S.A. asks from Lewisville, TX on October 22, 2008
7 Year Old and Clowning
Why would a 7 year old think he should be the clown in his school, in his extracurricular activities, and basically everywhere?!
Why would he think that rules are not made for him? I'm not sure if he really forgets that rules exist everywhere and for everything, specially at school or he simply ignores the and decides that he can do anything he wants because he CAN. When I try to reason with him, he either laughs at my face or give my a sorry that he forgets pretty quickly and start from point A. He talks more than he listens just to get others attention. for exmple tday at his piano class The teachertold them that if they have they activity book #2 they are supposed to follow certain directions and if they have activity book # 3 they will need to follow other directions... My son jumps and says: ...and what if somebody has activity book Level 1? she replied to him well ther is nobody with level 1 in htis clssroom... then my son added.. and what if we have activity book level K? well Nael nobody has activity book Level K. This is just a little example fresh as of today but It is the same thing when he is at school, home or everywhere.
I reasoned, yelled, had privileges taken away, gave incentives, tried the love and logic technique and a few others ... but he seems pretty comfortable with his lack of responsibility. I'm clueless to what I should do now... I would like to get suggestions to make sure that my new plan will be effective in making him understand that his behavior is unacceptable and will not lead him to be a respected person (without using those exact words of course).
He is a SMART and LOVING boy and I know that his potential is as big as the love I have for him but I feel he is hurting himself because he keeps getting put in the spot by his teachers in front of everybody without success. and I feel also that because of his behavior it is very hard to keep being positive with him. We praise him a lot for when he has good behavior and makes good choices. We also tell him that we love him many time a day. but he seems taking everything for granted...
Please help as this matter is aching me lately and would like to tackle it ASAP.
1 mom found this helpful
So What Happened?™
THank to very much for all your time in responding to my situation.
After reading your answers and talking to my son's teachers, I understood that his behavior is totally normal. it is a phase that all the kids go through and specially boys between the age of 6 and 8 (with different degrees of course and different type of issues as well). The are changing from little boys to big boys... it is a sort of affirmation.They also said that he is acting the way he is acting because he is smart and that only smart kids will do whatever he does. he has 100s almost every week.
The only thing is I will have to keep strong boundaries and remind him of the appropriate behavior at all given times. I know for a fact that he is not ADHD because he doesn't fit the symptoms I researched... SO my plan now is going back to parenting with love and logic and try to implement and stick with it. I have already started taking his privileges including halloween trick or treat and it is working liek a charm.. he doesn't like it ... but he is accepting the consequences and the past 2 days he has been very good and listens more when I say yes or no. I believe firmly that he knows this time I'm not playing and that I mean business. hopefully, I will have the strength and tha patience to keep it up so he can shape up and that his younger brother gets a better example. I can tell you that halloween night will be very though... please send me some strength :)
I will also try to read more abotu boys to try to understand the Testosterone phenomena :) it is all new to me.
if you are in the same situation stay on the positive side and try to get your answers from the people who know your son very good and don't listen to negative and facts without any foundations.
Good luck to all the moms who are trying to make of their kids respectful human beings!
J.B. answers from Tyler on October 23, 2008
You may think I am crazy, but this is what I did. My 4th grader became the class clown, disrupting, etc. His teacher would give "marks" that would accumulate to a certain number and then it was referred to the principal. Well, all those marks meant nothing to him. The teacher called me. I went to the school and pulled him out of class. I told him if he disrupted or got one more mark, I would be laying the leather to his behind at home to the equivalent number of marks. AND IF THAT didn't work, I would bring the leather belt to the school, pull him out of class and wear his butt out in the hall. He looked at me with wide eyes and asked, "Right here in front of all my friends???" I said YES! He never got another mark, never disrupted his teacher's class anymore. The punishment for misbehavior should be immediate. I never had to use that belt, but HE believed I would! And I would have used it if he hadn't straightened up!
J.B. answers from Dallas on October 23, 2008
Sounds like classic ADD/ADHD. They compensate by clowning and drawing attention away from their inability to concentrate and listen. I know everyone thinks it is over diagnosed, but when that IS the diagnosis, they need help. Many times for them, the old mentality of if I don't try, I can't fail. It is a coping mechanism as are many of his behaviors. Get him tested...if you need names, let me know.
J.M. answers from Tyler on October 23, 2008
N.S. answers from Dallas on October 23, 2008
i don't have a lot of advice to give regarding this subject...but when i was 5 and first enrolled in school, i remember making the class laugh because i ran under the table to hide when it thundered outside. from that point on i was addicted to the attention and was a class clown up through high school (well, even college now at times!) it might be difficult to control, and it is important for your son to understand rules and boundaries...but it sounds to me like you have a little leader on your hands!! congrats and good luck!
p.s. society has a problem with diagnosing people with "learning disorders" just because they are a little different than the rest of the herd. it may not hurt to get your son evaluated if you truly think there is a problem...but keep in mind that doctors are paid to diagnose and prescribe. i mean, he's SEVEN for christ's sake!!
2 moms found this helpful
P.W. answers from Dallas on October 23, 2008
I have to tell you from what you described your son sounds smart and unafraid to challenge. I think I like him! He also sounds like a challenging child to raise. Did you stick with Love and Logic or just try it a week??? I really believe in it. Get your son tested, privately if you can afford it. Instead of guessing this will help you know how to handle him. I struggled with my son like this and discovered he had multiple learning differences as well as ADD. The teachers couldn't handle him. We moved him to a small private school with small classrooms and things improved immensely. Many of these school have scholarships if that is out of your range, etc... Sounds like you have a smart boy. I believe these kids that struggle are often our shining stars as adults. My boy is about to graduate high school by the way. Age 7 was tough business, but he is getting ready for college now and is a great kid. Good Luck!
1 mom found this helpful
A.P. answers from Dallas on October 23, 2008
My 6-yr-old is a lot like this and he does not have ADHD, or Asperger's, or a learning disability. He's gifted. He can focus forever on a task he's interested in, but is easily bored with some of the more mundane work at school. He's also a clown and very sociable and talkative, which I think is partly due to genetics but also a need to be accepted and not appear different from the other kids -- gifted kids are sometimes hyper-aware of how others perceive them. A strong sense of humor is also indicative of high intelligence along with high energy and being able to look at things in lots of different ways. My guy is a negotiator; he argues with everything I say in hopes of getting his way or being able to do it his own way instead of my way. It drives me insane sometimes, but at the same time, I'm really proud of him!Anyway, I certainly wouldn't dismiss the possibility of ADHD or the other things -- only you know your child -- but giftedness is definitely something else you should check into! (although no easier to deal with -- gifted kids are just as "special needs" as those traditionally considered special needs; gifted kids also can be both gifted and have learning disabilities, too). And I wish I had more practical advice for you, but I'm still trying to learn how to deal with it myself. But I think understanding and being aware of what is driving his behavior is the first step. It helps me so much to know that "okay, he acts like this because he's really smart..." And my son's teacher this year is wonderful -- she understands that every kid works at different skill levels and works to make sure each child gets work that matches their individual level. Gifted kids don't need more work, they need different work and some teachers just need to be made aware of this.
Anyway, I could go on and on! Here are some web sites I've found with some good info about giftedness:
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B.F. answers from Dallas on October 23, 2008
Yep, he is a SMART boy. I have a feeling too smart for his own good! His brain is still going at a level that would exhaust others! While others are dealing with "what did my teacher say?" he is making up other conditions and itterations that could entertain his mind while others are struggling. I am sorry to smile at a situation that is obviously causing you worry for his future but I am going to tell you it is not so bad. A whole lot of this behavior will work itself out as he ages and has more responsibility. For one thing he needs one on one teaching as much as he can get. It would be better for him to have his own piano teacher because all these kids are going to do is slow him down and give him opportunities to "show out". Give him as much responsibility as you can at home and suggest it at school, he can handle it. The only cure for an active mind is an activity. You will nearly exhaust yourself trying to keep one step ahead of him but it is better than him having time on his hands to get in trouble. Try a role playing switch, you be him, the student, let him be the teacher and play out the situation with the activity books, make sure he has a goal in mind for the lesson, say to teach you notes in 5 mins.
Be sure to talk to his teachers and let them know his situation and suggest that they keep him busy and not be afraid to give him time outs and disapline as he needs it. The hardest part of raising children is sometimes sticking to the things you know are right even when they don't look like they are having an effect...consistancy. You are doing the right things, hang in there! He will be a joy to you if you keep on keeping on and deal directly with it everyday it will work out well. Don't forget you have a Heavenly Father to depend on for strength and wisdom. Find out if your school has a Moms in Touch prayer group from the school or momsintouch.org Don't expect him to be like you or be anything other than what he is, God don't make no junk! He has a purpose for a child/man who is a thinker and questions authority! It is just not easy raising him!
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S.W. answers from Dallas on October 23, 2008
I have no response. I want to see other's responses b/c I am kind of in the same boat with my almost 7 year old boy! Sorry I can't help.
D.S. answers from Dallas on October 23, 2008
First of all I would like to say I have been there and still dealing with this issue. I have a 8 year old and I deal with it by working really close with his teacher on how to change the behavior. First by taking him out of the element where he can be a class clown keep him sitting by the teacher for a while not with the students. If that doesnt help next take away recess and let him know school is not a game it is for learning. And continue the process at home for every outburst there is a consequence and he will realize this once he has lost everything and needs to earn it all back. He will appreciate it all more once he gets older but I wish you luck on this.
K.S. answers from Dallas on October 23, 2008
I think you should listen to Keir B.'s response...she sounds 'right on' to me.
M.B. answers from Dallas on October 23, 2008
Look into ADHD. My son can act like this. He needs lots of one on one attention in group situations. He's not trying to be bad or clowning when he asks all these questions, he's just truly wondering. I mean he can't. His brain probably didn't even see the logic that the books K and 1 weren't applicable to the class. He really wanted to know the answer. He felt as if they were important details because that's where the train of thought took him. If you try to ignore it, the train will derail and he will get frustrated. however if the question is answered with details he might have been able to move on. I know my son will. He's got to finish his train of thought and sometimes it's just faster to let him than redirect him. The problem is that sometimes kids whose brains go that fast and who think of all the other details are often found to be behavior problems even when it was never the intention.
You don't have to chose medication. My son is on a diet that eliminates all artificials (colors, flavors, preservatives). It's amazing how much his behavior and ability to focus change with these out of his system. He can drop subjects and ignore insignificant details so much better without these things in his body. He still notices the details, but he doesn't obsess about them. Our problem this week is that he's had to be on medication for the last two weeks. Children's medication is chock full of artificials. Yesterday was the last day, thank God! Yesterday was a very challenging day the logic of cause and effect was lost on him. If something popped into his head, he had to accomplish it despite disobeying. Dad was trying to get him ready for bed while I finished the dishes. They brushed teeth and then headed to my son's room to get pj's. My son took off down the hall to the kitchen despite Dad's instructions to go straight to his room. My husband ended up yelling and calling for him to come back, but he couldn't until he made sure that I knew he had brushed really well and was going for his pajamas. I mean he showed me inside and out, up and down, that he brushed everywhere. He never needs to tell me this, but last night it was of life or death importance.
I have a friend with a third grader who also got in trouble regularly. He is kind and bright. One day he got sent to the office and suspended (this was the end of many office referrals). He was making funny noises and bumping into people in the halls, waiting in line at the bathroom. The teacher didn't even bother to find out what he was doing, just sent him to the office. The principal called Mom, and the story came out. He was walking with his eyes closed, trying to see if echolocation worked for people. They had been read about it in class that day. He never even thought that trying it out might hurt/annoy people. I mean, do you punish kids for their misguided curiosity or do you find an environment where it can be directed?