Children With Behavior Problems in the Classroom

Children in classrooms can misbehave in many ways, with common outbursts involving excessive or out-of-turn noise making, fighting and bullying, or using insulting language against others. Such behaviors disrupt the smooth process of learning, which reduces what a student is able to gain from class. Knowing what motivates some children with behavior problems in the classroom can help educators and parents deal with the situation and move toward a positive outcome.

  1. Reasons for Behavior Problems

    • In most cases, children use their behavior to express emotional distresses sparked by those around them or their environment. A child misbehaving only in school and not at home probably means that there is something within the school influencing this. Potential trigger points might be dislike for a teacher or classmates, or peer pressure. Sometimes the bad behavior might stem from a behavioral disorder.

    Teachers' Role

    • As the authority figure in the classroom, teachers often are in the best position to help children with behavioral problems, as they spend a lot of time with them, sometimes even more than the parents. Teachers can help modify the behavior of children with behavior problems by establishing rules aimed at eliminating or reducing the frequency of misbehavior and punishing those who break them. Another approach would be rewarding those with good behavior to motivate the rest to behave well.

    Parents' Role

    • Some parents get involved with their child's school affairs only when the report cards come home. However, this lack of interaction can be detrimental, especially if the child is underperforming or exhibits behavioral problems in class. A parent can play a role adjusting a misbehaving child's behavior by being more involved in the child's education, having their child evaluated for behavioral problems and discussing the child's behavior with school officials.


    • If a child's behavioral problems get out of hand, especially if other avenues have been exhausted, it often is recommended to seek outside help in the form of behavioral therapy. Serious signs of behavior problems in the classroom include aggression, destructiveness, lack of empathy or responsibility, and disregard for classroom rules and regulations. These signs may point to behavioral disorder that requires a therapist’s assistance. Sometimes the therapist involves both the parent and the teacher to contribute to the healing process to support and guide the child.

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