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4YO being nightmare with after-school care

(13 Posts)
marmitelover Fri 21-Nov-14 21:18:08

DS started school in September - he's an August bday so very young - but he's loving it, fitting in well and reading/writing as expected. Parents' evening teacher told us he had settled in well, was interested and engaged etc.

I was on maternity leave until half term. We have an after- school nanny who is kind, cooks well etc and is very caring. DS tells us he likes her but he's being rude, shouty and grumpy with her. Today, he apparently screamed at her at the school gates. We've explained that mummy and daddy both work and that we love him but can't collect from school. He says he likes the nanny and I really don't think she is the problem herself - it's just that she's not me.

We've tried all the usual things like taking toys away, not allowing screen time, positive affirmation of behaviours. This week we tried a reward chart - nothing is working.

He's usually so lovely and we've always been quite firm about manners and so this is all completely new for us. What on earth can we do?!

Momzilla82 Fri 21-Nov-14 21:30:57

If its any consolation. I don't think this is about the nanny. My late birthday 4yo DS is exactly the same. School is a lot for them to adapt to, it's v tiring for them and they use home as a release valve from being good all day. If you're just back at work from mat leave then there has also been a lot of change for him at home recently.

Get the nanny to simplify where possible and try to circumnavigate the areas which result in conflict (for us it's dressing and eating). He's eating a less elaborate tea (whispers often in front on cbeebies). Hoping it improves after Xmas once they're a bit older and more settled.

marmitelover Fri 21-Nov-14 22:37:54

Thanks for your reply.

It's reassuring to hear we're not the only ones suffering bad tempers! I agree it's not the nanny as such, although I think me being back at work probably makes it worse. It just gives him something concrete to pin it on if you see what I mean. We're also hoping a few more weeks will help but my concern is that our nanny might just find it too much and look elsewhere. And him being grumpy makes him unhappy and that makes me being at work much harder.

LikeASoulWithoutAMind Fri 21-Nov-14 22:45:06

Oh bless him. Ds1 (now a great big year 6) was just the same at this stage of reception - it is utterly exhausting for them and this term as well as being full of new things to learn is soooo LONG.

What helped for ds was earlier bedtime and more downtime - quiet time after school and at the weekend. What time does he normally go to bed? I had to bring it right forward for a little while.

divingoffthebalcony Fri 21-Nov-14 22:51:12

Is he "hangry" do you think? I don't have a school aged child, but I've read a lot on MN about young children coming out of school absolutely starving and incredibly grumpy. A snack as soon as they come out seems to help smile

FelixTitling Fri 21-Nov-14 22:55:00

I agree with momzilla but I also think Your nanny should be able to weather this. He's spent all day being well behaved and following instruction, he's got to let it all out somewhere. My ds used to come out of school like a bomb about to go off, and at the first little thing would let me have it with both barrels.

We have a little field next to school. If I could give him half an hour to run wildly freely around it, climbing trees, finding sticks etc, it made a massive difference.

Even now in y4, he runs out of school, flings his coat and bags at my feet and does laps of the playground till I rein him in.

sleeplessinderbyshire Fri 21-Nov-14 22:59:19

I don't think it's the nanny. My dd was like this through reception (also August born) it did improve in the summer term. Snack in car on way home, CBeebies and bed by 630 worked a treat.

Now in y1 she's miles better although today she was truly truly foul (shouting, slamming, growling, biting, hitting and sobbing) from pickup til she went to bed at 715. She was marginally better between 4 and 420pm when she was eating a slice of cake.

Tired and hungry is a devastating combination. Dd is incredibly fussy and a very slow eater so frequently eats a yoghurt and not much else for lunch. Ensuring she has a big snack for break times (breadsticks, oatcakes, babybel) has been a revelation (suggested by her wonderful teacher)

FishWithABicycle Fri 21-Nov-14 23:00:47

It's not the nanny. He is completely exhausted. Loads of summer babies have a huge behaviour crash on starting school because the school day takes up ever last ounce of their reserves of rational behaviour. He would probably be almost as badly behaved with you.

He needs his evenings to be relatively low stimulation and undemanding. If the nanny is trying to engage him in constructive educational play as would be appropriate with a 4yo not in school, that needs to be dialled way back.
Punishments of removing toys and privileges won't work, he's too tired to care about consequences. Just get him to bed asap.

NanaNina Fri 21-Nov-14 23:10:16

I agree with others - he's very little still and school is very tiring at first and I remember my kids (and now my grandkids) being very grumpy after school. I'm a bit worried that you are punishing him as you mention taking his toys away and not allowing screen time, as I am convinced this will only make matters worse.

My 9 year old grandson is often rude to the childminder who looks after him after school and there are sanctions, but he is 9 not 5. It's very early days for your little boy - since about the beginning of this month....that's no time at all for him to have to adjust to a new regime - both at school and at home. Presumably there is a baby too - is all ok there. I think you need to relax as your DS will pick up on the tension/anxiety and this could make him worse. Can you go through the routine with the nanny to see if anything can be done differently - kids of 5 in their first term at school need to go home, have a snack, watch TV, a lie on the sofa - whatever.

I'm sure he will be fine given a few more weeks.

Zipitydooda Fri 21-Nov-14 23:26:55

Agree with everything said so far. His poor behaviour for your nanny also demonstrates that he feels secure with her. He's been on best behaviour at school all day and feels comfortable enough with her to let it out.

Take a snack to school something like flapjack and banana to give him a boost and then chill out after school with non demanding activities.

I teach y1 and have many exhausted children by the end of the day and others who need to have a run to let off some steam and pent up energy.

If your nanny can understand where the behaviour is coming from then she will be able to handle outbursts better and patiently. Leave off on the punishments. My DS has tantrums on the walk home from school, I sit on a wall and let him get on with it until he calms down and try and curb my own frustration (don't always succeed).

FelixTitling Fri 21-Nov-14 23:53:51

Oh, and I meant to say cuddles too. Lots of cuddles and few words. Particularly when he's kicking off.

tumbletumble Sat 22-Nov-14 07:13:52

Agree with other posters. My reception child is unbelievably grumpy and whiny at the moment, even though he's one of the older ones in the class. Full time school for five days a week is really tiring for them (last year he did 9-12 every day at nursery).

I went back to work part time at the same time as him starting school so, like you, I'm worried that is part of the problem, but I pick him up from school three days a week so I don't really think it is.

marmitelover Sat 22-Nov-14 12:07:56

Thanks everyone - some very sound advice. He does have a snack in his bag to eat on the short walk home and we do bath and bed at 7 - by which time he's tired but not totally exhausted. Some days we go a bit earlier.

I think we will try reigning back on the confiscating toys - we tend to do it for just an hour or so and it's been effective in the past but if it's not working anyway then there's no point. We might try a week of just reaffirming verbally how bad behaviour's not nice and see if that makes it easier.

I don't think the nanny is over-stimulating him but I might suggest they try watching a couple of things on iPad when they get home just to help chill him out a bit.


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