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Need advice on how to support school with son's behaviour

(7 Posts)
PeggyL Fri 21-Nov-14 17:40:14

Hi, my DS started Reception this year, was 4 in July so young for year, had been in nursery part time before. He had trouble settling in, said no-one knew his name, didn't have any friends, was being a bit disruptive etc, at one point had a total melt down at school, screaming and even took his clothes off which he's never done ever before! But on going back after half term, he seemed to settle a bit better. Have been called to speak to teacher twice this week! Once because him and another boy were apparently leaving another boy out, on explaining themselves they said it was because he had dark skin, I was mortified when I was told this, he's never spoken that way before and they think he must have picked it up in the playground. Was really shocked and upset and also confused by why he would behave like this but talked to him that day about being kind to people and how there are differences with people like skin, hair and eye colour etc. he listened but then said he didn't want to talk anymore about it. Picked him up yesterday and teacher said that he'd been expelled from the lesson for behaviour, being really disruptive, not doing as he was told, answering back and laughing when the teacher pulled him up on it. I just don't know how best to try and sort his out. He is my eldest child so have no experience of this before and I don't know what I should be doing or saying to help him. I don't shout but explain that I expect to hear about good behaviour. Any ideas in what to say, do, a chart? Please help, I feel like I've for the only child in the class that's playing up!!

JammyGeorge Fri 21-Nov-14 19:35:21

Oh Peggy - what a nightmare. If it makes you feel any better I'm having a similar carry on with my ds1, he started reception in sept and has turned into a monster. He's pushing, hitting and hurting other children during lunchtimes. He even hit a teacher! I've been in absolute pieces over it all.

He's spinning similar lines of no one likes him and no one wants to play with him etc. he does seem very unhappy & unsettled at times.

There has been a massive improvement in his behaviour since half term but it's been hard work getting there.

The advice I got (from mn) was to try and identify triggers, which might be easier with mine being isolated incidents - why did you hit, because he took my toy, it's more straight forward. Your DS seems to be more 'general' behaviour iyswim.

What I did do though is drop a note in his book bag asking the teacher to call me and arranged to pop in and see her. I had a little list of points and made sure I covered them all. I was very supportive of her, telling her what ds1 was saying to try and give her the whole picture.

What I was doing though was laying it firmly at her door. When it happens at school the teacher needs to deal with it. I was saying things like what can I do to back you up?

We've ended up with her dropping a one liner note in his bag at the end of the day and us giving extra treats for good days etc. also, DS knows that we will find out any bad behaviour.

I could go on but this is war & peace already! I just wanted you to know you are not alone, they will settle eventually.

HappydaysArehere Fri 21-Nov-14 19:41:36

He is young but he needs help to understand that some behaviour is not what is expected or tolerated. You have tried to do this. However, he is very young and is now in a much bigger situation than he has been used to. Nursery is different - more adults to give attention, less regimentation etc. it could be that he is "all at sea". Is it possible for you to ask to help in the classroom for a period? Reception teachers always need help and your presence might quieter him somewhat and also she'd some light on the situation. Explain to the head that you are desperate to understand how best to help and this is the only thing you can think of. I do hope things work out for you.
Ps you might also determine how "inappropriate" his behaviour really is. It might be more "childlike " than really naughty.

PeggyL Fri 21-Nov-14 20:06:44

Thank you both, I think the teacher putting a one liner in his book bag is a good idea. And I do understand more now from reading your posts, he's gone from an environment where there were lots of adults and he was cuddled and looked after to a bigger environment and he's no longer 'top dog' anymore as has gone from the oldest, and the showman to the youngest. He doesn't like being told when to do things like structured reading or tidying up and has refused to do this. Do you think a reward chart would help? Thank you both, I feel better already x

JammyGeorge Fri 21-Nov-14 20:16:28

Reward charts never really worked with ds1, they would fizzle out within a week.

So...another one from mn. I washed out a jam jar and got a bag of cheap dried pasta. Every time he has a good day he's gets some pasta, if there's a positive incident on the note he gets extra. He loves it. He's started doing more jobs round the house to earn pastas, it's made everyone's lives much more pleasant.

I don't know why it works better than a chart but it does. Once the jar is full he goes to the toy shop, cinema etc. we've been on 4 weeks and he's had 2 treats so far. It also helps his counting. Mind bad behaviour loses pastas but if I give him that warning he usually falls in line. People think I'm crazy in the park I'm shouting push your brother and you'll lose a pasta!

HappydaysArehere Sun 23-Nov-14 10:18:58

JammyGeorge, that is a great idea. It's a real reward he has to work for. Also he is getting idea that effort brings results. His rewards also give him a sense of self worth.
Do hope things work out PeggyL.

DeWee Sun 23-Nov-14 14:34:01

Ds in year R had a home-school book.
The teacher would write one line a few times a day. It would look like this:
Sat on mat well and did first activitysmile
Break time good
After lunch did brilliant picture after saying he didn't want to smile
Lunch: pushed sad
pm: Behaved really well and did everything asked. grin

It meant two things, one being that we could identify the flash points-which were for him lunch time/times that were noisy. We also found that Thursdays were the hardest day. That meant that the teacher could watch him at those times. If she could see he was simmering she would remove him by giving him a job to do (eg in the library) or by stepping in earlier rather than after the even.

The other thing was he knew that I could see what sort of day he'd have and react accordingly. Also I could talk him through it. "Why did you push him?"
"He kicked the football and he knew I was going to?"
"Isn't that part of the game?"
"No we were taking it in turns-he never takes turns."
"Well what would have been better to do?"

And we'd rollplay the event and see what he could do that was better.

Occasionally I went in and spoke to the teacher what had led up to an incident, because there were one or two lads who were very adapt at being very provokative (not just for him) (eg running away with the football and putting it in the bin) and then looking innocent.
This helped the teacher be able to both watch out for the provokative behaviour and stop it before anything occurred and if that had occurred dealing with both sides, so ds (or other children who had reacted to it) didn't feel they were always being got at.

If it gives you any hope:
Ds is now in year 3, and I asked his teacher (new school) if she had any behavioural/social concerns and she looked surprised and said "of course not". grin

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