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  1. #1
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    Jan. 24, 2007
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    Default Moms and Teachers- what to do if your child is awesome at home but rotten at school?

    Honestly, all my mom friends have the opposite problem!

    My son is an only child of older parents. I'm 44 and my husband is 50. My son is 8 and in second grade. He did 3 years of preschool so he could be in third grade but his preschool teachers and OT (he needed help with fine motor skills) and even the director of the preschool advised me to keep him back a year for emotional and social development. He was always academically advanced so we knew we were treading a fine line.

    Anyway, I can't describe how awesome my kid is at home. He does chores (he is in charge of the chickens and barn cats and watering the horses) and his homework. He loves to read and to be read to (we just finished the third Harry Potter book). He is a genuine pleasure to be around. I love to take him out to eat or to the movies. A local family owned restaurant even enjoys him coming in so much that they named a kids menu entree after him!

    However he gets to school and it's totally different! There are 18 in his class and 11 are boys, and apparently he is totally obnoxious. He won't sit still, he is loud, he says "inappropriate things" (trust me, at his school even harmless words like "fart" or "underwear" are deemed inappropriate but still, he knows better than to say them). He has homework over his Christmas break because he refused to color his "non-fiction rat snake book" in realistic colors.

    I have a conference coming (requested by his teacher) to address his behavior at school.

    I really don't have any suggestions as he doesn't have these issues at home.

    Trust me, he gets in trouble at home when he gets in trouble at school. But it doesn't seem to have any effect.

    Oh, and my son is in the gifted program and excelling, so it isn't affecting his academic performance. So I'm not interested in drugs, since it would benefit the teacher (and maybe the class) but not my son. He is academically doing just fine.

    I really do want his behaviour to improve though. It's a small college town and I do think other parents are reluctant to want their kids to be friends with him because he is such a problem.

    BTW, he is not a bully nor is he ever mean. He's just loud and restless.

    Please help! I don't know how to help his teacher when we just don't have these issues at home.
    Rhythm the perfect OTTB;Spock the will-be perfect OTTB;Mia the Arab/appendix COTH giveaway



  2. #2
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    May. 10, 2009
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    Has he been evaluated medically? He could have ADD/ADHD, he could have a sleep disorder (Does he snore? Recent studies show that kids who snore heavily may have a form of sleep apnea that keeps them from getting continuous, deep sleep, and the resulting sleep deprivation often looks just like ADD/ADHD, even to doctors)

    If he does have ADD/ADHD, just because it isn't affecting him academically doesn't mean it isn't affecting him and that the CORRECT medication in the CORRECT dose (this being the absolute key!) wouldn't help him greatly. If he isn't being invited for playdates or the kids are avoiding him because of his behavior, whether at parents' wishes or not, that's not healthy, and many kids are very unhappy. They often do do well at home because their family is a safe zone, taking the place of a social life at school. Even if there's no medical cause, perhaps counseling is in order. Could something be going on at school that you and the teacher aren't aware of?

    If he has been thoroughly evaluated and there is no underlying cause, then perhaps the consequenses at home need to be tougher. When I was a kid, getting in trouble meant getting in trouble at home, all right...about TEN TIMES MORE trouble than I ever would have gotten in at school. It needs to be clear that if he is asked to do something at school, it's like being asked at home-that word is law, and he does it immediately, or there will be consequenses that he does NOT like! If the child likes to please you and his dad (and it sounds like he does!) he needs to know how disappointed you are in this behavior-not in HIM, bit in what he's DOING, because you KNOW he can do better.



  3. #3
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    Sep. 7, 2009
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    He sounds bored or lonely. Does he have many friends? He may be trying the obnoxious behavior to fit in and make others like him. Can the teachers find enrichment work if he indeed is bored...and that's not busy work...that's enrichment.

    He may have a creative, rebellious streak that's coming out because he's not challenged.

    Or, another possibility is that he doesn't feel like he's able to act up with you, his parents and saves it all for school. My daughter had a friend like that, she was very well behaved for Mom & Dad (very authoritarian parenting) and she was a perfect beast out with others.

    Personally, I'd prefer they test the glue on the edges of the envelope at home; those teenage years aren't THAT far off.
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  4. #4
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    Nov. 30, 2006
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    CA
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    It sounds like you're doing a lot for your son and are a very involved parent, and I really, really respect that.

    While not a teacher or parent, I was a very obnoxious child in my early school years. When I was being particularly obnoxious, it was because I was bored and not challenged and didn't know how to express it in a constructive manner. Instead, I expressed it in not very constructive manners and drove everyone insane. My mother was always being called in to address my behavior while I was in preschool.

    Finally, I had a preschool teacher who asked me what I WANTED to be doing. Apparently my answer lined up with the curriculum a year ahead of me. I was moved up to try it, and my mother says that my behavioral issues all but vanished. I was later placed in gifted/talented programs and was also an early admit into kindergarten.

    While I understand your son needed additional time in preschool to refine his motor skills, he sounds as though he is advanced academically.

    Have you asked him if he's happy with what he's doing in school? Is there any possibility that he's just bored?

    To address the "social" concerns that were brought up by his preschool...well, I eventually ended up being two years ahead in school, and yes, that was a bit of a challenge. But for me, it was worth it to not lose my love of school and to be challenged academically. It was awkward at times. My parents were always there for me. I lived. I made some very good friends. I absolutely, positively would not change a thing and am forever grateful that my parents didn't just send me to a doctor.



  5. #5
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    Jan. 24, 2007
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    small town, Ohio
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    LauraKY, I think you are right on. I think he tries so hard to make others like him that he pushes the limits on what is acceptable.

    He does have a creative rebellious streak. He comes by that honestly- both my husband and I were like that.

    Enrichment work has helped him in the past- give him something challenging to do while his classmates are struggling with the assignment- but unfortunately has not been consistant.

    One thing that DID work- we switched him from morning preschool classes to afternoon so we could actually make him work out in the morning. I mean trampolines and punching bags for 30 minutes. Maybe we just need to go to bed an hour earlier and get up an hour earlier and do that again so he's "taken the edge off" before we go to school.

    HenryisBlazin, the big thing I see is a lot of drama on the bus this year. I have called the principal, the bus driver, and the head of the bus garage. My next call will be to the Superintendant(sp?) of schools. He has been assigned to to a seat with the worst kid in school. I have asked that his seat be changed and it was- for 2 days. This kid is in a very exclusive school district because both his parents are in jail and he is living with his grandparents. My son gets to school everyday being told that he's going to be killed at recess, and etc....

    As I said, I have addressed this issue and am willing to take it higher up. But the truth is he doesn't FEEL bullied at all, he just thinks this kid is an idiot. It doesn't seem to a huge part of his life.

    And drugs are not an option for a kid who can be a perfect gentleman without them and is at the top of his class without them. NO WAY.

    He doesn't need to take drugs to "fit in."
    Rhythm the perfect OTTB;Spock the will-be perfect OTTB;Mia the Arab/appendix COTH giveaway



  6. #6
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    May. 21, 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenryisBlaisin' View Post
    If he has been thoroughly evaluated and there is no underlying cause, then perhaps the consequenses at home need to be tougher. When I was a kid, getting in trouble meant getting in trouble at home, all right...about TEN TIMES MORE trouble than I ever would have gotten in at school. It needs to be clear that if he is asked to do something at school, it's like being asked at home-that word is law, and he does it immediately, or there will be consequenses that he does NOT like!
    I'm going to go with this.



  7. #7
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    Nov. 10, 2000
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    As a teacher, thank you for being involved and concerned; I wish I had more parents like you!

    While I would second speaking to the pediatrician, if you son isn't exhibiting the same symptoms/issues at home, he is not ADD/ADHD. He would need to display the same symptoms in two or more environments, e.g. home and school.

    To me, he sounds bored and unchallenged. How does he behave during his G&T classes versus in his general education classroom?

    You might consider finding different extracurricular activities, whether it's a sport, a musical instrument, or art for him to try; tie in extra time with those activities to his behavior in school. Speaking of, does he have a daily behavior log?

    At your PTC, you should see if the school can do an Functional Behavior Assessment on your soon. An FBA is done by an independent observer (special education teacher, school psychologist, etc.) and can provide great insight as to what is happening during the problems of concern. While the teacher may be well-meaning and reflective, maybe there is something she is doing to provoke the incidents without realizing it. An FBA would be really helpful to determining how to manage your son's behaviors.

    Since you mentioned that your son also had OT services, I'd ask for an OT evaluation for possible sensory needs. Maybe you son needs a ball versus a chair or other sensory diet implementations, like simple exercises he can do on his own to keep him engaged/quiet.

    Hope this helps! Feel free to PM me if you want any more suggestions!



  8. #8
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    Aug. 15, 2006
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    Jefferson, OR
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    Default

    I'm going to 3rd (or 4th) bored and unchallenged.

    You pretty much described my younger cousin to a T. The school psychologist was the one who determined that he wasn't being challenged. The teachers ended up giving him "special" work to do that was more advanced than the other kids.

    Now, as an adult, he is a computer and math genius (can usually do mathematic calculations in his head faster than it takes me to type it into a calculator), but he still has somewhat poor people skills. Not detrimental, and he's functional, he's just a strange duck. Like Sheldon from "The Big Bang Theory." LOL.

    Good luck!



  9. #9
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    Jan. 7, 2011
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    In Washington with my little quackers
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by IveGotRhythm View Post



    However he gets to school and it's totally different! There are 18 in his class and 11 are boys, and apparently he is totally obnoxious. He won't sit still, he is loud, he says "inappropriate things" (trust me, at his school even harmless words like "fart" or "underwear" are deemed inappropriate but still, he knows better than to say them). He has homework over his Christmas break because he refused to color his "non-fiction rat snake book" in realistic colors.


    Oh, and my son is in the gifted program and excelling, so it isn't affecting his academic performance.
    .
    As a mom and not a teacher, it sounds like your son needs more of an outlet for his creativity than this school provides. It bugs me that he was in trouble at school for not using realistic colors to color his snake. If he knows what color they really are and colors neatly and in the lines why cant he show some independence? Do you have any schools in your area that focus more on individualism rather than conformity? What does the gifted program entail?



  10. #10
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    Oct. 22, 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by IveGotRhythm View Post

    HenryisBlazin, the big thing I see is a lot of drama on the bus this year. I have called the principal, the bus driver, and the head of the bus garage. My next call will be to the Superintendant(sp?) of schools. He has been assigned to to a seat with the worst kid in school. I have asked that his seat be changed and it was- for 2 days. This kid is in a very exclusive school district because both his parents are in jail and he is living with his grandparents. My son gets to school everyday being told that he's going to be killed at recess, and etc....
    I will bet $5 the source of a lot of ills is this morning bus ride. When I was in MS/HS I was the last kid on the full bus in the morning and nothing got my day off to a worse start than the anxiety of trying to find a place to sit. Nobody wanted me to sit with them. If I took too long finding a seat, the bus driver (Mrs Short, still remember her name) would start growling. It was terrible and made me really, really hostile. It is NOT the way to start your morning.

    Can you try taking him to school for a month and see if his behavior improves?
    "The nice thing about memories is the good ones are stronger and linger longer than the bad and we sure have some incredibly good memories." - EverythingButWings



  11. #11
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    Jan. 24, 2007
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    small town, Ohio
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    LDT, he seriously LIVES for his math group on Fridays!

    He starts the school year off so well every year, but then gets bored with the whole thing. It's so hard to watch.

    We've had in in every extra curricular offered, and it does help. Football especially since they ran him to death. But he aged out of flag and is way too small to play tackle. He was going to play soccer this year but we had a barn cat that was half eaten by a coyote and he begged to spend his soccer money on surgery for the cat. What a rotten kid, right?
    But he doesn't LIKE any of them. He is totally not into sports. All he cares about is cars.

    So we bought him a go cart for Christmas.

    I'm hoping that will be a hobby for him, the same way horses are for so many of us. It's a "break the bank" hobby the same way horses are, but if it helps him, then it's worth it.

    My son was diagnosed SPD as a toddler, and although he was deemed to have "outgrown the diagnosis" I think the ball instead of a chair is a BRILLIANT idea.
    Rhythm the perfect OTTB;Spock the will-be perfect OTTB;Mia the Arab/appendix COTH giveaway



  12. #12
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    Is this school the best place for him? Some kids are overstimulated by a large, chaotic classroom. They do better in small classes/private school.

    Is the teacher experienced, capable, and organized? My younger daughter could be a handful at times. After she organized a "revolt" in which she had all of the second grade girls read the 4th grade reading books instead of their books, the school head made sure my daughter was carefully matched with her teachers. The experienced teachers immediately figured out how to keep her in line.

    You may need to learn some parenting techniques for your child. Read all of Marguerite Kelly's parenting columns. There is a good book by Stanley Turecki about "the Difficult Child.". I think it is still in print. There are lots of parenting classes,but it is hard to find classes that are geared to the specific needs of one child. You might meet with a child psychiatrist if there is a good one in your area. He oe she may be able to give you some reading material and some behavioral techniques.

    Some kids are a lot harder than others. You need to figure out what is effective for your son. If extra soccer practice, playing the trumpet, pony club or something else is the key to success, you need to find it now.



  13. #13
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    Jan. 24, 2007
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    small town, Ohio
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    MrsChickenBritchs (I love your name) unfortunately this is the best elementary school in 2 counties. He will be going to private school for middle school and high school (on that my husband and I both totally agree!) but we have a waiting list from our local private school of kids who want to be in this school. It's so hard to get into that our main requirement when we were buying a house was that it was in this district (we have open enrollment here, and people literally camp out over night to get into our tiny college town elementary school).

    His teacher did say "I love his creativity but there is a time for it and when asked to do non fiction it's not the time."



    Littleum, I think the bus is a problem, too. That's why I called the principle (since the threat was at school) and then the bus garage to change his seat. Since the director promised me his seat would be changed and after 2 days it was changed right back we DO have a problem. I will call the bus garage one more time and then its the Superintendant of Schools. We are car shopping right now but at the moment I can't drive him as my truck conked out early in December and I can't count on being able to go without the bus.



    I appreciate your responses so much I can't even tell you.
    Rhythm the perfect OTTB;Spock the will-be perfect OTTB;Mia the Arab/appendix COTH giveaway



  14. #14
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    Jun. 24, 2005
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    I agree with the unchallenged/bored group, and I too believe the bus ride companion is a problem and needs to be permanently changed. The school might remember that hostile environments and bullying are actionable, and they really don't seem to be taking this seriously. Even though your son says the kids threats don't bother him I doubt it can't be bothering him. I wonder also if he has a high or low frequency hearing loss? One or the other can cause hearing problems in noisy environments (I don't remember which kind does what).

    And by the way. Who decided everybody has to color the snakes the same way? That is ridiculous to me, and shows how little creativity they encourage at the school.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White



  15. #15
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    I could've been that kid--only I "grew out" of my naughtiness at school when the punishments at home were very very severe.

    Thing was, I was bored out of my freaking mind.

    In first grade, I was evaluated and put into a talented/gifted program. That helped some, but that was only an hour a day 3 days a week.

    The rest of the time, I was described as overly talkative, disruptive, etc. I would bring books to school to read in my down time and get in trouble because the teachers didn't think they were "age appropriate". (I was toting around Roots in the 3rd grade...lol!) I would bring other "distracting" things to school--again to kill the boredom that I typically faced for 90% of the day because most of the work we'd do in the classroom was stuff I could do in a few minutes.

    I think the kid needs more challenge.

    That said, he also needs to learn what I learned which is "There is an appropriate time and place for things and you have to be respectful."

    About the only thing that really got me in line was losing major stuff at home. Time at the barn, time with my books or microscope. (i was a dork, okay?)

    But I turned out alright.

    Best wishes.
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  16. #16
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    Thank you BuddyRoo!

    That sounds exactly like my son. He took a book in to school last year to read in "down time" and he behaved perfectly. After a few days his teacher told him he couldn't have it because it distracted him from class time.

    It's a good school. The best in two counties, as I've said before. And he will go to private school for middle and high school.

    I just have to get through 3 more years. I just wish I could help his teachers with his behaviour in the classroom. But he doesn't act like that at home.


    And trust me the consequences at home for misbehaviour at school are BAD. Very very bad.

    But you can only make their home life suck so much or they have nothing else to lose. And taking away EVERYTHING just results in a misarable kid who has nothing to lose and feels really lousy about himself. Again, there is a fine line to tread.


    It's even harder when you have no behaviour problems at home.
    Rhythm the perfect OTTB;Spock the will-be perfect OTTB;Mia the Arab/appendix COTH giveaway



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by IveGotRhythm View Post
    Honestly, all my mom friends have the opposite problem!

    My son is an only child of older parents. I'm 44 and my husband is 50. My son is 8 and in second grade. He did 3 years of preschool so he could be in third grade but his preschool teachers and OT (he needed help with fine motor skills) and even the director of the preschool advised me to keep him back a year for emotional and social development. He was always academically advanced so we knew we were treading a fine line.

    Anyway, I can't describe how awesome my kid is at home. He does chores (he is in charge of the chickens and barn cats and watering the horses) and his homework. He loves to read and to be read to (we just finished the third Harry Potter book). He is a genuine pleasure to be around. I love to take him out to eat or to the movies. A local family owned restaurant even enjoys him coming in so much that they named a kids menu entree after him!

    However he gets to school and it's totally different! There are 18 in his class and 11 are boys, and apparently he is totally obnoxious. He won't sit still, he is loud, he says "inappropriate things" (trust me, at his school even harmless words like "fart" or "underwear" are deemed inappropriate but still, he knows better than to say them). He has homework over his Christmas break because he refused to color his "non-fiction rat snake book" in realistic colors.

    I have a conference coming (requested by his teacher) to address his behavior at school.

    I really don't have any suggestions as he doesn't have these issues at home.

    Trust me, he gets in trouble at home when he gets in trouble at school. But it doesn't seem to have any effect.

    Oh, and my son is in the gifted program and excelling, so it isn't affecting his academic performance. So I'm not interested in drugs, since it would benefit the teacher (and maybe the class) but not my son. He is academically doing just fine.

    I really do want his behaviour to improve though. It's a small college town and I do think other parents are reluctant to want their kids to be friends with him because he is such a problem.

    BTW, he is not a bully nor is he ever mean. He's just loud and restless.


    Please help! I don't know how to help his teacher when we just don't have these issues at home.
    Sit in on his classes for a while.



  18. #18
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    Has he ever been described as a little professor?



  19. #19
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    Here's another possible contributor. You say he's an only child. Don't get defensive, I am the parent of an only child.

    Is it possible he spends a lot more time in the company of adults and therefore is a lot more comfortable relating to adults than children his own age? Might explain the over the top behavior around other kids.

    I don't know how to solve it with an older child...you might want to get some advice from a good psychologist/counselor. We were lucky, we lived in an area with lots and lots of kids. All we had to do is open the front door. As she got older, we arranged lots of play dates. After she was 10 or so, a friend always came along on vacation.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by LauraKY View Post
    Here's another possible contributor. You say he's an only child. Don't get defensive, I am the parent of an only child.

    Is it possible he spends a lot more time in the company of adults and therefore is a lot more comfortable relating to adults than children his own age? Might explain the over the top behavior around other kids.

    I don't know how to solve it with an older child...you might want to get some advice from a good psychologist/counselor.
    Please don't apologise. I AM an only child and the parent of an only child. I really really didn't mean for it to be so but finances and age prevented him from having a sibling. And as bad as I feel about that I wish more people would give a thought to finances when they are having a child. There, I've said my piece, I'm done.

    Yes, he is more comfortable around adults. That doesn't help him at school. As a matter of fact that is probably part of the problem, as he consideres adults someone to have conversations with instead of someone to obey blindly.
    Rhythm the perfect OTTB;Spock the will-be perfect OTTB;Mia the Arab/appendix COTH giveaway



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