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6yr old son is v.naughty at school

(5 Posts)
Iovie Wed 04-Oct-17 21:00:42

Almost daily teachers complain about my son. Hitting, kicking, pushing. He started school age 3. This started around age 4 and has continued. Teachers confirmed that it's all reactive. He doesn't seek out trouble or target kids. However if someone upsets him he will hurt them. He doesn't get invited to parties or play dates. Understandably they don't want to play with him during play time. He's not like this at home or in scouts/gymnastics/swimming. It's just in school. I have a 11yr old who was bullied and she had to move schools. Now my sons the bully. I'm heart broken. He gets punished (device ban, no sweets etc). He's is extremely clever and the teachers have said academically he's perfect. I don't believe it's a disorder. He's simply naughty. What on earth do I do? 😢

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lornajane80 Wed 04-Oct-17 21:49:17

Hi lovie, I'm sorry I don't have any helpful advice really - my daughter is younger and I was hanging around these discussions to see if there was anything helpful re biting as my daughter bit another child in reception today. I just wanted to send you a big hug 🤗 because it's so tough isn't it. Sounds like there might be a specific trigger at school if he behaves differently in other settings. I guess if it was me I'd be wanting meetings with the school to examine what leads up to it and work with him to come up with other ways of dealing with frustrations/anger/being pushed around/whatever it is. X

Kleinzeit Thu 05-Oct-17 09:41:32

Well, your DS doesn't really sound like a bully as he isn't targeting specific children or vulnerable children. But it sounds as if he has a low tolerance for frustration and something about the school setting isn't helping. Maybe it's to do with his cleverness making him impatient with other children who are slower to grasp things, or who wont go along with his bright ideas? Or maybe he's worried about not doing well and it's making him snappy? Or could it be something like him needing to control unstructured play - does he often go round to friends' houses to play or have them over, and does that go well?

Is it possible that some of the other children are winding him up on purpose because they know he has poor control? My DS was like this (though in his case it was due to an underlying condition) and the school always made sure the provocative child got in big trouble as well as DS.

One book that might give you some ideas is The Unwritten Rules of Friendship It covers all sorts of social issues including aggression and has lots of practical suggestions for how to help. Have a look at the chapter on the "Short-Fused Child" and see if anything makes sense to you.


annaharvey Thu 05-Oct-17 11:57:33

Hi Lovie,

I can understand your feelings when your child goes through bully. Going through bully is a part of the development process. The good news is actually he is handling it. Hitting is his way of handling. You could perhaps teach him to handle diplomatically. Even amongst the ones who bully there must be someone with whom your son might get along well with. Help him in identifying that person and befriend him/her. When he has some friend there in the school, he would feel supported emotionally even if other bully. Slowly the habit of hitting or pushing would go down. Getting along well with others in school is a tough journey and it doesnt happen well with everyone always. So, don't worry. If its too much, move to another school.

Iovie Fri 06-Oct-17 10:39:12

Thank you all for your replies. You've all been so kind and supportive it's made me feel really emotional.

The good news is, yesterday was an extremely good day in school. I had a big chat with him and warned him that as a result of his behaviour he might find resistance from other kids to play with him now and this might go on for a few weeks. I also told him he might feel sad and lonely and that it would be normal but a grown up will comfort him. He accepted this. He's a bright boy and he understands there are consequences for his actions. His class teacher also happens to be the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator. She has a programme available for children like mine to have weekly one to ones with a trained colleague to teach them how to recognise their emotions and controlling their behaviour. It sounds great so he will be doing that.

Klienzeit - these incidents usually happen during unstructured play. When he has a friend over I can see that he is very bossy however his friends tend to hold their ground and they'll argue briefly and then get on with it. The teacher has said there's 'button pushing' going on and she knows that there are a few kids who like to wind him up because they love the reaction. My son is loud, outwardly confident, smart and chatty but he's actually super sensitive. When his feelings get hurt he will hit out. That's why I think this emotional intelligence programme might help?

Annaharvey - thank you. I think moving schools might be an opportunity for a fresh start where he can shake off the 'naughty boy' label he's been given. I think the (support) staff expectations of his behaviour is low which isn't helpful. They reprimand him on everything even when it's normal age related stuff. His class teacher though is on the ball. Whenever she is involved she is very balanced and supportive. I'm meeting with her next week. If she can't help him then by the end of the year I think a move will happen.

Thanks again everyone xxx

lornajane80 - regarding the biting, if it was a one off I'd ignore it. If it happens again then it might be a phase that you just have to run with. My son went through every phase; biting, hitting then pushing. This was all in his toddler years. The HV and my child minder said it's a control thing as they get frustrated and can't verbalise their frustrations and lash out. When they realise how effective their biting/hitting/etc was, then they keep using it again and again. It does stop so don't worry.

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