To think at nearly 5 he should bloody know better?(48 Posts)
So son goes off to a summer camp type thing today, all outdoors, he's been before and really enjoys it.
Today there was a male teacher that he's never had before and at lunchtime he was made to sit alone away from all the other children after throwing his drink bottle at the male teacher It hit the man on the shoulder and was full of water so no doubt hurt.
When asked why he did it he replied that he wanted to make his new friends laugh.
He's always been quite physical, we've had to repeat over and over regarding throwing / hitting etc but he is a very active, dare I say it, boisterous boy and clearly finds it hard to reign it in but we've never had anything directed at a teacher before :-( so embarrassed.
4 year olds do silly things, they're still learning to know better.
Yes it's more of the doing it to make people laugh that I'm thinking oh shit don't start that just as you're about to start school! He is 5 in 2 months so not an early 4 year old.
As a general rule in life - you don't hit, you don't throw things and you show respect to teachers.
I'd be doing some serious work on that and making sure he has apologised.
Whether he should no better is 'by the by', he obviously doesn't. Young children can be impulsive. All you can do is keep explaining to him how these actions are wrong and do what you can to prevent 'flash points'. Also be prepared to work with anyone looking after him to manage behaviour.
Perhaps he was board and fidgety because he had to sit and listen for a long time, perhaps other children were being silly too and he wanted to join in. If the group is being generally disruptive it can be more difficult for some children to behave well. I wouldn't be too hard on him or yourself though, 5 is still very young.
He knew instantly what he had done was wrong as the kids laughed but he burst into tears.
I just don't want him doing things " to make others laugh "
A people pleaser is going to land him in trouble as he gets older
I can see DD doing something like that. Very physical, boisterous and 4, almost fine.
Lots of chats about how things hurt, asking how they can make things up to the teacher (at least an apology but usually more). How do the Summer Camp deal with issues? Because sitting in a corner sounds old-school and not terribly effective.
Oh and DD loves to make people laugh. It's a lovely trait and her preschool said she was the funniest child they ever met. In fact one of her teachers told me that if any future teacher didn't 'get' DD I was to find her and she would sort it out!
Teach him some jokes, let him tell a few fart stories, teach him how to be funny, without being violent.
So he showed regret for his actions? That is a good sign, he already knows he was wrong. Just remind him of how he felt when talking about how to behave at school etc. People often learn by making mistakes, I'm afraid.
I don't think he's too young to talk it through, so:
- did your friends laugh?
- and then what happened?
- how do you think the teacher felt?
- how did you feel when your friends laughed?
- how did you feel when you were sitting on your own?
- (if he felt good about his friends laughing) what's another way you could feel good without hurting someone else and getting into trouble?
If he's impulsive it's going to be hard for him to think this stuff through without acting on the first thing that comes into his head, but it's still worth reflecting on how it could go better next time.
(As well as the emphasising don't hit, don't throw, respect other people etc obv)
Last week, my very clever, nearly 8yo DD, got up from the dinner table after a fruity pudding, walked over to the sofa and WIPED HER HANDS ON IT! On the freaking sofa. FFS!
Of course she should know better. I was so pissed, confused, astonished and gob smacked that I sent her straight to bed, but not before we had a talk about how she knows much better than this and I never expect to see her doing anything like that ever again.
I'm still that she did this. Of course no one was hurt, but the whole intention of the act was bizarre.
He's 4, they make silly desisions. He will make many more and the world won't end.
He had his punishment there so a 'be kind chat' and make sure he's apologized then leave it at that
he's not going to have it perfect at his age.
he did something unpleasant, got deservedly punished, you backed up the teacher, that's how lessons go in.
sounds like you are doing all the right things. He's lucky he doesn't live in a time when he would have been clouted back.
Agree with sleepy. He is old enough to know better, but for whatever reason isn't thinking through his actions, therefore talking them through is most appropriate.
Fwiw dd was never remotely violent despite her quick temper even as a toddler in full blown rage, the most she'd do was defend herself if another small impulsive toddler did something. Even now at 11 it's more cold rage and cutting wit in a deceptively calm tone that shows she's really angry. Nevertheless she cracked one of her peers when she was almost 8. Other kid did provoke her by being cruel to one of dds pets, but dd was the only one to get physical. We talked it through and I acknowledged I could understand why it provoked that level of anger and why I understood the reasons. But how her response wasn't constructive or acceptable and how in future to deal with situations like that without losing her temper.
What annoys me I guess is that we have never been the smacking types of parents, he's never seen smacking or any kind of violence but he just doesn't seem to be able to control himself at times.
He is very much of an impulsive nature and does much better in very structured environments ( never had this in pre school ) but given a free reign and he goes a bit crazy.
My daughter is the polar opposite, a sensitive soul and only look at her the wrong way and she's in floods of tears.
He is very logical, and no matter how many times we have spoken he still can't understand if another child is being physical towards him why he shouldn't hit back.
Gone slightly off topic as this wasn't the case today but just to get an understanding of his persona.
Perhaps he was just throwing the bottle to be silly / show off rather than trying to hit the teacher? That would explain why he burst into tears - coz he was shocked it hit the teacher. The teacher then assumed it was intentional and your 4 year old (being 4) was unable to articulate what had happened.
Yes he shouldn't have thrown it because accidents can happen when we're silly - but it's not as bad as intending to hurt someone.
I'm a Reception class teacher and frequently observe adults making assumptions about children's behaviour / intentions rather than talking to them in an age-appropriate way to get the facts first. Four year olds are little, they have a lot to learn and they make mistakes. Please don't feel too bad.
Erm, I don't use this term often, but he's a kid. A child. A tiny child not yet five years old. He doesn't know better because he's small. Explain, talk it through, do the best you can, but stop resenting him.
Look, even as an adult, I've been in a situation where I've taken a joke too far - it's about impulse control and 'feeding' off the buzz you get when other people are laughing with you/egging you on.
Try not to take it to heart.
Instead, focus on trying to teach him some strategies to help him think through the consequences of his actions. Even getting him to practice counting to three before he does things will help him just pause and think.
But honestly, Magical's post is right above mine and it makes so much sense.
Yes he is 4 and still learning, and at least you were embarrassed and mortified. There are some parents who wouldn't give a shiny shit, and under no circumstances are their darlings to be reprimanded.
However. The bottle must have really hurt, and the teacher does not go to work to be physically abused. It-s in no one's job description.. Also what's next thinking it is funny to give someone a punch
Therefore you need to have a long chat with him about empathy.
I don't think you can/ should class a nearly 5 year old throwing something like a drink bottle as violent.
Yes it was silly and "wrong" of course. But to a child that age - or at least a typical one - they won't "get" it's a violent act in the way kicking or hitting with a stick is until the moment at which they realise its actually hurt somebody.
I think it was a silly impulsive act not actually intended to be violent.
Also people who don't have kids who compulsively throw stuff won't get it. I don't think my DD has ever thrown anything for "no reason" (i.e. unless part of a game or sport). So I was massively taken aback when between about 2 and 4 years old DS1 was almost compulsively driven to throw things (not at people or animals, but at things or across rooms and sometimes almost just because he had to throw, with no aim or reason at all). DS2 was the same way with climbing (still is at 4, started at 10 months) he had to be moving vertically - up book cases, stairs, ladders, chairs, on windowsils, up slides... he climbed like a lizard long before he walked and seemed unable to stop himself. Even now if he's "not concentrating" he'll shimmy up a door frame. Ds1 was like that with throwing (he's goal keeper for his football team now)...
I'd channel the throwing in an appropriate direction if its his "thing" (skittles, bowling, basket ball, goal keeping...) as well as of course doing what you are doing on the discipline front.
Stern reminder about keeping arms and feet and feeling to himself should suffice if he was mortified.
It does sound intentional though: I mean, why would a thrown bottle of water on its own be funny?
I'm not resenting him at all, just trying to understand if I'm right in thinking he should have grown out of this throwing stuff stage. That was a silly comment as my world revolves around the children and ensuring they are happy.
Equally, I want them to grow into decent human beings so I will discipline where needs it.
He has further elaborated that earlier in the day at snack time ( 2 hours prior to this incident ) another boy threw a yogurt and it spilt on the teacher and everyone laughed ( the teacher didn't, but didn't put this boy on a separate table as he is autistic so maybe handled differently? ) so it sounds like my son thought it would make everyone laugh. Which it did but I assume he knew as soon as the teacher saw him that he was going to be in trouble for it.
He is more logical than sympathetic and struggles to understand why people are upset etc for minor things which is something we work on with him.
Thankyou for all your responses
Children do things that aren't funny to us. Throwing a bottle of water is probably the culmination of a bunch of excited 4 year olds getting sillier and sillier. Throwing things doesn't make sense to us coz it's ridiculous and we know that because we're grown ups and have learned that. Four year old boys love a bit of bonding by trying to out-do each other with daft things. If your child is not like that by nature then great but I've taught a lot of young children and they're all about testing boundaries and exploring the structure of social relationships and developing empathy for others. That's why I love them - they start Reception as babies and emerge ready for the adventure of Year One!
That sounds exactly like something my son, who is 4.9, would do. He doesn't do anything like that at school - apparently he is a model pupil there - but has been known to throw things at me at home.
I think they very often don't really think about the consequences and act on impulse, and parents just have to keep instilling good behaviour. It is certainly frustrating and embarrassing!
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