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03 Feb 2006

WORRIED ABOUT 5YR OLD
Hi doc, I really hope you can help me with this. My son is now in GR0 at home he is just fine, listen to us, very active & happy, we do everything for him buys him what he wants & give him lots of love & attention, since his sister (i am pregnant) is on her way we acctually try to make him feel more "special".. Anyway his teacher spoke to me this morning asking me if there is problems at home since my son doesnt concentrate when she gives him work to do he cries or tell her he rather wants to sleep. She said that at one stage he also wett his pants... I am really concerned I dont know why he is doing this, I now he struggles to concentrate for long periods at a time, but he doesnt cry in the mornings when I tell him to get dressed for school he is actually excited to go to school, thats way it is so strange to me what the teacher said. What can I do! I told him this morning after I spoke to his teacher that he has to concentrate & do what she says if he does well after a month I will buy him a Parrot. I was thinking of doing work with him after school start with 20min at a time & if he can concentrate for that 20min, I will allow him to go & ride his off-road bike or even swim for 10min & then well work for a further 20min. Maybe that will help with his concentration. The other thing I am worried about is that maybe he doesnt like his teacher he was complaining the other day that she hid him agianst the head when he wanted to take a nap... there was actually a bump on his head, but I thought that he was just making it up,.. I must be honest I am not mad about her myself but I dont think that she will hurt the kids. PLEASE I am desperate... what can be the problem...is the work load to much for him,. I am sorry for the long letter... Thanx for your help
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

A side-thought, it may be worthwhile not to make him feel TOO special before the birth, or anything realistic afterwards will seem all the more like he's lost out in competition with the new child. It is just not good for a child if you buy him everything he wants --- real life never does that for us, so he'll be bitterly disappointed when he finds life doesn't deliver like Mom and Dad did.
The idea to reward him for good behaviour, rather than at random, is generally helpful. So if he performs well for a month at school, he gets a parrot ? What does he get after the 2nd month ? N is right to be cautious about rewarding him with gifts rather than praise and loving attention. Kids all love to receive that, and it avoids encouraging them to be materialistic and expert gifts for behaviours which they should want to engage in of their own bat. N's comment was actually very sensible, though it seems to have struck a raw nerve with you.
Your idea of working wih him on his school work, is reasonable. Maybe if at first he can't manage concentration for 20 minutes, gradually increase the time for which he needs to concentrate to get the reward, from 10 to 15 to 20 minutes and beyond. He may also, as you suggest be unhappy with the teacher, for whatever reason. Is there an alternate class he could attend, with a different teacher ? And as suggested, discuss this concern with other moms with kids in that class, and with the principal.
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