This says a lot about the importance of building healthy relationships with our kids — especially of establishing open communication lines between them and us. Michele Santos Alignay, MA, a counselor and parenting-relationship consultant affiliated with the Love Institute, shares her insights on kids with "double lives" and what parents can do to prevent such scenarios:
"It is very true that some kids seem to be different at home and in school. It may be done intentionally or, sometimes, unconsciously. It may not be a common occurrence but it happens to some children."
"Many times, parents are surprised to know how their kids actually behave in school. This is why it is always best for the parents to be open and work with the school to address any concerns that involve their kids. It would also be good for the school to be objective in noting the behavior of the child and consider the factors affecting the students.” Based on her many years of experience as a school guidance counselor, Alignay goes on to clarify that “we do not really say that such kids 'pretend' to be good at home and turn out to be different in school. Nonetheless, we do need to consider the factors in the child’s environment that make him (or her) inconsistent with his behavior. "
According to Alignay, here are some factors that may trigger kids to act differently in school:
•It may be that the parenting style in the home is stifling the child and he/she feels that he cannot be himself.
•The parents may have high expectations from the child and the child attempts to meet them in the home, but deep inside he is striving to be different.
•It is also possible that the child lacks attention in the home and his misbehavior in school is his way of getting attention. This “acting out” is often unintentional, especially for the younger ones.