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Help understanding 'emotional literacy' please - DS has started lashing out

(5 Posts)
kiwidreamer Thu 27-Nov-14 18:36:59

DS is six and in Yr2, he is an August born but more importantly has always been a little bit emotionally immature. We had a few troubles at pre school but he was brilliant from day one in Reception, lovely teachers in YrR and Yr1 who thought he was fab and he thrived. Yr2 is a lot more challenging and his teacher isn't the warm fuzzies type that he likes, but so far the year had been going okay, a few occasions of 'I don't like school' 'I don't want to go today' 'I don't have any friends' that we'd never had before but I've always managed to brush it off without too much fuss and he's been fine. He is keeping up academically, top of middle sets from what I can gather, except for his handwriting which needs a lot of work.

Last week there was a reasonably serious event where another child got angry because he wanted to be directing the game but it was DS's turn (as part of the agreed game between the children), DS tried to take his turn and the child started hitting DS, DS turned around to leave and the kid grabbed DS's arms from behind DS got angry and flailed, swinging his arms to get free and hit the child in the face. However this is not what the other child says happened and a day later when both kids were asked to explain what happened neither of them could really recall. When the teacher told me of this event she also advised that earlier in the week another child had been teasing and prodding at DS in line and DS had hit him. We had a serious chat with DS, got him to write apology notes and took away his xbox time for the week (4 x 30min sessions) but didn't go too heavy on him as in both situations he had been provoked and then two days later he came down with a nasty ear infection so we kind of put it down to that.

Today there has been another incident, again the child was shouting aggressively over and over at DS because apparently DS wasn't playing the game of football properly (DS doesn't go to football clubs, just likes to kick the ball but I think the other kids take it very seriously!!) and DS hit the child. They must have been standing face to face which would have been awful if the kid was shouting in DS's face but DS must learn how to control his emotions and not lash out, we've always said there is never ever a good enough reason to hit anyone. To be honest he does lash out at his sister (3.5yrs) at times when he isn't coping and he gets time out / loss of privileges but it never really has made a difference... we've never really struck the 'thing' that works.

We had a lie down on his bed after school today and a big chat, he was defensive and upset but could only say he did it because he was 'super angry' at being shouted at, I've talked to him about walking away/find a teacher, but he knows this already, I said to step back and count to three and if still feeling angry to leave the game and find something else to do, I also talked about how he would feel if someone hit him and that this is a big rule at school and that if he does it again there will be consequences. The teacher says she will find some information on 'emotional literacy' to pass along but I thought I'd ask here to see if anyone could recommend reading for me or DS or other strategies to help kids get a hold of the 'super angry' feelings so they don't lash out?

I feel terrible that this is happening --as you can tell from this bloody novel-- and how its going to impact children wanting to be friends with him.

WombatStewForTea Thu 27-Nov-14 19:28:50

I really like the "volcano in my tummy" book but it's possibly a little old in content, I've used it with year 3s though.

sunnyfrostyday Thu 27-Nov-14 19:33:11

I don't have any books or suggestions, but just wanted to say that I think you are handling it well.

My eldest simply used to melt down if provoked, and he had to learn to either walk away, or stand his ground and rise above it. I think he finds the latter easier.

with the counting to 5 thing, I was told that it is easier to tell the child to count something physical, like trees or windows. It makes them focus on something else and helps relax breathing, which can reduce panic/adreneline.

Muskey Thu 27-Nov-14 19:35:01

I would recommend where the wild things are although I believe despite the popularity of the book in the 60s and 70s it is now considered a bit old hat. It was written specifically aimed at children who have difficulty dealing with anger.

kiwidreamer Sat 29-Nov-14 22:09:18

Thanks for the replies, DH and I have been making more effort to talk to DS about being cross / upset / angry how best to deal with those feelings... and a dose of old fashioned incentivising bribery with this blasted Match Attack cards he's desperate for --but I've refused to let him have cos its a waste of paper and he hasn't the foggiest about football--

I will buy some books too, seem to be a few in the relevant category on Amazon.

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