Help me help the most awesome kid I know
November 22, 2011 6:57 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for advice on how to help my five year old with some behavioral issues.

I had my first parent teacher meeting with my son’s kindergarten teacher today. There are a few things that I need to work on with my child. The teacher noted that my son often overreacts when things don't go his way, sometimes yelling or screaming. These aren’t long tantrums but short outbursts born of frustration. He also quits or becomes frustrated when he does not excel at a task and will rush through work he isn’t interested in rather than working to improve. He is sometimes rude to others, (for example butting into line) largely because he is unaware of anyone but himself. In a similar vein, if someone hurts themselves he does not have the reflex to ask if they are OK, or if he can help.

These are also things I've noticed at home, albeit to a lesser degree. I want to do what I can to help him tackle these problems and learn to deal with his feelings in a more constructive way. I also want him to be comfortable trying new things and failing, and trying again (I’ve read this ask, which has some great advice).

He’s very bright and loving and his last report card (from his early childhood education teacher at a large scale institutional daycare) was excellent. There haven’t been any major changes at home, but obviously switching from daycare to school was a big change. He does have a tendency to show anxiety by chewing his clothes. This has happened three times in his life, the longest period being for about two months when he was four years old. We also have a 3.5 year old daughter. The two children get along well and my son is not aggressive with my daughter. A few other (maybe) pertinent details: the school is in my son's second language. He's comfortable in this language but his vocabulary is not as extensive as it is in English. He also has a fairly mild lisp and we are working with a speech therapist. He has friends at school though his teacher said some of the children are starting to avoid him at times because of his outbursts.

Can you recommend resources - books, websites or even personal anecdotes - for how you have successfully dealt with similar situations? On the advice of his teacher I will give this a couple of months of work at home and school and if things don’t improve will then think about moving on to some kind of therapy.
posted by Cuke to Human Relations (19 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I had a lot of adjustment issues as a kid - divorce, custody switches, being much younger than everyone else, being way ahead of my grade level - and for whatever reason the Berenstain Bears series was surprisingly helpful. This one, for instance, really stuck with me in a way I remember 25 years later.

A lot of these things are also learned through play and setting an example and such - like the "asking someone if they need help" reflex. It's the kind of thing where you're playing with GI Joe or whatever and something bad happens to him (my dolls had a tendency to be attacked by dinosaurs) and Grandma or Mom or whoever says "oh, no, is he okay??" My grandmother used to write letters to me inquiring about the health and well-being of my stuffed animals, and was sort of my living example of etiquette and how to treat people nicely. She also did quite a bit of monitoring of my behavior with individual friends, prompting us towards healthier activities than sitting and watching TV (I remember she once paid my friend and I each a quarter to wash and dry all her dishes for her.)

Which reminds me - building a relationship with two dozen other (needy, selfish, energetic, impatient) people is much harder than one at a time. Can you do play dates?
posted by SMPA at 7:19 PM on November 22, 2011 [3 favorites]

I remember a post on the blue not too long ago about resiliency in children. What you're describing mirrors the experience of many other parents - their kids are smart, well-loved and cared-for, highly skilled in many areas and also really, really frustrated when they fail.

Search is down, but hopefully someone will link to the post when it's back up.

I think the best thing you can do is to help your son experience failure in safe ways so he builds his own ability to manage his disappointment and failure. You can also model making mistakes and using "think alouds" to show him how adults work through those feelings. Don't rush in and solve all his problems and pain - help him learn to build his internal reserves of resiliency.

Good luck.
posted by guster4lovers at 7:20 PM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

One quick thought - did he nap at his old school? Perhaps a change in his sleep schedule is leading to some crankiness, and thus a low tolerance for things not going his way.
posted by booksherpa at 7:32 PM on November 22, 2011

I'll relate my experience, with the disclaimer that it may have NOTHING to do with what you are dealing with. My oldest son was a very bright, neat, curious kid. However, from a very young age (4 for 5 years old) there were some behaviors, similar to what you're describing, that didn't sync with who we perceived him to be.

At about the age of 7 or so, we contracted for a pretty extensive evaluation and found that he had a learning disorder that tended to make life very difficult for him. Because he was bright, he often compensated in the classroom, functioning well beyond grade level, but the frustration still impacted on the behavior.

Through the testing, and some serious advocacy with his school, we convinced them to do a special education evaluation (incorporating the eval we had done on our own), and make some significant adjustments in how they were teaching/dealing with him at school.

When we finally got the school in sync with his needs, things got much better. We reduced the frustration, removed the barriers, and the behaviors changed.

My advice, find an experienced learning specialist, as well as a good child psychologist and rule out (or identify) any issues that might be impacting on the behavior.
posted by tomswift at 7:51 PM on November 22, 2011 [2 favorites]

"my son often overreacts when things don't go his way, sometimes yelling or screaming. These aren’t long tantrums but short outbursts born of frustration. He also quits or becomes frustrated when he does not excel at a task and will rush through work he isn’t interested in rather than working to improve. He is sometimes rude to others, (for example butting into line) largely because he is unaware of anyone but himself. In a similar vein, if someone hurts themselves he does not have the reflex to ask if they are OK, or if he can help. "

He's FIVE.

Honestly, what does the teacher expect? A department store mannequin?

Seriously, he sounds completely normal. Does he get enough out-door, big-muscle exercise?
Schools want kids to be more controlled and more mature--even when it's not developmentally appropriate or even possible. You could have him checked for hearing problems, sight problems or learning disabilities or sensory integration issues, but frankly, I'd look for a school with teachers who understand 5 year old boys.
posted by Ideefixe at 7:57 PM on November 22, 2011 [6 favorites]

After determining whether your child has a learning or developmental disorder, I would recommend discipline. There are a million forms of loving discipline. Find the ones that work for you, and implement them. As a parent, giving your child rules and boundaries and then holding him accountable is a wonderful gift, and a necessary one. Making friendly-looking charts and using stickers to keep track of accomplishments is a tactic I've used as a much-older sister with great results. There are a lot of good techniques on "Super Nanny." Getting down to his level, making eye contact and telling him, "No." is a great start. Five isn't too young for any of this.

I used to babysit for a child who behaved a lot like your son. He was smart and loving, but his parents worked so hard that, in the limited time they spent with him, they constantly tried to assuage the guilt they felt by assigning the bulk of his care to daycare and babysitters that they never "had the heart" to tackle his inappropriate behavior. They played it off, said he was just a kid, etc. It got so bad that he ended up biting another child and nearly being thrown out of his school. He wasn't monster, it was just that the child *suffered* from their lack of discipline.
posted by devymetal at 8:14 PM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

Raising Cain has a lot of good tips for helping boys develop emotional intelligence and self control, and specifically addresses some issues like Ideefixe mentions about schools not being particularly boy-friendly to under-eight-ish boys these days.

A LOT of this (self-centeredness, outbursts, not wanting to do boring things) sounds like being five. I think the danger is, and the biggest thing I got from Raising Cain is, that since boys aren't given a lot of space to express emotions, all negative emotions -- sadness, frustration, mourning, tiredness, humiliation, feeling threatened -- start to get expressed as anger (which is socially acceptable for boys) and that, in turn, leads to the kind of behavior that actually causes trouble. Helping him learn to express his frustration as frustration, and using his words, and then channeling it into more appropriate responses than outbursts, will serve him well for the rest of his life. Even if his frustrated outbursts are just being five.

(Also, is he on the younger end of the age range for his grade at school? That can make a difference too.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:32 PM on November 22, 2011 [6 favorites]

He is going to need you to help him understand how to identify different feelings (their names, what they are, what they look like on a face, what situations might prompt them), and once you teach him a few basic feelings (therapists usually start with "glad, sad, mad, scared" and build off of those), help him understand how to differentiate between them by describing when you feel a particular feeling in a particular situation you encounter together. Help him understand appropriate feelings expression by modeling statements like, "I feel really happy right now because I missed you all day while you were at school!" or "I feel frustrated when I am trying to tell you something important but you are not listening to me."
posted by so_gracefully at 8:42 PM on November 22, 2011

Wow, this question is kinda spooky to me - I wanted to ask something very similar about our first grader some weeks ago, he's had some trouble this school year. He is not a mean or unempathetic kid, but his personality has always been all about HIM. He can do well if he tries but, yeah, there's been social problems too. Really, spooky similarities here. Seriously, I almost feel compelled to thank you for writing this question - weird as that is - because it makes me feel less alone in dealing with this right now.

Okay, well we've seen a lot of improvement with our son over the past few weeks and I'm starting to feel like we've got a handle on things and it'll work out. The first thing I did was cut out most TV-watching and video-game playing. We'd fallen into the bad habit (in our busy household) of too much screen time, not enough face time. Now TV and video-game time is an extra motivator/reward only.

Then I made sure both my husband and I started giving him more personal attention. Playing games with him, reading books to him, letting him read to us, doing special things - my husband took him and his brother to a museum; we let them have a "sleepover" on the living room floor and made s'mores in the fireplace.

My son responds big-time to positive reinforcement and encouragement so we try to point out when he's behaving as we would like as often as we can, even if he needs a little prodding first to do it, and even for small things like just promptly doing what we ask of him. He likes responsibility and "being the leader" so we give him opportunities for that. This seems to be working at school as well for his teachers.

For the tantrums - our son is STRONG and LOUD when he has these outbursts - he really has had a hard time grasping that discipline (for instance, time outs) is a direct consequence of his behavior. He is very good at expressing how he feels (he is mad you won't let him keep playing! he is sad he is having a time out!) but it's been a lot harder for him to get that his actions affect other people and make them mad or sad too. He reacts well to being touched - he would yell that he needed hugs to stop crying - so we'd put a hand on his arm and tell him to calm down, and then we told him if he starts to get mad he can put his own hand on his arm to calm down. We told his teachers to try this and they said it seems to help. We do the level quiet voice repeating over and over again too when he loses control - saying his name, saying I can't help you until you stop and calm down. (These outbursts have been regular for the past couple years and yet I don't think we've had any in the past three weeks, so something is getting through finally, maybe?) Oh, his teachers say transitions are harder for him and outbursts are more likely to occur so they give him warnings that something is about to wrap up and kind of micro-manage him with attention at those times.

Now with those strategies to start, we are working on more advanced stuff. First we were working on "touching". He gets in other people's "bubbles" because he's just not naturally aware of them as having their own feelings, so he pushes because someone's in his way, or hugs without asking if they want hugs, and so on. Currently he needs to learn to stop speaking out of turn in class and talking over the other kids. He is big on "rules" and can be bossy about them to other people, so we do the same thing, we make a rule (it has to be very short and to the point) and then we just repeat the rule. A lot. In the morning before he leaves. When he gets home. Any time he breaks it we point it out. It takes so much repetition before he absorbs it, but he does eventually. I make him look me in the eyes (eye contact - he isn't hearing me if he's not looking at me) and I make him repeat what I've told him a couple times.

As to the quitting/rushing through work, I've found that letting him tinker with stuff he's interested in until he excels at it has been very useful, such as his K'nex - the K'nex came with a booklet of stuff to build and he'll study it and build all on his own. And video games, which I was leery about since he's pretty young but they are so motivating to him, he will really focus and stick to figuring them out. Then when he is not doing his best work in other things we say "oh, we know you can do this much better if you try harder. Just like when you couldn't get Woody to the end of the trains level on your Toy Story game, but you kept trying and you did it!" With reading, he would say "oh I can't do this book, it's too hard" a lot at first, but he really was so interested in his older brother's books (comics and such) that he'd pick them up whenever he could get away with it and work at trying to read them. So I suppose I'm saying, things that are fun and personally interesting, things maybe where he gets extra attention (reading back and forth to each other), helps get him into the habit of doing better work and not giving up with things not quite as interesting to him.

Okay this is very long, I do apologize, I was about to fall asleep when I read this and began to answer, so I hope this bit of ramble has something helpful in it for you.
posted by flex at 9:24 PM on November 22, 2011 [8 favorites]

Seconding the Berenstain bears.
posted by hal_c_on at 11:22 PM on November 22, 2011

We're working on this with our three-year-old (with the caveat that as far as we're concerned, this is normal behavior, but of the sort you want to gently and slowly help the kid work out so they're not throwing a stapler in a board room in forty years).

We're using a lot of emotional 'tell me how you feel' language, like if she makes The Horrible Sound we ask her if she's feeling 'frustrated' and letting her know to come into the room we're in and ask for help if she needs help, or to 'be patient and try again'. Ideally so she can say 'This is frustrating; can you help?' rather than making The Horrible Sound.

The other thing we're doing is trying to get her to incorporate 'Excuse me' into her language instead of yelling her question/comment into the middle of us talking (usually along with the charming, 'Don't talk!') and waiting until there's a pause to interject.

We're approaching this quite lightly, just as a thing she's learning, like how to use scissors and how to wipe her butt, not as the auxiliary arm of Miss Humorless's School for Girls.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 1:30 AM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

Huh. I could've written this post after our school conference last week for my 1st grader.

I met with a teaching team (about half a dozen teachers, his own plus a variety of specialists), who went down a list of various possible reasons for the outbursts and inattention, everything from epilepsy to ADD. We'll be seeing our pediatrician soon for annual checkup, and I'll address these things with her. One of the key phrases I wrote down to share with her was "emotional regulation."

We're also going to be submitting something called a Conners Assessment, which is a screening tool our school uses for a variety of things. I'm sort of hoping something shows up here. He does get anxious about school, and he has a really hard time transitioning. September was a very long and awful month. So some of it might be anxiety related.

You can address individual behaviors, yes. Maybe some relaxation exercises and visualization for the outbursts, working on time management (I'm looking at special timers like this one), and taking a look at his classroom setup for distractions. O's teacher rearranged the bookshelves when he admitted he was distracted by the books and wanted to read during circle time.

I'm thinking about collecting some articles about introversion, too, for his teacher (Caring for your Introvert is a good one). O got a double-dose of the introvert gene from his dad and me, and I think that's part of what's going on. Spending all day in a busy classroom is kind of overwhelming and very definitely tiring. He's done better as the school year progresses, but it's not a natural environment for him. I also check quite a few things off on the Highly Sensitive Person quiz for him, so... I don't know.

I think a lot of this will resolve itself as O gets older, since he is developing a LOT like his dad did - though my mom-in-law says that my husband had trouble with the focus thing through high school, so we'll see. The good news is, my hubby finished college and went on to a good career, so it hasn't kept him from succeeding. He just never fit well into the school mold. I'm trying to take the long view while working on specific behaviors that can help O help himself in the classroom. In the end, I think he processes information and interacts with the world in a slightly different way. We want to make sure he knows there's nothing wrong with that.

I'm interested to see what our pediatrician thinks (she's known him since infancy). Also interested to see if they're as concerned in the spring (we're planning a follow-up conference), or if the next 6 months will show big improvement.
posted by hms71 at 6:13 AM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

Everything you've described sounds well within the normal range of five-year-old behavior to me. They are not miniature adults, they can't do adult-level reasoning about which behaviors are appropriate and nor should they be expected to. They need to be shown, not told.

1-2-3 Magic is a discipline system based on the idea that kids want to be good but need to learn how, and the system provides a gentle, safe and effective method for helping them figure out how to get along with other people.

The key to helping Little Cuke connect the consequences of obnoxious behavior to the behavior itself, and to stopping the Big Cukes feeling like their lives are slipping out of control, is consistency of consequences. The ultimate nuclear-weapon all-hope-now-gone consequence in the 1-2-3 Magic system is an age-appropriate period of timeout, and this is mild enough that it can be consistently applied when needed without provoking undue parental guilt.

But in fact it rarely has to be once the system's been in use for a while. The "That's 1" and "That's 2" warnings consistently issued before ever applying a timeout function as opportunities for the little ones to test behaviors without risk in order to find out which ones are going to bring on a timeout, and as steam valves for parents to remind them who the adult is right now. It's a good system, and it should help you lower the background noise of natural 5-year-old obnoxiousness enough to let you identify genuine learning issues much more clearly.
posted by flabdablet at 6:39 AM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

Well, as flex and hms71 have said, this is us too.

We are currently working with our doctor to begin again in assessing and finding some tools for our seven year old daughter for something beyond being "wonderfully eccentric with a rich interior life", since now in Second grade the same social issues and responses we faced in First grade are only slightly better due to maturity. We'd started exploring causes with a Pediatric Development Specialist, due to her tantrums and migraines and "zoning out" and did some tests to rule out medical causes - we were worried about absence seizures at one point.

This is a case of apples & trees in some ways for us - my husband is a clothing-chewer from way back - but we're beginning to see what might be some OCD, and again this year, in our parent-teacher interview words like "hyperfocusing" and "anxieties" were used. And I know that she expresses anxiety as anger, and her response to pain or discomfort is anger - and living with that means I, too, have to work hard to remember that I'm frustrated with the atmosphere she creates, yet be sympathetic to her. I talk to my doctor a lot about how I'm coping with this stress to keep myself sane. So, we'd left off over the summer because she'd improved tremendously, but it's been getting tougher again these past few months, though her classroom is exponentially better than last year's due to a few changes, as the stresses build and she can't let them go.

School is stressful for some kids in ways some of us can't imagine, and it goes beyond discipline. She's noise-sensitive, and polychronic. Certain things trigger migraines in her. We think she might have food allergies and sensitivites that (more testing!). We're grateful that our school works to use as much natural light as possible, and has been working on keep classrooms calm and uncluttered. They're into having movement breaks, and will be doing yoga and rewards are experiences and earned incrementally, which is great for her. Having a teacher who doesn't treat her as a problem to solve but as an interesting kid who needs strategies helps - she'll be getting a strategic support team for help in the areas where she needs work, and sometimes that just means being able to spend time in a smaller class where she can concentrate better. Her grades are great - it's just that they could be even better if she could cope with distractions and get help for some organizational issues too. And that sounds just like me as a kid.

But what I'm coming in to say is that our doctor has told us that as much as we love her, we can't be her therapists. Her teacher recognizes that she has a literacy-rich, supportive environment where we will explore options and take advantages where we find them, unlike other kids in the school - and that we can only support her, not do it for her. I'd say to talk to your pediatrician. It turns out when we first queried her about getting help, our family doctor had made notes over the years about clues and behaviours that may or may not be neurotypical, such as avoiding eye contact and a certain speech impediment - it was only when putting them together with her social development and learning styles that came from the school that we're getting a more complete picture of what's going on with our kid. So, we have a three-pronged approach - Doctor, Teacher and Us.
posted by peagood at 7:24 AM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

He's FIVE.

Honestly, what does the teacher expect? A department store mannequin?
I think we need to assume that if the teacher mentions it, it is because this child's behavior is outside the ordinary.

I mean, yes, it is normal for five year olds to not be miniature adults. It is normal for anyone to have emotional "moments" that lead to the desire to behave inappropriately. But it is ALSO normal for parents and teachers to try to help a child learn to recognize what the right and wrong ways to express frustration are. And to teach things like cooperation and seeing the bigger picture, so that a child learns to do things like recognize that there is a line and how to wait their turn, and WHY to wait their turn.

When you have someone who is having emotions that aren't quite right for a situation (like the quick to frustrate and the butting into line), it is important to acknowledge that they are having those emotions and to teach them how to express them, but it is also just as important to help them to reframe their thinking toward a more constructive frame. Why merely "cope" with something when you can enjoy it?
posted by gjc at 7:57 AM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

Thanks everyone, I can't tell you how helpful this is.

@ booksherpa, they have replaced naps with "quiet time". One of the problems is that my son is not being quiet at quiet time.

flex, if I didn't know better I'd say you were my partner. You are building on my description of my son. He loves Lego, videogames (Minecraft is the favorite right now), chess, Monopoly. He wants nothing to do with regular table puzzles, drawing, writing and doesn't show much interest in learning how to read. Except to figure out how to write my password for the computer to override the time limits I've set for him :) that is.

Thank you all for the book recommendations and the websites as well. I'm going to start researching. I also equally appreciate the feedback from those of you saying "relax, 5 years old" and those saying "think about a specialist". It is all food for thought.

Most of all, thanks to all of you who wrote about your similar experiences.
posted by Cuke at 9:43 AM on November 23, 2011

These two books have been helpful for us: Raising Your Spirited Child, and Kids, Parents and Power Struggles. I think the former book would be most helpful to you - but the latter is good for understanding behaviour and problem-solving.

Good luck, by the way. And thanks for checking back in - I wanted to say after reading your response that our daughter was later than some in her class to read - but it finally and really clicked in at the beginning of this school year, and now she's a voracious reader. It's absolutely great - it makes her more portable, easily entertained and it lowered the frustration levels in a few places where she was insecure socially. Like your son, she had a few specific interests that she wanted to explore, and wasn't a big risk-taker if she couldn't immediately excel and was continually frustrated that she couldn't work to completion on the things she was interested in when in school. And even our doctor mentioned that she might have been a good candidate for an alternative school. That said, now we make sure to give her lots of down time for what she does enjoy; and now managing her reading lends itself to another set of difficulties for us, as it's a coping mechanism for her, and also a tool to shut people out when she's having difficulty.

I keep thinking that kids like ours are going to be great adults doing something unconventional in the way of work (my kid thinks it's just wrong that the weekend is only two days long, and wants to figure out how to change that for everyone) and it's just that the world isn't well set up for their temperaments, and so all the creative thinking, impulsiveness and urges get tamped down in school and in our case, our urban society . A friend recommended I read Last Child in the Woods - she said she saw my daughter in it. I can see at a glance that yes, my child would be happier growing up the way I did, and we already work to make sure she gets as much outside time in our parks and lakeshore as we can cram in to a day.
posted by peagood at 10:56 AM on November 23, 2011

I came back to make the points gjc pretty much made. I totally hear where "he's just young, boys are boys and schools can be pretty not-accommodating of their energy and too high in their expectations" is coming from, and I even agree with much of that, but I don't think that's what's happening in my situation. It's pretty clear to me my son is having trouble with some things that are appropriate for him to be doing at his age, and it disrupts the class, takes up the teacher's time, and prevents him from making friends and getting along. It's had similar effects at home.

Honestly I'm really happy that the teachers seem so concerned about how he is getting along with his peers and want to address these issues now instead shrugging and being like "oh, kids are kids" - this is in stark contrast to when I was growing up. I had a very hard time making friends when I was little and those issues affected me for years. I don't want what I went through to happen to my child!

Cuke, how strange is that? You're describing my son last year. He didn't want to draw beyond the bare minimum of stick figures and a few scribbles (his older brother is artistically inclined, so he's come around somehwat on that, since he wants to do what his brother does); he didn't want to do puzzles that weren't the big floor puzzles ("too hard"), he wasn't interested in writing anything but his name and he definitely wasn't interested in reading (also "too hard"). But he's come along on ALL those things by now. We make sure he gets a lot of active time outside playing (he's definitely one of those sticks, rocks, and dirt kind of kids) and sports activities (not too competitive - no leagues - but he does soccer and floor hockey, and he's had swimming lessons).

I wanted to mention to you as well that I recently figured out that some of my son's outbursts were due to knowing how he felt but not knowing what to do when he felt that way. We were talking and he mentioned he told the other kids that he liked something that was pink and they made fun of him, and he was angry they were being mean. We discussed things he could do when that happened (walk away and tell the teacher; walk away and go do something else; don't let them make you angry because you know it's okay to like something pink, and they just want to see you get mad because they think that's funny; say something funny yourself and you won't feel angry when you're feeling silly) and you know what, it really seemed to help him. He kept coming back to it for days afterwards and telling us "when so-and-so said this I was angry, so I went and told the teacher and I walked away" and then we'd praise him, and he was very pleased about it all.

So I think part of it is giving them a road map, you know? Because some people seem to know innately how to handle social situations, but others of us need to learn. He is definitely emotionally attuned and sensitive, but I think he's going to need some time figuring it out how to handle it - he's so passionately emotional, I think it honestly scares him - the yelling for hugs - and he avoids eye contact when you're telling him something he doesn't want to hear and I'm getting the feeling it's, like, to pre-empt getting carried away by his emotions.

Anyway, feel free to MeMail me and you have my best wishes that your situation improves. Reading this thread has been almost like sitting with a support group for me (I'm not alone, whew) so thank you!
posted by flex at 1:50 PM on November 23, 2011 [2 favorites]

An update, in case anyone ever checks. Things are much better. We worked hard on things at home with lots of emphasis on thinking about how others are feeling and walking away to take a break rather than getting upset. At school the teacher gave him the choice to do math problems rather than nap. We've drastically reduced computer time (to 0 for the last few weeks) and are having our son "practice" playing alone. It doesn't always work perfectly but there has been real improvement. We just had our second report card and parent teacher meeting and everything is now hunky-dory according to the teacher. I think we will always have to work a bit more with our son than our second child, but we are all proud of the progress he's made. I've been back here a few times to read the advice offered. It helped a lot, so thanks again.
posted by Cuke at 9:07 PM on March 3, 2012 [3 favorites]

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