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HIDEOUS MONSTER DS1 at preschool

(11 Posts)
turtle23 Mon 03-Oct-11 13:03:45

Let me start by saying that I love my son. He does occasionally play up at home but is really quite a sweet boy. He started preschool 5 3-hr sessions a week at the beginning of September after 10 months of nothing as we moved and couldn't get him in anywhere.

The first week went ok. Week 2 he cried that he wanted to stay home 2 or 3 times but seemed to be ok. Then he had one day where he bit someone. Next day he scratched someone.
Now they tell me he refuses to sit down for register, his key worker has to spend all day with him as he wont ever do anything he's told and the other kids are suffering as a result. To top it all, today apparently,an hour before home time he kicked everyone, pulled someone's hair, threw a box of scissors, emptied every box of toys, emptied the tissue box and for a finale locked himself (and some poor girl who needed a wee) in the toilets.
The school is very much praise not punish so has just spent the whole time following him around saying please don't...which seems to wind him up more.#
I am at my wits end. I use the naughty step which seems to work quite well for him but they will not do anything except tell him to please not do these things.
He seems very tired, which I'm sure he is...and it is a big change...but ffs. WHAT DO I DO????

SecretSquirrels Mon 03-Oct-11 15:04:25

You don't say how old he is?
Pre school is not compulsory and if he is very young (under 4) then he may not be ready and you could take him out until he's older. Alternatively cut it to one or two mornings a week.

If he is older then I would be a bit hmm at the staff's total inability to manage what is not, after all ,unusual toddler behaviour.

Tgger Mon 03-Oct-11 20:42:15

Hmmmmmmmm, you moved- big change, 3 hours every day after nothing, big change. At a preschool that doesn't seem to suit his temperament. Seems he is reacting big time. I guess you have to work out whether to weather the storm so to speak or to tweak the hours/look at other pre-schools etc etc.

Yes, how old is he? Round here they tend to go 2 or 3 mornings a week in the year 2.5-3.5, then up to 5 mornings 3.5-4.5. I don't see the problem in doing the 5 mornings if all is well- a good set up and everyone happy but maybe it's a bit much. Could he be reacting to the move and everything different. It took us quite a while to settle when we moved- it's such a change. Do you know many people where you are now?

Does sound a bit strange, the "please do not do" approach for more major crimes! Have they not encountered boisterous boys before!?

turtle23 Tue 04-Oct-11 08:50:23

Sorry he is 3.5. We moved 10 months ago and there was no space anywhere so we had to wait til now. Apparently nobody else ever misbehaves... ;)

turtle23 Tue 04-Oct-11 09:37:40

Sorry is difficult to get a minute today!! He is bored senseless at home and I really feel if he can just settle in it will be the best thing. Places round here are scarce and I cannot afford a private nursery. This preschool is loved by all and is literally at the end of our road. The other kids have all been together since 2.5.
I think he just sees it as an opportunity to misbehave as nobody enforces discipline. This is the school we have applied to for next year as well so am really hoping hr settles in. I guess I should give it a few more weeks. I can't expect it to be perfect overnight but do I ask that they take a firmer stance? Go in and naughty step him myself for a week? Sigh.

Notquitegrownup Tue 04-Oct-11 09:55:49

He sounds to me as if he may be bored at preschool, as well as not supported particularly well there. If they are handling discipline differently to the way you do, it is very hard for him to sort out how to be. I do sympathise. I had two very active, vey bright, very easily bored boys too. They are hard work at this age.

If it were me I would a) ask if we can cut down to three days a week and work on behaviour, then build up to 5 when he is settled. That will give you a break 3 days a week and you might find you enjoy your 2 days together more too.

I would ask the preschool to be more structured in their approach. Instead of saying "Please don't . . . can they suggest a positive alternative to him and distract him too" eg please don't tip up the toys, it makes a mess. Let's put them away (you win a sticker if you do) and then we could go on the trainset" Buy a notebook and a set of stickers for them and ask them to give him a sticker if he does something good. Then you can talk about the good things later on. You can also set him targets - no kicking people, no locking the loo door etc and you can give him a sticker if he doesn't do it too.

I would ask if I could go in and observe him, or even work along side him occasionally, though it might be stressful for you. You shouldn't be naughty stepping him a lot at preschool, as he needs to adapt to their system, but you could agree on a strategy with the preschool, for how much involvement you could have. It also means that you can back them up by talking to him about what he does at pre-school, or by giving him extra rewards (or punishments) for appropriate/inappropriate behaviour. This worked brilliantly with my ds1. (Warning - it was a disaster with my ds2 who was always worse if I was around!)

If you do have him at home for a couple of days, have a range of structured activities to do at home - 30 minutes painting, 15 minutes tidy up, 45 minutes walk to the swings, 15 minutes hang out the washing together, 10 minutes snack time, 30 minutes lego, 5 minutes tidy-up-race, etc etc. You don't have to stick to the routine, but have it planned out so that you don't sit around wondering what to do . . .

There is also swimming, biscuit baking, playdough, feeding ducks, supermarket shopping (mine loved that, once they understood that they could make a list before we went, with pictures of items they needed to buy - apples, squash, weetabix etc. Making the list takes ages, then they have to find the items at the supermarket and put them in the trolly . . . .

Hope that helps a bit. Best of luck

Notquitegrownup Tue 04-Oct-11 09:57:49

Oh and if he is particularly active see if you can borrow a dog from anyone to take for long walks. Boys and dogs go well together and a blast of fresh air, along with someone's dog for distraction can be great.

Tgger Tue 04-Oct-11 14:19:29

Think Notquitegrownup (love the name by the way!)'s advice is good. I wouldn't dare actually give them the stickers etc but I would have a meeting where you can discuss strategy re discipline/helping him settle etc.

Perhaps you could make a list of his interests and with the pre-school staff see how it fits in with what they do there/what toys they have so that if he starts playing up he can be distracted/led to something that normally he loves? Eg my son is huge fan of making stuff- others are into cars etc- whatever floats his boat!

I would check on their structure- how much is free play and how much is do as your told/structured activity- and what they do if children don't join in/start being aggressive- with some suggestions of firmer handling of your son (perhaps they need your permission!?)- if he is playing up. I would quiz them on how they've handled such behaviour in the past, it seems unlikely that they haven't had it (!!). Eg, my son's nursery that he was at year before school they had a naughty chair if they were very naughty (after warning etc). Then parents would get told at the end of the session.

"Won't do as he is told" makes me wonder if he feels over controlled there- are they telling him to do things when he's actually in danger of hurting others/himself or is it rather a too structured environment for some children at this age? Some like to do as they are told/listen to stories etc etc. Some don't. I know they need to get ready for school a bit but it's softly softly really.

Good luck!

Good luck! SHould think he will settle, his fury is a reaction to it all

Notquitegrownup Tue 04-Oct-11 14:40:35

grin No-one's ever liked my name before, and I've been on MN far longer than I care to remember blush (Actually last year I got a new job, with quite a lot of responsibility, and one day caught myself wondering if I really was grown up now. The feeling didn't last. I'm just not and never going to be.

Final thought. My ds2 went to a preschool where everyone had been together for a while and everyone was well behaved. They had all just grown up together and conformed to the norm. It was hard for outsiders to come into such a nice little group, as they could really stand out if they didn't immediately fit in, but with staff support it should be possible. Hang on in there, and don't let it feel bad about your ds. He is only being a very normal little boy here. You can always start a thread (as I did) asking on MN if anyone else had the only boisterous child in pre-school . . . . smile

cryhavoc Thu 06-Oct-11 23:00:37

Hi Turtle. Does he play with any of the other children there? Do you think it would make a difference if he were to feel more part of the group? There's been a bit of a move within rooms/groups at Ff's preschool, and I have done quite a lot of having children round for tea, meeting at parks after preschool, which I think helps.
Also, is there flexibility in the sessions? Ff does 3 hrs on a Monday morning, and then 6 hrs Wednesday and Thursday, which I have found better than having to get up and out every morning.

Stay123 Thu 06-Oct-11 23:17:28

Going to a pre-school he doesn't like every morning of the week is probably horrible for him. He sounds as if he isn't happy there so I'd just send him 3 mornings a week at most and find things to do at home. The more he goes the tireder he'll get and the more he will play up. Sounds as if he is bored stiff too. Does it have much outdoor space? I have a 3.4 year old boy and send him to a nearby nursery 2 mornings a week rather than the pre school ever though it is more money. The pre-school hardly has any outdoor space and I know how destructive he can be when he is in a small space and is bored. The nursery has a big outdoor play area where they can run off steam and get some fresh air. It is counter productive to send him to a pre school where he is just getting a reputation which isnt fair on him.

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