Every child is different. Understanding your child’s challenging behaviour could help you to make a behaviour management strategy for home and school. This will usually mean working with your child, other adults at home and teachers on:
Being consistent helps children to know when their behaviour is good and when it’s challenging.
Tell anyone who looks after your child what the rules are. Make sure that your child knows them too. Make time to chat about them as a family, but try not to make it feel like a meeting. If you can, choose a time when your child is having a better day. Aim to include your child when you set rules.
Make a list of rules and put them in a place where your child can find them. If they’re young, you could ask them to draw a picture for each rule.
Praise and encourage your child when you notice them doing something right. Praise should be specific. Try to give praise while your child still remembers what they were doing. This can be hard when you are tired.
Giving your child limited choices can help
“Do you want to do your homework before or after dinner?” (do your homework)
“Do you want to wear your blue jumper or orange jumper?” (put on a jumper)
Talking to your child’s teachers
Look for ways to work together, so that you and the school can manage your child’s behaviour consistently.
This could be:
after you find out about an upsetting incident and have had time to think
at the beginning of term
You could also ask to meet more often if you need to. You could talk about:
your child’s strengths
making adjustments at school that would encourage positive behaviour, for example being able to play with their favourite thing during quiet times, taking breaks or making things less stimulating
ways for your child to tell the teacher how they are feeling
anything that your child’s teacher has noticed
You could also talk about ways to keep your child motivated in school.
Special educational needs (SEN) support includes looking at:
how your child interacts
their social, emotional and mental health needs
You could ask the school if SEN support would help manage your child’s behaviour. This might include support from an educational psychologist.
If SEN support is not enough to meet the needs of your child, you could ask the school to review it. If that does not work, you could ask for an education, health and care (EHC) plan assessment. You can ask the school or apply directly to your local authority.
SEN support and EHC plans can both include training for staff on how to manage your child’s condition.
If there has been an incident, wait until you feel calmer. If talking to your child’s class teacher does not work, try talking to someone more senior. Follow the school’s complaints procedure. This should be published on their website. This will mean complaining in writing to:
the head teacher
the school’s governors or academy trustees
If following the school’s complaints procedure does not work, you can complain to the Department for Education (DfE).