5 year old behavioral issues at school. Need advice?

Rebecca - posted on 01/31/2012 ( 13 moms have responded )

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I have a daughter that is 5 years old with behavioral issues at school. She went to Pre K for only a few months before I pulled her out, because her teachers couldn't handle her. She would have screaming tantrums and wouldn't listen. I kept her home til kindergarten, thinking maybe she wasn't ready for school at the age of 4. Well, she started kindergarten and things were going great til a month into school. Was getting letters sent home and phone calls almost every day saying she had a bad day. That she wasn't listening, following directions, or refusing to do her work. I thought maybe the teachers were being too hard on her after I heard other parents saying their kids would be getting letters sent home as well for miss behaving. We decided to wait til we moved in November to see what the new school would say. Well, she was doing great and then once again her behavior started after a month of her being in the new school. Well, now she has started to run away from her teachers and today she ran away and left the building! I just do not know what to do. She doesn't act like this at home. She will act up once and awhile at home, but to me it's the normal for a 5 year old. I do have a son that is 9 with ADHD and PDD, but she isn't at all like him. She actually catches on really fast in learning. I know all cases are not the same, but I just would like to know if anyone else has had this problem and what you did to correct it. I am running out of ideas. Next step is to take her to a behavior specialist. Just don't want them to jump into medicine. Grateful with whatever help or advice I can get.

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Kay - posted on 01/31/2012

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It is time to put your detective hat on. If you haven't already done it,make an apt. for a physical with her pediatrician. Be sure to describe her behavior .Next, schedule a conference at school with the principal, her teacher and the school nurse. See if they can come up with an education plan for her. It does seem strange that her behavior at school is different than her behavior at home. You have a son with ADHD so you know what that is about. This can be one of the clues to helping your daughter. There is an answer, she is in kindergarten and hopefully you can find it so she is happier at school. You could video your daughter at home when she is interacting with the family and show this at your conference so that they will understand the difference. Perhaps you would be allowed to observe your daughter's class. A lot of elementary classroom have parent volunteer, maybe you could approach the teacher about this. This might give your daughter the time together the idea the school can be fun. Also, ask your teacher if your daughter has made friends with any of the other kids in her class. You could invite one of the girls over to play at your house. If alleles fails, you might have to go with Professional help. The decision about drugs is yours to make. Never except this as a solution if you are opposed to them. Best wishes

[deleted account]

I left out the most important reason for misbehaviour...your daughter might be BORED..... maybe the pace of learning isn't FAST ENOUGH, or at a level she's not already mastered....don't always think of inability to learn, as do many 'experts'

[deleted account]

I've been a mother to 3 children, my youngest, my son had learning difficulties which weren't detected, unfortunately until he was in year 8 and by then teacher's had already given up on him. I've also been a nanny and care giver to many other children. I was going to suggest that perhaps something was wrong at the school, but as it's happened with each introduction that is unlikely. Is there some way you can find out what exactly causes your daughter to misbehave, perhaps your daughter's teacher could specify which activities seem to cause the problem. If its something to do with following instructions etc, she may have a hearing problem that has not been picked up because she's never been in a 'crowd scene' as found at schools. Or, she may have a problem with discerning written words, particularly if it's a case of black print on a white background. My son was discovered to need blue tinted eye glasses, but I discovered this only after being presented with a test that scored an A+, previously I'd had to help my son read through all his tests and assignments, when I queried what had been different this time, he responded that it was printed on blue paper. It was then that I took him to a friend at the Kip McGraw institute and had him formally tested, and yes, printed words on white paper to his brain simply didn't exist...that explained to me, anyway why he had no trouble reading the blackboard or his computer, but he simply could not read the same sentence on a white paper. So if that's the problem with your daughter, perhaps have an eye exam at the very least, or have her tested for learning difficulties.

My son used to runaway from school too, this was because of the unbearable teasing from his fellow students and not helped by the attitude of his teachers that he was just a waste of space. My son was a lot older, but I took him out of school and enrolled him in Distance Education (at the time there was no such thing as Home Schooling). To say there was an instant transformation is an understatement. From a disinterested, bored and often prank playing kid, he turned into an intelligent, quick to learn and insatiable for knowledge. Distance Ed actually complained to me saying I had to stop helping him, I responded that I wasn't, in fact I was working all day, but to prove it he spent two weeks at the Distance Ed headquarters, where they discovered that the reports that had followed him through his school were totally wrong! I just wish that I'd discovered he couldn't read black print on white paper at the beginning of his schooling rather than in year 8.

So don't immediately allow anyone to put your daughter on medications because it's effective. First have her checked thoroughly (by the way there's likely to be strenuous objections from experts who will point to her older brother, and claim she is the same). But stand your ground. Is it possible to homeschool both of your children? You might discover as many others have, that your son, even, may not need the medication he's on, and your daughter may respond better because there will be less happening around her that is distracting and may cause her to get into trouble. These days there's lots more support for home schooling, so its worth looking into. Oh, btw, my son, who was discarded as a 'waste of space' he's now studying for his second degree, is managing a bakery and has never been unemployed in his life. This 'waste of space' also advocates for other students who are having problems at school as well. God bless.

Jodi - posted on 01/31/2012

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Okay, I don't have much in advice for what you can do at home besides try talking to her. Try to find out if SHE has a reason for her behavior.



Second, you mentioned that your son has ADHD, as do I and several people I know. In my experience, you would see at least similar behavior at home, the symptoms of ADHD wouldn't be isolated to the school environment, exagerated, yes, isolated, no.



Last, a behavioral specialist isn't a bad idea. Remember, they can't give your child any medication without your permission. You can request drug-free behavioral therapy. I went through it not only for ADHD, but also for OCD (actually, I'm still in therapy for OCD!) I'm not on any medication and doing SOOOO much better. I know, I'm an adult and she's a child, but they can work with her and try to better the situation without the use of medication.



Good luck, I really hope it works out in the end!

[deleted account]

Hi Rebecca, On my son's first day of school, when I went to pick him up, I was told, in front of everyone including remaining students, that he was nothing like his sisters. I didn't appreciate that, of course he was nothing like his sisters, he was himself, not a clone. From then on word spread amongst students and staff and reports followed him through school, I wanted him to be kept back in first year but that request was refused, because it was essential for him to be with his peer group.

Just mentioning, I'd had my son's eyes tested before too, but the eye test doesn't pick up things like brain comprehension, that is a different test altogether. It wasn't until I took my son to Kip McGraw Institute after my neighbour suggested it as a solution, that I discovered that he truly was unable to see black print on white pages, that the print only became visible when it was on blue paper. From my ministry on the streets, I've since learned (using samples from theatre lighting filters), that this extends to green backgrounds, pink, etc etc etc. My son got his pair of blue tinted glasses during the school holidays and spent the time immersed in books etc, delighted that suddenly the print was visible. Unfortunately that joy was short lived when school started once more, and he put his glasses on in class (I'd told the school about his need), students around him began to giggle and the teacher turned and told him to stop mucking around and take his sunglasses off! that was his last day at school, I enrolled him in Distance Education and he has never looked back....Good luck with your children... God bless.

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Rebecca - posted on 02/05/2012

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Margaret- I am so sorry to hear about what they did to your son. Those type of people should never have become a teacher! Teachers are suppose to be there to help children and do whatever it takes to help them learn. Not putting them down! I am going to look into Distance Education. We had our meeting and it went alright. I just felt like they were more worried about offending us then being straight up with us. I think she was shocked that I was agreeing with what she was saying. I told her I don't care if it's good or bad, just tell me the truth. Other wise we are cheating my daughter. When I asked about her attention span, I got alot of well, ummm, etc... So, I then re worded my question with well is it average in her age group or below? That is when she told me it was below average to her peers. Glad my husband was able to go with me to witness what I have to go through. He was shocked! With that being said we decided it would be best to take her in to a behavioral specialist and go from there. We have a appointment Feb 8th. Thanks again to everyone who has replied! Means alot!

Rebecca - posted on 02/02/2012

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Margaret Richardson- Thank you so much for your input. When she started having problems at her old school, I went straight to her docotor. I requested a hearing test and an eye exam. All that came back fine. Her teachers at her old school also insisted that she needed to be in speech, but the speech teacher said she didn't. I think what it was they didn't want to deal with her, so they were trying to do whatever they could to pawn her off to someone else. I was really happy when we found out my husbands job was relocating us. When we moved to VA, I was very open with her new teacher. I am really lucky that her teacher apperciates that I am as active as I am and she wants the best for Jessica as well. Is why we are having a meeting today to discuss what we can do to help her. I think you are right that she is getting frusterated that she isn't catching on like the other children, due to the fact she didn't go to Pre K like them and with the move. I have been doing all I can to get her caught up, without draining her out. The last thing I want to do is make her not like school. I thought about homeschooling, but my kids learn so much better if it's someone else. Also, I do believe part of her outbursts is that someone is picking on her and she doesn't know how to deal with it. I have been talking to her about it and what to do when that happens. Their old school was so quick on to compare my daughter with my son. They wanted to know what is IEP said and even had the nerve to go talk to his teachers. I was mad! I told them they will not compare them. Give my daughter a chance before you jump the gun and assume she has ADHD or whatever. Needless to say they didn't like me too much after that. I fight for my kids and boy they sure aren't use to that! Thanks again!

Alyn - posted on 02/01/2012

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Look into Sensory Processing Disorder. The Out of Sync

Child is a good reference to see if she fits any of it.

Cindy - posted on 02/01/2012

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I hav a 20 year old and he would get in trouble 4 silly things in kindergarten but at the time I was young and they made me think something was wrong with my baby which was not true at all my son is respectful intelligent and responsible young man. What worked best for us was to focus on the positive the teachers and their school mates r already making them feel down so always find good in everything and compliment them on all the good they do even if its doing good on video games or combing their hair. They grow up so fast believe me ur child will appreciate ur encouragement b patient remember u must not give up or child will want to give up. Reward good behavior. Make a big deal when they do good at school put a happy face on the refrigerator each time they do good at school. I wish u well and I can imagine how u feel just asking for help it shows u love ur children very much so hold ur head high b strong only u can fight for whats best for ur child dont allow any1 to belittle u or ur child. I am not saying this is happening to u I am speaking of my own experience. Take care may God bless you and ur family.

Rebecca - posted on 02/01/2012

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Thanks everyone for your responses. Her teacher called me yesterday afternoon and we have a meeting this Thursday to talk about what is going on. She did tell me she wasn't sure exactly what happened, but she seems to think a kid said or did something to her to make her upset. She also said she did put in a request with the school about getting a better learning plan for her, but as you know they like to drag their feet. That is ok though, I will be talking to them about that as well when I go for my meeting. I am going to keep a close eye on her and see how it goes and continue to stay on top of her school. I will let you guys know how the meeting goes tomorrow. I am one of the types that are willing to do whatever it takes to make things better for my children.

Rebecca - posted on 01/31/2012

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Thanks Christine. I agree with you and is why I requested a meeting asap. We always sit down and talk to her about why she got in trouble in school and explain why you shouldn't do that. We also will take away something she enjoys at home. I am not sure what they are doing at school, but I am going to find out. I have a son that has PDD and ADHD and learned you have to be on top of it. I am very active and vocal when it comes to my children. If they had a bad day at school, I always contact their teachers thats same day and find out what exactly happened and then ask my kids what happened. At least once a week I ask what else I can do to help them with their schooling. The school where we were before we moved didn't really help, but this new school is very helpful. Not knocking the school, but I am the type of mom if there is a problem I like to address it right away. I was hoping that this was just a stage, but now beginning to think it is something more. I am going to make a appointment with a counsler for her. Maybe talking to someone else besides me and her teachers may help. Thanks again for replying.

Christine - posted on 01/31/2012

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every child has something they enjoy doing or playing with. i think if your child makes a chose not to listen then they need something taken away from them, or maybe go to bed earlier. i would come up with a system which is every time your child acts up in school she loose something and talk to her and ask her why she did this. also when she has a great day make a big deal out of it. i was a preschool teacher and you have to get on the same page with the teacher as far as if she does this at school this is whats going to happen hear and whats going to happen at home.

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