by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Language, math, science, reading, and Behavior 101...wait, your child's school doesn't teach behavior. That's your job as a parent. Back to school time means picking up necessary supplies. But part of that also includes laying ground behavioral rules. Does your child know what you and the teachers expect where behavior is concerned? Are you sure? Even if you go over this year after year, it still needs to be done. Your child always needs to know what is expected, so as to avoid confusion.
Write an outline of what you expect in and out of school. An outline can help you make sure to cover all bases. One list for behaviors expected during school hours and a separate one for what's expected once school gets out can be very helpful. If you have children who will be taking the school bus home, make a list of those rules as well. The same goes for walking or any other means of getting home, whether you'll be present for that time or not. Recess and also the time period in between leaving school and getting home can be a time where kids play around and even get into trouble at times.
Discuss afterschool and study rules. Once you have your outline, it's time to start discussing with your child what is expected. Be sure to bring up rules for getting home, including how to act on the way home. Does your child need to study at a time when you won't be there? If so, make sure it is known that you expect studying and not goofing off during that time. Even older kids will need a reminder of this, as will kids who will have someone supervising them. Kids will often try to get away with more with a sitter than they will with their parents.
Also talk about what you expect when your child in school. Go over the school's rules and policies. Then, also go over any behaviors you expect beyond that. Younger kids may need to have this talk more than once. Older kids should understand the concept and have likely been through a similar routine at some point. You know your child best. So if there are extra points about behavior that you think you should address based on past years, don't hesitate to do so. Setting these rules ahead of time will help avoid some instances where your child misbehaves unintentionally.
Be sure your child knows what happens if they don't follow the behavioral rules. This is a key component of making sure your child listens to your guidance on behavior. There should be clear discipline measures set for various types of misbehaviors. Some families find it helpful to create a chart for reminder purposes. This helps you, as well as your child, keep track of the appropriate punishments. Just having the talks and setting these rules is not enough. When your child actually does misbehave, you need to follow through with whatever approach you have laid out. This shows your child you are serious and expect good behavior.
Have a meeting with your child and teachers. Once you have set up your home system, it also helps to have a meeting that includes yourself, your child, and the teacher. Depending on your child's grade level and school, there may be more than one teacher to meet with. The teachers should be able to tell you and your child everything they expect and they may possibly have something to add besides the general school policy. This shows your child, as well as teachers, that you are serious about the behaviors you expect.
Guide to Positive Discipline for Children
Spanking Does More Harm Than Good
Save Time and Frustration When Getting Kids Ready for School
* I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network:
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