My daughter acts out at school. She hit, kicks, flips over chairs and tables, throws things..sometimes at kids or adults.., screams, etc. We (parents and the school) have been trying different things to help her but nothing seems to be working! She has been suspended 5 times. She tells us she does it because shes frustrated and its very hard to get her to explain what happened or why she did it. We usually get "I dont know" or "I dont remember". Her "outbursts" happen when shes told to do school work and she doesnt want to and sometimes just when she gets overwhelmed! Please ANY advice would amazing!

  • What are some of these different things you've been trying?
    – user36162
    Mar 13, 2020 at 6:18
  • Have you been to a doctor yet? I mean no offense of course but there could be a psychological or other medical problem to this like autism or a form of trauma she endured what you are unaware of.
    – A.bakker
    Mar 13, 2020 at 6:36

1 Answer 1


We used to have similar issues with our son. Eventually we got him tested (autism) and he is now going to a specialized school. Those aren't scary, it takes quite a bit of time, but if it's really the issue nothing beats specialized help. Those are outside the scope of this forum though.. Leading up to that these are the things we tried/noticed with some success.

  • Don't really expect a 6 year old to "know" why something happens. Especially if they are overwhelmed we as adults have a hard time dealing with stress/burnout. Asking the question is important to keep the dialog going, but expecting a 6 year old to psychoanalyze herself and give you a reason you can 'fix' is probably too much. The problem isn't that last straw that broke the camels back. It's the rest of the load.

  • The most important part for us was to  take an extra half hour for our morning ritual. If there was ANY stress before arriving at school it will only be harder at school. We spend years with my only goal in the morning was to arrive at school without any shouting, pushing, yelling or any other form of stress. (including from you complaining to hurry up).

  • After school look at your schedule to reduce pressure. If you have swimming, scouting, soccer and playdates all in the afternoon your kid really don't have any time to wind down.

  • you could even consider breaking up the schoolweek by taking Wednesdays off for example. However my experiences with this one is mixed. "At home and bored" doesn't really help and going to school every day also give structure.

  • The teacher used to make signoff sheet for every activity throughout the day. At home he would get computer time for every activity done (half an hour guaranteed and up to half an hour for a whole day of everything going right at school). If you do this you start celebrating successes (great you earned 20 minutes today). regardless of what didn't work. Positive feedback here is the key. It needs a few things

a) always have some success (don't expect perfect days , expect her to do 1 task. 15 minutes of good behaviour, etc)

b) the reward needs to be engaging enough, incremental (half a reward is still worth earning)   and instant (no buying gifts for a whole week, if you did well at school today you get your reward today)

c) set strict simple boundaries. For us was kicking others is 0 screen time regardless of the rest of the day. Any other task was optional (you don't want to do math, fine that costs 10 minutes but we're not pushing hard)

This  requires a teacher to show in advance which work is expected. It gives your child time to mentually prepare (at 830 you know math is coming up in the afternoon). And you need to stick to the schedule. (If writing is scheduled at 1300 they get the option to do writing at 1300 even if the rest of the class is still working on an arts project)

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