Children and Disruptive Classroom Behavior

Is your child disruptive in school? While there are many reasons children become disruptive, it is important that parents treat it seriously.

When children are disruptive in the classroom it can cause a lot of problems for their classmates and their teachers, but in the long run, it’s the disruptive child herself who is most impacted, on both a social and educational level. So why are some kids disruptive at school? Educational psychologist Pat Mirenda says that sometimes it’s the classroom environment itself that triggers disruptive behavior in some children. “Often kids who are looking pretty okay at home or can manage in small groups, when they hit a classroom situation with 25 or 30 kids, one adult, a lot of structure, and few choices, you start seeing a lot of the behavior problems show up. They can’t handle the kinds of rule impositions that a classroom involves.”

Mirenda adds that almost immediately teachers act upon disruptive behavior if it includes bullying, teasing, hitting and name calling. “The red flag for kids who are exhibiting really serious behavior problems like hurting other kids is usually raised quite quickly.”

Mirenda says that what some teacher’s consider to be disruptive, others don’t. In other words, “it will depend upon an individual teacher’s tolerance. Some teacher’s are just more tolerant, so sometimes we see kids who have a good year and a bad year, a good year and a bad year, depending upon the tolerance of the teacher.”

If your child is being pegged disruptive on a regular basis, it’s probably wise to talk to the teacher and get specifics on what the teacher considers disruptive. Also talk to your child to understand why your child is behaving this way. Without realizing it, disruptive behavior may be your child’s way of making friends or getting more attention. And disruptive behavior can be a sign that your child is frustrated due to a learning disability or is bored because she is under challenged.

All in all, disruptive classroom behavior needs to be explored because it could signal that something more is going on than meets the eye.


Adapted from The Parent Report Radio Show. Any advice or information contained herein should never be a substitute for professional and/or medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. For more information please review Terms of Service.

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