Help with my son...

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by mommy3boys, Feb 25, 2008.

  1. mommy3boys

    mommy3boys Companion

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    Feb 25, 2008

    I read everyday, I actually consider this my second home since I joined last year. I looked to this forum for advice about testing, classes, sustituting, and eventually will need advice about student teaching and finally finding a job. After that I will be just as needy and desperate as everyone else, I can't wait.:whistle:

    Anyway I need some advice about my eldest son, I am the single mom of 3 boys and my oldest is a very good, sensitive little boy. He is impulsive and easily distracted. He is not ADHD just immature. He is in 7 years old and in 2nd grade. He is constantly pulling a card or I get little notes from his teacher (I sub alot at his school, I know her very well). He just got suspended for the second time this school year for fighting, he never instigates, he just defends himself and reacts before thinking. The last time someone spit in his face and he slapped him, this time someone pulled his shirt and he pushed the other little boy away. Both got suspended. I am at my wits ends.:help:

    He did very well when he was in soccer and during the summer for swimming. What other things can I do to help him make better choices and utililize some of that energy he has in much more productive activities. I am doing my methods courses right now so until May 21 I really can't take hime anywhere Monday-Thursday. But on Fridays, Saturdays I am willing and very able to do something that would help him improve his behavior. His teacher says he just needs time to mature, but I want to involve him in more productive activities.

    What would be beneficial? cub scouts, big brother, indoor soccer, karate.

    His father is no help and not very involved in their lives. My brother lives too far to be helpful. Grandfather works swing.:(

    Thanks in advance.
    Ana
     
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  3. MrL

    MrL Companion

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    Feb 25, 2008

    It was the exact same thing for me. ADD, high IQ, picked on in the halls. I didn't realize how many fights I got into until I went to a Bar Mitzvah and my friends were all telling battle stories.

    The first thing that helped me was a psych who made me realize why the other kids were using me to get attention. The second thing that helped was having a peer group that respected me. I found it through tabletop role-playing games. If you're the club Dungeon Master, everyone looks up to you as storyteller and referee. I met my wife through gaming. But you can replace Dungeons & Dragons with anything as long as its a social group. I've had other teachers tell me that my Robotics club serves that purpose who some of their downtrodden students.

    Third was that, instead of punching, I grabbed for people's next and started squeezing. People were too afraid to fight the skinny, lanky metal kid if they thought he was crazy. I don't think that'll work in a post-Columbine world, though.
     
  4. mommy3boys

    mommy3boys Companion

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    Feb 26, 2008

    Thanks for your suggestions. My son also wears glasses and is into science and building things. He struggles with staying on task unless he is building something, then he can work for hours. He hangs around the neighborhood younger kids since they look up to him and are much more active and fun loving.

    Any other suggestions. He is only 7 and not quite into the computer craze.

    Thanks.
    Ana
     
  5. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Feb 26, 2008

    Ha! My 8 year old can build power points, etc. My 11 year old hasn't a clue. They both love gaming though.

    I'm going to throw one thing out there just for arguement sake. ADHD children have "young brains" and thus ADHD and immaturity tend to go hand in hand.

    What you may need to do is sit through and discuss his common issues, what his teacher percieves to be his triggers (she can do an ongoing observation if she doesn't know), the set up of his day (especially lesson formats and transitions), etc. What is throwing him into a tailspin the most. Even if you don't diagnosis him as ADHD, there is no harm in trying some of the strategies to see if they work. You and the teacher may need to have a trouble shooting session (without telling her what to do or attacking her). For example, if after recess he gets too hyper and is still talkative and she is ready to have a math lecture (no matter how brief it is). She may need to consider where to place him, how to calm him and maybe giving him something to work with while he is attending to her lesson. That's just a real example I get from my entire class (not ADHD) (except the last part). Our class actually has to be quiet when they enter the room until we are ready to start because it was a trigger time. We also had to abandon dodge ball because that was a trigger. I'm not suggesting these are triggers for your child but rather than looking at all the mess ups he makes, maybe the better approach would be to identify why and change the setting, etc.

    At home you may need to have a strong structure. This includes play time. During the summer, for example, I made 4 shoe boxes with activities. I call it my summer fun box. When my kids got bored, I pulled them out. You can set aside 10 minutes at the end of every night (or certain nights) to play short games such as bingo, tic tac toe, etc at a certain time of the night (after he has finished everything). This will give him bonding time with you and something to look forward to. You can even set the timer and then tell him it is bath time.

    Another thing is to make fun puzzle pages or something different and let him have "homework" at the same time you do. Discuss what you are learning. Also do a visual chart. He sounds like someone that would benefit from that structure and benefit from a visual aid.
     
  6. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Feb 26, 2008

    I forgot to add, the key is to play a lot of ideas and plan out your plan of attack ahead so that you are scrambling every week or everyday. YOu already have your plan ready.

    Buy some models, etc. Save them for a day when you need the break. I do that with highlight magazines. My youngest loves to build things with dominos. He will get out his tub and play beside me. Sometimes older kids like to have some purpose though.
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Feb 26, 2008

    If he's into science and building, would it be possible to get him to see the classroom and the tasks in it in terms of structures and patterns? Can you perhaps help him see reading and writing as ways of building meaning? The metaphors might be a reach for him at age 7 - but it's just possible that they'll resonate for him.
     
  8. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I think he needs hands on type lessons. It won't always be possible for the teacher to provide but you might brainstorm with her.
     
  9. mommy3boys

    mommy3boys Companion

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    Feb 26, 2008

    cutNglue,

    Thank you so much for your suggestions, I will do the shoebox activity. I will make one for each one of my boys, that way they can take it with them on errands and short trips. I will work on having more structure in my home. I think I have been slacking in this area. I don't get home until 7:20 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 9:20 on Wednesday but this is only until May 21 and believe me I'm counting the weeks and days.

    I will follow through with some of your suggestions. His teacher and I have had alot of informal and formal meetings. Just today she told me that she was surprised that he was suspended, had been doing so great lately. She has been teaching for 25 years and says he is not ADHD or a trouble maker, he just has trouble staying on task and gets easily distracted if he's working on something that he's not interested in.

    Thank you for your suggestions.
    Ana
     
  10. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Feb 26, 2008

    It doesn't seem as though he has a male figure in his life that is consistent. I think a male role model is VERY important. Big brothers would be a wonderful idea for him.
     
  11. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Feb 26, 2008

    You might still ask for a formal evaluation of his ADHD/ADD tendancies. High distracibility fits both. I have one child in my room this year who is definitely not hyperactive, but he is textbook ADD. For a child I had last year I kept a tension ball by his desk. When he needed it (especially during tests) I told him to get it and use it. He usually rolled it back and forth on his leg or just sat and squeezed it, but when he had it, he worked with very little movement or distraction. Good luck!!
     
  12. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Feb 26, 2008

    Soccer would be great to get him to practice focusing on a goal and working with others towards a goal. If you can, hand pick what team he goes to, especially find out which coach has a good reputation for being patient and accepting children as they are and working with them.

    The cub scouts is also great. My male students almost all go to the same cub scouts and they interact in a different way there. I highly recommend the scouts for boys! They can shine there in a way they might not in the classroom.

    Otherwise, let me applaud you for working to find a solution for your son. Is your principal, or another male teacher, willing and skilled to work with an impulsive young boy? It sure takes patience and skill! Our P is very skilled at this and is helping kids who don't have a strong father figure by talking with them EVERY time there is a violent incident, and helping them think it through and come up with their own plan. I would advise trying to get a strong and reliable male figure in the school to work with him.

    The idea of getting him some counseling is great also! Just tap into every avenue to have skilled people working with him. Whether he is ADHD or not, he needs lots of opportunity to interact in good ways. Hang in there! He is so blessed to have a mom who is so caring!
     
  13. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Feb 26, 2008

    Tae Kwon Do is also a good outlet for energy, a potential source of positive male interaction, structured and disciplined, and leads to rewards. Also, a good place to interact with other kids his age.
     
  14. MrL

    MrL Companion

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    Feb 26, 2008

    Hey, if he likes building things, does your district have a SECME elementary-level program?
     
  15. mommy3boys

    mommy3boys Companion

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    Feb 27, 2008

    I think I'm going to look into various things. I sent for information on the big brother program. I have 3 boys and I think overall this will be an excellent opportunity for all my boys. I looked into tae kwon do but they practice during the week and right now I just can make it and I don't have someone who can take him consistently. I will be doing indoor soccer, its voluntary and even though he won't make practice, he will get to play every saturday morning. He really liked that. I told him it would give him a chance to play a little before the season begins in August.

    I also talked to their dad, he has promised to call them 2-3 times a week and be more consistent picking them up on Fridays and on alternate weekends. But ultimately I'm the only consistent in their lives and so I need to make sure I do my best with them.

    Thank you guys, I really appreciate your suggestions.
    Ana
     

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