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Syndicated column from The Parent
[NOV. 16, 2005]
Our son is in the second grade. His
teacher called to tell me that he's misbehaving in class. We are
pretty strict with him at home, so this was quite a surprise. What
can we do to improve his behavior at school?
Remember that discipline means "to teach" -- it does not mean "to
punish." And the way you discipline your child at home will affect
the way he acts in school. When teachers spend time correcting
behavior, they have less time to teach. Everyone suffers. Show your
son you are interested in what he does in school. To help address
Talk with your child. Ask
him to describe what has been going on in school. Share what the
teacher said. Then discuss the specific behaviors the teacher
would like to see changed.
Make a list. With your
son, brainstorm some ways to improve his behavior. It's
important to involve him in making up the list. This way, you
teach your son that he is responsible for choosing his behavior.
Tell him that you expect him to make these changes in behavior.
Send a copy of the list to your son's teacher and ask her to
contact you if there's no improvement.
It's tempting for parents to want to step back during school
hours and let their child's teacher handle whatever discipline
issues arise. Congratulations to you for understanding that good
behavior begins at home! Here are some tips to make your home
discipline easier -- and more effective:
[to top of second column in this article]
Use a positive approach.
Instead of saying, "Don't leave your books all over the floor!"
tell him, "Pick up your books and put them in your backpack so
you can be ready for school in the morning."
Talk about consequences with
your son. Ask him what the consequences should be for
breaking rules. He will appreciate being involved -- and he's
more likely to accept his consequences with good grace.
Enforce the consequences when
rules are violated. Say what you mean -- and mean what you
say. Before you say, "Turn off the TV or there will be no TV all
week!" make sure you're prepared to follow through. After all,
empty threats are just that -- empty.
Remember that each child is
different. What may have worked with an older or younger
sibling won't necessarily work with your son.
Keep in mind that discipline is also about celebrating what your
son does right. The more you praise and reinforce the good things he
does, the more he'll want to do the right things.
For more information about helping
children learn or to submit your own question, go to
http://advisor.parent-institute.com. All questions will receive
a prompt answer by e-mail.
Copyright 2005, The Parent
"Ask the Learning Advisor -- Ideas for Raising Successful
Children" is a free, syndicated column from the Parent Institute.