My 7 year old son is one of the youngest kids in his second grade class (late May birthday.) He is older brother to siblings aged 5 and 2. He is very bright and does very well in school -- only issues are poor handwriting and problems with talking in class/disturbing others around him. His teacher told me that his reading and math skills were at a 4th grade level. Socially though, he seems very immature. He has a heart of gold and is almost always happy. He is very friendly and outgoing, but he is often sillier and goofier than his peers. He has a very hard time sitting still. He constantly rocks in his seat, swings his arms, rocks his head from side to side, makes silly faces, blinks his eyes. He's learned that he has to be quiet in school/church, but he continues with this silent movement. When standing in a line with other kids, he may hug or pick up the kids in front of him or get in the kid's face and make silly faces or noises. If the other kid laughs, he keeps doing it. If the other kid acts annoyed, he moves on to someone else. I've also noticed that he rarely walks from one place to another...he skips, spins, hops, dances, etc...almost like he has energy that he can't contain.
I am annoyed by this behavior and I'm noticing that more and more of his peers are too. He has 3-4 close friends at school, mainly other boys who display behaviors a lot like his. Other boys, the more "sophisticated" and mature ones have begun to avoid him and have even started being mean to him, calling him a loser and a dork. This doesn't seem to bother my son. He seems to have a very thick skin and just moves on.
I should add that his 1st and 2nd grade teachers both love him and said he is one of the most creative, imaginative kids they ever met. They both said he just needs to learn to better control his impulses and learn to not talk during class, to not call out answers, to stand patiently in line, etc.
Because of all his energy, we've enrolled him in a variety of sports (all at his request, but only one sport at a time) and he had a very difficult time. Even though he is one of the stronger, faster kids, he has a hard time staying focused. He seems much more interested in wrestling/roughhousing with the other boys, dancing around, acting silly, than actually playing the sport. (Even though he can do very well when he sets his mind to it.)
Is this behavior within the range of "normal" for a 7 year old boy or should I be concerned? Do you have suggestions for how we might teach him to better control himself? I am constantly reminding him to stand still, to settle down, to stop flopping around, but he'll straighten up for 5 minutes and then revert back to the same behavior. I'm really worried that the other boys in his class are "growing up" much faster than he is and he's going to be left behind, but my son doesn't seem to care.