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How to correct this 'behavioral problem' in 6 year old?

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I hesitate to call it a behavioral problem because it makes it sound like it's something terrible when really I think it's a common thing for his age/development.


Backstory: We are in a homeschool co-op. This is our 1st year in a co-op, and it's also the first year for this particular co-op. The target age range is 4-6.


The issue is with a 6 year old boy. He is overly concerned with being first/fastest. Everything from being first to line up, to finishing his craft/art project, to answering questions. We are trying to get him to understand that it really just does.not.matter and there is something to be said about taking your time. When it's time to line up, he rushes to be first. When working on any sort of project, worksheet, craft, what have you, he scribbles it out as fast as possible and announced "Done! I got done first!".


We have been doing the obvious, pointing out why it doesn't matter, it isn't a race, blah blah blah, but it hasn't made a difference. A few of the other kids have caught on to this, and now they too rush their work to be done first. Any ideas on how to curb this behavior?

Edited by Lisa3033
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When my son was pushy about getting in line first, I marched him back to last. If my son did this with a worksheet, I'd give him another to do. That would have sobered him up very quickly.


I don't know if it works for other children, but my son really likes to be liked. We have quiet chats, now and then, about behavior that makes one likeable (and the opposite). This has helped kiddo often. Not sure if it would be a motivator for all kids.



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He really is very respectable about it. Typically this behavior also includes, pushing, shoving, accidentally running into people, etc. But his mom is HUGE on manners so he would never dare. But, being one of the oldest and also the biggest he pretty much always is the first. It would probably be the most helpful to have someone who was bigger/faster/older/more advanced than him but that isn't likely to happen (there are only about 11 kids total).


Having him do another worksheet might work, I'd have to ask his mom how she feels about it.

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I'd suddenly give a small prize to whomever finished last.

Another time, I'd give a small prize to whomever had the neatest work. It's hard to "win a race" if you don't know what the "contest" is.


As for lining up, when dd was in public school, they would assign a line leader and each take turns. You can't be first in line if it's not your turn to be line leader.

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We really like the book Me First. It makes the point that first is not always best. Maybe you could share this with the entire group at the co-op.


I love this book too. I have a Me First son, although he is not quite as bad about it as the OP described, so I bought this book for him. He thought it was so funny. I think it actually made him worse for a while. It certainly never changed his behavior, much to my disappointment. I can tell he is becoming less concerned with always being first as he is approaching 6 so I am hopeful.


Some of the ideas given here sound great though.

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