What to do when your child misbehaves in school

Just received that call you’ve feared getting from junior’s teacher? Here’s how to deal when they behave badly in school…

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As a parent, it can be horrifying, embarrassing and infuriating when you get that dreaded call from your child’s school telling you that your little one has behaved badly.

C Tan, mum to Daphne, 8, has received several calls from her daughter’s Primary school form teacher since she started Primary 1 last year.

The first call came around June last year, after Daphne scratched a classmate in school. “It was a small squabble between the two girls, but the teacher said she had to report it to the parents, since my daughter scratched the other girl,” recalls Tan.

The matter was settled peacefully, but Daphne was also showing signs of restlessness in school ― she was often caught daydreaming and “disturbing her friends” during lessons. It was hard to hear, says Tan, because Daphne had always been well-behaved at home, and even when she was in preschool.

“As a parent, I had to help her deal with some of her feelings and self-control, and remind her of the rules, to prevent her from being disruptive in class.”

“I think she’s a bit bored at school, as she already knew some of the things that were being taught. As a parent, I had to help her deal with some of her feelings and self-control, and remind her of the rules, to prevent her from being disruptive in class.

“The school has helped in giving suggestions on what we can do ― so, we are still working on it,” says Tan.

Whatever your child’s age, you can take steps to respond positively to your child’s school misbehaviour. Take a look at these tips.

 1. Calm down
It’s easy to get worked up and unleash a tirade on your child when he gets home. But the best thing to do is to stay calm and take a breath. “Step back from the information received, then review it slowly by writing it down, so it provides a clearer flow,” advises Daniel Koh, a psychologist at Insights Mind Centre.

2. Talk to another parent
Your husband, sister, or another mummy friend may be able to put things in perspective, and help you be rational and objective, rather than act impulsively or instinctively. Says Koh, “Talking to a rational, neutral figure can help you see what you have missed. Have someone accompany you to the school, so that they can support you, and also moderate your emotional distress.”