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Old 09-19-2013, 12:32 PM   #1
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whoopdedoo two totally different mid childhood kids

Hi everyone, it's been a while. I feel compelled to post as no one is available to take my call. I have a 7 year old boy and a 6 year old girl. My son is starting first grade and my duaghter is starting kindergarten. I will call them boy and girl for easy writing.
The boy struggled in Kindergarten, and the girl is excelling in kindergarten. Normal i think, to see the girls do better than boys at this age. But it's not just in school- it's at home too. the girl is largely responsive and quick with day to day chores and activities, like performing morning and bed time routines. The boy takes long and is distracted. my frustrations comes in when I remind him to keep focus. we put away our luandry last night and the girl knocked it out in a few minutes. she seperated the clothes into piles of shorts, shirts, sox, skirts, pants, etc... and then put them in thier places. the boy played with his lego airplane, after repeated encouragement from me. when he did finally start, it took him forever. I jumped in beside him and showed him how to seperate like his sister and then left him to put the clothes away. he continued to fiddle with the sox, complained of leg pain and I threatenend him with ____ pain (spanking) if he didn't hurry up. I told him his sister was done in just a few minutes and that he could too. after I mentioned ____ pain, he quickly put everything away and proeeded to stay mad at me when i tucked them in to bed.
(I would say the root of my frustration is the demanding school schedule. we really don't have time to do much of anything during the week but eat and sleep. everything else is put off until the weekend. we needed clothes so we had to do a load of laundry, over the course of two days cuase we simply don't have the time to do it all at once. )
Then at school when i was picking him up, he was building a fireplace with connex toys and a teacher was talking to him. I passed them to go sign him out and she appeared to be frustrated with him and he appeared to be ignoring her - or too focused on what he was doing to acknowledge her presence. I asked if everything was ok and she just smiled. I saw her talking to him and it appeared he wasn't listening.
I asked the boy about this and he didn't even know the teacher was standing there, didn't hear her say anything to him about anything. I went over the situation asking questions and pointed out that he was infact ignoring her and I asked him if that is what he does to his teachers becuase they note that same frustration in thier faces when I see them with him. well, the boy broke down crying and then quickly gathered himself. we left the conversation at that point. later when he was helping me with yard work he brought up that he cried becuase he thought I was upset with him. my reply was "I know". I told him i was frustrated but not upset. and that was all we said about that. after that he did appear to try being more attentive to me when I spoke to him and our morning routine he was the first one done. not sure what happened, but I want to encourage him and not let my frustrations get the best of me and threaten with spankings (haven't spanked in years). I just wonder what I can do to support him with love and encouragement and tolerance. He's going to do what he wants to do and all this compliance and conformity and needing to do things 'just so' is for the birds. If money were no object I would not work and unschool them at home.
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Old 09-19-2013, 02:49 PM   #2
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Default Re: two totally different mid childhood

I have all boys and even they were different in many ways, but also alike too. As for gender, yup there is a difference from before birth. Even the researchers say so now.
But some of his actions may have more to it. Have you had him check for learning problems?
hang in there, boys often drift and day dream.
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Old 09-19-2013, 06:59 PM   #3
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Default Re: two totally different mid childhood

I've seen no signs of learning problems. the boy is incredible smart, a photographic memory, and trumps his sister with reason and grammer. But he doesn't stomach the pacience it takes to write and I do believe I can help him with that. He reads at the first grade level and we are practicing that. his notes from school show lack of motivation to participate and lack of focus. I say he's just not excited about what's going on in the class room. I will continue to show case his work at dinner and ask him to give us a speach on what work he did bring home that was completed. I hope to get him excited about doing the work in class.
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Old 09-19-2013, 09:50 PM   #4
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Default Re: two totally different mid childhood

Just keep working with him and he'll be fine. Sounds like your doing great, dad!
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Old 09-19-2013, 11:00 PM   #5
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Default Re: two totally different mid childhood

Even my I'd twins were like this...one excelled at physical and spatial tasks while the other WS busy reading, speaking and drawing. K is a bit young to know for sure if something more is going on. Keep up communication with ped, make notes of concerns. It is very typical for girls to excel in those areas, above boys at that age.

Girls also tend to be rule followers in settings outside the home and in the home of there is somebody else to show up they willLOl. Boys just do their thing. I will say some things could be a concern, eg the story of your son with the teacher...keep talking, ask questions...but also be prepared for things to flip flop in the other direction.

---------- Post added at 09:57 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:56 PM ----------

And do the obvious tests outside of school....vision, hearing, milestones, etc. your ped should recommend these, but be armed. Hearing and/or vision can cause behavioral symptoms when kids are that age...not cause but look like behavioral or learning issues.

---------- Post added at 10:00 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:57 PM ----------

Just saw your newer reply. Sounds like he's a smarty and maybe a bit intense in what he is doing at the moment... I'm guessing boredom...writing requires patience...brain often works much much faster than the pen, especially when fine motor skills aren't fully developed...usually around 7 and by 8 yrs old but still not as refined at that age as those older with more experience using the,
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Old 09-20-2013, 10:40 AM   #6
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Default Re: two totally different mid childhood

we did vision and the boy has above average sight. He blasted all the tests that the eye doctor could throw at him. His ability to communicate really helped him demonstrate how well he can see. the only tests we haven't done is hearing- i need to get on that!
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Old 09-20-2013, 10:44 AM   #7
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Default Re: two totally different mid childhood

I agree with getting hearing etc tested. And talk to your pediatrician about the signs of being "on the spectrum". I knew a kid who, when focused on a toy, never seemed to hear you even if you were raising your voice. He seemed geniunely surprised if you took him by the arm to get his attention. He was brilliant but had a mild form of???? (can't remember the name and I hate labels anyway). He is now in his 20s and thriving in law school.

But it's probably a maturity issue. Girls tend to mature faster. And maybe she gets more attention at Moms by doing these things with mom. I know it's aggravating but I wouldn't stress over a boy who would rather play Lego's than fold laundry. Lord knows if I could fake a little leg pain to get out of folding laundry I'd be limping around today!

I would just caution against comparing him to his sister. That can lead to some serious emotional issues, a feeling of not being worthy and resentment towards his sis. I hate to say this, because I never used to believe it, but I think you have to find a way to treat them the same and parent them differently. Some kids just have different needs.

jmo

Good luck.
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Old 09-20-2013, 11:13 AM   #8
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Default Re: two totally different mid childhood

It is not possible to not notice differences in siblings, especially twins. Unfortunately is one of the greatest struggles of the school years....you see, they notice, too. Sometimes it is how we identify issues, a case study/nature vs nurture research study from the inside out . The key is not to do anything that makes them feel they are inferior to the other twin or sibling. Treat them as individuals, let them know they are different just as any two people on the street are different though may share common pieces like interests, hair color etc.

It becomes more complex as they notice their sibling doing things better or worse, when one wonders what is wrong that the other cannot do what they do....and then there are the times they are competing for the same team or award. OUcH. Lol

My schpeal..sorry. Off topic a bit!

---------- Post added at 10:13 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:10 AM ----------

My biggest piece of advice to you is do not ignore your gut....if you feel something isn't right push for help, testing, whatever it takes and don't let others tell you it is normal. We see things while raising our children that others cannot. You can explain an incident and it may sound like a normal old thing when, in reality, it was very different than what it sounded like. Trust yourself, you only get to do these days, months, years once.
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Old 02-13-2014, 06:50 PM   #9
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Default Re: two totally different mid childhood

I wanted to share with you what happened at our parent teacher conference today. This was a stellar meeting for both of my kids (7 year old boy and 6 year old girl: first grade abd kindergarten). Both kids are at or above end of year goals and the boy was identified as high cognitive and is one of five kids to be invited to a intervention group. Exciting all around. Then the teacher did that the boy could do more at school but he just doesn't perform. She says he just shuts down when he doesn't feel like working. She said i should work with him at home to get him to read more and write more. This is an area where the school staff and the kids mom have been pressuring me. The kids live with me (physical address) and we read and write at home of the kids want to but it's not required. I draw the line at providing additional formal instruction at home. When they go to mom's house on weekends, they get lots of formal work becuase the mom pushes it. Well i refuse to do that. I upset both the teacher abd the mom by saying that. I thanked them for their efforts but i Will not be doing that during the week. I can bet I'll be receiving a cease and desist letter from the mom. I stood my ground. Thanked them again and offered to assist the kids if they wanted to do that stuff, and we do sometimes, but I won't require it. The mom was so passed. She brought this up and called me out in front of kids and all saying I needed to do it! Lol what ever. I asked the kids when we got home if they wanted me to work on reading and writing and math after school and they declined. They did say they wanted to continue doing that at mom's house. I figured as much. .. They like the one on one time with mom and I believe that is what works right now. We struggle at home after school to wind down, eat and clean up, and to have a life together. I think that matters most right now and I believe that scholastic stuff will come with time. What say you?
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Old 02-13-2014, 11:41 PM   #10
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Default Re: two totally different mid childhood

All I can say is I'd be very frustrated if my co-parent refused to do something the school recommended to encourage my child's success.
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Old 02-14-2014, 09:43 AM   #11
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Default Re: two totally different mid childhood

I see both sides of the fence on this. At their ages, I do believe encouraging, *not forcing to the point of a child being in tears and frustrated with their work load, because nowadays the workload is insane, even at that age, would be helpful. And you should be encouraging good school work ethic-but not forcing.
But I also feel kids will have to learn by way of their own failures and accomplishments.

We're all different parents with different parenting styles. And while yours sounds more relaxed and moms more geared towards education, the kids, I am sure, are aware of their responsibilities. And hopefully they are also aware of the consequences of their decision not to practice their reading and writing.

I will say that my 12 yr old has somewhat of a conscience about reading aloud because he gets "stage fright" of sorts. I'm the same way, as well as millions of people. Some just don't like to perform in front of others. I did read to him a lot when he was younger, and probably should have encouraged more reading from him.

But this is a good age to help them form good school habits. Doing their homework, not being afraid to ask for help when needed.

Just as much as the schools try to push the square peg idea of what they believe kids should be, I believe society does the same with parents. We should be doing this, do it that way. We're not all the same. And our approaches aren't going to be the same.

You push a kid too hard and they will form resentment towards whatever their being pushed to do.

Keep doing you. From one with older kids who struggle in school, (one of 3 has graduated) don't be surprised at the academic consequences that will come later from their choice not to do what their expected to do. And try not to take it personal.
But do make sure they understand the profound effect this will inevitably have (age appropriate of course) later in heir academic career.

Ok. Backlash may ensue.
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Old 02-14-2014, 10:21 AM   #12
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Default Re: two totally different mid childhood

It has to be driven by him. I made it pretty clear that my son understands I am willing to support him if he wants, and I believe both kids know that mom and me want them to do well and we want them to read, write, do math etc. We demonstrate it to them and we encourage it but in different ways. I did not like the perceived controversy the kids witnessed because of it... No need to fight about it.
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Old 02-14-2014, 11:40 AM   #13
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Default Re: two totally different mid childhood

I would fight for it (not necessarily about it)- just not in front of the kids.

Here's the thing, I'm not a "tiger mom" by any stretch of the imagination. I would not force my kids to do something unreasonable. But I don't think requiring some work on academic concepts at home is unreasonable nor is it a burden on children.

Growing up, myself and my brothers had required reading daily and weekly writing. My brothers fought it very hard, I didn’t as much, point is though we learned work ethic and improved our skills, all of us have done very well in school and it definitely helped my middle brother and youngest brother (middle struggled, youngest was like your boy, gifted but didn’t want to be bothered).

Full disclosure that this post irritates me a LITTLE bit, because it sounds just like R’s dad who is complaining about R starting a preschool in a few weeks, because “R should be able to be a kid” and “R hates scheduled work” and he’s “not going to make R do work”. The thing is my kid loves that and the sooner he learns the structure of school, work, and to persevere and learn, the greater his chances are for success in life.

Once they grow up, the world doesn’t care what pace they learn at or whether they should have to work or not, or anything…. Nothing changes for the child, it’s about how well you can adapt to the world.

The fact that they will do at mom’s and like it, says to me if you presented it in the right light, they’d probably be okay with it with you too.

This is an issue I would take seriously and raise concerns with. And you should be aware that generally, teachers’ opinions hold a lot of sway in court.
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Old 02-14-2014, 12:38 PM   #14
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Default Re: two totally different mid childhood

I can kind of see both sides of this as well. Kids do need time to be kids. But there are times you have to apply yourself and do things you don't feel like doing. That is as much a life skill as ABC123. So there has to be a balance that works for everyone and we all struggle to find balance at times. There are a couple issues that jump out at me though, but they boil down to one problem.

The first issue is that he is shutting down at school when he doesn't feel like doing his work. That is problematic. Maybe he is bored and needs to be challenged, idk? But that is a trend that likely won't change without your intervention. So it;s not just about doing work after school. Many, many intelligent kids fail to get to where they want to be in life because they never learned to apply themselves.

The second problem is that you say it has to be "driven by him". The him in this case is 7. You are the parent. What else should be driven by kids that age without the parents input? Dinner menu? So if he wants brownies and Doritos for dinner every night that's ok? Playtime? Should he be able to play on a busy street if he chooses? The point being that there are limitations to doing what we want to do at any age. And with kids that responsibility falls on the parents.

I'm not saying you're wrong and they're right but there may be an issue that dad needs to address. Certainly you could be a little less dismissive. Which is the real issue that jumps out at me. In many of your posts you seem to feel like you know everything and the mother is without parenting merit. Or that her feelings, wishes are inconsequential. And now apparently the teachers voice is falling on deaf ears with you as well. I can't make up my mind if you have a massive ego or you just aren't over the Ex? Is it bitterness that makes you scoff about everything she says? Is she creating the drama here or are you?

I don't know anything about you or your life so don't take this as judgement (or do if you must). And I don't know what is right for your kids. I would just suggest a little introspection and maybe, just maybe a tad bit more cooperation when dealing with the Ex. She matters too. And your kids will benefit if the two of you can learn to cooperate and reach a middle ground, sometimes.
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Old 02-14-2014, 12:43 PM   #15
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Default Re: two totally different mid childhood

*applause for trebor*

Dude I love your co-parenting attitude. It is so hard to get to a point that you are at.

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Old 04-27-2015, 03:20 PM   #16
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Default Re: two totally different mid childhood

Following up with this post. The boy has had a banner year. His ability to complete writing and reading work has been fixed and is no longer an issue. He does complete work in a timely manner now. he still locks up on occasion but the teacher he has this year (11 years plus) gives him time to work through whatever he's thinking about on his own and she ignores junk behavior. There have been a few instances this entire year where he needed to go to the counselor to do the work. it seems like this year's teacher is getting him to do the work and the boy has broken through that plane and his grades are good. He is now in second grade and we have one month left. He doesn't have a reading log like last year, but he reads now more than ever. We found Minecraft books and comic book chapter books that interest him and he has his own personal book library by his bed. we also got him a journal and a pocket note pad that he writes in.
That being said, an old issue has not gone away and, dare I say, has worsened: anger outbursts.
his performance has improved but he has had spells of anger where he becomes so intolerant of the teachers or peers for one reason or another that he hits, throws and or destroys property, screams, and elopes. I've noticed these spells occurring at home, too. It appears that these are "monthly" anger outbursts, spiked when "the boy is not getting his way", as the school principle so eloquently painted. I've talked with him about each incident and it does appear that some small injustice has been made on a very small scale and that the boy chooses to die on that hill each and every time. I did support the school in one instance where the principle called me while the boy was in his office and told me that he is to write an apology note to a teacher he disrespected at home. If he didn't, the principle would make him do it the next day. I agreed to talk with the boy about it. At home that night, I brought out a paper and pencil and we worked on an apology note. I told the boy that he could do it now with my help or face the principle tomorrow and that I would not stand between him and the principle. I told the boy the school is capable of handling consequences and that I would not protect him from consequences that result from his choices. I do reiterate that any situation he finds himself in is a direct result of choices he has made and I refuse to save him. The boy did write the apology note and felt better about the situation afterwards. he made the right choice, supported by his daddy with no shame or guilt attached.
A similar situation occurred with the after school program, though it appears the after school program has had no other issues since. This might be due to the fact that they did away with all programming and switched to "free range play" now that the school is hitting end of year testing so hard.
I keep talking to the boy at home about discretion and thinking ahead to see how his response to situations can turn good or bad. Situations that he finds himself in are not to be blamed on anyone but himself and that he can choose to divert having to fight all these faculty over one incident that made no matter to a hill of beans. We have a dry erase board now. we are looking at morning routines to help us get out of bed and start the mornings on the best foot we can. we are also looking at skills we can learn to help manage conflict and stress in life. We did initiate a referral to the school psychologist to begin collecting data and assessing the boy for issues that we may not see yet. learning issues, developmental issues, emotional issues, etc.. Its not that the school believes he needs it, and they have said he doesn't have issues with performance, but we just don't know what to do about these out of the norm outbursts of anger. the principle thinks he might be harboring resentment about something specific inside so I want to keep talking with the boy after incidents to see if he can reveal to me a common thread that he may mention he is upset about. No telling what. all I can to is lean towards building up his coping skills.
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Old 04-27-2015, 04:21 PM   #17
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Default Re: two totally different mid childhood

Thanks for sharing your challenge--so difficult! (How is your daughter doing? Does she witness the anger outbursts?)

I wonder, would you be open to getting your son into counseling? Play therapy? The anger issues would come out in play therapy and could be addressed there--also it's one more supportive set of eyes and ears that can help support your son.
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Old 04-27-2015, 06:11 PM   #18
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Default Re: two totally different mid childhood

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Originally Posted by bluewave View Post
Thanks for sharing your challenge--so difficult! (How is your daughter doing? Does she witness the anger outbursts?)

I wonder, would you be open to getting your son into counseling? Play therapy? The anger issues would come out in play therapy and could be addressed there--also it's one more supportive set of eyes and ears that can help support your son.
My daughter is "good to go": words of the principle. She excels in everything she touches and has no behavior concerns. She demonstrates a wide array of coping skills and she does see these outbursts from him but she successfully handles herself. there have been a few instances were he has abused her (attacked her with a choke once) and destroys her property. I don't believe any situation can be justified with the level of violence he demonstrates. Yes it is very rare, but it shouldn't be happening at all... We did have him in counseling last year around this time but we didn't do it this year as the onset of this behavior happened later in this year than it did last year. The major problem we have is that the kids live in two different states and it's impossible to get them enrolled to any service or activity with consistency: they are absent way too much!
Bluewave, I do appreciate your input. thank you so much.
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Old 04-28-2015, 05:04 PM   #19
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Default Re: two totally different mid childhood

oh no! choking your daughter! i would definitely be worried.

i think a good play therapist would understand the schedule and it may be beneficial for your son. even if he's off in the summer, when he comes back, to have the same therapist, can be helpful. good luck!
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Old 05-08-2015, 10:54 AM   #20
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Default Re: two totally different mid childhood

I try to avoid reading the communication log that the teacher sends home. it's like a calendar that has all the days of the month and the teacher can write if the student did well or not for that day. my son's teacher typically doesn't write much - it's either really good or really bad and entries far and few between each other. It's hard to keep my own attitude from nose diving when I do look at it to see if there has been anything new added. I looked this morning and found another entry or two about him being defiant and throwing several fits through out the day. comments from the teacher are typically the same "defiant, crawling on the floor making animal noises (once he's past the point of no return), running from teacher and counselor, throwing things when upset when things don't go his way" etc... one example was that he was asked to move to a table by himself during lunch for talking. aside from the details and whether or not that was justified is not of my concern at this point. my concern is how he conducted himself once he was asked to move. He became verbally 'disrespectful' and threw his lunch tray. He did end up sitting at the table as requested, but not without causing himself and everyone else grief. this is typically the same scenario time and time again. the boy is either talking with peers or not on task and is redirected. He then follows redirection but only after a period of defiance, grief, verbal out lash, and throwing things. His sister told of us of a story this morning where one day the teacher told her to move to the carpet. she didn't move quick enough for the teacher and so the teacher sent her to sit by herself in a 'safe seat'. the girl didn't agree with it and felt slighted, maybe even unfairly punished for no reason because in her mind she was complying -it just wasn't fast enough to please the teacher. She went and sat in the safe seat anyway. she didn't crawl, make animal noises, elope, throw things, verbally abuse the teacher, or do anything but follow directions. I used this example to grill my son this morning, that he is expected to the very same. follow directions, whether he thinks it is right or not, and save him and everyone else all that grief. There are two weeks left in school. everyone is in survival mode, Teachers and students aren't interested in who did what or why, they just want to accomplish what needs to be done for the end of the year.
my message to him, in so many words, it that he is his own worst enemy and his troubles at school are solely because of his response and no one else.
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