Kindergarten Behavior - focus and following directions
My son is 5.5 years old and his is exhibiting behavior issues in his kindergarten class. It is a new school and he didn’t have any friends from his daycare attend. He is getting poor behavior marks almost every day.
Any suggestions/comments will be much apprecaited.
His behavior issues include the following:
1. Not listening / following directions. He is told not to ‘talk when the teacher is talking’ 4-5 times a day. It takes multiple requests for him to change his behavior, more so during recess.
2. He is a very active child. He can sit still if doing homework but during “carpet” time, when sitting right next to other children, he likes to slightly lean on other children, talk, and disrupt class time. He would prefer to wrestle other children.
3. During class time he was asked close the door and instead went outside and started playing.
4. Now, if anything goes wrong at his activity table/academic table, the other kids blame the issue on my son. Over the last 3 months, now the teachers are taking the other kids accusations at face value and we’ve found two occurrences where he was sent to the assistant principal’s office without the teacher confirming he was at fault (it was later determined the teacher didn’t actually see the infraction). Finally, other children are not playing with him at recess and telling him it is because he gets bad behavior marks.
5. Likes to make kids laugh and is making disruptive decisions to get a reaction of other children. He does laugh a lot, is a happy child and is remorseful for the bad behavior (says he understands it’s wrong).
His teacher is not worried about the academics. He is very polite with others and shares everything he has (including food) with his friends. When pressed, he has a hard time explaining his feelings or situations. There are two children in the class that he doesn’t get along with (both are very developed in their language skills) and he is noticeably stressed when they are in the same room. The teacher has separated the kids during classroom activities.
We took him to a speech therapist and no concerns were raised. He does have a slight stuttering problem (when excited/angry) that has surfaced every day in the classroom. At home he stutters 1-2 times a week (has improved to this point over the last 18 months). The home stuttering hasn’t changed since he started school.
Overall he has trouble focusing, remembering lessons from bad behavior, and following rules.
We have tried, spanking, taking away toys (it works for less than an hour in some cases, but goes back to his normal) but primarily we use time-outs with a good discussion on the “why are we in timeout”. Nothing has shown results, we are frustrated.
I have some ideas for you but get the feeling that you are not in the same culture as I am, and culture makes a difference. Would you mind saying where you live? (You don't have to be specific, but I am trying to determine if this is an Asian culture or a British one or Indian? ... I don't identify it as being the United States because I've never heard of "bad behavior marks" in kindergarten in this country. Not that some schools don't do this; I would be interested in hearing if they do.)
along with Annie's very important question.
Let me add that at this age there is very little that can be done at home for behavior at school. That is because behavior modification has to be immediate. To punish him for something that he did hours earlier is not only useless, but counter-productive. The school needs to be the active party in this. There are things that you can practice doing at home to help with his behavior at school and I will give you some ideas on that once I see what kind of a school we are dealing with.
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