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Another 4 year old DS, just started Reception, having a hard time...

(4 Posts)
helpfulornot Fri 26-Sep-08 16:23:57


I wanted to post about my DS, 4, who's just started Reception.

Very much like the thread earlier in the week from Gemma77, DS is playing up, especially when he is in a group. He seems to snap at least once a day. He is very bright, and did not have these problems in his pre-school, which was very much more individual play.

Since last Tuesday (so a week and a half) the teacher has been having a "word" to either DH or me, depending on who picks him up (I too find it very embarrassing). They say that rewards and punishments don't really seem to be effective with him eg he gets excluded from playtime etc. Interestingly though, yesterday they did reward him by giving him a sticker for helping a teacher but then he played up again, so they took the sticker from him and threw it in the bin angry. Of course that really set him off and when I picked him they told he had had a really bad incident with kicking the other children. (Well, I would have reacted badly too if I had had my reward taken away!).

We don't try to punish him too much at home for what happends at school, but we do talk to him about it, especially to find out what triggered him. Apparently there are two other boys in his class who also play up, but apparently most of Ds's incidents are "started" by him.

We have a list of "rules" at home, no hurting do what mum and dad say, but we do try to keep home and school separate to a certain degree but do ask him what happened to get his side of the story.

We have to go see the teacher and the head of the foundation stage, next week. We are thinking about maybe taking him to an EP, the teacher told DH today it is as though he doesn't like to have his "personal space" invaded.

We are really worried about all this, he is such a good boy, he seems "bright" to us, but he does "snap" sometimes (sometimes I think deservedly too!).

Anyway, just wanted to get it all out really!

If you got this far, thanks.

jollydo Fri 26-Sep-08 19:12:05

Don't know what advice to offer I'm afraid but I feel sad for you and your ds. They are so young at 4, and 3 weeks isn't long to have settled and got used to a new situation, maybe more structure and rules etc.
Someone might be able to offer more constructive thoughts, but to me he sounds like many other little boys (and some girls) starting school. It can be hard for them. I think you're doing the right thing in keeping home separate and not diciplining him again. Has he said he finds anything in particular hard?

helpfulornot Fri 26-Sep-08 22:03:20

Thanks so much for your response, I do appreciate it.

I wish he would tell me what he is finding so hard, then maybe we could work together to try to sort it out sad.

The teacher says that he finds working in a group hard. I don't know why, whether the children are invading his space, or whether he simply can't hear, I don't know.

He seems to have regressed, he was able to read some books before, but the week before the trouble started, he told DH, who normally reads with him before bed, that he had forgotten how.

He was also doing some quite complex drawings, but now he just scribbles.

He hasn't told me what has happened, and I don't know how to get him to tell me.

I just feel so sad for him. I hope the teachers can work with us to find out the cause of his issues. We actually made an appointment with an educational psychologist this afternoon, but ended up cancelling because we think we should at least see the teachers first, if even at least to get all the grisly facts...

Thx again,

neolara Fri 26-Sep-08 23:23:47

My dd has also started Reception this term and I think that "keeping it all together" in a totally new environment is just very, very hard and stressful for most 4 year olds. They have to deal with new classmates, new rules, new expectations, new kinds of teaching. It's all so different for them. Some kids may cope without any problems at all, but I reckon they have got to be the exceptions. And some kids may show their reaction to stress / change by lashing out - maybe that's your ds? It's really normal for kids to lash out when they are faced with a stressful situation. That is what we are biologically primed to do - the fight or flight response.

I think it sounds like the teachers should be thinking a bit more about how to settle your ds in so that he feels safe and secure, rather than go straight in with rewards and punishments that he may not particularly care about at the mo. For example, maybe they could think about who he works with in groups or having a TA working with the group he is in to make sure it all goes smoothly. At the least, they should be thinking about what triggered any aggressive incidents and then trying to work a way to get around the trigger.

I really hope this all settles down for you and your ds.

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