focusing my 4 yr old.

Erica - posted on 02/24/2014 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My son is 4. He is very bright knows his alphabet and numbers. He recognizes almost the entire alphabet. But his pre -K teacher is concerned with his focus. We had a parent teacher conference today she said she's quite worried. When he is working on an assignment he is easily distracted. He will be gluing and the dried glue on his hands distracts him from his work. I feel like this is okay but she seems to act like he needs put on meds or he will never make it through kindergarten. HELP! Suggestions??

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Lea - posted on 02/24/2014

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Any time ;) the key is to remember that teachers spend a great deal of time with our children throughout the day and can at times observe things that we might miss or overlook. Which is why we shouldn't jump to conclusions or over work ourselves or ignore things or over react and just accept that something could be wrong (because there is a possibility that something could be wrong, or that nothing is wrong). Further investigation is always the best route to take. Children will also behave differently in their classroom setting than in their home setting as different environments stimulate us in differing ways causing our behaviors to differ continuously. I have no doubt that all of this will be sorted out soon and it will be one less thing that you have to worry about or stress over as a mom, but then again, if we didn't worry or stress I guess we wouldn't be doing our job as a mother lol....keep your chin up and don't let your son's teachers concerns bombard you. Take what information she gives you, investigate, seek outside and professional opinions and decide for yourself if there really is concern. If there is none, then I would also suggest talking to his teacher to let her know that you have looked into the matter and talked with a professional who has decided there is no concern and say something like "thank you for the information you provided me and thank you for your concern, but your observations in regards to my sons focus were misconstrued, but I appreciate your looking out for my child while he is in your care" lol...I guarantee that will put an end to it all once you have covered all your bases and avenues :)

Lea - posted on 02/24/2014

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What may seem as normal behavior to many of us may in deed be symptoms of underlying behavioral impairments such as ADD or ADHD for example. Is the distraction of dried glue on his fingers the only example that his teacher has provided you with? If so, it could very well be that he simply does not enjoy the feeling of the glue on his fingers and wishes to simply remove the distraction so he can continue forward with his work. However, it seems unlikely that his teacher would call a parent teacher conference simply because dried glue distracted him briefly. Because of this I am left to assume that there are other possible instances where his focus is easily distracted. Being that your son is only 4 years old and seemingly intelligent, he could simply have a sensitive hyper awareness of things. I would suggest talking more with his teacher to find out more about what he is like in the classroom with his teacher, other students, and with his assignments and how he handles instruction, etc. You can also conduct some research online to learn about differing activities that can help increase focus in young children that you can do with him at home to see if this helps improve his focus at school as well. They can be extremely fun too. When talking with his teacher make sure that the lack of focus is not due to boredom or lack of interest in what they are working on in class. Having an open line of communication with his teacher is key and asking many varying questions is additionally essential. If his teacher is truly concerned and his grades are being affected you can always look for a child therapist/psychologist to have his focus assessed. They will not only talk and work with you and your son, but also with his teacher to insure that they are getting all the information that they need to determine if concern with his focus really needs attending to. There is no harm in covering all your bases to ensure that all is well. Perhaps you will find that there is no concern warranted in regards to his focus, in which case his teacher will be left with egg on her face and will find that they need to re-assess her own viewpoints and understandings about focus or lack there of. However, if by some chance it is discovered that there are issues with your son's focus, it is best to start correcting now rather than later when it can severely affect his education, social, and behavior later on. This does not mean to say that he would need to be put on meds. There are always alternative measures that can be taken to help improve focus and many other things. I know as a mom you want to be protective, and that at times we can become defensive when others apparently make negative accusations about our children. But we must remember to keep ourselves and our own personal feelings in check and remain open minded. So all I can really suggest at this point in time with the information that you have provided is to keep an open line of respectful communication with your child's teacher, ask her about other examples of his focus that warrant concern. Ask her how this could affect his education or how it could negatively affect any other aspect his progressing forward, etc. Conduct some research about focus with young children his age and even talk to his teacher about certain activities that you and can do with him at home that he would normally do in class to see if you can observe any of what his teacher sees. And don't forget that you can always talk to professionals like psychologists to get their point of views and opinions in the matter. Don't allow yourself to get too overwhelmed by all this, remain calm and open and search for ways to help hone focus that are best suited for you and your son. Don't just allow for people to simply push you onto the meds bandwagon because meds are not always the answer. If at any time meds are needed, make sure that you ask as many questions as possible about them, research their ingredients, possible side affects, and alternative methods. I can say that if the glue on the fingers is the only example that was given to you about your son's focus, then there seems to be nothing to be worried about. I know that I don't like glue on my fingers and will stop what I am doing to clean them off. And if this is the only example that his teacher has, then perhaps she needs a little vacation from teaching if something so small can easily send her into a tizzy and overwhelm her. Good luck hun, remember that there are always options and don't let yourself become to overwhelmed by all this. Just take everything one step at a time.

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