Why is my child hanging out with the bad crowd?

Stacey - posted on 03/27/2009 ( 6 moms have responded )

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Here's a little history...my 5 year old son started school in the fall. All was well until around Christmas. Sure it's normal for all kids to get restless especially at this point of the school year. However, my son was bringing home a "bad note" every other day one week and every day for the following. I know it’s normal for kids to be talkative and sometimes find mischief but this appeared to be a bigger problem to me. I did what I could to enforce good behavior such, special treats, etc. I also punished him for bad behavior, no TV, video games, sent him to his room, etc. We talk about what was acceptable and unacceptable behavior. After little to no progress I set up a conference with his teacher and learned that he "migrates towards the bad crowd". I honestly thought maybe he wasn’t challenged enough during class and in shear boredom he was acting out. His teacher assured me that wasn’t the case. She agreed that he is a smart kid but his problem is him hanging out with bad kids, its kindergarten…how can there be a “bad crowd”?? I can’t forget to mention that I felt like everything I told my oldest child about not blaming others for his actions was being tossed out the door.



So it’s been almost 4 months …just last week he misbehaved at school for 5 day straight. We talked about his behavior and made him aware of what was going to happen if he did not stop being so “talkative” and “rowdy” at school. By the 5th day the kid was in tears; behind closed doors I was too! He was sent to his room to think about his actions, he lost his game/TV privileges and could not join his grandparents on a camping trip that he had been looking forward to for several weeks. I think we did everything we could as parents to discipline him and help him see what was expected of him. At my wits end I wrote his teacher a note expressing my concern.



I finally received a return phone call from his teacher today. Wanna guess what the problem is? He is hanging out with the bad crowd again. What do I do? Is it right for me to teach my 5 year old son that he can’t be friends with someone instead of teaching him that he is responsible for his on actions? How do you keep your child from being friends with someone? I’m lost. Why is it he is drawn to the “bad crowd”? Some of these children have been suspended…in kindergarten!! She said academically his is doing great. He sits down and does his class work with no problems. In center time he does what is expected of him. He is in the “highest level reading group”. I never have problems with him doing homework.



Any words of wisdom??

6 Comments

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Melissa - posted on 05/09/2011

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Hi! Did you get any results? My daughter keeps playing with another student at school who is in trouble constantly. He even encouraged her and another student to jump the school fence and leave campus! These are kindergarteners! I am at my wits end. I'm so stied of taking away her priviledges and grounding her for playing with this boy, but she continues. Even today when I picked her up for school, she was giving him a hug good-bye! I understand she llikes the attention he gives, her but I feel she needs to learn early in life to pick the right people and make the right choices. I don't understand the mind of a five year old so I don't get why she refuses to listen to me. Please help!

Betty - posted on 06/24/2009

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I have a associates degree in Early Childhood Education as well as 15 years in owning my own day cares. One thing you might check into, and one that I see a lot of is that when children at this age are into trouble on a daily basis is that THE TEACHER'S expectations seem to be to high for children. Possibly look into the teacher's expectations-and if you check into it I am sure you might find that your child is not the only one getting into trouble on a daily basis-a pure sign that the teacher needs to understand normal childhood issues. I have seen this several times in my profession. Hopes this helps

Lori - posted on 03/31/2009

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I so understand what you're going through as I have been going through the same exact thing with my seven year old. We have done everything you have done with your son. You are doing all the right things. We talk constantly about making good choices, which includes who he is going to hang out with. My mother always said "Birds of a feather flock together", and we have explained this concept in detail to our son. I am a coach (life) so I ran across this great tool which I am now using with my son. It's called Parent Coaching Cards. It helps to teach children how to make good choices using fun little cards and a coloring book. We've been reading one card per day to our son and talking about the scenario. I think if you google Parent Coaching Cards, you will find it if that is something you are interested in. Hope this helps!

Stacey - posted on 03/31/2009

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Thank you both for your responses.  It's always nice to see someone else's prospective  when I can't grasp things.  I have 3 children and seems like with each one I face new challanges.



One of the "problem" children has been moved to an other school. According to Ashton's teacher the student that has been moved was sort of the "ring leader".  Hopefully that has taken care of some of the issues we were having. His teacher and I will continue to communicate on a weekly basis, or daily if needed. I will also continue to talk to him about his behavior and reward good behavior and punish the bad.

Michelle - posted on 03/31/2009

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I don't think you necessarily need to choose between teaching your son to be responsible for his own actions or not hanging out with the "bad crowd."  Part of being responsible is avoiding temptation and choosing your friends wisely.  This is a good chance for your son to learn how much harder it is to make good decisions "in the moment."  It's a lesson that translates into the adult world.  Do you go back to that club and hang out with those same people and then trust yourself to say no when they offer you a line of coke, or do you go get coffee with your church friends instead?  Do you wait until you're in the backseat with the girl's pants off and then say no to sex, or do you stay where there's lights and people and avoid the temptation altogether? 



 



Obviously you can't give your 5 year old those examples, but I think you get the point.  If you want your son to take responsibility for his actions, it needs to start with his choice to hang out with kids he knows are getting into trouble when he knows he's going to end up in trouble, too.

Cathy - posted on 03/31/2009

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It sounds like your son is just a bit of a 'class clown' and enjoys lots of attention.  This is so common in boys, my son as well.  My opinion is to sit down with his teacher and try to come up with some ideas to refocus his 'exuberance' and give him a constructive outlet.  Maybe give him a job in class, maybe join a sport he loves, and lots of positive feedback for jobs well done.  Boys, especially, need to be redirected a lot - perfectly normal. 



Can I ask - what did these other kids do to get suspended at such a young age ??  Sounds very extreme, unless it involved hurting other kids or bullying. 



Anyway, he sounds like a very smart boy, maybe you could volunteer in the classroom and see for yourself who he's hanging with - I visited my son's class a few times, it helps to see for yourself sometimes.  Good luck !!

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