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Help needed with my almost 6 year old DS. Playing up at school but perfect at home. What do I do?

(55 Posts)
Onlastnerve Thu 10-Sep-15 11:37:20

Hello all,

My Y1 son (one of the eldest in his year) is behaving badly at school.

So far this term (4 days) he has drawn on someone else's work, thrown a football in someone's face, pushed someone out of a queue, had a food fight at lunchtime, called someone names, stayed outside at the end of playtime instead of rejoining his class, and 2 or 3 incidents of pushing/shoving in the playground.

I spoke to school (I asked for the meeting). They say he has poor impulse control, needs to take direction from the teachers, show more empathy.

He is basically well behaved in the mornings and low level disruptive in the afternoons. I think his behaviour is high level disruptive! The school think these are minor incident. I am horrified by the way he's behaving and scared he's going to turn into a bully.

I want the school to tell me at the end of each day if he has behaved well. They are point blank refusing to because (1) they cannot do this for 30 children and (2) they don't think he should end the school day being reminded of a misdemeanour that happened that morning and has already been dealt with.

All they want me to do is talk to him. This behaviour occurred all through last year (Reception) and I asked for regular meetings. They refused to cooperate with a daily book for me (something simple, a smiley face for good behaviour etc) last year as the teacher did not have time. I am trying to follow through with removing treats/toys at home if he has behaved badly at school, but my hands are tied because the school are refusing this communication.

The advice from school to "talk to him at home" has been followed for a year. I have talked to him/role played situations with him/read books about being unkind to friends etc.

The trouble is, it is making no difference. He behaves well when he is with me. When he goes to school he behaves like a terror. No matter how much talking I do, it's having no effect.

He gets 12 hours sleep, has a very healthy diet and sport at least 5 times a week including PE. He is able to concentrate for long periods on his work (school have commented on this), he is doing well with reading, handwriting, maths etc. No complaints about him academically.

I asked school about SEN and they think not. I don't know what to do sad

melonribena Thu 10-Sep-15 11:42:18

I would make an appointment to see the head.

I've taught this age group for many years and it's great that the school are giving him a chance to settle into year 1.

However, a home school diary would be an excellent way of maintaining an understanding of his behaviour.

Have you spoken to the school Senco about your concerns? He/she may be able to observe your child and help further. Good luck!

Stanky Thu 10-Sep-15 11:45:52

It sounds like there's not much you can do if they're refusing to communicate with you. This seems counter productive to me, as I thought that the school would want to work with you to improve his behaviour.

My ds went through a phase of misbehaving at school, but he was also fine at home. It was just silly things like not listening and chatting in class, but his teacher did raise her concerns with me one day. I am grateful that she did. We told ds that if he didn't behave and pay attention at school, then he would lose privileges at home after school that day. It seemed to work well, but it worked because the teacher would tell me if it had been a good day or not.

Onlastnerve Thu 10-Sep-15 11:47:11

The meeting I had this term was with the Head and the Senco. They have observed DS last year and are keeping a close eye on him this year. But the outcome of the meeting was above.

I agree he needs a chance to settle into the year but they don't appear to want to take any real action (for the whole of last year), and the situation is not improving despite my best efforts.

Onlastnerve Thu 10-Sep-15 11:49:25

Stank that's exactly what I would like the teacher to do, but they do not have time according to the Head.

I'm concerned they will let this continue and then one day turn around and say they can longer handle his behaviour.

Onlastnerve Thu 10-Sep-15 12:17:33

Anyone with experience of a similar DS or who works in school, as a child psych? Please keep the advice coming, thank you.

Sighing Thu 10-Sep-15 12:35:20

Without communication, daily, from a teacher or TA I'm stumped as to how they can document they are involving you!
How does the class behaviour get rewarded etc? Names on / off the sad side? If it's on there the teacher merely needs to glance. Or a red/ yellow/ green sticker at the end of the day?

BarbarianMum Thu 10-Sep-15 12:42:54

Are the school telling you he is a big problem? Because what you are describing sounds pretty typical (if not desirable) and does sound like generally immaturity (and linked to that, poor impulse control).

Maybe they are keeping you informed but don't think it is a big problem?

I agree talking to him/telling him off hours after a minor incident isn't likely to help. You could try a small consequence at home, say for any incidences of hitting/pushing, but really the school need to be dealing with this at the time they happen. Do they have an appropriate sanction regime? If not, this is what I'd be discussing with them. Most small children respond well to a clear consequence following immediately after a bit of bad behaviour.

Just bear in mind that children develop socially and emotionally at different rates. Just because he finds it hard to behave at school age 5, doesn't mean he will always be this way. And when you put lots of small children together, they often get over excited/cross/silly and misbehave.

BathshebaDarkstone Thu 10-Sep-15 12:49:08

My first thought is maybe he doesn't like school.

Mistigri Thu 10-Sep-15 13:01:11

If the school think they can handle it then I would leave them to do so.

lougle Thu 10-Sep-15 13:01:12

Does he do any other group activities? How does he behave at those times?

Perhaps you could have the 'best thing/worst thing' game at the end of each day and then a non-judgemental discussion of how the worst thing could have been done differently. Gradually, you may see an improvement.

Onlastnerve Thu 10-Sep-15 13:30:26

The school will have a red/yellow/green type system at some point but they haven't implemented it yet.

I asked about consequences at school for bad behaviour. I think it's sitting out of playtime for hitting etc in the playground. Classroom incidents they are asked to sit near the wall away from the main group for 5 minutes.

He doesn't say he dislikes school. He sometimes acts like this when he does a sports class like tennis/swimming outside of school. He doesn't like listening to and following instructions from adults. He seems to think he knows everything/wants to do it his way rather than their way.

Onlastnerve Thu 10-Sep-15 13:35:02

School have not been consistent in whether it's a big problem. I've had meetings where I'm told he is the only child in the class behaving badly. At our recent meeting I was told he is not the only one and this is usual for the first couple of weeks.

I asked to speak to the teacher about this about 10 times last year. The school only asked to speak to us once. I can't be sure whether they think it's a big problem. They emphasise how bad his behaviour is in meetings. I think they think I think he's an angel (hope that makes sense!).

BarbarianMum Thu 10-Sep-15 13:38:55

Ask when they'll b be implementing the system, you may find it really helps him. But, based on what you've said, I wouldn't worry too much. His behavior seems well within the range that a school should be able to deal with.

The wanting to do things his own way seems very like my ds2 -except that he's perfectly behaved at school and then really horribly behaved at home afterwards because he can't cope with one more demand to do X, Y or Z. It is getting slowly better (ds2 is 7.5) - what we've find helps is lots of downtime at home to play and plenty of sleep.

mummytime Thu 10-Sep-15 13:42:06

I would wonder what is happening at school to cause the incidents.
Is it just him? Are other children provoking him?

Children do not just misbehave for no reason.

You could give the teacher a little book to record for each period of the day a smiley face, neutral face or sad face, depending on behaviour.

How is his hearing? It is even noisier and more distracting at school than sports classes.

You do seem to be expecting a lot from a 6 year old.

"he has drawn on someone else's work," maybe he was frustrated at his own work, or they said something nasty to him.
" thrown a football in someone's face," was this even deliberate, if so was it a momentary lose of control?
" pushed someone out of a queue," had they pushed in first?
" had a food fight at lunchtime," who else was involved.
" called someone names," had anyone else called him names? what had they done first?
" stayed outside at the end of playtime instead of rejoining his class," did he hear the bell, was he confused? Was he very caught up and didn't notice?
" and 2 or 3 incidents of pushing/shoving in the playground. " who did he push or shove? did they push or shove?

This really does sound like the normal rough and tumble of a school day.

someonestolemynick Thu 10-Sep-15 13:42:24

Do the school think there is a problem? It sounds like you are blowing things out of proportion.
Young children always misbehave, as long as it is within expected parameters (as your examples suggest) I would tell the parent in that situation that I don't have the time to document minor infractions for potentially 30 parents. Let the school handle it.

WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant Thu 10-Sep-15 13:47:25

How do the rest of the kids in the class behave?

If there are worse than him, and he is copying, it might seem "less bad" than any worse offenders.

I would give him a small pot with 3 marbles in ( or similar...).

Every bad behaviour gets a marble taken away by teacher. If he still has 2 or 3 left at home time, then he gets a small treat. Extra story at bedtime or something?

I don't think it will take too long for teacher to remove a marble! Your ds can expl??in the incident later.

He starts the new day with his 3 marbles.

I would also ask how he is getting on with his work? Right level, too easy (bored...) too hard (frustrated...)

Maybe worth getting his eyes and ears tested too. If he can't hear or focus, this won't help.

Keep asking the school, and keep records of when you speak to them.

tobysmum77 Thu 10-Sep-15 13:48:43

Yadnbu. If his behaviour has been raised as an issue they should welcome your support. I don't get the 30 kids argument if 25 off them are behaving well it's 5 :/

I disagree it doesn't help to talk to them after school it does. I had some minor issues with dd at the start of y1 and the fact she knew the teacher was keeping me informed got her quickly on the straight and narrow.

tobysmum77 Thu 10-Sep-15 13:49:49

Yes whycanti it makes me wonder if the school has real behaviour problems tbh

GuessWhoIamToday Thu 10-Sep-15 13:56:40

You mentioned that the disruption happens more in the afternoon - if that is the pattern could there be something happening at lunchtime that is triggering a lack of impulse control in the afternoon? Things such as what he is eating (artificial stuff, too much sugar)? Is he playing very exciting/physical games at lunchtime and then finding it difficult to then calm down for afternoon class? Are there repeating scenarios/situations giving him frustrations in the playground (someone being unkind/controlling) which is then making him act out his frustrations in the afternoon.

Onlastnerve Thu 10-Sep-15 13:59:17

We have had his eye and ears tested and results were good.

With work, in some subjects he is ahead and finds the work easy. But then he enjoys being the first to call out the answers, or being chosen to explain to the rest of the class.

He does get slightly bored with some things. But they are things he just doesn't want to do. If he doesn't get a quick gratification (like an instant answer to a number problem), he doesn't enjoy it very much. So handwriting and reading where it's a prolonged effort and not a quick correct answer he is not as enthusiastic about. He is still in the top 25% of the class in reading and handwriting though.

The rest of the class - depending on the day sometimes his teacher says DS is the only one who cannot listen and sometimes I'm told there are plenty of other children behaving like this.

I agree DS needs more downtime. Maybe I need to look at how much he does after school. At the moment it's 2 sports a week.

Onlastnerve Thu 10-Sep-15 14:03:33

Jut to answer this -

"he has drawn on someone else's work," maybe he was frustrated at his own work, or they said something nasty to him. HE FELT FRUSTRATED HIS OWN WORK WAS NOT AS GOOD - JEALOUSY?

" thrown a football in someone's face," was this even deliberate, if so was it a momentary lose of control? I SAW THIS HAPPEN BEFORE SCHOOL IN PLAYGROUND, I DON'T THINK HE THOUGHT IT THROUGH. IT WAS AN IMPULSE THING.

" pushed someone out of a queue," had they pushed in first? NOT SURE BUT I HAVE KNOWN DS TO PUSH PEOPLE OUT OF QUEUES UNPROVOKED.

" had a food fight at lunchtime," who else was involved. A CHILD WHO IS VERY DISRUPTIVE WHO DS SEEMS TO BE DRAWN TO. ANNOYINGLY.

" called someone names," had anyone else called him names? what had they done first? NO ONE ELSE HAD CALLED NAMES. DS JUST NOT BEING VERY NICE.

" stayed outside at the end of playtime instead of rejoining his class," did he hear the bell, was he confused? Was he very caught up and didn't notice?
HE DIDN'T WANT PLAYTIME TO END.

" and 2 or 3 incidents of pushing/shoving in the playground. " who did he push or shove? did they push or shove? A CHILD INTERRUPTED HIS GAME AND HE PUSHED THEM RATHER THAN TELL A TEACHER. ANOTHER TIME A CHILD WAS IN SOMEONE'S SEAT AND DS TOOK IT UPON HIMSELF TO PUSH THE CHILD (HE TOLD CHILD TO MOVE FIRST AND PUSHED HIM WHEN HE DIDN'T)

Onlastnerve Thu 10-Sep-15 14:05:15

Though a few posters have said this is normal behaviour, I would not let DS or his siblings behave like this at home. There would be big consequences. I don't think kids at school should be behaving like this or am I totally unrealistic? Seems like a complete bun fight if you have 5 kids in a class behaving like this.

Onlastnerve Thu 10-Sep-15 14:06:28

School just got named the best primary in the county! According to the school they have zero bullying or behavioural problems. Or they just don't deal with them and wait for parents to get so frustrated they leave?

Tyrannosaurus Thu 10-Sep-15 14:12:59

I think I would be rapidly losing faith in the school if I were you. While I partly agree with those saying it all sounds fairly normal, I really don't like the way the school are dealing or not with it.

To give you a comparison, my DS is just 8, last year, he got into trouble a couple of times, for similar level stuff to what you describe, and the school came down hard on him, making it absolutely clear that his behaviour was not acceptable. Once was when his friend accidentally ran into him, and hurt him, so DS turned round and punched him. There was no injury to the other child, and they were still friends afterwards, so probably no worse than the ball in the face from your DS. The difference was, it was treated by the teacher as a matter of the utmost seriousness. I was told. DS was absolutely mortified, to be in trouble, and nothing similar has happened since.

The other time was when he was told off for a minor thing, and he was cheeky to the teacher, again, it was treated as a serious matter, I was told, and there hasn't been a repeat.

None of what you describe sounds like a real problem, but if he is allowed to get away with it at school now, it will become a problem as he gets older. Surely it is the schools job to teach him what is acceptable and what isn't. If the message he is getting is that, its all no big deal, and the school don't even feel the need to mention it to you the how do they ever expect him to learn what he is doing is wrong? I think if they are not willing to work with you, I would be seriously considering moving schools.

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