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4 years old, fighting at nursery. What to do?

(6 Posts)
BuntyPenfold Mon 27-Jun-11 19:14:40

He has been fighting over toys, screaming and kicking at other children if they have a toy he wants. Staff have complained and say it is escalating, but what to do? We are not there to deal with it.
He is an only child and doesn't do it elsewhere - but then, he doesn't need to.
He never had a tantrum, cried in temper, hit, snatched or kicked until he started there.
I feel he has learnt this behaviour there. When talked to, he agrees it is wrong, makes people sad etc, but they say he still does it as soon as he is thwarted in anything.
How can I deal with this, excepting by withdrawing him? He loves going!

EBDteacher Mon 27-Jun-11 19:31:39

Go in and talk to someone. Ask them what behaviour management strategy they are putting in place for your DS and tell them you want details so you can back them up at home.

They should be putting in some sort of plan to help your DS to learn to manage and self-regulate his response to feeling frustrated/ thwarted. If they are just using sanctions that is not good enough- he needs to do a piece of learning about how to deal with his emotions and more reliably choose socially appropriate behaviour. It is also not necessarily good enough just to use praise when he happens to do the right thing, he needs to learn in a positive way exactly what the right thing is.

As you quite rightly say, it is very difficult for you to put that teaching in place for him at home because the scenario doesn't often arise, but you can support them by talking through/ rehearsing the strategies they want to teach him and praising him to high heaven when he starts to use them.

If they are not able to come up with constructive ideas about how they want to help him in his learning (and it is no different to overcoming barriers in other areas- like reading and writing) then I'd consider looking for a different setting.

BuntyPenfold Mon 27-Jun-11 19:34:16

Thank you EBD teacher - he starts school in September though.
The staff give him time out each time.

EBDteacher Mon 27-Jun-11 19:45:27

Time out is OK but it need to be this:

'You will not be able to get (that toy) by hurting people. I'm taking you away from this situation to somewhere quiet where you will be able to calm yourself down. As soon as you are calm and are ready be kind/ gentle we'll go back and talk to x to ask if you can share the toy/ agree when the toy will be free'.

Not 'You've been naughty so sit there'.

And time out needs to be part of a longer term plan that aims for the child to eventually self-manage and not need the time out. Otherwise it is useless.

Is the nursery attached to the school? If so I think it's definitely worth pursuing them. If not maybe just ride it out- a fresh start at school and being a few months older might help a great deal anyway.

BuntyPenfold Mon 27-Jun-11 19:58:23

thank you very much for your time and help EBDteacher

EBDteacher Mon 27-Jun-11 20:02:24

No worries wine

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