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Any advice on this? Generally go to park with ds after school. For the most part, I think it is good for his social skills and he sees other children from his class. There are times however when he pushes or begins to fight with other children. To be fair to him, there was a boy today who seemed to be winding him up. He is new to the school and has only been with us for seven weeks. Thoughts on the best approach. Thank you!
Gently but immediately and firmly step in and say something like "we don't use our hands for hitting". Suggest he play on another piece of equipment to get some space between them. Tell him that if he persists you will need to go home (and follow through). Work out what is really driving the behaviour and address it (this is the really tricky bit...)
I think the pushing/fighting is a sign that he's had enough/is a bit overstimulated and maybe going home to do a quiet activity with you and have a bit of bonding/one-on-one time would be best.
I'd step-in and stop any violence and redirect him somewhere else, but also say 'we're going to go in 5 minutes anyway' and then take him home.
I would avoid 'going home' being used as a punishment or a threat at this early stage.
my gut reaction is that he has had all day sharing with other children, and wants some 1:1.
Children can be completely frazzled after Reception/Year 1, let alone a child who has only been with you 7 weeks.
Mine (not adopted but on spectrum) were desperate to go home at that age, they didn't say they were, but their behaviour showed they were! By all means have a run around but not necessarily combined with playing with other children. (which he will have done all day)
I would make going home a "positive" thing rather than a threat for bad behaviour. Ditto play dates..it might be too early.
Thanks everyone. We pass the park on our route home and his controlling behaviour makes it tricky to go straight home. Also, I have his younger sibling with me so extra difficult. Will have a think this weekend.
It may be that fighting and pushing is a "pattern" he has established for dealing with his emotion after school, and will cling onto that routine. Even among siblings in our house there are patterns to children picking fights as a way of "expressing" other feelings either of territorial or jealousy or needing attention. I suppose the only thing you can do is try and establish a new routine with as many nice associations as possible either in the park and away from the other children, or away from the park completely. It takes a bit of thought to invent a new routine, but it can be done. I would think the other children are too much of a unknown quantity for you to be able to expect him to cope at this stage, straight after school. And it is stressful for you to worry about about his public behaviour, which in turn will affect him, when he senses your stress. Two siblings together may be exaggerating his responses too; competing for your attention?
Still thinking but a glass of wine is helping . A tricky day today - his most controlling for ages. Tomorrow is a new day . Thanks all. Xxx
I think he's telling you that he can't handle the park after school. He needs time alone with you. Seven weeks in, the priority should be attachment, not his social skills with other children . Especially if you have adopted two at once .
How are you getting one on one time alone with him ? How old are the two children ?
DS would get overstimulated and overheated quite quickly at the park, so we would just go for short spells on the way home from school, and gradually built up from 5 to 10 minutes etc. We also used a lot of reinforcement and praise around 'playing nicely'. He also has a tendency to misinterpret words/actions, often interpreting accidental hits as deliberate, and any negative words as being directed specifically at him, which could lead to friction in play interactions. I wonder if your DS might be experiencing something similar? Is he playing competitive games, or rough and tumble? Both of these were impossible for DS in the early days, and still are to an extent.
My ds is 6 and has been with us almost two and a half years. He almost always ends up in tears at home time. We rarely go to the park, he doesn't want to go.
Over the last two and a half years I've thought the pattern of getting angry, crying, fighting with his sister (our birth dd) at home time was because of factors like dd winding him up, or him getting cross with her!
I now feel that it is the same pattern he exhibits (on a smaller scale) when there are any changes at all! Like going from watching TV to not watching TV, from not eating dinner or breakfast to eating dinner or breakfast, going to bed, etc etc.
So I would second what the others say and avoid the park/interaction with other kids at this stage. If there is another way to go, could you go it?
If not, can you maybe change the routine a bit and have some park play at weekends, one to one with your partner (if you have one) or with you while someone looks after little sibling?
If your ds is very cross about not going to the park you could make sure that an activity at home, in the garden, is planned and you can say 'Remember we are going to plant some seeds, build a den, watch that special programme, go on the (CBBEBIES, or whatever), website etc."
Seven weeks in is very, very early days and it's very important to build in some time each day with you, while he has the energy, so although parks are normally great this may be a case of lets wait for the weekend, or Friday or whatever, for the park after school.
Thanks for wise words. Have avoided park this week and told him we are going home. Wasn't best pleased but we made it and had a lovely if slightly crazy time painting! He was sent home with a bug yesterday so surviving (or at least trying to survive) two days home alone with them both. Thanks everyone for your thoughts. Xxx
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