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how to restrain a 6 year old trying to fight

(8 Posts)
latesummer Wed 28-Sep-11 20:49:45

I had my first experience today where I was unable to physically restrain my 7 year old son. He was attacking one of his class mates in the school playground at school pick up and many of the other children were watching. I could manage to pull him off but if I let go he attacked him again as the boy would not go away and kept trying to tell me what my son had supposedly done during the school day. When I restrained him he kicked and punched out at me. I have never really had this happen before and it was in a very public place.

In the end I managed to drag him into the school building so there were no children around us and he did eventually calm down but I was reluctant to do so as he has 2 younger siblings and I didnt really want to take them all into the school for the teachers to judge my handling of the situation. No parents or teachers approached us at any point.

FYI My son has had initial assessment for aspergers and professionals decided not to assess fully as it was felt unlikely and I am happy to accept this decision at the moment but I guess I need a strategy that would work for very high functioning children with some asperger type traits and with social interaction issues.

We follow very set routines, clear and consistent boundaries and effective time out and diffuse any such situations immediately at home and generally dont have too many problems. I gave consequences for this behaviour but I dont think that these would prevent a reoccurrence. We have never found any rewards or consequences that have had any real effect and school have said the same. The teachers that dont set clear boundaries have struggled as he will test to the limit to establish the boundaries but the good ones have managed him well.

How should I deal with this if it happens again in public?

Please respond kindly as I am feeling battered and bruised and my husband is away on business. Many thanks.

latesummer Wed 28-Sep-11 20:54:48

age 6 now but very nearly 7! didnt mean to confuse

cory Wed 28-Sep-11 21:29:42

Not sure if this helps, but I sometimes had occasion to restrain dd when she was this age and indeed rather older (though thankfully not in public). My technique was to stand behind her holding one arm in each hand (so I could quickly move her head if she tried to bite) and if at all possible back to a seat so I could sit down, and then put one leg across her legs and keep the other on the ground for leverage.

And- this is the crucial bit- try to stay outwardly calm and just repeat in a calm firm voice: No, I cannot let you hurt anyone, No, I will not let you hurt anyone.

What helped dd was that I showed her that she couldn't frighten me or throw me, and that I had the power to control her behaviour when she could not control herself.

latesummer Wed 28-Sep-11 22:07:03

Thanks for this. Luckily i am great at keeping calm so no concerns there and he doesnt frighten me although I feel awful tonight.

I think I was holding him in the way you describe or very similar and we were certainly seated the whole time as I am very weak as slightly disabled. I am left feeling very battered and bruised just from holding him and as I was tiring I would let go after a few minutes but he had not clamed down so then I had to restrain him again and so on.

I think most adults would restrain him very easily it is more an issue with my strength. Any suggestions for an alternative strategy in case my health is worse as he gets stronger.

EBDteacher Thu 29-Sep-11 06:30:18

If you think it's going to be something you will have to do regularly you should be getting some kind of support- perhaps you could self refer (or get the school to refer you) to CAHMs and get another assessment rolling. Not necessarily in order to get a diagnosis of anything but to get yourself into the systems that might produce some help for you. There is positive/ safe handling training available from companies such as Teach Teach- I don't know how expensive it would be to attend off your own back though, everyone I've ever met on a course has been paid for by a school. You definitely don't need to be strong to do a secure hold if you use a good, tested technique that is designed to keep all parties safe- training is really valuable though!

EBDteacher Thu 29-Sep-11 06:32:22

Sorry, that should be Team Teach- it's too early for me!

chimchar Thu 29-Sep-11 06:45:36

sorry you're having troubles latesummer.

it sounds like you managed it well....i'm really surprised that no one in school helped you....i wonder how school would have handled it if you werent there?

i agree with ebd teacher. i also work in an ebd school with teens. we would tend to use a "wrap" restraint with a physically smaller is safe and some children react well to being held in this way...

i hope you get some help soon.

good luck. (sorry for long return button is not working!!)

chimchar Thu 29-Sep-11 06:46:13

oops! it looks like it is working now.


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