|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Parental Encouragement

Elementary School Expert Advice from Barbara Potts

Q: My six-year-old son won't participate in anything without a fight. We try to get him to pass a ball and he will put up a fight not to do it. We signed him up for t-ball last year and it was like pulling teeth to get him to participate. We now have him in Cub Scouts, which we thought would be fun for him, but he's not participating in that, either. He wouldn't even have his picture taken with the group.

When he doesn't want to do something he'll just sit down with his arms around his legs and won't move. It seems whenever we try to do fun things with him, he gives us a hard time. We just can't seem to please him. Is this normal behavior for a six-year-old? We are tired of fighting with him every time we try to do something!

A: Does this attitude occur in all situations? If he reacts this way at school when the teacher asks him to do something, or at dinnertime when you are serving something he doesn't want, he would appear to be a very strong-willed child who wants everything his way.

If he only does this when you are encouraging him to be involved in activities you think will be fun, he may just want to control the things he is involved in or to do other things instead, such as work on the computer.

Either way, this is not a typical reaction to fun activities for a six-year-old. Try to figure out why he is choosing to do battle with you over these things. Ask your son's teacher if he or she has observed this attitude at school.

Try to focus on the positive. Let your son know that his good behavior and appropriate participation can earn him special treats, like doing an art project with you or having a sleep-over, etc.

Is it possible that your son is trying to tell you that he is feeling stressed at being involved in too many things? If so, then you may want to consider scaling back.

You could also talk with the school counselor. He or she may be able to give your son some individual time or include him in a small group.

If this attitude occurs in all settings or continues for a long period of time, you may want to get additional help. The school counselor or your pediatrician can refer you to a therapist in your community.

More on: Expert Advice

Barbara Potts has worked as an elementary school counselor for many years. She has a BA in psychology from Wake Forest University, and an M.Ed. in Guidance and Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

highlights

Happy Surfing! 5 Safe Search Engines for Kids
These safe search engines for kids offer pre-screened sites and age-appropriate filters and content, so your child can have the freedom to browse the Internet while you have peace of mind that he's safe online.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!

Best School Supplies of 2015
It's time to stock up on the latest and greatest school supplies! Make sure your child has all the trendy accessories and must-have classroom staples he needs.

Ready for Kindergarten?
Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks