Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Positive Behavior Plan

Elementary School Expert Advice from Barbara Potts

Q: My kindergartner can't work independently at school. I've had many meetings with his teacher and she recommends that I give him work to do independently at home. At home he does his work fairly quickly, but at school he becomes easily distracted. Any suggestions?

A: As you know, there is a big difference between doing work at home with just Mom and perhaps siblings around in a quiet house, and doing work at school with 20 classmates making noise and doing work at the same time. It is understandable that children are more easily distracted at school.

Ask your son's teacher to help you try a positive behavior plan with your son. The teacher can send you a daily note -- as simple as a smiley face or a check mark -- to let you know how well he worked that day, then follow up at home. A good day can earn an extra bedtime story or a walk around the block just with you; two or three good days in a week can earn having a friend over to play on the weekend. You can increase the good work required to earn a reward as his behavior improves. The key to any system like this is to reinforce the good work consistently and over a long period of time.

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.


Top 2015 Halloween Costumes for Kids
Will your child transform into a dinosaur, a superhero, or the latest Disney princess on October 31? Take a look at 2015's hottest Halloween costumes for boys and girls of all ages!

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!

8 Not-Too-Spooky Halloween Activities for Kids
Halloween can be too scary and gory for preschoolers and kids of all ages. Find non-scary Halloween activities and party ideas that make this creepy holiday more kid-friendly.

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