I have worked with a kindergarten student at my Praxis location and for convenience I will be calling him Charlie. On several occasions I have found myself working with Charlie to complete his homework and it has been successful. However, when we are done doing work he insists on doing other activities, such as drawing or making puzzles, with only me. On a few occasions I have noticed that Charlie, not only with me but with other volunteers, becomes visibly upset when I or the other volunteers try to help other students with their homework. If a volunteer moves to work with other students he begins to insist that the volunteer must stay and work with him, as if having chosen to help him with his homework he is entitled for the rest of the day.
Now something that I have found very curious is that he does goes through this cycle on a daily basis, not necessarily with the same volunteers. It seems to me that he has issues with perhaps detachment but to me it seems more accurately defined as entitlement. I have not asked him if he is an only child because I'm not too sure if this is appropriate as I am only an afterschool volunteer.
I am also curious as to how this is being delt with in the classroom setting. If Charlie has a teacher that deals with a large group of children everyday, I wonder if the teacher manages to give him this seperate attention or if he only has this behavior outside of the immediate school setting in a place where he feels he has more control or is just more comfortable like an afterschool program or at home.
I have noticed that this does indeed affect his working behavior because on one occasion a volunteer had to help another student and Charlie was then supposed to work with me. He began to break pencils and scratch his papers while refusing to do his work. When asked why he was behaving this way or if he was feeling upset he would not respond. After adamently trying to get him to do homework with his refusal, I decided to try and give him some alone time. His coping strategy was to sit in a pile of backpacks and coats and cry silently all while giving the volunteer that left him an attitude and rolling his eyes at them. I later found out that he was upset because the volunteer had left him but he refuses to communicate about this issue of being able to have one person to himself for the entire day.
I have since then been a little careful when I work with him because there are days that I know are busy and a lot of students need help and if I work with him I would not get to help any other students. That being said, I do not want this to be a problem that I just avoid. I want to help and I'm doing my best to take this situation on one day at a time.