Famous Psychologist Dr. Stanley Goldstein Describes The Two Unacknowledged Reasons for Student Learning And Discipline Problems.

Famous Psychologist Describes The Two Unacknowledged Reasons for Student Learning and Discipline Problems

Children want to meet adult expectations, misbehaving only if they can’t help it for one or two reasons (assuming they don’t have health or nutrition or serious family difficulty):

1. A child’s ability to function normally requires basic psychological (ego) capacities which form during their first three years of life. These include the ability to distinguish reality from fantasy, to control thinking and behavior, to modulate mood, and to develop a “sense of self” or of who they are.

These abilities develop through a child’s continuous interaction with their parents or parenting figures. If this is inadequate, not “good enough,” critical mental weaknesses may arise with attention and behavior problems being frequent. Teachers, with exception, are unable to adequately help such students, having been trained to teach, not provide therapy or manage a therapeutic setting.

2. School principals who fail to take discipline seriously, by quickly intervening against bullying or other uncivil behavior, send the unspoken message these are not serious issues. Thereafter, both teachers and students conform to this expectation, causing staff morale and student performance to plummet.

While the underlying problems are not easily remedied, ignoring them by adopting the false explanation of prejudice or inadequate school funding makes it impossible.

Dr. Stanley Goldstein is an author and psychologist who has appeared on national broadcasts including The Larry King Show and CourtTV.

Chapters of his books (Troubled Children/Troubled Parents: The Way Out, Second Edition; Shopping For A Shrink: Finding The Right Psychotherapist For You Or Your Child; Through Children’s Minds: The Marketing and Creation of Children’s Products) can be read at his website (http://www.drstanleygoldstein.com), amazon.com, b&n.com, or the iBook store. His books are also available in print editions.


Regardless of what they sometimes insist, every child wants to succeed in school.