Wow!!!! I leave to go to the conference and come back to all this great input! I never expected this kind of response. A BIG THANKS TO ALL! It makes me feel good that so many of you can reach out to a cyber-stranger!
Anyhow, here's the low-down.....
it basically comes down to him wanting to be the center of attention, he wants to feel liked by his peers and is fiercely competitive. If someone is turning in a paper ahead of him, the teacher said my son is not far behind but most of the time, the paper he is turning in is either half done or not done right (and he gets it back for re-do and he aces it). He is highly disorganized which is why he is forgetting to turn in his completed work, homework or bring stuff home. His desk is a mess! Funny thing is, he keeps his room at home very neat and is very protective over his belongings here. His teacher agrees that he is highly intelligent but very easily distracted and difficult to engage.
I did have him tested for ADD/ADHD 2 years ago at the end of his kindergarten year when he started exhibiting these types of poor behaviors and at that time, the Dr ruled it out and pegged it on the school environment he was in. The battery of tests he was given also revealed he was highly intelligent on certain levels but his overall cognitive ability was weaker than expected. Anyway, we switched schools and tried it. He still has similar problems two years later in 2nd grade. Before I test him again for ADD, we are going to meet with the school counselor. She is apparently a great resource for these kinds of classroom problems. Also, he is the youngest in his class since he is a summer baby, but I didn't want to hold him back simply because he was immature because I was concerned with academic boredom.
He is so witty, I do have to stay on my toes with him on what I expect. I am an avid self-help reader and have tried all sorts of things because he is a big wheeler/dealer and learns loopholes etc. I keep telling myself that one day this happy go lucky, witty spirit will lead to good things. I refuse to medicate him for immaturity. I have tried rewards like stickers, pizza, special outings, a new toy or game/privileges given and taken away/no TV which we watch very little of anyway/no play with friends/grounded to his room,etc.
He is the older of my two children. I also have a 3 year old daughter and she is so opposite of my son. Daddio, you nailed it, sort of. I WAS a single parent for a little while but I remarried and my new hubby and I have the daughter together. Although my son's Dad and I have a very good (almost abnormally good) relationship, I am still the primary parent in my son's life 24/7. My new husband simply does not take that role with my son. I also work full time, but I have a flexible enough schedule that I am able to be home early a couple of days per week and we spend quality time together every day over dinner, homework and bedtime. It is hard, but I signed up for it and I don't take the challenge lightly.
I sometimes wonder if the dynamics of fitting in as big brother, new family and the pressure with that come in to play and I have been told just to be patient with that if true. School may be his outlet to feel like he can let his guard down (I'm always telling him what a great big brother he is, but I also remind him to be a good example sometimes)-maybe this puts pressure on him somehow?
Anyhow, I am not beyond getting him help if its needed, even if it does end up being ADD or something like that.
Thanks all! This really helps. Believe it or not, all of my good friends either have girls or infant sons or teenagers. No one I really knew had a son that was the same age as mine.