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How to deal with DS being violent in reception class

(12 Posts)
OxfordToLondoner Fri 21-Sep-12 16:44:05

My DS is being not at all darling in his reception class, and i'm really anxious about his behaviour. Any advice about how to deal with it would be much appreciated.
DS has been pushing other boys, in particular one boy who he's struck up a friendship with. He has been generally throwing himself around in class, kicking things, throwing things at people etc. This week he even stamped (and killed) a frog, poor thing.
I've never had a problem with this kind of behaviour before, if anything at pre-school it was the other way round (there was a younger boy who plagued DS by hurting him, to get his attention all the time). He is very boisterous and physical (loves play-fighting with DH for example, but according to 'how to bring up boys' play-flighting's a good thing as long as there are boundaries, which there are). He can be overly physical with me - climbing/jumping on me, and perhaps i have let him go too far, and need to be firmer with him on this.
I suspect that he is just struggling with change (as am I) - with a new school where he doesn't know anyone (1/2 of the class knew each other from nursery), and wrap around childcare which is different too (breakfast club, and a - very lovely and brilliant thank goodness - after school nanny). So many new things to deal with, all rattling around his 4 year old head.
I'd love some advice on to deal with him, for his sake (I don't want him to be the kid that no-one wants to play with) and for mine (it's making me feel really low and like I'm a terrible mother). Help!

Northernlurkerisbackatwork Fri 21-Sep-12 16:48:34

You can't deal with this alone. You need to involve his teacher. What you can do is model good behaviour at home. So don't let him ever be too much physically and certainly don't let him hurt you without making it clear that he has hurt you.

Change is very hard for such young dcs. My own dd3 did not find it easy at all in January when she started and still doesn't at time but provided you and the teacher are consistent and proportionate things will improve. Ask to speak to her/him on Monday and ask them to make a plan with you for how things can be improved.

The frog thing is very upsetting - do you think he was scared of it? Maybe taking him to a petting farm or similar would be an idea, let him learn in a very reassuring way with you, how he needs to be towards animals, reptiles etc.

Northernlurkerisbackatwork Fri 21-Sep-12 16:49:29

Oh and you're not a terrible mother. Terrible mothers don't give a damn and you very obviously do. Have a cup of tea and reflect that this too shall pass.

OxfordToLondoner Fri 21-Sep-12 17:16:41

Thanks NLIBAW. I have chatted with teacher/headteacher and even the friend's mum (she approached me, and was really great actually, saying that she wants her son to be friends with mine, and suggested a playdate, but that there clearly is a problem and it's a bit one way). I don't exactly feel like there's a plan though...I'll have that chat on Monday, good idea.

PS Would love a cup of tea but the teabags have run out...grrr! Hmm, nearly wine o-clock.

dikkertjedap Fri 21-Sep-12 21:11:45

From what you have posted it seems that he may have some anger issues. How has the school dealt with the frog incident? Does he understand that what he has done is very wrong?

Maybe the nanny can do a little project with him about insects/small animals/etc. - ie how they live, why they are important etc. and then he can tell you all about it.

At school, it may be possible to let the nanny ask for daily feedback from the teacher on how he has behaved (eg thumbs up, thumbs down or neutral) and depending on the outcome he will get a sticker on his reward chart. Explain in advance how it will work and what the rewards will be.

ommmward Fri 21-Sep-12 21:54:26

Is school plus wraparound childcare the right thing for him at this point? Can you take one or both things out of the mix? (he doesn't even legally have to be in full time education "at school or otherwise" until the term after he turns 5)

schmee Fri 21-Sep-12 22:02:15

He sounds like he is struggling to find positive ways to get attention and is reverting to physicality in order to get attention. It's hard for him to find a place in the "pack" if a lot of other children know each other, and also if he is not yet clear about the rules of school.

You need to talk to the teacher. I would be looking for ways that they can help him (and others) find ways to play that aren't physical.

What a fantastic opportunity with the other mother. I would suggest doing something quite structured on neutral territory to help the children play well together outside school.

How have the school said they are dealing with it?

OxfordToLondoner Tue 25-Sep-12 19:50:56

Thanks for advice, all. I've used a little bit of all of it, and things do seem to be getting better this week. Not totally better, but a big difference. I'm really worried about him though - he's wetting himself a lot (which i don't think is being dealt with kindly), and says he's not playing with anyone else (which is really unusual - he's super sociable). Hopefully it's just settling in issues....

*apart from the wrap-around childcare bit which, alas, i'm stuck with for the meantime, but am trying to get home earlier

dikkertjedap Tue 25-Sep-12 22:36:10

I think you have to investigate why he is wetting himself.
Does he also wet himself at home/wrap around care or only during school time?

Does he know where the toilets are/are the toilets sufficiently clean/are there things he is scared off such as handdriers/are the toilets easily accessible or ask teachers him to hang on and then it is too late?

He will almost certainly not be the only child in reception wetting himself. The teachers will have plenty of experience with it. So I would ask the teacher how they plan to deal with it. For example, they may want to write down each time he has had an accident, which time, during which activity. If they detect a pattern they can start anticipating and ultimately preventing it from happening.

If he has no one to play with during breaks he should go to one of the adults and ask for help finding a friend.

demisemiquaver Tue 25-Sep-12 23:01:27

I hope it all get's sorted out, it sound's like the poor wee soul is having an awful time ,and obv dead upset ......remember it might not be just him being badly behaved, has someone been unkind to him?Does he get the chance to run about much and use up his energy or is he stuck inside more? Are all the staff clear that this is new behaviour for him and atypical if that's the case?

GhouliaYelps Tue 25-Sep-12 23:10:32

How did the school deal with the frog incident? That is quite worrying more than anything else you have described. I teach that age group and that is extremely unusual behaviour. Has he talked about the indcidemt with you?

Maria2007loveshersleep Wed 26-Sep-12 14:50:51

Oh poor DS and poor you sad Settling into reception is such a big change, my own DS is going through the same process now; it's such a big step for them.

Like the others said, I would try to talk to him as much as possible, in the times he is relaxed, about what's going on. It sounds worrying, it seems something's on his mind that's scaring / worrying him / making him anxious & he's reacting with violent outbursts or wetting himself: all clearly related to anxiety. It might just be the big changes at the moment, but I would keep an eye on him, liaise closely with the teacher & try to take as much time off work as possible to spend time with him just to get to the bottom of what's going on (easier said than done to take time off work, I know, as a working mum myself).

If it were me though, if the frog thing or something similar repeats itself (ie if the angry outbursts, to this degree, don't pass on their own accord after a few weeks), I would get some advice from a child counsellor. Even one session with things like this can make a massive difference, there are often tiny things which parents overlook & can sometimes easily change.

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