'No matter how calmly you try to referee, parenting will eventually produce bizarre behaviour, and I'm not talking about the kids.'
- American actor and comedian Bill Cosby
Whether it's in the home or in the classroom, many factors can influence a child's behaviour and as such, there's no single 'easy fix'.
Parents and carers can influence and guide their child's behaviour in a number of ways, but as psychologist Cordelia Fine, research fellow at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the University of Melbourne says, behavioural self-control is also important.
"A United States study shows a child's capacity for self-discipline is about twice as important as his or her IQ when it comes to predicting academic success," Dr Fine says.
Dr Fine cites the work of psychologists Angela Duckworth and Martin Seligman who wanted to determine the most important factor in school grades of about 160 students in the eighth grade of a large public school in north-east United States.
They took IQ tests, questioned the students (and their parents and teachers) about self-control, probed their ability to get things done, explored their ability to achieve long-term goals, and tested their self-control.
"They wanted to know what was the most important factor in school grades," Dr Fine says.
"The psychologists discovered it was self-control, by a long shot."
Wanda Lambert, outgoing state president, Queensland Council of Parents and Citizens' Associations, and Fleur Creed, Executive Officer of Queensland Independent Schools Parents Council, agree that parental involvement in a child's schooling creates a flow-on effect with regard to student behaviour.
"Being involved in your child's schooling means being involved in their behaviour," Ms Lambert says.
"Parents need to be proactive, not wait until after the event when something's occurred. When a community is up in arms about one child, for example, it 's often because of a lack of information or about people being judgmental or making assumptions.
"Listen first before you make a judgment. Be open to discussion about your child. Problems need to be dealt with in the first place between the teacher and the parent. If the school community knows there's a process in place they will feel confident that if there is a problem, it will be dealt with."
Ms Creed says parents and carers need to know they're not alone.
"If a child is having difficulties at school, there may also be issues at home," she says.
"There are many people for parents to talk to at schools and within the community. Those who they speak to have probably experienced the same problems - they've been there, done that and can often offer a solution.
"We have to talk more about behaviour. Parents shouldn't feel they are working in isolation if a problem occurs."