5 Year Old Won't Behave in School

Updated on December 08, 2006
L.G. asks from Coshocton, OH
4 answers

My daughter is 5, When I pick her up from school (this is preschool) I am told "She had a bad day" "She was in time out again for disrupting the class" "She won't listen in circle time" "She is making animal noises instead of listening" "While in time out today she continusly "jabbered" instead of sitting quietly" "She is a class clown" "She is instigating the other children to misbehave"
I have talked to her (all she says is "I wanted to play"), I have taken privlages away like watching Tv after school, I have even told her if she does not start listening she will not get the doll she wants for christmas (and I hate that one because i know when christmas comes i will give it to her anyway (I went through heck to get it) because it is all she asked for (very expensive) and she behaves at home most of the time.)... but still I am getting no where. She will behave for a day or so then go right back to being disruptive. I have tried to find a connection between morning routine and behavior at school,(what she eats, when/how I waken her, how much sleep she gets the night before, if we are rushed or if we get to take our time) I can find no negative connection or positive. Currently I have made a rule that if she plays while she supose to learn in school, then she will study instead of play when she gets home. I have her writting her name over and over (tracing) this will help for the day, but I need an idea to help her WANT to listen at school. This is an on going problem and if it continues she may be asked not to come back to her private school, I fear.

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So What Happened?

thank you for your responce, (my child was diagnosed by a phycitrist by the way, you can never go by what someone untrained "thinks" (no matter how much that think they know lol that's why we pay people with a MD in the title) when it comes to a real medical/mental disorder, I have been guilty of it myself; (I mentioned to the mom i think she should have her boys tested for autisem as gently as I could, which from what i'd read on it I was pretty sure they has it) my suspicions of the two kids in my day care came back correct "autisem" ) so far the only thing i see wrong in her school is a lack of stern disaplin from one teacher there (she speaks a little to sweet and forgiving no matter what a child is doing), but she is getting better, my daughter actually likes this school, I had her in one that she hated before this. So far the issue is looking up, though i know we have a long way to go yet...to my helpful teacher; yes I know her history... she has rapid cycling bipolar with possible psycotic tendencies, currently we are not medicating since I feel she is too young yet (I would hate to disrupt her still forming mind) For the IQ suggestion: Yes.. and her IQ is high as was her biological fathers and myself (just biological aunt but I hear it can run in the gene line) (mine is in the upper 160's and his closer to 170, of course with my dislexia it's hard to believe sometimes lol, I had her tested around 3.5 and the test came back around 6 year in development in most areas.. obviously i will know more as she ages if she will need more advanced schooling to keep her interested; as I was for it)... but the time outs in question starts before they begin any lessions... however that is a good point and I will bring the possibility up to the teachers thanks!

More Answers



answers from Columbus on

Hi L.,

I, Too, am an adoptive mother of an active little girl. I adopted her from foster care so I know some of her background. I am fortunate ienough toknow that there is a history of mental illness in her birth family so I have something to work with. If you know any of her birth history, that may be a good place for you to start too.

Also, I would ask for a conference with her teacher and see if there is something helpful your daughter can do if she chooses not to participate in Circle time. If it is important to you that she be part of that large-group time; maybe she can assist the teacher by holding the book, passing out instruments, manipulating the calendar pieces; whatever they are doing. As a teacher, I can tell you that there are many things she can be doing to be drawn into the group so that she won't be disruptive. That is not to say she will be a perfect angel, but she can be more engaged if the teacher is willing to work at it a little.

Good Luck
L. M.



answers from Cincinnati on

Sounds like you have and are going to have your hands full. I often say Motherhood the gift that keeps on giving. I usually say that when I am cleaning up after someone has thrown up.

Sounds like you have a good handle on your daughters needs. Let me throw out an idea. Last year my son was in a at home preschool. The teacher was getting her degree in nueropsychology. My son was diagnosed by her with what ever she was studying that week. She thought he was bi-polar, had oppositional defiance disorder, ADD. He spent a lot of time in time out.

He had to come home one day because he hit someone in the face. He still talks about getting kicked out of school. She swears that she was watching the whole interaction and the hit was unprovoked. Well almost a year has gone by since he was in that school and he still talks about the day he was kicked out of school. He asks why the little boy he hit wasn't kicked out too. When I asked he said he hit me in the eye that is why I hit him back. That doesn't make it okay that our son hit someone but it does give some explination for his behavior. Before my son was in time out all the time I realized there was always a black sheep at this school that the teacher would slowly weed out. She would do this by make the boundaries smaller and smaller and nearly impossible for anyone to achieve.

This year he is in a new preschool, he loves it and they love him. He told the teacher about being kicked out of his old preschool and she asked me if that was true. I explained that he had to leave early one day but he was not kicked out of the school. She also said is it true he had to sit in time out all the time I said that is true. She could not believe it. He is very well behaved in his new preschool. What we have noticed at home is that he is very sensitive and wants to be the good kid. Once he has done something wrong he needs to punished then let it go. If it is harped on he will continue to misbehave. I understand, he lives up to your expectations of him. My mom likes to keep mentioning the bad deed all day even after the incident is over and punishment has been served. I have pointed out to her she has to let it go. Once he does his time in time out we need not bring it up again.

I am in no way saying your school is not good. I had no idea my son was so miserable were he was. Interestingly enough his older sisters have come forward with stories that happened when hey were there too. I keep saying why didn't you tell me when this was going on. I knew something was up when the reports I was getting was so different from what I was seeing at home. I do know my son was not ready to be away from me for as many hours as he was. I changed my schedule so I spend with him.

Good bless you for taking care of your special little girl.



answers from Dayton on

Your daughters issues may have nothing at all to do with her medical history and more to do with the simple fact that she is very intelligent. How does she do in school? I have a similar problem with my daughter and there is no medical history there. She is just quite intelligent and finds a lot of things in school mediocre and easy. She gets bored and then becomes distracted and starts talking or playing when she shouldn't. I can't tell you what the problem is and all I can do is offer another theory to your dilemma. Just keep in mind there may be nothing wrong with her except a higher IQ.



answers from Cincinnati on

It sounds like she handles home very well because she is use to it and you can intervene quickly when you see changes occuring. At school on the other hand, they don't always have that opportunity. If she could be redircted or given something more active to do it would probably help her learning. I know that this is a hard thing to accomplish in a school setting. Keeping open communication with the teacher is the best thing you can do, maybe together the two of you can come up with solutions so that she isn't in time out so much and is participating more in a good learning enviornment....

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