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Behavior Difficulties with almost 6 year old
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Behavior Difficulties with almost 6 year old

My son is very smart, reads 2 levels ahead, does his work well (when applies himself), is extremely social and friendly, etc. He is currently in Kindergarten and this has been a difficult transition for him.  He has difficulty following directions and completing work, especially if it something that doesnt really interest him.  He wants to bargain and negotiate every directive he is given.  He talks VERY loudly and A LOT, and is jittery (but can focus).  He gets in trouble in the classroom and in the cafeteria.  He KNOWS what he is suppossed to do, he can recite the "rules" verbatim, he knows right from wrong....but just doesnt seem to care.  The downside is I think he feels school is all about behavior because that is what his teacher and I focus on EVERYday with him and I think he has lost sight of what school is really about.  I also feel I am ALWAYS threatening to take things away, yelling at him, etc.  I feel it is a lot of pressure for an almost 6 year old.  How do I get him to begin to take resposibility for his actions and want to succeed?  How do I pick and choose my battles because I feel every day a new "battle" arises?  For example, I got an email from the teacher today that said he was making good choices all day in class however in the cafeteria he was making noises, barely eating, rocking the tables, and when spoken to blamed other kids.  

HELP!!!!
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Hi, yes, kindergarten is a huge transitional year and some kid shave more issues than other.  As he is not yet 6, I'm guessing that there are many kids already six in his class, right?  So he is a bit younger if he has a late spring or summer birthday.  Really, this can play a huge role as some kids are indeed less mature than other kids in the same grade.  Some other kids are a bit older and even 6 months can make a huge difference in the younger years.  

Now, I have a first grader and a second grader and have spent a LOT of time in the classrooms with my kids.  My oldest has sensory issues and going to school was of great concern to me as to how he would do. It's been fine for the most part but we had a lot of issues in the preschool years.  

anyway, when you are actually in these kindergarten classrooms, you start to see patterns.  Some kids are the ones that the teacher is constantly having to address or redirect.  Behavior does play an important part of being able to have a cohesive, successful classroom.  Addressing his behavior there is the proper thing to do.  And I'd look to his teacher as someone that is helping him understand classroom dynamics and proper behavior for that setting.

Here are some tips---  first, do NOT discipline him at home for things that happen at school.  Certainly talk about it and work on things----  but discipline needs to be immediate for his age group.  So, what does his teacher do at the time to handle things?  Teachers will vary in their patience levels and strategies---  this is something to involve yourself in as a team mate with her/him to work on this.  Even bringing in the counselor will help as you all have the same goal---  for your child to be successful in school.  His teacher can also derive an reward system.  Pennies often work or extra play time, etc.  So, he can get rewarded when he is handling himself properly.  

Voice volume---- have his teacher give the whole class a scale to use for voice volume.  Level 1 is silent, 2 is whispering, 3 is normal speaking voice, 4 is playground, loud voice and 5 is emergency "FIRE!" voice.  Then talk about when the kids should use each one.  When the teacher is talking----  level 1 so that everyone can hear.  If it is work time, level 2 so that others can work around  you.  When at lunch or during free time, level 3.  In the hall way in line to go to library, level 1.  Outside, level 4!!  Practice it at home too.  Church is level 1 or 2.  Dinner is level 3.  Outside is level 4.  His teacher can  come up with a way to give him a signal about voice volume level to remind him as well so she isn't constantly vocally calling him out.  His job?  to try to work with this scale like the other kids.  

Raising hands to speak----  I would have my kids spend an hour during the day in which they could only talk to me if they raised their hand.  Fun game that reinforces the habit that sometimes you have to raise your hand to talk.  

Social skills.  It is actually a lack of social skills to be disruptive.  I'd talk about what it means to be a good friend.  Good friends do not get in peers space.  They do not talk over the teacher so their friends can't hear the teacher.  Etc.  Be a good friend and let them do what they need in school.

Believe it or not, this will hurt your child socially if he does not start doing that.  Kids of the young age shy away from someone that doesn't follow the rules.  So, help him understand that following the rules helps him with being a good friend.

Listening and comprehending/following the directions-----  really something for him to work on.  Where is the break down?

You don't really mention anything else he is doing for me to help---  I'm happy to give more ideas if I can.  
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