Thursday, November 18, 2010

How do I help my child stay out of trouble?

Ms. Dorothy -
My son is having a hard time in school. He doesn't stay on task well, and is constantly being re-directed by the teacher. She is trying to stay positive, but he comes home every day and tells us his day was bad. He can't get through a day with his behavior card still on green. We have been trying to ask him about why he got in trouble so we can help him problem solve what else he could have done. What else should we be doing to help him?
- Dad of a 1st grader

Your son has a teacher and parents who all want to support him in such positive ways. Keep up the problem solving conversations!

One thing you might want to start doing with him at home is really turning his focus toward what is working. It can be really hard to fight the parent impulse to ask "How was today? Did you get in trouble?" Instead, try and ask every day, "What were you most proud of today?" and hold out for specifics. It will push for a focus on what is working.

Over time, he will get better at answering, and you will have turned his attention to the positive aspects of his day.That doesn't mean he won't ever get in trouble, or that his card will always be green, but it will help him to see that you value the best parts of his day.

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