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The 5 “Knows” of School Discipline for Parents

Posted by Kim Schlauch on Nov 25, 2014 3:00:00 PM

student at chalkboard

Many of us have faced or will face it at one time or another.  The receipt of the dreaded phone call, note or e-mail from school regarding our child’s misbehavior.   Experiencing this and learning of the subsequent disciplinary action that has been issued can be unsettling to say the least.  It is one thing to receive this information.  How we handle it is a different matter.

Here are some thoughts on how to turn a negative situation into a positive experience for all parties involved:

  1. Know the Intent of the School Discipline Policy.   The ultimate goal of a school discipline policy is to create a safe and conducive learning environment in the classroom.  As such, school discipline practices should not be looked upon in a negative sense, but in a positive light as they are designed to correct unacceptable behavior patterns in order to ensure the continued safety of staff and students as well to help maintain a positive learning environment for all students.

  2. Know the Expectations.  As mentioned previously when we shared thoughts on positive discipline for parents, children will not know how to behave unless they are taught how to do so.   Refer to your parent/student handbook or follow up with your child’s teacher for the details regarding the school discipline policy.  Make sure you and your child understand what is expected as well the consequences of breaking the rules.

  3. Know Both Sides of the Story.  When conflict occurs, remember there are two sides to every story.  If and when a discipline issue arises, seek to gain an understanding from both your child as well as the school in a non-confrontational manner before acting and before jumping to potentially false conclusions.

  4. Know the School is a Partner, Not an Enemy.  You and the school staff share a common goal: to help your child reach her potential.  To help you achieve this goal, make an effort to establish a positive relationship with your child’s teacher before any discipline issues arise.  The effort you make in developing this relationship can have a positive effect on your child’s behavior and may actually minimize discipline issues.

  5. Know How to Address the Situation at Home. When disciplinary action takes place at school, be sure to discuss the matter with your child and seek to understand how the incident may affect the big picture.  In some cases, the actions taken at school may be sufficient to address the behavior.  In others, further disciplinary action beyond what the school has issued may be necessary.  In those cases, apply positive discipline strategies at home to address and correct the behavior.
    student and teacher at whiteboard

Discipline is important because it teaches our children to be respectful and responsible, to interact well with others and to make smart decisions.  When we send our children to school, we are entrusting them to the care of teachers/staff members and need to be supportive of the policies put in place to help the school achieve its goal to provide our children with an educational foundation needed to lead successful, independent lives.  At the same time, we need to remain informed and involved advocates committed to helping our children resolve issues in a positive and constructive manner.

 

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About the Author

Kim is the blog content manager at Liberty Christian School. She has professional experience in the fields of business and education and hands-on experience as the mother of two school-age children. She enjoys reading, writing, spending time with her family, and anything chocolate.