sure how to discipline a child for misbehaving at school?
You know the feeling, you open your child’s backpack and find a note from the teacher. Instantly, you dread whatever is to come, knowing you will spend the night yelling or lecturing your child about why they absolutely cannot stick their tongue out at the teacher. But somehow, no matter how many times you have that talk, the notes keep coming.
As a teacher and a mom, I can tell you I have been on both sides of this fight.
Usually, mom goes home and lectures or punishes the child. But the problem doesn’t stop. In fact, often it gets worse. Over the years, I have met some parents who just naturally seemed to know how to handle this problem. Within days their child’s behavior would turn right around!
Teachers spend a lot of time talking to the parents of the students who misbehave. We tend to overlook the students with good behavior or a few minor indiscretions. But my own children were beginning on the journey to being the “bad kid” and I knew I needed to make some changes. I also knew it had nothing to do with “lazy parenting.” I was very strict with my children, consistent to a fault. I began paying very close attention to the well-behaved children in my classroom. And even closer attention to their parents. What were they doing that I was missing? What’s was the secret? Why weren’t my lectures and time-outs working?
Well…Let’s use our imaginations for a moment.
Let’s imagine that just before you leave work, your boss calls you into his office and informs you that you have been written you up for being late. Instantly, your upset and frustrated. Sure, it’s the third time this week but you have to get the kids to school and it’s a tight timeline. You feel almost powerless to fix it. On the way home, you call your husband on the phone to tell him what happened hoping for some support.
“I mean, doesn’t he realize I have 3 kids to get to school? What am I supposed to do?” you rant.
>>>Read Also: The ONLY tip you’ll ever need to stop being an angry mom.<<<
But instead of support, he offers you a lecture, reminding you that you need this income and that your boss is the authority. Instantly, you are angry with him and you step into defense mode. In fact, let that scene play out enough times in a row and you will not just defend yourself, you will start to hide things and perhaps even lie about them in order to spare yourself the lecture.
You are already aware that you were wrong and in danger of losing your job. Your boss made that clear. What you need is someone to say “Oh man, that sucks babe. Maybe I could help you get the kid’s stuff ready in the morning so that it’s easier for you to make it on time.”
Now imagine you are a child who comes home from school with a discipline note. You are a little nervous about what dad’s gonna say or do. Your child doesn’t need additional discipline – the teacher has already taken care of that! Your child needs help figuring out how to stay in the teacher’s good graces!
You are your child’s support system, their ONLY support system and when the teacher disciplines them, they don’t have anywhere else to turn. They need your love and support. It’s your job to teach them to succeed in life by offering the support and love they need during this life lesson.
What I am NOT saying:
I am not suggesting that you bad mouth the teacher or go to the teacher and complain (unless a situation TRULY warrants it). Your child needs to understand that he has to submit to authority and you don’t want to teach him/her otherwise.
What I AM saying:
Be your child’s shoulder to cry on AND his voice of wisdom and guidance!
A NOTE ABOUT REPEAT OFFENDERS
If your child is a repeat offender and you’ve found yourself in this situation more than one time, you are going to have to pry a bit more to get your child to release their feelings about the subject. Say things like, “Can you tell me what happened today?” and “Oh, that stinks!” Once they start talking, limit your responses to things like “Hmmm.” and nodding your head.
Do not respond with “I can see why you feel that way BUT….” You have to be very careful not to down talk their feelings.
It simply doesn’t matter if your child’s feelings are misdirected or wrong. Your goal here is not to teach them right and wrong. They already know they were wrong. Your goal is to let them know you care about how they feel and that they can turn to you for help. Once they know that, they will be a lot more interested in your thoughts about how to be better behaved.
And when you show concern for their feelings, it teaches them to show concern for others, including their teacher and classmates.
This method is more of a journey than an immediate solution but it’s the method that teaches your child WHY they should do the right thing rather than just teaching them that the SHOULD.
And the best part is, you never have to explain the “why”. Children naturally mimic their parent’s behavior. So if they see you demanding to be heard and obeyed. They will have an inclination to believe that demanding what we want is appropriate behavior.
They will try making demands and when they aren’t obeyed. They’ll have a fit and yell at the person who didn’t obey. (Like we parents do much too frequently. (They see it in you and learn from your response.
Children naturally mimic their parent’s behavior.
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