To think that my child's misbehaviour at school is my fault?(65 Posts)
My DC is 5.3 years old, and is in reception. DC started off reasonably well-settled in nicely and doing very well with the 'academic' side of things. However the teacher has called me in 3 times in the last 2 weeks to complain that DC is not listening, is answering back and generally being disruptive. She feels that DC is disturbing the class (which I understand), and won't let other children answer questions.
I have spoken to DC at LENGTH re listening to the teacher and not disrupting-he says he really tries hard not to interrupt. The teacher wrote another detailed letter today saying DC's behaviour us very 'up and down' and not consistent. She has asked for another meeting next week. I'm ashamed to say that I cried when I read it.
To give a bit of background, I had a tough birth with DC, and really struggle with him sometimes (see previous posts). He is very 'full-on', very mature for his age but equally demanding. I'm just at a loss how to deal with him. I'm trying to be gentle and kind, but some days I really lose my rag and shout which must obviously affect him and younger sibling. I think his behaviour is somehow all my fault but I really don't know how to make it right
Can any one help/advise?
When you see the teacher,
Ask for suggestions on how the 3 of you can work on this together.
He can't be the only tired kid at the end of a school year....
Thanks why, i will. I can't help thinking that it's more than that though. Like a sign of things to come... He goes to a really small school and I don't want him to have the 'label' of being a naughty child. I keep waiting for it to get easier to parent him but every year brings with it new struggles..
Hopefully the teacher will be able to help, but he is still very young, and school is exhausting!
I know it's hard, but I think you need to move away from 'blame' and 'fault', stop worrying about exactly why your DS is behaving this way, and focus on addressing it as best you can (without expecting miracles from him or yourself).
I notice you talk about being gentle and kind with him, and also about shouting at him, but nothing in between? Have you tried to be calm, firm and consistent? Sorry if that sounds obvious but it's just that you don't mention it in your post!
My DC's school offers a parenting classes, which are apparently very helpful for learning ways of dealing with this sort of thing, is there anything like that in your area you could access?
What are you supposed to do about it? Normally I'm the first to say that a parent should take responsibility for their child's behaviour, but if his behaviour is about not listening and not letting other children answer, you've told him at length that he must listen/let children answer.....what can you do?
I think, if it was me (and it has been with DD3 who was being a little minx with her best friend, but fortunately it was behaviour that was clearly very naughty and I could put a stop to) I would want to know:
- does the teacher think he is being 'naughty' i.e. deliberately interrupting and stopping people from answering rather than just impulsively doing what he wants to?
-linked to that, does she regard his behaviour as 'typical' for a Year R child, albeit one who is struggling to behave, or is she indicating that he has some sort of behavioral SEN that is emerging?
-what approach are they taking to tackle it now?
-what would they like you to do to support them at home?
Things that helped us (DD3 and her friends were doing low level disruptive behaviour and deliberately stomping in muddy puddles, etc.), were:
-I would approach the teacher at the end of each day to see if we had 'had a good day'.
-if the teacher had cause to tell me about her behaviour, I reinforced that at home by making the day less interesting/no treats.
-good days were celebrated.
daily often about 'being your own person' (making your own decisions) and good friends being 'people who help you to be the best you can be'.
You can only make changes at home as you see fit. School need to put some strategies in place there to support him. You can't help him listen when you're not in the same building!
I'd go in and say "I am doing X,y,z at home, what are you going to do about in school?"
Speaking to a 5 year old "at length" about their behaviour won't really be effective. I understand you want to be calm and kind but what you must do is be clear and consistent.
Explain what behaviour you want, try and avoid triggers for bad behaviour (like trying to do shopping when he's tired and hungry) but behaviour gets a consequence. Every time. Good behaviour is praised and bad behaviour equals removal of privilege etc
Have you tried love bombing him? It sounds like your bond with him isn't very strong - some one to one time where you just get to know him could work wonders.
I am firmly of the opinion that formal settings are not suited to 5 year olds they're not built to sit still and listen for lengths of time!
work with the school they have experience they can suggest strategies for school and home.
focus on praising good behavior - descriptive praise -
try getting on a parenting course and looking at ways to become less shouty so strategies eg count to ten, deep breathing, stepping away etc.
shouting should be reserved for dangerous situations eg about to touch hot oven...
Children shouldn't be in structured school environments this young. They should be learning listening, concentration, sharing skills etc in nurseries. But that's another thread.
If your child is more advanced than their peers then the TA can support them by extending the teachers questions. This is just as valid as simply supporting the lower ability (sorry, I am unsure of how to phrase it). What strategies is the teacher putting in place. This is classroom management. Yes, you should support yr child by encouraging them to behave appropriately, but equally so should the classroom environment.
Thanks all, really really good advice..
Re Love bombing-I haven't tried that. However, he demands a lot of my time and attention at home (mostly positive) so it feels like a permanent love-bombing session! He's very bossy at home-dictates what he wants to do and when. I know its hard to believe but he's aways been like that-I'm probably the only one who offers resistance. Everyone else (DH, MIL, DP's) just go along with it. I'm just really really struggling with him at the moment and I guess he's picking up on that, and acting out at school?
plane, your post makes a lot of sense. DS was reading before he started school and he's told me before he finds the phonics stuff really 'boring'. I did mention it to his teacher when she called me in last time but she just shrugged and agreed that yes he was bored.. I just don't want to go in on the defensive because I'm worried she'll think I'm a pushy mum.
Totally agree with lougle and you say this is recent behaviour so unlikely to stem from the whole 5.3 years you've parented him! There is something that is causing that change in behaviour and that something can be addressed working with the school and being calm and consistent.
I also agree that you can sit and tell a child of that age not to call out - but they sometimes have the understanding they shouldn't do it yet not the maturity to control themselves.
One suggestion you may want to take to school is something called 'movement breaks'. So inbetween each session give DS a chance to me around and he may find sitting and listening after that easier.
Be careful not to go in saying it's all your fault as a parent - it can give not so good schools the opportunity to blame parents and not address the actual cause.
I agree with witsender As an ex EY teacher IMO there is too much asked of most 5 yr olds now. It's unkind to expect some children to concentrate for longer than their capacity.
There are lots of kinder ways to manage them. The teacher sounds inexperienced IMO.
Asking the school what behaviour chart they use and implement it at home to keep things consistent for a while might help.
If tiredness is a factor (and it may well be at this stage in their first year), you can tell the teacher that you'll bring his bedtime forward to see if it helps.
If his behaviour becomes more of an issue in the afternoon and he has packed lunches you could maybe look at including something low-GI so he doesn't get an energy dip mid-adternoon.
However, really it is up to the teacher to be suggesting solutions in the classroom. TBH I think waiting a few hours until hometime for either a reward or discipline is just too long after the event for them to have much impact on your DS - the teacher needs to deal with it immediately and then tell you her approach so you can reinforce the messages at home.
Thank you all so so much. I can't explain how despondent I've been this afternoon, and you've all come through for me
Wonderful advice. I feel a lot better..
His teacher is the head of Reception, which is what upset me even more. I feel though that he's permanently in her bad books. He will obviously be changing classes at the end of the academic year, so hopefully that will bring some positive change.
Do you think it's a bad idea for me to try and speak to the TA (who helps that class and is a lovely, kind and honest lady) on her own to see what she thinks or is that unprofessional?
I think it would be putting the TA in a difficult position.
It's not your fault Pinkoyster ds was also reading before he started school and the teacher was not on his wavelength at all. At least he was able to bring home any reading book, she didn't make him stick to a scheme.
It's strange at that age there is a 'medium' range of intellect that is catered for , if your child is either above or below that range it can be difficult for some teachers to cope with.
"I'm ashamed to say that I cried when I read it. "
That's nothing to be ashamed of xx
Tell us something good about your parenting, I bet there is lots.
Well there we go. He's bored, used to getting his own way at home and making his own fun at school!
Stop him being bossy at home. Bossy is a code word for brat, tbh. The only people who find a bossy child cute are the child's own parents. It doesn't matter if you can fulfil his every demand, if you do fulfil his every demand, he's missing out on some really important social skills.
Tell school that you are keen to work with them. Ask them for support - you need to find something that you can use that works across the home-school boundary, so your DS views you and the school as a team. That may be that if the teacher reports a good day he gets a sticker, 5 stickers gets a match attack toy car (£1)....something tangible to register his efforts.
He won't be with that teacher for much longer.
If he's bright he is maybe trying to get more info from the teacher or losing patience because he finds it unstimulating. This will rub her up the wrong way because it's a bit rude and slightly controlling because he's trying to move the phonics in a different direction to what the other children need.
You need to teach him (as you are trying to) that he must sit and listen to the adult who is talking and not interrupt, and to save his questions about other things for another time when the whole class isn't learning together. Tell him the other children need to learn from the teacher too and he needs to be fair on them and let them listen to her.
He sounds like a very inquiring mind and that's great, he just needs channelling. The TA can't really help, you have to talk to the teacher as the the teacher is in charge of the TA's workload. Just let her know you are working with him on sitting, listening, not interrupting and waiting for appropriate times to ask more indepth questions about things.
I remember my first parents eve and it's very emotional hearing all the ins and outs of your child's work and behaviour. It can be surprising to hear things you don't expect but remember this isn't your dc being naughty, they're just learning how to cope with having a busy, inquiring mind.
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