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Doodling and Dawdling

Elementary School Expert Advice from Barbara Potts

Q: My first-grader's teacher tells me my son is either drawing when he should be doing other work or not paying attention. When I confront him about it, he says he is bored in class. His grades are great. What should I do?

A: Talk with the school counselor. She may be able to observe your son in the classroom and give you an objective opinion of what is going on there. The counselor can also explain any programs that are available at the school that will challenge your son.

Request a conference with the teacher as well. Ask her to work out a plan with you that will encourage your son to pay attention in class. The teacher could set up a system in which he earns checkmarks or stickers when he is paying attention and doing his work. She could send you a daily note to let you know how his day was and you could follow up at home with a reward of time alone with you or an extra bedtime story.

Since this school year is almost over in most parts of the country, write a letter to your son's principal describing the kind of teacher you would like for him to have next year. You may want to request someone who is warm and caring; firm, yet challenging.

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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.

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