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DS1 behaviour is out of control(5 Posts)
Hi everyone. First time poster so please be kind .
My son is four and recently his behaviour has gotten completely out of control, but only at nursery. We have the not listening and testing of boundaries at home (saying no) but nothing that I would class as extreme or out of the ordinary for a 4YO boy. However, at nursery they are reporting that he is hitting out, kicking, punching and, to my absolute horror, spitting at people, usually the nursery workers who are trying to calm him down. They say he pushes and hits other children on purpose and destroys their games. I was very doubtful about this at first as it sounded so out of character but I can't see why they would lie or exaggerate. What has upset me the most is that the nursery owner has said that other parents have been contacting her to complain about him.
They raised concerns a few months ago with his definance and not listening when they tried to tell me he had ADHD. However, I work with children and knew this not to be the case. We still followed their advice and took him to a GP who confirmed there was nothing wrong with him and that he was probably not being challenged enough. We reported this back to the nursery and everything went quiet. We were strict with him at home and would issue consequences when he misbehaved at nursery.
Then about 4 weeks ago there was a sudden escalation in his behaviour where he was becoming aggressive and showing the behaviours I outlined above.
It all came to a head about two weeks ago when I was called at work to come and collect him because they could not cope with his behaviour. I was devastated and he has been on a weeks break, agreed by both us and the nursery. He has since gone back, only for half days at first. The first one was good but then the second day we had another tantrum where he was kicking over chairs after being told off for throwing a toy.
We have since taken him back to the GP (a different one) and we were very honest about the behaviour and he has advised us to change nursery as he seems to think it is something to do with that environment. He checked his eyes and hearing and there is nothing wrong with them. DS1 had an observation from a behaviour specialist engaged by the nursery today after a bad morning again. I am so worried.
I just can't decide if it is the way the nursery are dealing with his behaviour that makes it escalate, whether he is just not stimulated enough or if it is something we are doing that had turned him in to some sort of demon child!
I am currently pregnant again and at one point I thought it might be anxiety about the new baby or starting school but now I'm not so sure.
I am in pieces about this because at home, aside from the usual 4 year old behaviours I think are typical, he is the sweetest, kindest little boy. So interested in the world around him and wants to learn and please people. The stress this has caused has made me ill. I want to support him but I don't know how.
I can't shake the feeling that because he is a very active and boisterous little boy who doesn't sit nicely when told that the nursery don't like him and take opportunities to blame him for things. My MIL has been helping us out and questioned the owner whether he could be copying behaviour seen by some of the other children and was told no, the nursery is in an affluent area and the children who attend come from good families. In my over sensitive state, I suppose I've taken the implication that they think we are not a good family.
Sorry it was so long but I'm at the end of my rope. Has anyone else experienced this huge sudden change in their boys behaviour at this age? How did you cope?? Any advice or help would be gratefully received as the stress and strain it is putting on family life at the moment is unbearable xx
Changing nurseries, as suggested, sounds like a good starting point! At least then you can see whether or not the issue repeats itself (fingers crossed not). Did you follow that advice?
Not yet as this has only happened in the last four weeks. We wanted the opinion of the behaviour specialist too before we made any decisions but have put out feelers for other nurseries to accommodate him until he starts school in September.
I would def change nursery which is what I’m currently doing with my 3.5 yr old ds. Mine is also a happy boy at home and behaviour is relatively good. However, although he doesn’t lash out at the other children at nursery, I think he can be quite grumpy and doesn’t mix well. He has been at current nursery for a year and still gets very anxious/upset going in. This is compounded by the fact that that his speech is very delayed. I decided to sit in on some sessions so that I could help to support him/see what was going on. Is it possible for you to do that with your little boy? What I witnessed was that my ds was very anxious and as he is quite quiet, was having toys taken off him (completely under staff radar)and was basically feeling ‘lost’ in the setting. When I was there acting as an intermediary it made this so much easier and I saw him begin to visibly relax. I know that your little boy is manifesting his anxiety in a different way, but it could be coming from the same place - not feeling valued and understood/not having his needs met. I’m staying with my ds now (until end of term) and I know I’m lucky to be in a position to be able to do this. In September he will be changing to a new setting. I would trust your instincts - if your little one is radically different at nursery I would be focusing on what is going on there.
Whatever is happening with your ds the nursery is not coping, for that reason I would also move him if it’s possible.
If he’s hurting others they should have a tighter reign on him way before other parents get wind of the problem.
The problem you have (and I also have) is that the ratios in school are far lower - instead of one to eight, it’ll likely be one to thirty, and if your ds is struggling to contain himself now it’ll be worse in reception.
I’m going through the same thing with my ds, except we know the trigger, his thinking is rigid! so when another child try’s to change something my ds lashes out. I’m also pregnant and he’s starting school in September. It’s a lot to cope with for you and him.
We’re having lots of chats with the school about how to support him next year. He’s in a nursery attached to the school, so it’s all pretty easy.
The nursery keep a close eye and have loads of strategies in place to minimise the trigger points.
Can you go for a school nursery? Or would the hours not suit you? If the prospect of school is the thing that’s unsettling him then a school nursery might help him adjust a bit?
Nowt you can do about being pregnant except keep talking about it!