First Grade Self-Esteem

Mandi - posted on 10/27/2008 ( 1 mom has responded )

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I have a wonderful six year old guy. He's smart, funny, and well-behaved. I think we're pretty tight. He may tell you different, but he's not here, so we'll go with my opinion. He's the kind of guy I can take to a fancy restaurant with no qualms. He'll even order his own dinner politely. He's really independent, pushing towards stubborn, but he comes by that honestly.

Anyways, my dude is having behavioral issues at school. His report card shows that he's grasping the work. He's doing fine in each of his subjects. He comes across as an exceptionally confident and social guy, but he has this quiet and very insular inner emotional life. He tends to worry over something, but won't talk about it. He's the kind of guy who will try not to cry, even though I've always said crying is totally okay if you need to do it. I think he's worried about not being as smart or as good as the other kids in his class, so he's refusing to do his work, goofing off, and distracting his classmates.

How do I motivate him to make good choices at school, boost his self-esteem about his academic prowess, support his teachers, while making it clear that his current behavior is absolutely unacceptable. How do I keep this from bleeding into the rest of our lives? I'm a woman accustomed to doing a lot. I have a full-time job and two part-time jobs. I'm taking my GRE on Thursday, so that I can go to graduate school next year, but I can't focus on anything else because my guy is off kilter.

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Katie - posted on 11/05/2008

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Hi Mandi!
I too have a son in first grade. He is in an accelerated class and sometimes feels the pressure of learning so much so fast and can act up a bit when he gets too overwhelmed. I usually try to sit him down one on one as soon as the behavior starts, look into his eyes and say "what's wrong?". After a few silly remarks I usually get out of him what's bothering him and tell him there are more important things than who is the smartest ex: you, grandparents, pet, aunts, uncles..etc. As far as making good choices I've found that things as simple as putting his good papers on the fridge and giving him incentives like if he does good that week he will get a surprise at the end of the week, or you will do something fun with him over the weekend as a reward. The thing is you have to mean what you say or else they will know you don't mean it. You could also try talking to his teacher and see if there is something going on in the classroom she notices or anything she suggests. Also my son is a big video game kid and for Christmas last year(with the help of my parents) he got the Nintendo DS. This has been somewhat of a blessing because I can take him almost anywhere as long as he has it(although he is only allowed tv/video games for 1hr/day during school). Also whenever he acts up I tell him I will take it away and I do! So unless he is exhausted(which brings out the bear in him) he is pretty much well behaved... for a 6 year old anyway lol

Katie

Oh and I don't know if this applies to your son, but last year my son acted up in kindergarten so much the principal now knows him by name! Anyway I moved his bedtime up 45mins and it was like night and day.

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