DEAR TEACHER: In my daughter's second-grade class, the children are able to play rather active games when they complete their work. The noise level really distracts my child, who is starting to receive lower grades. Her teacher is very sensitive to criticism. How should I handle this situation? - Baffled
Answer: It isn't easy for young children to concentrate on their work when others all around them are playing noisily. Other children are probably having the same problem as your daughter. Plus, it is highly likely that some children are just rushing through their work to play.
It is a simple fact that children in any class are going to complete assignments at different rates. It doesn't sound fair that some are being rewarded for doing their work fast, and others have to see them having fun when they are trying to do their work.
Approach this teacher with the fact that your child is having a great deal of trouble concentrating while others are playing. Then ask what can be done to help her handle this situation. This is a better approach than criticizing the teacher's actions. If the teacher does not want to change this approach, ask if your child can complete her work in another area or possibly wear earphones.
Question: My 4-year-old son frequently kicks and bites other children at preschool. What actions should we take to get this behavior to stop? - Biter's Mom
Answer: Usually, when children under the age of 2 have aggressive behavior, it is because they are trying to communicate their needs. However, older children, like your son, have never learned the appropriate non-aggressive way to express their needs when they are faced with a difficult situation. This aggressive behavior usually occurs when a child is exhausted, without adult supervision, unable to verbally express needs or for self-defense.
Work with the teacher. Visit the classroom. Both of you should look for clues as to why this behavior is occurring. Perhaps some of these situations could be avoided. Also, if the same thing is happening at home, immediately remove him from the other child. Talk to him later about other ways to handle the situation. Play-acting difficult situations could help him learn acceptable behavior.
You definitely need to stop your child's aggressive behavior before he enters kindergarten. Consulting with a behavior specialist at your school corporation might give you and the teacher ideas about ways to change his behavior, as well as the names of behavior specialists to work with him.
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