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Question
Posted by: Mandy | 2011/05/24

am so ashamed - playful child and mad at ME

Hi CS. i feel so terrible, my son is in Grade 1 and i don''t know what is wrong with him. I''ve thought that he knew how to read but to my surprise, he cant. eg - we will read a book from school and all will be good, come weekend - i give him a break. On Monday he can hardly remember the words, granted - he had not been practising!

I will show him a word and 2 seconds later he can''t remember it, he knows the alphabets and all but he will just out of nowhere say something else eg: Play - he can identify that it starts with a P, but will say Where - i got so upset and smaked him - i know that it''s unacceptable to do that but i was so frustrated, i am very very patient with my child!!! The only thing that he is interested in is: Food, Cartoon Network, Playstation and all that!!! I am frustrated at him and Mad at myself - what should i do - please i need constructive criticism here, i need to help my boy! please help.

Thank you

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Of course, as you know, smacking is useless and unacceptable - and it doesn't help in the least. Its actually good practice when encouraging a child to learn to read, to start with words that interest him, such as his with to be able to read and understand instructions in the games he plays. There might be some basic learning problems here, or it may be that you have been so anxious to help, that the whole issue has become too stressful for him to concentrate.
DO discuss this with his teachers at school, who should be able to advise, and maybe the assessment and advice of a child psychologist could help. But actually, for you to stop grimly reading with him might indeed help a lot - you risk making reading associated for him with highly emotional and angry things, rather than with pleasure. Let his teachers be in charge, and relax, so that he can relax. It will "click" and he'll get into it when relaxed, not when in a panic about mom's anger and fierceness.
Maria summarizes the right approach, very well.
Above all - instead of making him fearful of failure, praise him and make him feel really good about everything he gets right - get pleasantly excited about the words he DOES read and remember, and comment that the others will come, and praise him for trying so hard.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: ... | 2011/05/25

Maybe he took after one of you Da/Mommy...?

Reply to ...
Posted by: Mandy | 2011/05/24

thanks dear... i guess my son and I aren''t the only one that have " such issues" ... i hope and pray that i will be more patient and he will try too, and i know he tries.... i will give him a break! thanks all and take care!
mandy

Reply to Mandy
Posted by: Maria | 2011/05/24

It sounds as if you''ve already covered all the bases then. Maybe just give him a little break when he struggles... tell him lets see how fast you can run around the house and back, then try again. Kids have their better and their worse days, just like we do. I lost it at my daughter the other day because she appeared to have " lost"  the entire 3 x table which she knew perfectly two days before. These things happen!

Reply to Maria
Posted by: Mandy | 2011/05/24

thank you guys, i feel so much better *teary eyes* i will try gain and again!

NB: He goes to a private school and he was assesed by an education psychologist and all was/is well and there''s a communication diary between his teacher and myself - thus far she hasn''t said anything.

We''ve received his last terms report and all seems to be ok - i wonder if his little mind goes for a walk sometimes esp when we desparately need to remember words.... thank you once again, i will really try harder!!

Reply to Mandy
Posted by: Lee | 2011/05/24

When he was very little I am sure you were very patient when he tried to walk and kept falling over and when his little hands couldnt do things as you could. Reading will come - it is hard. Some children take to it easily and others not. I know it is easy to say but try to relax. Read the story for him first so he realises it is fun, and then let him read it. Words that he can''t handle can be written out on cards and you can ask him to find - for instance - play. Then later ask him to read the word. One day the light will go on and it will be because of your help. Read to him as much as possible and, if you have time, ask him to pick out some of the words in the book. My sympathies to you, I have been there, but make it fun and it will become easier.

Reply to Lee
Posted by: W | 2011/05/24

And I am sure he loves you just as much and has long forgave you for loosing your temper.

Reply to W
Posted by: Mandy | 2011/05/24

Thanks W - i will try another approach! I need to be criticized because there must be something that i''m not doing right! I love him too much (like how any mother would love their child) but at the same time, i want him to succeed and it needs to start now!!!

Reply to Mandy
Posted by: Maria | 2011/05/24

First of all give yourself a break. Raising kids is HARD and we all snap sometimes.

Have you spoken to his teacher? That should be your first step. The teacher must tell you if he is behind with what he should have learnt up to now. If the teacher tells you there is a problem, or if you''re not satisfied that she is accurately assessing him, I would suggest an assessment by an educational psychologist. This will tell you if he has any problems e.g. dyslexia which makes it difficult for him to read. The result of the assessment will determine the way forward in terms of therapy if necessary, and/or things you can do at home to help him.

It is really important that your child is active and does not spend his days sitting in front of the tv playing games. Go out for walks, ride bicycle, kick a ball around... they need to be active for their brains to work properly.

Then you also need to read to him, as often as possible. This will help to build his vocabulary and get him interested in books. If he isn''t a member of your local library yet, you need to join. If he is interested in dinosaurs, get out books on dinosaurs. If he likes pirates, read pirate stories.

Grade 1 is really challenging, I couldn''t believe when my daughter was that age how fast they had to learn new things. So don''t let your boy fall behind, rather try to find the root cause of the problem and get him the help he needs.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: W | 2011/05/24

A child of his age and esp in grade 1 should read every day or be read to and he should follow in the book.... Do you read to him on the off days when he does not read? I dont think there is anything wrong with him!! He just needs to read more... Too much tv and playstation is also not good, tell him he can have time for playstation once he has read abit on weekends, take him for walks as well or let him ride his bike down the street while you follow, trust me little boys usually enjoy this more than being cooped up inside.

You the mother you need to encourage him. Another thing try not to get angry as I am sure you could be doing much more to help him...
I''m not criticizing you at all I know how hard it can be my we have to persevere :) Good Luck

Reply to W
Posted by: Mandy | 2011/05/24

thank you Mandy, at some point i had resorted to not reading with him - but what good is it going to benefit my child? I''m so glad that you can identify with this! I most definitely dont expect him to be a genius but i need to know that he is coping!!! I feel so terrible like i just want to die - for hitting my only son and i''m against it, i don''t want to abuse my own child!

Reply to Mandy
Posted by: Liesel | 2011/05/24

I cannot say much, but i remember when my girl was in Grade 1, she struggled like crazy to read, also she could not write her name. Think she got it right towards Sept or so. Yes i felt the same as you, i also lost it coz we did it a minute ago and now she CANNOT remember anything. After a while i just left her as i was just loosing it more and more. She eventually got it right, was a top student from Grade 3 till she Grade 8. Today she is 16 years old and one of the top readers. So maybe just relax and take it easy. Be there for him, but try not to push too hard. Good Luck

Reply to Liesel
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/05/24

Of course, as you know, smacking is useless and unacceptable - and it doesn't help in the least. Its actually good practice when encouraging a child to learn to read, to start with words that interest him, such as his with to be able to read and understand instructions in the games he plays. There might be some basic learning problems here, or it may be that you have been so anxious to help, that the whole issue has become too stressful for him to concentrate.
DO discuss this with his teachers at school, who should be able to advise, and maybe the assessment and advice of a child psychologist could help. But actually, for you to stop grimly reading with him might indeed help a lot - you risk making reading associated for him with highly emotional and angry things, rather than with pleasure. Let his teachers be in charge, and relax, so that he can relax. It will "click" and he'll get into it when relaxed, not when in a panic about mom's anger and fierceness.
Maria summarizes the right approach, very well.
Above all - instead of making him fearful of failure, praise him and make him feel really good about everything he gets right - get pleasantly excited about the words he DOES read and remember, and comment that the others will come, and praise him for trying so hard.

Reply to cybershrink

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