My 5 year old DS is in preschool and has never had any major behavioral issues until the past 2-3 weeks. He has a little friend that talks him into doing things that are against the rules seemingly for his sole entertainment. I have witnessed several instances of the teacher telling DS to do something, this other kid telling him to do the opposite and DS making the wrong decision. DS's table manners are fine at home, but the other kid tells him to throw his spaghetti in the air or spit food out and he does it. DS couldn't care less about sports, but is all of a sudden playing "hockey" with the play broom in the "housekeeping center" and hitting other kids in the classroom because the other boy who is on a local youth hockey team is teaching him this stuff. They are not allowed to bring toys to school unless it is for show-and-tell Fridays, but I've been reduced to patting DS down before leaving for school mornings to make sure he's not trying to smuggle an Angry Bird figure in the class to impress this other kid.
I tell DS that he should try to stay away from the other kid, but it doesn't work. I tell him that he should ignore the other kid when he tells him to do things he knows are against the classroom rules, but it doesn't work. I've punished him for the bad behavior by taking away his favorite toys and privleges and it hasn't worked. Does anyone have any advice? I'm at my wit's end and want to help him get on the right track before going to Kindergarten in the fall.