|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

High Expectations

Elementary School Expert Advice from Barbara Potts

Q: I just attended a parent-teacher meeting and I was told that my 11-year-old son has been disrespectful to his teacher. His grades have slipped and he's not paying attention in class. What can I do?

A: If you are concerned that there may be some physical problem -- not speaking clearly, not paying attention -- talk with your pediatrician. There may be something (a hearing loss, for example) that can be easily addressed. Part of what you're seeing in your son can go along with being 11 years old. As children approach middle school and puberty, we see changes in their need for independence. They want to show that they are individuals, and this may come across as a disrespectful attitude toward adults.

If you haven't addressed your son's disrespect toward his teacher with him, do so now. Make sure he knows that you have high expectations for his behavior. Ask what he believes is the reason for his grades dropping and his attention problems. Help him address any problems he sees; if he states that someone sitting nearby is distracting him, ask the teacher to move him nearer to her or to the front of the class.

Ask the teacher to help you set up a positive reward system for your son. The teacher can send you daily notes (could be as simple as a check mark) to let you know how his day was. A good day can earn a walk around the block just with you or 15 minutes of telephone or computer time; 3 good days in a week can earn having a friend over to play on the weekend.

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.

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.

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 Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Healthy Smile Checklist for Kids
Have better dental check-ups with this free printable checklist that helps keep your child flossing, brushing, and smiling! Brought to you by Philips Sonicare.

Kindergarten Readiness App
It's kindergarten registration time! Use this interactive kindergarten readiness checklist, complete with fun games and activities, to practice the essential skills your child needs for this next big step. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Top 10 Earth Day Books for Children
Celebrate the environment by reading some of these great children's books about Earth Day, recycling, planting trees, and all things green!

Prom Dress Trends for 2014
Check out 2014 prom dress trends inspired by celebrities’ red carpet looks, but with a price tag under $100!