A difficult 4 year old

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Katie Needs Help, Nov 5, 2010.

  1. I am having trouble with my 4 year old son at school. He started Prek at our private school and he can't seem to get along with his teacher. He will have a number of really good days and then he will have a really bad day. He will refuse to go to time out and he will throw things and he has told her that he will hurt someone with a marker or "put fire on them" (something he picked up from a movie). We have worked hard with the school and with him and with the teacher and have made some improvements in his listening and follow directions but he still keeps having these melt downs.

    We are strict parents and we don't let him do these things at home so I don't know why he is doing them at school. He is a happy kid but for some reason I cannot get him to get along with this teacher. She is not unfair but she is stern. Please help! I don't know what else to do.
  2. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Hi and welcome to our forum.

    If he's been on track developmentally and what you're seeing is way out of character for him (ie you haven't seen these behaviors in other settings) the first thing I would do is change him to another preschool and see if that helps. Sometimes the preschool/teacher/child just aren't a good match for each other. If the behaviors are the same in another preschool setting then I'd come back and look for help on getting some answers about what might be underlying the difficulties.

    Has he been on track developmentally in all areas, including speech?
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome.
    Have you had him evaluated? He isn't acting like your normal, average four year old...I'd contact a neuropsychologist. Sounds like you're good parents so that isn't it.
  4. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Something is triggering him there. Is he anxiety ridden? Is it happening at specific times of the day? Try to figure out the commonality in each event. That will help.
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree with SRL...before you jump to thinking that your little one is headed for the big house, see if he just doesnt need a better fit in another pre-k. I have a really great and precious granddaughter who is extremely well behaved for a 4 year old but she is getting a few naughty notes home herself because she just doesnt like the naps at school. What can we say? She hasnt napped since she was two! We cant change her because its a public school but I think she will work it out.

    If you think this teacher is a bit too stern, maybe try a Montessori school or something along those lines. Maybe he will do better in something like that. Especially if you see none of this behavior anywhere else but in this particular setting...I would try changing it first.
  6. He is developmentally on track if not ahead. His speech is good and he can clearly communicate and carry on a conversation. Academically he is very smart. He knows his alphabet, numbers, and some phonics. He LOVES music and has a great memory. The only area he is having issues is with behavior. It is like he will decide to defy that teacher and he won't back down once he has made that decision. When he is in the mood to listen and obey her, he is very very sweet.

    We live in a very small town and there are not really any other options in terms of moving him. He has always been a strong-willed child, but what is happening with this teacher has been out of character even for him. The incidents are usually at the same time of day. If he makes it past 9 a.m. then he is usually pretty good for the entire day.

    This teacher is far more structured then previous day care teachers. I know he doesn't like the structure, but that is something he will have to learn to deal with. When he comes home, he behaves perfectly fine (for the most part. He is 4). I am struggling with what I can do as the parent to get him to understand how important it is for him to behave at school. Last week, he was almost suspended because the teacher couldn't take it anymore.
  7. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Can you keep track of what he has for breakfast so you can identify if there is a specific food that might be triggering him on his bad days?
  8. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Wow, my daughter's school doesn't even start until 9am. Adding on to the thoughts of food as triggers, is snack time at his school around 9 and maybe he just isn't eating enough before that? Or maybe some kid on the playground before school is picking on him on those days? Does his getting up time change or stay steady? My daughter has difficulties some days because my work schedule isn't the same from day to day, and I'm not about to drag her out of bed at 5am every day to keep her on a steady schedule just because I have to drag her up that early once or twice a week.
  9. We actually do have issues with food so that is a good suggestion to start looking for a connection. They do have snack at 9 a.m. but he doesn't always eat it. We had another behavior problem this morning and so I got a chance to talk with his teacher a little bit more openly then you can in the principal's office. She really thinks that a big part of his problem is that he isn't being challenged enough and when they do story time, he is bored. Most of his behavior issues exist in the morning around story time. She also suggested that he get to school earlier so he has time to explore in centers before they move into story time.

    Thank you so much for all the good advice.
  10. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    What kind of food issues is he having?
  11. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Would they be willing to let him read quietly on his own during storytime if he's bored?
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Did you son have issues with loud noises, textures of food and material, trouble in crowds, etc? Being gifted doesn't mean the child gets bored and acts up. More often gifted kids are well behaved. in my opinion that isn't the reason he is acting out. There has to be more to it than that. Again JMO.