My 5-year-old has been acting out at school: Advice?

What can you do for a 5-year-olds behavior at school? We have tried everything we can think of, but he’s continually acting up in class. He’s about to get an office referral for his behavior. He’s a very smart kid bit keeps acting put in the class. We have tried talking to him about his behavior, taking away outside time, no tv or phone privileges, doing chores around the house, explaining to him why this is happening, we’ve done a point system with prizes for him, and as last resorts, we’ve put him in timeout and spanked him. It feels like the only thing we haven’t done is send him to bed with no dinner (which we would never do). I’ve talked to his teacher about his behavior, and we are both baffled and unsure of what to do. The last resort is an office referral where the principal will decide what to do with him. I’m starting to consider taking him to children’s therapy and trying to see if there is something that’s bothering him. What else can we do?! Please note we have a five-month-old daughter, but we make special days where we spend the day with our son and have someone watch our daughter that way, he doesn’t feel left out.


Maybe hes bored ! My son was advanced and the material wouldnt hold his attention so he got in trouble alot. See if he can be tested forward !


Sounds like the possibility of ADHD? Have him tested. Have his teacher fill out a SNAP IV questionnaire. Find out the reasons behind this behaviour. My son was just diagnosed.


Let the principal decide.

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He could be bored and need more of a challenge. This happened with my daughter and i switched her to french immersion.

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what is his behavior is it adhd? I would have him assessed if he is really having trouble

Also please don’t hit your child/spank him. Solving the issue like that isn’t going to solve anything and only make him act out more


As an educator I say more outside time. When my 3 year old misbehaves we take away all tv time but he goes outside and plays. It helps reset him.


Imma bout to get all kinds of mean faces. But, we had the same issues with my step daughter. We tried everything. Taking away. Time out. Exclusion of fun things. We tried talking things out. NOTHING worked - except a wooden spoon to that behind. We still try time out, exclusions, etc. before we get to that. But, there are times where it is our last ditch effort. And. She. Don’t. Like. It. BUT, she. Don’t. Act. The. Fool. We also have a 6 month old. She gets to go with her dad and do fun things just them. I know they are all about testing boundaries at this age and it is SUPER hard to know what’s right. I just pray for her, my husband and I- and our patience!


It’s possible he is bored. Alot of times if children know the material they get bored and act out. As of right now this doesnt sound like a punishment issue. I think you need to get to the bottom of why first.

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Less screen time, more outside time, no spankings, and speak to his pediatrician.

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It sounds like you need to have him assessed. Normally, 5 year olds can be coached rather easily and fall in line like the rest of the kids in the class. If yours isn’t, there is probably something more going on

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Tell him you’re going to school when him

If he struggling with the work? Is he ADHD? Even if he is…I am not saying go grab medicine. But as a mom of 3…I know you feel like this is a HUGE deal and will be like this forever…and girl…he is 5… he will get better and this will be ok. Cut yourself some slack…breathe…not all kids are made from the same mold. Just love him through it…

My granddaughter had that problem in preschool it gets better the children need a lot of encouragement and praise not corporal punishment

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Does he like to help out in class? Perhaps a special job/duty that he has to earn by good behavior will help. I work in a school and find that some of the kids who struggle the most really enjoy being class helpers. They thrive on personal duties and recognition. Their behavior is a determining factor as to whether or not they continue but it works well. Good luck Mama

When my kids where in school , I handled it like this .
School is a privilege, your teacher went to school to be able to teach you and make it interesting.
I can also home school you , so I pulled my kid and they had a vary military type home school for a few days , no fun PE just stright push up jumping Jack’s.
Math was plain and no fun
Then we had learn to clean class at home with nap time to . It works
I told my kids if they dont respect the teacher and the time they take to make the class room interesting and fun then they can alway come back to home school .
Down side when they met home school kids they always asked what did you do ? Like they had been bad in reg school . But it worked.


Go to school with him my son was acting fool so i accompanied him whole school day for week

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Is he super smart and just bored having to wait for the teacher to explain things to the other kids so he starts acting up because he’s bored.

Has there been a drastic change in his environment? Is there a new baby? New school? New home? Or are there other children making him act out? Picking at him, causing him to act out.

First I feel for you. 5 is tough for kids to adjust, they have big personalities and have to conform to what the school needs and wants. 1.know your child isn’t the only one. 2.don’t allow anyone to pressure you into giving the ADHD diagnosis and medication, they are too young to get it right in my opinion but it does work for some families.
3. Work with him and not against him after you hear about his day. This was a big one for me to learn!
4. Celebrate to no end a great day, show him being proud of himself!
5. Remind him over and over again he can do better and every morning do something for him that he can have as a reminder throughout the day. ( I draw a heart on my sons inside wrist to remind him that he has my strength with him to do the best he can)
6. And for the bad days, like the really bad ones. Remind him it’s not tolerated, it’s not good for him, and give him time to think about it alone and then another talk. And then another one, and another. Let him feel the emotion and remind him how good he can feel when he had his good day.
7. My son does not use electronics at all anymore. Barley watches tv, and has a consistent schedule every week. This has helped up tremendously. is big, big, big, mood booster for him.

Maybe he’s too smart for grade he’s in…bored

My 5yr old also acted out in kinder till I show up and stayed the whole day …by the end of the day …she was asking me too leave and was well behave

He’s either having difficulty with the work so he’s frustrated, he’s not interested in the work, or the work is to easy for him so he’s bored. ADHD could also be a possibility.

He might just be bored.

Chores shouldn’t be a punishment, they’re just a thing that needs to be done… not pertinent to the topic, sorry, just my two cents on using that for bad behavior.

There’s not a ton you can do, unfortunately, but if negative reinforcement isn’t helping maybe try a rewards system.

If you go a week without getting into trouble then you get ice cream or a playdate at a cool place or can pick out an item from the dollar store, etc.

We’ve had similar issues with our son who is almost 5 and we have a 7 month old baby girl. Our sons behavior issues at school weren’t this severe and were brief but at home is another story. Hubby was often in trouble growing up and labeled as the behavior kid but truth was he was bored. He’d finish the work asked of him and didn’t have anything else to do so he found himself some trouble to get into. I would almost bet he’s bored and doesn’t know what to do with that. In many cases the child turns out to be “gifted” vs behavior problems and gets put in the “slow” class. It will probably require some testing but I would seriously look into it. Start with the school and pediatrician.

Behavior is not a problem until it’s a problem to HIM. Before you jump thru a lot of hoops seeking a diagnosis that will get him a label, have you taken him out for a fun ride in the car to a fairly distant place and casually asked him on the say, “Hey, what’s up with school?” You might be surprised at what he tells you.

The only thing that has worked for my 5 year old is to make it serious. If I get a call or email about bad behavior then it’s no TV time (he gets to watch TV, but doesn’t get to choose the shows), no chips/soda/candy, no tablet, basically nothing that he likes. Only going outside and playing with his toys that he doesn’t really even like. Every morning when I drop him off I remind him of what I expect and make him repeat the punishment he will get if he doesn’t act right. He’s had to do this twice so far and it’s been weeks that we’ve had this in place. I’m sure he still acts out a bit for his age in class, but I’ve only gotten called at work twice about it.

I’ve had a lot of issues out of my now 7yo. He’s my 2nd child out of 4. I didn’t know what was going on… He started acting crazy in kindergarten, I figured it was all the change in his life. We had moved far away from his dad. And prior to that his dad was in jail. I put him in therapy so he’d have someone to talk to and let him know I was always his mom and here for him, I just wanted him to do better. He has adhd and we tried everything before medicating him, he’s on a non stimulant, Intuniv. Lately it appears it has stopped working as his grades took a huge plummet and we’re having issues again this year. I dread med adjustments as so far we’ve only changed meds from Concerta to Intuniv, then from 1mg intuniv to 2mg. Pretty lucky so far.

He is so bored and although you have “special” days with him the baby isn’t around. Maybe consider getting him involved and remind him of being a big brother. If he is getting more attention being bad that’s what he is gonna do. Also, NOT EVER KID THAT ACTS UP HAS ADHD!!! Seriuosly, make time for your kid, involve them and stimulate their minds. Medication is not the answer!!!

Well, I had this issue and to be honest talking it over with his pedi and having him see a mental health specialist is what got us answers. He’s now on medication for adhd and insomnia

He may be bored! Is he a late birthday? Meaning older than most in his class? Boredom can cause this! Kids cannot articulate what is going on so they “act” a certain way trying to convey their feelings that are too complex to put into words at that age.

At the start of school my son’s teacher complained that he ran in class, talked during activity time and circle time and disturbed the class. Instead of punishing him we spoke to him about his behavior everyday. In the morning we told him be good for your teacher and listen to her. In the night we prayed to God for him to hear to help him listen to his teacher more. We told him ‘just try your best’.

After he came home from school I asked him how his day went. Most days he didn’t want to talk about it so I left it at that. And we told him we will check with teacher every two weeks and if it has improved we will buy him a hot wheel (nothing fancy).

I am happy to say two months later teacher sends an email saying his behavior has improved considerably an awarded him Knight of the week.

P.s - my son is in kindergarten
I also take him out every day to ride bike and run around to take off the excess energy,we also feed him mostly organic food with only one sweet (usually chocolate) a day. (I mention this caus I feel that all these processed food cause hyperactivity among kids. (Just me).

I would also recommend karate.

My son does swimming and roller skating. We also bought him lots of sticker books and paints to sit down and work by himself so it will improve concentration.

Please talk to a professional if you feel it’s anything more serious.


When I was acting out in class it was cause I was ahead of the material and BORED. maybe he needs to be in an advanced class.

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Has he been tested for ADD or if hyper ADHD! Not saying thats the problem but strongly recommend getting him atleast tested that way if he doesnt have it then that can be ruled out! Kids with either one of these tend to not pay attention and act out because they dont know whats going on with their bodies and dont know how to sit steal and does not process things the same way as other kids do, ALSO THEY TEND TO GET INTO TROUBLE ALOT or have behavioral issues. They are very snart kids, just need guidence on how to channel their brains and just need to learn different then other kids. Not all ADD AND ADHD kids need medicine, theropist and other things can really help. Personally have dealt with both these in my life and others around me (family and friends). If they do need medication, i would highly recommend a specialist that specifically handles these type of medication and children with ADD and ADHD rather just pediatrician, because these medications can have several side effects and if not on the right one that fits the child then can not really do them alot of good.

Maybe he os bored. Sometimes children are intellectually above the class they are in. I had one in that sitaution

Take him to therapy, he’s 5 . Try a sticker applied to a calendar. He earns a sticker for each day he is good in school. This does work,after 3 days he earns something like getting a pizza, or McDonalds. He may be jealous of his little sister. He has been the only child for 5yrs. This maybe the issue. Good luck !

Perhaps therapy to fig out what’s on his mind. Call me crazy but I’m thinking he may be having a hard time adapting to baby? Perhaps he does not know how to talk or communicate his feelings and is choosing to act out, for it receives your attention always. I would indeed see if you can get a direct line of communication one way or another.

My younger brother was the same way and the school suggested getting him tested for ADHD and it turned out he did have it and some other stuff and since we’ve dealt with it he has improved alot. Try getting him tested it never hurts.

My sister however acted out a little bit in school (shes a very soft kid so she never acts out alot) but she was smarter than average for her age and turned out she was just bored with it because she already knew everything they were teaching.

Make sure he isn’t get picked on or hurt by someone, God forbid, but you never know if there is an adult or child doing something inappropriate to him :disappointed_relieved:

Could he be bored at school? Wouldn’t be the first kid above (or behind) his grade

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check with a good nutritionist to see if his diet should be changed some calming foods I suggest i: blueberries, blueberry yogurt, cantaloupes, & raw/unsalted cashews.

eliminate processed foods & glutton to see if he does better…also .

I will say that this is the age where adhd starts to show in children, it would be good to have you pediatrician on board with helping you through what works for your child, here is my advice
Work on finding what slows down their mind, for my sister she said teacher herself to find things to count when she was bored,
For me I it was keeping something in my pockets I could quietly play with. Like marble and the objective was to hold it and keep it safe until the end of the day

My five-year-old just started doing this, this week I put his ass in the corner. I tried everything you did and it didn’t make a bit of difference. You just have to find what they really hate and use it

I would be very careful about taking him to a doctor trying to find something wrong with him to put a label on him and medicate him because he will be deemed the problem child throughout his entire School career.

First off, he is five…teachers expect some

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So much from these tiny babies. And some are too old and impatient. He could have add or ADHD maybe visit his class and see how he behaves

He maybe getting picked on, my son had the same problem this year turns out a couple of other kids where picking on him

First off he is 5, I don’t really believe in the terms ADD or ADHD at young ages it’s hard to differentiate by age and gender. Is he bored in class? Not every child learns in the same ways. Does he sleep well at night? Does he snore or have sleep apnea? What’s his diet look like? Some children have a more difficult time in transitioning. You have to think two big things have occurred in his little life from what you have said, one he started kindergarten and two he has a new baby sibling and whatever else may have occured, that’s a huge change in a little kid. Maybe he is being bullied? Maybe his teacher antagonizes him at school making him act out? There are so many reasons that could be going on in his little mind. Best of luck to you and your little one.

Find out if he’s been molested!

I’m so sorry this is happening. Perhaps his IQ needs tested and he isn’t getting challenged. This can go undetected until 2nd grade in some districts. They wanted to label my child with ADHD and I took him to be tested. He has an IQ of 165. His teacher was a love and and we had an IEP completed and he was fine after being challenged academically. The difficulty lies with various levels of learning in each child and it is almost impossible for a teacher to teach various levels for approximately 22 children. I wish you luck. Unfortunately my granddaughter had the same thing happen but her parents choose a medication route. It’s sad to see so many child on meds. Good luck :pray:

What is his behavior at home? Does he act the same way at home as at school? If he is better at home, you need to find out who might be hurting him. I pray he will be safe. If his actions are the same at both places and this started before he went to school then he might have ADHD. (Yes it can start early). If just at school something or someone is triggering his behavior. I pray you will find a way to help him.

Does he get to help with his sister like at bath times and stuff even picking her outfit before going out can help make him feel included , just because u have a special day just for yous and him doesn’t mean he might not be jealous a little bit , trying getting him involved more with his baby sister see if maybe that would help change his behaviour, if it’s not because of jealousy then I think maybe he needs to see a professional to try work out what’s wrong but I would defo try including him in bathing changing picking outfits for his sister and even getting him to play with her read stories if he can , there is loads he can do to help out if he wants to and see if that has an impact on him or not

The best thing you can do is find the “root cause” to the behavior. Get his eyes checked by a pediatric ophthalmologist.
If that comes back fine take him to a pediatric psychiatrist and have him evaluated for ADHD. And just go from there

My son is 6. Diagnosed at 5 with ADHD combined type. He also has vision issues which contributed heavily to his issues in school (and at home but it was worse at school last year because that’s where he needed to focus and behave the most)
In the meantime Use an economy reward system…not just for prizes but privileges in general. Have him earn the privileges with good behavior.

Enroll him in a beginner’s karate class

Look up the Soggy Potatoe chip theory by Fitzhugh Dodson

Take ur christmas vacation and go to school with him. Put him in time out in front of his friends. That will get him to stop. If you dont get it to stop it will get worse .

My son was like that. He was bored to tears of the work bc it was too easy for him. His teacher challenges him now with harder work.

Omg I almost swear I wrote this! I’ve got my 7 year old home from school today because he was being a bully to other kids at school yesterday, there was a field trip today he really wanted to go on! It’s constant, I’ve also done all that stuff, nothing ever sinks in and you feel like you’re failing as a parent, totally get it! The school is very good at communicating with me and looking for solutions! He is not bad at home at all the principal has been saying he’s a follower and does what his friends do (this year) last year don’t even get me started it was 10x worse! So momma I have no advice as I’m going through this too and feel like I’m failing!

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I think i would take him to a counlor because the will find out why hes acting out.