During my last PTM (Parents Teacher Meet) I came across few parents who had a similar question regarding their child’s behaviour. They were in complete shock when I told them their ward’s behaviour is extremely good and well-behaved in front of others.
The reasons they were in shock are:
- They had least expected any good remarks of their ward’s behaviour and performance in general.
- The child’s behaviour is completely opposite when at home.
As a teacher we can easily sense the child’s behaviour by the way they speak, act and react and can judge their upbringing. If it’s steady both at school and at home then we can say that the ward’s upbringing is such. But to have a completely different behaviour at school and at home is shocking, surprising and the urgent need to correct it before it gets worse. There may be many reasons such as:
- Homely feeling at school as compared to home with friendly behaviour of teachers encouraging the child to learn, obey and follow what they say.
- The atmosphere may not be child friendly at home.
- Both the parents may be workaholic.
- The child may be left alone at home for most of the hours with the only company of a maid, care taker in the absence of the parents.
- Family disputes, marriage going through a rough patch etc.
It is true that if a child shows a change in the behaviour than the reason for a change also lies with him. It is left for the parent to understand the child, the problems faced and help in solving the problem and in the process rectifying the change in behaviour of the child. There are many signs which the child shows. The most common ones are:
- Decrease in the number of friends.
- Decrease in participation in group activities and games.
- Excessively clingy.
- Throwing tantrums.
- Crying inconsolably.
- Severe mood swings.
So what to do when you notice a change in the child’s behaviour?
Here are few points which I have noticed and have worked well, of course with lots of will and determination from parents as any half-hearted approach will lead to even more trouble and confusion for the child resulting in an unruly child getting difficult to control.
- Parents will have to identify that it is not the child who is wrong but they themselves are wrong. The parents should inculcate the basics of discipline and manners as the child grow. The parents should be calm and composed while reacting to the change.
- Be careful while reacting to the child’s change in behaviour. If you end up reacting to any problem in the home by hitting or shouting, the child will also learn the same and practice it.
- Shower the child with as much love and affection. This is the most important and precious thing to do to understand the child. Spend quality time with them. Understand how the child feels when put in a particular situation resulting in a change in behaviour.
- Make the child understand the need and purpose of doing a particular thing. For eg: If the child gets clingy before going to school than make him understand the importance of going to school along with an assurance of a hug/flowers/sitting there till the end of school time and so on.
- Praise good behaviour.
- Watch out for the programs viewed on television as any aggressive or violent programs may lead to a change in the child’s behaviour.
Moreover being good to the little one, showering some love and compassion daily is the key for understanding the change in behaviour and disciplining the child after you discipline yourself first.
Hetal Kachalia is a preschool teacher in the morning and a dotting home maker by the evening. She blogs at http://ponderingtwo.blogspot.in.