- Try to put things in perspective. There’s a big difference between an occasional prank and daily antics.
- Look for what’s behind the clowning. Sometimes kids need attention or want to impress their classmates to become popular. Sometimes they use humor to cover up their insecurities and academic shortcomings. Making others laugh is the only way they feel good.
- Work with the teacher. Together, try to identify when the problem behavior started and what might have triggered it. If your child acts up right after recess, for example, he might need help settling down. The teacher might help by assigning him a high-profile task like handing out worksheets.
- See what your child thinks. He might not understand when it’s OK to be silly and when it’s not. Help him see there’s a time when being clever is being disrespectful.
- Establish clear guidelines. With the teacher, convey what kind of behavior is not allowed. Suggest what your child might do instead.
- Set consequences that you and the teacher will enforce if your child breaks the rules—for instance, no recess or no TV.
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