10 Reasons Kids Act Out in School

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1. They’re Bored. They’re either gifted or very lost in class. There’s either too much or not enough intellectual stimulation so they create it on their own.

2. Want Attention. Good or bad, they like all eyes on them and want to be noticed. They’re the attention seekers who thrive on popularity. Funny though, often when you confront them on this, they’ll often say, “I didn’t want any attention,” None the less, you’ll see a smirk on their face letting you know that they know exactly what they’re doing.

3. Just Like to Cause Trouble. We all hate to think about this one but let’s face it – some kids behave poorly and like to “start fires.” They love to “stir the pot,” and thrive on the resulting controversy.

4. Just Don’t Care. This one is the rarest of the bunch. Often this is what children might want you to believe but generally one of the other motives may be involved. For the few that genuinely don’t care, there’s often a “disconnect” with others relating to cause and effect and they may not be able to differentiate between right and wrong.

5. Social Fears. These are children who feel “paralyzed” by social insecurities and often feel inadequate not up-to-par with others. Therefore, this is a great distraction and way of avoiding future interactions.

6. Out of Control. This one is the easiest to spot. They have no impulse control of either their thoughts or their behavior. Others may appear to display similar behavior but this individual is genuinely remorseful and really did not want or plan to misbehave.

7. Ultimate Control. This child appears somewhat narcissistic and wants absolute control of every situation. They always want to get the last word in even if there are consequences, they want to go down by their own doing rather than give up control to someone else.

8. Covering for Someone Else. You’ll probably hear this one a lot but it’s one of the more rare causes. Basically someone (such as a friend or etc.) is about to get in trouble so they take the “hit” and cover for them. By portraying themselves as a martyr they hope to receive a lesser punishment. While this may be true and may have a commendable quality of loyalty to it, the bottom line is that this child is in the wrong place at the wrong time and needs to be re-directed.

9. Divert attention from parents in conflict. Whether there’s constant arguing, divorce, or other relationship problems in the house, this child is trying to improve the parents’ relationships by giving them a common goal. Not only will this divert attention away from problems in the relationship, but they will have to unite and focus on solutions for treating the “problem child.”

10. Cry for Help. One of the most concerning cause of them all, this is where the child wants someone to intervene but might not know how to verbalize it. This child may be physically, emotionally, or psychologically abused and wants someone to notice.

Whatever the underlying reason is for your child acting out, it is your job to help him/her break out of the cycle of bad behavior. Some individual attention and investigation, and perhaps testing is in order to assure getting the right help and proper placement for your child. The earlier the intervention the better the prognosis for your child to un-learn inappropriate behavior and develop healthy interpersonal skills. This may require teamwork with other family members and/or the school psychologist and other staff. Either way, get them help before it leads to more serious behavioral problems. You can break the cycle!

Remember: The Behavioral Tips and mental health advice provided in this article is for educational purposes only. The information provided is not a substitute for medical, psychiatric or professional mental health care, and you should not use the information in place of a visit, consultation, or the advice of your physician or mental health provider.