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5 year old not listening at school, either - Page 2

post #21 of 31
Thread Starter 
I have been trying to be more"present" with the kids, and when I see something coming, I talk to DS and coach him, but he doesn't hear me much of the time. Same with after the fact, when everyone is more calm and no longer in the moment.... He just can't seem to focus on the conversation, and trust me when I say I use as few words as possible! I do my best not to lecture. It doesn't matter. He is usually lost by the third or fourth word. He can tell me the "right" answer to a situation, but can't seem to live it. How do I help him get there?
post #22 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by swd12422 View Post

 I talk to DS and coach him, but he doesn't hear me much of the time. Same with after the fact, when everyone is more calm and no longer in the moment.... He just can't seem to focus on the conversation, and trust me when I say I use as few words as possible! I do my best not to lecture. It doesn't matter. He is usually lost by the third or fourth word.

 

I've asked twice if your son has had an evaluation, and you haven't answered. I think this post is on target, as well:

Quote:
Originally Posted by contactmaya View Post

Maybe he has auditory processing disorder-his brain doesnt process sound properly. here are too many noises in the classroom, he cant make out what the teacher is saying, so he doesnt  'listen', and acts out, does is own thing...looks like adhd, looks like bad behavior...my 7yo is like this. I thought it was a disciplinary issue in the past as well ( i posted about it somewhere). Google auditory processing disorder, or sensory processing disorder... i hope this helps...he sounds  so much like my son.

 

 

 

There are a variety of problems that could be at the root at this behavior. He is struggling, and it sounds like he has trouble learning from being spoken to (at this time) so he isn't learning from you or his teacher. I think looking for root causes makes sense.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post

Is it possible that you are engaging in too much back and forth to convince him that his choice earned him the consequence? IME engaging in a lot of discussion takesthe focus off the behavior and puts it on arguing and trying to be right. It is OK for a child to be unhappy about nor making a good choice and not getting to continue an activity because of that and it is OK to state something once and not engage in argument in an attempt to convince them to go along with the consequence without whining or arguing further.
 

 

I agree with this. Up thread, you said that part of the reason you didn't like stickers is because he is unhappy when he doesn't get one. That's a teachable moment. That's the time to talk about his choices and how they worked out for him, and what strategies he could use next time to have a different outcome. The unhappiness is a TOOL he can use to get a grip on his behavior. Getting away from the idea that stickers are an arbitrary thing that YOU decide, but rather something that he makes a clear CHOICE about is key.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamarhu View Post

To me, rewards are really no different than punishment (call it "consequences" if you want). Extrinsic motivation. ....

 

Putting a sticker on a chart doesn't teach any problem-solving skill either.....

 

As a therapeutic foster parent, most of my kids started with 24/7 line of sight supervision. I know how exhausting and intense this is. But it really was an opportunity to teach the precise lagging skills. Over time, they earned my trust in small increments (although I never put it to them that way - I found it worked better to silently slip from the scene for a moment at a time, gradually increasing the freedom).

 

This intense parenting doesn't translate well to school, but one hopes the skills the child learns will.

 

Rewards are completely different than punishments. In a reward system, the focus is on when a child gets it RIGHT, rather than when they get it wrong. It allows some undesirable behaviors to be ignored (unless the child is being unsafe to themselves or others) and attention to go to the the times they make appropriate choices. This is beneficial in many ways:

 

1. Any part of the behavior that is motivated by a desire for more attention stops. They get the attention for good choices, rather than for acting out.

 

2. Interaction between the adult and the child focus on the good stuff, which is a lot more pleasant for everyone. Part of my job is administring behavior plans, and I really enjoy my job. I love seeing the kids being successful and being able to talk to them about the good choices they make. I couldn't stand a job where I had to tell children all the time what they had done wrong and then punish them. yuck.

 

3. Children don't have to be perfect to get positive feedback. When the focus is punishment, every kid with real issues is going to have a bad day every day, but when the focus is on rewards, they have the real option of having a good day even though they are still struggling. This lets kids internalize that they CAN BE GOOD. Kids who are always in trouble (however we word it and how ever we respond) figure it out about themselves and it effects they way they see themselves. Helping them pivot from that by switching our dialogue to the things they did well, rather than the things they didn't get right, lets them see themselves in a more positive light, which can help inspire them to do even better in the future. It's an upward spiral. 

 

I agree about keeping children in sight and working with them to develop specific skills. No reward can teach a skill. Rewards can only work if the child is CAPABLE of the behavior, but has trouble with either motivation or consistency.

 

I also think that the techniques that work best in home and at school have similarities, but some real differences. As someone who works in a school with kids with behavior problems, I would recommend parents not tell teachers to skip using reasonable classroom management strategies or behavior management techniques with their child because of the parents' philosophical bent. You don't want to use stickers at home? Fine. Your child has a teacher who uses stickers to motivate students and has success with your child with that? Stay out of it. Let the teacher do her job in a way that works for her and for the students.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mary934 View Post

When it kid learns that it pays to be nice, you are teaching him to ask what's in it for me and not what kind of person I want to be - I am kind  etc - because that is who I am. If we want commitment to values underlying behavior we need to focus on kids finding meaning, purpose  and value in what they do , they are competent , they feel self directed and not doing things to please others or get a reward and the relationship is unconditional - not dependent on how they behave . This is when reinforcement takes place. When we use rewards , the only thing we are reinforcing is the child's motivation to get more rewards. Rewards can be self determined - meaning that we as adults or kids want to achieve a certain goal and use some extrinsic motivation to help us along - when we use behavior charts , the goal of the kid is to get the reward and we use the reward as a source of control. So when we use consequences , rewards etc we are now responsible for the kids behavior , the locus of control is with us . Also from a values perspective why convert a behavior which expresses a value into money - we should be doing the opposite showing how we use money or give up money to invest in helping others and doing things that are more pro-social , spiritual etc  

 

In some ways I agree with you. With my own children, I avoided rewards when they were small and worked to help them develop intrinsic motivation for things things I valued most. However, I think that rewards have a place, and a more important place with some kids than others.

 

Kids aren't all the same, and what works fine for one child doesn't for another.  When it comes to not being aggressive with other children, some kids need that really, really broken down into small increments and then to have success with each increment celebrated. It's that hard for them. This isn't about underlying values -- one can easily value "kindness" to others in the abstract while engaging in a specific behavior that is hurtful (adults who gossip do this all the time). In talking to children who've been aggressive on the playground (which is something I do 5 days a week) the action is seldom motivated by the desire to actually hurt another child.  Many, many children can easily learn from talking, listening, explaining, or simple punishment such as losing 5 minutes of recess.

 

For other kids, all the talking in the world doesn't make an impact, and taking recess away for every infraction means the child would never get to play at recess. Figuring out exactly how they need things broken down and exactly what does motivating them is key to helping them be successful. One of the kids I work with earns time to help in his old Kindergarten teacher's room, and even to help in the principals office (which he oddly loves doing). Another gets to earn time at an art table that is set up just for her. Another gets to pick a prize from a prize box. Different things work for different kids, and I would suggest that anyone working with a child with REAL behavior problems spend a lot time really figuring out what is meaningful to the child, what they value, and honor that.

 

I've seen kids figure out that the behavior that is being reward is actually a behavior that really works for them for their own reasons. Rather than causing a need for more rewards, a well thought out and implemented system gradually means a need for fewer rewards, or the same rewards for a higher standard of behavior. (doing this is a heck of a lot of work -- it involves really watching a child and talking to them about their choices in empowering way).

 

Relationships (and everything else in life) are dependent on our behavior. Two of the kids I work with are at risk for ending up in prison. You are kidding yourself if you think that relationships aren't dependent on how we behave. As far as rewards making an adult/child relationship conditional, I disagree. We can make it clear to children that we always care about them, we always like them, and we are always rooting for them, even when their behavior is unacceptable. Any form of feedback we give kids is best being based on this -- if we are celebrating something wonderful they've created or some really poor they've made. We care about them as a human being because we do -- because they are worthy of respect and dignity.

 

I agree that we need to work with children on developing solid, internal values. I think that is VERY important. I'm saying that we need to keep all the other kids safe while we do that, and that the child with the behavior problems really is best off if we can do it in a positive way.

post #23 of 31
Thread Starter 

Linda, I thought I did respond to your question, if I didn't, I apologize. There is so much helpful info in these replies that it's hard to keep things straight! But the answer is no, not yet. I am waiting for a call back from a sensory integration specialist who was recommended by my other son's developmental specialist. In the meantime, if you have another recommendation for someone to see for an evaluation, I'm all ears. His ped says, "He's a 5 year old boy. My 14 year old still acts like that." Um, either she didn't hear what I said or she has no idea what is appropriate behavior for a 14 year old boy.... Either way, she said she would write me a referral "to whoever I need" but didn't make any recommendations as to whether that would be an SI specialist, OT, neurologist, etc. So I'm kind of lost. 

 

With the stickers, I did try to show him how getting a sticker was HIS choice, not the teacher's. He insisted one day that she "lied" about his behavior and that he should have gotten one that day. Most other days, he just couldn't manage a conversation about it at all, whether he'd earned one or not. We have morphed into me saying, "Tell me about the good choices you made today." He can't. He can tell me he made some bad choices.... So I say, "Okay, what were the bad choices?" He can't tell me what they were. Sometimes he'll mumble something that is so vague I highly doubt it even happened. Like he'll say, "I threw sand at someone." Okayyy.... You said that yesterday. You know that's a bad choice. But did you really do it? Today? Again? Then he changes it to something else, and a lot of times it sounds like something one of his friends did, not him. It's like he just knows the "right answer" but has no idea what actually happened. Or he can tell me what he SHOULD do in a certain situation, but doesn't actually do it when presented with that same situation. 

 

I only ask him about bad choices to understand his behavior, and to see if he can identify the difference between a good choice and a not-so-good one. We don't dwell on it. I do try to dwell on the good choices, or just the fact that he changed his behavior after a warning from the teacher if he can't tell me something more specific. So no, I'm not trying to browbeat him for every infraction, and am looking for any and every opportunity to praise him.

post #24 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by swd12422 View Post

His ped says, "He's a 5 year old boy. My 14 year old still acts like that." ....

 

With the stickers, I did try to show him how getting a sticker was HIS choice, not the teacher's. He insisted one day that she "lied" about his behavior and that he should have gotten one that day. Most other days, he just couldn't manage a conversation about it at all, whether he'd earned one or not. We have morphed into me saying, "Tell me about the good choices you made today." He can't. ....

 


I think it is difficult for people who aren't seeing a behavior to understand the intensity of a behavior.

 

 

Quote: from
http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/ears/central_auditory.html#

 

Audiologists (hearing specialists) can determine if a child has APD. Although speech-language pathologists can get an idea by interacting with the child, only audiologists can perform auditory processing testing and determine if there really is a problem.

 

You also might post on the special needs board about the various problems your son has both in and out of school and ask for suggestions for the type of specialists that would be best as sorting this out.

 

Quote:
Most other days, he just couldn't manage a conversation about it at all, whether he'd earned one or not. We have morphed into me saying, "Tell me about the good choices you made today." He can't.

 

You need to work with him on his behavior when he is with you, and the let the teacher work on his behavior at school. Based on the subject you gave this thread, this has always been a problem. That part of it that he does in front of you is the part that you need to be talking to him about.

 

The stuff that happens at school he need to discuss with his teacher as things are happening, not hours later with someone who wasn't there. He needs to be TOLD by someone who knows, not expected to explain to someone who doesn't. That is a very different skill.

 

If he is unhappy that he didn't get a sticker and he is unclear why, then you need to immediately talk to the teacher and clarify things. In your situation, I think you and your son speaking briefly to the teacher at pickup time would be ideal. I think that part of the problem is that you've been trying to be in charge of the behavior plan at school -- which you cannot do. Its up to the teacher, and she can keep you in the loop. You can work on his behavior all the rest of the time.

 

I personally disagree with one sticker for a "good" day or no sticker for a "bad" day. It's too subjective. How good is good and how bad is bad? The kids I work with get stickers throughout the day for a variety of things -- varying from child to child.

 

One child has a page with sections, and if he gets 5 stickers in every section, then he gets his real reward (helping in another class). Friday, he didn't get his reward because he only had one sticker for the "walking in line" section. Every time his class goes some where, he can get a sticker if he does so without acting out. He only had one sticker in that section, so at the end of the day, we talked about that and about what he could do differently on Monday. If he were having a conversation with someone who wasn't there and didn't have that kind of detail in his behavior plan, he would sound like your son. After all, he did well at recess. He did all his work. He sat quietly during instructional times. He even helped out a substitute teacher in a very responsible way. But his plan specifies that he has to behave in line, and he didn't -- he pushed, kicked, ran, etc. The sticker chart is just a way of keeping track and providing feedback.

post #25 of 31
Thread Starter 
We started with a chart -- one sticker for each part of the day (centers, rug time, outside time, lunch, etc). He was getting a sticker for every part of the day, every day, so the teacher chose to switch to one for the day. That was when it became too nebulous for him, I think. So when he didn't seem to be "getting it" we talked about stopping it altogether. I am not trying to dictate how she handles her classroom. I did say that I didn't like the idea of stickers, but if it works, I am okay with it. What wasn't working was her having to stop every hour to talk to him about his behavior the previous hour. Too many kids, not enough time to keep that up. So I didn't argue -- it seemed like it worked and now we can progress, but now that I am typing this up I can see exactly what changed for him.

So at least some of it is needing attention/closer supervision. But I would still love to know how to teach him to keep himself in line b/c he wants to, not b/c he wants attention, or a sticker or a cookie. Assuming, of course, that he doesn't in fact have a sensory processing or auditory processing issue.....
post #26 of 31

Stickers - I am not one for stickers , but if you use them , make it very, very, easy to get so there is momentum and don't take away stickers or points when the kid behaves inappropriately 

 

Unconditional Parenting - in the book by Alfie Kohn by this title and in  his articles AK explains that it does not matter how much we explain that we unconditionally love them and want the best for them etc and kids when asked will reply that you love them unconditionally but on the inside they feel that when they behave appropriately and do well at school they get more love and attention. It is nort what we say , if is how they interpet what is going on.

 

Combining approaches - how do we view the kid's behavior  -  bad choices and needs extrinsic motivation to wanna make better choices or  continue making good choices.

                                                                                          or his behavior is a result of a pile of unsolved problems and lagging skills.

 

combining approaches is very problematic with kids that struggle . In many cases rewards cause more anxiety and stress , kid feels constantly judged.

The one approach is kids do well if they want to - choices , rewards etc or kids do well if they can -  learn skills and problem solve , skills are learned indirectly bu using the CPS/RDI process.

 

There is room for feedback , but this can take place in the formal of neutral information , without judgment so the conversation is more about reflection and self assessment and internal feelings of pride -  we want a kid to know that what is important is how he feels and not how he makes momma feel

 

I would focus less on him, - no talk about good or bad choices . he is already trying hard . We all make mistakes and in real life mistakes are our friends because we can learn from them.

It is hard work . 

 

In order to help him acquire the lagging skills , I suggest you check out the RDI approach - relationship development interventions , which focus on promoting skills and relationship which is also a skill in the context of day to day activities around the home and general conversations where we do more of the listening and the kid the talking , talking about perspectives, our concerns, how we feel , how we think others would feel. This is all very non-emotive stuff 

 

The 2nd approach is CPS - collaborative problem solving approach =Ross Greene .  check out the list of lagging skills and see how your son fits in - this helps us to wear the lenses of children do well if they can 

We then focus not on behaviors , but on unsolved problems. A kid is more likely to talk about an unsolved problem than about inappropriate behavior.

 

Being a CPS/RDI parent is not easy , parents are usually used to using Plan A =  unilateral commands or requests rather than collaborating with kids, so they are not very skilled.

Education is a process and it is the CPS/RDI process which promotes skills and relationship 

 

I hope this helps 

post #27 of 31
Internal motivation is a wonderful thing but not all kids have the same internal motivations. I really doubt there is a way to make a person internally motivated to do somehing they have no interest in themselves.

I would focus less on that and more on finding an external motivator you are comfortable with for now. It doesn't have to be an item, for my DD it was my verbal acknowledgment of her good day.

When my DD was young she had a lot of behavior problems in school and it really helped to know what specifically happened, the teacher would tell me. I would then ask her to come up with a plan for what she would do instead and we moved on. It took the first half of the year but she slowly had more good days and liked the response she got and moved to always having good days after the Christmas holiday.
Edited by One_Girl - 5/12/13 at 7:46am
post #28 of 31

I found your most recent post surprising.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by swd12422 View Post

We started with a chart -- one sticker for each part of the day (centers, rug time, outside time, lunch, etc). He was getting a sticker for every part of the day, every day, so the teacher chose to switch to one for the day. That was when it became too nebulous for him, I think. So when he didn't seem to be "getting it" we talked about stopping it altogether. I am not trying to dictate how she handles her classroom. I did say that I didn't like the idea of stickers, but if it works, I am okay with it.

 

because in your first post you said:

Quote:
Originally Posted by swd12422 View Post
He did well for awhile with sticker charts, but I put a stop to that, b/c he proved he knows how to behave and shouldn't need a bribe to do what he knows is right. I don't get paid for being a good person, and neither should he. 

 

and also...

Quote:
Originally Posted by swd12422 View Post

we switched to getting a sticker at the end of the day if it was overall a "good" day, but he was always convinced he deserved one, until the teacher took the wind out of his sails by reminding him of whatever happened that meant he shouldn't get one. So I put an end to that,

 

I'm doubting that I can be of help because I'm unclear about what is actually going on with your son. From now on, I'll just be addressing the concept of stickers and rewards at school in general, and not for a specific child.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by mary934 View Post

 

 In many cases rewards cause more anxiety and stress , kid feels constantly judged....

 

this can take place in the formal of neutral information , without judgment so the conversation is more about reflection and self assessment and internal feelings of pride -  we want a kid to know that what is important is how he feels and not how he makes momma feel

 

In administering behavior plans in a school, this isn't what a see. The kids with solid behavior plans in place are happy and more at ease than the kids who are always in trouble. The standard has been lowered for them to something they can achieve, and when they do achieve what they can, they get something they think is really cool. On the other hand, the kids who are always in trouble but don't have behavior plans (because their trouble is new, or their parents won't consent to a BP) tend to be sad and frustrated. Seeing this play out, its kind of a no-brainier to me.

 

At the same time, there is behavior that we as a society judge as wrong -- physical hurting another person. If kid A hurts kid B, then kid A needs to understand that kid B has feelings just like they do, and that we do not tolerate hurting other people. Kid A needs to understand that not everything is about him. Making it all about his feelings is misguided. We need to make the conversation about the other person's feelings.

 

We do talk a lot to kids about what happened right before their behavior. We call it the ABC approach:

 

A - Antecedent

B - Behavior

C - Consequence.

 

Figuring out antecedents and addressing them in a meaningful way is part of helping a child pivot to social acceptable choices, but at the same time, it really doesn't matter what kid B did, it is never OK to throw sand in their face, hit them, push them down, etc.

post #29 of 31
Thread Starter 

My apologies. It's really hard for me to concentrate on typing and choosing the right words with the constant interruptions I have going on here. I didn't mean to imply that it was all my doing. The teacher and I talked about it, she actually initiated the stopping of the stickers, and I agreed. I agreed readily, b/c it seemed to be having a negative effect on him after awhile when he decided he always deserved one and never would be able to agree that certain behavior that meant no sticker ever happened. And b/c we talked about how we are each expected to do certain things as part of our daily lives, and we don't get special credit for them. That was the first conversation we had where he seemed to listen and understand, and agree.

 

At any rate, I do appreciate the help and the time you have taken to type up all your thoughtful responses. I do agree that focusing on the positive and helping him understand how his behavior affects others is what we need. What I'm not so sure about is "lowering the bar" in his case. He just spent the weekend with my parents and was a perfect angel. And they're the ones who raised me with such strict rules about how to behave.... He has been at this same school for two years and never had a behavior issue before. He seems to be torn between loving the extra attention and stickers and feeling special, and feeling isolated b/c he's the only one who gets stickers. Meanwhile, there are other kids in the class who exhibit these same behaviors (his friends, who he follows) and their parents apparently don't think it's important to be involved in teaching their kids to do differently. So he sees kids behaving "worse" than he does and they're not getting in trouble for it like he is. Or at least he doesn't see the teachers talking to them as much as he feels they talk to him.

 

We have been using the ABC approach. (I didn't know it had a name, but that's how I've been trying to sort things out.) I can't get him to tell me about A, and half the time, he's not clear on B himself. One minute he destroyed someone's work, the next it was throwing sand instead. If I can't sort out what really happened, how can there be a consequence, or even a lesson learned, much less a creative way to help prevent it from happening to begin with? The teachers have been slowly starting to figure out how to head him off at the pass at times, but now there's all of a week left at school. Next year, we start all over at a new school, new teacher, and it'll take him/her the same 8 months to figure him out....

post #30 of 31
Quote:

Originally Posted by swd12422 View Post

 

Meanwhile, there are other kids in the class who exhibit these same behaviors (his friends, who he follows) and their parents apparently don't think it's important to be involved in teaching their kids to do differently. So he sees kids behaving "worse" than he does and they're not getting in trouble for it like he is. Or at least he doesn't see the teachers talking to them as much as he feels they talk to him.

 

... One minute he destroyed someone's work, the next it was throwing sand instead. If I can't sort out what really happened, how can there be a consequence, or even a lesson learned, much less a creative way to help prevent it from happening to begin with?

 

He is showing a complete lack of ownership for his behavior, and you are enabling this. He was the only kid in the class on a behavior plan and you think he is following other kids?

 

Throwing sand is a really horrid thing to do -- I've helped hold down small children while the school nursed washed sand from their eyes. It's horrible. Most of the time, the cornea isn't scratched -- it just hurts really bad and is very scary. Sometimes, the cornea is scratched. Sometimes, eyes get infected. 

 

Destroying other children's work is a really nasty thing to do.

 

Your child is violent and destructive, and you are buying that he is following other kids, that the teacher is picking on him, and that there is nothing you can do.

 

If I were I you, I would be speaking to the teacher EVERY DAY and find out what he did that day, and then I would let him know that it isn't OK to hurt other people, destroy things, etc. He is 100% responsible for his actions, regardless of what other children do or how their parents or teachers deal with them.

post #31 of 31
Thread Starter 

OMG THANK YOU. I agree with everything you said, except the part where I'm enabling him! Most people seem to think I'm too hard on him and should just accept that kids do these things. Especially boys.

 

I have been talking to the teachers EVERY DAY of the school year about his behavior b/c he was telling me these stories about things that had happened at school, and I couldn't sort out what had really gone on. He has had a pattern since toddlerhood of being drawn to the most energetic, wild, and sometimes out of control kids. I could watch him on the playground and he would stand there, studying the other kids. He'd watch the ones who caught his attention the most easily (by being louder, or faster, or more wild than other kids) and you could see the wheels turning in his head. Then he'd experiment. He'd throw some sand and then be very still and see what would happen. Oh, wait, that kid put it on someone's head.... He'd put sand on his own head, or someone else's, and I would tell him no..... He'd take another kid's hat off his head EVERY time he saw the kid, b/c that kid always wore a hat and he always screeched in an interesting way when DS took the hat. He'd take the hat off and watch and wait for the kid to yell and then he'd give it back. Then do it again to see if he'd get the same reaction. This was at 2 years old and everyone said, "Oh, he's only two." Yes, but he isn't getting it when I say no, he doesn't like that.... Later, he started doing things with certain friends he'd NEVER do on his own or with other friends. This school year, that morphed into him starting to initiate that kind of behavior even with his friends who don't start trouble. I went to talk to the teachers the first month of school after it seemed like things were starting to escalate. They looked at me like I was insane b/c they "hadn't noticed" anything out of the ordinary. I was frustrated for MONTHS, thinking I'm "that mom" who is helicopter-parenting her kid and not letting him "be a kid." Yes, all kids throw sand or whatever, but at some point they understand that it's not okay and they don't do it anymore. Mine has not. And I don't know why, since it's not exactly allowed when I'm present. (Playtime ends when dirt/sand is thrown at our house, or at the park. IDK what happens at school. Probably not much other than a warning.)

 

Basically, the teachers were puzzled as to why I was asking about his behavior. I know from another mom that the kids he is playing with the most are very wild. She warned me when she found out he was in that class that there are kids in there "you don't want him around." She told me about a birthday party one of them had where it was like Lord of the Flies. Her own child is high energy and often gets in trouble for talking, being distracting in class, etc. but she said these kids were far beyond "acceptable" in her eyes.

 

I knew as soon as she said that who they were based on the fact they were the two names my son had ever mentioned at that point. I told her, "I know who you mean." Told her the names and she said I was right. So I was ready (or so I thought) for some behavior, but the teachers didn't seem to see much out of the ordinary at first.

 

It has taken them this long to start acknowledging there is an issue. Maybe because he listened at first when he got warnings and now he is not. Maybe the  behavior itself is actually worse. I don't know, b/c the teachers are not exactly forthcoming with details either. I get mostly "there was some behavior, and when I reminded him to make good choices, he did (or didn't)." She just says, "More of the same" that we have been seeing, meaning the kinds of things I mentioned, from being mean and destructive to disruptive in class. She wouldn't even tell me who the other kids involved were, but I let her know I know who they are. Sometimes she'll say, it was another kid this time, but won't tell me who. They claim confidentiality, so I can't even talk to the other moms on my own to get their perspective since I'm not supposed to know what their kids are doing in school. Which I think is ridiculous.

 

I have seen these other boys in action. I talk to one of the moms a little bit (there is a language barrier there, but we chat briefly) and she tells me her two boys behave that way nearly all the time. She doesn't indicate that it's a problem for her per se, just that they are wild and fight in public with each other and just never seem to stop. Her attitude seems to be that she doesn't exactly like it, but they're boys, so what is she to do ? I have no idea if the teacher is working with them at the same level as mine, but he was the only one with a sticker chart that I saw, and I have not noticed the moms talking to the teacher after class like I do. Maybe they are communicating later via email, I don't know. I am not claiming he is being singled out; he feels that way b/c he doesn't see the other kids being treated the same way with stickers and moms talking. That doesn't mean it's not happening, we just don't know about it.

 

We are constantly letting him know that his behavior is his choice, and that he needs to make good ones or he'll end up very unhappy with the consequences. It doesn't matter. He says, "You say it's all my fault, and NOTHING is my fault!" I don't use that word, although I think DH might. I let him know that he chose the timeout, or the loss of a sticker, or whatever by not listening to us when we told him to stop a certain behavior. That we don't expect perfection, but that when he is doing something that is not a good choice and we let him know, he can choose to change what he'd doing or else he is choosing a consequence he may not like. He doesn't seem to be getting that. Lots of people have said that it's developmental, that he will learn. But he's FIVE. Shouldn't he be getting it at this point?

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