What can I do at home to help my son behave better in school?

Rachel - posted on 01/16/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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I recently had to go back to work full-time after being home for 5 yrs with my kids. My son seems to be having trouble adjusting as we've seen some big changes in his attitude/behavior. We've been addressing this at home and have started to see some improvements, however, he gets in trouble at school frequently. He is in kindergarten and is having trouble listening/not fooling around. He loves to laugh and I can tell he wants everyone to like him. Fooling around/making others laugh is his thing. But I cannot allow him to continue being disrespectful to the teacher. Suggestions?

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Sue - posted on 01/16/2009

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Quoting Rachel:

What can I do at home to help my son behave better in school?

I recently had to go back to work full-time after being home for 5 yrs with my kids. My son seems to be having trouble adjusting as we've seen some big changes in his attitude/behavior. We've been addressing this at home and have started to see some improvements, however, he gets in trouble at school frequently. He is in kindergarten and is having trouble listening/not fooling around. He loves to laugh and I can tell he wants everyone to like him. Fooling around/making others laugh is his thing. But I cannot allow him to continue being disrespectful to the teacher. Suggestions?



Hi Rachel



 



I've got two boys 7 & 9 so it's been a while since pre school. I think my best advice would be to give it time. It's a new experience for all of you - you may be more tired now you are working & your son is finding his feet at kindergarden. I'm sure the staff there are used to lively ones - it is just hard for you to be the parent. I'm sure he will be fine once he reaches school age. The diciplines of school life seems to calm most children down. Good Luck. Sue

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My son is 8 now, but when he was in Kindergarten his teacher noticed him acting out when he became frustrated with his work. He has weak muscle control in his hands, not to the point of disability, just something we have to work on still today. When she noticed him becoming frustrated and beginning to act out she would quietly pull him to a desk beside hers and let him "free color" anything he wanted on a piece of paper. When he had had a few minutes she would return him to the task everyone else was working on. When he had a day she didn't have to pull him away, she gave him a small special treat like saying hello to the principal (who praised him) or being first in lunch line the next day. Slowly he "got" it and the special rewards tapered off. Now he is in third grade and his teacher doesn't have to do anything special and he has only had 3 bad days all year and has perfect attendance. We also let him know that we expect good behavior, that some things in life just aren't an option.

Rebecca - posted on 01/16/2009

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I think positve reinforcement is a great tool and definately helps to better the situation! But you also need to address the situation and have consequences for the behavior as well as rewards for good behavior.  When my daughter started school she went through a very short phase of acting out and getting into trouble at school. I used a little tough love when her teacher sent home a note on her "bad" behavior it went on the fridge same as if she got a good note. She would lose priveledges such as computer time also on the days I got a bad report.  This may sound harsh but I don't take disrespect lightly especially for a teacher who already has a hard job too do.  This didn't  last more then a couple weeks before she realized she preferred to have the notes of praise from her teacher on the fridge.  We also found out with my daughter part of the problem was boredom. I had taught her to read write and do simple math before she started kindergarten so she would get her work done in a fraction of the time it took the other kids.  I enlisted the help of her teacher to give her extra work to do when she would finish her assignments. This worked wonders for her and she wasn't as bored and disruptive.  Her teacher was very helpful with everything but if your childs teacher doesn't have time you could even make up some worksheets and send them in for your child do in down time.  Hopefully it's just a phase that will outgrow quickly!!!

Rachel - posted on 01/16/2009

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Thanks for all the great advice! I will give the rewards chart a try and also really try to catch him being good and verbally praise him for it! I had asked his teacher to let me know when he's had a really good day/week and was going to start rewarding him for it. She responded by emailing me every day to tell me what he's doing/done, which has been great. Unfortunately, most days I'm hearing about warnings/repeated requests/moving his clip to lower levels. I will try to get her as an ally to focus/reward the good. I know it has to be frustrating for her, but I am assuming a lot too (like that she's frustrated with him). Parent/teacher conferences are approaching, so I'll have a good talk with her then.

My son is good about getting ready in the morning, so dragging his feet is not a problem. It's more LISTENING when we ask him to do something. I know he's just 6 1/2 and I am trying to allow him the time to adjust. Going back to work has been a big adjustment for all of us (and not my first choice!). I know I'm tired & daddy is tired and we try very hard to be patient and make our time together really good.

User - posted on 01/16/2009

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Positive feedback.  A rewards chart is a great idea.  In addition to that, it might help for you AND for the teacher to give him positive feedback when he's being GOOD.  "You are being such a big helper today!  Thank you!" - "Wow!  That's very nice of you to put that away!  Thank you!" - that kind of thing.  Always try to catch him when he's being good.  It's certainly much more difficult, but it's so much more effective.  Good luck!

User - posted on 01/16/2009

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I have worked in education for five years now and my advice to you is: don't sweat it! Kindergarten is your child's first experieince in school where there are rules and lots of structure. Some kids catch on quickly, others catch on in First/Second grade. Developmentally there are huge gaps between boys and girls, boys tend to mature a little later than girls, so don't freak out~ just gently remind your son that he needs to listen to the teacher- he will get it eventually. This is his initiation year into something very new, it takes time to adjust and to learn the rules- etc. He will be fine! : )

Christen - posted on 01/16/2009

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Is it just a school or do you have trouble getting him to school? My kids when they wre really frustrated with school would drag their feet and make all of us late. Sometimes children act up when they are bored. Ask the teacher if she has extra worksheets for him to do when he is done with his work. Or he could be just not getting it and hiding that fact by getting into trouble.

Good luck.

[deleted account]

I like the idea of a rewards system.  I would also suggest that you start a home/school journal with the teacher if you don't already have one.  It could just be a notebook where the teacher writes down what she observed behavoir wise that day.  That cold even be what determines the awards, that way you can explain to your son exactly what behaviors earned him a reward or what behavior was inappropriate and why. 



 



Good luck and God bless.

[deleted account]

We found that a 'rewards chart' worked wonders for our 6 year old. each day that he has a "good day" at school (no notes, phone calls, or a 'good' note in his agenda) he gets a star.  at the end of the week, if he reached his set goal # of stars, he gets the 'reward'.



For us the reward can be His choice of snack on the next school day, extra 1/2 hour of tv time, choosing dinner, or something similar.  I bought the felt chart & velcro stars at a liquidation store, but you can easily make one as well, or use a calendar with stickers.



good luck

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