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Constant, subtle provocation - is this what 4/5 year olds do?

(15 Posts)
bloss Fri 14-Jan-05 08:15:31

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marialuisa Fri 14-Jan-05 08:56:59

DD has been on the receiving end of this from a boy in her class (she's the drama queen type) but they are rising 4s rather than rising 5s. Is he going to school with kids he knows or will it be a new group? I think he may be less likely to do this sort of thing if he's finding his feet and has other things to distract him.

How do nursery deal with your DS? The little boy who was winding DD up was put on a sort of "zero tolerance" system whereby as soon as the behaviour started to escalate (or he whispered the dreaded "you're naughty" to one of the kids) he was given a sort of time-out on the class naughty step or put on a wrist-strap with the supervisor if in the playground. It appears to have stopped the behaviour.

flashingnose Fri 14-Jan-05 09:37:56

I think ML is right - speaking to the school and adopting the same "zero tolerance" idea at home and school will help, I think. It's all about getting attention/a reaction so removing him straight away before it starts escalating will send the message that this behaviour isn't acceptable.

bloss Fri 14-Jan-05 10:29:29

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bloss Fri 14-Jan-05 11:11:58

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Lethal Fri 14-Jan-05 12:33:41

Bloss my ds is also 4 1/2, and we're going through a challenging time with him too, although in a different way. He's quite defiant and independant, and will negotiate with you til the cows come home. If he doesn't want to do something, he will keep arguing the point in subtle ways until he gets his own way, or until we realise what he's doing & then he gets into trouble. The difference between my ds and yours seems to be that mine isn't shy of strangers and likes to take over a group situation whenever possible (usually of children his own age), so we constantly have to remind him to let someone else have a turn/leave someone alone if they don't want to play, etc etc.

I think a lot of the behaviour stems from power play, and cause and effect. They like to see what will happen and how far they will get if they persist in doing something, or else they like the fact that they can get a reaction out of someone. I don't really know. I only know that my ds has a very strong will and could possibly be a challenge for the teachers when he goes to school, although on the brighter side he's very loving and compassionate and gets over things quickly. I don't know what drives them, but I do know that ds has been a bit more difficult since turning 4 and realising that if he pushes hard enough, he can get his own way. It's not much fun but dh and I keep perservering. I can understand your worries about ds starting school, as I also have these thoughts myself sometimes. Hope you're able to have some success with him soon.

ourdarling Fri 14-Jan-05 13:28:46

My sister's 5 year old girl behaves like this to her older and younger siblings (but not at school?). My sister feels she can sometimes spend the whole time telling her off and sending her to her room. She is quite a bright child. We think at home she is easily bored and seeks attention. My sister has never been pulled aside at school, in fact is told her girl is popular. Anyway, you can't spend your day telling him off because you think he is about to be naughty. Maybe get yourself a little note book and write on the front 'being kind book' and show it to him saying you will only write the kind behavour in it when he is with his sister or with his friends. You will need to determine how many acts of kindness warrants reward, hopefully, he might be able to get by by upsetting them less. l am sure he will settle once he is in school, he sounds very clever.

Lowri Sun 16-Jan-05 22:19:34

Dear Bloss, how upseting for you...this stuff can really get you down. We had very bad behaviour from dd1 when she was a little older than your ds, and it got to the point where I just didn't like her at all. The whole thing got very highly charged.

Lowri Sun 16-Jan-05 22:47:26

Sorry, had to test the post worked as I haven't posted for ages.

It seems to me that whenever kids are this pesky this regularly it's usually about attention seeking. We realised that the only attention we ever gave dd1 was telling her off - we disliked her so much that it was alomost impossible to be positive with or about her. Then when we spent more "quality" time with her ('specially me and her alone) and noticed every single good thing we could - particularly any absence of bad behaviour- and loved her to bits generally, things significantly improved. We also had "meetings" with her (quite formal!) to set some rules - these are good as you then priase them for sticking to the rules! If she did stick to the rules then she earned things - that day's telly ration, pc time, favourite toy - we had to think of things that she valued, but got as a matter of course normally.

Perhaps you have a good health visitor you can speak to - asking friends who has helped them with similar problems might be a good way of finding the right one. Health visitors deal with kids of all ages (and their mums!).

It might be an idea to have a chat with the school before start'll be helping your son if the school has been given a chance understand the problem. Also, they've probably seen it all before and might even shed some light on it.

Sorry if none of this hits the spot (or you've been there done that)...hope things get better.

tigermoth Mon 17-Jan-05 08:03:34

bloss, sometimes behaviour traits at nursery disappear when children move to school, IME, so there is hope. I think you are right to consider a zero tolerance policy and to tell the school about it. My oldest son has (unfortunately) got good at the subtle wind up approach with his younger brother. He picked up this tactic about a year ago when he was 9. He is very persistant, too. Sorry, in a rush now, so can't post more, but will come back later!

PasstheGin Mon 17-Jan-05 09:33:15

Hi - my DS started school this September and if it's any help he calmed down enormously once he was being mentally stimulated by the school. He was bored at nursery and through the summer (not helped by arrival of DD at the end of May) and seemed relieved to have the structure of the school day and so much to learn. If he has a long way to go before school starts (ie. this Sept) could you enrol him in some classes that really demand his attention? Swimming? A foreign language? Karate or something like that? I also find it helps to remember that they are a different species these boys! Good luck

bloss Mon 17-Jan-05 12:11:14

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IlanaK Mon 17-Jan-05 13:12:13

Just wanted to add that it does seem age appropriate in that I Have noticed it in two of ds1's friends. Both are 3, but are not nearly as subtle about it as your ds so they may develop to that in time. My ds1 unfortunately is exactly the type of child that they provoke as he rises to the slightest thing. Both the children that are like this with him are very very confident children and I wondered if it was something to do with finding the balance between confidence and over confidence. Not much help to you I know, but your son is not the only one doing this.

tigermoth Tue 18-Jan-05 14:38:34

bloss, your ds sounds like he has an advanced grasp of cause and effect. I think it's good that you are still considering this is attention-seeking behaviour. You've said you've given him loads of attention already but he still might want more. He might not see things as reasonably as you do Even if he wants his sister along on your days out, he might still expect your attention to be focussed on him while his sister comes second.

School rules and expectations, like not fidgiting or interacting with children in class while the teacher is speaking, should reinforce the fact that this winding up behaviour is 'naughty' even at its early stages. So keep hoping!

Do you think your son will be keen to get good behaviour marks at school? He strikes me as possibly being a competitive and/or a perfectionist sort of person, as you say he is highly focussed and not prone to peer pressure, so won't be easily lead. I could be wrong, but if he is keen to do his best, he might take very well to the school rules and want to be the child who gets the most bonus points of the week etc.

I think you all you can do for now is keep talking to him, make it clear you will not tolerate winding up behaviour even in its early stages, and give him lots of positive reinforcement...and cross your fingers this is a phase and school will change his approach.

PH hope my brains have proved worth picking - I am off work with a temperature at the moment, so I am not at my best

bloss Fri 04-Feb-05 08:49:09

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