my son is hitting children at school

(15 Posts)
GeorgiaT2468 Tue 24-Nov-15 15:48:04

Weekly I am being called into my sons school at home time for "a word" which usually consists of your child has hit, pushed or punched another child.

He is such a loving, considerate child who does not experience aggression at home nor is he ever associated with behaviour like this. But at school he's apparently so angry.

Iv changed his diet, given him behaviour charts, used time out, endless conversations and lessons on unacceptable behaviour, encouraged him to apologise and made sure this was done, it's endless and I feel I'm getting through to him finally and he does it again.

His reasoning he believes is so justifiable. For instance so n so said the paint was blue but it was green and he didn't agree it was green so I hit him. Or so n so wasn't allowed to play on the climbing frame and I told him to get off, he didn't get off so I hit him.

I'm getting really sick and low with endless complaints at the school and I'm really stuck on how to stop this.

Where am I going wrong sad can't cope anymore. Xx

Andro Tue 24-Nov-15 17:04:12

How old is he and what is the school doing to support him, as well as keep the other children safe?

All you can do is back the school with their strategies until you know more.

GeorgiaT2468 Tue 24-Nov-15 17:14:06

He's 5. Apparently they have tried all sorts like charts, time out, consequences like losing his play time, losing his place in class treats, talked to him loads apparently but no one is seeing any results xx

Kleinzeit Tue 24-Nov-15 18:20:35

Does he have any sibs, and did he go to nursery or playgroup? Some kids really struggle to negotiate disagreements with other kids, especially in a busy bustling environment full of unfamiliar kids like a school playground. They’re fine with adults (who are authority figures and who are usually much better at negotiating than other little kids) but they find it much harder to negotiate on an equal basis.

Your DS may need some help with learning to be more flexible with other kids. You might like to look at The Unwritten Rules of Friendship sections on “Acting Like The Rule Police” and perhaps “The Short-Fused Child”, see if that has any helpful ideas in how to encourage him. He’s still very young and hopefully this will improve as he matures. If it doesn’t improve soon-ish you might want to talk to your GP or health visitor in case there's an underlying communication problem making things harder for him.

MyLifeisaboxofwormgears Tue 24-Nov-15 18:26:22

He needs to be taught how to deal with disagreements - how to negotiate his way out of disagreements - or not to care if there are disagreements.

Negotiation techniques and getting on with others is a key social skill - he needs to learn and to practice.
Punishments are pointless - the school should be teaching him about how to react and appropriate ways to behave. Telling him what he is doing is wrong is no use if he isn't given any idea of what behaviours he should be demonstrating. Tell school to cut out the charts and punishments and get him social skills training.

He may also need methods of dealing with frustrations on an emotional level. At home you can practise this by not letting him have his own way and actually get into a debate on whether he should have things his own way.

He may find school frustrating as he has to negotiate loads of other people - young kids can struggle with this, especially if they have no siblings and haven't been to nursery.
He is probably wondering why everyone doesn't treat him the wya he gets treated at home.

MovemberSucks Tue 24-Nov-15 18:39:28

Can you do some role play with him? My DS has ASD and so has some rigid thinking and a lack of understanding that other people might have a different way of thinking about things and he used to hit because someone thought differently to him. (e.g. he once hit a friend because DS was talking about his trampoline and the friend insisted that DS didn't have a trampoline.) Anytime a real life situation came up I would talk to him about a couple of different options other than getting angry, and then we would role-play with me doing the thing that annoyed him and him practising walking away/ignoring etc.

I found that if things were only discussed that DS wouldn't remember the right action when under pressure, whereas if we had role played it a couple of times it came more automatically to him.

GeorgiaT2468 Tue 24-Nov-15 18:50:23

Wow some great advice there for me thank you. He's 5 now and in year 1, he's been in nursery then pre school and reception since he was 2 and prior to that I had a child minder who had him and several other children whilst I worked. He's been involved in scheduled play dates and gymnastics and after school clubs since a similar age also. He does have a younger brother who's 2.5 years old and another baby brother due in two weeks. He's always been quite a frustrated and highly opinionated child and shall we say strong willed.

I agree that this discipline at school doesn't work but can they refuse to adhere to what I say when I say no to their strategies? They act like they know better than me with regards to his behaviour and what to do.. Iv asked to speak to the school SCENCO. He's only started being violent these past few weeks and only 1 other biting incident over a year ago when in reception. Using physical aggression is a new but very unexplained behaviour. Xx

Kleinzeit Wed 25-Nov-15 08:49:28

OK, so he has plenty of social experience and so far he’s mostly coped but he can be a rigid and easily frustrated and he doesn’t take disagreement easily. Speaking to the SENCO is a good idea. YY to social skills groups – hopefully the SENCO will have some pointers to them.

It sounds as if there isn’t a quick disciplinary fix for this. It’s probably a good idea to go along with whatever discipline the school suggest for the time being, you can tell them what works for you but unless he has identified SN they need to keep using whatever discipline is conventional for his age. But one very useful bit of advice I got from a parenting group when my DS started school at 5 and suddenly turned into a raging hell-monster – what happens in school gets dealt with in school, so unless the school specifically ask you to put a consequence on at home just keep home as calm, cheerful and friendly as possible. Your DS is struggling, it's not his fault. flowers

GeorgiaT2468 Wed 25-Nov-15 09:30:25

I agree he is struggling because when I talk to him he simply says mummy I try to stop but I can't, I do t know why I hit her/him I'm extra sorry and I want to be a good boy. He really does try hard I can see it in him how remorseful he is. Something has developed somewhere for him to begin this all of a sudden.

I talk to him about it at home what's happened in school so he knows I'm aware and want to help him feel better. We have these conversations so I can remind him of all the positives about himself. Because yes he's hit someone at school and yes it's wrong and I'm not the kind of parent to brush it off ect however I don't want him to feel he's such a bad person and then for him to develop confidence or self-esteem issues.

He's a very friendly and kind child and has lots of friends. He's a very popular child among his peers.

He's explained to me that there is a "naughty" girl at school who thinks she's a boy and wants to be a boy. He said she won't wear girls school uniform or play with girl stuff and that she dresses like a boy and she has a super hero lunch box like him ect.

I know the child he's referring to and he's quite correct about her looking/acting like a boy. She's quite rough and is often in trouble at school. I think my son and her are quite good friends as they play often together ect.

But he also does tell me things that she says or does. For instance yesterday at school this girl told my son that I died! And that she hates me. Yesterday morning I attended my sons class for what they call a drop in session they have once a month where all parents can go into their child's lesson for an hour.

During this time this 5 year old little girl was staring at me and looking at me with what u can only describe as a dirty look. Especially when my son came over to me to cuddle me ect.

I really don't know what to think about it lol however some things are concerning so I spoke to his teacher before lesson this morning to which she said she will investigate. Telling my son I died is a bit bloody much hey! My son was in tears asking me if I was going to die. Poor boy it made me cry but not in front of him, but the fear in his face was awful.

Also just to add I spoke to my son last night and we did the role play of saying things to each other as him and his peers at school do. For example; he wore a red pyjama top for bed and I told him it was yellow. He instantly became cross and argued it was red.

So at that point I explained he should say that he wished not to talk about it and to walk away politely ect. We practiced lots of scenarios where he would feel frustrated and better ways to handle his anger. So he's learned to say- I dont want to talk about it, please can you not say that, would you mind leaving me alone now, let's play this game, let's not argue and be friends and simply walking away and say lets play a different game later ect.

He quite enjoyed this actually and is going to put it into practice today. When I met with his teacher this morning I explained about our role playing and the results of this and expressed it was a great idea to try and she will encourage and support this in school. So hopefully it will work.

Thank you for that advice, I have hope in this strategy smile

Will see how it goes, I know he gets frustrated easily and has a short fuse. Unfortunately he gets that from me lol but lately it's become a common thing at school to hit which I will not accept of course. Although I know he can't help himself at times I want to do my absolute best to stop this xxxx

Francoitalialan Wed 25-Nov-15 09:36:20

OP you sound great. It's so frustrating when you can't get to the bottom of what's going on but the business with the little girl needs highlighting ASAP, not just because it's mean and it's upsetting your child but also because someone somewhere is putting this stuff into her head too. X

GeorgiaT2468 Wed 25-Nov-15 10:11:03

Oh thank you.

Yeah I do think she's concerning but I'm not sure what kind of role models she has around her, her mum strikes me as a little odd confused I'm not a judgmental person at all but Iv been keeping an eye on them both since my son has said things. The little girl doesn't smile or laugh or have any facial expressions other that a blank stare or a cross look on her face.

She doesn't run around in the play ground in the mornings or participate in class. So although I'm not blaming her as she's only 5 years old herself I do think possibly somethings not right. The teacher appeared quite concerned about the comment of me so I'm trusting her to investigate this and rectify it as best as she can.

I have expressed to my son he may choose who he's friends with and I tell him that he can't be friends with them but also he must copy bad behaviours of others. A few weeks ago I was told by the school that my son and this girl was unkind to another child and appeared to gang up on them. This is not how my son is at all!! He dislikes bully's and always supports children at school who feel sad or stands up for them if they are being test unkindly by another child.

It's so out of character and I was astounded at what I was hearing. So I'm worried she may not be an appropriate influence. Although I appreciate my child is far from perfect it just seems a coincidence that she and him were buddies that day and were both unkind to a child that he's friends with and apparently this girl doesn't like the child they were unkind to. My son says the girl is mean to this other child and they are not friends.

It's confusing. At least by me telling the school they can keep an eye out just in case this part of the problem. I do not want her telling my child frightening things am that I'm dead. Regardless of any potential issues the other child may have I will not accept or tolerate that.

When I left the drop in session yesterday my son was anxious and crying that I had to leave. We are very close yes and he hates me leaving him at school or leaving him when I go to work ect. But usually settles with the knowledge that- mummy will pick me up later or mummy will be home later.

There are some issues from the past which could be having an impact on him. He was abused physically by his biological dad and dads partner at 2.5 years and came home from theirs one weekend with marks on his chest that became deep black/purple bruises by morning. We really did go through it as I called the police and social services ect. Lots of fear and investigation over a period of time and of course he does not see any of them anymore. Some he's happy not to see but other family members he misses. They all ganged together and defended each other against my sons allegations so I took him away from all of them.

My sons not safe with them that's clear and my son to this day will still repeat the incidents in the exact same way and the same fearful look on his face almost 3 years later!!

Possibly this could be having an impact on him and possible psychological trauma from being abused. I also had a nervous break down at this time due to it all and although I tried to hide it I believe he saw me quite unwell and with a 3 week old baby at the time to I struggled with the situation.

I'm still quite ill from it even now but I manage it so it doesn't affect my children yet again!

Lots them at goes into it but I don't know how it may have affected my little boy sad I wish I could hear his thoughts!!

Xx

Kleinzeit Wed 25-Nov-15 15:03:51

Well it sounds as if you're doing the right things to support your DS, things that will help him whatever the problem might be. It's good that you flagged up your concerns about the little girl, she may have issues of her her own but she shouldn't upset your DS. Primary teachers often do little bits of social engineering. They don't usually say "you can't play with each other" but they might pair them off with other kids in class etc.

GeorgiaT2468 Wed 25-Nov-15 15:14:51

Yeah that's what I thought, at least if they know they can keep an eye out on it and hopefully recognise if this child is having problems herself.

Bless her, bless children in general actually, they are all so vulnerable and impressionable aren't they. Most certainly contributing to my sons behaviour/anxiety if that's what he's being told. No wonder he cries and cuddles me when I pick him up, like relief that I'm there bless him sad xx

BatteryOperatedBoyfriend Wed 25-Nov-15 15:49:10

Thank you for this thread OP, I came on today to post a very similar situation. I have just been pulled into school for bad behaviour, DD who is 4.5 has been pushing and scratching children, and also blowing a raspberry at a teacher when she was told off.

Generally, she is one of the most loving children. She is quite a strong character and there are some other very strong characters in her class and they clash. She is younger than many of her peers and therefore slightly more immature. Today, she pushed someone off a tree stump, I need ways of helping her to cope when another strong minded child jumps up and trys to push in, as today she just pushed her off! I told her that she needs to talk to the child and explain that she was there first, but then what?

I hope you manage to get things better for you and your DS OP.

GeorgiaT2468 Wed 25-Nov-15 17:09:25

Bless ya, I know the feeling with other strong willed children. There's a child who always suggests the game they play is tag/it. Out of the group she said to my son that he is it and he's always it first.

He says he always it and no one else is and when he chases to tag them he can't always catch them and after running around most of the lunch time he begins to get fed up/angry and this child always says HA HA to him.

Children are children I understand that but at least it gives me a chance to say well I can understand his frustration at this child. Because in my sons eyes Its not fair ect. If this happens most of the time then he spends play time cross and feeling a bit left out when he's "it" all the time and when the other children are enjoying running away from him he's not experiencing the same joy of the game, it's more of a chor.

He says he wants to play it but doesn't always want to be "IT" first.

Iv suggested they take it in turns each game who's "it" first but when he suggests it they all say no especially this particular child. He then tells me that when he manages to "tag" this other child she's then supposed to be "it" but says no your still "it". He argues the rules with this child and the other child appears to wind him up by saying no HA HA your still it HA HA ect. He then lashes out and snacks them or pushed them.

The child apparently told the teacher that he couldn't catch them and then hurt them because he lost the game. This child is crying clearly and then my son is given a consequence. But when he explains how the child made him feel and the situation ect the teacher ignores this as what my son done was worse than what the other child done.

I'm not justifying his response but I can understand my sons frustration.

Furthermore Iv suggested he walks away and plays somewhere else- his reply- but I would like to pay "it" mummy with my friends but so n so is unfair and spoils it.

Iv suggested- tell the teacher to help make the game fair and that this other child is upsetting you- his reply is- I did but the teacher just said play nicely.

Iv suggested to explain the the child that it's not fair to always be it- his reply was- I did mummy honestly but they said no and said they are to fast for me and I will never catch them.

Iv suggested for him to suggest a different game to play- his reply- I said we could play on the pirate ship but they said no they don't want to play with me in there.

It's endless, finally Iv said ask your teacher to talk to them about being fair and kind ect but apparently she said no and to play properly or don't play together.

It annoying really, I don't see why children can't play fairly. So I had a word with the teacher and explained that this is how he's feeling and no doubt frustrates him so at some point he loses his temper at someone and hits them. Again I'm not justifying it but it does explain that my sons cross and upset not just hitting for the fun of it.

If you make suggestions to your child and see how it goes that's all you can do, otherwise speak to the teacher about how your child is feeling and then reacting as my sons teacher said she would talk to the class as a whole and implement some ways to play fairly, fun and nicely all at once.

Also by expressing often how my child feels helps his teacher to monitor certain children and at certain times of the day like group activities and mainly play time.

My son has been cheeky to his teacher to, which doesn't concern me a great deal as he's 5 and it's him being a bit cheeky however Iv still spoken to him at home and been quite firm about manners and encouraged him to apologise for his wrong doing. I do not tell my son off, we just simply talk about things. He responds better than me lecturing him lol.

It's always trial and error but I guess it's a part of development and learning.

The the ages of our children it's not unspoken that they will lash out at others because they are only little and need to learn effectively but regardless we as parts need to ensure we are teaching our children right from wrong. I do think the schools need to assist better though with the other children at school as to be honest not all parents share the same values and may reach their children different ways or not care about how they are.

Would be easy if everyone was on the same page wouldn't it lol xx

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