How a counselor recommends handling misbehavior in the classroom

What to do if your kid is misbehaving in the classroom
Published: Aug. 14, 2022 at 9:11 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - As students are heading back to school, some teachers are dealing with an increase of misbehavior in the classroom.

Whether the final tipping point is a new school routine or rules at their desk, one counselor says there’s always more happening under the surface.

“Just the transition to school or starting school can be hard on some children,” said Lauren Jones, a licensed professional counselor. “Typically, it’s often because the children are covering up deeper feelings that they may not know how to effectively express or cope with.”

Jones says many children misbehave because they don’t yet know how to manage emotions, like confusion, fear, anxiety, sadness, loneliness, embarrassment, rejection.

She adds that the feeling of social isolation during the two-year pandemic didn’t help.

“COVID caused a lot of increased emotions,” said Jones. “Some children lost loved ones, or their families lost jobs. All children were effected in ways of staying home, less social interaction.”

So what some see as simply getting back to a routine can be confusing or triggering for some students.

Jones says now more than ever, teachers and parents need to be teaching social and emotional learning skills.

“Definitely things such as talking about your emotions and expressing your emotions,” she adds. “Learning what emotions are is really important for young children. Learning to say, ‘I’m feeling overwhelmed,’ or ‘I’m feeling irritable,’ or ‘I’m feeling embarrassed’ is really important for them to be able to express that. Then an adult can help them handle that.”

Jones says another coping mechanism is teaching breathing exercises like showing how to slow your breathing to calm down in heightened situations.

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