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Common Behavior Problems Solved

by Lori Sciame | September 24th, 2014 | Behavior, Elementary

boy-183306_1280Kids will be kids. They are not perfect beings, ones that always behave; therefore, parents must realize every child will misbehave in school or at home at one time or another.  Yet, if there are constant behavioral problems — repeated time and time again, it’s certainly appropriate to take action.  Remember, a child can’t learn if he or she spends too much time in the principal’s office!

Off Color Language

A elementary aged child may begin to use inappropriate language.  Sometimes this is an attempt to test boundaries or to gain attention.  This behavior should be curtailed as soon as possible.  Here are a few tactics to try:

1.  Reinforce positive language use by giving praise.

2.  Teach a child to express himself or herself using the appropriate words – not expletives.

3.  Take away privileges if inappropriate language use continues.

Disruptive Behavior

Children who have been labeled as disruptive may simply be reacting negatively to a change in their lives.  For instance, a child who suddenly begins causing problems in class is battling a confusing situation at home — her mother’s announced she plans to leave her father.  During this difficult time, reassurance by BOTH parents will help to curb this negative behavior.

On the other hand, a child who constantly causes trouble — and has done so since kindergarten — needs to be evaluated by a professional.  I vividly remember my friend’s son running in circles at a birthday party.  As the day wore on, he became more and more agitated; however, instead of taking action, my friend ignored the problem.  It wasn’t until he was 18 years old that he was diagnosed with ADHD.

If the disruptive behavior is new, try these strategies:

1.  Give your child extra attention.

2.  Listen to your child’s answer when you ask how school is going.  Your task is to find out what’s bothering her.

3.  Reward positive behavior.

Homework Blues

Elementary children will sometimes refuse to complete homework assignments.  Even normally studious children can become defiant when it comes to getting down to work.  While refusing to do homework isn’t a problem if it only happens once in a great while, it can become problematic if a child refuses to do it all the time.

Parents need to understand that establishing homework rules at this age will help ensure success later on, when they are teens.  Here’s a few things to try:

1.  Establish a routine.  For example, let a child unwind for a few minutes after arriving home from school, as 30 minutes of play will help her clear her mind; however, don’t put off homework until she is too tired to complete it.  After she has had a chance to decompress, it’s homework time!

2.  Be consistent.  Don’t let your child talk you out of doing his homework.  He must do it to learn effectively.

3.  Reward a child’s hard work.  Praise your child for doing her homework.  You may also choose to surprise her with a small “gift” if she achieves a goal. (This gift doesn’t have to cost anything; you can make her favorite meal.

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