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Discipline problems at school

  1. #1
    shwetakhanna is offline Registered User
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    Discipline problems at school

    My 3.5 yr old daughter started K1 last month. Today morning , i went in to drop her so that i could have a brief chat with the teacher. Her teacher told me she is having some serious ***scipline problems with her. She is not naughty in class, she doesn't fight with anybody, BUT she doesn't follow instructions. Like, when its time to tidy up, she will continue playing igonring what she has heard and the teacher has to hold her hand and make her do it. Or for story time when she tells evryone to sit down , she will not listen and continue doing what she is doing. The teacher said that she has tried to do time out with her class, not let her go out to play, but somehow she seems to have no problem with that and she will find something to keep herself amused/involved wherever she is. She said she has run out of ideas to make her feel that she is not supposed to be doing what she has done. Understanding the teacher's language is not a problem because for her english is her first language. When she asks her do you know why i am sad, she doesn't know the reason.

    I am totally confused. She is fine at home, can't say perfect but yes she is a well behaved child.
    Just don't know how to tackle her. I have told the teacher that i will think/observe and discuss some solution with her ina couple of days.

    Any suggestions on how to find a solution to this problem?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    pixelelf is offline Registered User
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    earlier this year, my 3.5 year old son had the same complaints from his teachers. not listening and following instructions, intimidating other children. when he has a time out, he fiddles around and amuse himself. he still does do the odd "i didnt hear you" thing but, he is getting better at listening and following instructions.

    we discussed with the teachers and agreed to do a reward chart, which we were already doing at home. it is a chart to fill the sky with stars. at home, when he finishes a certain task like tidying up, remembering to put his dirty clothes in his laundry or putting his shoes back in the cupboard after coming back from outside, he gets a star. after 10 stars, he gets to pick a $10 stationary (he loves art and craft) at the shop. and if something he wants is more than $10, he can accumulate his stars to earn it.

    now. this is the part it gets tricky. that day, he did something very serious, poked a kid's eye unprovoked. the kid was alright, thank goodness, but we felt he really did need to learn. so, we (the teachers, my son and me) agreed to hand over his favourite dinosaur for them to safe keep. he had to earn 10 stars to free his dinosaur. he can earn them by playing nicely with other children, listening in class, following instructions. only as we were walking home, he realised the gravity of the issue (that his dino, was really taken away and this IS it!) he started to panic and cry. after he calmed down, i explained to him the entire situation that he needed help to keep his emotions in check, not hurt other people and to listen more. he accepted it.

    it took him 6 weeks to earn 10 stars at school. the day he freed his dino, he was so proud of himself. he told me, he's capable of listening and making friends happily and not hurt anyone anymore!

    and that's how we did it :) he doesnt need this chart at school anymore.
    miran, inkmink and shwetakhanna like this.

  3. #3
    mummymoo is offline Registered User
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    pixielf, god bless your heart and your son's. I'm so glad it worked out for you both and I know how hard it must have been to take his dino away from him!

  4. #4
    pixelelf is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by mummymoo View Post
    pixielf, god bless your heart and your son's. I'm so glad it worked out for you both and I know how hard it must have been to take his dino away from him!
    thank you, yes it was tough but effective. esp the part about being a good hero, freeing his dino with good behaviour.

  5. #5
    lesliefu is offline Registered User
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    my teacher made the same complaints to me about my daughter too last year and like your teacher, our teacher was clueless as to what to do. in the end, i suggested to the teacher that she not use time out as a means of punishment (as she didn't "get it") but to continually reinforce the good behavior by being a good role model ( the teacher should tidy up and not just tell the students to tidy up) and pairing my daughter up with people who tidied up after themselves. it worked...though it took about a month! learning my example is the easiest, well, i think for kids that don't understand the concept of punishment then giving them the "right" action to follow is the most sensible thing.
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  6. #6
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    shwetakhanna,

    Have you tried discussing things with your daughter?

    I don't know what type of school your daughter is in but I assume it is a an English Medium of Instruction (EMI) kindergarten because you mentioned that English is her first language so she should be able to understand when the teacher speaks to her in English. But, these are my thoughts...

    If your daughter is going to a local school their definition of "behavior problem" might be different from yours. My so is considered to be somewhat of a "difficult-to-handle" student at his kindergarten (he's also about 3.5 and in K2) because he's just more active and inquisitive than the local children. My son is actually very well-behaved but he doesn't always just fall-into-line like his classmates do--especially if he's truly interested in something else.

    I don't think that the teacher asking questions like, "Do you know why I'm sad?" is very useful. First of all, it's a bit emotionally manipulative (is the teacher REALLY sad about your daughter's behavior?) and second it's very indirect. It could even be confusing for a 3.5-year-old. It would be better for her to just make statements like, "[Your Daughter's Name], I am not happy because when I asked you to stop playing and pick up your toys you did not listen to me. This is not okay. Next time you must do what I ask you to or________ will happen." Then follow through with what she says.

    Also, if the discipline (time out) is not effective the teacher needs to find a different discipline that is effective--with your help. As pixelelf detailed--she and her son's teacher came up with a discipline that would truly affect her son. Only you know what is important to your daughter and what isn't and what type of punishment/reward system will work with her. A good teacher should have a large arsenal of different approaches she can apply as well. But, you do need to step in and talk to your daughter about this.

    I don't know about your daughter but if my son was having problems like that at school I could sit him down and talk to him about it and I'm fairly confident the issue would be easily resolved. I think it's especially important to try to grasp WHY she is behaving that way--that will give you clues about how to approach the problem.

    Children do act different in different environments so it's really not surprising that she may act differently at school than she does at home.
    Ai li likes this.
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  7. #7
    shwetakhanna is offline Registered User
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    thanka2
    She has started K1 in ESF kindy last month, and Esf is a very liberal school. They are not very strict and encourage kids to be their ownself. What concerns me more is that that before that she was gng for nurser to Tutortime, and there her teachers said she is one of the best students they have ever had. She never fights with any other child, is good at sharing toys with other kids and infact looks after other younger kids very well. Whatever her teachers told her, she would just say"As you say so" and quickly do it. She was just fantastic in school and i always heard praises for her behaviour in school. And now it seems things have changed completely in less than a month.
    What i think is that she is a very expressive child, she likes to talk and share her experiences. In the last school, as there were less kids in the class and she was among the older ones, every morning she would go and talk to her english teacher for about 5-10min and tell him a whole lot of stories of the day before and beacuse of that, she started to have a great bonding with him and would quickly do whatever he told her to do.
    Now here as there are more kids in the class and the whole lot appears to enter the class together, i think she is not able to communicate with the teacher what she has in her mind and maybe is finding ways to be get some attention by being defiant. I understand that as they grow older and go to higher classes, they would be getting less personal attention and we need to teach her to cope well with this.
    I will be meeting the teacher again in a couple of days, and will discuss this issue with her. In the meantime will talk to her and see what she has to say.

  8. #8
    shwetakhanna is offline Registered User
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    pixelelf
    I was also thinking of something like the reward chart, i got stuck at the point that she is not showing any behaviour which might harm any other child. She plays well with other kids, doesn't hit anybody, no snatching or fighting ,readily shares her toys. Infact she looks forward to her playdates and loves to mingle with other kids. The only problem is following instructions when i comes to clean up or eating her snack or when the teacher wants them to do a certain task. She wants to do it her own way, at her own pace.

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