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How can I get my child to follow directions in school?

I have a 5 year old that just started school. He went to preschool and did not receive any complaints from the teachers. This year, however, he is getting notes sent home saying he is not listening or following directions and talks when the teacher is talking. Any suggestions on how I can stop it now before it becomes a bigger issue?

Submitted by cromcminn1

Teachers today often have so many kids in the classroom that it's important you help her to understand your child, and how he best responds. This sounds like a teacher issue. Let her know -- immediately -- that you're concerned, and would like to schedule a conference (without your son present). Help her to help him -- and if you don't get progress that way, involve the school administrator for more help. Ask her for specifics on what she's seen in your son, what she's tried, and what seems to work. Don't wait until the end of the year -- stay on top of this so that it doesn't turn into a bigger problem. You want your son to have a great school experience!

The answers from our experts are for educational purposes only. Please always refer to your child's pediatrician and mental health expert for more in-depth advice.

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I 100% agree with the expert. My 5yr old son is having the same notes sent home. His PK teacher tells me he does good work and is ahead of most of the class, but does not listen and follow instructions. One example of him not following directions was: She told him he couldn't have chocolate milk at lunch, he got chocolate anyways, so she took it from him and gave him white. My son chose not to drink any milk that day at lunch. So maybe my son is just not following Ms PKs unnecessary directions??
Submitted by imibikini
I fully agree with the 1st grade teacher, as I am a 2nd grade teacher. We already wear many hats and for this Dr. that has NO educational experience to be telling the parent that it is our fault and to involve administrators, if the child doesn't get better, is irresponsible. Each year the expectations get more demanding and teachers do their best to move seats, incentive or behavior plans, etc. but we don't have time to do all the extras for one child, when we have 20+ other kids as well.
Submitted by rdermott86
i agree i dont think this is a teacher issue. i am having the same problem with my five year old. I do feel its because the day school he was going to was more like a daycare and it wasnt structure.
Submitted by melfig03
I disagree with Dr. Heather's response. As a 1st gr. teacher, I find it quite naive for her to call this "a teacher issue." While the child may have done very well in a preschool environment, kindergarten has much more structure and more is required of students. Now they are expected to listen carefully, follow directions accurately, etc. Helping to practice these behaviors at home as a parent will help at school. Simply blaming the teacher is irresponsible; it is the child who will suffer.
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