DD 5 spitting at school - advice please

(24 Posts)
SwishYouToASwazzle Thu 10-Oct-13 23:13:40

My DD is in Yr 1. She's a lovely little girl, really into her imaginative play and anything princessey. She can be a bit moody at times, but who doesn't when they're tired and/or hungry. She's her normal happy little self at home, no indications that she's upset about anything. At school however, the Yr1 classes were mixed up and she isn't with her close friends. She's always said she's ok with this as she plays with them in the playground at breaktimes. This past week she's been sent twice to the headteachers office for spitting at other children, even a parent came into the school to complain about her. I've put her in timeout, I've sent her to bed very early (3 times now and she sleeps 12 hours, so obviously needed it), I've asked her if anything is upsetting her (she says no). I just don't know what else to do really. I don't understand why she's doing it. My DH says she's only 5, she's being a kid, but I want to curb this asap.

Any help greatly appreciated thanks

ICameOnTheJitney Thu 10-Oct-13 23:20:21

Is she getting enough sleep? Having a 5 year old DD myself, who has a strong will and a bad temper as well as being bright and imaginative, I see her behaviour spiral when she's not sleeping well or when she's not well.

SwishYouToASwazzle Thu 10-Oct-13 23:21:24

Although... she came home today without eating her lunch (cucumber was too crunchy apparently hmm ) and so all she ate at school was a piece of fruit at snack and a little yoghurt for lunch. the incident happened at home time, so maybe tiredness and hunger do play a role

ICameOnTheJitney Thu 10-Oct-13 23:23:45

Oh I see you said she sleeps 12 hours! Well...it's almost half term and in my experience a LOT of them get naughty and tired now...my older dd is too and she's 9 so the little ones have less strength again.

SwishYouToASwazzle Thu 10-Oct-13 23:25:08

Thanks Jitney, I think we wrote at the same time there! I'm worrying that something is bothering her, thats causing this behaviour, because most 5 year olds would be tired at school, it's a long day for them but they don't all behave badly at school (they save it for home lol) <<sigh>>

ICameOnTheJitney Thu 10-Oct-13 23:30:43

They don't all play as hard as others though either...some, give their ALL to their games in a physical sense, they're developing at a fast rate and having to learn a lot too. They're all different....a little bit of spitting isn't the end of the world and I bet it's stopped by the time half term is over.

SwishYouToASwazzle Thu 10-Oct-13 23:34:03

I hope so Jitney. I know she's not a bad girl, that's why it's bothering me so much. I need to sit down with her teacher but they're all so busy busy.

ICameOnTheJitney Thu 10-Oct-13 23:36:02

I'd pop in at home time if I were you....they have a minute then usually. At least you can set your mind at rest a bit...

SwishYouToASwazzle Thu 10-Oct-13 23:45:31

Thanks Jitney smile

May09Bump Fri 11-Oct-13 00:38:10

Try rewards 5 marbles in the jar = activity she loves after school. Talk about it on way to school. Try to focus on her being positive - ie kind to friends, spitting is not kind, rather than spitting is naughty / don't spit. I think they sometimes switch off if being told off and it takes longer to get the message through.

It not a nice experience for anyone - but she is 5 and in a new year. It's hard work to face these challenges. Fingers crossed this phase will pass soon.

SwishYouToASwazzle Fri 11-Oct-13 07:38:29

Thanks May I'll give it a go. that's the same as pastas in the jar isn't it?

SwishYouToASwazzle Fri 11-Oct-13 16:29:27

Well I had to have a meeting with her teacher today for having 3 reflection cards for spitting. It's my DD and x2 other little girls going around being mean to others in the playground. I suggested factors such as being huangry/tired but her teacher said it wasnt enough of a reason. I also mentioned that she finds it hard makiNg friends and her teacher said that she is a loner!!!! should I be worried about this? she has 2 weeks to improve now or things will escalate sad

FunkyBoldRibena Fri 11-Oct-13 16:47:52

Have you sat her down and asked why she is spitting and maybe given her some advice on how to make friends?

SwishYouToASwazzle Sat 12-Oct-13 05:10:10

She does know what a good friend does and doesn't do (even though she makes "bad choices"). She doesn't have many playdates. We did have a few kids over to play but she doesn't seem to get invites back, even though the playdates went very well. I've asked the teacher to allocate her a "best friend" in her class, who is good for her and will help her. They suggested this in reception as she was having difficulty settling in and making friends, but was separated from her in Yr 1. I think my DD has trouble making friends because she's more interested in her imaginative play, and is happy to play by herself quietly in a corner than interacting. For example, at her swimming class at the end, they have 5 mins of funtime. All the kids splash about, play in little groups having fun. My DD goes to the edge by herself, uses a couple of the funtime toys as "people" and does small world play. I've asked her not to, to play with the others, and to play like that when she gets home, but she loves that sort of play more than anything. She has an 8 yo brother and she plays with him, he's very good with her and will do what she wants. They do "mummy and daddy" type imaginative play or do the small world play together. Her reception teacher often told me that she would only do the small world play in class, very difficult to get her to do anything else, and if anyone else tried to play with her, she's get frustrated because she had a storyline in her head and she felt the other child was interfering. She has cousins that she plays with, but again, she'll often leave them to play by herself.

Am I doing something wrong? Should I be stopping this type of play?

BoundandRebound Sat 12-Oct-13 05:18:29

There is nothing wrong with being a loner - it doesn't mean lonely.

And she is only 5- she will change over the years.

Her imaginative world is an amazing thing to cherish and not to be worried about.

So the spitting, not nice and people will have a visceral reaction to it. But it's just a phase and you and the school need to try to help her end it.

You could do some social game play with her

What are the school offering / doing to help? I see the two week threat but there should be measures in place to help her.

BoundandRebound Sat 12-Oct-13 05:24:22
SwishYouToASwazzle Sat 12-Oct-13 05:30:36

Thanks Bound. I always thought so too, about her imaginative play being special, if you listened to her play its amazing the stories she comes up with. It was the term "loner" that upset me, even though she's so happy in her own company.

What sort of social games do you mean? Like playing a board game together, or joining in her imaginative play?

The teacher is going to do smiley face stickers for good bhv in a chart on the wall. She'll encourage good friendships and allocate a buddy (at my request). The girls she has been friends with that are going round being mean to others, that includes my DD, (and I'm surprised because they're sweet little girls, but the teacher thinks they're bad for each other), she has to avoid playing with. She's been given 1 last chance to improve because she is so young.

SwishYouToASwazzle Sat 12-Oct-13 05:35:08

That book looks really good btw!

BoundandRebound Sat 12-Oct-13 06:15:51

Sorry social games like perhaps writing out feelings on pieces of paper (or printing out facial expressions) and then take turns picking one and acting them out so you can develop understanding of emotions and reactions together and also allows child to explore own feelings and reactions

BoundandRebound Sat 12-Oct-13 06:27:22

Not sure if shes old enough for concentric circles eg put an action in the middle and then build up the consequences in ever expanding ripples, it can get really funny but is a great lesson on unseen reactions to things we do. Like playing the nursery rhyme For Want of a Nail

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the message was lost.
For want of a message the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

If I remember correctly there's lots of games examples in that book too

FunkyBoldRibena Sat 12-Oct-13 09:42:35

Swish, I am very much a loner and am more than happy with the thoughts of my own head...but you do need to find out why she spits at people. You do need to engage her in the conversation some way or other.

marriedinwhiteisback Sat 12-Oct-13 09:58:27

She's 5. She has an imagination. She's not one of the crowd. Nothing wrong with any of that but you need to get rid of the spitting though.

I don't think she needs negativity and I think you can be reassured that the spitting is coming from two others as well so it isn't just your dd and it doesn't indicate that she's taking learnt behaviour into school; rather she's learnt inappropriate behaviour there. On that basis I would hope the school is dealing with this with all three girls as well as the whole class.

Something that I found helpful with mine (they are 18 and 15 now) at that sort of age was having a small reward every day. Mine always had six little sweets chosen from the sweetie jar after tea. If they had been naughty they would have their sweeties withdrawn and the level of naughtiness determined the length of the ban. For example taking a cake into the front room (banned) and leaving crumbs all over the carpet (1 day). When ds was 3.5 he got a place at a state nursery where he started swearing and spitting and his sweeties were banned for two weeks. Never had a problem with swearing or spitting again (well at least not until he was 14) even when all the others were going through the bum, bum, poo poo head phase. Although we did pull him from the nursery after a term and that probably helped too but that was because the nursery's attitude was that those behaviours were learnt at home and nothing to do with them.

I think you need to work with the school at finding ways to support your daughter to cope with being a square peg. There's nothing wrong with that: Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Helena Bonham Carter, etc., all very successful and none or them were school perfect.

SwishYouToASwazzle Sun 13-Oct-13 12:16:25

Thanks marriedinwhite. Yes, I think I need a reward system in place. it's difficult as her DB gets stressed out if she has a reward for something and he doesn't (I have explained to him he has different things to improve on, such as answering back and refusal to so housework/homework when asked).

I like pasta in a jar reward system as it sounds so easy. I might have a 10p reward on each one for DD and a 20p reward for DS (instead of pocket money).

does that sound reasonable?

SwishYouToASwazzle Sun 13-Oct-13 12:23:00

You know what funky, I've just come off the phone to my DM and she said I was the same at school (not the spitting and being mean to others though). She said I did small world play all the time and was in my own little world. They even got my hearing tested because they thought I had a problem, when all it was, was that I just wasn't listening!

And yes, maybe I'm a bit of a loner as well. my DH family is huge and when they all come over en masse, I tend to hide out in the kitchen (they wouldn't come in there to help me lol). I do like the peace and quiet of my own thoughts, I have to say!

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