What should I do about my 5 year old that always seems to be testing teachers, substitiutes, and other students in class? I am the school counselor for the school he attends and it makes it even more dificult to deal with the problem. At home, I deal with it, but at school, it just upsets me. Could my son just not be ready socially for kinder (he's is the youngest in class) eventhough he plays really well with neighborhood kids? It's frustrating for me being that I am the counselor and it's my child that needs to guidance. I have tried behavior charts at home with positive reinforcement as well as negative reinforcement. I have taken privileges away that you think would affect him. I am at a loss. What should I do next?
In order to figure out how to proceed, it is necessary to first figure out what is occurring. When you use the word 'test', what exactly are you referring to? How extreme is his behavior? If you are implying pretty persistent but mild behavioral difficulties, and that otherwise he is developing well, the situation can likely be managed via a systematic program of behavior management (take a look at Lynn Clark's book SOS Help for Parents). However, if the behavior is more of a serious sort (ie., seriously oppositional, aggressive, provocative), it may indicate an emotional disturbance that requires evaluation. What is your idea? As an aside, try to ignore the fact that you happen to be the counselor in the school. That ingredient itself is likely not very instrumental in the situation, and focusing on it will only serve to increase your anxiety/self-consciousness about the situation.
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