Wednesday, October 10, 2007

help, please!

All right guys, here's what gives: we need some serious help. Some of you know we've been having some major problems with the transition to Kindergarten with our dear sweet 5 year old, Cameron. He's been in some pretty big trouble this year, some due to agressive behavior and some due to his immaturity. At first, I kinda laughed it off (after disciplining him) because it was kind of funny...mooning his class, peeing on the playground, etc. But by the third time the asst. principal called, it stopped being funny.

He has tried to choke someone in line.
He has stabbed a girl's hand with a pencil.
He has pulled down his pants 3 times.
He has hit, punched, etc etc.

This happens during recess, it happens during class, while in line, whatever.

Nine times, I think now. (If I wasn't so really frustrated and upset about this, I'd insert a Ferris Bueller joke here, but I really am serious) Nine times his behavior has been so bad it reached the Principal level. Nine times we've gotten a call. Nine times he's either had a referral or a suspension. This was a short week, what with fall break, so we had high hopes for a quiet week. Not so. He was in in-school suspension all day and will stay home Thursday and Friday due to once again dropping his drawers on the playground. The asst principal said the normal discipline for this repeated behavior would be a 3-5 day suspension, but that's a pretty long time for a kindergartner to miss school. Plus, I think after a certain amount of time, he wouldn't really get it...he wouldn't make the connection that 5 days was worse than 3 days or whatever.

We're pretty much at the point where we'll just admit defeat, say he's too immature to be in school, and try again next year. I really feel like we're trying everything! He's been spanked, grounded, lost fun things, lost recess. We've tried positive reinforcement, rewards, behavior charts. We've met directly with the principal. I've volunteered in his class. He's speaking with the school counselor. The principal has spoken with him. We have the pep talk each and every morning, but once he's out there, he just doesn't think. He doesn't think "oh, I should keep my pants on today so I can get a star on my chart." We've talked about changing teachers, but since he does it so often during recess, I don't think the teacher is the issue. I know that he definitely reacts with a couple of kids the wrong way, but he's not going to be able to completely avoid those kids, even if we do change classrooms.

And it's not like school is new to him...he was in preschool (a 'real' preschool with classrooms and buses, not someone's home) for 2 years and two months. His teachers said he was ready for kindergarten, that he understood the social rules and knew how to stand in line, raise his hand, sit when told, etc. I even called his old preschool teacher to see if she had any ideas. She suggested the fact that when he was in preschool, he didn't talk and thus didn't much get into confrontations. As his speech developed, she thinks maybe he's come into his own, so to speak, and can now stand up for himself. Or on the opposite side, perhaps he still struggles with communication in relation to other normal 5 year olds and when he can't get his point across acurately, that leads to aggression.

I'm OUT of ideas. I just don't know what to do anymore. I don't know of anyone else ever having such a problem with a kindergartner. It's frustrating and embarassing! I feel like this directly reflects on me as a parent. I need help, ideas, suggestions, anything. Or would the easiest thing be to just try again next year when he's 6?

19 comments:

Delfina said...

I wish I had some advise for you. Maybe you should speak to Steve's mom. She was getting calls everyday from the princible to. I'll keep you in my prayers.

leaner said...

Wow, that is a totally hard one!
What time does he go to bed? I saw a study that said quite a lot of our kids emotional and learning problems stem from not getting enough sleep for the age they are. A five year old should get about 11 hours of sleep.I know that when we started putting Rhayn to bed earlier (she goes to bed at 7 so that she will be asleep by 8 and gets up around 7 am.) The increase in sleep made a marked difference in her demeanor and attitude.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/06/990618063129.htm
It was really Rhayn's school that suggested that we put her to bed at 7, and we laughed. But then decided to try it, and WAH LAH! It was magical. Kids need more sleep, and more exercise, and less tv and junk food! LOL (not saying yours watch too much tv, because mine watch alot- just kids in general!)

leaner said...

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/
1999/06/990618063129.htm

(sorry the link didn't work. you have to copy/paste it.)

kanga5 said...

I agree with the sleep thing. My boys are different with the ammount of sleep they get. My 1st grader gets up great if he gets to bed between 8 and 8:30. Any later and he's a bear to wake up the next morning. My two younger are so different durring the day, by the end of the day I can tell their bodies are done and they need sleep. Just my thoughts.
I'd also wonder about the age too- but since he's been in preschool... Maybe what the teacher said is right- he's trying to find his place and such. That's got to be so hard! I'm not sure what I'd do. Give it continued prayer and thought. Maybe even a blessing?? I hope you find the answer!

LIZZEE said...

Wow.. Amie. It's hard to give advise cause each child is so different and what pertains to one is not necessarily good for the next. Maybe home school him for the remainder of the year. See how that works. ?? Not sure what else.. Not an easy solution here for the little guy.. I hope it gets better...

Bonnie B. said...

Gosh that's tough. Have you thought about making an appt with your son's Dr? Maybe he can give you some insight. Perhaps it is a developmental problem.

Anonymous said...

Hi Amie! I know exactly where you come from. My son who is now in Kindergarten attended the same preschool as your son. His teacher too said he was ready for Kindergarten. However we have had alot of trouble with him this year also. I made an appt with his regular PCM and she suggest seeing a psychologist. It has helped tremendously. I too felt that is was my fault as the parent for my child's misbehavior. After visiting with the doctor it helped to understand what my child is going through as well as ways for us as parents to get out our frustrations. If you want more information feel free to send me an email and I will give you more details.

Jenn R.

Mom, wife, scrapaholic... said...

Gosh, I am so sorry that this is troubling you! Donovan was six when he was in kindergarten but when he was disruptive it was in class because he was bored. He is very smart and breezes through his work and then has nothing to do. Liz was right that every child is different. I would definitely recommend talking to your doctor to see if there is anything he can suggest without meds. I notice a big difference in my children as well when they don't get enough sleep. My children have been on a set 7pm bedtime since they were three or four and it makes a big difference! When they are up late and as usual get up around 6am, they are rude, cranky, messy, defiant, and unruly and they do terribly at school those days. I wish there was something I could do to help. I will pray for you definitely but maybe a blessing from the Bishop and Danny would help or as an entire family blessing! A book I have been reading called Raising Up Your Family to the Lord by Gene R. Cook has been helpful to me and might be to you as well.Hugs and hang in there!!!

Kendra said...

Wow Amie,

I don't know what to tell you. Others have given you some good advice. Perhaps home school for the rest of the year would be good for him. he is the middle child and perhaps spending some one on one time with Mommy is what he is really needing. It's hard to say. I think it's easy for them to feel displaced, and starting Kindergarten may have just been the final straw in his feeling insecure about where he stands. Also, because he is the middle child, he and his brothers get each other going. It souonds like the same thing happens at school. So, maybe spending one on one time with you and Dan would help him be more calm. It's hard to know what to do. It's a good thing we know about personal revelation! Pray about it. I can give you information about home school if you are interested.

Tricia said...

Amie, I too wish I had some words of encouragement or advice for you. I will pray for you and your son. I hope your family finds the answers it is looking for in this situation.

The Bluths said...
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The Bluths said...
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Melissa said...

I wish I had some advice. Perhaps a doctor would shed some light on his need to be the center of attention. Possibly a food allergy which affects how he reacts. I have a friend who discovered her son had a corn allergy and when they removed corn from his diet, he was a different child.

Stephanie said...

(big hugs)
I also wish I had great advice for you - nope! It really could be anything! Mostly, it could just be a phase that only time can cure. Very comforting huh?!
Do the boys wrestle a lot around the house? Or DH wrestle with them? If so, you could try cutting that out and give him other more productive methods of getting his exercise.
You can also talk to him about how his actions hurt others and most importantly how it hurts Heavenly Father and Jesus. Focus all your FHE's and little lessons about the body and how important they are. Treat them with respect and others' bodies with respect too.
Also understand that Kinder. is hard for a lot of little ones. They are truly out in that big yucky world and their sweet little spirits don't know how to deal with it! Boost up the "safe, spiritual" haven aspect of your home.
Oh, and roll play too. Talk to him about some of the situations that have happened and have him "redo" them with you so that this time he is acting appropiately. Like a 2nd chance. Then when he does it right, say, "Very good!! Now I know that you'll be able to handle it better next time!"
And last of all, give him time to grow out of it. Some problems will only go away with time. You've gotta do what you can and hang on for the crazy ride!

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

So I usually don't read blogs and Natalie would pass out if she knew that I had read one but I forwarded that gun e-mail to Robert (he already has one like it by the way. Who knew.) and he clicked on your blog. He read for a minute or two then called me in and read this post to me. Perhaps he thought I would have some advice from teaching. I taught 5th and 6th though so I wasn't much help. However, my sister in law is a child psychologist so I called her. I read your post to her and asked what she thought. She said that sometimes kids do react aggressively when they transition to kindergarten and some of them do some attention getting things but they only do it once, maybe twice. She thinks that because Cameron's behavior is continuing, it is not an issue of transition. She thinks that it is something deeper. Her suggestion is that he get psychological testing. To her it sounds like he has difficulty processing consequences. A psychologist can deduce if his functioning and processing skills are developmentally accurate. She said that it was good for him to meet with the school counselor and thinks that you should keep doing that. She said that if you have already tried an array of consequences and nothing seems to work then there is something not connecting in his mind. When I read her the end or your post about maybe he just isn't mature enough she commented that was another thing that the psychologist can test for. If he is not mature enough he/she can find out why and then help him. She said that LDS services can provide you with a therapist for him too but to be careful that he/she is a good one. She said you can tell if they are good by how much time they devote to him. She said that Medicaid has really good psychologists so you might look into their programs to see if you qualify. So that was her advice. I hope that it helps.

heather said...

new school? wanna try rosefield? Smaller, calmer environment maybe. Would he be sad if he had to stop going? Or does he not care?

Amie said...

Hey Amie, good luck with it all... I am sure everything will work its self out soon.

Hugs

Amie xx

Deanna Payne said...

Wow Amie, I totally feel for you! This really isn't funny anymore. All I want to say is try not to take this personal. I think you are an awesome mom. Hang in there and listen to the spirit.
If you are interested in homeschooling him instead of holding him back check out azva.com. They use the K12.com curriculum that I used when I homeschooled. It is a charter school so it is free. And the lessons are all planned out for you. I enjoyed it. Hang in there. I'll be thinking of you!