My Son's Behavior at School Is Out of Hand

Updated on March 20, 2010
M. asks from Phenix City, AL
5 answers

My 5 year old son's behavior is going from bad to worse. He is not following directions, causing arguments in class, not listening to his teacher (simple directions), his teacher said he has been in a bitter mood. When I drop him off in the morning he seems fine, tells me he will keep his behavior card on green and he comes home with it on yellow and red. We have told him he has to earn every thing, grounded him, taken things away, talked...
We do not know what to do. He is smart, high scores and did fine in pre-k. Any advice?

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So What Happened?

Thank you all for your advice.
My husband had lunch with Christopher today and came home to say that he was doing great!
We have moved his bed time up 30 min., he is required to do his chores around the house again, I have made a doctors appointment for him about his throat since he continues to try and clear it and has told me that it feels like there is something back there. We have decided to take him off the bus and pick him up so that he does not have the influences of the older kids. He assured me that he was tired of seeing what it was like to be a bad boy.
His teacher also did tell me that when he gets in the second grade they will test him for the gifted program. She said that he is very smart and she has wondered many times if she is not chall. him enough. They just do not test that early in K here. My husband and I are going to try and incorporate the at home reward system as well. A friend of mine told me about a web site that has great learning video type games for free and it was recomended to her be a teacher. When he does well at school he will have time set aside after his homework to play.
We will also see his couns. if things get out of hand again.
Thank you again to all of you for your advice, support and prayers.

More Answers



answers from Memphis on

I had the same problem with my son. His behavior follows the "lowest common denominator" in the classroom. When his teacher gave him extra, more challenging work, his behavior improved. Also, has anything else changed recently? New sibling? New school? New sleep patterns? Anything could affect his behavior.

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answers from Tampa on

Hi. I used to teach elementary and there are different things to look at. Like somebody else asked, have there been any changes? Is he a follower and is maybe being influenced in class? I'm assuming he's in K, so maybe it's just an adjustment period. But, I would set up a conference with the teacher and come up with a plan. The two of you might need to communicate daily for awhile. She could send home a small note each day with his name, date, and a smiley or non-smiley. If it's a smiley, that lets you know everything went well. If it's not a smiley, she can write a quick note to let you know what happened. That seemed to help the few students I had who were acting out. I met with one parent who brought his son to the meeting and we let him know together what was going to happen. The days that he came home with a smiley, he got to spend time with his parents playing games or whatever he wanted. The days he didn't get a smiley, he didn't get to play any games. Maybe he had to go to bed early or something. ANyway, you get the idea. We did that everyday for awhile and it made a huge difference. After awhile we went to sending it home once a week and then just dropped it because he didn't need it anymore.

He may also be the type of kid who needs a lot of positive reinforcement. WHen the little boy in my class was acting out, I just simply put him aside and just didn't focus on it. When he was good, I made a huge deal about it. His parents did too.

If his scores are high, he could also be bored. The last thing you want is a bored 5yo in a class! They simply act out. It's hard at that age because it's not as easy to just tell them to get a book and read. But, maybe she can have something for him to do when he's finished with his work.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Nashville on

It sounds like he could be bored. My daughter had some problems in K and 1st grade because she was bored to tears. She would get her stuff done and then sit and talk and spent alot of time in trouble. Her 1st grade teacher determined that she was way smarter than the rest of the kids in her class and had her tested for the gifted program. You might want to look into this. Contact the school's guidance counselor about testing him.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

My son's behavior started to slip at school recently...I looked at what we were doing differently, and realized the only thing was he was going to sleep later many evenings because we were letting him stay up to watch some of the Disney movies he "had" to see. We went back to our routine where bath and book were at 7:30 and he was in the bed lights out by 8, and the improvement was within days. We now know he gets over stimulated easily when he's tired. So it could just be he needs more sleep.

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answers from San Francisco on

This program was a huge help with our son. It’s called They help you set up a very intricate and effective behavior system in your house. To motivate the kids they have all kinds of games, treasure hunts, races and points. They also provide individual support through IM and email. Plus they get the kids to take pride in their own accomplishments.

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