Four year old behavior concerns at nursery(17 Posts)
I'm hoping so much that other mums may be able to advise. My four year old started nursery back in August (its his first nursery as we lived in a very rural area before).
He is generally a really well behaved little boy, plays well alone and with other kids, even if a little over excited sometimes, nothing unusual. However, the nursery have pulled me to one side 3 times in a month telling me he is acting manic, pushing other children at random and being generally disruptive. This behavior has only ever been at nursery.
I play fight & tickle my son as I think its healthy and not convinced that's the problem? I'm making sure my son has plenty breakfast and an extra 5 mins in bed if he's tired, hoping he'll be calmer at nursery. I tell him to be gentle with his hands, use kind words and share with other children.
He is an only child but has a lot of loving family, older cousins who are fine with him and myself and his dad don't worry about this at home.
Last Friday I was embarrassed and so upset as the granny of one of the kids was talking about my son out loud in the playground at pick up, in my ear shot and in front of all the other parents. I usually get on with her and chat, so was really shocked. She wouldn't say hello and was giving me scolding looks. Its ruined my weekend worrying.
I don't know whether to persevere or pull my son out (of nursery)? Its a wonderful nursery, great staff, facilities, eco award etc. Such a shame if he had to change before school next year.
Any help much appreciated???!!!
What exactly have the nursery said? 'Acting manic' is such an odd description, are these the words they used? Pushing other children is pretty common, of course it should be addressed but it's something most kids do. Being disruptive is also fairly common, the nursery should have strategies to deal with this, e.g. distracting him, engaging him in an activity, offering a quiet space for him to relax, etc.
What impression did the nursery give you when they spoke with you? Were they just keeping you up to date with what had happened that day, or where they raising a specific concern that related to a wider issue?
Ignore the nasty parents/grandparents, there will always be one!
You need to keep him there. This is his best chance of learning more control before he starts school.
If your child has behaviour problems other parents will be horrible. And if he has SEN they will be horrible. Changing school won't stop that.
If the behaviour only happens at nursery then there's nothing you can do but continue to send him there. And hope they can improve it.
I would keep him at the nursery. He is probably feeling his feet and starting to feel more at ease in nursery and trying to express himself a little more. Don't forget nursery can be a very territorial place lots of competition for toys etc, and if your little boy has only been there since August he is probably starting to realise this.
My DS who goes one day a week to nursery but another child Ine week and the next week we went in and he had bitten two children (one poor little boy twice!) my point being he wasn't doing this at home and so I found it difficult to address but thankfully he hasn't done it since. Your little boy is probably just being a boisterous little boy. I would ignore the other parents I'm sure their children/grandchildren are perfect and never put a foot wrong...
How is his sleep - it sounds like tired behaviour to me. Lots of kids get very tired towards the end of the autumn term especially their first term pf nursery. Maybe he could do with a nap a couple of times a week or an earlier bedtime?
Have nursery made any suggestions?
Booboostwo - the nursery said they are sitting with him one to one when he is being disruptive, but that he's just finding his feet and not to worry. Yet they keep asking for a word every week or two and its getting worrying. He's 'manic' as in pushing, waving hands in faces, running around, talking gobbledygook. Just kind of 'silly' irritating behavior to others. Its exhausting! Only at nursery though...
Thanks for your reassurances. When other boys were picking on my son at first, I wasn't mean to the parents, I just addressed it with the nursery and continued being kind, so can't believe how mean that granny is towards me and my little one in front of everyone. It's so upsetting I want to change drop off time to avoid her!
That's a good point. His dad is coming round late after work and his routine is a little unsettled, and bedtime a half hour or so later than usual. Not all the time but a few nights a week.
I've told his dad to come round early or not at all if he's running too late, and as much as he doesn't like it, he wants to help little one be settled and not as tired.
Thanks ladies - just joined and posted this evening and already feeling happier!
The reason I think you have nothing to worry about is because it only happens at nursery.
Manic can be a euphemism for ADHD - but it clearly isn't ADHD because he's fine at home.
So just grit your teeth and keep smiling.
Thanks SaltyMyDear - I think you're right, its specific to nursery so it'll perhaps level out... fingers crossed. As for the mean granny, I'm going to write a nice wee note to the parents to apologize for my sons behavior, tell them the matter is in hand and offer them my number if they have concerns.
I wouldn't write notes and give out your number. There's nothing abnormal about your sons behaviour for his age.
Oh my goodness no!!! Do not write notes or engage the other parents directly and do not share your number (at least not so as to invite discussions of your son's behaviour). From what you say everything he is doing is normal and part of the adjustment, the nursery are not worried, so, as kindly as possibly, stop being worried! All nurseries tell you about your child's day at handover, if I had a penny for every time I was told my DS hit, disrupted or even bit other kids! It's normal, he's also come back on two occasions with bite marks on him, I never asked who bit him or wanted to talk to the parents about it. Let the nursery handle it.
The reason I think you have nothing to worry about is because it only happens at nursery Sorry for being a downer, but you can't conclude that.
Some children do behave differently at home/away. They can hold it together at school/nursery but fall apart when they get home. Or they are fine when they have 1-2-1 with mummy at home, but without the 1-2-1 support (and lots of children round) they act out.
I think you need to talk to the nursery and find out what exactly constitutes "manic" behaviour. And work out together how to address it. It probably, even that that age, talking to him and asking why he's doing it. He may or may not be able to answer that, but if he can, it will be a help.
There may be no issues, other than him getting over excited by other children being around, but it won't harm him to discuss with the nursery how is best to calm him down-not least because of the social impact it could have.
And if there is an issue that they are concerned about then the sooner the ball is rolling the better as it always takes a very long time.
I just stumbled across your post having just posted my own and wanting others to reply: no replies so I thought dd was the only one who behaved like this. Dh describes her as exuberant and she seems to have high energy. Snatching is a really big issue; at one point she was wrestling kids to the floor including bigger kids! Pre-school have given some positives so that's good. Tiredness is a big factor for dd. I took her to a Christmas stay and play party this pm, rousing from her nap so she wouldn't miss out on the fun. Big mistake I felt the eyes of parents boring in my back as dd ran riot snatching, jumping on kids, pushing them over. Apparently this could stand her in good stead as she gets older! Never had this behaviour with dd1 just a bit of snatching so feel a bit out of my depth. Anyway extracted dd from party shouting "out, out" down the school corridor. Somebody at reception desk; I pray to god it wasn't the head because I didn't look asked me if I wanted a quiet space to which I replied "no I most certainly don't" before stomping out of the school doors. Play leader asks me if I'm o.k outside near car to which I burst into tears and make a further show of myself. I'm sorry to say that as soon as dh got through the door I helped myself to a couple of glasses of wine and a bar of chocolate (I'm meant to be on a diet) It's only now I'm beginning to calm down. Only plus is dd starts pre school more regularly after Christmas so no more bl**dy play and stay groups for me! It sounds awful but I really prefer not to witness dd's interactions!
Just be normal I'd you can with other parents. Nursery can't name names when reporting incidents it's always ' another child...' so if they are talking about your son it is based on conversations with their kids and at that age information is hardly cast in stone so a bit off that they are spreading rumours based on the word of 3 holds
It might be he's fine when he gets to school - DD1 was a bloody nightmare towards the last term or two at her preschool and I was constantly being nabbed by one member of staff in particular for "a little word". DD1 can be quite excitable at times - and I backed preschool up, but when I started to unpick the incidents I was being told about they were all happening when this one staff member was in charge and she'd openly told me at the start of the year that she found DD1's over enthusiasm hard to manage. I considered pulling her out, but we were so close to the end of term and DD1 still enjoyed going so I gritted my teeth and let her finish the year with her peers.
Fast forward to school this year and DD1 has a teacher who really understands her, and manages to channel the enthusiasm appropriately and understands it is from eagerness to please and do the right thing and not malicious - and she's absolutely a model pupil!
I'm under no illusions she's an angel - she does need reining in fairly strongly (and I do this) - but it was absolutely a total personality clash with one staff member particularly at preschool (I'd check with the manager to try to get a picture of just how bad her behaviour was and be told she was fine - just needed to calm the enthusiasm down appropriately which they were working on, but with this one woman you'd think the child was the bloody antichrist!)
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