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2nd grader behavior


jessray September 13, 2011

Hi all, so it's the 4th day of school and I've already received a note home regarding my sons behavior in class. Academically my child is at the top of his class if not #1, but emotionally he cannot control himself, constantly talking, calling out etc. when the teacher calls to his attention he has something smart to say. This has been the case since kindergarten and I have reached the boiling point. I need help how do i get him to understand he needs to behave, respect, and listen??

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MagnetMom September 13, 2011

Hi jessray,

It's great you want to solve this dilemma. It's entirely possible it's out of his control. Have you had discussions with your son's teachers in previous years? Is this a pattern? Have you brought it up with the pediatrician or the school psychologist?

One thing that helped my son when he couldn't wait to be called on, was to give him a sheet of paper and he could write all his questions down. At recess, at lunch, and at the end of the day, the teacher promised to answer his questions if he brought them up to her. Sometimes just writing it down, later he would be fine without asking. But he understood she would take the time to answer him--just not over and over.

Good luck, and let us know how it goes.


TeacherParent September 14, 2011

It's impressive that your son is able to be at the top of his class though he does not listen. His teachers deserve some praise too because too often teachers will mark down a student who doesn't listen or behave - regardless of how well the student does on tests. So his teachers are showing good restraint in still giving him his good grades though he hasn't been a good citizen in class.

But he must be listening some of the time for him to do well - he must be listening to the lessons or he wouldn't do well.

And he must be very bright. Is it just with this teacher that he has something smart to say? And what does he say to you when you counsel him that's it's not smart at all be sassy with a teacher?

Maybe you need to ask this year's teacher to lower his grades so he could see the impact his behavior has on his report card. But I'd also wonder - is he angry? Children can have trouble with calling out but not go so far as to be smart with the teacher when called on their calling out.

Can he control himself outside of school? Can he control himself while at birthday party or is it just school that poses a problem to his self-control?

But most important - does he behave, respect and listen at home or does he have something smart to say at home too?


ourspace October 2, 2011

Dear jessray,

Let me commend you for recognizing that this is a serious problem, very worthy of discussion. I am going to try to shed some much needed light on how to resolve this situation to everyones satisfaction. It is in my heart to be honest, so nothing that I am saying is intended to offend your parenting. That being said, I pray that you do not get offended.
Most of our children's behaviors are brought into the classroom from home, especially at this age. If it is not tolerated in the home, it will not enter the classroom. Having said that, things that may have been "cute", when he was a little guy (pre-school days), are now annoying and disruptive. Sometimes, parents allow the child too much freedom to "express" theirselves. I am almost certain that your son has been "expressing" himself for much too long. Children only know what we teach them, and only do what we allow them to do at his age. As a result of not having been chastised earlier for being disrespectul, we have passed it off as being "cute". This may have been the case when he was one or two, but after that, being "cute" has a tendency to become ugly, it has no place in a childs developmental stage.
Because we often do not see our children the way others do, we tend not to phrase the bad behaviors out before they start school, and now the damage has begun to take root, and the person who is charged with educating your child is making crucial decisions about how to handle each situation to achieve the best result for the entire class. Unfortunately, your son feels that he is being singled out and picked on just for being himself, a nice, intelligent child who is only doing what he has been allowed to do (afterall, this is grade 2). And, if you're asking for advice, the bad behavior is escalating to a point that even your patience is being challenged. The good news is that you can turn this around. The bad news is you have your work cut out for you. But, I also know that only a mother who really loves her child, would reach out for help, and while I feel your frustration, I feel the love of a woman who just needs some advice from someone who has been there (me), so lets get started.
You should begin by correcting him each time he has an inappropriate outburst, wherever it occurs. This is very painful to the parent, but necessary. Also, you may want to take a day off and spend this time in the classroom with your son. Not only to validate the behavior, but to also make sure that he is not being singled out for being too enthusiastic because he is so intelligent, and wants to be the first one to answer the questions. I did, and it was one of the best things that could have happened to my family.
My child was too advanced for her class, and it became painfully obvious that she needed to be transferred to another school. But, transfer's to good schools take some time, so when something has to happen immediately, you concentrate on "Now" solutions. We began by brainstorming and identifing some things that she could do when she completed a lesson before the rest of the class was done. High energy requires high activity, so we realized that sitting in class quietly waiting for everyone to complete their individual assignments, was a form of punishment to a bright student, hence acting out behaviors occur.
Our course of action was to identify some things, that she could do, that would "Contribute" to the school in general.
Now there are very few things for 2nd graders to do that fall under the heading of" contrubtion", but we did and the most wonderful thing happened. We decided to allow her to help the teachers in the classrooms of the younger children doing various jobs, i.e., passing out papers, reading stories, etc. I really loved this idea because it gave her a chance to get a change of scenery (most bright children who are not being taught to their potential are very restless) So, when my daughter finshed early, as usual, she was personally escorted, by a hall monitor, to the Kindergarten class to help a teacher by being an "Assistant Student Leader" (Yes, we even gave her a title) . This was an excellent solution for my daughter. She was so enthusiastic with her new position and the prestiege that came with it, her whole attitude changed. It brought us closer together. Instead of fussing over all the notes on the bad behavior that would come home each day, we got to spend "Dive Time" together. Anger took a back seat to pride. We could now sit down to dinner and discuss all of the lessons she learned, and how funny the little kids is Kindergarten were, and how much compliments the teachers, even the Principle had given her. That's just the beginning, this became a very coveted position that was created especially for my child. And the benefit is that it not only teaches great leadership skills, but it gives the child, who is fortunate to be chosen extreme pride. The school has recognized it's value and has added more incentives in its selection process. To be chosen, the students must adhere to all of the rules mandated to their classroom for an entire week prior to being for participation in this program. I am proud to say that this program not only still exist, but has been extended to other grades. Talk about a win, win situation. Wow! Who would have guessed that something that was born of frustration, would evolve into something so wonderful because ordinary, caring parents and caring teachers, who did not see "Social Passing" as an option, could actually put their heads together and come up with something so unique and successful. Some of the children are already expressing an interest in becoming "Educators" as careers. Another "Wow"!
The other thing that will result from you spending a day in your sons class is you will gain a better insight of what and how he is learning. I was able to realize that my child was much to advanced for her class, and she is now on as many waiting list as I can find to have her placed in a school that will take full advantage of her academic gifts, which I see as a contribution to whoever is fortunate enough to have her as their student.
In terms of being disrespectful, I have never had this problem with her (Thank God), Meanwhile, because you do, while you are spending your day with him, I strongly suggest that you need to identify when he is being rude or disrespectful, and addressing these behaviors by gently pointing "all of them" out to him on the spot, wherever the spot happens to be, the moment they occur (this means at home). Consistency and punishment (when appropriate) have to be applied. Remember, your little angel can be someone elses nightmare (lol). The process will not change overnight, but with firmness, patience and love, you will be able to make your son aware of how important it is to respect authority by doing what he is supposed to be doing at all times. Once again, this begins at home, I cannot stress this enough).
last, but not least, you can even create a reward system. And by the way,while pizza and treats are nice rewards, I've found that daily compliments and even higher praise, from parents and teachers at the end of each day, are the best rewards! Oh, and don't forget lots and lots of kisses and hugs. They,re like milk, does a body good.

I hope I've done more good than harm, and I pray nothing but the best for your family.

God bless you, GG

P.S. I pray that your family knows God, and that you pray together daily because at the end of the day, this is the best weapon that we have at or disposal. Prayer works, Faith gives us hope and above all Jesus Saves! I pray for all of our children, and I pray that you will do the same.


momluvsherboys October 2, 2011

It sounds to me like your son is bored. He sounds very smart and he probably doesn't feel challenged academically, even second graders experience this. He probably has a hard time because of this and acts out to kill what he feels, is monotony. You may want to have him evaluated to see if he may be an accelerated learner because those children have their own struggles just as kids with special needs may have. Stay alert and ready to act when he has behavioral issues because he's most likely trying to tell you something. Good luck, I know how what it's like to have a bright kid and talented like you wouldn't believe, just to have him get suspended or notes sent home about his behavior. I'm using techniques like incentives and disciplinary actions. I discipline him with what I call "yard duty" or washing dishes. The incentives I use are pertaining to his hobby; playing guitar and drums. I may get him something he wants for his guitar or drums, when he earns it. I've had his ipod for almost two weeks and he will have to work to get it back before he can listen to it again. I'm seeing some results but it's a work in progress. He is a very polite and mellow kid normally. He's very focused when playing his music, especially while composing. Does your son have a hobby or an interest that you might be able to help him explore? BTW, my son is 13 and has had issues like your son's, since first grade. Hang in there!

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