Differences in my son's behavior at school vs. at home

Here in Atlanta the kids have been back in school for 3 weeks now but in many parts of the country school is in session today! I can remember the anticipation I had for the first day of school every single year. If your child is embarking on school for the first time or returning, congratulations! We made it through a fun filled summer! My son is two and in daycare/preschool and he looks forward to everyday. His favorite expression is "I can't wait for school!"

He loves school and I haven't had any complaints from his teachers about his behavior however the story is different at home. I've found that he behaves much better for his teachers then he does for me. As a correspondent for Mom's Homeroom I was able to interview Jillian, she is a child and adolescent psychiatrist and mother of two. She had a ton of great information to share with me regarding discipline that can be utilized by parents of children at any age.

Her first suggestion was to be consistent. Children thrive on consistency and actually like to know the rules and expectations in a household. She encourages parents and grandparents to ensure that they are providing the same messages to children in their care. If jumping on the couch is not allowed (of course not) all of the caregivers have to implement that rule.

She also emphasized the importance of parents controlling their emotions. All parents at some point have raised their voices but it is key for us all to work hard not to raise our voice. The emotional control that we exhibit will influence the behavior of our children. She also encourages positive reinforcement. Many times we tell our children what they are doing wrong and fail to acknowledge the things they do right. Positive reinforcement and rewarding good behavior can help with discipline.

I know there is a child in my son's class that thrives on attention and will act out just to get it. The teachers work diligently to ensure that they are taking care of the needs of the class as a whole but definitely reward him when he exhibits good behavior. As a result I have seen a drastic improvement in his interaction in the classroom. Personally I try to utilize positive reinforcement as much as possible with my son because I know it is effective.

All the advice that Jillian and the Mom's Homeroom experts have provided has been so useful. I have truly enjoyed being a correspondent and encourage you to check out the Mom's Homeroom videos, they are filled with wonderful information.


Venti Vixen said…
THANK YOU for posting this! It was a good day for me to read it!
Anonymous said…
Thanks Renee. My son is 11 and daughter 4 and I always need to be reminded to keep my cool and reinforce positive actions! Good Luck for the new school year!
Ms. Bar B: said…
You're not alone in the switch off in behavior. I remember those days. We still have them from time to time... Miss J is much more helpful with chores at school than she is at home, lol.
Tooj said…
I also think part of the problem with school-aged/going children (whether pre-school or older) is that once they're home....they "breathe" and release. Sometimes that comes in the form of emotional breakdowns. And I've learned that is okay as long as we talk them out and discuss communicating our fatigue, or our hunger, etc, in more productive words/sounds. They spend all day wired with energy playing, or pleasing teachers, so the comfort of mom and/or dad brings relief and relief (for many) brings a myriad of emotions. We just have to remember they're allowed mini-breakdowns too, they just happen more frequently than we allow ourselves to! :)
Anonymous said…
Tooj-I didn't think of it like that, but makes lots of sense. When I do give myself permission to "break down" I often feel like things fall into place and are much simpler. I will remember that when communicating with my kids.

Thank you
I will have to check that out... I have the same problem with both of my kids.
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