I have a 6-year-old who will be 7 in less than 6 months. She has always been a very smart girl... She went to preschool for 3 years. She was very close to the teacher (since she was an infant) so I feel as though some of her behavior there has gone unannounced to us.

Since she started kindergarten last school year and the first few months of 1st grade, this year has been a struggle for her when it comes to her behavior... I. e., not focusing on the teacher or talking to the other children during independent work times. But yet every midterm or grade card is spot on academically.

Last week was Grandparents Day and my mom said during the morning routine she was looking around the room and whispering but when the teacher asked a question she raised her hand and answered correctly...

I have tried all types of punishment but nothing's worked. My husband and I are open to suggestions!

  • 2
    So, she's acting up and not paying attention in school, but her grades are fine? I think unless teachers are complaining, you shouldn't worry about it. Kids will act up, especially when they are surrounded by other kids that do. You can't expect a child to sit perfectly still all the time. As long as her education isn't affected, she should be fine.
    – Bobo
    Oct 3, 2014 at 23:51
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    I very seriously hope you have not tried all types of punishment.
    – sbi
    Oct 4, 2014 at 1:38
  • Not any types of punishment YOU might be thinking of... We have taken away tv for a day or 2, can't ride bike after school, no going to play with cousins things like that
    – user10039
    Oct 4, 2014 at 14:35
  • I had this problem when I was a kid mostly during "reading class". It stemmed from the fact that I already knew how to read since I was 4 and was incredibly bored in class. The solution was talking with the teacher and getting me an allowance that let me read my own books at my own pace.
    – DRF
    Nov 9, 2018 at 7:15

4 Answers 4


As a general rule, before I think of negative consequences for any of my children (BTW, I prefer "natural consequences" over parental punishment) due to repeated unwanted behavior, I ask myself: Why is this child behaving in a way I consider wrong? You need to get at the root of the problem, rather then clipping away the shoots coming from them.

You have provided rather limited information about your daughter, so it is hard to even speculate about the causes of her behavior. One reason, however, could be that her school simply isn't demanding enough for her. If it is easy for her to grasp what the teachers say, she would be bored by the repetitions necessary for other children, which in turn could lead to her whispering to other children just to kill the boredom.

If that's the case (and I don't know whether it is), then the best possible outcome of punishment would be that she learns to withdraw into herself in order to be quiet when she is bored, rather than interacting with other people. Not exactly a desirable outcome, if you ask me.

A better way to deal with this might be to talk to the teachers, compare your observations, and together with them try to find ways to tap into what seems an unused potential of your child. (As an idea: I remember one teacher bringing a book for me for the reading exercises. So while the others children tried hard to read the humble textbook stories that I had quickly ploughed through during the first three lessons of the year, I read the very interesting books that the teacher kept providing me with. The result was that I was busy reading and therefore stopped causing problems out of sheer boredom.)


Age of acting up She is in first grade I believe and is 6 years old. She is a child. A lot of small things may bother children and this is the age of acting up. It is not serious until you get a call from the principal who informs you about the behavior of your child. Then talk to her and give small consequences like no biking after school or an early bedtime. SERIOUS THINGS ARE LIKE I had a few behavior problems in second grade (aged 7). I used to throw pencils of other students out of the window and I also spat in the food of a classmate. I am admitting this. My parents were called. I didn't get any consequences but my mum and dad talked to me about it. I realized that my reputation was going down. After half of year 3, I realized and started building my reputation. Now, I'm in 7th grade and I have a really good and high reputation for good behavior by other students and from the school coordinator (who is really strict) and my mum told me that the coordinator praised me to her. My apartment building committee chairman also praised my mother about my behavior. This is an experience.

We learn from our mistakes, cover up for them and learn not to do them again. From a reputation where I was stealing and stuff now, I have learned not to do it and I have a really good and high reputation. We learn from our mistakes.


Punishment...for what? Acting like a child and not a robot?

She's not disrupting the class, she's not hurting other children. Does the teacher think her behavior merits punishment?


ADHD/ADD could become more of a problem with your if left undiagnosed. However there is also oppositional defiant disorder and other concerns should be evaluated by a child psychologist and psychiatrist if behavior continues to worsen. I was diagnosed with Adult ADHD combined type at 33 years old. It means I have ADD/ADHD we borderline general learning disability unspecified types.

Children with normal IQ can have ADHD and other concerns with behavior, conduct, and learning problems too.

  • Unless she doesn' have ADHD or ADD problems. If it's simply misbehaving and acting up at school then a discipline plan and individualized behavior and conduct plan needs to be invented. A merit and demerit program at home-school be enforced. Set rules about 5-6 each in behavior, classroom, and general expectations. Rewards for complying with rules when keep a certain amount of merit points. Discipline consequences for failing to comply with the rules are merit points taken, and demerits given eventually could get them numerous other punishments including detention! May 26, 2019 at 18:18

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