Good At School vs. Bad At Home

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Good At School vs. Bad At Home

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It's interesting when parents complain about how their kids are acting at home, how they're treating them, how they're treating their siblings,one of the things I encourage them to do is call the school. Call the other place where they are and they spend time. Because as parents what we do is we generalize. We assume, this is the way they are at home; this must be the way they are at school. In reality, they save some of their worst behaviors for home. This is a back-handed compliment. This is where they regress and let their stress out. So you can call school, call one of their teachers and just say, "I'm Jonah's mom, and I'm just calling. I just wanted to check in. Jonah's in your English class." And the teacher will go, "oh yeah. I know Jonah." And you go, "he's 14 and he's going through some things. I'm just wondering. What's he like in school? What's he like with the other kids? What's he like with you?" And don't be surprised if the teacher pauses for a second and goes, "oh Jonah. He's wonderful. he's polite. He reaches out to kids. He defends kids who don't have a strong voice. He's always there early. He's a model student." At which point, you might say, "do you have the right Jonah? This isn't what I see at home." But at school he's really terrific. Then what happens for a parent, now if you know the worse behavior is only at home and he's making you proud at the outside world, you look at him, "I know your secret. I know you're really a good kid." Which makes the rest of it at home more tolerable. And then we're not bringing the same energy and anxiety to it, we understand that he's getting all the lessons at home. They're showing up at school. It might take a little while longer for them to show up at home, but once you know they're showing up at school, your stress level drops enormously. And then his behavior in return will get better.

Watch Video: Good At School vs. Bad At Home by Michael Riera, PhD, ...

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Michael Riera, PhD

Head Of School, Brentwood School

Michael Riera, PhD, Educator, Author, Media Personality, and Speaker. Michael Riera is the Head of School at the Brentwood School, best-selling author, award-winning columnist, educator, television commentator, and national speaker on issues of children, adolescents, families, and parenting. Mike is the author of Right From Wrong: instilling a Sense of integrity in Our Children, Field Guide to the American Teenager, Uncommon Sense For Parents With Teenagers, and Surviving High School. His most recent book, Staying Connected To Your Teenager, was launched with three appearances on Oprah! For eight years he was the Family Consultant for CBS The Saturday Morning Early Show and also hosted an award winning television show on the Oxygen Network, Life in Progress, as well as his own daily radio show, Family Talk with Dr. Mike. Mike has worked in schools for over 20 years as a head of school, counselor, dean of students, teacher and consultant. 

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