Mister Man is a good kid. I know all parents say that, but he really is. Or was.
He’s a sweetie who loves to be a helper and really tries to please people. Most of the time. But his social skills and cues are low, and his impulse control sometimes causes issues, especially if he’s overtired.
I fully acknowledge this. But he’s a good kid. He has never gotten into trouble at school, and for that I’m grateful. Or at least, I was.
This year has been hard. The kindergarten teacher told all of us parents that the first month would be a hard transition because they were all getting used to a new environment and being in school all day. She told us not to worry.
Mister Man got in trouble for silly things like putting his hands down the back of another kid’s shirt one day or pushing a kid who told him he wasn’t going fast enough in the line to head to lunch. It wasn’t anything major, but it was consistent enough that we set up a reward and punishment scheme at home.
If he was good all week, he earned a special prize like getting to see a movie with me. If he had a bad day, he lost that week’s prize and also lost something he enjoyed like a library book or a stuffed animal. It seemed to make a big difference, and after a spate where he didn’t think he could do it, we were sailing smoothly.
But… not so much anymore.
I don’t know what’s changed, and I can’t get a good handle on it from him. He’s getting in trouble again. He’s having “no” days (each day is a different goal such as listening or keeping your hands to yourself, and you get a “yes” if you achieve the goal and a “no” if you don’t) a couple times a week. Bigger than that, he’s having yellow days, which is when you have multiple warnings for major infractions.
I know he isn’t the only kid who acts out in school, as I hear from Mister Man some of the things other kids do, but they don’t do it every day. And even when the first grader we carpool with was getting in trouble most days, it was for talking during class which is less of a concern (although still obviously an issue).
So far this week, he kicked a boy on Monday. He went into a corner and wouldn’t come out later that day. Tuesday was a green day and no issues. Yesterday, he had a yellow day again for not keeping his hands to himself and not listening to the teacher in separate instances. Today, he had another yellow day where he hit two different boys on two different occasions.
The teacher wrote a note this time explaining that they’ve talked to him several times this week to no avail and that he’s had to miss recess a few times as a consequence. It isn’t helping.
At home, he long ago lost all his library books, and he’d already lost the privilege of going to the library to get new books. He has now lost his special sleeping buddies, and he knows that if he doesn’t have a green day tomorrow, he isn’t going to a birthday party on Saturday.
Today, he wrote apology notes to the three kids he physically bothered this week in addition to both his teachers. He’s written apology notes before.
He’s ashamed of the incidents, and he hates having yellow days. He doesn’t want to misbehave and can’t tell me why he is. And I’m trying to figure out how I can help him. I reinforce the rules before he heads off to school, and we go over what he should have done in provoking situations rather than react physically when he comes home.
But right now, I’m at the end of my rope. I don’t want to have him kicked out of school, and I don’t want him to feel badly about himself for his actions. He knows that he’s disappointed us and that his behavior isn’t acceptable. But I have got to find a solution.
PLEASE don’t tell me to have him tested for ADHD. That isn’t the problem or the solution, and I won’t be medicating him.
I do wonder if it has something to do with the probiotic I started him on about three weeks ago… a few days before we really started having these issues. I had experimented with a homeopathic spray to help with focus and learning, and I stopped it a week and a half ago to see if that was it, but it’s getting worse without the spray rather than better. I think I’m going to try stopping the probiotic as of tomorrow — another friend of mine recently switched her probiotic and her younger son (who is an angel) has been acting out enough that the school psychologist called to talk to her.
I’m wondering if we don’t need to get him to bed even earlier, as he’s now waking up at 6am but telling me at 7:10 that he’s super tired and wants to sleep. We know from experience that the more tired he is, the earlier he wakes up. Tonight, he went to bed at 6pm, and I haven’t heard a peep from him.
Have any of you gone through behavior issues like this? Please give me some sort of hope… some suggestions (other than medicating him). What do you do in these situations? I’m debating asking the teacher if he should be held out of the kindergarten Christmas Program (he has a major part since he can read fluently and likes to perform), but I don’t know that they can replace parts so close to the program.
I don’t need any more grey hair. I just want my sweet little boy who does what he’s asked. What can I do to help Mister Man find that little boy again?