5 Year Old with 2 Personalities…. Help!

posted 3 years ago in Parenting
Post # 2
Member
2696 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Are there other kids that are encouraging this behaviour? Maybe he enjoys the attention from the other children when he misbehaves?

Maybe ask him if there is somone in his class that bothers him? Something in particular he doesn’t like about the classroom setting? Maybe he is finding the schoolwork frustrating and needs extra help? Has he had his eyes checked to make sure it isn’t a vision problem causing his frustrations?

Good luck! I wish I could offer more. I can’t imagine how baffling this is to you!

Post # 3
Member
894 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Wow, that sounds tough.  Is there someone there that is bothering him, or causing trouble that he may be reacting to?  Also, does he get a solid 10 hours of sleep each night?  My dad is a family doctor and he’s talked about getting misbahaving children brought in to see if there’s something wrong with them, and he said that much of the time, it turns out that they’re getting unhealthy food plus too little sleep.  Once the parents change those two items, the kids are worlds better.  Just a thought.

I totally get you on taking away recess – that would have reformed me in a heartbeat!  Could you maybe go to school with him and sit in the back of the class to watch?  Pretend to work or something so he doesn’t think he’s being watched all the time, and then you might see what’s happening.  Then, since you’re the parent, it’ll a) be embarassing to get in trouble, b) you can chastise much more effectively than the school can (since really they can’t do a thing), and c) knowing your son better than the teachers, you might pick up on what’s bugging him.

Best of luck!  You sound like a good, consciencious mom doing a great job watching out for your son 🙂

Post # 4
Member
1473 posts
Bumble bee

I don’t have kids, so feel free to ignore my advice completely. But what if you started rewarding good behaviour instead? If he has a good day at school, he gets to go to the park, he gets to play on the tablet, etc. If you make a big deal out of good behaviours, lots of praise and attention, tell him you’re proud, etc. maybe he’ll start doing it more… It might work better than grounding him for a period of time, because eventually he he might feel he has nothing to lose as he’s grounded anyway.

Post # 5
Member
2895 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

 

MrsCallalily:  I was thinking the same thing as I read this.  Again, not a parent yet, but a mixture of rewards and punishments work very well.  Maybe a reward chart, and he can start earning back some of the privilages he has taken away.  X number of good reports earns him back X toy, continue to work his way up.  Make it vissual so he can see how long it is until he gets X so he knows what kind of work he has to do.  It is somewhat similar to what we have done when we take our nephew on long car trips.  We give him a GPS so he can see how long it is until we get there.

I will also agree on sleep.  The kids I do see on a regular basis (niece and nephew) are completely different when they have had enough sleep.  We also have a friend who finally put his kid on a sleep schedule once she started having bad nightmares, and it fixed that right up.  He use to take her out with him at nights to hang out with other friends, and now that he doesn’t and lets her sleep instead, her behavior and attitude is a lot better. 

Post # 7
Member
2696 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

bkprettygirl:  If they are in close proximity of one another, they definitely need to be separated. That could be a huge reason as to why he feels encouraged to misbehave!

Post # 9
Member
2134 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

bkprettygirl:  I don’t have kids, but I was (and am getting back into being) a teacher and I worked with kids about your son’s age.

Instead of negative punishments, maybe you could try a positive reward system. This would work especially well if you could work with your son’s teacher.

For example, I had a really tough student during my first year of teaching. Taking things away just didn’t work, and would lead to emotional meltdowns in the classroom that would distract all of the other students. Instead, we instituted a system of positive reinforcement – every time he did what he was supposed to (ex. walked quietly in the hallways, kept his hands to himself in line, etc.), he got a sticker on his sticker chart. After he got x number of stickers, he got a reward – time on the computer, a prize from the Dollar Store, etc. It worked wonders, and as time went on, he got bigger rewards – but he had to earn more stickers. It is most effective if you identify certain “problem” behaviors and give stickers specifically for those behaviors. For example “being good in school” is too broad – things need to be narrowed down to actionable steps he can take to improve his behavior.

If you could either do something like that at home (based on daily reports from the teacher), it could help. Or, if his teacher could implement something like that in school, that would be great too!

Good luck!

Post # 10
Member
158 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: February 2016

Because he is so well behaved at home I doubt diet and sleep cycle have much to do with it. It sounds like he is just being influenced by the other kids in school in which case there is little you can do other than teaching him how to be an independent person. My sister had issues with this when she was younger. She wanted to be “Accepted.” If he is an only child this makes even moe sense. It’s more about the attention and acceptance than anything else. 

Post # 13
Member
2134 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

bkprettygirl:  Definitely talk to your son’s teacher – as a teacher myself, I would do basically anything to help control problem behaviors in my classroom. I would have been SO grateful for a proactive parent coming to me with suggestions about how to work with their child.

As for the behaviors, I found it was most helpful when we narrowed things down as much as possible and it really depends on the context of when the problem behaviors were occurring. If your son is having a hard time keeping his hands and feet to himself in line, he could earn a sticker every time he walks from one place to another without touching another child. For “respecting other’s space,” (again, it depends on the context of when he’s having trouble), the specific behavior to reward could be a sticker for every time he sits on the rug with the class and stays in his “area.” Following directions is probably too broad, too – does he have trouble at certain times of the day or with certain directions? I would choose one thing he struggles with (ex. raising his hand before speaking) and reward him with a sticker every time he does that. As he improves, you can (and should) change the specific behaviors that are rewarded. Just make sure he understands every time you (or the teacher) do this!

Post # 14
Member
2134 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

bkprettygirl:  This is the kind of thing I’m talking about: https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/SkCRhDkxd5SgPXPRnW9RAwQ8B2F4czIdT6rFCgISYC8?feat=embedwebsite

Under goals, I’d list the specific behaviors. To start, you may not want to do whole days, but each time he exhibits the correct behavior. As his behavior starts to improve, you can do stickers for half of the day and then eventually the full day of exhibiting correct behaviors.

Post # 15
Member
158 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: February 2016

bkprettygirl:  Seeing school as a social environment instead of one where you learn is definitely a problem. I imagine he enjoys the company of the other kids so much that he cannot focus on why he’s there. (And he’s a five yr old boy so this is totally normal!) Is there any subject in particular you think he would enjoy more? I would suggest focusing on the “fun” part of learning. Every chold is different so it’s hard to determine what that would look like for him. My nephew totally loves the musuem of natural science with all the dinosaur exhibits. He also greatly enjoys video games. In the past I’ve bought him educational video games and let him explore his interest in science. Its escpecially important for them to learn that there is an appropriate time to play and an appropriate time to focus on learning. If he can figure out how to seperate the two he will be better off. 

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