Avatar universal

My child doesn't want to listen and has fallen behind

A little over a year ago my 5 year old son broke his leg and had to be at home for around 5 months to heal and while we found another school. Once he started in a new school it wasn't much longer till COVID shut everything down and he was back home again. My wife works from home and while he was there she did her best to help him along but by the time I got home from work and we ate dinner we would work with him but he had zero interest at all in learning what we were teaching. Now that he is in kindergarten he seems to be defiant and extremely uninterested in anything that is going on. He is struggling to comprehend everything and my wife and I work with him every night but it seems to do no good. Could this be because he is 5, never got the chance to really participate in Pre-K, or any other number of reasons. He is a really sweet kid and he doesn't act up much at home and is even helpful at times. We have already taken away his favorite toys and explained to him why we are doing so but it just doesn't seem to sink in. Any suggestions are appreciated. Thank you in advance!
3 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
189897 tn?1441126518
Hi, being a retired elementary school principal...I do have a few ideas.
First, give back the toys.  I assume you figured he wanted to play with them rather then do the work.  But, toys are gone an now what.  Tell him you want him to take a 10 min break from playing...get something done...and then go back to playing for awhile.

But the main thing is I/we don't know what you are trying to do with him.  Is the work you are trying to do with him, packets that have been sent home?  is he doing zoom lessons with the teacher?  Does he have any interaction with the teacher at all?   Oh, does he know his letters and numbers (to 20)?

And I realize its tough to do...but, typically trying to do work after dinner at this age is difficult.  It would be better to try and get something done in the late afternoon....but maybe impossible with your wife's schedule.

Anyway, please try and answer the questions I have asked.   By the way, my grandson is 5 and is in kindergarten - a combo K/1 class - all done by Zoom.  Its kind of crazy.   And having a two year old brother running around is not helpful.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I don't know what is going on and I believe you need professional help form someone who might, but not having Pre-K shouldn't be dwelled on to make you feel guilty.  Nobody had Pre-K for most of human history, it didn't exist, so it's hard to see how it's a necessity now.  Something is going on, though, and if you and your wife can't figure it out, don't feel bad about needing to seek out help.  Peace.
Helpful - 0
707563 tn?1626361905
He's so young, and I wonder if he's had a chance to be evaluated for any kind of learning or processing differences. If he has even mild dyslexia, for example, he may be getting frustrated with not understanding, leading to the defiance and acting out.

Missing Pre-K, while valid, means he missed a chance for evaluations from professionals for his age group.

It could also be some social anxiety - he was home alone with you and Mom for a long time. Have you asked him, without anger or punishment, what's going on and why he does what he does? I'd ask him specifically - like when he gets defiant, what does he do? If he gets mad, and leaves the room, ask him, "What are you feeling when you leave the room? What is it inside you that tells you to leave?" He won't know what defiant is, so just be really specific, non-judgemental and don't label anything as bad, angry, mad, etc. Let him tell you how he's feeling.

You can let him lead the conversation, and go from there.

Good luck. It's awful seeing the little ones so frustrated.  

Helpful - 0
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Child Behavior Community

Top Children's Health Answerers
189897 tn?1441126518
San Pedro, CA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Fearing autism, many parents aren't vaccinating their kids. Can doctors reverse this dangerous trend?
Is a gluten-free diet right for you?
We answer your top questions about the flu vaccine.
Learn which over-the-counter medicines are safe for you and your baby
Yummy eats that will keep your child healthy and happy
Healing home remedies for common ailments