Your kid's good behavior at school vs. bad behavior at home

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Your kid's good behavior at school vs. bad behavior at home

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A lot of people want to know if this kid is lacking skills, then why is he well behaved at school and such a monster at home. If he's lacking skills, wouldn't he be behaviorally challenging across all situations? The answer is there are some behaviorally challenged kids who are behaviorally challenging across all situations. But actually the proto-typical behaviorally challenging kid, believe it or not, is well behaved at school and challenging at home. Now, people often say to me, explain that. If he's lacking skills. Explain that. Well, just like most of us, most of us actually look better outside the home than it. Most of us are able to keep ourselves very tightly wrapped under conditions in which there is a high potential for embarrassment. The embarrassment factor also applies to behaviorally challenging kids. Many behaviorally challenging kids are able to keep themselves very tightly wrapped when they're at school and when they might be embarrassed by their challenging behavior. But they cannot maintain that 24 hours a day. They take one step off the school bus, and they are completely falling apart the minute they walk in the door at home. Now this is interesting because it also says that many of the challenging episodes that occur at home may actually be due to things that occurred at school during the day. Just because a child isn't challenging at home, doesn't mean school is off the hook for helping us out with this child's challenging behavior. There may be all kinds of unsolved problems that are occurring at school, but the challenging behavior is not occurring at school. The challenging behavior is occurring once the kid gets home. Fascinating but true.

View Ross W. Greene, PhD's video on Your kid's good behavior at school vs. bad behavior at home...

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Ross W. Greene, PhD

Psychologist, Author & Researcher

Ross W. Greene, Ph.D., is the author of the well-known books The Explosive Child and Lost at School, and the originator of a model of care (now known as Collaborative & Proactive Solutions) emphasizing collaboration between kids and adults in resolving the problems contributing to children’s behavioral challenges.  He is also associate clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, on the professional staff at the Cambridge Hospital, adjunct associate professor in the Department of Psychology at Virginia Tech, and senior lecturer in the graduate program in school psychology in the Department of Education at Tufts University.  Dr. Greene founded the non-profit Lives in the Balance to provide free, web-based resources on his model and to advocate on behalf of behaviorally challenging kids and their parents, teachers, and other caregivers.  He lectures widely throughout the world and lives in Portland, Maine, with his wife and two kids.

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