My son is having problems sitting still and concentrating in class
My 6yo son is having problems sitting still and concentrating in class the teacher says that when she is firm with him and hovers over him he will get the work done but as soon as she sends her attention elsewhere he just stops until she is over him again. We also have problems with him sitting still at meal times. However he will sit and play with playdough or do colour in and crafty things, or watch a movie. I do have an appointment to see a paed in March about this but wondered if in the meantime you had any tips on what we could do to help with this situation during school.
Thanking you in advance.
Before becoming a psychologist and mother of 4, I was a classroom teacher. For a child of his age I would highly recommend sticker charts. Both in the classroom and at home, reward charts should be set up where he may have a sticker placed on for every minute (or whatever time interval you feel would be appropriate) that he concentrates on a particular task. It needs to be achievable, and he needs to experience a lot of success to reinforce the positive behaviour that you are aiming for.
Sticker charts are wonderful, but they must be used consistently and fairly. Do NOT remove stickers as a punishment. This method of behaviour change can only be used to address ONE behaviour at a time. When your son has "mastered" being focussed, then slowly pull back on the reinforcement so he will eventually stay on task without relying on this "external reinforcement".
It sounds like a behavioural issue rather than ADHD because he can concentrate when interested in the activity, but check with the paediatrician for a more informed and specific opinion.
All the Best!
29 Nov 2007