Have just come back from collecting ds (year 1) from school. He was sent to the Head's office today for marking another pupil's face with a pencil . When questioned, he said the child was teasing him (and I know this child is a right wind up merchant who knows exactly which buttons to press with ds) but that's no excuse for him to react so violently and explosively.
I'd love to say that this was an isolated incident but it's not. His reaction when things don't go his way has gradually been getting more and more violent e.g. this weekend he ended up hitting me very hard over the head with an umbrella.
I'm especially concerned as this is the first time it has happened at school and I want to try and help him off this slippery slope before it's too late.
No advice I'm afraid but sympathy. My ds has a temper too and I have witnessed him being wound up by one other child in particular. What has helped is giving him strategies for dealing with this boy. I saw my ds yesterday responding really well when the boy was teasing him saying ' that's not my name, I'm not talking to you until you talk to me properly' and then ignoring him. This is something I have told him to say and it seemed to work on that occasion.
A few thoughts (from a fellow yr 1 sufferer- dd age 6, see defiant thread in parenting!)
Is something particularly bothering him at the moment?
Is he overtired (end of term etc)?
Sleeping well or not?
Is he underactive? (maybe needs to run off some of his testosterone)
Can he be moved away from the wind up merchant?
Have his eyes/ears been tested at all? (sometimes kids get frustrated because they may be struggling in class)
Sympathies to you, its bl**dy hard sometimes isn't it?
Thank you puddle, that's good advice. Trouble is, it's not just as a reaction to teasing. He loses it when he's told pretty much anything he doesn't like. As I say, it's been getting steadily worse for some time.
He's definitely overtired, isn't underactive and has always slept very well. I haven't had his eyes tested and both DH and I are shortsighted, so that's a good idea. Don't think anything is particularly bothering him but you never know.
I'll speak to the teacher re moving him.
I really feel he's got to get a grip on this though - let's face it, life's full of situations where you can't get what you want. But what to do?
For me the trick with keeping ds calm is picking my battles about whether he gets his own way or not. They test their independence at this age and I have definately noticed my ds pushing more to have things his own way.
I have tried to combine limiting when I absolutely say no (and explaining why) with some areas where he feels he's being treated as an older boy (for instance getting his own breakfast, choosing what he has in his pack-up, letting him choose what he spends his pasta money on - just small things but really taking notice of his preferences and having some respect for them, as I would for an adult).
And absoluetly zero tolerance for any act of aggression - ds doesn't even get a warning if he lashes out now - it's straight to a sanction for that one.
DS1 is like this, he does have other problems like Aspergers (which means he doesn't 'get' authority) but I think his poor eyesight has a bigger influence as it is very frustrating for him. Might be woth getting eyes tested, can't hurt anyway.
Thanks puddle. I sat him down tonight and have said there's no more TV or computer until I see a distinct improvement in his behaviour. Did you give your ds any coping strategies (sorry, can't think of another way to put it ) when his anger threatens to get the better of him? I've told him to walk away, but obviously he couldn't do that this time as it was in the classroom.