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Artistic 7 Year Old "Misbehaving in School"
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Artistic 7 Year Old "Misbehaving in School"

My son is 7 and now is 2nd grade.  Fairly consistently throughout this school year and even last year, he's been getting weekly behavior evaluations that indicate he's misbehaving in class.  These range from not paying attention in class to being disruptive (talking to other students).  And in 2 incidents this year, he's added physical contact to his new list of bad behaviors.  Incident #1 had him striking a fellow student's milk carton from his hands while incident #2 saw him slapping another student on the leg.  It should probably be noted that he was reacting both times to being teased or provoked by the other students.  

He's almost never had a behavior card that hasn't had some type of behavior checked off on it.  I'm getting pretty frustrated, to say the least.  I've tried every type of discipline technique mentioned on these forums.  None seem to work.  It's getting to the point where clearly punishment has no lasting effect.  

Scholastically, he's doing fine.  He gets his curriculum and can perform well in class.  But he seems easily distracted.  

Here's the thing:  when he gets board in class, he starts to draw.  If there's an area where he's exceptional, it's art.  He's clearly head and shoulders above the rest of his class and his artwork has been featured in several school exhibitions.  

Is it possible that he simply thinks differently then other kids due to his more art-centric mode of thinking?  At home he's generally a good kid.  Being the middle child in a household with 3 kids, he's hyper at times, but no more than other kids I've seen at his age.  He's also almost NEVER the instigator.

If there's a part of his behavior that needs to be worked it's his level of self-esteem.  He's very shy.  In his Tae Kwon Do class (in which I enrolled him in an effort to aide in his behavior) he's almost never the one to volunteer to do demonstrations -- even though I know he's very capable.
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The most effective antidote to inadequate self-esteem is to enjoy successful experiences. There is no problem with being shy per se; many successful people are, by nature, somewhat shy. It is simply one of a number of basic temperaments that people display. Your son's difficulties appear to revolve around distractbility and impulsivity, and these symptoms may well be indicative of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. It would be prudent to arrange an evaluation to consider this.
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