HELP My 7 yr old son having issues at school

Trish - posted on 09/09/2010 ( 43 moms have responded )

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My son is 7 or will be on Saturday, he is in 1st grade. There are some days, so far once a week, his teacher lets him sleep during class between 1-1 1/2 hrs at a time. Then he gets in trouble for behavior issues after he wakes up. He is getting plenty of sleep 9 hrs +/- . He is arguing with the teachers,not wanting to do his school work, and throwing tantrums when they tell him to eat more than just cookies that the cooks gave him. He is not wanting to listen to teachers or me at times at home. I dont know what to do. Anyone have any ideas???

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Elfrancine - posted on 09/10/2010

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When my little daughter had problems at school I took her to a therapist. It helped me a lot to learn how to help my child. Especially to understand my child better. The therapist also told me that I have to give her Omega 3 & 6 fish oils and I must say, it helped a lot. She concentrates a lot better.

Your child's teacher should NOT let him sleep at school. He is there to learn, not to sleep. If he is throwing tantrums you have to ignore him. Well, lets say it help me. My daughter hates it when I ignore her. That worked for us. It's been a few months now after therapy and she stopped the tantrums. Children needs to respect the wishes of parents as well as caretakers. If they don't you need punish him, but find a punishment that will work for him. I have 2 children and they don't react the same way on the same punishment. If you really want to understand your child, take him to a therapist who can help you. It doesn't mean you are a bad mother if you do that, it means you care for your son. Good Luck!

Amy - posted on 09/13/2010

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I agree that the teacher shouldn't allow him to sleep in class, but if he's falling asleep that easily during the day in a classroom full of kids he's obviously NOT getting enough sleep at night. Kids that age need 10-11 hours of sleep a night so 9 may not be enough for him. Try having him go to sleep an hour earlier and if that doesn't work maybe he's not sleeping well when he does sleep, check for snoring which could indicate sleep apnea. It really frustrates me when the first reaction to any kind of bad behavior in kids is automatically assumed to be ADD/ADHD a lot of times it's not getting enough sleep is the cause. And this opinion comes from my experience with working with kids for the past 10 years and my degree in child develpment.
Amy

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Anne - posted on 09/25/2010

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I find it interesting that everyone has jumped on the ADD bandwagon, but no-one has picked up on nutrition. What does he eat for breakfast - if it's high in sugar, that could explain the slump in energy and need to eat at school - and personally I think the cooks giving him cookies should be brought to the principal's attention too, I'd be furious! - the sugar could be causing many of his problems. A lot of the ADD/ADHD symptoms can be handled with careful nutrition too - so perhaps you need to discuss this with your family doctor as well.

[deleted account]

Thanks Karen ! I know my child was having the same behavioral issues and acting up and they were always tired, too much homework and I always wound up doing the homework, because the older one really didn't know the material, especially math and they were passing him with flying colors, A1A down the report cards, he was just getting lost in the system.
I understand it is not for everyone, you have to have patience, but it really is so much easier than you think. I also know for some mom's it's impossible with work and all.
Right now they are at an incredible Art Class, that is for homeschoolers for and Hour and a half and all these children are so truly amazing and blessed. There is something for everyone ! they have classes at Metro Zoo, Deering Estate for Science and The Seaquarium, and that's just for starters.
Best Wishes !

Christina - posted on 09/23/2010

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Hi, I just wanted to say that maybe he needs more sleep at night. My almost 7 year old sleeps 11-12 hours a night! I definitely see behavior changes if we put her to sleep even one hour later than usual. Your son should not be able to sleep for over an hour, in class if he had enough sleep. Good luck!

Karen - posted on 09/23/2010

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ROXANA hit the nail on the head with that one! I'm sure most of us if not all of us have had to teach our children things at home because the teacher didn't bother with it. I've had to teach my son how to position the paper, how to work out some basic math problems, I've had to teach him a lot of things they USED to teach us in school. It is truly mind boggling. I commend you Roxane for homeschooling, it sounds like the best thing in the world for your kids. I want to do that for my son, but am unfortunately not in a position to do so at the moment.

Tamara - posted on 09/22/2010

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I've heard this problem with a lot of kids that age. Some of my friends and I did start putting our kids down earlier in the evening and it really did work. Just try it and see the transition from being in school all day instead of half a day is huge. Also really watch out for the soda's and sweets because that can make the kids irritable (I know they now say that this doesn't make kids hyper but I have been a Mom for long enough to know that it does have an effect on kids). I also think that if these things don't work a counselor could be just what you need for your prescious child:-)

[deleted account]

I Know this isn't the answer for everyone, but have you ever thought of homeschooling ? I just pulled both my kids out of school, ages 7 and 9, I work from home, so I am able to do this, and I couldn't be any happier and they are excelling way beyond their limits more than ever. There are so many support groups out here, and so much more that they get this way, art, music, theatre, field trips and so much more socialization, than they do at school, they have become like an institution, are not safe, kids get bullied and that is one of the reasons they react like that sometimes, or they are just going too fast with the materials, no one stops for one specific child and they get frustrated. I had enough with the school system and If anyone has the ability , I say try it, if it doesn't work for you, they can always go back.
Good Luck :)

Shelley - posted on 09/22/2010

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maybe you need to see a peadatrician for beahavorial probs and sleepining in school, my daughter is 7 she sleeps 12 hrs a night and still is tired i have had blood tests done and ok so we are thinking of her anoids so we think she is having good night sleep but her breathing is not right so we are going to ent spec once again. hope this helps you good luck.and remember if they are tired they do all sorts of stupid things,i also have a 5.5 yr old boy.shelley

Karen - posted on 09/22/2010

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The best thing you can do is research, read, and discuss things with your doctor. Obviously there are a large variety of opinions about what COULD be the problem. Only YOU know your child. What ever your family feels is the right thing to do is important. It would be wise to check into all your options before taking the general advice of a doctor or anyone else. I did this, and tried everything I could. ADHD/ADD and Asperger syndrome is VERY real, it DOES happen in young children. Unfortunately there are to many who scoff at the idea and let their children fall through the cracks.

Jennifer - posted on 09/22/2010

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Diagnosing ADD/ADHS at that age is kind of useless. I'd say 1/2 of the boys in my son's class show "signs" of ADD, but the teacher said it really has to do with them just being "boys". I have a 6 yr old who shows mild signs of ADD, but all you can do is recognize and focus your attention in helping them concentrate better. It's frustrating as a parent, trying to keep them on task, but it will help in the long run. I'm not one to medicate, but there are some severe cases where it's necessary sometimes.



P.S. to reiterate, I've never EVER heard of a child sleeping/napping in class in 1st grade. That should have ended in Preschool, or Kindergarten at the latest. Does your child go to an alternative and/or private school? My son gets 10+ hrs of sleep a night, but still has problems concentrating...

Christina - posted on 09/22/2010

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I really get frusrated when people want him to be tested for add or adhd cause lets say he does have it then what does that change ?? especially if mom doesnt want to medicate what can be done if he does have it ??? really nothing so whats the point??

Karen - posted on 09/22/2010

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I don't think anyone WANTS to throw their kids into the ADD or ADHD category. I know I didn't. But I do agree that he might just be bored, which is usually the case with intelligent children. Also Lisia has a point. If the teacher is making him lay down for a nap knowing the end results, she's just asking for it; and to come at you with complaints is ludicrous. Ask her if she can let him sit and read to himself quietly, or draw while the other kids nap. It sounds like she's simply looking for a mid-day break.

Jennifer - posted on 09/22/2010

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I've never heard of a 1st grader being able to sleep in class... More sleep at night is the key!

Julie - posted on 09/22/2010

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He's not getting enough sleep. I have a son the same age and he sleeps 10 1/2 hours a night. Put him to bed earlier. Being overly tired can have adverse impact on their behavior. I can always tell when my husband has let him stay up late when I'm gone. My son is foul on not enough sleep. As for him not wanting to eat, take away the cookies. If he's hungry enough he'll eat.

Lisia - posted on 09/22/2010

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ADD and ADHD is real and obviously needs to be looked into. My thoughts are that everyone is so eager to throw children into one or the other category and sometimes it's not ADD or ADHD.
Maybe his dr could have him do a sleep study. He may not be sleeping well at night.
A good child psychologist may be able to help in determining what may be the problem at school.
No teacher should let a child sleep in class, and then scold them for doing so. If the teacher lets the child sleep, the teacher needs to deal with the actions after the child wakes up...It's their class. Scolding is never an option when you let something happen right in front of you. His attention may be elsewhere because he needs a different teaching style. He could be bored in class.

Karen - posted on 09/22/2010

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BETH - I tried the omega 3 oils, tablets, changed his diet, removed all products with the red, blue dyes, removed all sugar except natural (I.E. Fruits) he went to drinking just water or soy milk. He's never had soda's or caffinee of any kind. I literally exhausted all efforts to avoid medication, and his doctor was with me all the way, she is a wonderful Dr. who does not believe in heavy medication in children unless absolutely necessary for their well being. She herself told me she would never suggest Ridilin, but did try him on a low dose of Adderall. As soon as I found out about my family history of heart disease she told me to stop him immediately and we both decided on Stratera. It's non stimulant based, and it did help. And it is not something that has to be given to maintain that level of medication in his system. However we work with him, and we award him for making good choices versus letting his emotions control him. We've made headway, but it's not over.

Karen - posted on 09/22/2010

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I definitely see a difference when my son does not get a full 10-12 hours of sleep. And frankly I am the first to question what a doctor says about anything. I fought the whole idea of ADHD from Kindergarten thru 2nd grade, when at THAT time he began to go from accelerated reading and math to barely able to sit still in his chair. When it reaches that point that your children are suffering, you have to acknowledge it, and if you put work into finding a good doctor that is on the same page as you and does not believe in making your children a chemical dumping ground. Fortunately my own son is starting to settle on his own with age, and he was just placed in a academically gifted class due to high IQ and EOG test scores. Just proof there is a silver lining to all things. But above all do what you have to do for your son, and for you.

Crystal - posted on 09/22/2010

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you should take your lil guy to the doctor and find out why he is wanting to sleep so much it could be something serious or maybe a really good growth spurt but you should find out. If he is cranky and arguing with you and teachers it just goes back to the sleeping issue, it will get better, my boys did the same. wish you the best.

Amy - posted on 09/22/2010

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I have to agree that children that age need 10-12 hours of sleep at night. That dosen't mean that he should be allowed to sleep at school. I am glad you are meeting with the principal. He sounds like my girls neither are all that pleasent when they wake up. I have seen mention of ADHD all over the place and I know that it is always on parents minds but try not to jump right on that boat. Kids are just cranky and ill tempered sometimes. Some of them are consistant with when they are like that. I know mine are. Don't belive everything the dr.'s say either.

Karen - posted on 09/22/2010

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Trish, I feel your agony. I have gone through similar situations with my son since kindergarten. He was also diagnosed with ADHD. It has been a seriously stressful and long journey with the school and my son's behavior at times. He had some major issues in first grade also, and began to show signs of depression, along with aggression and disrespect towards the teacher and fellow classmates. I was finally able to get my son to talk, and found out he was being bullied, and the teacher knew and did nothing to stop it. The day the school counselor and I went to his class to inform the teacher he would be moved out of there I witnessed the bully's tormenting my son and caught her looking dead at them and she did nothing so I knew he was not lying. I filed a complaint, and he was removed the next day. His behavior settled down and he was nice to the new teacher. Sometimes the teachers are just not cut out to teach, especially if they have little patience for children who need more time from them. Sadly I am learning there are a lot of teachers like that in the public school systems.

Susan - posted on 09/21/2010

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Agreed that 9 hours a night is not enough sleep for a 7 year old. He should get getting 10 - 11 hours. Is this a public school? Is that the standard to allow 1st graders to sleep in class? Do all the kids take a nap? In San Antonio, kindergarteners get a 1/2 hour rest period in which they can nap or just be quiet but there is no nap time in 1st grade. If you're paying for private school, I wonder how much you're paying for each hour he is asleep and not receiving instruction. Sounds like this teacher has an issue with your son and she lets him go to sleep so she can have a break from him. Face it...not all teacher-student relationships are good. I would talk to the principal as well as his pediatrician. I would also request to have him moved to a different classroom.

Beth - posted on 09/21/2010

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I agree Amy....my son is the same age and he sleeps 10 hours a night. When they are that young they need that much sleep. I am going to try the Omega 3 & 6 as well.

Alyssa - posted on 09/18/2010

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Wow, sounds a little like my son, hes got major anger problems and is very ADHD. He is also almost 7 and in first grade. He got in lots of trouble almost everyday in Kindergarten. His behavioral specialist put him on Ritalin, which I was against at first, but it really does help. He listens now, is much nicer, can concentrate on one activity at a time...big improvements. I was desperate for a change and gave it a chance, since Marijuana isnt legal, which I would rather give him than basically legal Meth...My husband is very ADHD as well and has been in Ritalin almost his whole life and it made him able to finish college while us both being teen parents. Alos I think your school is to blame, they dont seem to be very strict with children and it's good you are talking to your principal and teacher, you need to be strict and tell them what the problem is and what you want done!

Betty - posted on 09/17/2010

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Kids this age need 10-12 hours of sleep a night so he may not sleep in class anymore if you put him to bed earlier. I can't believe the teacher lets a first grader sleep in class! My daughter is in 1st grade also and gets 10-11 hours of sleep a night. Compared to most of the other kids, she is getting a little less sleep a night.

Ruthy - posted on 09/16/2010

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Great to hear he's bright, working hard in school and obviously trying to act appropriately. But it sounds like he has some issues with impulsivity and attention which may be ADD. Have you spoke with the counselor at school about ADD? A counselor is different than a School Psychologist who evaluates such disorders. It may be helpful to talk directly to the School Psychologist at your school. Ask who it is and see if you can get an evaluation. They do a great work-up, detailed info. about your son that could really give you some great guidance.

Trish - posted on 09/16/2010

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yes he has the color coded "smiles" green = good, yellow = 1 rule broken, orange= 2 rules, red is bad 3 or more broken and meeting with principal an a call home. he started school almost 1 month ago ( Aug. 19th) has had 2 red, 3 yellow and the rest green. We got called into school the other day and he was good after that. There is a counselor that talks with him and i know her as well, she says he is a good boy and made a stop sign and taped it to his desk, to help remind him to stop and think before he does something. His first spelling and grammar test he did a 99 %. So proud of him, he says he cant just help himself sometimes. So we will see what the drs say.

Ruthy - posted on 09/16/2010

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Sounds like you're in the right direction meeting with the principal, teacher and now the doctor. Have you asked the school for an evaulation? That's the next move which could greatly benefit you. They will do a whole work-up- psychology, speech and language (which involves attentional issues, following directions, problem solving). I know since I have a son, 8, who was diagnosed with a developmental delay which was changed to ADHD as of last year. He has a very short attention span and as a result, behavioral issues. We has a full-time behaviorist/facilitator for him at school, now in the 3rd grade. All these evaluations and services are paid by the school district. I'm a Speech Therapist and also work for the school district, and I can tell you that you have the right to request an evaluation. It would at a minimum give you a wealth of information and may help with a diagnosis as well as point you in the direction of what services he needs. A structured classroom to start! My kid's school has a color coded behavioral card for each day- green best, yellow-warning, orange-multiple warnings, note home to parent, red-worst, benching, parent meeting. Does your son's class have this kind of system? We would motivate my son, giving him rewards when he came home from 1st with a green card for good behavior. If your son's class doesn't have this, perhaps you and the teacher could create it and give him some motivation to behave appropriately. And it sounds like you certainly should be moving up bedtime. I have an 8, almost 9 year old and he along with my 6 year old go to bed at 8 at night, up at 7ish sleeping about 11 hours. School is a long, demanding day for kids and they need the maximum sleep, especially at your son's young age. Good luck!

[deleted account]

Good! Glad you had a chat with the teacher!! Keep her on her toes and don't let her get away with talking down to you or your son. She should be ashamed of herself for allowing things to go this far without asking you to come in to discuss it as an ADULT and EDUCATOR should. You shouldn't have had to make the request (or demand) yourself for this chat!

BTW - my oldest was ADHD and I didn't just accept one doctors word for it, I had him to several. Had to fight schools almost every step of the way! Oldest is almost 24yrs old now.... My youngest is 7yrs old and isn't ADD/ADHD but he does have Sensory Integrative Disorder (school bells upset him) and Convergence (eye related - no depth perception, inability to see in 3D format) and these combos cause issues with his education too.

Trish - posted on 09/15/2010

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we had a discussion with the teacher and asked her not to let him sleep and class and to be assertive, if he thinks he gets away with it he will continue to do the behavior. He is in the same school and we did not have this during his K year. Doctors appointment is scheduled so we will see how things go.

[deleted account]

I think part of his behavior is just his age, another part is learned behavior (teacher letting him do what he wants and if not, he has a fit 'til she gives in) and part of it could be medical. Combine them all and it can be an extremely difficult time for all!! One thing to consider: did your son have these problems in pre-K or kindergarten? Is he in the same school as the previous year or a new one? Change can sometimes affect a child in this manner too. Maybe your son is getting TOO MUCH sleep - some do operate better on less!

Absolute best thing for you to do is to consult with your pediatrician. If s/he won't listen to your concerns, find someone who will! I know where we are, there's at least one pediatrician that's investigating vitamin deficiency in behavioral issues with great results! I've had two friends take their kids to him, had blood work, and had amazing results with the vitamins the doctor advised them they were deficient in. Might be worth a try if you can find a doctor open-minded enough!

I agree that ADD/ADHD may be a contributing factor. However, it could very well be something else totally unrelated too! So keep an open mind while you're searching for possible answers... When you see your pediatrician, s/he will probably give you a questioner to fill out at home and one for the teacher. A diagnosis of ADD/ADHD can take time to get. There's testing, observations, input from all concerned. Then there's getting the meds right. That can be a trial and error thing too. Too little and it's not effective, too much and you have a zombie on your hands. After awhile, some meds that worked in the past won't work any more and you have to start over again.... Once a diagnosis has been made, the school will need to set up an Individual Education Program (IEP) in which his education will be adjusted - not because he is stupid (as most ADD/ADHD children are highly intelligent!! - but it will be done for all to learn what is the best method for them to teach him so that he learns better.

Either way, YOU are your child's best advocate!!! Be involved as much as possible. Be a pain in their butts - if you have to! Don't let that teacher run all over you and your son. Seriously sounds as if she's part of the problem here (letting him sleep in class, knowing he's going to be cranky later). Make her answer to that. No, she's not a babysitter for your child, BUT she is supposed to be there to TEACH him and letting him sleep in class has him missing out on all kinds of assignments.

Yvette - posted on 09/14/2010

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I totally agree with Elfrancine Eysele, get to the root and the omega's are a MUST!

Jo Anne - posted on 09/14/2010

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Hi Trish, my name is Jo-anne....yep i thought i was alone, my son Keanu is 7 aswell and also in gr.1but he is the opposite, at school he is the most loving caring, helpful and he's teacher just adore him......but then again as soon as he enters the house there's a fight and Keanu's alway's in the middle of it,he has 2 older siblings and 1 younger.I just had a meeting with his teacher yesterday again she could not stop talking about my son's good manners and i look at her and wonder are we talking about the same child here.....we have a rule in our home each parent ( my husband and i) have to spend 15min per child every day 7 day's a week not talking about what we did 4 the day but more focus on what they did......so it cant be a lack of attention ....we've tried everything .The common thing between our stories is that lately my son is so tired he comes from school and go straight to bed,sleeps for about 2 hours and then when he wakes up the **** hits the fan,and he also get +/- 9hrs sleep, maybe its to much sleep thats making them this hiperactive.......

Heather - posted on 09/13/2010

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Dear Amy, I am merely suggesting to eliminate the possibility. I did not listen when someone tried to tell me about my son and he has a diagnosis. I am just trying to help. Eliminating the possibility helps resolve these issues too.

[deleted account]

http://pediatrics.about.com/cs/sleep/a/s... this is just a site of information. I didn't mean to say that the child had it. I thought it would be something to be tested for though. I've worked with children and adults with developemental disabilities for 0ver 20 yrs. my son had difficulty in school as well and we did numerous things to see how we could best help him. Im in no way saying its one thing for sure. Only a parent would truely see all the problems that their child is having and know what it normal for them personally. Good Luck and God Bless

Heather - posted on 09/13/2010

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Hi,

I would talk to your family doctor and let him know what is going on at school and home. I have to agree with Sandy, it may not be a bad idea to have him assessed, even just to rule out any ADD/ADHD or ASD. Good luck and best wishes!

Heather

[deleted account]

If I may ask, has he been tested for ADD or ADHD? i think the teacher probably shouldn't be letting him sleep in class. Would this be causing him to be off of a sleeping pattern at home?

Barbara - posted on 09/11/2010

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Wow, never heard of a teacher lettn a student sleep in class..There is one problem he thinks his allowed to do whtat he wants , Why cause the teacher is allowing it..Have a conference with the teacher counselor and principle see how ya can all help him...

Angie - posted on 09/10/2010

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I don't agree that he should be rewarded when he behaves as he should. Set strict guidlines with his teacher and insist that he follow those rules. The teachers at school should be strict and not allow this behavior. They should already have consequences in place to stop this behavior. Good luck, this is not easy for you, the teacher, or your son.

Valarie - posted on 09/10/2010

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Maybe you can try rewarding him for doing good things & take away things that he likes to play with or watch when he acts up. But, when my son was in 1st grade he didn't have any naps. Maybe the teacher should take away his nap. I hope this was helpful.

Trish - posted on 09/09/2010

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thank you, i actually going to go have a meeting with the principal tomorrow. Im not sure why she is letting him sleep, she told him that if he wakes up tired that he should just stay home from school, you dont tell a child that or they will never go to school, we all wake up tired most of the time.

Kathryn - posted on 09/09/2010

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wow thats not a gud start for him, firstly why does the teacher allow him ta sleep durin class knowin when he wakes up he gets in trouble? have u gone and seen the teacher or principal? there mite b sum other problem that no1 has picked up on and i dont mean that to scare u in any way. maybe if the prob isnt school it mite b medical. all children misbehave its just apart of growin up and testin boundarys i get it at home from my boys more when their dad aint round and my 9yr went through a phase of gettin into trouble at school and id get the ph calls.. hope this is of sum help

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