When your child gets in trouble at school, it can feel overwhelming. First, there’s the mom guilt. Then, there’s the daunting task of working with your child’s teachers and school administrators to create a plan. And finally, how do you work with your child at home?
If you’ve been struggling to stay calm when your child gets in trouble at school and prevent your child from misbehaving in school again, these resources might help.
Resources to help your child stay calm in school
Stress management and self-regulation tools for kids
Many schools don’t allow things like fidget spinners, which can be more of a distraction than a coping mechanism for kids. However, there are still tools to help your child focus and pay attention in school that you may be able to use.
Talk to your child’s teacher and ask if they already have techniques and tools in the classroom for the kids to use if they need to calm down, focus, or pay attention.
If not, try one (or more) of the self-regulation items below.
Tactile hand fidget
Give your child something to hold that won’t cause a distraction or disruption in the classroom. These tactile hand fidgets don’t move or make a sound, but they can still provide your child with a sensory method to filter out distractions.
With many of the ergonomic benefits of a stability ball, wiggle seats are a small inflatable cushion that your child can place on his chair. As a bonus, the cushion will help your child to have better posture.
One of my friends bought this fidget cushion for her son with positive results. The cushion allows your child to stay calm and focused while sitting in the classroom.
My son’s teacher provides stress balls for the kids at school. When the kids have overwhelming emotions, they can use the stress ball to calm down.
These stress balls can be stretched and pulled, but we’ve also used stringy balls.
Kick bands are stretchy bands that can be wrapped around the legs of your child’s chair. Instead of kicking the desk or the chair legs, your child can quietly swing her legs and kick the stretchy bands without causing a distraction.
Resources to help parents when a child is acting out
Your child’s teacher and school administrators
Your child’s teacher and school staff will be able to give you feedback on your child’s behavior as well as give you suggestions for how to apply their same coping techniques in your home. By creating a consistent environment, you’ll help your child know what to expect.
As you work with your child’s school staff, remember to keep calm and be willing to work as a team. Both you and your child’s educators want your child to succeed, and taking a defensive approach will do more harm than good.
Related reading on Organized Motherhood: How to Work With Your Child’s Teachers if Your Child is Getting in Trouble at School
A medical professional
Your child’s pediatrician is also a great starting place for resources. Depending on your child’s medical history (or even behavioral history), your doctor may have a simple solution for you.
For example, my son has severe asthma and allergies. After changing his medication, he began to have trouble concentrating in school.
Every child is different, so there’s no way of knowing how your child will respond to medication. In our case, I called my son’s allergist, who was able to recommend several new medications that we could try.
In addition to evaluating your child’s medical history, your pediatrician may have additional suggestions, like calming techniques that you could teach your child at home.
Your child’s doctor may also recommend seeing a behavioral specialist who would be able to further evaluate your child and provide insight and resources.
Parenting with Love and Logic is my favorite book about discipline. One of my friends who is a youth counselor used this book both with her patients and her own kids.
The main principle of the book is to teach kids consequences and make them self-sufficient and able to think for themselves. By providing choices whenever possible, you’ll empower your kids to make wise decisions. You’ll also create a happier home environment while still teaching responsibility.
Parenting with Love and Logic also takes a look at the child’s misbehavior cycle and teaches parents to replace anger with empathy or sadness.
The book will help you create a calmer, more manageable environment at home.
Stress management tools for moms
Your stress level at home may be contributing your child’s behavior. Creating a happy home environment is one of the easiest ways (in theory) to help your child, but that might be easier said than done. These two resources helped me to stay calm when my kids misbehaved.
Stop Yelling Handbook
Yelling and anger won’t help anyone. Your anger and frustration won’t help your child improve her behavior, and it won’t help you feel like a good parent in control.
The Stop Yelling Handbook can help you work through your frustrations and figure out what’s triggering your anger. It also gives you some great tips to stay calm and avoid outbursts in the future.
Taking care of yourself may seem like an impossible feat, especially if you’re trying to help your struggling child. But by taking care of yourself (getting enough sleep, eating healthier, and making time for exercise), you’ll be less stressed and better able to help your child.
If you’re looking for more a more structured way to take care of yourself, 15 Days to a Healthier You is filled with actionable tips and ideas that you can start using right away (without getting overwhelmed).
If your child has been misbehaving at school, these stress management and self-regulatory tools will help both you and your child learn to stay calm, focused, and have a positive attitude.