The school season usually means increased structure, less free time, earlier bedtimes, and dreaded homework. It’s not unusual for parents to see a rise in behavior problems as kids of all adjust to the change. Here are some strategies to address those back-to-school behavior problems. The start of a new school year is the best time to evaluate your rules. Consider whether your child can handle a later bedtime. Or decide whether you’ll be making your child’s lunch or if he’s old enough to pack his own. Hopefully, you’ll be able to take some steps to help your child become more independent this year than he was last year. You can always take the steps incrementally and allow him to earn more responsible as he earns it. Tell him he can stay up 30 minutes later as long as he gets up on time for school each morning without any problems, for example. Or allow him to stay up later if he can show you that he’s responsible by getting his homework and his chores done on time without protesting. Habits are established early in the school year. Creating a schedule is one of the best ways to set your child up for success.

Ways to manage back to school behavior problems

You’ll be less likely to run into homework battles later in the year in case your child gets in the habit of doing his homework before dinner. Help your child create healthy habits that will ensure he gets his responsibilities taken care of on time. Don’t back down with your discipline in case your child exhibits increased behavior problems at the beginning of the school year. Stay consistent when it comes to managing behavior problems. You’ll set yourself up for bigger problems later in the school year in case you give in to behavior problems. Don’t allow him to stay up late in case he cries because he doesn’t want to go to sleep at his school-night bedtime. Set limits and stick to him and you’ll help him adjust to the changes faster. It’s not unusual for children to temporarily regress before improving their behaviors again.  Problem-solve the issue together in case your child comes home from school every day in a terrible mood, or he’s refusing to get out of bed in the morning. It’s important to find out if there’s something going on at school that’s contributing to the issues you’re seeing. It may be necessary to speak with your child’s teachers to find out how he’s doing at school. A child who exhibits ongoing behavior problems may be a sign that he’s having a lot of difficulty adjusting to his new grade. Find out if he’s having any behavior problems at school and discuss how he’s doing academically and socially. It can also be helpful to let the school know that you’re seeing some concerning behavior issues. This can alert a child’s teacher to be on the lookout for bullying or other issues which may have slipped under the radar. Talking to the school can also help you gain support in addressing behavior problems that may surround homework.