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(18 Posts)
chezie Thu 05-May-05 18:52:32

My DS is 4 and a half and is a lovely little boy, well mannered, eager to help, kind etc. The problem is he gets really giddy/excited when there are other children around him. At home he's the same as other kids.. sometimes good.. sometimes sulky, which I dont mind. But when he's at nursery he is always hurting other kids. He's a big boy for his age, about the size of a 5-6 yr old, but no matter what I do I just cannot make him stop hurting other children. Some of the incidents are accidents usually he's been running round and knocked someone over or crashed into them, but sometimes he just pushes the other children or hits them. Yesterday I was told he had bitten someone and twice I've come home with a stone 2" big that he's thrown at someone.
We are at our wits end. Today I was summoned into the heads office and told I should be more firm with him. Can anyone help

Arabica Fri 06-May-05 00:26:40

I don't have any experience of this but I think I would be worried too--what's going on at nursery? Does your DS enjoy himself there? What's nursery policy on kids hitting each other--telling you to be 'firm' isn't specific enough, is it? You need to agree a strategy together so you & the nursery are working in the same way to stop the behaviour.

Maddison Fri 06-May-05 19:20:11

Hi Chezie, sorry I don't have any advice for you as your DS sounds like mine! Think the problem with mine is that he gets over excited, although over the past few months he has calmed down a lot but still likes to play rough.

Will watch this thread with interest to see if somebody has a solution.

cupcakes Fri 06-May-05 19:26:26

Agree with Arabica that you need to work on something with the nursery so that you both are being consistent in your approach. Just telling him off afterwards obviously isn't doing anything. What about some of the supernanny/ little angels tatics?
ie ignoring the bad, praising the good or introducing a naughty chair or similar.
Does he have playdates at other children's homes? If so and he misbehaves you could warn him that if it happens again you will leave. And then carry out the threat so that he sees you mean it.
Sorry I can't think of anything more constructive. I would try and make a meeting with the nursery to see if they can advise a more specific approach.

chezie Sat 07-May-05 19:57:25

My DS does play at other peoples houses but it mor often than not ends in tears (mine). I know for a fact its when he gets excited but other than that I am at a loss what to do about it. I dread taking him to nursery and have knotts in my stomach when i go to pick him up, also I dread any sort of social occasion where there will be other children because i feel so guilty about his behaviour. It sounds like I avoid letting him be with other children but that really isnt the case... he has always been like this.. since before his first birthday. I cant make him see how he makes other children feel when he hurts them. I am despratly hoping he will get the message at school when there are older kids in the playground that wont take any nonesense from a newcomer

shimmy21 Sat 07-May-05 20:17:01

Hi Chezie- don't know if it's any help but my ds1 is 8 and he is still like this. Dh and I constantly find ourselves getting irritated by the way ds1 cannot seem to stop himself from going OTT -knocking people over, getting over excited, hurting ds2 etc. His younger bro seems to have much more physical control over himself so obviously it's not all boys. Today we've just been on a nightmare shopping trip and dh and I sat and had a long talk about it. We are trying to accept that ds1 is not naughty even though we are irritated to hell! In fact he is a loving, caring boy. We know that his OTT behaviour is childish exuberance combined with a lack of awareness about his strength and size. I am trying to explain calmly to him each time it happens why his behaviour is too 'big' because we are learning to understand that he genuinely has no awareness that he is causing havoc in his wake! I have heard it said that teenagers are clumsy because their brains cannot adjust to the rate they are growing. I would well believe it to be true about my son even though he's 8 not 15.
Of course every child is different but don't let other people make you worry too much. There is a massive difference between deliberate aggression and boyish puppyness -your ds sounds as if he just hasn't quite caught up with his strength yet. Good luck.

zebraX Sat 07-May-05 20:35:11

I thnk that some little boys are just really impulsive, not malicious, they just start moving and doing before they think. I suppose that's where I would start, trying to get them to think before they act. Can you hover over him at the social occasions, at least? So that you can spot when he's getting over-excited and help him to learn to recognise that, too?

chezie Sun 08-May-05 07:53:58

Thanx all for advice... SHIMMY 21 he is very big 4 his age so what you said makes sense. I do worry about him, I dont know what will happen at school. Everyone (nursery, pre school, health visitor etc) says he is very bright so i know he has the potential to do well at school but I am worried that school wont understand/tolerate his behaviour and he will be sent to a special school for children with behavioural problems

chezie Sun 08-May-05 07:56:12

ZEBRAX I do tend to hover over him when we go to social events but I usually find this makes him worse.

ghosty Sun 08-May-05 08:05:51

Could you introduce a sticker/star chart of some kind?

He gets a sticker for every kind thing he does or for every good day he has at nursery??

I found, from 3 onwards, that sticker charts are brilliant but only if they are used for one specific thing and last 2 or 3 weeks. General sticker charts tend to lost their novelty really quickly.

Our current star chart is for sleep and bedtime only and so far seems to be working.

Louise1980 Sun 08-May-05 09:32:23

I can help but I can empathise. My ds1 who is nearly 4 and half is the same as your son. It has become such problem that other parents dont see it a p[roblem when their kids start an aggressive fight with him, the see it at the naughty kid getting what he deserves. It hapened just on thursday when some1 jamed his fingers in the gate and his grandma pretended it was my ds fault!!! I know I have problems with him but at least Im grown up enough to admit them!

triceratops Sun 08-May-05 09:49:08

I have just started using a pasta jar for this problem with my ds who is 3.6. It has worked very well so far. I think that a zero tolerance approach is necessary as the random violence is a learned behaviour. He has got away with it and it has made him feel good in the past so he carries on.

Ds has a tendancy to hit strangers children in queues when we are out and about. He will also slap/push/hit children at nursery as he runs about. He only does it when he is excited but he definately gets a kick out of it. He is not generally naughty or nasty but he could grow up to be a nasty adult if this behaviour is not treated now.

The pasta jar (piece of pasta in when he does as he is told, piece of pasta out for any unwanted physical contact with another child then a pre agreed treat when he reaches set number of pasta pieces in the jar - great mumsnet idea ) seems to have made him stop the random stuff.

vess Sun 08-May-05 19:49:11

Hi Chezie, I have the same problem with a child same age, not sure if I can be of any real help, but this is what I do if/when he does something bad while playing with others: for the relatively 'light' stuff, like pushing someone accidentally, he gets a warning and has to say sorry; more serious stuff, like intentional agression, deserves time-out on the spot, usually 5 min in some corner or something. Very, very painful for him, especially if it's done in front of others, but works. The tricky bit is to keep myself calm.
Then there's really serious stuff, like throwing stones, etc, which deserves longer time-out and a long talk about the things we should never ever do because they are DANGEROUS!
If he gets angry with someone, I try (if I can) to get him to talk about his emotions rather than lash out.
For things that happen at school, you have no choice but to talk to him - before and after. Very calmly, without getting angry.
And finaly, try to find an environment where a bit of rough play is ok - for us it's rugby once a week.
Don't know what else to say... It's so stressful when they are like that!

chezie Mon 09-May-05 14:27:39

Thanks VESS, I will ry the timeout in frount of his friends to see if I can embarrass him into behaving. Ive got a feeling it could lead to a tantrum (though he doesnt have many tantrums) but I really think its worth a try.

chezie Mon 09-May-05 14:29:08

My spelling is terrible... I really need to read through my messages BEFORE I post

bigdonna Mon 09-May-05 18:48:41

my son is now nearly 8, and very rarely hurts someone now.we still dont go to any soft play this is where he would normally end up fighting with someone,but his behaviour is so much better at school now.They reinforce and praise positive behaviour at school using certificates and good behaviour badges.These work he has not had a green form since last november(these u get for hurting someone).My son is also very big for his age and very bright.I started praising him when he came out of school and had not hurt someone he was rewarded with a packet of football stickers.unfortunately it took a while for everyone elses attitude to change as he always seemed to get the blame,even when he did not start the hitting.I also used to feel sick before picking him up from school.Now i am so much more relaxed with him.I find the more positive i am about my sons behaviour the better behaved he is.I was a nanny for 16 yrs before having my children.So with all the insight of experience and knowledge life is getting easier.

Steppy1 Mon 09-May-05 19:07:02

..I have a 4.4 yr old DS who has recently turned from a sensitive, mild mannered lovely young man, to a bit of a wild cat !! I talked to a couple of friends who have older boys and somebody put me onto the "Raising boys" book by Steven Biddulp.....Apparently they (boys) get a huge dump of testosterone at 4 so that has a part to play in it (ie it's normal !!!) I guess it's how all that extra agression and energy as the result of the testoerone is channelled. Fortunately with my DS he very rarely oversteps the mark and just seems to be testing the boundaries a bit more (his younger DD whose 2 often gets the upper hand) and I'm very much of the opinion that I just let him get on with it unless he's doing something dangerous (very very rarely) lots of activities to burn off the energy (we doing running races around the garden) including jumping over things where I give his sister a head start...and this seems to work for us.......

vess Tue 10-May-05 07:48:51

Hi Chezie,
time-out in front of friends may well result in a tantrum, but I really don't care by this stage (cruel mum!). You see, in our case ds often won't come when I'm calling him, and tries to run away, at which point I get MAD! Don't get me wrong, it's not like that all the time - I've had to do it maybe two or three times, and after that (and knowing the consequences) he got much better.
Just want to say, rough behaviour is one thing, agression is another. A child who is often agressive is most probably dealing with some psychological problems which cause it. My ds has always been a bit rough, but only became agressive in the latest months of my pregnancy (just when I needed it ;) and after his sister was born, about 2 months ago. Getting better now (sigh of relief!).
Also, big, rough boys are often sensitive and can't express their emotions properly, but people don't see that - they just see them as troublemakers!

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