Home > Kids > Behavior and Discipline > Behavioral Problems > Back-to-School Discipline Problem
|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Back-to-School Discipline Problem

Toddler and Teenager Expert Advice from Carleton Kendrick, Ed.M., LCSW

Q: My son got into a little trouble his first day of school. (All of the pre-K teachers liked him at his daycare and I feel he learned a lot.) When my wife or I have a disscussion about what he did wrong, he laughs. Could this be a sign of nerves? If you ask him why he was talking loud in the hall and restroom he has good answers, like the other kids were watching him, or he saw someone he knew from pre-K, so you don't want to be too hard on him. But he threw a rock at another child because he wouldn't listen to what he was saying. That made me very angry. If we try to discuss it he snickers and covers his face. I wish I could get him over it, but I don't know how.

A: Dear Friend,
I think that your good common sense is on target here. His laughter and snickers and covering his face when you discuss this uncomfortable subject are a nervous response--his way of showing his anxiety over having to "face the music" about something he knows he is in trouble for.

Given his good reports from his pre-K teachers and your knowing your boy is a good kid, I would chalk up this little "blip on the screen" to early school jitters. You rightly need to be concerned about his chucking rocks at kids if he becomes frustrated or angry with them. So be patient with him and remind him of all the good things he does daily and of all the new things he's accomplishing in school. Teach him to use his words when he disagrees with a child or adult and role-play the different ways he can respond in non-physical ways.

More on: Expert Advice

Carleton Kendrick has been in private practice as a family therapist and has worked as a consultant for more than 20 years. He has conducted parenting seminars on topics ranging from how to discipline toddlers to how to stay connected with teenagers. Kendrick has appeared as an expert on national broadcast media such as CBS, Fox Television Network, Cable News Network, CNBC, PBS, and National Public Radio. In addition, he's been quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, USA Today, Reader's Digest, BusinessWeek, Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, and many other publications.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Gift Ideas Sure to Please
Find the best gifts for girls, and everyone else on your list! Visit our Holiday Shopping Headquarters. Brought to you by Monster High.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Print this free holiday wish list for kids, so they can tell you what they really want this year! Brought to you by Monster High.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!