how to discipline a child for misbehaving at school

How to Discipline a Child for Misbehaving at School

Discipline plays a crucial role in child development; it helps promote appropriate behavior while discouraging inappropriate ones. It is essential to learn how to discipline children properly, especially concerning their behavior in school.


Misbehaviors from children at school could be attributed to several factors, including psychological, behavioral, and environmental influences. There are different discipline techniques that parents can use to correct bad behavior in their children. However, choosing the most effective approach depends on several factors, including the type of misbehavior, its underlying cause, and the child’s personality. In this article, we will explore several discipline techniques that parents can adopt to help correct misbehavior in their children.

Understanding Misbehavior in Children

To properly discipline a misbehaving child at school, parents must first understand what causes this misbehavior. Some reasons include lack of attention or direction from parents or teachers leading to frustration or inadequate communication skills. Some common types of misbehaviors found among students include disobedience, tardiness or absenteeism, destructive behavior of school property and aggression towards others.

Effective Discipline Techniques for Misbehaving Children

The goal of discipline is not to punish but to teach your child what is appropriate behavior and raise him/her upright. It is important not only to choose the right technique of discipline but also use different approaches depending on the child’s demeanor and type of behavior.

Positive Reinforcement Techniques

This method of discipline encourages good behavior and increases its frequency by rewarding it when it occurs.

  • Verbal Praise: This reinforces good behaviors like being respectful and responsible.
  • Token system: These tokens can be earned for good behaviors and redeemable for something the child likes, such as extra free time or a small toy.
  • Privileges: Parents can reward positive behavior with access to activities or privileges of interest like watching TV.

The positive reinforcement method is useful in correcting behaviors that arise from confusion or lack of motivation. A positive approach helps promote teamwork between parents, teachers, and children.

Negative Reinforcement Techniques

This technique generally focuses on punishing bad behavior to discourage its occurrence. Although harsh punishment may discourage bad behavior improves the chances that it will happen again.

  • Removal of privileges: This refers to taking away something that the child values like TV or dessert, usually for a set length of time based on the severity of the misbehavior.
  • Time-Outs: This involves giving the child a specified period of time to calm down and think about what they did wrong without any distractions or stimuli.
  • Lecturing: Parents can help their children understand their mistakes by explaining the negative consequence that can occur.

Note that disciplining a misbehaving child is different from scolding him. Negative reinforcement techniques may not be effective for some students who may have underlying mental health issues like anxiety and depression, making them fail even when they try their best.

Punishment Techniques

The use of punishment techniques aims to discourage bad behavior, but they should only be applied in rare instances as severe punishments like physical punishment impedes healthy child development and is considered abuse. Examples include;

  • Physical Punishment: Is a severe form of punishment and includes spanking or hitting on the child’s buttocks and other parts of the body.
  • Restriction of Movement: Imposing restrictions on the child’s movement by removing access to certain rooms or items they love, such as electronics. Parents must remain cautious when using restrictive methods.
  • Verbal Punishment: This discipline method involves shouting/nagging at your child; it can erode self-esteem and cause emotional instability in children.
Behavioral Contracts

A behavioral contract is an agreement between parents, teachers and students for a set series of actions to manage behavior. The agreement outlines the actions, expectations of appropriate behavior, and consequences for wrong behaviors without invalidating the student’s long-term goals.

  • Creating a plan: Outline a plan that includes an attainable agreement, including agreed-upon rules, courtesy, conduct about how they should treat others and participate in classwork.
  • Adhere to the rules: Follow through with implementing agreed upon consequences for misbehaviors that detour your child’s progress.

Communicating Effectively with Your Child’s School Teachers and Administrators

The effective management of discipline requires good communication between young students’ parents or guardians and their teachers. It opens effective channels allowing both parties to address concerns about the student collectively. The following are essential factors to consider when working with educators.

Importance of Collaboration

The education system serves as one of many sources that shape children’s character. Collaboration between parents, teachers, and other authorities provides tailored methods specifically formulated towards addressing concerns unique to each child.

Steps to Building Good Relationships with Your Child’s School Teachers

As parents, one of the methods to ease communication breakdown is to establish a good relationship with your child’s teachers. Communication is key as it leads to effective parent-teacher-partnerships that foster children’s performance and well-being. The following are pointers on building a healthy partnership:

  • Attend a parent-teacher conference: This allows for personal interaction between parents and teachers.
  • Join Parent Teacher Associations (PTA): PTA aids communication between parents, teachers, and school administrators that influences policies/affects children’s academic performance.
  • Active Listening: Paying attention to what your child’s teacher says can help you work together towards formulating solutions to better support your child’s needs.

Parenting Strategies To Encourage On-going Positive Behavior Change

In encouraging on-going positive behavior change without resorting to excessive punishment, parents can adopt an alternative parenting style that involves:

  • Lead by example: Children tend to imitate their life model, starting from their parents; hence it is vital they lead by example.
  • Understand and appreciate differences: Appreciate your child’s strengths rather than focus only on weaknesses; it helps them grow more confident in their abilities.
  • Encourage their passions: Engage children in activities they enjoy doing; this will re-affirm your interest in them as individuals and not machines;


Bridging the gap through open communication channels and collaboration between parents, educators, and other stakeholders dealing with discipline is key to nurturing the growth of young children. Children need guidance, direction, and proper behavioral enforcement that contributes towards optimum performance and long-term growth. As parents or guardians, adopting effective discipline strategies to correct misbehavior in schools equips us to foster an environment suitable for learning while promoting a healthy atmosphere where they can grow into responsible citizens.

How to Discipline a Child for Misbehaving at School


1. Is discipline necessary when a child misbehaves at school?

Yes, discipline is necessary to teach a child appropriate behavior and consequences of their actions. It also helps to ensure that they do not repeat the same mistakes and become responsible adults in the future.

2. What are some common misbehaviors of children at school?

  • Talking back to teachers or classmates
  • Bullying or physically hurting other kids
  • Disrupting class activities or not following directions
  • Dishonesty, lying, or cheating on tests
  • Damaging school property or stealing things from others

3. How can parents discipline their child without being too harsh?

  • Talk to your child calmly and openly about their behavior and how it affects others.
  • Set clear boundaries and rules with consequences that are consistent.
  • Offer positive reinforcement for good behavior and progress made.
  • Listen carefully to your child’s side of the story before imposing a punishment.

4. What is the role of teachers in disciplining students?

Teachers play a significant role in shaping students’ behavior, particularly when it comes to peer relationships and following classroom rules. They should communicate with parents as well as explain behavioral standards upfront, stay impartial, provide guidance, and encourage students’ positive behaviors.

5. Should corporal punishment be used in schools to discipline a child?

No, corporal punishment is not an effective way to discipline a child. It may lead to physical, emotional, and psychological harm and does not teach appropriate behavior. Adopting other positive reinforcement approaches can produce satisfactory results rather than physical violence.

6. What should parents do if their child reacts negatively to disciplining them?

  • Avoid shouting or physical aggression towards the child because it could escalate the issue.
  • Stay calm and listen carefully to your child’s perspective, feelings, and concerns.
  • Reiterate the message that their behavior has consequences without backing down on the rules. Repeat the disciplinary corrective action where appropriate.
  • Show love and affection throughout the process to assure them they are still loved.

7. When should parents seek professional help for their child’s behavior?

If there is repetition of bad behavior despite repeated corrective actions, a parent should consult with teachers or school counselors first if possible. However, seeking counseling from an expert who specializes in behavioral problems would be appropriate for children who continue to exhibit negative behaviors that pose a significant threat to themselves or others.

keys takeaways

4 Key Takeaways: How to Discipline a Child for Misbehaving at School

  1. Start with a clear conversation: Talk to your child about their behaviour and try to understand what led them to misbehave. This helps your child feel heard and can positively influence future behaviour.
  2. Consequences matter: Be clear about the consequences if school behaviour doesn’t improve. Explain the punishment and why it’s important, but also make sure it is reasonable and fair.
  3. Work with teachers: Meet with your child’s teacher and collaborate on solutions for inappropriate behaviour. This creates a positive team approach that can help lead to success in the classroom.
  4. Encourage good behaviour: Reward your child for good behaviour both at school and at home. This creates positive reinforcement giving them incentives to continue making good choices.

Remember, every child is different and so are their attitudes towards discipline. It’s important to take the time to understand what works best for your child and create a plan that leads to long-term success.

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