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    #53164 - 08/21/09 09:19 AM panicked parent
    pinklady Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 01/22/08
    Posts: 24
    I would like your opinion on the meeting we had with the school on Friday. I will let you know what they said and then my thoughts, any further thoughts would be appreciated. Sorry if this is a bit epic.

    Meeting

    We discussed his academic achievement and progress thus far. All of this was on target for year 3 and to them going well. Behaviour was the next to be discussed. Generally the behaviour he is displaying is not naughty, aggressive but general silliness, this is at times disrupting the other children. Their main concern is it is a CHANGE in behaviour, not the actual behaviour. They believe the change is because of a realization that he is different from the other children, in the way he thinks and that the behaviour is his way of trying to gain acceptance and also acting out his feelings. They have admitted there is no quick fix, they are not sure on how to resolve this problems but would like to implement the following strategies,
    1. Attend the school social worker
    2. Place more emphasis on attempts at academic things rather then expecting perfection
    3. Reward chart
    4. More interaction with adults
    5. Support him and let him know he is safe and loved
    6. Try not to change him but rather help him accept his difference.
    7. For me not to make it visible that I am checking on him.
    8. Only inform parents when the behaviour is bad enough to inform them or becomes problematic.
    9. Role play behaviour and outcomes with him.

    During the meeting they also questioned me on whether we discipline DS7 again if he has been in trouble at school, which we advised we do not double discipline him but do discuss with him what happened and why and if appropriate reinforce what
    The school has said. They also advised me to make sure we express our love for DS7 in relation to other things about him
    Not just academic performance, we advised of course we do. The maturity (immaturity) issue that the teacher had concerns about was nipped in the bud pretty early on in the piece.
    They believe me checking on DS7 and how his day went with the teacher is putting pressure on him to behave and could be exacerbating the problem. They believe he is putting pressure on himself to do the right thing to impress me and this is building up and he can't maintain this all week and when it gets too much his silly behaviour gets worse. They are also concerned this behaviour will isolate him from other children and they are starting to see this happen. Sometimes the other children join in but most of the time inform the teacher of what he is doing.

    Thoughts

    They have obviously picked up there is a problem, I believe the above is part of the problem, I spoke with them
    Regarding his overexcitabilities, which they acknowledged but I don't think fully appreciated. Boredom with the
    Curriculum was dismissed. The last two days they have continued with the discipline they were using
    Before and advised DS7 they would not be telling me that he has got in trouble. At least DS7 is
    Talking to me about that, they were supposed to advise us via email of his bevaviour of which they have not done as yet but it is early days. I think they believe I am putting pressure on DS7 at home and that only
    Express my love for him when he does well academically. The teacher admitted had I not been
    Checking on DS7 regularly she would not have mentioned the behaviour unless it continued for another
    Few weeks the only reason she went to the gifted co-ordinator was that she knew I was concerned, and
    She thought the other children in the class were maturing and he was being left behind.
    It was the gifted co-ordinator that asked for the meeting because some alarm bells went off.
    I am now doubting dramatically my parenting skills, but believe although not perfect am doing ok.
    They want me to put him in their hands and I feel they have less of a clue what they are doing or
    Dealing with than me. I just don't trust them. I just want to help him with whatever is going on with him
    But don't know where to start. Please help.


    Being presented with what I was fearing that things are starting to come unstuck I need some
    Help. If the school is picking up on a problem, blinded as they usually are it must be more
    Obvious than I thought. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.





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    #53177 - 08/21/09 11:34 AM Re: panicked parent [Re: pinklady]
    Austin Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/25/08
    Posts: 1840
    Loc: North Texas
    Pinklady,

    Can you post more about your DS' situation?

    Placed Grade level? Interests? Specifics about behavior?

    Also, you use UK spelling so I assume this is a British PS?


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    #53208 - 08/21/09 03:22 PM Re: panicked parent [Re: pinklady]
    Taminy Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/16/09
    Posts: 282
    Originally Posted By: pinklady

    We discussed his academic achievement and progress thus far. All of this was on target for year 3 and to them going well.


    Is he chronologically in year 3 or did he grade skip? In either case (but especially the former) it would be important to find out what they mean by "fine". Does it mean that he is doing all of the year 3 work at a proficient level, or that he is making measurable academic growth in all of his academics?

    If he DID do a grade skip, are they finding his behavior immature compared to other 7 year old boys, or compared to older students that he is placed with for academics?

    Originally Posted By: pinklady
    he is displaying is not naughty, aggressive but general silliness, this is at times disrupting the other children. Their main concern is it is a CHANGE in behaviour, not the actual behaviour.


    I don't understand this. If the behavior is not concerning (and frankly, what you've described sounds fairly typical for the 7 year old boys that I know) then I'm not sure why they are concerned. All children change. Part of being in school is learning to negotiate the social situation, and the kids I see usually "try on" a few ways of getting positive peer attention until they find something that works. My guess is that if he's being silly, there are a host of kids ready to giggle and laugh in response.

    From what you've shared, I'm seeing contradictions in what they are telling you (it's not the behavior that's a problem; they weren't feeling a rush to tell you vs. they need a big plan to address the behavior).

    Personally, I would be leery of any plan in which places responsibility for behavior AT school on you as the parent. That is a very convenient(and arrogant) conclusion to draw. I find it particularly concerning that they are dissuading you from asking him about his day. In fact, I find that a little alarming. If we don't check in with our children and respond to their ups and downs regularly, then when a big "down" occurs, it may not occur to our children that we the parents are the place to bring the problem.


    Could you go back to them and ask them to give you examples of the things that have happened that have lead them to their conclusions? If they are able to present compelling evidence that he feels pressured, that's one thing (and often one that reflects more on temperament than on parenting). If they are assuming the pressure piece just "because"....well, that's something else entirely.

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    #53241 - 08/22/09 01:35 AM Re: panicked parent [Re: Austin]
    pinklady Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 01/22/08
    Posts: 24
    DS7 has been grade skipped 1 year, comprehension about 5 years above age level, maths about 3 to 4 years above age level,spelling would be current grade appropriate and it goes on. DS7 enjoys science, robotics, poetry and inventing anything and everything. The silly behaviour is things like pulling faces, sticking pencils in his ear, not listening when being told to stop and that goes on. Everything he does is at at least 110 miles per hour. We are in Australia. He also enjoys trampolining and t-ball, he is at a private school that has at least acknowledged he is gifted and is not the only child in the school, there is a small group of them.

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    #53242 - 08/22/09 01:46 AM Re: panicked parent [Re: Taminy]
    pinklady Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 01/22/08
    Posts: 24
    I agree completely the information being supplied is sketchy to say the least and the easy way seems to blame me and DH for the problems. My concern is also not being able to monitor him and talk him through instances, behavioural ups and downs. They want me to back off because they believe they know what they are doing and to a certain degree we as parents are part of the problem, but have readily admitted they have no idea as to the exact reason he is all of a sudden acting out as they put it and that they do not have the magical answer. I would not send my child to a hearing specialist for a child that was visually impaired. They want me to trust them when they have admitted they have little understanding of what is going on. Ironically after speaking with the psych. this week prior to the meeting they advised that by avoiding being the pushy parent DS7 may in fact be crying out for further intervention from us as parents to provide some more stimulation.

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    #53268 - 08/22/09 10:53 AM Re: panicked parent [Re: pinklady]
    Taminy Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/16/09
    Posts: 282
    Originally Posted By: pinklady
    The silly behaviour is things like pulling faces, sticking pencils in his ear, not listening when being told to stop and that goes on. Everything he does is at at least 110 miles per hour.

    and...

    My concern is also not being able to monitor him and talk him through instances, behavioural ups and downs. They want me to back off because they believe they know what they are doing and to a certain degree we as parents are part of the problem, but have readily admitted they have no idea as to the exact reason he is all of a sudden acting out as they put it and that they do not have the magical answer....They want me to trust them when they have admitted they have little understanding of what is going on.


    I have a fair amount of experience with seven year old boys, and what you describe sounds pretty within the bounds of the typical range of behavior. If I were his teacher I would be thinking one of two things: either he is not sure of his place with his peers and is trying on some ways to get attention from them; or the way in which I was occupying him during class wasn't engaging him enough (I would be thinking about pace and process vs. just content--sometimes it's not the "what" of the instruction, it's the "how"). In either case, I would think it is a "problem" that can be addressed through minor tweaking of either social/work groups in class, or by adjusting instructional delivery. A question to ask would be when they are most often seeing these behavior. Large group listening time? Independent work time (if so, before, during or after his work is completed?).

    In any case, asking a parent to decrease involvement in their own child's life is inappropriate. Many minor issues can be handled in the classroom without *additional* parent involvement (in which case school should just keep you informed of what they're trying and how it's going). That's appropriate, and it CAN be a problem when parents are micromanaging or rescuing their children from appropriate consequences. However, I don't get that impression from your posts. If you are coming into the classroom every day and that is having a negative impact, then that's one thing. Asking your child not to talk to you about his day? That's something else entirely and I can think of no legitimate reason for it. It kind of sounds like they are into the melodrama of blowing up a problem and being the "only ones" with the "expertise" to "save the day". Go with your gut. You're the parent and your relationship with him will be lifelong.

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