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Old 01-21-2011, 04:59 AM
 
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
34,671 posts, read 42,807,149 times
Reputation: 57387

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A friend is having the following issue with her child, and although I'm a well experienced mother, I'm not sure my advice is right.

A very bright and personable 7 yr old boy, has started having meltdowns in school, triggered by minor things which quickly escalated, resulting in the mother leaving work and taking him home at the school's request.

It doesn't take a PhD to figure out that the child's payoff is getting to go home and spend time with Mom. The parents are divorced, and custody is shared. The child doesn't like to go to his father's. It's a given that the child is suffering from the family dynamic, although all the players are caring and civil.

My opinion is that the school is not handling the situation correctly in insisting that the child be removed from school. The child's teacher did not handle the original incident correctly in the first place, and the child (who had a right to be upset) should have been dealt with by the teacher more effectively. One of the incidents was that another child stole his special pencil, and he politely raised his hand to tell the teacher and the teacher did not make the other child give back the pencil. So, since he was afraid of crying in front of the other kids, he went under his desk and wouldn't come out. Of course, this was now a big disruption to the whole class.

My friend is very upset at having to go deal with this (3x this week) and feels like a terrible mother. I feel for her.

Am I right to think that the child should be sitting in the principal's office or some other boring place, not made to leave school? How would this have been handled at your child's school?
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Old 01-21-2011, 05:38 AM
 
Location: Midwest transplant
1,985 posts, read 4,792,958 times
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Guidance counselor or school psychologist~some one on one time with an adult, but definitely not sent home. He's manipulating now, knows he's in control, and is setting himself, his mother and his teacher up for a long half year if this continues.
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Old 01-21-2011, 05:40 AM
 
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
34,671 posts, read 42,807,149 times
Reputation: 57387
Yes, I think so too. There is a school psychologist involved.
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Old 01-21-2011, 09:45 AM
 
1,173 posts, read 3,971,297 times
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Maybe the school is not handling it perfectly but I think it's very unfair to place ALL the blame on the school. First of all you said this child is gifted so I am assuming that he is in a special class following advanced curriculum. These advanced classes move at a faster pace and in order to get through all of the lessons the teacher does not have the time to sit there and coddle one child. Additionally, if she let's herself be manipulated by one child and stops everything to make him feel better (about issues that are most likely stemming from his home situation not his school situation) his classmates will catch on quick and she could be left with more than one child disrupting the class.

If the child is being sent home from school perhaps mom needs to step her game up and make sure that he understands that being sent home from school is NOT in any shape way or form going to be an enjoyable experiance and that he's much better off behaving at school than being sent home to deal with the wrath of mom.

I know divorce is tough on kids but it is what it is and if she let's him get away with stuff just because of the situation it's just reinforcing that's it's okay because his parents are divorced and it's okay not to adapt to the situation and keep on moving.
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Old 01-21-2011, 09:55 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,437 posts, read 41,696,241 times
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suggest the mom talk to all the school parties involved in a group in person. they all need to agree on the plan and they all need to know what the plan is. This way the child will not be getting mixed messages. If the mom is giving him extra love, cuddles, privleges when he gets home, she is only reenforcing his bad behavior.
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Old 01-21-2011, 01:56 PM
 
623 posts, read 1,390,589 times
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Where does the "gifted" part come in to play? Not really sure why its in the subject but no mention in your post. Is this a special needs child?
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Old 01-21-2011, 03:21 PM
 
3,746 posts, read 2,927,221 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icibiu View Post
First of all you said this child is gifted so I am assuming that he is in a special class following advanced curriculum. These advanced classes move at a faster pace and in order to get through all of the lessons the teacher does not have the time to sit there and coddle one child.

I would doubt that at age 7 he is in a different "gifted class". Is that 1st or 2nd grade?


Many GT programs do not start until 3rd grade.

But I agree with the other posters...what does the gifted part of it have to do with anything?

My son is "gifted" but if he pulled a stunt like that I would know that he is smart enough to know better than to do so.
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Old 01-21-2011, 03:32 PM
 
852 posts, read 1,136,977 times
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I believe that about half of the people who say their kids are "gifted" are lying. It's like they feel like failures if their kids are just *gasp* high average. I don't know about this boy's IQ, but if he's behaving like a toddler at age seven, I'd be concerned.

The OP is right. The school shouldn't be sending him home. That seems to be a reward rather than a punishment.
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Old 01-21-2011, 03:42 PM
 
Location: Oxford, Connecticut
523 posts, read 835,575 times
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I've never heard of a school sending an elementary aged child home for behavior issues. Detention or even expulsion yes, but having their mom come pick them up? Odd. Is this a private school?
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Old 01-21-2011, 03:42 PM
 
Location: Aurora, Colorado
2,212 posts, read 4,498,247 times
Reputation: 2363
Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
A friend is having the following issue with her child, and although I'm a well experienced mother, I'm not sure my advice is right.

A very bright and personable 7 yr old boy, has started having meltdowns in school, triggered by minor things which quickly escalated, resulting in the mother leaving work and taking him home at the school's request.

It doesn't take a PhD to figure out that the child's payoff is getting to go home and spend time with Mom. The parents are divorced, and custody is shared. The child doesn't like to go to his father's. It's a given that the child is suffering from the family dynamic, although all the players are caring and civil.

My opinion is that the school is not handling the situation correctly in insisting that the child be removed from school. The child's teacher did not handle the original incident correctly in the first place, and the child (who had a right to be upset) should have been dealt with by the teacher more effectively. One of the incidents was that another child stole his special pencil, and he politely raised his hand to tell the teacher and the teacher did not make the other child give back the pencil. So, since he was afraid of crying in front of the other kids, he went under his desk and wouldn't come out. Of course, this was now a big disruption to the whole class.

My friend is very upset at having to go deal with this (3x this week) and feels like a terrible mother. I feel for her.

Am I right to think that the child should be sitting in the principal's office or some other boring place, not made to leave school? How would this have been handled at your child's school?
Imagine how great it would be if every teacher did the exact right thing at the exact right moment and had enough time in the day to actually sit with each child for the amount of time each of them needed and deal with any emotional issues they may be having. Now fast forward to reality where even the excellent teachers with the best intentions are trying to get a room of 20 or more 7-year olds to the same place by the end of the year so their school won't be given a less-than-stellar-grade from the city or state.

Being "gifted" in school means that a child is reading, writing or doing math at a higher level than the other kids in their class. It has nothing to do with them being able to deal with issues that no matter what decade you're living in, has a tendency to throw a kid "off". Divorce is a very hard thing for a child to understand, even when the parents are as great as they can be about it.

If he's acting up in school and going under a desk and refusing to come out, then he's being disruptive to the class. If it happens more than once, he is keeping his classmates from learning what they need to that day and since you mentioned this is going on 3x per week, it is his parent's issue to deal with and they are going to have to get to the bottom of why it only happens when he's going to his dad's house. A school psychologist is hopefully working with him, but it's not his classmate's fault that he is acting out and why should their learning environment be impacted or their teacher's time be taken trying to coax him out from under his desk?
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