all entries with the category


Uh oh. She hates first grade already

Posted by Barbara F. Meltz September 13, 2012 06:00 AM

My 6yr old just started 1st grade and hates it. The first 3 days of school were ok. After that she cries every morning on the way to school and into the building. Daughter loved preschool and would cry if she had to miss a day. We didn't have a problem with kindergarten. My child was put into a inclusion class this yr. I am wondering if that has anything to do with her not wanting to go. Her complaint is that she doesn't have any of her friends in her class. I tell her that she has to make new friends. What should i do?

From: Jenn, VA


"Shy" first grader doesn't speak up in class

Posted by Barbara F. Meltz September 10, 2012 06:00 AM

I have a first grader who went to a private school for PreK and K but is now in a public magnet school for first grade. He is not much of a talker in class and is very shy. He has been reluctant in responding to the teachers questions in class. When the teacher asks questions in class he does not reply and tries to avoid eye contact, looks every other way except the teacher. If he does not understand the task, he will sit there instead of asking the teacher a question as how to do it. There are talkers in the class so the teacher is disciplining by telling everyone to keep quiet. He says that he is not allowed to speak in class because he will get in trouble but the teacher says she wants him to answer when she asks him something or when it is class discussion time. What should I do? Thanks

From: Natasha, Baton Rouge, LA


Why does 12-y-o pretend she's 8?

Posted by Barbara F. Meltz September 7, 2012 06:00 AM

My friend's daughter is 12 years old, but she believes she's only 8 and has behaved like a 8 year old since 1/2 year ago, by talking with [a] baby voice, refusing to go to the 7th grade because she thinks that's for older kids. Also, she thinks she's not pretty so that she asks her mom not to look at her when she's talking to her. She got her first period when she was ten, she's tall for her age for Chinese. Her grandmother, who lives with her, often tells her that it's too early for her to have her period. I wonder if that has anything to do with her acting. My question is how to help her to accept that she's 12 and why she refuses to grow up.

Thank you very much for your time.

From: Nini, Beijing China


This boy may be a follower. Is that so bad?

Posted by Barbara F. Meltz September 5, 2012 06:00 AM

[Ed's Note: This letter has been condensed.}
I have a wonderful son. He's healthy, happy and very smart. He's a great brother to his siblings....He's always been a rule follower, ... never one to take risks and seems to need to really think things through before going forward with anything new. We know that about him and we've allowed him to make his accomplishments in his own time.

He as well seems to consistently need acknowledgement from us and others. As a busy mother of 3 there are times when I cannot respond to his question/issue/idea right away. He seems to at times lack the understanding that just b/c I can't get to his issue right away, doesn't mean I'm not able to help in later or respond to him later.

My concern also comes from his interaction with other kids his age. Seeing him interact with other kids, we find he can take the role of the submissive. He's always being told "you have to be 'it'" during a game of tag, or other issues of the like. When I attempt to talk to him about it, he tells me, "I have to be, Mom, if I don't, the kids will just keep telling me I do."

We try to help him find other ways to respond to these situations but I'm not sure they are working or he's even using them.

We wonder in a way how do we make our son more assertive? Do we even try? Is this just who he is or is it something to do with age? In a pack mentality that I see on the school playground and in other groups, it breaks my heart to see him treated this way.

My husband and I try very hard not to interfere and allow him to find his own way, but it gets hard when you know what's going on and how other kids are treating him. In a way, I'm not sure he really sees what happening.

I guess we wonder if these issues are just being his age (7years 6 months) are more of his style/personality or a deeper issue that we need to address with his pediatrician.

Thank you-

From: LovingMom, Merrimack Valley, MA/NH


Are visiting grandson's bad behaviors a bunch of bad habits or something more?

Posted by Barbara F. Meltz July 27, 2012 06:00 AM

My 6 year old grandson is spending the summer with me. I thought that the lying, stealing, wetting pants (day and night), picking at other kids and just saying mean things in general to other children (older ones) was because of the change in his environment but I have learned that these are the frustrations my daughter is dealing with on a daily basis. He has a sister 3 years younger. I want to make absolutely sure I am giving him exactly what he needs and be able to give her sound advice on how to deal with these issues. Please help me help him. Thank you so much,

From: Denise, Fort Myers, FLA


Loyalty bind putting child at risk

Posted by Barbara F. Meltz July 25, 2012 06:00 AM

[This letter has been condensed. BFM]
Help...I'm at my wit's end. My 6 yr old stepson acts horrible! He has 13 and 19 yr old sisters and their mother was deported when he was a baby. His father's two sisters [Margarita & Marcy] helped with the kids. In fact, Margarita, who is unable to bear children, moved in and basically raised Santiago, the 6yr old. Marcy basically raised the oldest, leaving the middle child to be raised by dad. Then I came along. They are a Hispanic family and I am Anglo. Their father and I dated for two years...all seemed ok. Then we moved in together and all help broke loose.

Aunts still came in house taking over and not allowing me to take care of kids or much privacy. Until recently I was not allowed by aunts to take 6yr old to school or attend school activities. They didn't care about middle child. She and I have become very close. 6 yr old and I started getting close and wanting to call me mom and the aunts had a front of him....He cried to me and asked why his aunts dislike me. I had to lie and say I don't know sweetie...don't will all be ok. We basically share custody with the aunts because he spends Wed night with one and Fri night with other. Plus they pick him up from school almost every day.

Basically....we know they have said bad things about me and talked bad about me to him and in front of him and he is acting so bad with me. They let him do anything he boundaries while at their house and his behavior is horrible. He throws fits...screams at everyone... He now talks bad about me in Spanish and no one corrects him when he does it but his father. Ramon has talked to them...fought with them yet they still will not discipline him. He is getting worse because he is spending more time with them and it's awful! I'm at my wits end and about to move out cause between the aunts and this kid hating me....I just don't think I can handle it anymore. There is so much more but too much already typed. :(....please help.

From: Sherry, Paris, TX


No harm for a boy to learn about "girl" things

Posted by Barbara F. Meltz June 29, 2012 06:00 AM

I have three children...of ages 6, 4,and 2 my 6 year old only likes to watch shows where it's all girls. I have an older niece and he looks up to her so much that he only likes to watch what she does...although I might add that I do get upset at him if he pretends to walk like a girl and so forth but I get confused because he loves cars and boyish my question here is it normal for a 6 year old boy to be interested in girl things and will it affect his sexual preference? Thank you.
From: Yolanda, Brownsville, TX


Barbie dolls for her grandson? Behind her son's back?

Posted by Barbara F. Meltz May 22, 2012 06:00 AM

I have a 8 year old grandson who's always liked to play with Barbie dolls. My son, his Dad, throws a fit if I let him play with them at my house. He's always liked them from birth on. I sneak and let him play with them at my home. Is this wrong? I sometimes worry why he likes them so much, but see nothing wrong in letting him be who he is. He is a great, sensitive, caring and mannerly child. Please, I need some feedback on this issue.
Thank you
From: Debbie, Hustonville, KY


Kids call her son "gay"

Posted by Barbara F. Meltz May 18, 2012 06:00 AM

My son is 6 years old...He does not play with boys and some times he acts like a girl! We don't know what to do.... other kids at the after school [are] calling him a GAY!
So please let me know something about it!
Thank you so much!

From: GO, Fort Lauderdale, FL


Teaching manners isn't outdated

Posted by Barbara F. Meltz April 26, 2012 06:00 AM

Dear Barbara,

My MIL is a lovely person (how often do you hear that?!) but she's making me crazy because she's prickly about manners. I agree that some attention to manners is important (please & thank you) but I have begun to balk at some of her ideas. For instance, she expects my children (oldest is 4, youngest is 2) to greet her at the door when she arrives with a big hug and "welcome granny!" She insists that is part of good manners because it teaches respect for elders. This is the way my husband was raised and I have to admit he impressed me from the start with his impeccable manners, whereas my parents had no such standards, so I am very torn. Are there milestones when it comes to manners, like certain manners that children should know by certain ages?

From: FHP, Queens, NY


About the author

Barbara F. Meltz is a freelance writer, parenting consultant, and author of "Put Yourself in Their Shoes: Understanding How Your Children See the World." She won several awards for her weekly "Child Caring" column in the Globe, including the 2008 American Psychological Association Print Excellence award. Barbara is available as a speaker for parent groups.

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