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Four year old son's behaviour

(6 Posts)
berniew Wed 26-Sep-12 15:17:21

Hi, just wondering if anyone has any advice on how to deal with an unruly four year old boy?!
He's always been 'high spirited' shall we say, but recently his behaviour has become worse. He's aggressive towards his little brother, doesn't listen or do what his told until he's threatened with a toy being taken away, he breaks things on purpose and in general is just really hard work. I am using a reward chart at the moment which seemed to work really well for the first week but now isn't as effective, he appears to have lost interest in it. He's a really imaginative little boy and plays for long stretches of time lost in a world of his own with his figures, cars, castle etc but if I ask him to sit down and do a puzzle or a drawing he gets bored very quickly.
He started pre-school in August and the teacher has spoken to me about his behaviour several times about various things including pushing and hitting other children, not listening to the teachers and doing as he's told being the main problem.
In the last month I have had one day where I felt really proud of his behaviour and really enjoyed our day together, the rest of the time it feels like a constant battle. I feel like I'm failing as a mother and would really appreciate any advice or experiences anyone could share. Thanks!

Goldmandra Wed 26-Sep-12 17:10:00

I think you need to try to work out what is behind the behaviour. Spend a couple of days making notes of the times his behaviour is more difficult and see if you can identify a pattern.

Why is he begin aggressive towards other children? Does he understand the social cues they are giving him? Is he seeing them as threats to his imaginative play?

Why isn't he listening to the teacher? Has the teacher observed him to try to work this out? Is he able to concentrate on and process instructions? Is he overwhelmed by the sensory environment in the classroom? Is he very tired?

What times of the day is he more difficult? Does he find it hard to sit still for the times he is asked to? Does he need to move in order to concentrate but isn't allowed to?

Why won't he do as he is told? What sorts of things is her refusing to do? Is it about completing academic tasks? Sitting still? Being quiet? Tidying up?

Does he want to behave well but can't. Does low self esteem lead him to believe it isn't worth trying?

What does he think is the reason for him finding it hard to behave acceptably?

The more information you can gather about his behaviour, the easier it will be to find a reason behind it. That is the starting point for dealing with it.

berniew Thu 27-Sep-12 10:21:51

Thank you Goldmandra for your reply. I have tried to make a link between times or triggers re his bad behaviour and haven't found one yet, I will try writing it down-might make things appear clearer.
He's always been a good sleeper so I shouldn't think it's related to tiredness, although perhaps he is finding going to pre-school tiring as it's every day. I don't think that it is low self esteem causing it as I really try hard to make him feel confident about himself and how much we love him,it would break my heart if that was the reason.
I wonder if he is quite immature emotionally for his age as when he sees his little friends he doesn't seem to be able to control his excitement and starts behaving sillily (when in the cloakroom getting their smocks on or waiting outside to go in).
Anyway thank you again for your reply I will give writing things down a go and see if I can make a link. We had a good morning this morning,hopefully when I pick him up there'll be good reports.

runnervt Thu 27-Sep-12 10:28:26

I've had some problems with my ds1 not listening and being aggressive. I started a thread and got a couple of links that were useful. Here is a link to the thread.

runnervt Thu 27-Sep-12 10:30:12

Sorry, meant to say - maybe you'll find something useful there!

berniew Thu 27-Sep-12 13:42:32

Thanks runner! That's great. smile

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