Need Ideas on getting my 5 year old to focus

Jennifer - posted on 04/29/2009 ( 7 moms have responded )

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My 5 and a half year old son will be starting Kindergarten next year, I kept him a year extra in preschool, because last year he just wasn't ready. He is a very intelligent little boy and knows what they are talking about in school and understands perfectly. My problem is that he is now always trying to make everyone laugh...he just got in trouble today for mocking his teacher....he didn't repeat what she said, he just made a face at her and wouldn't take her seriously. Dylan (my son) is an only child and always will be, his teachers think he may be doing this b/c at school that is his time to be around a lot of children. He is very smart and I want him to do well in school next year and he will if I can just get him to focus and know when he has to take things seriously and when is the proper time to be silly. The talk I had with him today I really do believe he understood, but I really need to make sure the lesson sticks....I was just wondering if anyone else has had this problem and would just like some advice...I want Dylan to do his best and I know he can if we can just get him to really focus. Thank you for any help I could get!!

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Congratulations! You have a normal, healthy, boy! I have one as well... super smart, clever and caring and for a long time (9 years), an only child. In school they have a new audience and they want to make friends... dangerous combo mom! LOL... This too shall pass! Look at it another way... he has A LOT of confidence! Keep talking to him. A trick we used to do was to remind him of the expectations in the car on the way to school. Remind him that he is there to learn and have fun, but he has to be respectful too. Then ask him what it means to be respectful. This will help reinforce what you are teaching (question and response strategy). Make this a routine for awhile and also continue to keep up the communication with his teachers and let him know that you are communicating with them. Perhaps a sticker chart to show his progress marking "great days at school" vs. "oops days at school". He will begin to pick up on the social cues from his peers as far as what is appropriate when (children with siblings sometimes have an easier time with this only because they get to practice it all the time at home) and he will be fine!!!

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Kimberlee - posted on 12/08/2013

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This sounds identical to my grandson. His biggest problem was he was alwsys soooo muvh longer than the other kids getting coats and things on. The only thing that seems to help him is setting a timer. He says it really helps him focus. Still a long way to go though.

Amanda - posted on 04/30/2009

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I went through the exact same thing. My son is 7 now and about to finish the first grade. We had some issues in Kindergarten and for a couple of months here in first grade, but the light came on one day and he just got it. We haven't had to deal with any issues for a long while. He is an honor roll student and intelligence was never a question, it was focus. Turns out he was bored. Your son will be fine. You just have to pick your battles and reinforce what you have always taught him. Ride out the storm and trust that your son in capable of great things!!

Jennifer - posted on 04/29/2009

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Thank you so much for all your help. I really don't suspect ADD or ADHD. After talking to him for quite a while on the ride home and when we got home I think it made a difference, he did calm down some and we talked about respecting all adults...teachers most of all. I talked to one of his teachers and she says she does believe that is just boredom on his part, b/c she can ask what he was just taught and he can recite it word for word and said her testing of him he did wonderfully. I think a lot of it is being an only child and when at school he has a chance to have a lot of kids around to joke around with. We have neighbors with a daughter around the same age and they play when we can schedule it. Thankfully the teacher believes that once he is in Kindergarten he will do better...I really hope and I will keep working with him. He did get TV taken away and had to take a nap (he stopped nap time about a year ago). I do wonder why he was this bad today with it....he did get up really early this morning and went to bed about 30 minutes later than he normally does. But I just wanted to thank everyone for their advice and if you have anymore please let me know. Thank you again.

Marti - posted on 04/29/2009

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Karate is a good start Our instructor teaches them dicipline, respect and to focus...

He is great. One idea. He teaches them to look into people's eye when talking and follow instructions.

Jessica - posted on 04/29/2009

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It may just be age. Or it could be more than that. I have been going through this with my son; who is almost 7 now since he was about 5. His issue stems from being a 3 1/2 month preemie and having speech and learning issues. When things they are working on tend to he hard for him, he tries to find away to be distracting because he thinks he won't have to do it. Of course he is very wrong. :) He is young and I would just keep in good touch with his teacher next year.She will let you know if it continues.

[deleted account]

Is his problem strictly behavioral or are there serious attention issues? Are you concerned about ADD or ADHD? As he matures he may stop acting up. Or, he could be acting that way because he's bored and hopefully kindergarten will start providing him with the challenges he needs to remain focused. I would work closely with his kindergarten teacher next year and keep the lines of communication open. She may have suggestions for you as the year progresses. Also, being in a public school, he will have to learn that there are consequences for inappropriate behavior. Some schools use time outs, removal from the group, or a few minutes of lost recess. You can also talk to his pediatrician about your concerns. In the meantime continue talking to him about his unacceptable behavior at school and explain to him what is expected. Offer him special weekend rewards if he goes the whole week without any problems at school. Or when he has a bad day at school he needs a consequence. Perhaps he comes home and isn't allowed to watch TV because he misbehaved at school. Good luck to you.

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