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

my son turned 5 back in May of this year. he’s never really had an attitude problem until he started school this year. his teacher has a system where she writes smiley faces & sad faces if the kids have good & bad days. whether they listen in class, are disrespectful/respectful & listen to instructions. lately my son has been acting out in class & coming home with bad reports. his father & I have tried taking things away for a day or two. (tv/tablet) & he responds like he’s going to start acting better at first but continues to misbehave. & now he’s refusing to clean his messes.specifically his bedroom. any advice on what to do?


Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. My 5 year old has been acting out at school: Advice?

Its unfortunate that hes being taught that a bad moment (or two or three) equals a day when the day is full of moments
What he needs is emotional regulation help not punishments


That’s really messed up of the teacher to do sad faces. As a child I would feel awful about myself if I constantly got sad faces and would probably act up too. Google collaborative problem solving to try and get to the bottom of what might be going on.


You have to discipline him. Go sit with him for a few days at the school and observe him. If he starts acting out you correct him right then and there. Your son knows why he’s being this way and can tell you.


First of all. Speak to the teacher directly about what he is doing. My son was getting into trouble from just not participating in some group activities as he likes to be alone.

Second, tell her to stop putting up sad/happy faces in front of the class and I would tell my child to ignore it as it’s belittling the child and also could be allowing other kids to pick on him.


Is he struggling to understand what’s being taught? Sometimes when kids feel they aren’t understanding, they act out.

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I have 5 boys mama, I’ve dealt with this!!! I’m not sure the issue at all, but I got my son envolved with beechbrook, I didn’t know what else to do!! My son was terrible at school, yet got straight As, he’s doing okay at the moment, I refuse to put him on meds, my son is 10. God bless you :pray:

he’s 5. 5 year old kids act out. he’s probably not ready for school. also cut out food dyes and less screen time, good luck x


When my son would get in trouble at school it was because he wasn’t listening to his teacher and doing what he felt like doing. So I punished my son for his behavior by taking things he liked away too and when he started acting good to get things back just to do it again and misbehave I then told my son he wasn’t going to get it back until his teacher said his behavior at school was improving. Talk to his teacher and see what exactly is going on as to why he is misbehaving. I had good relationships with my sons teachers because he had some of my old teachers I had as a kid so I worked together with his teachers and when he realized he couldn’t play the game of i wasn’t doing anything I got in trouble for no reason he started to straighten up his behavior. U can still show ur son compassion and love also while disciplining his actions on how he behaves at school. He’s 5 its new to him and typical behavior as they are unsure about things also. Ask the teacher what he’s doing then after she tells u ask him why he’s doing it. Then explain to him that he can’t be acting like this in school that he needs to listen. Now i didn’t do that the first time he got in trouble but only when the behavior continued. They have to learn self control also see if u can help him understand that balance so he’s not getting in trouble at school. Good luck sometimes its hard but he will get there eventually be consistent with things and u will eventually notice a change.

I think the happy face/sad face thing is messed up to be honest. It draws unwanted attention to the ‘sad face’ children which doesn’t help esteem and confidence and can cause lash outs.
Other than that I think it’s fairly normal at that age for children to test their limits and being away from the parents makes it easier to push those boundaries.
Take your time, ask questions, tell the teacher to shove her chart up her a*** and breathe. He’s only 5 for a little while


Don’t discipline him because of what the teachers say, lol. They’re there to pick on the tiniest things that they do. These are literal barley even kids from toddler stage. They’re not going to sit down all day, or behave all day, it’s insane to think that they even could! Don’t take it too seriously. Just keep reinforcing good behavior. Once they get to 3rd grade is when things actually start to matter.

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My son had issues in kindergarten. It was a really big transition for him and would have good days and really really bad days. Nothing worked. He had a sticker chart and would get prizes for doing good but after a while it didn’t matter. Try talking to him and seeing if maybe it’s too much stimulation for him to handle. My son told me the big groups scared him. We ended up starting him out with a small breakfast group in the morning and then they transitioned him into class when he was ready. There were days he would have to be taken out of class and taken to what they called the focus room to calm down when he would start having behavior issues. He may just be testing the waters or there could be an underlying issue. My son was also being bullied so that didn’t help either and we are also in the process of getting him diagnosed with behavior issues and getting him as much help as he needs medically and emotionally. Try to talk to him and as another said, maybe go to school and observe. Keep in contact with the teacher and get the counselor involved if needed. Use every resource you can. I’m thrilled that my sons teacher and counselor were and still are so active in helping my son with big transitions.

If it started in school maybe u should talk to him and see why he’s misbehaving because there might be something going on in class that upsets him ( either way the kid is 5 and not 15 so don’t expect him to do a bunch of things correctly yet, I’m sure he understands what’s right from wrong, but why expect him to keep a room cleaned all the time :woman_facepalming: like he’s a teenager) he’s a child and needs someone to get to his level and discuss what’s going on without yelling at him because clearly if the issue started in school then there might be something going on there!!


Your child just turned 5 years old 4 months ago… YOU should be teaching him how to identify and regulate the emotions that he is experiencing in and outside of the classroom. Quite literally, get down on his level and have an age appropriate conversation with him about his day. Additionally, talk to his teacher and ask her what events took place prior to his acting out. When kids can’t articulate why or how they are feeling (which is not abnormal for a freaking 5 year old) it can manifest in undesirable behavior, like refusal to follow the rules, biting, kicking, hitting, screaming, etc. Also ask his teacher how she is mediating his acting out (is she attempting to de-escalate the situation, and if so, what are the methods that she is employing to do so). You also need to make sure that you are implementing consequences that are age appropriate and ensuring that he is able to process and make the connection as to why he is even being reprimanded. If he doesn’t understand why you’re taking the stuff that he enjoys, and probably uses as an outlet to decompress from a rough day, your punishment is useless.


Try rewarding instead of taking. My 5 year old was getting sad faces at school . We made a deal if he gets 5 smiley faces though the week I will get him a fallguys card Friday. So far it works he’s gotten nothing but stars

What about his work class ?
I mean , when my nephew was in first grade he got in trouble almost daily, he was very smart and know everything the teacher was teaching , he got bored and just acted up , he didn’t even write because he had everything on his mind , he bothered all the classmates and disrupted the class :woman_facepalming:t2::woman_facepalming:t2:
Maybe a little more work so he doesn’t have too much time off .
But you also have to be very consistent with your method of punishment, if he doesn’t clean his room when you ask just start taking everything out from the room ( toys , tv , tablet etc )
You can also do randomly visit to the classroom.
Or you can implement a little system .
You can buy like things ( prices ) that he likes like little cars , candy, stickers etc . If he gets happy faces during the week he can pick one at the end of the week .


Tear that azzzzz up :upside_down_face::laughing:


It’s probably the school’s fault. You know how fucked it is that any time a kid exhibits behavior that isn’t obedient and calm they have to wear that "bad behavior " all day because the teacher put a “bad” sticker up on your name. It’s humiliating. Teacher needs to do better. Your kid is only 5.

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Have him evaluated for adhd.

He’s 5. What a crap teacher (and parents) to do that to him. Great! He’s had a ‘bad’ day at school, now he gets to go home and be reminded how bad of a kid he is. 3 adults who are supposed to love him and help him grow, repeatedly remind him he’s bad.
Did you ever stop to consider the teacher may be having a bad day? What happens when you have a bad day?
Talk to your kid. Stop punishing him for being a kid.


Have you asked him why he is misbehaving?


Maybe hold him back a year & start kindergarten next year if he’s not ready. Boys especially may benefit from an extra year in preschool. Also concur with sitting in and observing his class, getting him evaluated for any signs of AD(H)D or other learning differences, skipping punishments at home for school behavior & using the carrot vs stick to get him to pick up his room (toys in a bin/basket, dirty clothes in a hamper or laundry basket). Make a chore chart with stickers & if he gets X number in a week he gets a prize (choice of dinner one night, a movie, An ice cream cone, a play date, a trip to the library, etc.

He’s five! Still a little tyke. Bet he’s cute as a button.

Also see he has plenty of physical activity to blow off steam: playground time, running up and down the sidewalk, nature walks, maybe a soccer team or T-ball, mini trampoline.

I go through this with my 4 year old and he has adhd - but more for hyperactive. I had to move him daycares all together because it’s the teachers and the kids too. I always remind my son to be good and breath and step away if needed and when I get there if he did good for the day i get super excited and I take him for a ice cream at McDonald’s Or Burger King. The teachers need to work with you as well!

Super Nanny Jo Frost. She has some kf the best tips out there for this exact thing. Time out videos. Look her up. The number 1 thing and only ring I stress though, is you have to FOLLOW through. Stand your ground, don’t give in just because you feel bad. You are doing what you have to as a parent… not saying that you do feel bad or anything… just follow through with any punishment. Time outs for his age is great though.

  1. Pick a naughty spot
    2.Bring child to the spot, get down to their level and explain to them why you put them there, walk away set timer for 1 minute per their Age (5 minutes in your case)
  2. If child gets up, place child back without saying anything. Nothing. Do not talk to them, continue this until child stays in spot for their time. Even if they are trying to talk to you, yell at you anything to get your attention, don’t give in. Every time they get up, reset the timer once you’ve put them back in time out spot
  3. When child has done the time. Go over and explain again why they were their, or get them to tell why they were there. Ge t child to say sorry and give hugs.

This technique, if followed through, works incredibly. Each step has to be done. Especially the one with no talking to them. Do not engage or they win and that’s exactly what the child wants. It’s gonna be hard, it’s gonna be frustrating but you’re a strong mama and you can do this. Also both parents have to be on thee same page. The first few time outs could be really hard and take more then the time necessary.

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Kindergarten should be fun ! Find out why it’s not . He should not be getting sad faces - it’s kindergarten for goodness sakes .


Is he really acting out, or just annoying the teacher? Maybe you should observe the class to see what’s going on. Some teachers label kids as trouble, and then push to have them medicated in order to make their jobs easier.


He just started school? He didn’t attend preschool, is that correct?

If so, he’s struggling to adjust to a classroom setting instead of 1:1 or even 2:1 attention. Ask the teacher for help with this transition. He needs to learn how to function in a group setting. Team sports (soccer? Baseball?) might help too.

Find out why. My son started acting out in kindergarten. We found out he was being physically abused my his teacher.

Don’t be so hard. He’s learning as school is still new to him. My son is the sweetest, most polite, respectful kid out there. Never in trouble anywhere, not even home. He’s struggled a bit in kindergarten with some stuff like this. But once he hit first grade, he never had the issues again. He’s in third grade & all his teachers have adored how sweet & caring he is. My son also turned 5 in July & school starts the first week of august, so he was a newly 5 year old.

Instead of taking things away, how about earning something when he gets smiley faces?

Tell the school you want them to have him evaluated

Maybe he’s being bullied

Some of yall need to go be a teachers aid for a day and see how your little angels are actually acting…

What your parents would have done if you acted like that put the old fashion beat down on that ass :man_shrugging:. Y’all trying to be these kids friend and y’all aren’t we ain’t here for our kids to be our friend. we are here to teach them about life respect discipline morals and love and how to get knock the fuck down and get back up better, stronger, wiser

Welcome To parenthood
I would speak to his teacher
There maybe something going on
In his classroom that is setting him off
As for cleaning his room and his mess
That’s a question every mother would like an answer to
All I can say is
Hold on for the ride as that will only get worse the older they get

I’m ex police special forces. I will teach him how to defend himself and give him a reason not to respond.