What To Do About "Misbehavior" at School

Misbehavior in the classroom is a hot topic. 

I remember when my daughter started first grade, I wondered how she would cope with this new punitive environment 

How would she handle the stoplight system or the unintentional judgment? Would it be stressful for her?

It seems silly to worry, right? After all, I made it through school relatively unscathed (okay, that's debatable).

Unfortunately, for many kids, their behavior becomes the sole focus of their school career and affects everything from their self-concept and motivation to their academic performance

There is no shortage of stories of six-year-olds being handcuffed, arrested, and dragged down the hall, or traumatized middle-school kids being violently assaulted.

These incidents may be extreme examples, but they represent a common discipline mindset which is traditionally fear-based, controlling, and punitive in its approach. And, it usually escalates behavior instead of calming situations.

Children rightfully reject this kind of treatment.  
It seems that whenever children don’t comply with academic demands or when their behavior disrupts the school agenda, they are met with very little empathy for their experience. 

I want us to become aware of our own behavior and how it contributes to the child's sense of safety or fear - which influences their behavior more than our words.  

What kind of emotional climate are we creating? Let's create and advocate for more training and trauma-sensitive care in our schools and learning environments.

Some teachers expect children to display reliable and consistent control of their behavior regardless of how restrictive the environment is, how stimulated (or overstimulated) they are, and without considering the unique developmental timeline of the individual child. 

Many schools are in desperate need of classrooms which are socially and emotionally responsive. Teachers are trying to teach children who are too stressed, bored or overstimulated by the environment to learn. 

A battle for control ensues. 


While teachers are trying to maintain control to teach - many children are trying to control their fight or flight response so they can feel calm enough to learn. 

In this video, I share a question from our private client Facebook group because it highlights the challenges that so many parents face once their kids start school. 

This topic is something so dear to me that I can no longer quietly stand by while our children are unnecessarily misunderstood and misrepresented by the adults intending to care for them. 

If your child has had trouble managing behavior or difficulty adjusting to the classroom rules or the social aspects of school, then check out today's video for tips and my staunch support of YOU and your child and I'll share what you can do about that perceived "misbehavior" at school!

http://ctt.ec/eak6bSometimes you have to do what's best for your child and not what's best for everyone else. (TWEET IT!)

Teachers need new strategies to help them support the needs of children.
And, we need to let go of behaviorally-focused discipline and evaluation. 

We can't tell a child to behave - we need to show them how to manage themselves through a combination of emotional awareness, respectful communication, stress-relieving tools, and relational support.

What do you think? 

Has your child's behavior at school resulted in notes sent home, after-school calls, daily behavioral assessments or punitive consequences?  

Share your story in the comments below and let our community help you reframe the limiting labels into positive action.

Thanks so much for reading and please remember it's about being conscious - not perfect!

Talk soon,



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