My six year old son is having discipline problems in his first grade class. His teacher says that he is impulsive, has a very hard time sitting still and that he talks at inappropriate times, and sometimes doesn't do his classroom work. He also likes to touch the other kids (like on the arm as they pass by-not in a mean way) It seems that nothing we come up with works very well. He has lost his tv and computer priveleges at home, lost his beloved hot wheels play, stars for good behavior don't work. Academically, he is doing very well teacher says he is very smart. He can't explain why he does these things he knows are not the right way to behave. When we talk to him, he sometimes cries and shows remorse, but the next day, the same thing happens. I was really upset today when the teacher said that his behavior is not normal(right in front of my son) I am not sure if the teacher is one who thinks that all 6 year old boys can be still and silent all of the time. I feel sometimes that my son is the only one in the class with a problem (although I am sure this is not true) My son is warm and loving,intelligent,and a little bit stubborn. A lot of times, like at soccer games, someone else starts the hi jinx,and my son joins in and happens to be the one who gets "busted". That's not to say that he's completely innocent!!!! I can't help but think that there is a possibility of Adhd (his 23 year old sister was diagnosed at age 6) Or is he just bored? He does have this behavior other places like taekwondo, but again, there are others who behave the same way. He also gets excited when others in his class or soccer team do well (like he is sort of cheering them on) I just don't know what to do. The teacher told me that we needed to do something.(She also today was really "concerned" that my son used green crayon to color the face in a line drawing representation of another student. He also drew blue eyes and a nose and a smiling face. My son does not like to color very much,so my husband suggested that he just grabbed the first crayon he came to and colored as fast as he could just to be done with it. She thought it was a horrible thing to do,since the boy's face is not actually green. My son meant nothing by it. (we asked)I am at my wit's end.
To begin, let me make a couple of quick observations. Your son's behavior is not related to boredom. And the teacher's concern regarding your son's coloring is misguided - don't allow it to bother you.
It is very likely that either (a) your son's impulsivity and excessive activity is a product of a bit of developmental immaturity which will change for the better over time, or (b) he does display mild-moderate ADHD. The latter is supported by the family history. The behavior is not compelling re: a trial on medication, but it might be worthwhile because it could make a significant difference for him. It really is optional. Re: your behavior management plan, it is fine to have him 'earn' access to his favored toys/activities by displaying good performance at school, but do this a day at a time. That is, let each day stand by itself. Don;t take the toys away for long stretches - it will not be effective. Rather, each day he earns a good report, allow him access to his toys.
I forgot to add that my son can have a day at school where he doesn't get out of his seat, or talk out of turn, or bother anyone else. And he does not throw temper tantrums and is not violent or hateful.
Just wanted to mention that my 6.5 yr. old is severly ADHD and although he has many other issues to deal with, everything I've read here (except the touching) is going on with him as well.
If it is adversly affecting him then personally, I think checking into ADHD is worthwhile. I did not want my son on meds at all, but in our case I went from being a wondefully calm, patient mother, to stressed/yelling all the time - and 1/2 the time he had no clue why I was yelling and I'd get the "deer in the headlight" eyes. I worried about how over the long term, my yelling might hurt him more than the meds.
Honestly, you have nothing to lose. And for the record ... that teacher was WAY out of line.
Thank you for your comments! You've described my son to a T. His dad and I are equally concerned/frustrated. He is very smart and able to control his behavior (or at least correct it when told once) everywhere but at school. Even there it's nothing relatively major, just a whole lot of "little" things (bodily noises, talking with weird voices, touching other kids (nothing bad, just on the shoulder or something), horsing around in line, visiting in class and the lunchroom seems to be his biggest problem area). This was a problem in kindergarten and continues in 1st grade. My son is pretty small for his age; we've speculated that his nervous system and body just haven't caught up to his brain yet. :) We are loath to consider ADHD (no one on either side of his family has ever been diagnosed nor displayed any of the symptoms), you'd have to get a court order for me to drug my kid, but we aren't finding any other answers either.
What's the timeline for, as you suggest, him to grow out of this impulsivity? What can we do in the meantime? I appreciate your suggestions about making consequences daily - we've done the same things described above: taken away toys/priveleges and made him earn them back. I'm eager to try doing this on a daily/clean slate-type basis. Longer term goal setting has been moderatly successful as well.
hi! i have a 6 3/4 year old boy who has a lot in common with your son. his teacher describes him much the way your son's teacher describes your son. and i also believe my son is a great kid with a sweet disposition and the criticism seems extreme. however, one thing i tried that did help him a great deal was to improve his breakfast. we are usually fairly health conscious but his breakfasts were not especially nutritious. he would eat three slices of cinnamon toast and a small glass of chocolate milk. i have replaced this breakfast with two eggs, plain milk and a mozzarella cheese stick in the car (on the way to school). i use cage-free or omega-3 eggs and organic milk/cheese which is ideal because it has MUCH more omega-3 than non-organic. In case you don't already know this, omega-3 is important for healthy brain building. i think that the old breakfast gave him a sugar rush followed by a crash followed by zero energy. now he is able to concentrate and do much more work of the work expected of him. i did take him to a psychologist and she felt that his distractibility issues were a combination of anxiety due to overly high expectations (on the part of the teacher) and possibly some boredom due to his being advanced in some areas. she did not think he has add/adhd and supported our wish not to medicate. he does goof off a bit in tae kwon do but he is certainly not alone and i think it's improved a bit. hope this helps a little.
Thank you. This dialogue has really helped me. My 4-year-old son was just "dismissed" today from Montessori school because they were no longer sure how to handle him (or want to handle him). He too touched other students (on the shoulder, etc). Apparently last week during circle time he removed his shoe and licked his sock. The school last summer insisted that our family seek counseling (Developmental Psychologist) for our son and we obliged. However, much to the dismay of the school, the doctor found nothing "wrong" with him. He stated that our son is somewhat impulsive and is slightly lacking physiological development which just means that he is immature. Our son is in the 98% for his height and if often mistaken for a 6-year-old. So, we think that people expect more out of him.
One aspect I don't see in the previous dialogue here is that our son seems to migrate to younger children. Other characteristics of our son is that he has an extremely good sense of humor... has a very broad vocabulary (for his age)... can articulate very well...very good in math...loves putting puzzles together... can stay focused on a project for an extremely long time...well organized and likes everything in its place. However, one complaint that the teachers had is that sometimes when they were using their "gentle redirection" he seemed to be "disconnected" like he was in outerspace.
He will start a new preschool on Monday and we are hesitant to tell them that he was fired from his last school but are very worried that he will have similar problems.
Does anyone have any comments or suggestions? Should we be worried?
I also have a 6 year old that displays these same qualities. I is a very smart little boy, and we were being pushed to test him for ADHD last year in kindergarten. His teacher last year described him as impossible. This year he received his first report card, and cot mostly 3's and some 4's in math and science. However, he did get a 2 and 1 in areas such as organization, and he tends to touch others and fidget. We did take a survey last year, and ADHD didn't seem to be a factor. ADD possibly. His teacher this year agrees that he moves around a lot, but he is learning, and she is patient with him. I would be very careful to medicate any child this young that doesn't have significant problems. All children are not going to progress at the same speed, right? Cognitive abilities are still being formed. Am I making to much light of this situation? Is there really anything to be severely concerned with at the age of six, with these minor issues. Life goes by so fast, isn't it possible that we are expecting too much sometimes, as teachers and parents. No one ever said that raising children was supposed to be without stress and back sets. Is it me, or is ADD and ADHD diagnoses and medicating getting out of hand? Please, let me know if anyone feels the same way, of if I'm just in denial...
Hear, hear! I've noticed that the school often makes a huge deal out of relatively minor stuff - like you (or someone else) said, their kid licked their sock. Oh who the heck cares? It's weird, but so what? My son has so many friends who are medicated for ADHD, completely convinced that they need it, and are just fine OFF it when they're at our house. I think some people medicate their kids to calm them down to make it easier on themselves - if you want calm, get a fish, not a kid.
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