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Agreesive Behavior in Kindergarten

My son started kindergarten this last fall and was age 4 when he started and turned 5 in November. We live in Canada and signed him up for French Immersion kindergarten. When the school asked if I felt there were any issues he had I mentioned I felt he might have a speech impediment and his pediatrician mentioned he feels my son could be hyperactive. I also noticed my son's eye was wondering to the side and he now wears glasses.

The second day of school my son's teacher told my husband that she felt he wasn't ready for school or even the head start program. I have been the full time worker in the family since my children have been born and my husband has been the stay at home dad. This year was the first year my husband started working full time again which he started right before my son started school. Once the teacher told my husband this and suggested he be pulled from school we realized we have no childcare set up for my son during the day. We had also had my son in a pre-school program the year before and had no negative feedback and my son complained he felt bored. So I strongly felt that my son should continue.

I proceeded to watch my son in class for a couple of days and the teacher called me to say "What did you tell your son to make him behave so well?" She told me my son was not participating at all, he was not socializing, his motor skills were far below expectations, and he was doing bad things in class to get attention. She said the days I was in class he was a perfect angel and acted like a completely different child. I was upset at her observations as I have never heard these types of behaviors from my son, he is usually very social, has always wanted to go to school, and usually wants to please us and be a "good boy." I feel he was not as social as the class was speaking in French and with him being a little hyper he just blocked it out and regressed.

I finally asked the school to move him to an English Kindergarten teacher. The teacher evaluated my son with the same sort of testing the first teacher did and showed me the work. She said he by far is NOT at the bottom of the class and the work was exceptionally better. He had the second teacher till just before winter break. Right before winter break his teacher sent home a report card saying that my son is such a joy in class and very social, very helpful, but phonologically had a 10 out of 30 on a testing. Apparently he did very well with the hardest questions but failed the easy ones. She thought I should repeat my son in Kindergarten and he was slightly immature for the classroom and he would benefit from repeating greatly. He would have more confidence next year in her class and that there was no extra work my husband and I could do at home to help him succeed. She said on average most kids who struggle at first will struggle throughout there time at school if you have them continue and not repeat.

This teacher went on vacation for three months and when my child returned to class after winter break he had a new teacher. He had a very hard time the first two weeks with the new teacher. He broke down multiple times saying he missed his old teacher and the new teacher wasn't helping him individually like the previous teacher. i.e. the old teacher would help direct my son to pick out books as he lost focus easily on the task, he gets very excited in the library. The new teacher didn't help my son and there were two weeks without books which upset my son very much, he said she told him there wasn't enough time.

Now my son is getting in trouble regularly for punching, tripping, pushing children on the playground and in line. The principal has said that they cannot have a child in the classroom that hurts the other children. The school says my son is always very sorry for doing this and my son always tells me he didn't mean too. Now the school wants a behaviorist to evaluate my son. Should I leave it in the school hands AGAIN to make these assessments? How can I research this behavior on my own to correct this? So far I have had his hearing tested as his hearing screening indicated he was hard of hearing, but when I had the full test done he was fine. I know his pediatrician has tested him for anything with his blood that could attribute to his hyperactivity. I talked with the principle yesterday about his behavior and also the fact that maybe he should repeat kindergarten. Would this help with his behavior? Or will we be dealing with the same issue next year? (I am afraid of this)

Our family has been though a lot lately. We moved from Indiana last year to Canada and the year before that we moved from California (lived with my in-laws) to Indiana and had no family or friends out there, not to mention no furniture for months (very stressful on the entire family). The reason we moved to Canada was my mother became terminally ill and we were to move into her house and take it over as well as take care of my younger sister who was in her last year of High School. My mother passed away and my sister has had many issues. Such as emotional breakdowns and fights before running away from home and living on the streets ( she refuses  to come home).

My son has seen these actions from my sister and has become very emotional with her leaving. He was also very emotional when my husband started working. He has said things like I want to run away, if we discipline him he says we are mean and he hates us. I notice he would say things my teenage sister would say, and argues with us about a lot.  Many times I feel he gets anxious easily. He is obsessed with video games, (superhero games) and most of his conversations revolve around the games rather than sports or other topics, I noticed he gets super anxious when talking about games and cannot control his emotions when it has to do with the games.

I am also trying to investigate what some other people’s opinions are on this. So any input is greatly appreciated.
12 Responses
973741 tn?1342346373
Hi there.  Well, if you were in the US, you know that our son would not even have been considered for kindergarten as he would have been too young.  He's in school with kids -----  many kids-----  that are a full year older than him which will make a difference.  Not just in kindergarten but in the next few years each year.  There is a big maturity difference often in kids from year to year.  

Now this is just me talking here-------  but I wouldn't have sent him that young.  Especially a boy as they are often a bit behind in maturity anyway.  My son is an April birthday, is small in stature/size and was a bit immature and we considered holding him back a year when he was 5 turning 6!  One of the reasons was that my husband was a summer birthday and started kindergarten when he just turned 5 and he thought that being the youngest was a disadvantage throughout all of his school years, even highschool.  He's sports minded----  and thought that extra year would have made a big difference for him academically and with his sports.  

I think it is a 50/50 proposition here.  You've had mixed feedback.  He does much better in the English language class and I'd stick with that for sure but he still tests low for some reason.  Maybe this will iron itself out.  But another year of kindergarten could give him a big push forward.  And if there is ever a year to repeat, it is kindergarten.  

On the other hand, you've already started on this tract.  While he's had some struggles, his current teacher is alright with him continueing.  

So, I guess I'd do two things.  I'd try to find an objective person---  a teacher (maybe even one at his old school) to talk to about this.  And then you have to listen to your heart.  If you feel he'll do fine in first grade next year, then go for it.  

These are the questions we always wonder if other families have to deal with and I want to tell you that they definately do!   Many kids have transition issues into school and go on to have no problems at all later.  

I probably didn't help you much but just thought I'd give you some thoughts to add to the mix.  good luck!
1006035 tn?1485579497
I have to agree with specialmom. My daughter barely missed the cut off and repeated preschool. Her case is unique and this was really good for her. (She's 5 and still in PreK). I know several other children who were held back just because they weren't ready to progress. My parents did that with my little brother.

It's disturbing to me that when you visited the school your son had no problems. Whenever a teacher tells me about something my DD struggles with I will see her do it at school. Granted I am better at getting through to her (I AM her mom), but I still observe what they are talking about. Either your son's teacher was exaggerating or something made him uncomfortable without someone safe like mom there. It sounds like a good decision to pull him from that class.

Many children grow attached to people and hate it when they leave. I can't tell from what you said, but if your son has a developmental delay it would be even more difficult for him to deal with change. He has probably caught on that a death occurred in the family and everyone is really upset. Is there anyway to shield him from everything that is going on? He's just too young to understand. Can he go over to his friend's house or maybe leave the discussions about his Aunt for after he goes to bed?
Avatar universal
I totally feel that I started him too early, and as his mom it hurts me a lot to see him struggle so much because of the situation I put him in. Both his Father and I agree that he should repeat Kindergarten for both physical reasons and developemental reasons. Thank you Diva2317 for noticing that the first teacher was wierd for saying he was acting a certian way when I wasn't around, I have had some bad run in's with this teacher as we were trying to change my son into english kindergarten. I felt I was being to biased but not so much now, I definetly felt I had to be my son's advocate in that situation.

I feel that when my son has the same teacher next year he will finally get to have some stability and not have to worry about change anymore. The school district we are in doesn't really like repeating children but maybe they will see that my son really didn't get to have that much attention or stability as he had so many different teachers compared to the other classes, as those kids had the same teacher and structure thoughout the year. I guess I need to start making a list of the reasons why we feel he needs to repeat, a pros and cons list ( I love those lol).

As far as my sister goes, it is really sad but the last time she ran away we have decided she is not able to live at our house anymore. When she does show up at our door in the middle of the night (like she usually does) I have told my husband that I will inform her we are to meet for lunch or dinner to discuss any issues. We are no longer going to discuss these issues at the house where my kids can witness her tantroms and fits. There have been a couple of times where we wanted to call the cops because she has become so irrate and physical. I know my mom's family will look down on me for doing that but I have to think about my kids and my relationship with my husband first. We are also trying to make it a point to not talk about her anymore with the kids. My husband's sister will be here in two weeks to help take care of my son for after school while I am working. My son is very attached to her and she is super responsible and has a good head on her shoulders. I hope she will help him forget about my own sister.

As far as my son in school the main problem the school has with my son now is that he is being very physical with other kids, mainly on the playground. The school is taking this very seriously as am I, however I think a big part of this behaviour could be his immaturity. Should I let the school evaluate my son for his behavior issues? I thinking this will be a great opportunity for my husband and I to be able to understand my son a little more and gain more parenting knowledge. The pricipal has said that he feels my son is being very impulsive in his actions. There is an on switch and an off switch and no in-between. My in-laws are indicating that he is just being a young boy, I kindof need some outside reassuarance on this.
973741 tn?1342346373
I'm glad you have decided to have him repeat kindergarten.  I think that will greatly help the situation!  I really do.  Next year should be much better.

I'm a bit concerned for your sister.  Are you her legal guardian?  I guess she is now of age but how confusing to have her mother ill, you move in to help, your mother dies and you stay in the house she lives in and now she can't come home (as in your will not let her).  Perhaps selling the house and giving her a proper share would help her establish in an apartment and then  you could guide her to psychiatric/emotional care that she needs.  I may not understand the situation and that is not what you wrote about but this certainly must be heavy on your mind.  I would insulate your son against your feelings on the situation so that he is less exposed to the ups and downs of it.  

Anyway, I'd wait and see how your son does next year.  If by say November, he is struggling, I'd go ahead and seek an evaluation.  If he is just young and immature, he should be in a better position to handle school by then.  You'll have a better idea of what is going on.  I'd work on social skills big time with him between now and then.  Plan play dates at your home in which you moniter things (or meet at a park but YOU or your husband stay involved in the play date) and help guide him in his play skills with others.  Teach him about being a good friend, being a good sport and basic social skills to make sure he is up to speed.  good luck dear
Avatar universal
This has helped A LOT thank you so much.

I am concerned about my sister too, quite a bit. I was in Indiana when my mother wrote her will and she appointed my grandmother who is 85 and lives near us as my sister's Canadian guardian and my aunt who lives in San Diego as her American guardian. My mother was unsure if we would be able to make it here in time. My sister actually barely knows me as I moved out when I was 16 and she was 6. It is very wierd for her to have a house with my mom and now she has a brand new family. My sister was on her summer break when we got here and started her 12th year of high school a month after my mom passed. My aunt has never had kids before and doesn't understand a lot about my sister and why she is acting like this. My grandmother has said she can't take care of my sister, she backed out at the last minute. When my sister was in school she ived with us and I helped her a lot to graduate. No one even thought to contact my sisters school to let them know she had something tragic happen recently. I did and it made a world of difference with the teachers relationship with my sister and me. My sister ditched school quite a bit but I never got the calls my grandmother did and never would tell me any messages she got from the school. I am actually pretty pissed at my grandmother.

So when my sister graduated she was dating this guy who was a street bum. He does drugs and steals and is just not a good person. My aunt holds my sisters money, she has quite a bit for my sister but will not give her ANYTHING unless my sister does what she says. It has put a strain on our relationship as I can not afford to support my sister on my own, especially knowing that there is money out there that can support her and that my aunt needs to either move up her and help take care of her or at least send her money so she can live. I debated that whole time weather to call social services on my aunt, and finally did call and they told me my sister is past 16 years old and there is not much we can do.

We also had some basic rules set in place at the house like no comeing and going after 10pm and no friends over during the week. My sister became very defiant with these rules and extreamly defiant towards my aunt, all three of us fought all the time. She felt she didn't need rules. When we would confront her that she needed to follow the rules she would take fits and a couple times she has hit me and my husband. Sooo eventually my sister went to live at her boyfriends house (her choice completely) because she didn't want rules. She would come to the house to take a shower and wash her cloths and while she was in the house most of the time when we were at work her boyfriend has taken my husband's music equipment and other things in our house. She was staying up for days at a time, I mentioned she needed to get some help as far as a councillor and I called many social services to see how we can both go. I was told by these services I could do nothing to make her go and her guardians told me to not persue this and she took it as I don't need to listen to my sister.

Finally we told my aunt she needs to either move up here to help us take care of my sister and take her to doctor's appointments, show her she is cared by her guardians and loved. My aunt refuses to show any compassion. Finally my sister ran away to Vancouver for months and would write me on facebook, sometimes thoughts that had no sense of reality.

My aunt was getting calls from social workers in vancouver stating my sister was in shelters and had no food. She bought my sister a ticket back to our house and she ran away again from the shelters and lived on the streets. Finally the last time she was back at home, I tried convincig her to stay with us my aunt would not send money unless my sister had a job. My sister got a job and worked for about 2 weeks. She got her first paycheck and disapeared again.

I have already gone to the bank to see about getting my sister her portion of the house equity which is rightfully hers. My aunt is not for this but I see no other solution, I can not have this caos at my home around my kids anymore. Luckily my husband is a great man and has stuck with me with all this. I feel bad that my sister is not here to decide her own future. My aunt will take the money and do what she sees fit. It's like I am taking care of my sister but I have no control over what is happening.

I get very defensive when talking about this as I feel most people think I am a horrible person for how it turned out BUT I feel I really have no control over any of this.
973741 tn?1342346373
Well that is difficult.  In the states, you know that the laws are until someone is 18 but even then, if they are determined to run away, they will.  I'd go ahead and seperate out her share of the house and put it in a trust for her to get when she is 25.  She should be able to access her money at some point.  I'd also suggest that your aunt can put her money in this same trust.  Then you've done all you can do.  

Is it worth living there?  Maybe if you sell the home, take your share and move back to the states, it is a win win for all???  But obvioulsy all of that is your decision and what is best for your whole family is the primary concern.  

One does feel bad for your sister as I'm sure you do too.  You didn't come across defensive here by the way.  Just explaining the difficulties.  I hope she is able to find her way in this world.  

Good luck with your son.  I think that repeating the year will really benefit him.  peace
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