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What are your consequences in elementary school for bad behavior?

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What should be the consequences in elementary school for bad behavior?

Is this something that has come up for you and your child? Every child makes mistakes from time to time; that's certainly a normal part of growing up. The the first thing you might want to ask yourself if your child has a behavior related problem at school:

Is this an infrequent, honest mistake? Or do I see a pattern of bad behavior coming from my child?

The answer to your question will help you determine the most helpful consequences in elementary school for bad behavior in your situation.

Turn your speakers UP!

In other words, consequences for bad behavior should fit the "elementary school crime".

Are we talking about...

  • disrespectful behavior - talking back to a teacher.
  • homework problems - consistently losing or missing assignments.
  • behavior problems with peers - bullying or fighting.
  • classroom problems - cheating, disruptive or refusing to cooperate.
  • problems at home related to school - deliberately refusing to get ready for school in the morning or to do homework after school.

or simpler, more innocent behavior issues...

  • talking too much in class.
  • forgetting to have a pencil (or other supply) ready.
  • leaving belongings where they don't belong or losing them at school.
  • excessive lunch trading and therefore not eating a healthy lunch.
  • sneaking toys to school when you (the parent) have said not to take them.

These are only partial lists, of course, but take a closer look at them. The top list is revealing a student who is intentionally defiant to some degree. The bottom list is talking about a child who is simply being a child - immature and forgetful - but exhibiting regular development.

Intentionally defiant behavior is screaming for someone to step up and take control away from the user. This is often a significant character issue and certainly a problem solving issue. In the second example, while the bad behavior may be somewhat unintentional, immature and innocent, (albeit selfish) it is also a character and maturity issue, and one that can often be solved just by talking with the elementary child about the consequences of his actions on himself and other people and explaining that he has an important job to do - grow up well - and school is a vital part of that. A proper use of blank chore charts or printable homework charts often helps with these types of behavior challenges.

Defiant behavior often needs more intervention. A structured program featuring ways to break the established patterns of behavior such as specific word choices can provide education and support for both the child and the parent as they work towards success.

Consequences in elementary school for bad behavior.

Disrespectful, defiant behavior deserves a strong response. Losing of privileges and making amends in some way are useful.

Simpler, unintentionally defiant elementary school behavior problems should experience natural consequences. For example, last night my elementary age daughter forgot her homework at school. She didn't "get in trouble" as this has not been a pattern in any way, but we did want her to be aware that she must remember to stay on top of her daily responsibilities.

So, she did extra time on her piano lessons and reading; not as a punishment, but as a reminder that the time designated "study time" is important and will be kept even if she forgets her homework at school. In addition, obviously, she will have twice the work to finish tonight because she will have to catch up from yesterday's incomplete work. That is a natural consequence.

Remember the important reason we use consequences in life is because we love our children and want them to be able to handle the real world when they grow up. And the real world gives us consequences!

Protecting our children from consequences is NOT love, in fact, it's a mean and unhealthy thing to do. Life IS consequences and we do our children a huge favor when we allow them to fall and fail (within reason) while they're still at home in our care.

For additional food for thought, try this article I really like entitled Good Behavior is not MagicIts a Skill The Three Skills Every Child Needs for Good Behavior.

And if you want to continue learning new ideas to help parent your growing child, sign up for my ezine "I Love My Child" (see sign up box above).

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Related articles:
What to do with a child with very serious behavior problems
Common behavioral problems in children
Behavior problems in school age children
Teenage behavior modification
Behavior modification in children
Behavior modification strategies

Remember, I am giving you my thoughts as a long time parent, not as a therapist. This website does not dispense professional, medical, or legal advise. Please consult a qualified professional about your own situation.

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