HomeHealth & BehaviorBehavior & Discipline

Ask the Experts about first-graders

Find answers to your questions about academic problems and school-related behavior.

By GreatSchools Staff

Questions and concerns

How can I help my child concentrate?

Should I let my child quit?

How can I help my child speak up in class?

How can I help a child who throws things?

How do I help a struggling reader?

Help! My child clashes with his teacher

Is my child too social?

How can I help a distracted child?

Help! My child hates reading

How can I help my child make friends?

Should my child move up a grade?

How can I help with reading comprehension?

Help! My child has a tagalong friend

I'm worried about my child's speech skills

How can I get my child to stop lying?

My child started reversing letters

My child talks out of turn in class

Should I have my child tested for the gifted program?

My son worries that his friends don't like him

How do I help a child who's become defiant?

My son does not listen in class

I can't figure out why my son hates school

My son struggles in class but works well at home

Should my first-grader be held back for reading challenges?

My son wants to be the center of attention

My overachieving child cheated

My daughter is too tired to do homework

How can I ease my child's test anxiety?

How can I motivate my child?

How do I address death with my first-grader?

Does my son have AD/HD or a behavior issue?

How can I help my first-grader sleep?

Help! My grandson misbehaves at school

My child needs help with friends

My son compares himself to his gifted brother

My daughter struggles to communicate

My first-grader hates school

Comments from readers

"my child always sought on me that why i use to scold him. he is in class 10 but never wants to study what should i do to improve his behaver & made him study carmly"
"my grandaughter is in fist grade is saying she is stressed and pulling out her hair it started in sept but has gotten worse.she has lots of friends and playdates i don'think its a phase like her mom says.her hair is thinning what can i do to help her."
"Do you think teachers should be allwoed to use snack time for disiplinary measures? I don't. This is what my daughters teacher does Yellow card 5 min head down during snack red card 10 min head down red card call home"
"My soon-to-be-six-yr-old daughter just started 1st grade for two weeks. She is very talented and behaves perfect at school. However, she is quick to anger at home and the anger can last the whole evening. When I told her that I will let her teacher know about her behavior at home, she gets scared but continues her anger. I am thinking what does her teacher do to make her behave nicely without any chance of becoming angry. At least I believe most of the time the teacher is able to do that. Sometimes my daughter told me she must behave nicely or there are consequences that she doesn't like when she is at school. How do I stop her out-of-control anger at home? I already post some consequences on the wall such as time out, take away her privilege and the ways that was suggested by herself to help her calm down. So far we don't have much success. Are there any steps I need to follow to calm her down? Thanks!"
"how can i teach my 6 year old girl good touch and bad touch without overdoing it "
"My son is 6yrs old and I get notices from the teacher saying he isn't paying attention, playing with other kids, doesn't sit still, and recently he had taken a construction knife to school, saying that he wanted to show it to his friends. I found out he has short attention span and had a therapist while being 1 for speech. I have yet to try karate as I just started working. I don't know what to do or how to help him. I get fustrated because I'm the only one that can help him. Now that I don't have time to be with him during the day I see it difficult for me to help him with his homework. Should I speak with the teacher and see what's going on? Should I find a stricter school, a therapist, or something/one to help me? Please HELP!!!! "
"My grandson is six years old and in 1st grade. Mom is worried about him since school started he started getting notices sent home about his behavior not sitting in his seat, while testing gets up from chair and looks at another student papers ( he is very smart young man and does well at home when tested for spelling and math), when he is in line to return to class he would be goofing around with other youngsters, or in class in a group discussions teacher ask if anyone knows answer he raises his hand and she walks past him and asks someone else, teacher says hes immature for 1st grade he does quirky stuff just like any normal child. When he was a baby he was born with a cleft lip but was fused together and it wasn't noticeable as he grew a year old he had seizures and was given phenobarbital and eventually was taken off slowly after a year. By the time he was two he showed no signs of seizures so hes back to normal, now he is six and having problems with his behavior, his ! teacher is frustrated but doesn't acknowledge his behavior. Please give me some hope and advise. "
"My daughter has a hard time paying attention and listening at home and at school and tips on how to change this"
"My son was born August 31, so he is the youngest one in his class. Before he went to pre-K we were advised to let him stay in pre-K for two years but we found ESL preschool in public school and after one year teacher said that he is ready to kindergarten. Now he is at first grade. The first grade demands more from him, and although he tests well at times, at other times he can't focus, and his work doesn't get finished. We find it very difficult to get him to stay with his homework long enough to finish. He is A,B student but he needs more time for tests than other kids in his class. He had some problems with his behavior because older kids can easily manipulate him. We think we have made mistake by sending him to first grade last year. How does the parent decide is a child is mature enaugh to advance to second grade? His behavior problems could be related to this. The teacher is out on maternity leave for the rest of the school year, and the substitute teacher hasn't been able to help. "
"my daughter has add and she needs a lot of help on her writing and her reading and math how can the school help her on those issues and how can i help her too"
"My son is going to summer camp at a small private school that he will be attending in the fall for First Grade. There are some boys at his summer camp (who will be there in the fall) that have been making comments to him and others that they don't like him, that he's a bully, etc.. Yesterday a boy told him that the only reason he was playing with him was because everyone else hated him. He tells me the kids do and say things to him when the teachers are not watching. I was frankly surprised by these comments. At preschool/kindergarten he had lots of friends and has never exhibited any behaviors that could be considered bullying. I have asked my son what he has done to these boys, and he said he didn't know. Yesterday I spoke with his teacher at length and he told me that my son is a great kid and definitely has not displayed any of those behaviors. He doesn't understand why the children would say or feel that way. I mentioned the children's names who were a particular probl! em and he said they were the 'power' group in the grade school. They have to constantly watch these children and keep them in line. He said it's a small school and when you introduce new children in it changes the dynamic, etc. I'm not sure what to do about this. Is this normal in first/second grades? Should I consider other options than a small school, or is this something we will or could encounter at any school? How can I help me son to counteract or deal with this? Your advice would be very much appreciated."
"I have a daughter in first grade I am having a problems with her reading and comprehension , writing letters backwards, and some other subjects I don't know what to do get her on track she can learn but doesn't read to well can offer some advice on what I can do to help her sometimes I feel like I HAVE FAILED HER AS THE PARENT "
"Our daughter is a top student in her class and everything seems to come easily to her. Homework has always been a fight because she isn't interested. Since January, this lazy attitude has trickled down to her school day and classroom work. Her teacher has even commented on her laziness. We really need to find a way to motivate her to try her best. We appreciate any suggestions that you may have. Thank you."
"Please tell me if I'm being irrational about my sons homework. He is in the first grade and in about the middle of his class academically. Currently, his class is asked to do the following: be prepared with 2 new spelling word each day, read for at least 15 minutes a night, have weekly book report completed by Friday, complete math problems on website weekly, and the one that sent me over the edge...the students will be given a sheet of 50 math problems on Friday to study over the weekend and then be tested on Monday and if they miss more then 2 problems they must retake the same test that Friday. What happen to family time?? Thanks!"