Private Vs State for discipline with a boundary pushing DS(104 Posts)
DS is a bright boy but showing some challenging behaviour. He has been assessed for ASD, ADHD etc but nothing can be diagnosed as he is not displaying "symptoms" of any one particular disorder, he isn't like this with us at home (it is the opposite of the good state of affairs which is challenging at home, angel at school!) and despite us being extremely poor at the moment and mildly opposed to private education I am tempted to look into a private prep school.
For example DS has been spitting on the floor. He spat once on the floor at home about 8 months ago and I dealt with it and nothing at home since. At school, I am mortified to discover that he does it several times a week, they have written him a "social story" to show him why he shouldn't do it. Personally I think they should read him the riot act and he wouldn't do it again. There are other examples of this flowery approach and I think he has sussed it. He is a boundary pusher but responds well to a strict set of rules.
Am I being daft? Are prep schools more disciplined? Or should I just tell school to man up a bit? Would he flounder in a prep school because they would expect perfect behaviour?
I think they usually have less patience for difficult behaviour in most private schools. DS went to a private school that specialised in difficult kids, they weren't really stricter, instead they had more time to listen.
It seems to me like you could impose a draconian punishment at home if you wanted, Jalapeño, there's no need to keep being unhappy that the school doesn't come down like a tonne of bricks, but I'm not sure it's the wisest thing. I think maybe school has it right.
Really? You think saying spitting on the floor is unnacceptable is draconian?
Doing the story thing clearly isn't working. I realise being at home is different from school but can't fathom why he is not behaving like this at home. He tried it and we clamped down and he didn't do it again.
We aren't even that draconian at home. We've never smacked him, I don't have set routines or anything, people think I'm laid back (which I've never seen but they have commented on it!). I am just strict with manners. I can't see why school think spitting is not a problem, especially when he doesn't do it at home?
I can't comment for all preps obviously but the 2 I know well don't put up with any bad behaviour at all. Most preps would ask your DS have a taster day before offering a place, not just to assess his academics, but behaviour, attitude etc. They also usually ask for a report from previous schools.
Might be worth having a chat with someone at the preps you are looking at before you make the jump.
I'm not looking at any tbh, really we can't afford it, I just really think he is better with a firm hand. I don't mean anything scary, just "we will not accept this" rather than "we will let you do this as we think it is a thing you do".
He is a strange child in some ways but he is my son and I obviously want the best for him. I really feel like he's not getting a fair deal and that the lenient way of dealing with him (that probably suits 95% of the population admittedly) is not for him.
I don't want him to be caned or anything! Just told he can't spit on the floor under any circumstance!
My dc go to a prep, and they absolutely would not put up with that behaviour. My youngest is a little challenging to say the least, so they have their work cut out. Youngest was there from the very start so didn't have to do taster days or assessments. Not sure if they would have taken him if they had got a chance to meet him first
So littlechimneydroppings do you think they'd accept a year 3 that is bright but challenging in a flowery environment?
Or would he just get thrown out 6 months later
I think the fact that you've been looking at getting a DX for some kind of named problem would help, there are a couple of boys on the Autistic spectrum at DS's school and they get lots of support and have no problems sticking to the rules.
Can you ask your current school to get an Ed Psych to have a look at him, or have him assessed yourself if they won't or have you already been down that path?
It does sound like his current school is being a bit drippy about it - how on earth are children supposed to learn boundaries when you tell him one thing and they're not backing it up?
I dont know Jalapeno. I must admit I have wondered the same thing about ds, and he's a lot younger than yours. They have never said that though in fairness, I worry too much. The fact that your ds is bright is a good thing as he'll be more able to do the work. How do you think he'd get on at an assessment meeting? Is there anything you can do to work on your sons behaviour at home?
diabolo I would think in a few years we might end up with an ASD diagnosis but whatever he has he is not a severe case, the school say he should see an EP but since he is not severe he is at the bottom of the list. Last year they said over 12 months and this week they said 6 months so perhaps he is getting worse
We could pay but not got any spare cash and not sure it would help?
I am thinking I will ask his teacher to tell me every time he spits and I will remove toys or pocket money at home. I'm willing to bet this will be an end to it but I hate bribing, I wish they just made it clear it was unacceptable.
little chimney if he was asked about something he was interested in he would come across very well. If he was bored by it he would seem rather sullen
What a shame. Hope you get something sorted out.
Thanks Diabolo...I will have a think and update
IME private schools do not tolerate bad behaviour in this way. However, this is not to say they have better discipline. Simply that they make it clear to pupils what the standards are - and pupils who do not obey them are told they are out. Unfortunate but true. Parents who are paying a lot of money are generally not prepared to put up with someone else's kid disrupting their child's expensive education whilst the school try to sort it out. Schools will normally simply get rid of anyone disruptive - as presumably that is better than having 10 parents or more in that year remove their child and send them somewhere else. You can see their logic.
Only you can say if your child would do better with firm boundaries, or would flounder against their expectations. You should be aware however that most take the view that 'it's their way or the highway'.
I'm surprised that they have written a social story for him if they are not pretty convinced that he is somewhere on the spectrum- have you talked to the AEN person at school? Because if he is on the spectrum somewhere, it's unlikely that strict discipline a la old fashioned prep school would work for long. Or be helpful in the long run. On the other hand, if he isn't, the therapeutic line being taken by his current school may not work or be helpful long term either. I think whoever is in charge of AEN at his current school is where you should start.
Sounds like my ds jalepeno. Interestingly he has autistic tendancies too, according to the consultant, although he hasn't been formally assessed for it yet. It would annoy me if the school just let that behaviour go though, especially if he knows it is wrong. I guess at dc's school they would be read the riot act, and sent to see the headteacher. Cant you have a word with the school to see if they can change their approach a little?
It's not a question of state v private school - it is about finding the right school. Nobody can say state schools cope better or privates cope better, there are good and bad in all. I will say I think in the main, independent schools are not as good at coping with challenging behaviour as they experience it less. I would look for a good state school that will support you and has the same values as you do.
Out of curiosity if you're "extremely poor" how are you proposing to pay the fees?
Ds1 has ASD and ADHD, diagnosed, and social stories only work as an explanation as to WHY he shouldn't do something, they offer no incentive whatsoever to not do it.
If I found out ds1 was being allowed to behave poorly at school, without them listening to me about effective discipline, I would be very unhappy. Make an appointment to see the senco and make it clear that just because your son make have additional needs does not mean they get to give up and treat him like a two year old, just because they are too wooly to do something that will be effective.
I think that you may be asking the wrong question here: you have, several times, said that private school fees are really not an option. So you need a different solution to tackle this.
I really wonder if he is ASD/ADHD/whatever - what do you really think (you know him better than anyone)? It sounds as though he knows how to behave (at home), but is just playing up at school? Is he just very bright (and manipulative), but bored and fed up at school? Are there other state schools in the area that might suit him better (more engaging, whilst taking less nonsense?)? Does he have other routes to channel himself as well as school (something like martial arts to engage him in physical activity, discipline and respect)?
Thanks everyone for the input! We could not afford fees at the moment, we have a healthy income but a huge mortgage so asset rich and cash poor. This should improve in a few years but not an option atm unless we move away from G London which I would like to do but that's another thread...
Seeker what is an AEN? Is that the Senco? I spoke to her this week, I told them I feel he is playing up as he doesn't do this at home but they feel it is a coping mechanism. I've told DS that I'm going to ask school to tell me every time he spits and I will remove toys or pocket money at home. I have told him I won't tolerate it, if he needs to spit he must do it in a tissue or sink and if he needs to do something to help him concentrate he must think of a new "thing".
I think he is better with boundaries. Maybe it is mothers instinct, maybe I am wrong. His father certainly needs a firm hand and I always responded better to the mad, strict teachers at school that everyone hated.
No idea about ASD, my sister has ASD and SPD so I think could be similar.
Thanks for all the points, I will read them again.
Apologies for using the term "extremely poor" that was a bit of a crap way of describing it last night and was the friday night wine talking. We have no free cash every month with mortgage and some CC debt but should in the next few years have some cash left over.
Admittedly I hadn't thought of moving state school. They are all massively oversubscribed here and DS2 will be joining in Sept so I have left it a bit late to think about moving. His school is one of the most desirable in the area, this I accept was my fault but wanted him in the "good" school but the SEN provision isn't great because there isn't that much need for it (no statements in entire school), even the SENCO said in another class his behaviour wouldn't have even been noticed. Now I worry he is becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy
We live and learn eh? DS2 incidentally is more chilled out so I hope he will fit in the nice child box a bit better!
QT we have tried martial arts, footie, drums and swimming. I think he may need a run in the morning to burn off some energy and I am wondering if a literacy tutor would help as it seems to be literacy that he feels he can't do. I have got some writing books to help and I will try to do it with him but am worried that we will clash and it won't be a positive experience for him so might look into a student or someone else cheap-ish to help him with creative writing so he gets used to it.
My eight year old was like this and has a brother with aspergers. Ds3 had tendencies. The school he was at was lovely but not for him. I was being called in at least once a week. I moved him to another school and he has thrived...... It is much stricter and has very firm boundaries and established older staff.
He is a different child......and they don't recognise him as the boy in their reports they received from his previous school prior to starting. . Good luck
Wannabestressfree (this is my mantra atm!) this is food for thought, thank you for your reply. Maybe I need to talk to the teachers a bit more and perhaps some other schools.
I wonder whether it's the individual teacher we know a child who has from a very early age and still does display now as a teenager challenging behaviour the cause; after God knows how many assessments he just enjoys behaving badly. But not with everyone the reason is simple he just knows which people are for the want of a better word a soft touch and those who aren't.
Yes happygardening this is what I think is happening. I'm not happy about him misbehaving of course but I do think it could be dealt with better, he's only 7 and should know that the teachers are in charge!
OP some people just have a natural air of authority "a don't mess with me" personality others who may be perfectly good teachers dont. I personally have no time for "social stories" most 7 year olds know they shouldn't spit on the floor especially if he doesn't do it outside of the classroom.
Is it attention seeking behaviour? IME boys are often disillusioned with education especially the way its taught in the primary sector where the whole thing is aimed at nice well behaved compliant children (dons tin hat and hides) at a good prep but were talking serious money they will have specialised teachers/classrooms for most subjects lots of games/pe a MFL separate lessons for each subject and no literacy numeracy hour. Boys IME often find the variety and the increased level of activity even if its changing classrooms every 40 mins helpful and yes expectations of behaviour are very high and I suspect few would indulge in "social stories".
One final point has he been professionally assessed my DS1 was assessed by his primary school for dyslexia and found not to have it three subsequent professional assessments have found him to have moderate dyslexia but in a very rare form he just didn't tick the right boxes on the assessment carried out by a well-meaning teacher.
Thanks yes the teachers at school are lovely however all very young, no kids of their own etc. I expect they have everything in their locker but are not used to this sort of child! I expect a teacher with more experience (and kids of their own!) would naturally have the BS detector switched on and not take his manipulation...however they might not deliver such good classes perhaps you just can't have it all!
He has been assessed by two paediatricians and one paed OT. My mother is a SENCO and has tested him for dyslexia (2 years ago) but there is nothing like that he can read and spell very well. She is of the opinion that there is nothing "wrong" either although obviously she isn't experienced to diagnose. She works in a private senior school so mostly sees dyslexia etc. but the DCs are well behaved (and older).
Someone upthread mentioned that a social story is usually deployed when a child has ASD, is this your experience?
I think he would benefit from variety and exercise! He loves maths and French but they only have French one lesson every fortnight . As I write he is doing his homework at the same table as me, he loves French and although wriggling a bit in his chair he looked through his vocab book and asked questions and did the French worksheet homework without fuss. Now he is doing spellings, writing each one out once. He is prevaricating a bit. His homework involves writing a bit more so I predict a riot...
Oh and I'm going to make him do some writing for me later on, wish me luck!
I would be wary about automatically assuming any school, private or state, would be stricter and may benefit your ds. ime private schools vary in their boundaries and discipline. There are often harsher rules but those who have SEN and those who fail to respect them or "fit in" may be asked to leave but on the other hand, their behaviour may be tolerated at the expense of others if they are perceived as otherwise being beneficial to the school .
I agree with others upthread that the problem may not be with 'state' school but with THIS state school.
I have recently moved from a school in a deprived area with a VERY mixed intake (30 - 35% of children on SEN register, high FSM etc etc) to a school in a much 'nicer' area with almost zero FSM and very few children with SEN.
One of the things that I have noticed is that the discipline is different. In school A, low level disruption was dealt with instantly, there was lots of support for SEN but also very firm boundaries in place - because so many children COULD have been a problem, no problem was ever allowed to develop from the first grumblings. At school B, because low level disruption doesn't have the same tendency to escalate (and many staff who have been there for many years are only used to dealing with 'nice well behaved children') it is not dealt with so firmly. Children with SEN are made out to be quite a big problem, because they are so rare, and fewer staff have the experience needed to support them effectively (if a third of every class is on the register, every teacher and every TA is well versed in SEN...if you only have an SEN child every now and again, you don't have the same up-to-date hands-on experience - it's not a criticism, just an observation. I, on the other hand, am not as adept as other staff at dealing with aggressively pushy parents, as they have not been a recent part of my teaching experience!)
Look at other schools, talking especially to the SENCo at each school. You may find that there is no need to move sectors to get a completely different experience. My DS became a selective mute at one school, but thrived at another school. Both were state, but as different as chalk and cheese.
(I did investigate private schools when DS moved schools. None displayed any tolerance for his 'difference' - although he is no longer mute, he does have ASD traits - and made it clear that a) I would have had to pay extra for SEN support in many cases and b) other parents expected that children who 'took up too much time' / failed to conform were asked to leave)
DD's private senior school assured us that because she was a good speller and could read, that she could not possibly be dyslexic. She IS dyslexic! Dyslexia is like ASC, there's a range of issues and a person may have any combination of these. In other words, never discount anything!
I'm not sure what the answer is with your son and I can see money is tight, but I would try and save/beg the money to get him privately assessed by an Ed Psych. That way you have an independent report to take with you to any school he attends. We presumed DD had ADD and her old primary school presumed she was mildly affected and gave additional support. The pupils with more complex and severe barriers to learning were always going to be ahead of her in the queue to be assessed and they quite rightly they always were! I've always found that knowledge is power which is why I'm advocating the assessment. It may be that nothing is diagnosed, but at least it enables you to rule things out?
Trust your instincts OP. Wish I listened to mine much earlier as DDs diagnosis at age 15 has left her with all sorts of confidence issues! It may be that your son is rebelling against the schools 'flowery' policies and it may be that he prefers clear boundaries. You know the answers because your his mum and you should be listened too. Good luck
I can't see why school think spitting is not a problem, especially when he doesn't do it at home.
I am sure the school does think it is a problem, but they are handing it in their own way. The firmer line taken by a private school might be, 'we do no accept this' but if he continues to do it, they will suggest that you look elsewhere.
Thanks teacherwith2kids I could weep as you have just explained EXACTLY what I think is going on. I thought that struggling with a huge mortgage to be in a nice leafy MC school area was the best thing to do for my children but now I actually think DS1 would thrive in a much more mixed environment. There are no statemented children at DS's school, I don't know how many on the register but would guess it is a very small amount of DCs. There is hardly any on FSM either.
Do you think teacher I should write to school saying I want them to be firmer with DS and let me know weekly what is going on or will this make them cross? I want to work with them so I don't want to come across as saying I want special treatment for him. I am also thinking of putting DS2 in nursery an extra morning a week and volunteer in class to sort books or tidy up art stuff or something. I'd be interested to see if he is different in class to how he is at home and also see if teacher notices he is different when I am there. Would this be a good idea or not in your opinion?
It might help if you could say where you are, so as to suggest possible schools?
I'm not saying the private sector would necessarily deal with the OP's DS better there are plenty of lovely young childless teachers in the private sector as well. and many are right the private sector will frequently charge for extra support and also ask a very distuptive child to leave. But I do think the variety and range of activities offered in top prep schools can benefit wriggling boys. I think the point already made up thread is that the current school/individual class teacher may not necessarily be dealing with the problem in the most effective way. What happens next year? A different teacher? Do you know anything about him/her? Strict teachers often have reputation travelling before them (I know I'm not a teacher but work with children and am considered by my colleagues and children I work with as not standing for any crap strangely I don't get alot either!). Or is this ethos coming from the head? If yes if I was in your shoes I'd look at other schools get a feel for what's out there.
I think a lot depends on the teacher as well as the school. My DS 1 is pretty docile but had some very challenging boys in his class in Reception and y1 when the class had sweet, nice, young teachers. In Y2 they got a bit of a dragon and now in Y3 they have a very experienced, strict but fair type, and there really aren't any behaviour issues now. They just needed a much firmer hand, which the first two teachers couldn't offer. Now my DS2, who can be challenging, is in Y1 with a very nice but inexperienced teacher and he is running rings around her. I can't wait for him to (fingers crossed) get the dragon in Y2! Point of all this being, is the whole school too flowery or is it worth holding out in the hope of a more suitable teacher for your DS next year?
Thanks biscuits, I'm really not sure. There was a young teacher (DS had her in yr 1) who was brilliant, she "got" him and ruled with an iron rod but a suger coating! Loved her, sadly she has left...to go to a prep school
The rest of them all seem very nice but I've not felt that much of an affinity with them.
WE have a temporary head (might be the problem, actually).
I have bought a book for helping with stories. Story 1 is about a first day at school. I can see why the teacher is at the end of her tether...it must have taken 3 hours for him to write the beginning of the story. Lots of crying and "I don't know what to write!" often he would have two good ideas and couldn't decide between the two.
Two ideas I am thinking of are some sort of decision maker, like a big cube with "option 1" or "option 2" on the sides. Another thing which may help is a sort of timer?
I think timers are fantastic. It means the end is is sight for everyone- there is nothing worse than homework dragging on for ever. Do a deal. He works as hard as he possibly can until the timer goes, then it gets put away and not mentioned again. If it's school homework, if necessary send the teacher a note explaining what you've done.
Oh and you can find out about your schools's SEN and FSM %ages by looking on the Dfes league tables.
Sorry forgot to say, 20 minutes is more than enough time for any task at this age- much beyond that and it gets counter productive.
Thanks for that seeker, FSM less than 5% and Statement or school action pls is just over 3%. ESL less than 8%.
The problem is seeker given 20 minutes he will just sit and faff about. What he has written is actually really good (and he even chucked in a bit of atheist thought so I'm quite proud ) but he is just convinced he can't do it. My instinct is to just keep at it and eventually he will get used to doing it and confidence will improve. I hope I'm right!
Oooh just googling a decision cube came across story cubes, has anyone used those for reluctant writers?
I'm a completely slack parent and have never bought a flash card or book like you described in my life. But when my DC's were your DS's age and younger I used to make up mad ridulous stories everyday when we walked the dogs after school. I would encourage them to expand on the story and add there own bits and make decisions about what happened next they used to love it and we would laugh so much doing it. Both now teenagers are excellent at imaginative creative writing and have lots of unusual ideas this may be a coincidence but I doubt it did any harm. Kids can learn so much informally we don't have to sit with text books and timers especially after a long day at school.
Ah yes but he can do all that in his head and speaking out loud happygardening! Teacher very impressed with his ideas, in fact some of what he has just written here is brilliant. He draws endless pages of stories (he wants to invent stories for computer games when he is older, so he tells me) so drawing is fine, writing he hates.
It is a "blockage" between the head and the page.
OP may I suggest an ed. psych assessment (which I suspect you might have to pay for) dyslexia does not necessarily just mean problems with reading and spelling it can also mean problems with writing/organising ideas on paper, reading and spelling can be unaffected this could account for his behavioural problems in school.
Oh really? I didn't realise. SENCO says the school isn't having a visit from the EP until after half term in the Summer term, even then he is not be top of the list because he is achieving well.
I looked into this last year, I think they are quite pricey!! If he has dyslexia of this type, what would they do to help him?
Don't mess about with LEA EPs. If you've got the money for private education, you've definitely got the money for an EP's report.
A proper EP report would be personal to him and involve EP spending several hours with your son. This clearly isn't going to happen with an EP who is just visiting a school to see hundreds of children.
"'If he has dyslexia of this type, what would they do to help him?"
A $64 000 000 question. Your school can do anything from absolutely nothing, or at least understanding why he perhaps behaves inappropriately to understanding him and putting measures in to help him (if your really lucky). Dyslexia cant be cured but children eventually learn to overcome and manage some of its associated difficulties, extra time is usually available as is the use of a lap top. Dyslexia especially when its not the classic cant read/spell is an invisible disability frequently misunderstood by teachers who seem incapable of understanding that dyslexia is not just about poor reading/ spelling. It effects all part of their life and as the curriculum gets harder and more complex bright dyslexics who cant write/process information usually under-perform in relation their IQ. But at least you will know what the problem is. Most dyslexics with this problem compensate by being very articulate and of course imaginative.
I dont live in London but friends who do I believe pay about £700 for an ed. psych report recommendations are usually made
and completely ignored by teachers and then you can discuss what your individual school or prospective school will do.. If he is reading but not writing due to dyslexia you are highly unlikely to get a statement becasue the problem wont be "bad enough".
Meant to add I too wouldn't waste my effort trying to get a LEA one especially the initial one a private one will also include IQ scores etc if a diagnosis of dyslexia is made and iQ scores obtained it wont change and then use the LEA in the future to recomenedations for help our LEA only has 1 ed psych for the whole county!
If you cant or wont pay and your school wont help you need to try and get your DS's GP on board schools as a general principle don't like GP letter a suggestion from him or her that you son is assessed by the ed. psych will usually produce results.
Does anyone in you family have dyslexia? Although I didn't realise I had it until my DS's were diagnosed I too read beautifully and very fast like one of my DS's but write all nearly words back to front and cant spell anything with more than two syllables and write slowly but spelling apart thought this was normal. I labelled careless/slapdash at school hence causing the words to be back to front and although knew I wrote significantly slower than friends thought I was just stupid.
JoanByers we can't afford school fees, upthread I said that really it was exasperation that made me assume that prep school would be more disciplined and most posters said it was not always the case.
£700 is possible but it is £700 less being paid off the credit card then (long story involving recession and redundancy!). In fact I might have to find one that accepts credit card . MIL may help as BIL suffered with dyslexia undiagnosed for a lwhile until secondary school... but she's not hugely flush either.
Thanks happygardening I have spoken to DH about this and we would rather spend the money and waste it (and eat lentils for a few months ) if they say nothing is wrong than wonder about it and potentially let him struggle.
BIL has dyslexia, my cousin has severe dyslexia, sister has ASD and dyspraxia. I am a scientist because I hate creative writing too
A friend recently had her DD assessed by an EP I will ask her for recommendation. Will update when I can!
Ed psychs are cheaper out of London one of the countries leading experts on dyslexia is not in London and I think charges about 500-600 just depends if you want to drive. Depending where you are in London no further than 90 ish miles I suppose. PM if you want his location number etc.
how about speaking to the school and his teacher for a report back each day and then you can punish him after school in your own way if you see fit, so he knows you and the school are on side
happygardening I have got him on the waiting list for a reasonably priced (but still ) Ed Psych
Branleuse I actually have done this, she didn't use it yesterday though!
It has occurred to me that his favourite subject is French, they have a visiting teacher for this once a fortnight. I asked him this morning whether he ever needed any of his special things (own table, special chair, fiddle implements etc) or has he ever spat or misbehaved in French lessons so that he has been told off by this French teacher.
He said no, he is never distracted because the other children aren't talking and he likes the lessons.
So...I am going to call her today (she does a lunch club for £££) and book him in because he really wants to go and it is a positive thing to encourage if he likes it and also ask about his behaviour for her. I may not want to hear the answer but am very excited about the possibility that with a subject matter he enjoys and/or a teacher that is strict he can behave. If he can do it for one then in theory he can do it for all, right?
Noone tells you about all the hidden costs of having children!! Or the stress involved!!
Hi OP, have read the whole thread and hope you find some answers for your son. Have you considered home educating him? If you can't find the right school for him then it's worth considering as an option. Have a look on the home ed MN boards.
Yes the theory is correct if he can do it for one then he can do it for all. This would obviously depend on one how much he enjoys the lesson and how engaged he is and two "the air of authority" that each individual teacher has. My DS's friend (who I mentioned above) can be a complete nightmare but I've never had any problems with him. On the other hand many many years ago when my DS was at a primary school he brought a friend home from school who was completely out of control neither myself my DH or exceedingly able au pair could do anything with him when we tried to talk to him and calm him down there was just nothing there he wouldn't engage with us in any way. We eventually shut him and DS 2 in a room where he could do the least damage and sat outside the door waiting for the parents to come and get him!!! Later he was expelled from the school he kept running off and hitting teachers and other staff and children,
Hi NewYearNewMia, there is no way I could home ed him!! I work plus... I just don't think I could. I wouldn't have the skills or the patience. And I think it is important he goes to school, he really enjoys it and loves the other kids.
happygardening yes I have called and left a message so hopefully will speak to her soon. I want him to learn how to overcome boredom in class and behave for all teachers but if we can find one positive from all of this to work on I will feel better about things and we can get there gradually. It really was beginning to feel like there was no hope for him to behave at school as he does for me at home!
Sorry newyear, that sounded less grateful than I am, thanks for the suggestion it just isn't for me
"It really was beginning to feel like there was no hope for him to behave at school as he does for me at home!"
Dont give up hope he's only 6! If he's good at home then thats very positive. Both the children I mentioned were difficult out of school as well as in school and spitting was the least of their problems!! I personally think its a problem at school either he's not engaging in the lessons for some reason or the teacher is for the want of a better word completely wet. Has he always been naughty at school or is this just a recent thing?
Do let us know how you get on.
I know I shouldn't give up hope and every morning I feel really positive but by the evening I feel like I've failed him in some way.
Must stay positive, must stay positive!
Thanks to you too happy
OP as parents we frequently feel we've failed our children that just goes with the territory. Do you have a good friend with children who you admire as a parent can discuss how you bring up your children and how she does it? There are so many different approaches to parenting some parents are very slack (guilty) others are complete control fanatics (not guilty). Watch and talk to other parents ask them how they would manage this problem some ideas might be crap but you might get some useful tips. When you see the ed.psych talk to them ask for help. Children go through phases its normal in a few years hopefully you will have forgotten all about this phase.
Thank you happygardening! That post is lovely, he was never one of those kids that would bite or hit others at softplay or toddler groups and he rarely threw a tantrum so perhaps this is just my turn
It's fine jalapeno, you didn't sound ungrateful - you sounded exactly like most parents do when they contemplate HEing their children!
It's certainly not for everyone, or even the majority of children, but I do think that some children don't 'fit' at school or don't thrive there/need different learning opportunites or environments. If your DS is happy and has friends at school then those are really important factors. Hope you find a solution that works for him.
Yes if he genuinely hated going maybe I would consider it (for at least 5 minutes ) but he loves school, always has done.
We had parents evening last week...
Senco says we can see the LA Ed Psych in summer so that is good and has saved some £££ which is fabulous as we are on a tight budget.
Teacher says he has made no progress at all in reading and writing since the end of yr 2 He was 3b in both in July last year and is still 3b. He has gone from 3c to 3b in maths so that is ok but I am bewildered about the lack of progress in reading and writing.
Why would he make such good progress in yr2 despite yr2 teacher raising the fidgetting etc issues and then...nothing in yr 3?
On a positive note my log has come back every day and he hasn't spat at all and has behaved well, only having his rubber and pencil taken away one day because he was playing with them too much
It's great news that 1. he's behaving better and 2. The school are paying for and ed. psych it's a shame youve got to wait till the summer term.But obviously worrying about his lack of progress. It's worth posting on the special needs board not special needs ed. there are very knowledgable people on it some who I suspect are ed psychs etc judging by their replies and also some familiar with individual LA's. Keep talking to your school find out they're doing and what you can do to help at home, also whilst youre waiting maybe a tutor might help to give him some gentle but constructive help (if you can afford it) many are better on a 1-1.
I haven't read the whole threat, but I would go and speak to DS's teacher. I don't think it will work if the school tells you and you give the consequence. As I see it this would be something every school would seek to resolve, and I think the best way to go about it is to work with the school, tell them what works with your DS and what doesn't, taking into account that he might behave differently at school.
Thanks happygardening I hope things will look up now we know we need to keep our eye on this.
gabsid I totally agree with you, I shouldn't have to discipline him for his behaviour at school but they are not even accepting that he is being naughty, they think he is spitting and being defiant as some sort of coping mechanism. I know he is capable of behaving and not spitting etc. so can't see any other alternative to doing this. It is upsetting me as he doesn't behave like this with me, I did all this "training" when he was a toddler!!
The school are not keen to resolve this, they hadn't even told me about any of this since September and I thought everything was fine Since I have been questioning them they have seemed very defensive rather than trying to work with us.
I would love to leave all of this to school but they seem to have a policy of letting children choose what they want to do and if they choose the wrong thing putting them on an IEP. For example, DS the other day was asked to join a group standing around a table to work on a poem in a drama type lesson and he said he wouldn't as his chair was too comfortable. At home of course I would tell him to get on with it and remove the chair if I needed to but at school he was able to continue to sit and didn't join in. I got this from DS and it was confirmed by teacher.
Its difficult isnt it. You have a career, you have some children and then life throws you a curve ball and you have a child that you struggle with.
I always find when I have an issue - I write it out in plain English. Then list out a couple of solutions. What I would say from reading this thread is that fees are LIKELY to be a real issue for you. The worst that could happen is you struggle to pay the fees, he loves the school and then you have to pull him out. School fees are blooming expensive and get worse as the years go by.
There was an article in the paper today about some schools being full of pupils from abroad which was changing the culture completely. Fees are becoming so expensive and English is not the first language (although I think for the top private schools they do limit pupils from abroad to 10% or so).
My DS's school had a Parents Evening a short while ago. We were all meant to have 5 mins each with a teacher. The parents in front of me didnt speak English. Our sons werent there so they had a translator and it took ages and then I found myself behind them later on as well so there are sometimes hidden issues with private schools that arent necessarily obvious! Unusual situation but maybe not so unusual in some fee paying schools who perhaps struggle to get their numbers.
So fees are tough and I think you really need comfortable paying them or have a Plan B and Plan C should they become unaffordable.
However, I think - you should be prepared to fight and push and demand as much help as you can from the state system. There is help out there and I agree with another poster, put on the Special Needs Board. Even if you get just a few website links you are off.... Be firm and determined.
Also, having both DS's at private school myself (one in a well known boarding school and another in prep). Some behaviour wont be tolerated, if it starts to affect the other pupils there is likely to be trouble. But what I would say, is that when you are surrounded by boundaries and reasonable disipline it is amazing how you recognise how to behaviour yourself. The norm is to sit down, put your hand up when you want to talk etc. If you see others doing it you end up thinking that is how you should behave too!
Dont believe everything you hear on here from some parents who have never set foot inside of a private school preaching to us all what the schools are like.
Wondering if it would help if you went to an Open Day of a potential school? Schools have them all the time! There is no committment or fees to pay, just have a look around. Perhaps in advance see if they have a Special Needs Dept and speak to the Head of the Unit.
Once you have all the info you can then decide the next step.
All I would say - and please dont take this the wrong way. If you cannot afford the fees at all, dont look at the private system. It will only makes things worse if you end up really liking what it can offer. Of course you might find you dont like it at all but I think you will be surprised just what is possible...
Sorry - that was a bit long....
Can I just throw another thought into the mix?
Behaviour at school and at home being different may not just be a function of different approaches to discipline. It may also be a function of the environment, and the requirements placed on him.
Some children find being in the classroom very stressful for reasons of noise, sensory stimulus [lights, colours, movement] or number of people. Others find it very hard to respond to all the demands put on them - even all the little things like having to change an activity because it is time to, having to line up, having to start playtime or finish playtime or sing now or be quiet now or eat now - and these constant demands are a source of distress to them. Some parts of school life can require much more efort than we as adults may guess - for DS, for example, it was working out the 'rules' by which interactions between peers work [he shows many ASD traits and had to learn these rules explicitly, as well as having to work out 'intellectually' rather than 'empathetically' how someone else is feeling] that occupied much of his effort over his firstfew months in school.
I suppose what I am saying is that a child can behave VERY differently in the classroom for reasons that cannot be addressed by a change of discipline policy.
This difference at school v home is very interesting.
Our DS is literally an angel at school, two teachers have said he is a joy to teach etc. He really seems to understand what the school requires of home.
However at home he was never off the naughty step at one point and when we first started getting his reports stating what a treat he was to teach and how he always tried his very best - well we thought the school had got him mixed up with someone else.....
maisiejoe I loved your first sentence, It is so true! The worst thing is I don't even struggle with him! He's a pleasure to have around the house. We have discounted private for now for the reason of fees as you say.
teacherwith2 This is what the school are telling me and I've gone along with it for a year. I'm willing to go with it that he finds it difficult but I'm not willing to accept that he needs to do some of the things he has been doing. Even if he is struggling very badly I don't think they are handling it well.
I'm not happy about disciplining at home and I don't see it as a long term thing as I can't keep it up really but I want to see if with
bribery discipline at home he can do it then he isn't struggling with it as much as they think if you see what I mean?
I would advise you to ask the name of the LEA ed psych, and have a review of whether they are any good....
Also, whilst you are waiting, please throw a tenner on the book 'the out of synch child' from Amazon. It is all about sensory processing disorder and provides you with loads and loads of checklists to help you identify if your child has any strands of SPD (dyspraxia is just one of these). I was recommended this book for my dyslexic/dyspraxic child but actually found it far more useful as a pointer to narrow down some needs for another child who - rather like yours - wasn't fitting into any of the usual boxes with regard to dx. Some of the things you mention strike a chord that I recognise. I'm not an expert by any means but I smell SPD combined with either memory or speed processing issues as being behind your DS's behaviour. And if it is anything like that then some of the current strategies in place might become strained as your DS encounters ever more complex demands being placed on him.
Saying all of that, I would have thought your occ therapist might have already come up with some ideas so chances are I'm talking bollocks and simply overlaying my own experiences onto you. Regardless of that, make sure your ed psych knows what he is doing because a crap report is more harm than no report at all IMHO.
Thanks callthemidlife! My sister has SPD and dyspraxia so we are happy to go with a diagnosis of that except he is really very well coordinated, doesn't flap etc and OT doesn't think there is anything there.
I realise that most of these disorders are contradictory so rarely fit the same picture but there is nothing "textbook" really, he is slightly ASD or SPD at first glance but actually has no real symptoms and is very good at the things that ASD/SPD children aren't usually so good at.
I will look up that book, thanks. The Raising Boys Achievements just arrived so will read that over half term .
The plot thickens...
School has just had a very poor ofsted report where management were found to have lets checks and systems lapse and progress was not being monitored. Teaching poor, especially in Ds's year, there is too much teacher talking time, no interaction, boring classes, restless children etc. inspectors did note that despite the boring class content, children were restless but behaviour was still good . Feedback for work was poor and children were not aware of their strengths and weaknesses. SEN provision found to be lacking.
I felt sick when I read the report, it described our experience exactly. All schools round here are oversubscribed or else I would move him
I'd be very surprised if all the preps around you are full. Most preps have an SEN provision that can cope with mild ASD. It may be worthwhile you looking at those options again.
I know that it's a secondary, not prep, but in Year 7 a kid got suspended for one day for making an anti semetic joke involving a pizza oven. A few months later same kid got suspended for 3 days for taking another's tennis racket and whacking the other kids hand by accident. He didn't return for the summer term. Whether that was by choice I don't know.
Yes, private schools are usually quite strict which can be good for a boundary pushing DC. However, they are less forgiving when their boundaries continue to be pushed
How poor is very poor? If it is unsatisfactory, that could be good news for you, as there will be major changes ahead.
musu & mts preps are financially out of the question, I would consider thinking about it for secondary as we have two close by that are reknowned for many boys attending having scolarships and bursaries.
mummytime it was "requires improvement", I agree with you and hope that the next few years will mean a huge improvement.
Prep schools are primary age not secondary age. Your question related to prep schools, hence my comment.
The competition for scholarships at secondary level is fierce and some schools only award bursaries to those in receipt of scholarships.
What year is he in and what age do the secondaries near you start?
'I don't want him to be caned or anything! Just told he can't spit on the floor under any circumstance!'
Am I the only one that thinks that should be YOUR job? I don't really understand why parents abdicate responsibility for how their kids behave once in school. When he is old enough to go out alone whose job will it be then?
I wouldn't care if my kids went to a school where the behaviour of other kids was rubbish and teachers were rubbish I would still expect decent behaviour of them and not just because they would be worried about sanctions but because I have taught them how to behave and they have learnt responsibility for their own behaviour.
Different if he has SN but otherwise it sounds very much like you're trying to find a school that will do your job for you i.e. teach your child how to behave and take over responsibility for his behaviour which should be HIS and your responsibility.
What happens, as in the OP's case, where the child does one instance of bad behaviour at home which is dealt with and not repeated but does many instances of bad behaviour at school and no one tells the parents. I don't know about you but my psychic powers fail me on a regular basis. When ds behaved badly at school I was told specifically not to punish him at home as they were dealing with it at school. Equally I don't expect school to punish him for behaviour he exhibits at home but not at school.
It's the SAME child whether at school or at home and teachers and parents should be working together. In this scenario the OP has been made aware of the spitting at school so it is up to HER and crucially her son to take responsibility for that behaviour.
Far too many parents expect teachers to be able to get their kids to behave when they won't or can't and that's not desirable and probably not possible. Your child, your responsibility and it's our job as parents to teach our kids to be responsible for themselves and their behaviour. Honestly, I'm absolutely aghast at the attitudes here. Poor teachers!
I find it utterly bizarre to think that any parent would find out her son was spitting on the floor at school and assume this was somehow the school's fault. That's not to say that the school doesn't have problems but honestly, only your child (and you) are responsible for his actions.
'He is a boundary pusher but responds well to a strict set of rules.'
Well, set them then and go into school and tell them what they are: 'If he spits on the floor again please write a note in his diary and I will ensure he writes a letter of apology/cleans up the floor/pays for cleaning fluid with his pocket money'.
It really isn't surprising that teachers have such a hard time if parents are so lacking in imagination and assertiveness.
Fivecandles - do you have kids?
Quite often parents have no idea what their children are getting up to in school. Teachers should be able to deal with day to day bad behaviour. Young children need instant consequences, not ones several hours later once their parents have been told. They quite often would not link their action with the punishment, if they are separated by hours. They could even have forgotten the original "crime" and may think they are being punished for something else, eg. Getting out of line when leaving the classroom.
Most parents I know do care about their children's behaviour. However good teachers are perfectly able to handle children's behaviour, even when they come from "difficult" backgrounds; that is if they are given the help and support, and training they need from the Headteacher. In difficult situations the LA can often supply specialist help and guidance.
If Fivecandles you read the OPs update you will see that her child's school has been criticised by OFSTED. Which is exactly the circumstances when a child's behaviour may be mismanaged.
The OP said she 'discovered' her ds was spitting at school, something he had done once at home and not repeated. How is she supposed to know he is doing this if the school don't tell her?
'How is she supposed to know he is doing this if the school don't tell her?'
But she DID know so there is no reason why she can't deal with it by working together with the school. What is more the teachers have been trying to deal with it. And just as parents are not capable of being mind readers, neither are teachers so she needs to go and have a conversation with them if they're not dealing with it in a way that's working.
However, I don't care how bad a school is, it is not the school's fault that the child is spitting on the floor; the child and mother have to take responsibility for that particular behaviour before they can deal with it.
And it is odd to suggest that the solution to a very particular action that her child is doing (spitting) is something as dramatic as moving school and sector rather than having a conversation with the teachers and the child and taking some low key but assertive action. It is completely abdicating responsibility in a way that is quite troubling.
That is not to say that there aren't problems with the school but no school makes a child spit on the floor and equally, no school can or should have to solve a child's behavoural problems where the parent can't or won't.
It takes a village to raise a child. A good prep school will try to help before throwing in the towel. They will set consistent boundaries and try to encourage him to stick within them. There's no harm in you looking and asking about their behaviour policy whilst you ask about a bursary.
But the teachers HAVE tried to help this child. The OP thinks they should 'read him the riot act' but admits that as a parent she herself is 'laid back' and has 'no routine'. She cannot expect the school to pick up the pieces from her own slack parenting and nor can she expect them to know how she wants them to treat her son (which seems to be at odds with how she treats him) if she doesn't tell them.
From what the OP wrote she only learned it was going on after some considerable time - At school, I am mortified to discover that he does it several times a week, they have written him a "social story" to show him why he shouldn't do it
It should not have got to the written social story stage without the OP knowing about it. That is my point. How on earth can you do something about a behaviour at school if she did not know it was going on at the time and is not going on at home?
I would expect the school to discipline for behaviour at school and I would expect discipline for behaviour at home.
I have copied and pasted relevant parts of my reply from another thread about state vs private.
Ds went to a local independent school when he started year 7. We recently moved him into a state school because amongst other things, the discipline in the private school was shockingly inadequate
As well as bullying there was a general feeling of poor discipline ie Year 10s leaning out of window and shouting "pussy" at parents (mothers obv) shock. Generally pupils were applauded for sporting success over anything else. So the little fucker who tried to drown my ds and bullied him EVERY DAY for 4 terms got praise, medals, made form captain and featured in the newsletter because he was good at sport (Sport scholarship). Ds had kit nicked frequently, his padlock was broken off his locker several times. The swearing and language was awful - including swearing at teachers. He was called names (he has SEN), he was spat at, pushed off his chair in lessons, had stones thrown at him. It was like Lord of the Flies.
Our experience of state secondary so far is that discipline is very strict - immediate detentions are given for bad behaviour. Boundaries are clear and enforced by all the staff. When we looked around the school we saw no bad behaviour (morning break time). Ds enjoys school and is much much happier - he says he isn't scared to go to school any more.
Please don't presume private is better. I wince when I think of the £££ we threw at ds's education only to end up with him being very unhappy.
What year is he in?
DS1 is a bit like this. Not bad behaviour but can be disruptive, struggles with concentration, very active.
It's my opinion that private would have been disastrous for him. He's bright but, like many young children, doesn't do well with sitting down etc. I think the pressure of private school would have crushed the skills and talents that he does have (they just need reigning in ).
In Year1 he had a fantastic teacher who was very strict. She set clear expectations and had no nonsense. He ADORED her. However she also did lots of outdoor learning, they moved around a lot and did more PE than other classes. He flourished under her.
This year he has not done so well as his teacher doesn't command the same authority or respect from her & she is less tolerant if him generally.
The head has been great though and come up with lots of initiatives for boys in particular to motivate them.
I don't think private schools would tailor things in this way.
I would talk to the head. It maybe that the teacher may be better next year, or another state school would be better suited.
I see he's 7. The same age as my DS
They are still very little and many children in other countries are only just starting school.
I ended up intervening this year and came up with a points system that his teacher had to sign every day for good behaviour.
It worked well & showed that we were working together (even though secretly in thought she was rubbish )
Crikey there have been lots if replies! I will reply fully this evening from home but just wanted to clear up for five candles that since finding out about the spitting I created a behaviour log for teacher to fill in daily. There has been no spitting since now that he knows it is unacceptable at school. I dont think it is schools fault he is spitting on the floor, I think it is their fault that they chose not to make him clear it up and to punish him at the time of the incident.
You clearly don't like what I have said and have picked up on my laid back attitude, up until recently DS has been very well behaved at school and at home and since the behaviour chart he is again. He discovered he was considered special in some way by teachers and ran with it.
Now I don't know if the fidgeting is a red herring, a cause for concern or a result of boring teaching as highlighted by ofsted.
Thanks to all for replies I will look properly tonight. Apologies for typos I'm on my phone!
'It takes a village to raise a child. A good prep school will try to help before throwing in the towel. They will set consistent boundaries and try to encourage him to stick within them. '
No, never happens at state schools.
Right, had an early night last night so up and at 'em early to respond on here.
Thanks for everyone's input, especially those who actually read the whole thread! Fivecandles a lot of the stuff you are saying I should have done I did do so not sure what you mean and as for being dramatic about spitting, you have fixated on the spitting, I am upset because my son is being treated as if he is autistic when Paediatricians and OTs agree that he doesn't have any SN. I feel he is misbehaving, they are allowing him to misbehave because they feel he can't help it. I know he can help it because I have effectively disciplined him at home but I am not getting the support from school.
This thread is not really about his behaviour, more about frustration!! Fivecandles I hope you never have to bang your head against the wall of "the system" because it fecking hurts, especially when people tell you that you don't care about your children and it's all your fault anyway. The private question in the title was asked through desperation, we cannot afford it and I want to persevere really.
Thanks Hazyshades, it is comforting to know we are not alone . Thanks musu for trying to explain what I have said upthread, much appreciated and blimey kissmyheathenass that sounds like a nightmare of a school!!
Hmm... seems like this is one of those threads where information is gradually added so that the op turns into something quite different.
I do struggle with the idea that the school is 'allowing' your son 'to misbehave'. You see, I think that HE is responsible for his behaviour and it does sound like you are looking for other people/school to MAKE HIM behave when ultimately, this is something he should be learning for himself with your help.
Certainly I didn't say that you were being dramatic about the spitting on the floors of the school which I think is a really disgusting thing for a child to be doing. What I felt was that that was a dramatic reason to move schools.
Now it emerges that the school tried and failed with their 'social story' to stop the problem but you then you solved it yourself by working with the school which is what I suggested some way up the thread (which is not what was said in the OP where you said he spits several times a week using the present tense). So, if you can resolve this problem by working with the school and assertive parenting maybe that is the way forward with his other behavioural problems?
fivecandles how could I write about the behaviour log in the OP when it hadn't happened at that point? This thread started in February before I had met with teachers or anything, I merely updated the other day to let the people that helped me then know what was going on. How ridiculous to moan that this is a drip-feed thread because IT IS! It was written as the situation unfolded.
When I wrote the OP I was desperate for help or reassurance, now things have improved. My update about Ofsted was to show that actually an external person has come in and basically told the school what I was telling them in February so whatever you think about me fivecandles, ofsted agree with me!
Of course it is my job to raise my children to behave well. I did that and he behaved well up until this year. I hope your children never do anything unexpected when not in your presence and when you ask for help at a vulnerable time someone says such horrible things. To say that a school shouldn't have to discipline children is just silly and you must surely know that?!
I shan't try and defend myself any more because you will clearly always feel superior to me but take it from me it's just when you think you've done a really good job with your kids that one of the blighters chucks you a curved ball. At that point by your logic you will have to label yourself a crap parent or maybe you'll just want a bit of reassurance on mumsnet.
jalapeno I wouldn't engage if I were you. Fivecandles is one of those perfect parents that don't actually exist in RL but are surprisingly common on MN
Ah ok...thanks musu I did wonder
I just had a really good meeting with deputy head who is going to recommend wiping the slate clean with the IEP at start of the next school year for a fresh start with new teacher and agreed that school needs to enforce strict boundaries and not make allowances for him.
She agreed that his behaviour has become self-fulfilling and he will be treated as any other boy his age and only to start the SEN road if re-assessed as needed without the IEP.
I'm happy .
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