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helpmeplease
helpmeplease asks:
Q:

I need help: my daughter is 6 years old, is smart and bright, gets great grades but acts out in school.

my daughter is acting out in school but i dont know why she gets borad then she bugg other students an will not listen to teacher what do i do  help
In Topics: Back to school, Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago

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Expert

MomSOS
Nov 13, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

I agree with many of the suggestions made by dgraab re dealing with the issue of your daughter's acting out.  Speaking to the teacher, evaluating the effectiveness of the consequences being employed for both negative and positive behaviors, and examining her routine at home are all solid ideas that have potential for helping with this problem.  

I would add a couple of thoughts for you to consider.  First, it might be helpful to ask the teachers and staff who work with your daughter to do a little simple research for a week or two or three.  See if they are willing to notice what the antecedent conditions are to the acting out.  In other words, what happens before she starts the negative behaviors? During what activities is she appearing bored?

Is the boredom being verbalized, or is there some non verbal behavior that the teachers are labeling as "bored?"  Identifying the conditions that precede a behavior can lead to strategies that might help extinguish it.

Another thought is this. What appears as "bored" can be the outward appearance of an inner emotional or psychological dilemma.  You describe your daughter as "smart" and "bright." Why not sit down with her at a quiet time when you can give her your undivided attention, and ask her what is causing her to "bug" the other kids? Six year olds can say a good deal. It may not always be direct, but if you listen carefully, you will get clues and ideas about cause and correction.

There are experts in the child behavior field who recommend collaborating with the child on a solution.  You can gently tell her that "This behavior has become a problem in your class.  What do you think would be a better choice. What can you  do to make a better choice?"

Avoid shaming and blaming.  Look at choices, consequences and solutions. If you have received information from the teachers about the antecedent conditions to the acting out, you can have a conversation with your daughter that is specific to  what sets the behavior in motion. You will probably need to have more than one conversation with your daughter. This is to be expected.  Also, the collaborative approach is not  designed to be used instead of the other suggestions, but rather in tandem with them.

For example, if your daughter can think of a better choice to use in class when one of the antecedent situations (that can be revealed by the teachers' "research")  happens, you can encourage her to use that choice behavior instead of the one that is problematic. You can talk about how she is going to remind herself to use the new behavior. You can give her positive reinforcement for her efforts when she begins to use replacement behaviors.  Remember, specific comment on achievement is more reinforcing than general praise.  Your positive attention can also be a great reinforcer.  

If your efforts fail to begin yielding results in a month or two, or if the behavior worsens, consider psychological testing. The school will probably be able to make a recommendation. However, from what you have said, it sounds like your child is capable of making better choices, and does do that some of the time.  This leads to the conclusion that the negative/interfering behaviors are in fact choices that she can control. With adult support, guidance and encouragement she can learn to make better choices that will lead to school success and positive self-regard.

Bette J. Freedson, LICSW, LCSW, CGP
Clinical Social Worker
JustAsk Expert
http://www.singlemomsos.com/index.html
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Additional Answers (4)

dgraab
dgraab , Parent writes:
Hi, I'm sorry to hear that you're having this issue with your daughter.

Have you talked to the teacher about how you and she (or he) can work together on this? For instance, perhaps the teacher could provide some advanced or extra work for your daughter to help keep her focused in class and solve the boredom issue, while you worked with her at home on improving her behavior. With the issues of bugging other students, and not listening to the teacher, you (and the teacher) may need to evaluate the effectiveness of the consequences she is currently receiving for those behaviors (and conversely, she made need more positive reinforcement for the good grades and other appropriate behavior you wish to see more of).

You may also need to examine the routine at home. According to school psychologist, Dr. Laurie Zelinger, Ph.D.: "First grade parents can best help their children weather what can be a bumpy (but exciting) year by focusing on making sure the child has a solid, familiar routine that allows him to get enough sleep, play out of doors, bathe and keep his room tidy, and practice any skills or hobbies in which he has taken an interest." This is excerpted from this article:
http://www.education.com/magazine/article/Dewifirstgrade/

More insights like this can be found in The Parent's Guide to First Grade: http://www.education.com/grade/first-grade/

I'm also including a link below to a resource center on discipline.

Good luck -- I hope you're able to find ways to help your daughter behave better in school.

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tuckercoyote
tuckercoyote writes:
I am a teacher (and a mother of two grown children) and I would suggest that together with her teacher, you come up with a plan that would reward her for positive behavior.  Make a chart that breaks her day into 15 minute segments. (set a timer)   When she can keep to herself for 15 minutes, she is rewarded with a sticker.  If she earns XX number of stickers, something special can happen - I would give her choices such as inviting a friend over, going to the park, a game night, etc.  After she can control herself for 15 minutes, increase the time to 20, 30 and so on.  I would not blame the problem on boredom, she needs to learn how to control her impulses and the sooner she can do that, the more she will learn.  There is more to education than just learning facts, children need to learn how to be respectful and polite.
> 60 days ago

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lilysprouts
lilysprouts writes:
well tell her what will happen if she keeps dping that help her give her th tips and tell what she can be if she stop then tell her she can do anything if she be a great student
> 60 days ago

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New'New
New'New , Student writes:
I used to be the same way smart and good in school but will not listen to the teacher and very talktive in class. I'm not sure exactly what you should do maybe reward her when she does good and punish her when she does bad like in her room for a saturday. If she does good a saturday out at the mall or for ice-cream. She will get the hang of things and start acting better.
> 60 days ago

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