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Anger & frustration

At a Glance: Signs of Frustration in Your Grade-Schooler

By Kate Kelly

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Grade school kids with learning and attention issues often get frustrated by tasks that other children may manage easily. Here are some signs of frustration in grade school plus how you can help.

28Found this helpful
At a Glance: Signs of Frustration in Your Grade-Schooler

It’s not always easy to tell when young kids are frustrated by their weaknesses. But if you can spot the signs and help your child develop coping strategies, the benefits will last long after fifth grade. Here’s how.

What you’re seeing:
Your child’s homework was to play a math game and do some reading. When it’s time to put away the game and pull out her book, she screams “Reading is stupid!”

What may be happening:
Transitions can be hard for kids with learning and attention issues. It’s even harder when they have to switch from something they like to something they don’t.

What to do:
Give your child advance notice: “Two more turns and then we’ll switch to reading.” You can also prep her on what she’ll be reading. She might not dread it if she knows what’s coming.

What you’re seeing:
Your child says she’s done with softball and doesn’t want to try out for the travel team. You don’t want her to quit, since she’s played on the rec team for years.

What may be happening:
Your child feels like the whole team is improving except for her. She’s afraid she can’t make the travel
team. She’d rather give up than risk failing.

What to do:
Don’t let your child quit unless she’s truly lost interest. Talk to her coach. If the coach thinks she has a shot at the travel team, encourage her to try out. Or she can return to the rec team and try out next year.

What you’re seeing:
Your child’s teacher tells you that when he reads aloud to the class, your child is disruptive.

What may be happening:
Your child can’t follow the story. There are so many distractions that she can’t sit still.

What to do:
Suggest that the teacher develop a signal to let your child know when she needs to monitor her behavior. It could be a gesture or the teacher could put his hand on your child’s shoulder. This strategy can be surprisingly effective.
Graphic of At a Glance: Signs of Frustration in Your Grade-Schooler
Graphic of At a Glance: Signs of Frustration in Your Grade-Schooler

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About the Author

Portrait of Kate Kelly

Kate Kelly

Kate Kelly has been writing and editing for more than 20 years, with a focus on parenting.

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Reviewed by Molly Algermissen, Ph.D. May 17, 2014 May 17, 2014

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