By Jordan Wilson
Nobody wants their child labeled the ‘trouble maker’ at school. Knowing your child is in trouble for skipping school, disrupting class or being a bully is awful and can make you feel helpless- but there are steps you can take.
Identify the Problem Behaviours
Realising that your child is consistently in trouble at school may be thanks to notes from the school, realising they are skipping class, or a dreaded principal phone call. However you should go further than just identifying that they are in trouble. What exactly have they been doing wrong? How often has this behaviour lasted? What are the circumstances? Knowing the answers to these questions is key to finding the solution.
Be Honest With Yourself
It can be hard as parents to admit our children aren’t perfect, especially when we feel someone else is attacking or criticising them. But being honest with yourself and acknowledging your child is acting up is the first step to solving the issue. It doesn’t mean your child is a monster, it means that there is a problem and your child needs help.
Talk To Your Child
Talk to your child about why they are acting up. Is someone at school pressuring them? Are they upset about something at home? Don’t assume your child won’t tell you, until you’ve asked. However, that doesn’t mean you need to believe everything your child says. If all evidence points to the contrary then keep searching for answers.
Seeking child counselling is a good way to stop problematic behaviours continuing or even worsening. Your child may be acting up because they are upset or angry about something at home or school, they are being pressured or bullied, or because they have a behavioural disorder. A counsellor can help with all these issues and give your child and you coping strategies. If your child is acting up because of emotional distress then a counsellor provides a safe person for them to talk to and discuss this with. If they are struggling because they have ADHD or another concentration issue, then realising this is the first step to helping them cope.
Work With the School
Let the school know what’s going on, to the extent you see fit. This way, teachers know you are trying to resolve the problem and can keep you informed on your child’s behavior at school.
The slideshow presentation version of this article can be found at Jordan’s Slideshare.