My 5 year old started kindergarten this past fall. He has always been very smart, nowing the alphabet and the sounds of letters by age 2, reading phonetically at age 3, and more. He has been in a private home daycare since he was a baby, usually just a couple other kids in the daycare, very one on one. Kindergarten started out pretty good, he was shy and didn't really like to participate, and struggled when didn't finish his assignments , but was told to move on to the next project... he always wanted to finish what he started. The teacher found that he was very advanced and started challenging him. feared that he would become bored in class. During our middle of the year parent/teacher conference she told me that he was starting to throw tantrums. He didn't want to go to "the buddie room" for time out. Lately it has gotten ever worse though. She said that there were some boys that were bad influences on him, daring him to pull down his pants, or other very bad things. Today he threw a tantrum because he didn't get what he wanted, he refused to go to "the buddie room" and went kick the teacher then kicked his desk, and threw his chair.. he got sent home for the day... What could be causing this drastic change in behavior?
Frankly, I don't like the, "The teacher found that he was very advanced and started challenging him. feared that he would become bored in class." That also could mean she can't handle him and she is keeping him busy to stay out of her hair. May not be what's going on, but -----. How long has she been teaching, and what is her reputation as a disciplinarian - very tough, very easy, great, etc. ?
Essentially, I think he is reacting to pressure. Has he ever said he doesn't want to go to school?
I would definitely ask how long one has to stay in the "buddie" room. It should not be more than about 10 to 15 min. at that age.
An extremely important question is does he throw tantrums at home? If he does, how do you deal with it? If he does throw tantrums at home, there is a way to deal with it that will reinforce what the school is trying to do. If he doesn't throw tantrums at home, than the school setting (ie. the teacher) is possibly more at fault than the child. Kind of important to figure that one out.
By the way, and he may not remember, what did he want that caused his latest tantrum? Please get back to us.
Wow, sounds a LOT like my son. He is undoubtedly feeling quite a bit of stress. Since he sounds like he's very bright, he may be feeling frustration that everything is not going well. Not being able to finish what he starts could be a big one, being picked on by other kids is definitely a stressor. Talk to his teacher one on one - without him there. If nothing particular catches your eye as to what is going on, talk to the school counselor to see if he/she can meet with your son to help him de-stress. If that doesn't work, try getting some professional help from outside the school. Involving others is going to be your best bet to finding out what's causing the change.
My son has sensory issues and they are worse------- much worse in the school setting. When a child is used to feeling in control they may react badly to losing that control and being one of the masses.
Have you gone and observed in the classroom? It would be well worth a day off of work to see for yourself the dynamics of the classroom. Five year olds at school can be pretty simple, in my opinion. There has to be triggers to the meltdowns and you and the teacher need to know what they are. Pushing him academically? Perhaps but that usually doesn't cause a fit. I would think it is something more about the enviroment and losing the control over his activities that he has had. His teacher does sound like she may be a bit in over her head with kindergarteners because it is not uncommon for them to be at all different levels upon entering. Some can read a chapter book and some have never read at all. Some have been at home with mom their entire preschool years and some have been in preschool/mini kindergarten for a couple of years. So in kindergarten, you get a wide range of kids with different abilities and experience that they must be prepared to handle.
Is your son on the young side for kindergarten as he is still 5 in May? Is he a summer birthday? A child can be academically prepared but not developmentally mature enough for kindergarten. Do you think this is going on? Again, I'd strongly suggest some observation time on your part to see what you think.
The reason why I always take meltdowns at school seriously is because that can lead to low self esteem in the child. Other kids notice the child having a tough time, crying, yelling, kicking, etc. They really do and they start to shy away from that person. This happened to my son when he was 4 and in preschool. He turned out to have sensory integration disorder and through occupational therapy, he is a different kid. But that damage was done at 4 and we have to work on his esteem issues. So, keep home a pleasant and upbeat place. Accentuate all of his positives. Try to set up some play dates (maybe Saturday at the park) with a school mate or two to help him socially.
Next year will be a telling year as you will see if it is the teacher or the experience of school. If it turns out to be the experience of school, you'll have to dig deeper as to what the root of his meltdowns are. Usually a child's behavior shows what he is feeling on the inside. If he is out of control in a tantrum, he has chaos going on inside. Good luck
I'm going through this now. Would you be open to providing an update to your experience? I'm curious to know how things have developed three years later. My son is a young kindergartener and having difficulty in kindergarten even after completing preschool. Would like to know there is light at the end of the tunnel. Greatly appreciate your insight.
Typically, one who posted so long ago will not respond. Why not start a new post with more information about the kind of difficulty your son is having. Please let us know when his birthday is as that is also important. Hopefully, we can help.
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