Need help for my 5 year old daughter! - FamilyEducation
Need help for my 5 year old daughter!
02/04/2008 at 07:12 AM

My daughter is in kindergarten.  She turned 5 years old in July 2007 and started Kindergarten in August 2007 (she's the youngest child in her class.)  She is doing fine academically with regards to letter recognition, beginning reading, sight words, number recognition, and basic math.  She has a great vocabulary and can carry on the best conversations!  Here lies the problem... she is a social butterfly.  She is a chatty cathy type and is very inquisitive.  She is easily distracted and sometimes needs directions (epsecially multiple directions) repeated.  I just received her reportcard and again, she did fine academically, however she did poorly in the area of behavior and work habits (does she really have habits at 5 years old?)  I was told that she "needs improvement" in the areas of focusing, completing her work in a timely fashion, following directions, and listening skills.  I met with the teacher and she told me that she doesn't feel that she could pass my daughter onto 1st grade due to her concerns about these work habits - THIS MEETING WAS IN JANUARY! She told me that she thinks I should take her to our pediatrician to be evaluated for ADHD. 

Now, my daughter can sit and play on her computer for an hour without even moving, she can watch an entire movie without a break.  She can sit through entire broadway productions without as much as a bathroom break which proves that she can focus when she wants to.  I tried trying to get my daughter to talk and was able to pull some things out of her to see what's been going on in school and she said that when she gets stuck on a paper and she raises her hand for help or to tell the teacher she forgot what she said to do the teacher replies "you should have listened the first time to the directions... you need to shape up" WHO SAYS THAT TO A 5 YEAR OLD?!?!  The clincher is that she told me this week-end that it made her feel like she wanted to cry when the teacher crumbeled up her paper and threw it on the floor in front of everyone.  My heart is breaking... any suggestions???

I would be very careful about putting your child through testing for ADHD.  

Did your daughter stay at home with you?

Mine did and we had a similar incident when she was in kindergarten as well.  She didn't like to follow directions. She wasn't in a daycare setting so she wasn't used to all the structure of a school setting and it took her a while to adjust.  

If the teacher is really putting the pressure on you then I suggest talking with her and stating the fact that you aren't interested in testing her for ADHD and are there some activities that you and your daughter could work on to strengthen her abilities to start following directions?  Try to stand firm about the testing if you don't feel that it is right for your child.  I find it hard to believe that is what is going on with her if when she is at home she can sit still and do something even if it is what she wants to do.  

I would read up on ADHD just to see or else talk to your pediatrician, if the Dr. thought there was a problem with your child I am sure they would have mentioned it to you.  But it doens't hurt to ask their opinion.  

As far as the teacher making a spectacle infront of the class about your daughter, that is something that needs to be brought to the attention of the Principal. School is supposed to be a place to foster self confidence etc. and this is definately doing the opposite for your daughter.

Good Luck and trust your instincts about your child, you know her better than anyone!


Thank you.  Yes, she was at home and not in a structured pre-school.  I believe that coupled with her being so young is the problem.  I am gathering all the info I can then I am setting up a meeting with the guidance counselor and principal (without the teacher) I have already spoken to 2 reading specialists in another school district as well as the head of the psychology department at a local college for advice... I do not think adhd and medication is the answer.  Do you know if the guidance counselor must keep our conversation confidential?  I'd hate to make things more difficult for her.  I wonder if requesting that she be moved to another classroom would help??


definitly talk to the principal...that teacher was in the wrong...we are supposed to foster good self esteem and worth in these kids at this tender age of life...holding her back isn't right...I feel that the teacher may be wrong...ask what you can do at home to help your daughter...privacy rules differ state and school districts...I would ask if this is going to be kept private with the counselor...good luck

My son is 5 and in a spec ed kindergarten class. We think by next yr, he'll be ready to attend public school. B/c of his age and his disability, we're leaning towards holding him back a yr by having him repeat kindergarten. My son too has some focusing and behavior issues, but never was it thought that he has ADHD. We did get him evaluated privately, however, for our own purposes. This is totally confidential, as is any communication w/ a teacher, guidance councelor, etc. Getting your daughter evaluated, is not locking her into a lifetime of labeling. No one can force you to do anything you don't want to. You're the parent. This sounds like it cld just be a maturity issue w/ your daughter. Maybe she's just not ready for kindergarten yet. Also, if what you say about the teacher is true, that's certainly not helping the situation. Are any of the other kids having similar problems w/ this teacher? You shld talk to the other parents. Maybe switching classes is not such a bad idea after all. Good luck w/ everything. I'm sure in time things will get better.

and I think meeting with the principal and a counselor without the teacher is good....keep us posted on this....later donna