Trouble with my 5 year old

  • My oldest is 5 and will be 6 in March.  He has just started school.  Everything was going well and now he is have a ton of trouble.  He is hitting, not listening and not doing his work.  I hate picking him up everyday with a bad report.  I just want him to have a good time and to listen to his teacher.  Any ideas on how to help would be great.

  • oh wow.. sorry to hear that. My daughter isn't any where near the school age yet.. but my initial idea is maybe make a sticker chart with set rewards. For every good report he will be allowed to place a sticker on the chart and after so many stickers he will be able to choose a reward from the board and for the bad reports he will have to take a sticker away and understand that it is because of his behavior that he is further from his goal. The trick is to make him put on and take off the stickers so that he is invested in racking up as many of those stickers as possible.

    The other idea that i have is the same concept only with a good report and bad report section. on the good report side it's the same as above except stickers never get taken away. on the bad report side for so many "bad" stickers there is a punishment like cleaning or loosing the tv or something unpleasant. My theory is that eventually behaving will become a habit and you will no longer need an incentive for being good. like i said this is my initial idea that i actually saw on a certain program with an awesome tough British nanny if you catch my drift. Hopefully you'll receive some other suggestions but i wish you luck with tackling this head on.

  • Change is hard on everyone-even good change.  It sounds like he is acting out his feelings in an attempt to express them, and it's not going well.  Have you asked him what is happening?  What feelings can he identify?  Have you asked his teachers what they think is going on?  Is there a school psychologist that you and teacher can meet with as well as your son?  I know this much feel really challenging and upsetting, but you will get through it and so will he.

    I wanted to give you the link to the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) Parent Resource Center.  This webpage has awesome info on everything kid and it's written by the experts.  There is a search bar in the upper right corner and you can search for whatever you need.  I went ahead and did a search for "back to school" and have that link for you below. I also pasted the link to their main page.  Let me know if you need more help!

    Good luck,


    AAP Back to school search:

    AAP Main Page:

  • My son was similar and I know exactly what you are going through. First of all, you need to meet with his teacher to get a better idea of what he is doing and when he is acting out. Are the expectations of the classroom a bit too rigid for him? Is he struggling with attention issues? Does he need more sensory input? Once you find out what he is doing, you can try talking to him to figure out a solution. For my son, we moved his desk closer to the front and away from a few boys that he was getting into trouble with. In addition, we had him evaluated for an attention disorder by a psychologist.He was having trouble concentrating in class and paying attention and his frustration was coming out in other ways. I hope this helps, hang in there!


  • I see you've already got some great advice from other posters. My sister is a preschool teacher and deals with kids who hit and act out quite a bit. She often suggests limiting tv shows that depict a lot of fighting, working on behavior coaching at home, talking about any major changes in the family and how your child feels about them, and setting up meetings with the teacher to find out what is triggering the bad behavior. Hopefully this is a phase and he grows out of it soon! Hang in there and let us know how it's going. 

  • How is your little boy doing in school? Have things gotten better? Just wanted to check in with you!

  • I am so glad to say that things are a ton better at school and at home.  After school one day we sat him down and had a long tolk about how we are to behave at school and at home.  We told him that if he listens he will be able to get icecream in the afternoon. (it is his favorate food.)  We told him that if he was good all week then he would be able to get a new car.  One of the dollar ones or less.  If he comes home with a bad report then he get no tv and no computer time.  All of that has seemed to help.  I am hopeing to lenghten the time for him being good and getting something but for now we are doing what works.  His teacher has said he has done a 180.  I am very proud of him.  He also did not have to take a test this past friday because he had already learned it and told his teacher.  Hopefully it will stay this way.  A lot of prayers have been lifted up for him.  :)

  • Such good news! I'm so glad he is changing his behavior. Seems like a smart little boy and very motivated by your reward system! All kids go through some challenging behaviors now and then - hopefully this is the end of this phase! 

  • Oh that is wonderful news! School struggles are so difficult for everyone, but especially the moms! Us mommies take these things to heart and we hate to see our little guys struggle. I am glad he is doing well! 

  • I like the Idea you share Brinny.. my child for now is 1 year old.

  • What wonderful news that things are going better!  I am so glad. Smile  Please do keep us posted on how the school year progresses,


  • I can relate to this with my daughter. She was having problems in Kindergarden and 1st grade. Now that she is in 2nd grade she seems to be adjusting well. I have found that it just takes time for kids to adjust to the classroom setting. At home they had all the freedom in the world, and then all of the sudden they start school and they are expected to follow rules that they did not have to before. It takes time for little ones to adjust, and I am sure it will get better. Every child matures at a different time, and it just may be that he is so young right now. I hope this helps some, and keep your head up. It gets better with age. I have a 15 year old, 7 year old, 5 year old and one on the way, and I have 4 step-children who are all grown up 19, 19, 20 and 23 Smile.


  • Great advice Julie-just as we are all individuals with our own experiences, feelings and reactions so are our little ones!  How are things going Lovefamily6??


  • Thank you for asking and thank you all for the great advice.  I have taken all of it to heart.  Things are finaly going well.  He is listening and doing well.  He made all As and Bs for his report card so I am very pleased.  Every now and then he will act out but for the most part he listens and he is always so pround when he comes home and says he did his work for the day.  It has truely lightened the load.  Thank you all again. 

  • Lovefamily6-

    So glad that things are going better for you.  Parenting is def. up and down.  Celebrate these good moments and hang on to them.  With your persistance and obvious good parenting the good moments will grow and grow!  Well done,