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Emotionally unprepared

Dontfeedthetrolls's picture

SO’s little one will be graduating Kindergarten next Friday. The kid’s very smart but none of us think he’s emotionally ready for first grade. He already redid preschool for that reason and there’s no way they will hold him back for his behavior but all year he’s struggled.

The worst part is I truly blame his teacher. We’ve all tried working with her and we’ve complained to the school multiple times but it’s done nothing. MAYBE next year he’ll do better with a new teacher but this one has failed us in so many ways. We truly believe the boy has been bullied or is a bully but any time there is an incident the teacher ignores it except to penalize the kid in his points. When we ask what happen the teachers answer has always been “I don’t know” or “he won’t tell me”. We’ve asked she involve the school therapist and she doesn’t. We speak to the principle and he doesn’t know what’s going on in the classroom.

It’s frustrating because at the start of the year the first time there was a problem I tried speaking to her and she excused it as “normal”. No it wasn’t and it’s still not. The child struggles to control his emotions when he’s not getting his way. He’s manageable in our home but BM’s dad can’t control him anymore which is why we have him so much. BM herself thinks the boys a monster and struggles to see anything good in him though she loves and babies him so much.

I just worry about how this will work out as he gets older. Sooner or later he can use his fist to express himself. He shouldn’t have been allowed to this year but they just didn’t care.



tog redux's picture

Schools focus on academic readiness, not social/emotional readiness. If he's ready academically, they will pass him along, but considering that he's already a year older than his peers, holding him back would make it worse, most likely - he'd be the oldest kid by a wide margin. 

Get him an outside therapist. School social workers don't really do "therapy", at least not here. 

Dontfeedthetrolls's picture

He's not a year older. He was the youngest the first time he went through preschool so he is right in the middle. His birthday is late in the year so they had to get special permission to start him when they did and that was part of the issue. He is TINY compared to his classmates.

BM refuses to allow him to see a therapist and since she has him primarily throughout the week she HAS to be onboard. She’s refused repeated request for the kids to speak to a therapist.

We only want to involve the therapist because when he hits another student the teacher won’t take the time to find out why. You can’t fix a problem if you don’t know why it happens.  

tog redux's picture

Yeah, it's not the teacher's job to find out why he hit the kid, it's her job to provide the discipline needed to keep her classroom running smoothly. 

If his behavior gets bad enough, they will pull in the social worker and psychologist - but they rarely hold kids back anymore, especially if they can handle the academics. 

Dontfeedthetrolls's picture

She's not following the school rules on how to discipline in her classroom. It's her job when one of the times he was attacked by the another student and she only saw him hit. She can't tell us anything about what happened so how can we work with him? Did he hit on the playground, during circle time, in line? Was he hit first or was something taken from him? We've picked him up and had him in an absolute fit because he was hit with a rock and the teacher didn't know about it at all.

Really makes me trust her.

What I'm saying is the school agrees the teacher is failing to do her job. The principle is supposed to be invovled if there is a repeated issue and she refused to involve him. We had sit down meetings where we were told xyz would happen and it didn't.

I don't think holding him back is the clear answer when I also think the teacher is a fault.

tog redux's picture

Yeah, she doesn't sound like a great teacher. Your SO should be the squeaky wheel with the school to get what he needs from them.

Again, if he's doing well academically, they won't hold him back no matter what parents want.

Dontfeedthetrolls's picture

They've had multiple parent teacher meetings with the principle also. They get told this or that will happen then a week later find out the teacher hasn't followed through.

STaround's picture

I can't tell if he is the instigator, or what, but I think he needs to see a counselor. Many kids at this age have trouble communicating, or walking away from trouble.  A good counselor can help.  

Dontfeedthetrolls's picture

Teacher was supposed to be involving the school counselor EVERY time there was an event. She NEVER did. Instead she refused to follow school policy and even report it to the office like she's supposed to.

Evil3's picture

I like to play Devil's advocate. With that said, it's not up to teachers to raise students' maturity levels. That comes from proper parenting. If a child is that far behind socially, I would take said child to get assessed and I would get myself into some sort of program/therapy to see if my parenting is lacking. You mentioned the BM babying your SS. Babied kids do not evolve like their properly parented peers do. Also, don't fall into the trap of blaming the other parent or the teachers at school. You can't control the other parent's ways of raising their child, but the other bio parent has full control over their own parenting ways. If I had issues with my DD19 (and I have), the first place I looked was at myself and how I could improve my parenting.  

Dontfeedthetrolls's picture

 We are doing what we can but the issue is the hitting is happening in the classroom. How can we work with him when we don’t know why he’s hitting. If it happens at 9AM in the morning by the time BM picks him up the kid has no clue what she’s talking about and the teacher won’t take the time to find out what’s happened.

The teacher has repeatedly failed to follow the schools rules on hitting and involve the principle, school therapist, AND parents. The SINGLE time she did involve the kid we found out he was attacked by a peer whose parents used the “he has issues” as an excuse. The teacher tried to blame future step-son but his other classmates told her what happened. She never followed through with the action plan put in place at the meeting and later the kid hit ours again with a rock but by the time we found out school was out for the day and the teacher was gone.

Again we have reason to believe it’s not just him but she won’t take the time to find out what’s going on. I’ve gotten to speak to other parents who have issues with the same teacher.

Cbarton12's picture

I find it hard to believe that a 5 or 6 year old doesn't know what BM is talking about when reference something he did just that morning. If that's the case, then that kid needs to be seriously evaluated because that is not normal. 

SD is finishing kindergarten and if she got a sad face on her calendar with no additional note, she is still able to Express what happened and what she did that got her in trouble. 

How old is your SS? You stated his birthday is later in the year and that he repeated preschool. So is he 6 turning 7? Because holding him back will probably make it worse. He'll be a 7 year old in a class full of 5 and 6 year olds. And as time progresses, kids will make fun of him for being a lot older. 

Dontfeedthetrolls's picture

I don't give the childrens ages as a precaution against BM finding me on this page.

The boy is sly. He will refuse to answer BM and with the way the teacher conducts her classroom the boy will rat himself out for something she missed and completely ignore the behavior we were told about. He tells us he got pushed at the water fountain after lunch and pushed back but the points were removed early in the moring before lunch.

It's not he doesn't remember it's that he's a kid who doesn't think back over his entire day to think about one incident.

ITB2012's picture

that he could be on the autism spectrum? He may not be able to express himself to explain what's going on. It may also be why he's behind socially. There are some great groups out there that can help kids who lack the inate recognition of social cues.

Dontfeedthetrolls's picture

 No. He was already tested when he first entered the school system because he refused to listen to the teacher. They had a special meeting with both parents about it and the teacher got to see the parenting difference between the homes.

For one example they tried to say he couldn’t identify colors as a 4 year old. BM agreed he couldn’t and SO said that he could. SO asked the boy to come over and the boy complied (which he doesn’t do for mom) then correctly identified each other AND the shape.

Livingoutloud's picture

To diagnose with ASD the kid need to be seen by a psychiatrist. School evaluation team will determine if he qualifies for special education based on diagnosis but to get a formal diagnosis one needs to see a doctor, only MD can diagnose. School cannot determine if someone has autism or not. 

Saying that it doesn’t sound like he has autism. But again if parents want to rule something out, kid needs to see a medical professional 

Dontfeedthetrolls's picture

The kid isn't autistic. Ontop of the schools evaluation I KNOW autisum. It's part of my training and my nephew is on the spectrum. He is NOT autistic. The boy is EXTEREMLY social. He also knows who will make him behave and who will ignore him becuase it's easier. He's learned to game the system when it comes to his mom and apparently this teacher doesn't care to follow school policies and just ignores him.

I've spoke with other parents and found out they have issues with her too.

Livingoutloud's picture

I never said he is autistic. I wouldn’t know without meeting him. I am just commenting on your post saying that he doesn’t have ASD because school conducted evaluation and there was a meeting with parents. ASD cannot be diagnosed in this manner. Speaking as a professional with many years of expertise.  

Livingoutloud's picture

So what do you want to see happen? They won’t hold him back because he is socially immature or is a bully or being bullied. Some people are socially immature their entire life. Can’t hold everyone back. Hopefully he’ll mature at some point, some  boys mature later. Have you ever spent time with teen boys? Yeah talking about immature...

Now I’d say if he is that sly and sneaky that he does all kind of misdeeds all school year and no one catches him and he is sly enough to pretend he doesn’t know what happened, he isn’t as immature as you think he is. He might be more street smart than you think 

now you don’t like his teacher, his teacher seem to be non observant, next  year he’ll have a new teacher. Maybe it will be a better experience. Plus if he continues getting in trouble or other kids get him in trouble and so on, eventually school administration will get more involved. 

Too bad BM is against therapy. That could help. Maybe dad could insist next year that school counselor talks to SS and maybe dad can come observe the kid. If he is as immature as you say he’d act goofy when dad is there too. He’d not be model child when dad comes to observe  

also socially immature kids behave in the same manner at home and in school. If there is a drastic difference, then maturity might not be an issue. Is this a rough neighborhood with families and kids having many different home issues that contribute to poor behavior?

Dontfeedthetrolls's picture

I wanted the teacher to stop pretending everything is normal and do her job as shes supposed to. She refused to follow school policy or any of the steps put in place during the meets SO, BM, and her had with the principal. She's observent enough to punish him by taking away points but then doesn't follow through. She was supposed to involve the school thearpist after this happened the 3rd time and the principal didn't know it was going on until the 5th.

I've spoke with other parents who have issues with her too. If I could have my way I'd have him repeat with a different teacher. While he's doing ok on most of the stuff he does have issues with his social skills as well as other life skills which he should have before first grade. Yes I know they won't hold him back and I understand that. I HOPE the school actally does something about this teacher and moves her out of the kindergarten classroom. She MIGHT be ok with higher grades but she is horrible with small children.

Livingoutloud's picture

If the school doesn’t follow up with your complaints about this teacher, I am not sure what you could do. Did you call superintendent? Did you call the board office? You might have to address it with higher authorities. 

He will have a new teacher next year. Hopefully it will work out better but if the school is a disaster, better school might be a solution. 

Dontfeedthetrolls's picture

I'm not disengaged. I actually like the kids and happily invest in their wellbeing with the support of my partner. The child isn’t a bad kid. He’s just energetic and spastic. He’s goofy and extremely loving. He’s also babied by his mother who has created a monster in her home she can’t deal with but in our home he knows the rules and does very good.

I didn’t go into this relationship knowing my partner had a toddler thinking “not my kid not my problem.”

ndc's picture

Holding him back doesn't sound like the answer. If you had problems with the teacher, and the principal is aware of it and had meetings with you about it this year, you need to advocate for a more suitable teacher for next year.

Meet with the principal and describe the attributes of the teacher you think will handle SS best. No need to name a teacher by name - the principal should know her staff better than you do. Also, does this child have an IEP?  If he is having serious social problems in school, that is going to affect academics. Ask for an evaluation. BM might not permit therapy, but you might be able to get more help at school. 

Dontfeedthetrolls's picture

No the child doesn’t have an IEP and doesn’t need one. He needs a teacher who follows the schools policies.

I got to speak to more parents this weekend about the teacher. She was a 5th grade teacher last year and was great. She SHOULDN’T have been with kindergarteners and this was her first year. I’m upset with the school for failing to follow through but the teachers who SHOULD do first grade next year have a lot of promise.