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reception DS very naughty at school... dont know what to do!

(40 Posts)
teenytinypuppy Mon 26-Jan-15 20:11:36

DS started reception last September, he is an August child so one of the youngest in his class. He is an only child.

First term parents evening I was told he was not 'ready to learn' and was challenging and did not do as he was told. DS has always been pretty honest, he comes home and tells me he missed play and got told to keep his hands to himself etc. My family and I told him often that he must be good in school, tried to reiterate rules at home must be taken into the classroom.

Today, his teacher called me in to talk at the start of the day and told me he has not improved, he will not do as he is told and just says he does not want to. After school I had another chat with her and she said he'd not been good at all.

Some examples of things he has done are, ripped a book on a trip to the library (he claims it was an accident), dropping toy trains on his classmates, kicking children under the table at lunch.

He is not this badly behaved at home, he has his moments, but it is nowhere near as consistent as his teacher is saying it is at school.

His teacher has suggested we punish him at home for being naughty in school so there is consistency outside of the classroom. I'm due to discuss it with DSs father tomorrow morning and go in for another chat with his teacher.

Has anyone else experienced this? I am horrified that my son is the misbehaving one of his class and I would love some tips on how to make him understand.

TeenAndTween Mon 26-Jan-15 20:17:33

I would look for positive reinforcement myself.

So the teacher gives him a sticker for every 30min session he has behaved himself. That's about 10 or 12 stickers in a day. He gets a small treat from you for numbers of stickers built up during the week, say 5, then 10, then 20, then 30 then 40. If he gets a full house in the day he gets a better treat.

teenytinypuppy Mon 26-Jan-15 20:19:33

That's a good idea. Can they do that for just one child in a class though?

DSs father seems to be of the opinion that we should not be punishing him outside of school, as it is their responsibility to maintain discipline in school hours.

Positive reinforcement seems to be kinder than him being punished all day.

Muchtoomuchtodo Mon 26-Jan-15 20:22:53

Sticker charts have always worked well for us. I like Teens idea of setting small manageable targets for him to achieve.

Punishment is going to be tough on all of you and likely to result in him not wanting to go to school.

School should be happy to work together with you on this in a way that you are happy with.

teenytinypuppy Mon 26-Jan-15 20:27:11

Awesome I'll suggest it to the school smile

DS is my first and only child so I don't really know how schools work..!

TeenAndTween Mon 26-Jan-15 20:28:04

If his behaviour is so out of kilter with the other children, then yes they can give him a different reward system. The other children will know he is the 'naughty child' anyway so will accept a different method. The TA can run the system discreetly on a card or something.

Broadly I agree not to punish at home for behaviour at school, especially this kind of behaviour in reception.

I expect he behaves well at home as there aren't any other annoying kids around!

MrsIcarus2 Mon 26-Jan-15 20:29:13

We had similar in reception. Along the same lines as the stickers, we had a pasta jar at home for doing as he was asked at the first time of asking. At pick-up the teacher would tell me (in front of DS) how many pieces of pasta we should put in the jar when we got home. 20 pieces of pasta = small treat. We used this at home as well and agreed the treat so he knew what he was working towards.

The real turning point for us was a teacher who knew how to get him interested. He was so keen to do well for her that we didn't need the pasta. Lots of praise for good behaviour and giving him responsibility in the classroom helped.

CharlesRyder Mon 26-Jan-15 20:35:57

DS, also August born and in YR, had a couple of weeks of hitting and pinching soon after starting school. We were mortified as he's really good at home, but I think he was just really overwhelmed.

We went for a meeting with his teacher and Head of R-2. We agreed to have him on a sticker chart at school with the day split into 4. If he got 4 stickers in a day I took him to choose a hotwheel after school. If he got 2 or less he was not allowed TV after school.

We also stopped letting him have the ipad permanently on school days and started him on fish oils.

Problem was sorted in 3-4 weeks and we phased the sticker chart out. He has been fine since. I definitely think following up at home was a key part of the puzzle. However, his teacher also did a lot of work on figuring out how to support him in school (he needs everything to be very black and white, which she now does for him, including using visual schedules, telling him his place in the line etc).

MrsIcarus2 Mon 26-Jan-15 20:38:04

Our DS (and a couple of others) were given cushions to sit on during carpet time to stop them shuffling around. Some also had "fidget toys" to keep their fingers busy (and out of trouble!).

I know how hard it is. I was horrified that he wouldn't just behave, but school were very positive. Now in Yr1 he is much better - not perfect, but I no longer dread pick-up!

ImperialBlether Mon 26-Jan-15 20:41:37

Do you think he might be tired? I know my children had to go to bed earlier than normal when they started school.

CharlesRyder Mon 26-Jan-15 20:41:50

Oh, I also bough a couple of social skills including 'Hands Are Not For Hitting' and 'I Feel Angry' and followed him round chanting them at him for a while. grin

CharlesRyder Mon 26-Jan-15 20:42:23

*bought a couple of social skills books

Ferguson Fri 30-Jan-15 17:17:17

How are things progressing with some of the ideas that were suggested? Has he improved at all?

As a TA I have worked with Reception children who just don't seem able to control their behaviour, and have no regard for authority. But such children are often badly behaved at home as well, and might even have medical traits that affect their behaviour.

If school can set up a reward system, that may help.

You say you 'reiterate rules that should be taken in to school', but I wonder if you are doing TOO MUCH in that way, and he is rebelling against that?

Maybe, for a while, try not to even ASK him how things went at school, to try and remove the continual focus on bad behaviour.

Blueundies Fri 30-Jan-15 19:07:04

At our school children who struggle like this have their own rewards, stickers etc. they get certificates for very good days. The other kids accept it is just for that child etc

Ridingthestorm Sat 31-Jan-15 14:38:12

Actually I am going to (controversially) disagree with many on here about the punishment at home.
Schools and parents need to be seen to be working together, 'singing from the same hymn sheet' and in complete agreement when it comes to behaviour.
I can understand the point of it being 'schools responsibility to maintain behaviour in school' but it is hard as a parent to see how your own discipline and home life can impact greatly on a child's ability to conform in school. For example a reception child I know is 'naughty' at school (back answers, argues, rude, refusal to do as she is told, opinionated, nasty to friends etc, etc) and we found out that parents 'have no rules' at home - their words, not mine! So the child basically had no idea that outside her home there were rules to abide by or about empathy for others (basically a selfish child who puts herself first at all times - not her fault but a result of her upbringing). Whereas I am not against parents raising their off-spring in the way they want, there HAS to be consensus that society expects everyone to conform to the rules and expectations put upon us, otherwise society would be fucked and in complete disarray!
By punishing at home for misdemeanours at school tells the child that 'mummy and daddy are not accepting bad behaviour and it is a reflection on the family unit as a whole'. BUT the same has to work the other way too - teacher needs to have stern words with the child if they are misbehaving at school. It shows the child that there is consistency and some regularity of discipline between home and school.
A lot of behavioural issues IN school is due to parents not following through. Obviously stern words is having little to no effect on your child's behaviour because if they were, his behaviour would be markedly improved. That isn!t to say that positive reinforcement shouldn't take place; it should and is a basic behavioural technique of all schools and educational professionals.
By no means am I saying you are a bad parent (I have a nursery aged child who is proving challenging at home time for grandma!!!! And I am a teacher!!!) but sometimes we can't see the woods for the trees!!!!
In all honesty, the fact you are asking for advice shows what a wonderful parent you are. We aren't all perfect and even the seemingly competent and successful parent and teacher can have similar issues. They can be little buggars at times!!!!

Ridingthestorm Sat 31-Jan-15 14:43:28

If my DS is rude and disrespectful at nursery (mainly to grandma as she struggles to control him and he knows she does!!!!) I take away the opportunity to watch fireman Sam, or no sweets/chocolate and sometimes no story at bedtime. What is working for us is telling him he isn't allowed a bath ('odd' child loves his baths!!!). I would never 'ground' him or physically discipline him but removal of a favourite things for that evening works for our child. A simple 'good boy' sticker chart at home for if he has been a good boy at school and he gets a treat at the weekend. Start off small (he has to be good for one day then as weeks go by, increase the challenge by a day to eventually three or four days.Never do 'five' days because if he has a bad monday, he will soon learn that he can't 'make it up' during the rest of the week and may misbehave more than ever.

Swanhildapirouetting Sat 31-Jan-15 17:14:24

OP I think that Ridingthestorm is talking rubbish. Treats at the weekend are far too long time a reward for any child.

She doesn't have a school age child for a start.

Icarus and CharlesRyder are spot on. A Reception (Nursery nurse trained) TA of many years experience once said to me that No child should ever be expected to sit still for more than 15 minutes during carpet time for example. You are following through. He doesn't need to be punished at home. The teacher is clearly baffled by small children who are still at the foundation stage. I think involving him and accepting that he is still very young to be "learning" formal stuff would help him settle down. Maybe his motor skills are not very advanced which makes all the concentrating cutting and writing or colouring quite exhausting for him. Perhaps he finds it difficult to hear - glue ear for example?

If a child is finding Reception overwhelming they certainly do not need their playtime taken away - they probably need to play more than ever. I think you should find out exactly what he is doing in class and what is triggering off his reactions to other children. Is he bored? Is he restless? Is he alarmed by something or worried by something? Is he tired out? Does he have any friends you can invite over so he associates school with playmates and friendship?

Ridingthestorm Sun 01-Feb-15 17:55:40

Maybe not, but I ma a teacher with years experience, experience that I know WORKS!

If I was 'talking rubbish' then these strategies that I put in place as well as other parents put in place, wouldn't work; but they do. Hardly rubbish are they?

Like I said, my views are controversial to many. But there isno one right way of doing anything and to rubbish someone else's suggestion becuase you don't like it, or it didn't work for you, shows how marrow minded you can be.

Ridingthestorm Sun 01-Feb-15 17:58:40

Oh and 'going until the weekend'??? Did you read my post? A STICKER is actually a reward to may and getting thesew daily is not amounting to 'waiting until the weekend'.
Me having a 'non-statutory aged child' doesn't even come into this. Afterall, MY child maybe be of 'non-statutory age' but he is YOUNGER than reception.

Viviennemary Sun 01-Feb-15 18:03:00

I think I might think about a different school. In the grand scheme of things he's not exactly out of control. Of course he shouldn't be doing the things he's doing like ripping up a library book. That seems like he did it to get a reaction. Sounds like the teacher hasn't got much experience in dealing with children that don't behave according to her expectations. He is only four after all.

Nerf Sun 01-Feb-15 18:03:22

Swan that was bloody rude. There's nothing controversial in riding's post and she/he took the time to try to offer advice.
We had this in Year 1 and school did playtime stickers and we rewarded at the end of the week.

Goldmandra Sun 01-Feb-15 18:09:54

By punishing at home for misdemeanours at school tells the child that 'mummy and daddy are not accepting bad behaviour and it is a reflection on the family unit as a whole'.


Any teacher whose first port of call is punishment and second step is to try to get others to impose punishments on her behalf needs some training.

I completely agree that parents should back up the school but by punishing him further at home, you would just be compounding the problems he's having at school by building resentment.

The first thing the teacher should be doing is looking for a reason behind the behaviour. Your DS is communicating something and she needs to work out what it is.

After looking for ways to remove the triggers to his behaviour, she should be finding positives to praise and reward, although I'm not sure extrinsic rewards are ever a great idea in such a young child.

Then, and only then, it would be appropriate for her to approach you and ask you to back up her behaviour management by offering him rewards or praise for good behaviour in school.

Pengyquin Sun 01-Feb-15 18:22:03

I behaved at school because I knew my parents wouldn't tolerate poor behaviour - at all.

Sorry, but I agree with riding

It's about consistency for the child.

Just out of interest, OP did your child attend nursery prior to school? Those children who have been at nursery since they were toddlers do cope better with reception, as it's familiar to them (don't get overwhelmed etc, used to authority/doing as they're told)

I haven't read all of the replies, and don't feel I know enough to comment on whether the teacher is any good or not (!) but kicking children under the table?! By 4 all children should know that this is not ok. Whether they are at home, or school.

Also, what is his diet like? And his sleep? Basic things like this can make a huge difference at this age.

Goldmandra Sun 01-Feb-15 18:28:51

It's about consistency for the child.

Yes. Absolutely. Consistency in reinforcing the behaviour you want to see by praising him when it happens.

Home and school can work in partnership very effectively to do this.

couldhavebeenme Sun 01-Feb-15 19:14:02

We've had issues with child starting school this year, believe mainly down to tiredness and finding the amount of stuff planned during the day for them so overwhelming (lack of downtime). We have a reward chart which is the same as that used at school (very simple happy/sad face) and a certain number of happy faces equals a treat which is chosen by her in advance. Working with the teacher/TA has helped as they have been supportive and behaviour has improved. Overall though I think the children are very young and do not necessarily understand how to express themselves appropriately when tired/stressed.

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