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Bright Boy From Religious Home Rebels at School


My 10-year-old son is overactive at school. His teachers tell us that he won’t sit still, argues often with other children and is disruptive in class. This is despite the fact that he is smart. We have tried our best to talk to him, but I feel helpless about how to guide him. I am feeling very disappointed in myself, as our family is religious but our values don’t seem to be sticking with our son.



We recommend that you request that the school psychologist evaluate your son soon. Your tax dollars pay for this service, so it’s to your advantage to use it. Perhaps a behavioral Individual Education Plan (IEP) will be needed so that his goals are not only academic, but behavioral also.

Talk with his teacher to create a list of classroom skills that she expects her students to use. There are many skills expected of students, such as getting the teacher’s attention; staying on task; asking permission; following instructions; and accepting consequences. Find out the particulars of each skill, and work with your son on developing it.

For example, help your son practice​ raising his hand, holding it in the air and waiting patiently until he is called on. Help him see that if he can master that skill, his needs will be met more quickly and he’ll avoid getting in trouble.

Practice each classroom skill with your son, and be sure to watch for any improvement in his behavior. Praise him for even small improvements.