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How to Deal with a Child Misbehaving at School: Tips for Teachers and Parents

There are many reasons that a child may misbehave at school, and—whether you’re the teacher or the parent of the child misbehaving, dealing with it can be challenging. It’s vital to try to address the underlying problems potentially causing the misbehavior in order to resolve it, taking into account whether it’s an isolated incident or a long-standing problem.

Consistent methods of discipline, along with having proper behavior management strategies in place, will, in many cases, prove effective. The result is that both the child themselves—and their classmates—can better concentrate on their classroom learning. Below, we’ll explore some of the key reasons behind misbehavior and how to deal with a child misbehaving in school.


How to Handle the Top 4 Issues


While there are lots of reasons for a child’s misbehavior at school, there are four problems that are most commonly experienced by parents and teachers. Let’s take a look at these now.

1. Acting Out in School

Before labeling your child’s behavior as mere “naughtiness,” ensure you communicate with both your child and their teacher. This helps determine if their actions stem from academic difficulties. Additionally, some children might exhibit disruptive conduct when they feel unengaged due to the work being too easy; they might benefit from more challenging tasks. Consult with teachers about potential underlying concerns like bullying that could contribute to school misbehavior.

2. Dropping Grades

A sign of potential school misbehavior is declining grades, which can be surprising if they’ve consistently done well.

Just like before, it’s crucial to uncover the causes of the grade drop, and communicating with the teacher is vital. It’s also worth examining factors at home or your child’s routines. Do they have enough time and support for homework and study? Are they getting quality sleep? Creating a plan and study strategy could make a big difference.

3. “I Hate My Teacher!”

Dealing with this situation is complex. Listen to your child and encourage them to talk about their difficulties with the teacher. Determine if it’s a general authority issue or something else. Meeting the teacher with a counselor or professional support might help resolve the problem if needed.

4. Skipping School

When it comes to behavior problems, skipping school is a big one that can have serious implications—both in terms of safety and academic performance. It’s absolutely vital to resolve truancy issues as soon as possible, and bringing the school on board to help will likely be necessary.

As with all other school misbehavior, finding out what’s behind it is necessary to get things sorted out. For example, is your child anxious about going to school because they’re being bullied, or are they struggling with their schoolwork?

Establish Regular Communication

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The best way to deal with issues around a child’s behavior at school is to keep the lines of communication open between yourself, your child, and their teacher. Doing so will enable you all to address any concerns around misbehavior, effectively collaborate, and track your child’s progress.

Devise a Monitoring System

Firstly, discuss with your child’s teacher the best way to monitor your child’s behavior on a daily basis. For example, a daily report card can be an effective way to keep you informed on what’s going on at school.

Decide How to Communicate

Talking to your child’s teacher about a consistent means of communicating to monitor behavior at school will help keep you in the picture in a way that works for everyone. Is it more convenient for the teacher to, say, drop you a quick email at the end of every day with an overview of your child’s behavior, or is a symbol—such as a smiley or a sad face—on their daily report card sufficient?

Communicate Frequently

It’s really important that your child’s teacher updates you on their behavior every day, not just when your child misbehaves. Getting a good report home can boost your kid’s self-esteem, and therefore encourage continued good behavior at school.

Work as a Team

Being clear with your child’s teacher that you want to support them, and work together, is an important way to help your child resolve whatever issue is causing the misbehavior and allow you to move forward as a team.

Reward Desirable Behavior


Balancing discipline and rewards is key for fostering positive behavior and academic success. Acknowledging positive actions through praise can significantly reduce disruptions at school and home. For young children, setting regular goals can maintain their motivation and self-esteem. You might tie rewards to good behavior, like extra playtime or choosing a preferred dinner.

Problem Solve with Your Child

When dealing with a child misbehaving at school, there are likely to be good days and bad as you work towards a better situation. It’s important to keep communicating with your child, even on the days when their behavior has been poor at school, and use your combined problem-solving skills to come up with how they can do better the next day.

Stay Calm

When kids act out, it’s even more important than ever that parents remain calm, no matter how challenging the behavior. Not only does this teach good behaviors, but it’s also necessary to help diffuse the situation and get your child talking, so you can figure things out a way forward together.

Ask About What They’re Working On

Simply asking your child about the work they’re undertaking in the classroom can provide a solution for the misbehavior—especially if the problem is being caused because they are struggling with the work, or finding it too easy.

See if They Need Extra Support

Rather than ask their teacher for help with their work to get the support they need, some kids find it easier to misbehave. Speak with teachers if you think this could be the case.

Let Your Child Express Their Feelings

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Sometimes, kids are reluctant to talk to their parents about things that are worrying or upsetting them, as they don’t want to cause mom and dad anxiety. When it comes to how to deal with a child misbehaving at school, it’s crucial to make sure your kid knows they can talk to you about anything and everything. Regular conversations around the dinner table, or chats together while walking, can be great ways to keep the lines of communication open.

Encourage Them to Share Their Feelings

Look at things from your child’s perspective, to think of the best ways to encourage them to share their feelings openly with you. Many parents know that this can be very tricky, but it’s worth it.

Provide Reassurance

However badly your child may be misbehaving, let them know that you will always love and support them, and are there to help them find a way forward, as a team.

Give Them Choices

Get your child invested in the process of improving their behavior at school. This could be through, for example, deciding together on the discipline for bad behavior and the rewards for your child’s positive behavior.

Avoid Pressure

While it’s vital to ensure that your child feels able to talk, don’t pressure them to talk if they really don’t want to. Simply make sure that your home offers a supportive environment where you are always ready to listen to and help them.

Tips for Parents on How to Discipline a Child Misbehaving in School


If your child is misbehaving at school, there are ways to address this issue in an understanding and constructive manner:

  • Avoid escalation by dealing with issues promptly
  • Work together with teachers to create a consistent discipline plan
  • Help the child to understand that there are consequences to their misbehavior while also promoting self-reflection
  • Clearly define behavioral expectations for your child both at home and at school. Make sure they understand the importance of respectful behavior and following rules

Tips for Parents on How to Encourage Their Kids to Behave Better at School

Ways to encourage better behavior and promote consistency in this behavior include:

  • Encouraging your child to participate in classroom activities can help improve cooperation, and fuel academic growth and better behavior
  • Equip your children with conflict resolution skills. Teach them how to express themselves calmly, listen to others, and find peaceful solutions to disagreements
  • Guiding your child in how to develop healthy relationships with authority figures and peers
  • Help your child develop effective time management skills to balance their schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and relaxation
  • Celebrate small victories and offer support during setbacks

Apps that Build Behavior and Life Skills for Kids


An app like Goally can be a great tool to deal with a child misbehaving at school. It’s designed to help keep children motivated and get rewarded for consistently better behavior, and many kids have used it to build more positive modes of communication and problem-solving.

another app worth a mention is Kids360, which allows parents to set and monitor their kids’ screen times, and even entirely block certain apps which may be causing distractions and exacerbating behavioral problems at school.

While primarily known for its GPS tracking capabilities, the Findmykids app also plays a role in building responsibility and safety skills for kids. By allowing parents to monitor their child’s location, Findmykids promotes responsible behavior and a sense of security.

The Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame app is designed to teach young kids problem-solving and emotional regulation through relatable scenarios and interactive activities.

These apps, including Kids360 and Findmykids, can play a valuable role in developing behavior and life skills in children while providing engaging and educational experiences.

Findmykids app

While there are many reasons that a child may misbehave at school, there are also many strategies that can be deployed to get things back on track. Staying in open communication with both your child and their teacher, being consistent regarding discipline, and promoting positive behavior can help keep your child focused, happy, and stress-free at school.


How to discipline a child for misbehaving at school effectively?

Other parents have found that communicating with their child and their teacher and having a consistent strategy in place is the best way to manage and resolve misbehavior.

What strategies can I use to address my child’s disruptive behavior in school?

Discovering the reason behind the behavior is vital to decide upon a strategy, which could include creating a weekly behavior target, for example. You may wish to seek advice from your child’s school psychologist regarding this.

What are the common reasons behind a child’s misbehavior at school?

Misbehavior at school often stems from a child’s negative emotions. This could be a result of being bullied by other kids, or the fact that they’re struggling with their schoolwork.

How do I handle my child’s negative feelings toward their teacher?

It’s vital to talk with your child to understand the reason behind this, and to make an action plan to move forward. Depending on the result of the discussion, you may wish to address the issue directly with the teacher or seek further advice.

Are there any educational apps or resources to build my child’s behavior and life skills?

Yes, there are lots of apps and resources out there, such as Goally and Kids360.

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