Recommendations on helping my Kindergartner

Larissa - posted on 09/20/2009 ( 2 moms have responded )

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My son has just started Kindergarten and the first week of school he was already not to go back. The kids are teasing him because he can't fully write his name. I have talked to his teacher and she says most of the kids don't know how to write their names. My son is shy and won't really speak until he gets use to you or the surroundings. The teacher says she has observered him and she notices everything I mentioned plus if they are in line, kids start pushing and he just stands back and moves. I want to be able to teach my son how to stick up for himself without encouraging violence. I never had this problem with my daughter, for she was very social and vocal; she still is at 10yrs old. Any tips on ways to help my son is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Larissa - posted on 09/21/2009

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thank you sooo much Lori! I really appreciate the information and I will work with him. I have spoken to his teacher and she told me that she is still trying to get her community set up. She says that when she is at the board and she makes a funny drawing or something that makes the kids laugh; she will tell them that it hurts her feelings when they laugh at her. She is a really nice teacher and she was glad that I contacted her in regards to this. Thanks again!

[deleted account]

Hi Larissa,

I am a former K teacher and mom to a shy Kindergartner this year too. I would suggest chatting with the teacher to see if she would try some strategies to help him open up. One thing I did as a teacher that really worked, would be to find something the child was really good at (rides a two wheeler, can roller skate), or maybe something special about their family or a trip they have been on ect..., something the other kids would think was "cool." Then during circle/sharing time I would start talking about that subject and ask if there was anyone who knows anything about it. If the child still wont' speak in the group, I would just ask them to raise their hands if they new about/could do it and I would start to talk about the kid's skill myself. Another thing I would do was to make that child be in charge of the best recess stuff (usually there were a few kids that were dealing with this and I would try to get them together). (The class ball, jump rope, ect.) The rule was that the kid in charge of the stuff for the week would get to decide what game/activity was played.

If your child seems shy around the others, bullies will use that the be mean. As someone who has observed this situation countless times, the best way for the kid to respond is to walk away and ignore, but not in a passive way. It has to be in a confident, firm manner. I always taught the more passive kids to say, "whatever" (a little bit sassy) then leave/ignore. (I know it is a little obnoxious, but it usually gave the quiet kid the feeling that they would always be ready to respond (you can say "whatever" as a response to anything) and deal with the bully. The hardest part about being picked on is the anxiety that builds up because you are never sure what is going to happen next, and you don't know what you are going to do about it. The bullies sense this and use it to pick even more. So, giving kids a plan for what they are going to say and do makes them feel better and act more confident which makes the bullies less likely to pick. I am sure the situation has nothing to do with his handwriting, but more to do with the quietness. Encourage him to seek out a "nice" kid, and give him a couple of ideas for conversation starters. If he is game, roll playing how to meet new kids is always helpful. (really ham it up.) It is just as scary for kids to be in a room full of people they don't know as it is for us, and at least we have had practice in what to say and do. (And what not to do, hopefully : - ) Good luck, and I am sure he will be rambling on about his day very soon!

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