Why is my child so well behaved at school and then a nightmare at home? This is hands down the most repeated line I hear from parents all the time. If you can relate, you’re not alone and this is totally a “thing” -- just not always a conscious thing.
The demands of the school day can be hard on children, especially young ones. To put things into perspective, they have to “keep it together” all day: be alert, sit, listen, do work, follow the rules of the classroom, socialize and try to control their emotions while being away from home all day. Lucky for parents, it just so happens that many kids feel more comfortable dumping out their emotions in the comfort of their own home! When handling your child’s “devil” behavior it’s important to understand that many children don’t intentionally choose to behave this way. Although it’s important to have boundaries and behavioral expectations at home, it helps to understand how the demands of the school day can impact a child by the end of the day.
While it is very easy to become frustrated by your child’s “devil” behaviors at home or blame yourself, try and keep the “angel” in mind. If your child is good at school, this means they are alert, sitting, listening, doing work, following the rules of the classroom, socializing and controlling their emotions-EVERYTHING YOU AS A PARENT HAVE WORKED SO HARD TO HELP THEM ACHIEVE!!! Acknowledge the success at school and work on the behavior at home. If you continue to have difficulty at home, counseling is a great option to help your child. At A Little Counseling in Wake Forest, children learn to handle their emotions and develop coping skills that help with anger and frustration -- not mention so much more.
So, we will end this with some perspective that “angel/devil” is just an extreme and humorous way to describe a common behavior pattern seen in many children. In reality, most children fall somewhere in between the two extremes!