Hope for my Son After All

My five-year-old started kindergarten this year. He’s a good kid – very polite, thoughtful, caring and sensitive. But he’s also loud, stubborn and intelligent – and craves a good deal of attention (I have no idea where he got those attributes….).

He’s had a hard time adjusting to the rules. He tends to interrupt, can’t keep his hands to himself and is not one to hold back his opinions even when the teacher is talking. He’s had a few outbursts – controlling his emotions is also something he’s trying to learn. We are working closely with his teacher to try and help him through positive parenting and reinforcement. But it hasn’t been easy. I am not an overly-emotional woman but it’s hard to hold back tears when the teacher is telling me that she’s had to place him at his own work table because otherwise he gets into trouble.

And then this week The New York Times indicated – as my husband often does – that I shouldn’t worry so much. With his article, “Bad Behavior Does Not Doom Pupils, Studies Say,” Benedict Carey indicated that two new studies highlight that children entering school with behavior problems are not doomed to fall behind in the upper grades – as many educators and psychologists had historically indicated.

Not that I thought my boy would fail but I was starting to worry about his future label as class clown, and what that might mean for his dedication to learning.

One study concluded that kindergartners who are identified as troubled do as well academically as their peers in elementary school. In fact, Sharon Landesman Ramey, director of the Georgetown University Center on Health and Education, was quoted as saying “I think these may become landmark findings, forcing us to ask whether these acting-out kinds of problems are secondary to the inappropriate maturity expectations that some educators place on young children as soon as they enter classrooms.”

Based on a lot of men that I know, maturity (or lack thereof) has no bearing on intelligence and success!

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