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Reception child’s behaviour deteriorating

(27 Posts)
Thisischaos Wed 27-May-20 09:37:50

Has anyone else found that their Reception child’s behaviour has been deteriorating as time has gone on?

DS(5) hasn’t really liked school, and says he doesn’t want to go back, but in the the last few weeks his behaviour has just fallen off a cliff. Nearly 10 weeks of social isolation is taking its toll (only child too).

He’s become rude and demanding, flatly refuses to do any schoolwork in the past two weeks, will refuse to do as asked if he decides that he doesn’t want to (not normally so obstinate), hits, pinches and scratches me if I attempt to remove a toy or him from a situation, runs off upstairs screaming for things like he asked for a drink and he decides there is too little/too much in the glass, barks orders like ‘get me X’ and ‘go upstairs and get me X’ (we don’t oblige). He goes ballistic if he hurts himself (bumps into things etc) i.e we were standing in a shop queue and he turned back towards me and bumped his head lightly on my elbow, so he started shouting ‘you hit me on the head’ repeatedly. The neighbours on one side have said they can hear the screaming.

Playing in the garden invariably ends in a screaming fit as he has started frequently doing things he never usually does - trampling over flower beds, trying to tip mud from his corner of the vege patch all around the garden and paths, throwing mud at me etc. Last night he has finally lost his patch and he can only play with his diggers and trucks in the sand pit rather than making mud piles in his patch. The girls on the other side are 5 and 18 months and are always in the garden playing nicely and it’s rare to hear their parents telling them off, and all they must hear from us is his screaming when told no sad

My lovely boy has just become full of rage and anger, which has got worse since we told him last Thursday that he will be going back to school soon (had email from the school to say they are opening). I’m dreading to think what his behaviour will be like once he is in school again in his small bubble which so far will not have his close friends in it.

DH is a keyworker so he’s working as usual but never gets the brunt of his behaviour anyway. Some days I just end up having a cry sad

OP’s posts: |
Nowifi Wed 27-May-20 09:42:43

My DD is the same, she is not reception age only 4 but her behaviour has become even worse, and it wasn't great to begin with! She has lots of angry outbursts, I think maybe they can't express how this is effecting them and therefore it comes out as anger, but not helpful as how can you discipline them when there is no structure to anything at the moment?

Maybe your son will actually improve back at school as he will be directing his energy elsewhere, but if not at least you will get a break from each other!

Uhoh2020 Wed 27-May-20 09:50:20

Yep ds 5 in reception doing all the same as your little boy. The shouting from him is ridiculous we also have to come in from the garden as it gets embarrassing. Any little thing can set him off too and I find it hard to calm him down. He Is also going back to school on the 8th although most of his class aren't returning his best friend is. I'm hoping a routine , structure and a change of environment helps these anger issues hes suddenly developed.

TotallyKerplunked Wed 27-May-20 11:52:22

Your not alone, my reception DD is the same, a screamy, aggressive, demanding mess.

She started off well but has deteriorated as the weeks have progressed, she has even gone back to weeing herself and even poohed on the stairs!

She has 2 brothers so does have someone to play with but usually they are on the receiving end of her fists. Yesterday she threw loads of mud in the paddling pool just after I'd filled it, and before her brothers got a chance to go in, awful mess and she just stood screaming throwing things at anyone who came near.

Her school have said they might open but there are no plans in place so far. I'm not sure we can continue for much longer.

Fluffyglitterystuff Wed 27-May-20 12:11:01

Yes a bit. He's always been demanding and highly strung but is even more demanding and at times screaming, throwing things.

He's actually a really good boy, very loving, very eager to please, but he likes to be kept busy and occupied constantly.

Before all of this he was in a routine, busy, two sets of loving grandparents, lots of hobbies, there just wasn't time to get restless.

I feel so guilty because I've been wfh albeit part time, I've been really anxious at times and just haven't been consistently giving him the attention he craves.

It's much better now because there's a chink of light, school openings and the facts that we can drive now and sit in the park. Makes a big difference.

Summerdays2014 Wed 27-May-20 12:43:51

My son (also an only child) will start reception in September (hopefully) and he is exactly the same as you describe. I go from getting angry/annoyed with him to feeling really sorry for him. It’s so tough.

allthewaterinthetap Wed 27-May-20 14:12:20

Exactly the same for me. DS is almost 4. It's horrible, the screaming and tantrums.

Ethellsmum Wed 27-May-20 14:21:44

Not reception but my youngest (7)! Her behaviour is dreadful, full on stamping feet and crying when she wants something and talking to people like crap.

pfrench Wed 27-May-20 14:38:08

Yep. Anecdotally among friends, reception kids seem to be having the worst time - and its fallen off a cliff in the last fortnight particularly. The sleep situation too... just awful. We went to the beach yesterday, it's the first time she's not whinged literally all day since last week. She actually laughed. Last week we went and had a picnic in my parents garden, she didn't whinge then either. Its felt to me that she's showing signs of depression.

I think they were just getting used to being a little bit independent, have started making friends etc... then they get shoved home again. In my case, we were both trying to work full time hours around childcare, shes an only one and just can't cope with video calls etc. How boring for her. If school hadn't gone back for her, I would have put her in as a key worker child just for her own mental health. Its worth the risk.

pfrench Wed 27-May-20 14:42:56

My childs sleep is spectacularly bad. Last night it was 10.45 she was still awake and crashing about. Arrived with me at some point in the night (I was already in spare room due to snoring of partner), chatted on about nonsense, then was wide awake at 7. And that's pretty standard at the moment. She must be exhausted.

pintsizeprincess Wed 27-May-20 14:48:12

Yes I have it with youngest dd in reception. She started off well but the tantrums have got worse as the weeks have gone on. She has become really oversensitive and cries hysterically and screams at the smallest thing. I go from being frustrated to feeling sorry for her as she had only just started school and was loving it.

Bakeachocolatecaketoday Wed 27-May-20 14:50:47

The thing school has that maybe hes missing is probably structure, and while may adults are fine with doing things as and when we feel like it, kids need a routine, some to a lesser degree but some need a rigid routine.

I would try sticking a timetable on the wall and sticking to it for a few days and see if things improve, with set work, play, rest and meals.

My two (older) kids have drifted later in their bedtimes and waking up which has bizarrely made them very tired, so I'm having to work them back into their old 9pm-6am routine....and we've had fewer meltdowns as a result.

pfrench Wed 27-May-20 15:03:34

We did that at the beginning, behaviour deteriorated despite that. We've been in a routine around our work, ie I do the learning stuff in the mornings (well disguised because refusal to do anything specific), her dad took her for a walk or bike ride every afternoon, then she was allowed free choice after 4pm. She is now always choosing the TV. Shes started asking for the TV at 3am, and refusing to leave the house or even go on the trampoline. Like I say, if it were an adult I'd say it was the beginnings of depression.

Never mind. Beach yesterday, grandparents for swimming pool use today, both of us off work with her tomorrow, partners parents for a walk on Friday then getting ready for school again. Trying to get her back into an earlier and better sleep routine from tonight, even if that means anti-histamines before bed. Shes always been shit sleeper though, so I'm not hopeful.

cozycat1 Wed 27-May-20 15:08:52

My 7 year old's behaviour last few weeks has been pretty much what you describe, including pinching, which I have no idea where he got that from. Pretty stressful all round. I'm trying to get up some kind of semblance of a routine and a reward if he does his school work (instigated at the suggestion of his teacher, who I have had one email communication with since lockdown).
I spend most days trying to fend off these outbursts. Its exhausting.No advice really, just my sympathy. I do feel really sorry for the kids in all of this.

IHateCoronavirus Wed 27-May-20 15:26:10

Early years teacher here. This lockdown has been hard on everyone not to mention little ones. My own DS (4) included.
I would suggest a firm routine to help DC get from point to point in the day, knowing what to expect.
With mine we have been doing:
Breakfast all together at 8am (all helping to set the table and clear up).
Everyone beds made, floors clear, body’s washed and ready by nine (if someone is ready before then they are free to play).
At 9 DH works from home in office (lots on online meetings so needs space)
DCs with me at the kitchen table (oldest DCs following work set from school, youngest being supported by me as I also WFH setting work, contacting families, planning my curriculum area.
9-9:30 literacy
9:30-10am Youngest DCs play in the garden while I keep an eye on them and make calls.
10am drink, fruit and numberblocks/numberjacks while I complete calls/online meetings.
10:15-10:45 Numeracy
10:45-11.15 free play while I WFH (I rotate toys to keep things fresh, less choice at one tone makes it easier to choose).
11.15-12.15 walk/run/bike ride/scooter. All DCs.
12:15-1 lunch all together. something easy they can make with me like wraps etc.
1-1:30 mark making/writing/drawing. This sometimes takes longer if they are absorbed. Once they are set on activity I get more of my own work done.
1:30-2 more garden play I ordered bits of decking for next to nothing to let them build balance beams, hurdles, dens etc. I finish my work for the day (I am lucky to be able to get a chunk done during the early hours I know this is not possible for everyone.)
2-2:30 family game time (not DH as he is still working)
2:30-3pm we make a dessert for after the evening meal. DCs take it turns to choose.
3pm-3:30 pm free play
3:30-4pm Reading time dc to me and me to DCs
4:30-5 quick tidy up (everyone had their own jobs)
5-6 pm screen time! (We have a stropometre on the fridge where we colour in a square for negative behaviour. Each mark deducts 5 mins from screen time.) I am harsh, so even things like tone of voice gets a square coloured. wink
6pm DH finishes work and we have family meal time. Then the evening is whatever we make it with staggered bedtimes depending on the age of the child.

It is working well so far.

Yorkshiredolls Wed 27-May-20 15:38:45

my 3.8 year old DD is the same. She’s become quite rude and angry, tantrums, refusing to do things, refusing to play outside in the garden, only interested in the TV. Yesterday I caught her wiping herself on the carpet after using the potty and watching for my reaction and she just laughed. She’s normally sociable, talkative and energetic but at least she’s generally polite and well behaved. she’s got a 3 month old baby brother too so i’ve just been juggling baby and tantruming preschooler since lockdown and i’m getting to my limit now. Poor thing has had so much change in her life, a house move, a new sibling and lockdown within 6 months. I’m not surprise her behaviours deteriorated. I’m not hesitating to send her back to nursery next week because we have far more to gain than than the risk it poses. We are very close but I think we’re sick of the sight of each other

Keepdistance Wed 27-May-20 15:39:07

My 4yo was scratching so we removed the custard creams from her diet and it stopped.
Sensitive to colourings and of course buying stuff from different supermarket.
Otherwise getting less sleep due to lighter evenings and mornings. Summer termm was always a nightmare for that with eldest.

PasserbyEffect Wed 27-May-20 16:40:44

One of my DS used to be like that. Being firm made it worse. I reckon he was somewhat clinically depressed.
What fixed it for us was lots of non-judgemental undivided attention, doing new fun things together like exploring the local nature reserve (this was before lockdown), spending time sharing books and talking about feelings, role playing (and dedramatising) difficult situations (oh no! broken banana!), and giving him time and space to try his own thing and master easy new skills that he could be proud of (to build his confidence), e.g. making his own play doh models.
It was real tough at times (many meltdowns) but eventually he got most of the anger (and sadness) out of his system. Still prone to the odd bad day, but much less physical/loud in expressing his frustration.

35andThriving Thu 28-May-20 17:32:16

IHateCoronavirus, your timetable is really helpful smile

VortexofBloggery Thu 28-May-20 19:46:37

I love the stropometer! If the kids wake up cranky, we know they didn't go to sleep until strop o'clock.

pfrench Thu 28-May-20 20:00:43

I like a timetable, but I can't work around all that play etc. And there is no such thing as completely free play with mine either, she won't play alone - especially at the moment.

Last night we put her in the spare room away from faff options, and ta daaa, 11 hours sleep.

Nonononon Thu 28-May-20 20:22:07

My dd has been similar on some days.
My heart is still breaking from Wednesday when she had an actual sobbing break down (unlike her) as I stopped playing hide and seek with her to go make dinner sad I didn't realise it meant so much to her, just to have someone to run around and be daft with.. its hard when you're the grown up and have so much to do in given day (I'm working ft too, not from home) you forget about the playing side of life that children need.
Fed, clothed and loved=yep
Educated= yep (to a point..)
Exercised= yep (luckily we live quite rural so have been able to take advanatage of that on our walks each day, have a large enough garden etc)
Playing= Not really now I think about it, yeah been playing with dolls and colouring etc but that screaming with joy, running around red in the face madness that kids love? No. Not really. And thats what she's craving now. ☹ I will step up to this but it's hard when you're a grown up..

justanotherneighinparadise Thu 28-May-20 20:26:55

Yes. I genuinely thought my seven year old was going to hit me today and I honestly didn’t have a strategy to deal with it. My four year old hits and kicks, they fight tooth and nail daily. I really don’t know how to handle it anymore 🤷‍♀️

Hannahthepink Thu 28-May-20 20:37:27

I'm so glad to read this today, my nearly 4yo is driving us all to the brink atm. Her attention span has decreased, her patience has evaporated and every slight issue results in crazy tantrums.
We have done a couple of different things this week, a nice picnic in a different park and a visit from her Auntie, and she has been like a different child. I've come to the conclusion that she is beyond bored, even though I'm trying so hard to keep things fun, and she's actually depressed being taken away from nursery and all the other things in her life. I hate that lockdown has crushed her spirit. (And mine)

Nonononon Thu 28-May-20 20:37:40

Sorry I'm going to write this here because I'm pissed off and need to vent and have nowhere else to do it (don't mind me..)

Im at work, ex dp (dd dad who is currently living with us) has just informed me that he had to ask dd to come in 4 times today (and eventually just had to keep her inside) as she kept climbing up the fence to see the neighbours across from us, they have a large family (couple of similar age children, go to same school) and have been having regular parties and bbqs since about 4-5 weeks ago. And no I'm not one to usually whinge or call the covid police or whatever. This is personal to me and my own little dd who is struggling has to see this massive family and all their friends (never mind the fires, noise, music etc) whilst she's stuck with us and doesn't really understand what's going on. ☹
Well thats just fuckin finished me off now, my poor dd ☹
Can't see the grandparents, can't see her friends either.

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