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"My child is bored"
Old 09-28-2010, 01:04 PM
 
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What is your response to parents who say "my child is bored" after you tell them that you are having some difficulties with their child? My class is constantly moving around, singing, dancing, listening to stories, going to centers, etc!! But there are some children who are having difficulties with listening and following directions. When I speak to the parents about it, I get that their children are "bored." Has this ever happened to anyone and what is your response? Thanks for your help!!


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Old 09-28-2010, 01:13 PM
 
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When I hear that I say "I am here to educate not to entertain. True, not everything we do will be fun for everone and some of it is hard work but it is only going to get harder in first grade."

If it is a case of a parent thinking the work is too easy for their child then I will offer to give them something more challenging when they have shown mastery of the current assignments. Good luck.
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Old 09-28-2010, 01:22 PM
 
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I had a "my child is bored" and a "my child hates school" last year. The "bored" child was very high, but I differentiate everything. He would do the bare minimum and put little effort into anything, which I explained to her. And I'm talking about independent reading where he chose his own books, writing where he could write stories, poems, journal entries, etc. He just chose to do the same thing every day and complain about it. SO frustrating!!!

My child who hated school just wanted to play all the time. When he wasn't playing, he wasn't happy. Even if we were playing a class game, he wanted to play with blocks. Is your "bored" child like this? Does s/he think that if it's not play time, it's not fun?
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I like that response, ecsmom.
Old 09-28-2010, 02:05 PM
 
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Quote:
If it is a case of a parent thinking the work is too easy for their child then I will offer to give them something more challenging when they have shown mastery of the current assignments
I have one right now who is so "bored" he doesn't do half of what he is supposed to or CAN do. I'll use that when I talk to mom about his behavior again.
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frustrated
Old 09-28-2010, 02:48 PM
 
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I usually found that the children who used the word "bored" really meant "frustrated". Either they were having difficulty with the academic portion or the structure/routine of the classroom. Ecsmom has a good response. Let the parents know that you are preparing them to be students and to use every opportunity for learning.

If parents still complain, I'd inundate them with "enrichment homework"


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My response to this for several years has
Old 09-28-2010, 03:59 PM
 
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been:
"I'm sorry you feel little Johnny may be bored, but I assure you that he cannot possibly be bored since he is still learning new skills all day every day. We are on the move all day with many opportunities to learn through play, and through classwork. When little Johnny shows that he has mastered all kindergarten skills in all subject areas, we can give him more challenging activities. In my experience, children say they are bored when they do not want to attempt to work on an assignment or do what the rest of the class is doing because they would rather be playing. Kindergarten is a big transition from a day filled with mostly play to a day with structured learning times. I really appreciate your help in helping Johnny understand how important our work is."

Parents usually cannot argue with the fact that their child does not know everything he needs to know by the end of the kindergarten year at this point in the year. I let them know that I differentiate and will do the same for their child if he is ready to move on to more complex material before someone else in the class.
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Old 09-28-2010, 04:05 PM
 
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I say something similar to ecsmom and I explain that not everything will be amusing. There are, after all, several other children in the classroom who may not know the information. Yes, sometimes your child will have to wait for other children to learn something he/she already knows but he/she is not the only child in the class. I also tell the child AND the parent that I'm not sure why the child is bored since there are so many things to do in the class. Has the child read all my books? Has the child put together all my puzzles? Has the child built everything there is to be built in the building centre? Has the child explored every nuance of each math tub? Then I explain that children who use the word "bored" often mean "I don't have anyone to play with" or "I don't know how to play with the other kids." Then I look at the parent expectantly. By this time, the parent has conveniently thought of another pressing engagement.
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Old 09-28-2010, 05:40 PM
 
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Walker, Ph.D., a teacher and author of The Survival Guide for Parents of Gifted Kids. She tells the story of one of her kindergartners who always complained that she was bored. Frustrated, Walker finally replied, “I don’t understand. There’s all this stuff to do. What does ‘bored’ mean to you?”
The child responded, “It means having to do what you want me to do rather than what I want to do.”
Walker explains that children need to understand that life isn’t always fun, that everyone gets bored occasionally – or dislikes the task at hand – and we all have to do things that we’d rather not. Bob Chase, a teacher for 25 years, two-term president of the National Education Association and the author of The New Public School Parent, agrees. He says that teachers and school psychologists field many complaints from parents that their child is “bored” when, upon further investigation, that doesn’t seem to be true.

Perhaps you could send a copy of this artical to the partents.

http://www.parenthood.com/article-to...at_school.html
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Old 09-28-2010, 05:55 PM
 
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I tell them children at this age say they are 'bored' when they don't want to do the work, don't understand it or are just overwhelmed. That usually stops it right away....and it's true, this is a defense mechanism for not understanding what they are supposed to do or not wanting to work.
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Well said, unseen1 and jacque :)
Old 09-28-2010, 07:44 PM
 
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That's usually it in a nutshell.
Maggie


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I ask them what they think "bored" means
Old 09-29-2010, 09:21 AM
 
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and where did they learn the word, since they usually can't tell me a definition. I also mention in class that "waiting for an answer is the nicest thing we can do for our friends...maybe not exciting...but the nicest thing we can do"
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Old 09-29-2010, 04:57 PM
 
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I had a mom tell me that last year. Her daughter was already reading and I took it to mean bored academically. I spent lots of time coming up with more advanced work for her to do. THEN I REALIZED that the child meant socially. It took her a while to make friends, but once she did the "bored" thing ended.
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I love...
Old 09-30-2010, 02:05 AM
 
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...all the comments on how to approach the "bored" issue! I also tell parents that being "bored" is a choice. We all have to find ways to fill our time with either work or preferred activities. Kids need to learn that too! There are choices during the day but not everything in their day will be a preferred activity. I do think that parents put that word in the kids' heads sometimes as a way to question what might be the real issue at school? Kids are very intuitive about what to tell adults!

Thanks for all of the great advice!
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Thank you!!
Old 09-30-2010, 01:29 PM
 
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Thank you all so very much for your wonderful thoughts and advice!! I really appreciate it! Hope that you had a wonderful week! The weekend is almost here!!
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Old 10-08-2010, 04:04 PM
 
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I also find it helpful to show assessments that point out that their child is infact working at grade level. For example, I had a parent this year that wanted me to make sure I was challenging her child. I showed her a graph that emphasized the fact that her child was working at grade level and our daily work would be challenging. I also like to show on the graph where the enrichment cluster is scoring. (DRA 28 vrs. DRA 2)
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