How can I help my daughter pay attention in class?

My 5yr daughter started kindergarten, and has been acting out last few weeks. She is not paying attention not willing to do her work, she easily gets upset, and gets very emotional.What is some ways to help her??(I have a conference meeting set up with her teachers)she is normally a sweet and loving well behaved child.She was not like this last year when she started pre-K, she was very sweet listen to her teachers stayed on her work


It might be overwhelming for her. My daughter did the same thing and I asked her teacher if there’s any counseling because she was going through a big change and they set up for her to talk with these councilors that can pull your kid out when they are having a hard time and kinda restart for them. They used it for her to just be able to calm down and be seen and talked to by an adult and it has helped tremendously! She’s still in it because they also do activities to help work through frustration or sharing

Have her eyes checked, maybe she can’t see well and doesn’t really know it.
Just because my oldest went through it like this before we figured it out.


Children develop all sorts of ways to stay relatively regulated and they are able to be secure and confident throughout their day. The transition into 5 days of structured and abstract learning is usually demanding can stretch them beyond their capacities. Some children in kinder need to have a load of movement and play to regulate and integrate their day’s experiences, and when play is cut off some children need to learn a whole new set of coping skills.

First of all, I want you to know this is normal! My daughter is in first grade and has the same issues, her first grade teacher told me, they learn these skills more in first grade. My daughter was the same last year, what has helped us and made a difference: is to explain about listening ears, and make sure she’s “wearing” her listening ears at school! Idk why, but my daughter always has better listening days when she is wearing her listening ears and reminded about it! The teacher’s are on board with this and remind her and it works!

Could be so many things. I’d do the conference and see what they say, and then also see what the pediatrician says. Could be vision or hearing or just get being a kid! But good moms explore all avenues and listen to multiple opinions to figure things out :heart:🫶🏼

Whatever you do, do not put that baby on meds. And remember they’re 5 years old if you expect them to actually behave you got another thing coming. I think a kid being in school as long as an adult goes to work every day with long hours is already tough enough they don’t want to sit down and behave they’re five six year old kids who want to play.


My daughter struggled like this in Kindergarten too. She wasn’t quite ready for all the structure of school, and like said above- they are five and not meant to sit and listen for a whole school day. It takes time to adjust and also various things affected my daughter- she got bored and didn’t want to listen- she excelled in math but struggled with reading and did not speak up about it but acted out. It took a few weeks of me asking her and talking to the teacher to figure out it was just her struggling with reading and acting out because of it. There was also a group of girls that fought and caused issues and this had her acting out as well. In the end she did repeat kindergarten and I do not regret it one bit (she turned 5 the week school started so was young for her to start and wasn’t quite mature enough for school.) She did amazingly better the second time and just needed a little more time to mature. I suggest you keep communicating with her and the teacher and try to see if there are other factors she isn’t saying affecting her at school. I wish the best ! My daughter is strong willed - I know she will do great things one day she just learns a little differently than others! She pushes limits but id rather her do that sometimes than just be quiet and not stand up for herself or her wants and needs!

Sounds like a typical 5y/o dealing with transition into a new class a new teacher and very possibly different new friends to make. Doing different types of learning she hasn’t done yet and is being introduced to. Sounds like she’s struggling to transition and change might be hard for. I’d start with having conversations that are fun and just ask her when she behaves like this or that how is she feeling when she does that and you may get a deeper insight into her behavior. I also wouldn’t worry too much about it because she is only 5y/o. I’d just talk to her first.

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My son was doing this last year come to find out one eye was really bad the other had a stigmatism

Talk to her maybe there is something or someone bothering her

Pre-K is almost always a much smaller setting than kindergarten, it sounds like she is overstimulated, which can make kids act out. They can be overstimulated by colors, lights, noise, and it’s a transition to kindergarten and a lot of kids have a hard time transitioning, which makes them act out more 

People will start saying ADHD and all that but most kids have never been taught self control. Never taught how to sit down and pay attention for extended length of time. Most kids by age five have always been allowed to run wild at home and “let kids be kids” which doesn’t teach them society standards.

Children need to learn to sit down and be quiet even if it’s for five minutes at a time. It’s taught.

If they can sit in front of a tv or video games for hours they’re not ADHD they just haven’t been taught self control.

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my son started kindergarten this year as well and ive noticed some changes. They are 5! We are expecting them to essentially work a 40 hr work week at 5 years old. Yea it may be school but its a huge change for them. Give them time to adjust (at their pace), and for the people jumping on the “this is a medical condition” u are whats wrong with this society.


Have you looked into a Montesori school? Their teaching method is vastly b different than public schools and since they are not part of public schools their teaching methods are vastly different. I would suggest you search one out, call and make an appointment and see if you can schedule a tour and introduction on their methods. We had our sin and daughter in Montessori preschools and they loved them. Unfortunately we didn’t have k-12 Montessori schools in our area but that was over 30 years ago. We now have a niece who is a Montessori teacher and she has her 2 year old in a Montessori preschool and he is thriving.

My 5yr old has ADHD. Wouldn’t hurt to rule it out. And if it is, then early intervention will help everyone.


Try these first and then explore other options if needed . These were all my daughter needed .

We can’t answer that… you have a meeting with her teacher she will answer your questions

Very typical for that age. If we can only expect 5 good minutes of not fidgeting at the dinner table developmentally it doesn’t make sense to expect more than that from them at school.

Have her eyes and hearing checked, but also realize it is a big jump from pre-k to kindergarten. Activities are bite sized and manageable in pre-k, and then in kindergarten suddenly they are all business, as if a short summer changes them to that degree.

The teachers will hopefully have advice as well. They’ve been doing this a lot longer and hopefully will be helpful instead of pushing meds before anything else.

Chk in her something may be going on from separation anxiety to bulling to tired chk chk chk

They are young. And school is a huge change. There’s a lot going on. Alot to process. My child has the same issue. We’ve had large amounts of homework since the first week of kindergarten. Give her time to adjust. Some need more time than others. Everyone is sooo quick to jump on the ADHD band wagon😑. Honestly they are children. Then they are expected to sit still and process stuff 8 hours a day. That is a massive change!

She’s 5 and in kindergarten, give her a break. That age is not supposed to sit still and pay attention for long periods of time.


Is she getting enough sleep? Does she hurt anywhere? Maybe there’s something going on, like an ear infection. Going to full day kindergarten is tough on kids.

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Give the child a chunk of time to adjust, but if the kiddo still struggles then I’d ask for an evaluation done. Girls are harder to decipher for ADD/ADHD and such than boys are. Kids have a natural instinct to want to move around and such, but most will still cooperate. If after the evaluation is complete they discover she’s average then awesome, but if not then they can find ways to adjust things to help her succeed.

Don’t be afraid of using resources to get her any form of help she may need. The end goal is to make school educational for her. Perhaps she’s too smart and it’s boring, maybe she has too much energy, could be eyesight, or just simply needing time.

Speak with the teachers and just ask what they think, ask questions, and just get to the bottom of it all.

Look and see if she eats dyes in her foods and cut them out and see if there is a change.


Something might be causing her to be emotional. I have 2 girls and 1 was fine through elementary. The other is definitely more sensitive getting through hers. When she goes through tough times at school, I do a tea party with her and we talk a lot. The reasons change all the time. Someone teased her for how she runs, she didn’t eat her snack because she wanted to play, there was a sound during the night and she didn’t sleep well… one thing will happen and it’s a couple weeks before it calms down and there’s no problems in school. Mayne your girl is just sensitive like mine and needs a little extra oomph to pull her through:)

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They’re having my 4 year old evaluated because she doesn’t wanna sit still in class

My son was diagnosed as ADHD in Kindergarten. Same thing. Sweetest boy, just changed that year during school.

So much talk about meds. Not every childhood struggle needs a diagnosis. Not all kids mature at the same level or learn in the same way. Lets let 5 year olds act like 5 year olds.

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My daughter had similar issues. We worked on lessons about feelings at home. You need to know why she’s getting upset.

Missing you?
Under stimulated?

I asked her teacher what seemed to trigger her meltdowns and went from there.

We also discussed with the teacher that when she is having a really tough time it was acceptable to have a 10-15 break to draw and colour since that was her favorite activity.

We talked about how its okay to feel these feelings. And what can we do to feel better?

And breathing techniques worked well with my daughter.

Or if she had outbursts at home with anger I’d tell her to come over and squeeze the love out of me with an angry hug

We also figured put one major issue was she went from a very calm class and group of quiet kids in jk to a very vibrant and vocal group in sk.

She comes from a quiet house so it would get too intense when they all got excited or things got hectic.

My now 10yr is like this and she is on the spectrum so maybe get her checked

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My son was the same way when he started 1st grade and his grades went down big time and i always had complains from the teacher. Turns out it was the teaches 1st year teaching and was too strick woth the poor kids. Hes in 2nd grade and AB honor roll.

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She could be learning this from other kids and sees they get more attention because of it… so she’s doing it… for the attention

Check her for adhd my son has severe adhd and his dr told me that it comes out between 3-6 yrs


She is 5 yr old - teacher make it more interesting - engage her

Well she’s in kindergarten so idk what the teacher is expecting but doing “work” for a 5-6 yr old is a tough thing specially after only a month or 2 of school. Staying focused is hard for most adults let alone a small person learning and adjusting to school. I’d be more mad that my kid who once liked school and was well behaved is no longer I’d be questioning the teacher not the kid!!! There’s is a disconnect somewhere I’d try to stay calm and work with the school on finding out where it is. They need to stop punishing a 5-6 yr old for not staying on task when the task takes longer then 5-6 mins!

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Take all artificial color and flavoring out of her diet . No artificial sugars of any kind and no processed foods. She might have a touch of ADD or ADHD

Pre-k is completely different then kindergarten she needs to adjust to her surroundings

Is she cutting teeth does she need her eyes checked is their new staff or new children in the class with other behavior problem she could be reenacting? A lot could be causing this kids do act out under pressure as a self defense when over whelmed or over stimulated does the pre school have a quite spot for kids who are overwhelmed my sons pre I was amazing they had a spot for kids who were feeling like this to just cool down and re focus it works my sons teacher also got ear muffs for blocking out sounds the kids would go from crazy to join back in group with muffs on and went from crazy to completely calm

My kid had adhd but I really hate the school system and then assuming every kid learns the same


Our daughter did the sameeeeee thing when she hit 1st grade. She was diagnosed with ADHD and it’s changed our world, she does incredible in school and behaves like an average child.

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When I was in first grade I was the same way they tried to put me on meds for adhd. My mom fought and fought with that school about it and I never did take the meds. Finally they tested me I tested 2 grade levels higher than where I was. I was bored. Don’t just let them say oh yeah she has adhd and put her in meds. Try everything first. They’re so quick to diagnose adhd and autism. I believe so many kids are misunderstood and diagnosed wrong then forced to take meds they don’t need. Before you all jump down my throat I didn’t say it was your kid!!!


I think it’ll work itself out. Hell I’m almost 40 and I don’t like working yet haha. She’s young, teachers expect entirely too much out of young kids, they’re children. Maybe the teacher isn’t nice to her as well, who knows all the circumstances?

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Sounds like school hasn’t succeeded in breaking her spirits yet

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Yep mines like this has adhd and is on the spectrum get a diagnosis if possible. Also she is probably over stimulated with that many kids around . New kids, bunch of new strange adults telling her what to do. Mine only does 3 days a week half days in her new kindergarten class that’s all she cam handle

She’s just a baby. Maybe private school smaller classroom maybe overwhelming for her

So many possibilities, bored, bullied, ADHD, anxiety, overwhelmed. My daughter was diagnosed with ADHD in kindergarten but there were signs in pre k. How does she focus at home? Are these behaviors all the time? Start observing and writing down what you are seeing. Ask the teacher to do the same. Your doctor will want to know to be able to give the right diagnosis.

Please talk to her Dr. There can be many explanations for this behavior. Some that come to mind to me are-
*Being bullied by other kids or adults at school
*Learning disabilities
*Not ready for the structured learning.
Start with your ped. Then go from there. She’ll probably need to see a phycologist.

My son was like this. The most loving, well behaved kid. Then he started preschool & slowly determinated after that. I didn’t even realize it started in preschool at the time. Looking back I see it now. He’s a very angry 10yo now. School forced me to medicate him. I see no difference except the pills are causing him to loose weight, his headaches are more severe & he’s becoming violent. I wish I had better advise for you.

Have her eyes checked may need to be moved up near the front

She sounds bored. Does she know the content they are teaching? She may need more challenging work.


Not saying this is the case but something you can consider . … I myself was this child in school. I was told I was defiant , made to feel terrible and no matter how hard I tried to be like every other student in class and not space out later known as disassociation a normal range coping mechanism for dealing with trauma . I often got migraine headaches and the stress and trauma not to mention the fluorescent lights in class room made it much more difficult for me and I was told I was faking to avoid school and misdiagnosed as separation anxiety (due to my age I struggled to identify the emotions and what was really behind it) it did not help at all that I had also struggled with these things while being made to feel like a bad kid and broken kid and with no way to change this . All I ever wanted was to be like the rest of the kids and blend in and these issues only brought negative attention on my differences . It took a long path to self destruction into my adult years and a lot of self discovery and reflection before opening my eyes to the root of the problem which was I had been made to keep a bad secret a very scary one by an adult in my early childhood . Don’t be too quick to dismiss the possibility even if like my mom she was a stay at home mom who was a hover mom and believed she had left no opportunity or in hands of anyone who could of possibly done this , the victim blaming in the denial hurt just as badly even in adult life . Hope that you are able to get to the root of the problem with help of a great therapist and that your case is not like mine but try to keep open mind so that no stone is unturned with blinders on .

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Shes probably not ready emotionally to be in kindergarten. Just because society pushes to have kids in school by age 5 doesn’t mean the child is ready.check your state law,here in Indiana its not mandatory til the child turns 7,

My daughter had the same issues I moved and got in a better school district and it has just been night and day. she has severe adhd And instead of yelling at her and making her feel stupid and holding her work up in the air in front of her entire class in telling them this is what you don’t do this is wrong and humiliating my daughter on a daily basis they are working with her and she gets extra help they’ll pull her out of class and And give her 1 on 1 help and if she’s feeling overwhelmed she can go for a walk Just take 10 minutes If she’s feeling overwhelmed or over stimulated. Maybe look up different districts in your area and see which one is the best and see if you can get your daughter and there maybe drive her to school everyday I don’t know how it works in your state But we can do that here

It sounds like a typical kindergarten. Pre-k they probably didn’t do a lot which is why she enjoyed it and didn’t act out last year. This year it’s less fun and as each year goes by it gets less and less fun. She could also have some anxiety about school or even the teacher. She may not like this teacher. There could be something going on in the classroom that’s bothering her and she doesn’t know how to express it or tell you. Have her draw you a few pictures of her feelings about school her friends her teacher and look at those pictures and ask her about them. Kids her age can express more thru a drawing then they can face to face sometimes so it’s definitely worth a shot to try and find out. Also see if she could benefit from play therapy too. Also remember kids have huge emotions too and because their brains aren’t even close to be developed yet (in their 20s the brain is completely developed) they don’t know how to regulate their emotions correctly. I definitely recommend not putting her on any type of meds and I say this as a person who’s parents put her on meds at age of 12 and it’s messed with me mentally emotionally and physically (meds do have a tendency of making people gain weight without trying to) so try everything possible before meds


Maybe she’s getting upset because she is not understanding the work? I had dyslexia growing up and never knew until I was 19 and it’s only because I had pointed it out to someone that I was struggling and when I got given a green visor the letters/numbers suddenly wasn’t so hard to understand… sometimes you just feel embarrassed because you look around the class and everyone understands it but you… that’s why I acted out it was easier than to seem stupid :exploding_head: just a thought x


I ended up waiting a year to enroll my kids so they were all enrolled at 6 going to 7 (fall birthdays). Specifically because they are having to sit still and focus…tbh kids this young aren’t meant to sit still at a desk for 6.5 hours a day. On top of that kids are assholes.

She’s 5. Like literally 5 years old. Teachers and parents expect too damn much of these children.

Maybe feed her a high protein breakfast with little to no sugar. Scrambled eggs & avocado or pb toast or yogurt with bananna/ berries.

Half days are better for that age

My daughter did this. Add meds have helped tremendously. I hate medicine but it’s helped a lot and she still laughs and has a good time and not a zombie. Could also just be your kids age. Some mature faster than others

Make sure her teacher is not being mean to her or another kid

It’s a huge adjustment to starting Kinder. Ask the teacher what they recommend. They may suggest seeing a school counselor to get to bottom of her change in beh. She may be acting out thinking to impress peers but that usually doesn’t start that young. Maybe she needs an assessment. A lot issues don’t pop up til a kid starts elementary and has to stay still or be quiet all the time. It’s a lot of new stuff and rules and it’s overwhelming to lil kids sometimes

See what really goes on in the classroom.