When Misbehaving is Mentioned at a Kindergarten Parent Teacher Conference

Many Kindergarten parents have now had their first (or perhaps only) Kindergarten Parent Teacher Conference.  Your child’s teacher shared your child’s strengths, weaknesses and goals for the second quarter.  Some of the goals for many children are: learning to listen to directions the first time that they are given, learning to share, learning to stay on task while working and following class/school rules of appropriate behavior.  I would like to talk about the last one.  If it was mentioned to you that your child is having difficulty following the rules of the Kindergarten classroom, please listen! Some samples of what parents say to me after I mention behavior difficulties: “Oh, he/she didn’t have any problems in preschool” (maybe that is true but most preschool classes have 8 or 10 children, not 26 children like me), or “I don’t have any problems at home” to which my response is ‘when was the last time you had 25 other children in your house and tried to control your child as well as the other 25?’ Teachers are telling you about the behavior for a reason.  We want to work with you so that your child will have as successful a year in Kindergarten as possible.  Children with behavioral difficulties miss out on much in Kindergarten as more time than is necessary is spent dealing with the child’s misbehaving.  Listen to the times that your child is out of line behaviorally. Is it during quiet time when he/she has trouble attending to a story or to a lesson being taught? Is it during transition from one activity to another and your child sees this as free time to roam and act out?  Is it during clean up time when your child does not wish to help out and acts out instead?  Children are looking for consistency in their lives and it is so helpful to teachers when parents handle behavior at home with their child the same way that it is handled at school.  Children are smart and realize very quickly when their parents are not supporting the teacher at school.  If your child’s classroom behavior could use some fine tuning, you are the most important person to see that your child gets the message and for him/her to know that you are in full support of ALL that is happening in the Kindergarten classroom.

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