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shamlanair
shamlanair asks:
Q:

My student does not socialise in class but is the total opposite at home. She is 5 years old. Her parents are worried and are asking me to help.

A new sibling just arrived about 10 months ago. She is not creative in class and constantly needs to be urged to speak and play to her friends and teachers. But her parents say that she is very active at home, plays with children her age at the playground and is always making things out of recyclables at home. I have also noticed that she gets jealous when I speak to her other classmates. Nowadays, I make it a point to speak to her more and also hug her. But it is not working. Please help.
In Topics: Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
May 15, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

It's great to hear that your student's parents are concerned enough about their daughters behavior that they were willing to bring it to your attention. You seem like a very compassionate and understanding teacher and it's great that you are sharing those gifts with the children you teach.  

It sounds like your student is experiencing some difficulty adjusting to their new sibling.  It's very common for children to begin acting out in new ways when big changes in their life occur, such as the birth of a new sibling or moving.  I would encourage you to make a few suggestions to the parents of your student.  First, encourage them to be sure that they are using consistent routeins with their daughter.  Try to maintain a regular schedule before and after school.  Also, have a consistent bedtime and routein that leads up to bedtime, such as getting pajamas on, brushing teeth, and reading a book.  

In addition to consistent routeins, encourage them to stay consistent with discipline.  Kids look to their parents for praise when they do something correct, and also for correction when they do something wrong.  Whether they will admit it or not, kids do like rules and limitations because that shows them that their parents do care about what they are doing.  It's not helpful for a child to lose all negative consequences just because mom and dad are trying to go "easy" on them because they have to adjust to someone new in the house.  Staying consistent will show them that not everything in their life is changing.

It's common for children to feel like they are not important when a new baby arrives because their mom and dad's daily life begins to revolve around the baby. The older child still needs to feel like they are a priority in their parents life, so it's important to spend extra "one-on-one" time with them.  Each individual parent needs to spend some quality alone time with the oldest child doing an activity that is special to them.  It doesn't have to cost money.  A special activity could mean taking an hour to take their child to the library so they can pick out a new book, or having a picnic lunch in their back yard.  Spending one on one time will make that child feel loved and important.  

You are also welcome to give your student's parents the Boys Town National Hotline number.  Our counselors are here to talk to parents 24 hours a day.

Boys Town National Hotline
1-800-448-3000

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Additional Answers (2)

MirandaB
MirandaB writes:
There's a great, fairly new, book that might help. It's called "Feelings to Share from A to Z" by Todd and Peggy Snow. It's really helped my kids understand—and more importantly—express their feelings. My daughter is 8 now. It talks about being shy, jealous, etc, (there's a feeling for every letter of the alphabet). It was really helpful for having discussions and addressing behavior associated with feelings such as you describe. I wish it were in every classroom. It's for ages 4 and up (but I think there's a board book version out there, too). My kids teacher appreciated having it in her class (we donated it after we were done with it at home). Good luck! (Oh- I just looked it up...you can find it in the web link below!)
> 60 days ago

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aldric
aldric writes:
put her at a table with other kids around and have the teacher ask each child to talk about something that they did that was fun to them that they want to talk about, it could be about family or about friends as long as they open up and say something,saying something is better then not saying anything at all
> 60 days ago

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