Posted by: DD | January 24, 2007

no. 367 – X at School

Here’s what’s going on with X and school. This is not the first time that his teacher has told us that he’s been acting out of sorts, but yesterday was the first time he had to go in for a talk with the principal.

When our teacher, Mrs. Plumber (this will be her blog-name), tells us he’s "acting out of sorts", she has something to compare it to. X was in a beta program last year for 3-year old preschoolers. Mrs. Plumber was his teacher then as well. She knows that his behavior is drastically different this year compared to last.

Off the cuff, we all agree he has impulse control issues. She assured us that his actions are not "naughty" in nature. He does not intentionally set out to disrupt class by being excessively loud or during play to punch someone in the stomach (which has happened). He just does. When he is pulled aside, he really doesn’t even understand why he’s in trouble. His teacher implements time-outs, but not as punishment, per se, but time to think about what has happened.

While we were sitting in her classroom, X was in a constant state of movement even though he didn’t leave his chair. He was not sullen but he knew why we were there. We had already discussed with X last night that we would be meeting with his teacher and why. I asked Mrs. Plumber if he instigates any negative behavior in the other children, and she assured me he does not. They all pretty much ignore his actions.

We admitted to her that the only time he really does focus is when he’s on the computer. She confirmed that it is one of his favorite activities during class as well. She believes that he is functioning at a little more advanced stage. He’s not necessarily "gifted" as he does not read and has a problem sounding out words to the point where they make sense. He does well in math skills. She just believes his brain is maturer and needs more stimulation. And I completely agree.

We told her that at bed-time he is moving 100mph until he hits a wall. He doesn’t usually get into bed quietly and lay his head down and drift off to sleep. He plays with toys, usually staying in bed, and 30 minutes later we can go to check on him and find him dead asleep, but it’s as if he’s passed out right in the middle of play – action figures in hand and props on the bed. He wakes the same way: the last thing on his mind at night is the first thing on his mind in the morning. In the rare occasion we have to wake him, it just takes a nudge, and he’s wide awake, ready to play.

The only thing that seems to control the inappropriate impulses is the immediate and definite  squelching of them. Yesterday, we were in a store and X and I were chatting. He offered this opinion to something that we were discussing, "That sucks." I quickly reprimanded him, letting him know what was appropriate to say instead. I know without a shadow of a doubt, he will never say that again (well, maybe in a few years) because I responded immediately and clearly.

So when I look at how he responds to clearly defined guidelines, I can see why he may act up more this year than he did last. Mrs. Plumber only has to over-look a behavioral issue just once and it will forever gray that line he shouldn’t be crossing. It’s true at home as well. He’s an expert at reading people. He knows how far he can push Grandma; he knows how far he can push Mommy; he knows how far he can push Mrs. Plumber and he still trying to figure out how far he can push Daddy. Even though each of us is very different, he has almost all us down to a T.

Today’s talk with his teacher was more or less to show X that as parents, we are a united front working together to maximize his potential. She will seek out additional projects for him to stimulate him in a positive manner without isolating him from the rest of the class. She told us that she loves having him in her class. He’s smart. He’s funny. And she told us that we are very, very lucky to have such a sweet, clever boy as our son.

I couldn’t agree with her more.



  1. I am glad that it wasn’t as bad as we all were thinking it would be. Raising kids is so tough, especially when the little buggers decide that they are going to (gasp!) think for themselves and develop stubborness that couldn’t possibly come from their parents. 😉
    Glad that the teacher is willing to work with you and try to keep him busy with “older” projects. I hope it works out and that helps him to not have to visit with the principal again.
    Wishing you the best.

  2. It’s so hard, but it sounds like Mrs. Plumber really has X’s best interest at heart.

  3. Well she certainly sounds like a “keeper”!
    I’m glad that she is willing to work with X and the 2 of you in presenting the united front.

  4. The Boy rarely sits still either. He loves XBox and his Gameboy, so that’s no problem. Nor is watching any program he likes or the computer. But during meals or any other time he is moving some body part. It’s frustrating. But, he and X are so similar in that The Boy is one smart cookie, too. His mind is constantly working. It sounds like Mrs. Plumber is a peach.

  5. I was replying to the previous post but then one of my own little buggers distracted me and I forgot to finish it. Now, reading this post, I’m just so glad that Mrs. Plumber is one of the goodies. A teacher who recognises we all have different strengths and talents and is not trying to fit her pupils in one mould.

    Good on Mrs. Plumber and lucky X!

  6. Sounds like you handled it very well. I hope X shapes up. I’d been told that 4 and 5 were wonderful ages, but I didn’t find that until 6 and 7; 8 was tougher and 9 has been a breeze until we’ve gotten a does of teenagerisms in the last month or two.

    Have you ever read the “Your [Age] Year Old” books? Some things are dated, but the ‘what to expect’ at any given age is quite valuable.

  7. It sounds like X is very lucky to have a teacher who cares about him, and is willing to find ways to direct his energy. Having two kids with ADHD, I definitely find that a FABULOUS trait in a teacher. And as I said in my last post, we’ve had some teachers that just – weren’t. Bare minimum to get the kid through the year, and that was all they could be asked to do. Hate to point fingers, but that was when we had Zack’s kids in OPS, hence our opposition to that merger that was such a hot issue last year.

  8. Kudos to you and Mrs. Plumber. She definitely sounds like an all-star teacher.

    Kids are so individual but the system tends to mash them together so that it takes teachers like Mrs. Plumber to recognize what a child’s behavior really means.

  9. I’m glad that the meeting didn’t turn into a bitch session. Sounds like the teacher is one of the good ones.
    Hopefully everything will work out for everyone.

  10. Sounds like a great teacher! Good luck!

  11. Oh, how lucky you are to have had such a positive interaction with X’s teacher. We’re still working on that around here. X sounds a lot like Bubba in the testing-of-limits department. You’re right…as long as he knows exactly where the line is, he isn’t likely to cross it.

  12. A good teacher is worth their weight in gold.

    Good thing you have someone so professional and caring 🙂

  13. What a great kid! He’s just what a kid ought to be: full of energy, curiosity and obstinance! I hope he’s enjoying it…it all ends once “maturity” sets in!

  14. She sounds like a wonderful teacher! Can I have her next year?

  15. Sometimes I wonder if these things are caused by too much structure in the classroom these days. Boys are energetic and need to get out and play. It’s in their nature. I’m not saying that there shouldn’t be structure. It’s just that daycares and preschools seem to be following the lead of elementary schools that are limiting recess and adding homework at earlier and earlier ages. I could be completely off base, but I’d be worried if my son (which I admit to be lacking) didn’t have act impulsively and just sat quietly and was compliant. Of course, this is no excuse to act out, but I think it’s understandable.

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