I am wondering if any of you moms out there have any advice for dealing with a 6 year old boy who does not listen.
First off, I admit that I am the problem. I coddled and babied him for far too long. I have always gone by the saying 'let them be little', which has backfired completely- and I now have a 6 year old who can do very little for himself and refuses to believe that he has to do anything that requires even the most minimal effort. He does what he wants, that's it.
He's smart, imaginative, passionate and caring. He did really well in preschool and kindergarten but is really struggling in 1st grade. He's immature in comparison to his friends, and has a difficult time listening to his teacher. He has an excuse to not do everything, and will even say he feels like he's going to 'barf', just so that he can go take a nap in the nurse's office. He's messed around so much this year already that we (the school and I) have already decided to hold him back. He has the highest grade in math, but can't write a sentence or read an appropriate grade level book without crying. His classmates even refer to him as 'the baby brother of the class'.
Last year I noticed how out of hand things have gotten and have tried my very best to correct the situation. I've done time-outs, charts for good/desired behavior, I talk to him at his level and in simple terms, I use positive reinforcement. I have taken away toys and privileges, and he has gotten the occasional spanking. I even do 'special time' for each of my kids individually, every day- so that through everything, he knows Mommy loves him. He meets with his school counselor 2x a week to talk about feelings and to help build his confidence. Nothing has worked.
I had behavior problems with my oldest son who is now 8, but he responded very well to all of that. He is very responsible and does exactly what is expected of him 98% of the time.
So, Moms...what do I do? I need some out-of-the-box ideas here. I am dealing with a 6 year old, who is SMART, and behaves like a toddler.
I would go back to the school district and tell them that you want him evaluated for an IEP (Individualized Education Plan). He's being left back, so his behavior is already disrupting his education. If he has an IEP in place then they will have a plan for when he's upset in class, or for when he starts saying he's going to "barf" that will help to propel him forward.
I have to admit, that part hits close to home. Whenever I ask my son to do something he doesn't want to he says, "uhhh, I feel sick. I need to go to bed." Which is funny, because half the time he says it is because I want him to go get ready for bed. My son has autism, so I know all about behavioral issues. It's tough going, but with the right plan in place he can make great strides.