It is very distressing for the parents to get frequent complaints about a child who is “acting out” at school and engaging in disruptive behavior. The parents are at the wits’ end when the child is an angel at home. Though they hate it, parents start punishing their “angel at home” for bad behavior in school. But the punishments don’t work; the list of complaints keeps getting longer. One of the below-listed points could possibly be the reason. If not, then you need to team up with his teacher and counselor to seek solutions.
Feeling Bored: If your child is gifted one and the school work is not challenging enough, there are high chances that his behavior will be disruptive in the class because he feels bored. To know that you have to partner with his teacher and observe his behavior when he is engaged in activities that require a lot of focus, teamwork, and cooperation. He should not know he is being observed. If he is focused and cooperative in these activities, he is gifted, but clearly not stimulated enough during regular classroom teaching time and so “acts out” to draw attention and appear powerful. Talk to your child about “What did he do in the school?” The more challenging task will help in encouraging the child, and further his behavior in school will improve. However, misbehavior of any sort should be unacceptable and the parents need to talk to the teacher and counselor to bring out the best in such a child.
Avoidance Behaviour: Avoidance behavior is another reason for procrastination, distraction, and escaping from a task. This kind of behavior is due to the pressure of performance. Some kids can’t handle tasks that they perceive as very difficult. They feel stressed and anxious and start avoiding such tasks to protect their self-worth. They will avoid school tasks and school activities or show resistance if they feel overwhelmed by such tasks. Their distress may lead them towards being distracted in class, hindering other children’s work, making non-verbal noises, unnecessarily moving around the class, engaging in calculated idleness (calculated idleness has many forms such as having forgotten to bring pen, pencil, book, file or notebook or were absent the previous day so will begin only when previous day’s work is over and so many other ways to avoid work).
What do these children need?-Praise? Yes, they need praise even for small accomplishments. They also need to be taught how to deal with fear and anxiety. They need to realize what others think is not important, what is important is to set realistic goals for themselves and achieve them. Don’t overwhelm them with high expectations.
Ineffective Teacher/ Teaching: It could also be that your child’s teacher’s classroom management techniques are not good enough or she lacks the maturity to handle young children. If the child is a preteen or a teen, maybe he feels that no real learning is taking place in the class or there is too much of seat work and too little outdoor activities because of which he gets disruptive in class. All these or anyone of these factors could be true. You need to find that out. Maybe you can talk to other parents to know what feedback they are getting about the teacher and her teaching style. In any case, you need to counsel your child that unacceptable behavior will never be tolerated at school or at home, so he needs to mend his ways.
Sensory Processing Disorder: If your child has sensory processing disorder (SPD), he may manifest inappropriate behavior at school. Kids with SPD have problems with their fine and gross motor skills and social skills. Even in paying attention to their teacher or to do their class assignment they need a lot of energy. If any child has to spend so much energy on functions that should come naturally to his nervous system, it can be very exhausting for that child. This exhaustion and frustration results in inappropriate behavior in classrooms that may include – inattentiveness, non-compliant behavior, aggression, irritability, nervousness, sensitivity to sounds. Meet your child’s school counselor to know if it is flat misbehavior or sensory processing disorder. With timely intervention, such issues can be managed.
You can definitely resolve your child’s behavior issues with simple tricks and a lot of patience. You just need to do the right thing at the right time.