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Old 04-22-2010, 11:46 AM   #1
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My son's problem with sharing in school

Hello. I don't think this is a typical sharing story. My son is almost 3 1/2 and his teachers have discussed with me that he is having a hard time with sharing and playing nice in nursery school.

For example, he constantly takes toys away from other kids. He is smart about it because he will try to swap out a toy from a child in order to get the one he wants. However, he must do this way more than other children because the teachers have brought this to my attention.

The teachers have mentioned that they would like him to learn to ask children to play and learn to take turns. They are very willing to work with me and have mentioned having him evaluated for early intervention, but he only has a month left of school at this point. It seems we would have to wait until next school year for EI, and I want to work on this now.

Also, my son's attention span is short. The teachers work one-on-one with the children and do a craft. My son will get all excited about the craft and can't wait to do it, but when it is his turn, the craft might hold his attention for one minute. He becomes more interested in looking around the room at what the other children are doing and going back to playing.

He has a lot of energy and doing any type of organized class with him has always been hard for me. For example, taking him to the library for a story time was something I stopped doing because he wouldn't sit for it! We have done swimming lessons (he LOVES to swim) but doing a formal lesson is even difficult because he won't listen to the rules and wants to do his own thing.

I am hoping someone out there can relate to my story. I feel my son needs some kind of therapy for his impulses and his unwillingness to take turns and share. I even feel silly writing about this because is is just 3 years old and so much of this is developmental. However, the teachers obviously think it is more than just a stage.

Help?

 
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Old 04-22-2010, 12:31 PM   #2
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Re: My son's problem with sharing in school

Like you said he is only 3. Do your best to remain calm & patient (which feels almost impossible at times, I know) and try to teach him how to listen, follow simple instructions and generally settle down a bit when needed. He's still so young and most 3 year olds are pretty rambunctious, it's just their age. If it is still a problem after a year or two then, try looking into more.
Try wearing him out a bit, chase him around a park, go for a walk etc., if you know he is going to be in a situation where being calm will be necessary. Don't forget to praise him and maybe give small rewards-like stickers or even just a big hug, when he does well at listening or sharing. Positive reinforcment can go a long ways.
Good luck!

 
Old 04-22-2010, 08:36 PM   #3
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Re: My son's problem with sharing in school

I'm with niknak. He is a boy and just a little one at that. Give it time and patience. I would be concerned if someone had a "perfect" 3 yo boy that sat and listened perfectly. Do *any* men actually grow into sitting and listening, for that matter?

 
Old 04-23-2010, 11:27 AM   #4
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Re: My son's problem with sharing in school

The other thing is that boys mature slower and later than girls. This may be part of his problem. Sitting still is something that develops as their brain develops an attention span. He may be just young for his age.

I would be concerned about the toy "sharing". You can work on this with him at home with small rewards. Just as you want him to learn to have an attention span, you also want him to learn to share nicely. It sounds more and more like he just needs some time to develop.

I just checked out the developmental standards for 2 & 3 year olds and your little one seems to be more in line with the later half of two year olds instead of threes.....and there is nothing wrong with that.

Personally I feel that we push our children to mature too fast. Where is the time for gazing at a bug in the grass or staring at the clouds or watching ants make a trail. Childhood is a wonderful time of mystery and wonder and learning...let's not destroy this by pushing them to grow up too fast and too young. I held my oldest out of kindergarten for a year because he just wasn'
t ready for it. I've never regreted doing it.

Take a breath and sit down and ask yourself if he is ready to be three all the time....if not-so be it. He'll grow up-give him a little time....and a hug from me!

 
Old 04-23-2010, 01:27 PM   #5
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Re: My son's problem with sharing in school

Honestly, your son sounds completely typical and normal for a 3 1/2 year old boy of today. I was a daycare teacher for more than a decade, I've seen just about everything, I know how the system works, and it sounds more like his teachers have the problem, not your son.

I actually think it's pretty clever of him to try to trade toys with the other kids. In my opinion, that shows that he cares about not offending the other kids, and that he cares about their happiness too.

Of course, you want him to interact and share with the other kids in his class, so yes, work with him on that.... but the reality is, at that age, kids are just learning to play together and really don't start playing together until they're more into their 4th year.... the exception being those with siblings, as they are constantly with other kids, they learn a bit earlier.

I completely agree with what ibake&pray said when she said,

"Personally I feel that we push our children to mature too fast. Where is the time for gazing at a bug in the grass or staring at the clouds or watching ants make a trail. Childhood is a wonderful time of mystery and wonder and learning...let's not destroy this by pushing them to grow up too fast and too young."

The standards our society has set for our children today are just ridiculous and they do not allow for our children to be children! And people wonder why teenagers are so completely screwed up these days..... sorry, way off topic!

The point is, your son doesn't need therapy. He doesn't need any sort of intervention. He just needs to be allowed to be a child. What you can do as his Mommy, is give him clear boundaries, consistent discipline, and lots of love and he'll be just fine.

 
Old 04-25-2010, 06:12 PM   #6
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Re: My son's problem with sharing in school

thanks ladies....you don't know how upset this has had me!

you know what is funny? If the nursery school took my son outside to look at ants making a trail or the clouds, he would be in heaven! His program is not academic. It is a social play program. They play for 3/4 of the time they are there, do a small art project, and then have a snack. It's just 2.5 hours two days a week.

I am just confused because they said they want him to actively play with the other kids, where I thought toddlers still do parallel play at this age?

I know in my heart he is very normal at many levels. I will admit he needs to learn better sharing skills and we are working on that at home. But what is so ironic is that he was always a fast baby. He crawled at 6 months and walked at 11. He was fast from the moment he was mobile. My mother always told me that he was soooooo quick. He could crawl from one end of the room to the other in seconds flat - and it was all so "great" and "healthy."

But here he is, over 3 years old, still quick and fast, and now I am being told he is impulsive and won't sit! It just seems like a double standard.

It is all very frustrating. I actually think my son needs to be in a program that is more engaging and not an open playroom. I am not sure how much the teachers facilitate play with the children.

Thanks again!

Last edited by Belly Kelly; 04-25-2010 at 06:18 PM.

 
Old 04-25-2010, 06:16 PM   #7
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Re: My son's problem with sharing in school

Quote:
Originally Posted by marisuela View Post

I actually think it's pretty clever of him to try to trade toys with the other kids. In my opinion, that shows that he cares about not offending the other kids, and that he cares about their happiness too.

You have no idea how sweet that is! Seriously, I had tears after talking to the teacher last week.

 
Old 04-26-2010, 09:43 AM   #8
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Re: My son's problem with sharing in school

The most important thing for you to remember is that you are his greatest advocate and his guardian "angel" right now. If you don't feel comfortable with him being in this place...MOVE HIM. You know better than anyone else how he operates and how he acts and feels. If this isn't the spot for him..take him out and move him....OR organize play groups in your neighborhood instead. Where does it say that our little ones need to be in school at 3 & 4?

 
Old 04-26-2010, 02:44 PM   #9
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Re: My son's problem with sharing in school

I agree with you bake&pray. We already do playgroups and have friends. My tuition is paid up until May 20 at this school and then we are done. I already am looking at new schools and have his name on a wait list at another one.

I have been a SAHM since he was born and involved in a lot of social moms clubs with him. We are in a weekly playgroup and have been since he was a year old. We have memberships to the zoo, children's museums, amusement parks, etc. I am always doing things with him and wanted him in a social program with kids his age a couple days a week. He needs that too, however, his current school is not a good fit for him.

I also talked to the ladies at my church who run the nursery and they told me he is great on Sundays. They have seen him mature so much over the past year and even told me he consoles the children who cry on Sunday. This has all been so confusing and frustrating for me.

 
Old 05-13-2010, 02:28 AM   #10
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Re: My son's problem with sharing in school

I don't know a 3 year old alive who isn't impulsive and who doesn't sit...Really,I would not trouble yourself about what this daycare is saying!

Children do not have the ability to empathize with other kids at this age.They only learn what we teach them,but even then it is still hard for them to control impulses.

I don't know any kids who openly shared unless forced until after they reached a certain age.And that is 100% honest!

 
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