Parents often ask me what they should do when their children misbehave at school. I have many thoughts about this question, but my answers often circle back to the importance of quality time. The more time we have with our children, the more we can teach, model, and influence behaviors.
When I was younger, quality time in the home was the norm. [Of course, back then parents weren’t competing with social media and electronics of all types.] Time with my family had a direct impact on my social and emotional development. I learned through ongoing discussions and interactions with my siblings and parents. Upon reflection, I feel strongly that most of my behaviors were shaped not by the punishments I received as a child, but by the discussions I had surrounding my behavior and choices.
So parents, want some advice? Establish good patterns of nightly communication with your children. Developing this habit when your kids are young will increase the likelihood they talk with you when they are older and in even greater need for discussions interaction affords. And the easiest way to encourage conversation is to unplug everything and spend time quality time together at dinner or just before bed.
Nightly discussions provide opportunities to talk with your children about concerns during neutral times when they are more receptive to your feedback. If you are not in this habit, it is more difficult to bring up problem behaviors without landing in a power struggle. So when misbehaviors occur at school, find the right time and just talk with your child. I can think of no better homework, nor can I think of any better way parents can support teachers’ efforts at school.