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my 5 yr old over boistrous for his piers in school

(106 Posts)
littlelyon Fri 22-Mar-13 12:14:27

My 5 year old boy started a new school at the end of January and is apperntly beginning to settle. But other children are saying he is naughty and the teacher told me yesterday that he is being to boistrous for his piers and hurting them. He is big for his age, some of the children one child in particular is half is size.

A lot of the time he is joining in with rough play with the other boys one group in particular because he is the biggest the smaller ones generally end up being pushed over although he is doing the same as them (at lunchtimes) and other times he has pinched another child to stop them hurting a girl. he does that quite a lot he gets involved where he shouldnt.

he pushed over the small child in roleplay in class and he fell onto a plastic box resulting in a cut bottom. My child has had run ins with this boy previously where this boy was playing boxing and seeing who was the strongest and they grabbed each others face. The other boy got a scratch, apparently the apologised at the time to each other.

This is the one side of the problem he isnt hurting children out of anger or spite, but out of some misguided protecting them or because he is not playing gently enough and not thinking. (Not justifying what he is doing) we are constantly explaining/taking toys/early to bed etc to try and get the message through. He just does not think of the consequences, and it will begin to effect his friend making . He is really sensitive and his behaviour will spiral if he thinks he is being told off unfairly or if he is worried about getting into trouble he gets nightmares and cant sleep so we tend to have patches where he gets into a cycle of being overly boistrous and gets in trouble which increases the behaviour.

The other side is a maternal side where the mum of the small child is running to the school and have heard her forcing and leading explanations out of her child, when he clearly knows they were both playing. Because my son is so much bigger than hers i think she thinks he is bullying him when from what I can tell they are playing games they probably shouldnt be and they are both at fault.

It makes me feel isolated at the school gates and embarresed. I do speak to a couple of the other parents, but i feel like i constantly being watched. The other mum hasnt said anything to me and to be honest i wish she would so i could put people right. He has a baby sister and he is wonderful with her , he does what i say at home and is helpful, He is brilliant academically. He is mischievious and although does what i ask can struggle to stop when i tell him to stop doing something.

I dont know what to do. How can i make him be more mindful of his actions ?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 22-Mar-13 12:19:15

I don't know, but as the mother of a 'smaller' boy in a class with a great big boy who is constantly pushing and shoving and bullying my son - and others - I really urge you to work with the school to solve the issues.

lljkk Fri 22-Mar-13 12:22:36

Sympathy, I have similar ongoing with 8yoDS.
What is his impulse control like in general?

littlelyon Fri 22-Mar-13 12:30:43

I am in open dalogue with the school , I think its probably to early for them to do something and like I say its generally the group of them including the smaller child that are playing rough games . My child has said that he has tried to stay out of there way but they follow him and keep trying to get him to play. Thats what is making it really difficult, if he was running round terrorising them deliberatly and for no reason , there would probably be more that me and the school could do.

his impulse control is pretty bad he acts first then regrets/thinks later. I can see him fighting with himself to put whatever i told him to put down, or not swing on the chair etc. but its more a mischief type stuff.

lljkk Fri 22-Mar-13 13:47:39

You might still have a chance to teach him more about thinking before acting. Don't despair, lots of reception boys have similar issues.

DS is also easily provoked or encouraged by the others; they enjoy getting him into trouble because they can (sigh) and he wants to impress/be their friend so is inclined to go along with their suggestions. Frustrating.

littlelyon Fri 22-Mar-13 14:04:46

that sounds very familiar . I wish i could just get into his head and make him think or get him to move to differant friends.

how do you do it though. the teacher said that they speak to the other children aswell and they are aware that some children do try to goad others into getting into trouble.(not excusing his behaviour) but it doesnt make it any easier at the school gate does it

Andro Fri 22-Mar-13 16:00:15

Is part of his problem that he doesn't know his own strength? DS is big and strong for his age, this has caused issues (and still does after a growth spurt) but karate has taught him a much greater awareness of his strength.

littlelyon Fri 22-Mar-13 16:13:57

Andro- definately he has always been incredibly strong but he doesnt have the maturity to control it. when he was 2 we had a problem with him picking up other children even 4 year olds (he doesnt do it now). He also towers over most of the children in his class. I think there is also an element of showing off in the group. I think Karate could work but i dont where to start looking for local clubs that would take children his age (5)

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Fri 22-Mar-13 16:25:48

I think 'boisterous' needs to be tackled. What have you done to calm your child down, to teach him to be gentle, to show him how to let off energy without touching others? You say he can't control it - why not?

If he is hurting people, which he is, you need to look carefully at every thing he does and assess whether he is being allowed to be rough. For example, if you let him grab you, you are giving the message he can grab others. Do you ever grab him as a game for example?

I don't think kids need to grab each other at all really, or push or jostle. I think they can be taught how to play in basically a non-contact way. Then contact is reserved for things like hand holding, a hug, teaming up, linking arms - positive stuff. Of course not all the time, but most of the time.

The size stuff is a red herring, he can't hurt anyone if he doesn't touch them.

Also if the school generally allow rough play they need to rethink IMO.

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Fri 22-Mar-13 16:26:36

When he picked kids up age 2 what did you do about it?

EggBasket Fri 22-Mar-13 16:29:19

Is he in reception or Y1? DS1 was like this in reception, struggled for a while to find the boundaries of what was acceptable play and what was too rough. We went through a LONG phase of getting notes in his contact book about pushing/shoving during playtime (his behaviour in the classroom was impeccable).

What helped? Firstly his teacher suggested a system whereby he got a smiley or sad face in his contact book every day (one for morning, one for afternoon). I backed this up at home by letting him go on the laptop after school only if he had two smiley faces. I also did a lot of talking with him about stopping and thinking before doing something, "Will this get me a sad face or a smiley face?"

Secondly, I think it was just a question of time. DS1 has always been ahead of his peers in reading/writing/maths but behind on social skills! His emotional maturity has come on loads in the last 6-12 months (he's just turned 6) and playtime behaviour has been fine since he's been in Y1.

EggBasket Fri 22-Mar-13 16:31:33

Oh and reception teacher did a lot of work with the whole class about gentle play. There was a group of boys in his class who just seemed to gee each other up into a frenzy (DS1 was one of them); the group was broken up when they went into different classes for Y1 and that helped too.

littlelyon Fri 22-Mar-13 17:03:37

when he picked up other children , we explained that he wasnt allowed to do this , we went through how people would feel if they got hurt etc andused time out step. hence he no longer does it.

if he needs to calm down he counts breathes etc and does a "turtle" technique if something has upset him. he can be gentle he is gentle with his baby sister.

The problem is when it comes to running round and playing with his piers. he may get carried away in the excitement and although he does the same as everyone else , they usually come off worse. I agree the school should not be allowing as much rough play as they do, but you cant stop 200 children playing superhero games etc.

No he doesnt play rough with me i dont allow it . I never have because i know that he will soon be able to over power me so i never wanted to get into that. he did used to play fight with his uncle and dad like most boys but we have stopped that now.

with regards to he control it - he doesnt know his own strength and doesnt understand that if he and his friends are playing a rough game he could do them more damage then they can do him, because that doesnt factor into it for him because he is not old enough to understand. At the end of the day there are grown men who cant control there own strength. for example on an none play fight note he and his friend was hugging but he squeezed to tight and hurt him.

As previously said when these things have happend we have tried various punishments taking toys time out early to bed etc. we discuss with him his actions etc.

Yes ideally children wouldnt touch each other other than for those things but if you have a group of boys together playing boxing or ben 10 or seeing who is the strongest its going to happen. Im afraid size is an issue for him, because those games do get played and i need him to learn to realise that he cannot be as boistrous as the other boys because he is so much bigger and stronger. To clarify he isnt trying to hurt anyone or push someone to the ground it happens as a consequence of the rough games he is playing and is really upset if he does hurt someone. Unless he thinks he is protecting his friends from the older children which has happened aswell.

In addition to the calming down , he does struggle too calm once he has reached a certain point its like a switch goes off. I need a way of him being able to learn to calm himself before then and be able to walk away from that particular group of children. self displine is what i need help helping him with. He does have hyperactive issues.

littlelyon Fri 22-Mar-13 17:09:44

egg basket that sounds a lot like our situation he is ahead of his piers academically but not so much socialy . he is in reception and only started there in January so was the new boy. I might suggest that to his teacher when I see her next . sounds like a really good idea about the smiley faces . it will help me monitor it.

Andro Fri 22-Mar-13 17:19:21

for example on an none play fight note he and his friend was hugging but he squeezed to tight and hurt him.

DS has had (and occasionally still has) problems like this, times where he thinks he's being gentle but he's still exerting too much force. This is likely to be a recurring issue as he grows up.

Searching for karate clubs: Google Karate + your town and then speak to the instructors/ask at sports centers about classes would be a good place to start.

It's a difficult situation because what you don't want is for him to be scared of his own strength/scared to make any physical contact at all - that just causes even more problems in the future. Does he have some really good friends who's parents you know? If so, could you get one or more of them on board with play dates where you can role play how to deal with accidental excess strength?

littlelyon Fri 22-Mar-13 17:27:05

andro - that seems like a good idea. we have some good friends who im sure wouldnt mind us borrowing there son . there son is a couple of years older than him and they have grown up together. Is that what yo did with yours?

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Fri 22-Mar-13 17:30:32

'like most boys' I think you need to watch phrases like that. That is an excuse for aggression based on being a boy. Maybe he has been taught he can be rough with boys/men but not girls/women hence why he is gentle with his sister but rough at school.

You make a lot of excuses for rough play. I would be mortified if my children had ever played boxing.

Sounds like both a general issue of aggressive play tolerated at school plus you excusing him beng aggressive. I repeat, he couldn't hurt anyone if he wasn't playing rough. So teach him not to play rough, stop saying 'like all boys' because it isn't all boys.

lljkk Fri 22-Mar-13 17:35:44

Or you could argue that girls need to learn how to do rough play, not be socially discouraged from it. Girls that have no physical confidence irritate me.

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Fri 22-Mar-13 17:37:41

I think physical play is not the same as aggressive play.

We should not encourage anyone to play fight. Hurting people is not fun.

littlelyon Fri 22-Mar-13 17:47:49

yellow to let you know i do not even allow boxing in our home , violent video games etc. I do not like the fact he is rough housing but I think you are being unrealistic to expect 4/5 year olds not to play rough games in the school playground. No it isnt all boys girls can play rough to, its called being a child and learning. How ever much we as parents dont like it. How can you stop a child wanting to play the same as his piers.

as i have previously said the behaviour doesnt go unpunished and i am trying to teach him that he shouldnt do it. he also couldnt hurt the other children if none of them was playing rough. i am looking for ways for him to help curb his behaviour and think about his actions and self disipline after all i am not in the playground with him. if you cant offer any useful or realistic advice then leave the thread alone,

and to let you know your kids have probably or will at some point get involved in a whole host of games which you wont like and you wont be able to do anything about.if they havent or wont depending on age then quite frankly they arent normal.

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Fri 22-Mar-13 18:04:50

Well, it seems you think being rough is normal. So why bother posting at all?

If you think it is so normal why do you say you feel embarrassed and isolated at the gates?

Andro Fri 22-Mar-13 18:06:17

Is that what yo did with yours?

Yes. Role play, karate, stop/count/think/walk (for when he was being goaded), different consistencies of play dough to help him learn how much force he was exerting with his hands...and understanding that his strength would be a problem after a growth spurt (it was important to define when he was being bad and when he was just now aware of his strength, we've never punished for what he couldn't control).

He has 2 very close friends who we worked with (explanations and role play, very much supported by their parents) and they now remind him when he's not in as much control as he needs to be. They know isn't him being mean, he knows they're not being nasty when they tell him he's hurt them - his issues are far less frequent.

Andro Fri 22-Mar-13 18:08:22

*not aware

littlelyon Fri 22-Mar-13 18:14:41

when children play rough they dont intend to hurt one another and while rough housing is a normal part of development it is a less desirable aspect.

the embaresment is because he has hurt someone. wether accidently or not. and i do not want him to do this. As I have previously stated i do not like him playing rough and I dont encourage it. However as a sensible human being i accept it will happen,

I posted to ask for advice on getting him to realise his own stregth , and learning self disipline which everyone else has managed to grasp except you so please do me a favour and leave the thread alone . Quite frankly you are ridiculous.

Andro that sounds like a really good idea with the play dough and something we could easily do at home. Thankyou

BeaWheesht Fri 22-Mar-13 18:15:39

Hmmm ds is the biggest and possibly strongest boy in his year. He's also old enough at just 6 to understand that he is bigger and can't be too rough.

It really sounds to me like you're excusing his behaviour to a certain extent. I'm afraid he isn't being boisterous IMO he's being naughty - or at least that's how I'd view it if it were my son.

Ds has a friend who his mum says is boisterous / likes rough play / doesn't know his own strength eye. Everyone else thinks he's badly behaved and tbh the kids all avoid him precisely because he is too rough. I feel sorry for him actually because he's never been challenged on it and doesn't understand why the other kids won't play with him.

I don't mean to be harsh I just think the fact that he's big is entirely irrelevant. He's hurting people . End of.

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