Parents repeatedly ask me for guidance in dealing with their Kindergartners who are misbehaving. Several factors could contribute to your child’s behavior issues and if the behavior issues escalate to such a stage that the inappropriate behaviors happen several times during a given school day, then it is time to investigate what is really going on. Any one of the following things could be causing problems for your child:
- An inexperienced teacher
- A teacher who uses papers to keep your child busy as a way of controlling the classroom
- A child who is overwhelmed with paperwork that he/she needs to complete and he/she is not developmentally ready to do them
- A child who never finishes all of the work and never is able to have ‘free time’ or ‘free choice’ and watches classmates play while he/she is still attempting to finish work
- A child who is not given the opportunity to play at school
- A child who is just too young and needs one more year of growing up time (keep in mind this means emotional immaturity and has nothing to do with brain power)
When the written discipline notes come home (or by phone, or by email) daily, then you must request a meeting with the classroom teacher and attempt to work together to develop a better behavior plan that will work for your child. Explain to the teacher that you want a successful child who can and will succeed at school. If you are not happy with the teacher’s response, request a meeting with the school principal, again stating that you want success for your child. Most principals will not meet with you until you first meet with the classroom teacher, so start there before moving up the ladder to administration. There could also be medical issues such as ADD, and ADHD affecting your child’s concentration at school and these can only be diagnosed by a medical professional. Be an advocate for your child, when he/she repeatedly acts out at school, he/she is trying to tell you something, you just have to work on the puzzle to try to figure it all out. Good Luck!