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Avatar universal

5 yr old bahavior issues

My son has been having a great deal of behavior issues at school and at home. He is only 5 years old and in kindergarten. He has already had in school suspension once and been suspended from the school bus for three days. His teach tells me that she has no idea what else to do with him. I am at a loss too. He does follow directions, plays when he is not supposed to, talks out of turn and much more. He is now only 2 write ups away from getting another ISS and in jeopardy of not passing kindergarten due to getting in trouble all the time. What else can I do?
14 Responses
973741 tn?1342346373
Kindergarten is a big transitional year for a lot of kids and don't feel like you are alone.  I  know it always feels that way when you are getting those calls and notes from the teacher . . . but don't.  Lots of parents of kindergartners are going through the same thing.  

Is your boy young for the class as in a summer birthday?  Sometimes maturity level can play a role in class behavior.  If that is true, it would not be terrible for him to repeat kindergarten.  It is the best possible year for a child to repeat and getting school off to a good start would be great.  I know you don't want to hear that and I wouldn't either.  But if he is young and immature, that extra year could make all the difference.

Does he go all day?  Does he get enough movement during the day?  Does anything lead up to outbursts?  Can he be redirected?  How is his interaction with peers?  Does all  of this hinder his class work?

I want you to know that I have two sons and one has sensory integration disorder and one does not.  They are 15 months apart and my sensory kid is 6 and in kindergarten.  My son was diagnosed by an occupational therapist and does OT once a week plus lots of stuff at home and behavioral strategies.  My son that does not have sensory integration disorder also gets the same strategies used on him as they are universally good for kids.  In fact, some of the things we do with our son------  his kindergarten teacher has incorporated into her classroom.  

Getting a child to express how they feel is important.  We talk about my son as if he had an engine.  When it is too high, he can't sit still, he talks out of turn, he might have a melt down, he is loud, etc.  When it is too l low, he needs to do things to wake it up.  The goal is for it to be just right.  Act out examples of too high, too low and just right and have him identify them.  Stop him and ask him how his engine is (if he gets it wrong, help him---------  crying, acting up, fidgety, etc.  too high, etc.)   Then talk about things he can do to get his engine just right so he feels just right.  These could be to give himself a big hug (squeeze himself) , use his words and tell a teacher what is wrong, count to ten, have a "calm down" spot, etc.  

Things like raising hand-------  I did a half hour every day in which the only way I would talk to them was to raise their hand and then I'd call on them.  We'd read stories and do things.  They kind of got a kick out of it and would point out if one or the other didn't raise his hand.  Sounds dumb, but it made my child kind of remember when at school that he has to raise his hand to speak.

For directions, he may need it broken down further for him.  Before doing a task as well, it is helpful to have done some moving around.  He could carry some books across the room for his teacher, erase the chalkboard or dry erase board, she could do a class activity in which they do some movement.  It usually will improve focus if a child's nervous system is disorganized.

As I said, we've been doing OT for a long time and I'm happy to offer any strategies that I can or activities that help my son remained focused in school and able to function.  Let me know if you would like anymore.  good luck
189897 tn?1441130118
   Wow ! in kindergarten and already inschool suspension.  Ya, I would be worried a bit.  I noticed you also commented that he also has issues at home.
   If the kindergarten teacher is a pro - has been doing this a long time - and is at a loss for what to do - I would be super worried.  If she is fairly new and has run out of ideas, its a bit different, but still worrisome.
   The first thing you want to do is to say, " ok, if he repeats what will you do differently next year to deal with the problem."  If they don't have a clue, then its time to ask for some testing.  Its possible that your son has something like ADHD - or he is just gaming the system.  Point is - neither you nor his teacher can tell, so you need some professional help to find out.  So I would definitely ask for some testing by the school psyc.  Don't wait for next year.  
   On the chance that he is manipulating the system, I would suggest you immediately order, "SOS Help for Parents" by Lynn Clark.   There are a lot of things that you can start doing at home that will carryover to school - and make your own life a bit easier.
On the chance he does have something like ADHD go here to check out the symptoms -
   If some of these do sound familiar then you might want to order,  "The ADD/ ADhD Answer book." , by Susan Ashley.  Hope this helps.  Good Luck
189897 tn?1441130118
   Oh, I also wanted to mention that the ideas that specialmom gave are excellent!  All  of them are extremely valid suggestions.
    I also should mention that at his age - punishment at home for activities at school won't work.  The things specialmom suggested  to do at home will work - if you keep practicing them.   Good Luck!
Avatar universal
Tyler's birthday is June 25, so he was 5 all summer long before he even started kindergarten. His teacher said he has been getting into trouble from the beginning, but they were trying to be lenient because it was all so new to them. Tyler was actually in an all day Mon-Fri preschool before starting kindergarten and never had nearly as much trouble. Unfortunately in preschool I think they had more play time and in kindergarten now is really more like being in first grade....what a big transition. He says he wants to play all the time and doesn't like having to sit in his seat and do work all day. I try to tell him that there is a time for play and a time for work but it doesn't seem to sink in. I'm just worried he is going to be for a rude awakening in first grade when it really is all work and hardly no play.  
I think I am going to call his school and see if they have guidance counselors, if so see if I can set up a mtg with him/her and the teach and principle and see if we can't come up with a solution. He only has a month and a half of school left. I really want him to pass. His school work is so good and he knows as soon as he gets home to do his hw before anything else....
973741 tn?1342346373
Your son is young for kindergarten as he is probably the bottom fourth of students in age.  That can make a difference and maturity level is something our school stresses a lot.  They say if a child is immature that it takes the whole year to ever become acclimated to it and that sounds the case with your child.  Are they suggesting an evaluation to determine if there is something more going on?  If he is having less play time and running around time in school, you as the parent will have to work really hard to provide outlets for that energy out of school hours.  You'll need to get physical activity daily and hit parks and what not as much as possible.  We go just about every day.  Kindergarten is still an awful lot of play.  And a teacher compares your child to other kids and behavior taking all into consideration such as the transition being hard for kids.  You need to do what is best for your child and I'd let the school help with that.  Your his advocate but they provide a lot of valuable insight.  good luck
Avatar universal
I have a son too who is five, almost 6, but he has a bad kindergarten year too.  It has been very bad for me, I'm traumatized now by the school experience!!  So you are NOT alone.  YOu aren't the only one having issues. I would be talking with the school, about is there other resources they can be using, like do they have a behavioral team or someone who can do an assessment on him to see if their are any modications they can make to the classroom to try to see if they help some of the behavioral issues.  

Kindergarten is tough and a lot is expected of these children, honestly, I think preschool is good, but it honestly does not even come close to what kindergarten is like.  

Call the principal of the school and tell him/her how concerned you are about what is happening and that you need more people brought into the picture.

Also, you might look into outside resources too, like a child therapist, etc or maybe a child psychologist.  A lot to fhtem will work with the school.

I am working thru a behavioral specialist with my son thru the school district and at this point, it's a strong possibility he will be going into a special classroom with other kids with emotional/behavioral issues as well.  My son also just saw an OT and she said he has sensory processing d/o and also anxiety/separation anxiety.  

I believe there is a cause for all behaviors, it doesn't just appear.  Maybe the academic demands of kindergarten are too much him and I've been told that is when a lot of behaviors start to appear b/c school is so stressful for students and they become anxious and out of anxiety can come a whole host of behaviors, defiance, aggression, refusals, inattention, etc.  You name it.

You just have to be persistant with the school.  Demand communication.

Also, it sounds like the teacher does not know how to work with im and she may be frustrated adn when people get frustrated it usually only gets  worse.  A lot of people including teachers do not have the training to deal with out of the ordinary behaviors and are frustarted,anxious by it.  Children sense this.  

Good luck and keep on the forum.   I've been helped a lot by it!!!   You are not alone too!!
Avatar universal
What kills me is that he has very good days and then just really bad days. His academics are really good. He gets 100's on all his spelling tests and gets all his class and homework right. His doctor said he may just be bored and that is why he is acting out. I just don't know.
I did call his school today (but the counselor was out sick today), I was told to call back tomorrow to set up a day and time that my husband and I could come talk with her, his teacher, the principle or assist. principle and figure something out. Keeping fingers crossed!
Avatar universal
My son is kinda like that too, will have better weeks then really bad weeks. I wonder sometimes if it is fatigue.  They do push them a lot and it's a lot harder than preschool.
189897 tn?1441130118
Very good days and very bad days are interesting.  Are his sleeping habits consistent?  Does he get into trouble in school at all times of the day or just at some parts of the day?  At home, is he in trouble in the morning, when he gets home from school, on the weekends, etc.  I also still am curious as to how experienced his teacher is?
Avatar universal
THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for these suggestions.  I know this is a fairly old post but hope you see this anyway.  I am at my wit's end with my 5yo son- we are almost two months into Kindergarten and I am wondering if he just "wasn't ready" developmentally, even though he is already nearly the oldest in his class.  I can definitely see these tactics helping, also with my 3 yo daughter who is very impulsive.
973741 tn?1342346373
You are certainly welcome.  Development isn't always age related and even an "old" five in kindergarten can be developmentally behind other kids in the class.  This has nothing to do with intelligence---------- it just means that for whatever reason, they are still working on things that other kids have mastered.  

Have you looked into what could behind your son's issues at all?  Or do you think it is just immaturity?
Avatar universal
Some of these comments are ridiculous. Your son is fine. Do NOT freak out. Boys at this age are all different and slower to mature throughout elementary school. I have 5 children and a 5 year old son with anger issues that we worked through with consistency, a lot of prayer, and more consistency. I read every book about boys behavior and also got the support from the public school (IEP's, etc) which he did indeed outgrow. I know this post was posted a couple years ago I was just so disgusted with that one horrible inexperienced parenting comment I read. Also the PHD who has been answering these posts clearly is not a parent himself either and I would be very careful who you take parenting advice from. Just because they have a PHD does not mean they're qualified. A degree is not the same as hands on experience.  
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