Teresa Roberts, a teacher at Northern High School in Accident, Maryland, offers tips:

1. Talk with your child. Ask him to describe what has been going on in school. Share what the teacher said. “Then discuss the specific behaviors the teacher wants changed,” Teresa advises.

2. Make a list. With your child, brainstorm ways to improve behavior. It is important that your child make up the list. This way, you teach your child that he is responsible for choosing his behavior.

3. Tell your child you expect him to make these changes in behavior. Send a copy of the list to your child’s teacher and ask her to contact you if there’s no improvement.

4. Visit the school. “In my opinion,” Teresa writes, “the best action a parent can take to deal with problem school behavior is to visit the child’s classroom.” There is, she says, “an excellent chance your child will not misbehave while you are in the room. That is exactly what you want.”

While you’re there, your child is establishing new patterns of behavior. You may need to visit several times. Your presence sends a signal that you think behavior is important. “Believe it or not,” she says, “the older your child is, the more effective this method will be.”

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