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What would you do if your 4 year old pulled this crap at school?

DD all of the sudden this week at Pre-K decided she was not going to write neatly and was going to pretend she did not know how to do math. He teacher finally told me about it today. As soon as she got home I sat with her and made her write her name 5 times- neatly. We had to erase and start over a few time and I also made her do the math paper she refused to do- and write nicely on- over. Tomorrow she will be copying sentences and Monday (school is out here) she will be doing a few basic math facts to giver her teachers on Tuesday to make up for all the crap she pulled this week. What would you have done?

the one on the left if form school- on the right is the one I made so she could do it over.  

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Asked by But_Mommie at 9:28 PM on Jan. 18, 2013 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 44 (181,645 Credits)
Answers (17)
  • I'd say that is NORMAL behavior.... they are pushing her to advance too fast... her brain isn't ready to go to these higher functions just yet & physically she is not expected to have the fine motor control to write well... or, if she can write well she will not have the stamina keep it up for long. She may have some shining moments but it's normal for her to have trouble with this stuff!! And having just met with the OT at my kids school today I can tell you the writing on the left is very NORMAL or her age!! I would not have punished her I would have told the school to back the "F" off!!


    Answer by Crafty26 at 11:05 PM on Jan. 18, 2013

  • I said 4 but she turned 5 last month- duh moment- and yes she is in a private Montessori school. She is technically in pre-k but they give her kindergarten work. I don't think she is a genius. lol. she is on the same level as the kindergarten students at her school in most areas. maturity? Maybe not so much. we have talked about what her problem is and it seems to be that she doesn't like to go to school for 5 days in a row. lol. I guess she got spoiled with all the holidays and then she is off on Monday too. She will get back into the swing of things. I am not asking her to do a ton over the holiday but she will finish the math paper one day and copy 3-4 sentences the next. If she does it right the first time it will take her less than 10 minutes. I am trying to teacher her that when we mess around at school and do not do our work- we have to finish it at home. He school does not have HW so I'm not adding extra.

    Comment by But_Mommie (original poster) at 11:09 PM on Jan. 18, 2013

  • I am not pushing her to have perfect handwriting I am pushing her to do her best. We all know she is capable of writing as in the second sheet. We are not asking her to do more than she has already proven she is capable of doing. kwim? She has had legible handwriting all year and all of the sudden after Christmas break it has gotten super sloppy.

    Comment by But_Mommie (original poster) at 11:11 PM on Jan. 18, 2013

  • I suspect your expectations of what normal kids do is a little off. I have 2 nieces in a gifted school (the kind you need to test into), but at 4/5 they would struggle with doing this kind of work consistently. There would be good weeks when they shine and bad days/weeks when they just don't. Your daughter may not be a genius, but she is being given work that is a little advanced for her age - you have to admit that! And I totally understand wanting to teach her to do her best, but honestly do you always feel like doing your best? Always? I think of myself as a very smart and capable woman, but even as an adult I have my weeks when I'm just not thinking and not willing to work at my best (at home or work). You may be doing this (hard to tell from one post), but I think the trick is to balance high expectations with realistic understanding and patience.

    Answer by Sebbiemama at 10:39 AM on Jan. 19, 2013

  • Everyone keeps saying it is too advanced for her but it's not. And the not being able to do the math is not the issue. The fact that she feels she can slack off and be defiant towards her teachers is. She is capable fo doing the problems she has shown that over and over again. Her hand writing is much better than that she has shown that over and over again. She is a Montessori school so they teach at the child's pace. This is just where she is in math. She is past 1+1=2. And yes I expect her to do her best all the time. an off day or two here and there is fine but an entire week is unacceptable.

    Comment by But_Mommie (original poster) at 11:04 AM on Jan. 19, 2013

  • Actually DreainCO, Coala, QuinMae and I have given you real answers - not just "It's too hard! Back off!" I KNOW a 4/5 year old might be able to handle this easily without her brain exploding. If she's truly just testing boundaries your response should work and her slacking off should end. But if it continues or if problems arise in other ways, please take a harder look at WHY. We all tire out sometimes or succumb to peer pressure or have some other emotional experience that manifests in weird ways - and kids do too! It's totally unreasonable to expect ANYONE to always do their best. I have stressful times when I basically don't want to do the dishes or laundry for a week or more. Is that because doing the dishes is too hard? No! Will being mad and punishing me for not doing the dishes help? BIG no! She's too young to know how to identify the REAL problem on her own, so maybe you will need to help her with this.

    Answer by Sebbiemama at 9:20 AM on Jan. 20, 2013

  • I think you handled it well. If she is capable of writing neatly and doing her work correctly, and suddenly decides she doesnt want to do that and goes out of her way to make it sloppy and incorrect, i would do exactly what you did.

    We as parents need to make sure our children do everything to the best of their abilities. Some may say thats harsh, but it isnt. If you dont push your child (in a manner that is acceptable, maturity appropriate and age appropriate) we are going to end up with failures in the world. HOnestly.

    I think you handled it correct.

    Answer by MomNbabyGirl009 at 5:59 PM on Feb. 4, 2013

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