Do you get a shock when you meet your child’s school teacher and hear that they are a different person altogether in school and at home? The little angel at home is driving everyone crazy at school, or the crazy one at home is so well behaved that you wonder why they are not the same at home?
Home is a safe environment — a place where children can be themselves. There is no peer pressure or boundaries to behave in a certain situation. There is, however, in a traditional classroom setup where they know they must conduct themselves in a certain way and follow the rules like all their peers; otherwise, there are consequences. My child would go to someone’s house and behave so well that they think he’s the most disciplined kid in the block. But well, he might just come home and have the most terrible meltdown, something that he would not do outside. This is because he knows he can be himself and whine at home and be the best outside, just like most adults do. Well, I wouldn’t whine outside the house for sure. Kids who act out primarily around their parents show healthy signs of attachment. They feel safe enough to let go of home and be themselves. One thing to learn from this is if you have a little bit of a controlled environment at home, your child might know what to expect and not have unnecessarily bad behavior like screaming, hitting and shouting. There should be clear rules at home too. It’s ok to whine at times, and it’s ok to have meltdowns, but if it is intentional behavior, it should be dealt with.
There are again some of them who are extremely easy at home but very difficult at school. Children get undivided attention from parents at home. They are comfortable in their home setting, and some parents are extremely good at meeting their child’s needs. This might not be the case when they go to a school set up where the teacher has to listen to all the children in the classroom, and the quiet ones are unable to raise their voice and don’t end up taking part in group discussions, feel left out and act difficult to reach out to in school. Sometimes, children while playing at home are offered different things as soon as they get bored with them, and parents keep them occupied in engaging ways. In school however, such kids cannot cope up with the thought of sitting in circle time for 15 minutes. They are so active that they need something to keep them engaged and start running around in school and do not want to sit in one place. It might so happen that your child loves to sing at home and cannot sing all the time at school and might think the teachers don’t like it if they sing, this might make them believe school is not good and shut them off. Always talk to your child’s teacher and keep getting inputs on how your child is at home and outside.
As parents, we must try and understand the cause of the behavior of our children at home and outside. Try analysing why they behave better at home or at school and try improving what you need to. Set boundaries and limits and inform the teachers about the attention they get at home; they might want the same at school. Give it about 3-4 months after you have started working upon it, and your child may start being themselves both at home and outside.
Before you do anything, make sure your child has slept well at night before heading out to school so that he isn’t acting out because of a lack of sleep.
-Make sure they are eating well. Work on a schedule for their eating and sleeping patterns.
– Please make sure you are present to hear them out. Children speak up about their discomforts immediately after they get home from school.
– Talk to them and do not over-schedule their day.