DD(7) behaviour

(31 Posts)
longestlurkerever Mon 08-Oct-18 12:41:00

My DD1 is 7 and has always been quite challenging, especially during the first half term of a new school year. At the moment she seems ungovernable- every little request aimed at getting her out of the door has to be repeated over and over. She just blanks me. She has emotional outbursts over things like clothing, which cup I give her etc like when she was a toddler, and she seems to have forgotten all her manners and is becoming rude and demanding. I've asked her teacher to give me a call just to find out how things are from her perspective but now I'm not sure exactly what it want to ask her and just wondered if any teachers had any perspectives to share? Is this a normal reaction to moving up to y3? Or changing year groups in general? I have often wondered if she might have ADHD, for which there is some family history, as she gets hyperactive and out of control and constantly interrupts, but it tends to be linked to tiredness and i don't know if she's just tired. She's bright and keen but doesn't focus very well. She has an August birthday and in her sats she reached the expected level in everything and is working at greater depth in reading. Her maths is almost at that level but inconsistent, apparently, but her writing is lagging a bit, especially spelling and handwriting. I just don't know. I don't want to let her down but at the moment I am just feeling like I've totally failed at parenting her and she's acting like a spoiled brat.

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longestlurkerever Mon 08-Oct-18 12:41:30

Sorry, paragraph fail there

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pumpastrotter Mon 08-Oct-18 13:03:17

Hi, I don't have much advice but I can sympathise. I'm currently having a hard time with DD6 who has just gone into y2 and we're really struggling, his behaviour seems very similar to what you are describing - I am constantly repeating myself till I am blue in the face, he seems to be in is own world and does everything he can to avoid what he is asked, no focus, loud and interupting, some days he just goes wild and there is no calming him. He is also an August child and for years I've had 'it's because he is so much younger than the others'. He was never like this as a toddler though, he seems to be getting worse the older he gets. He's suddenly become very rude and has an attitude, but he is very, very sensitive. Sleeps fine so I don't think it's tiredness, I've asked if things are worrying him or if he's having problems with school but he just starts crying and saying no, he doesn't know why he acts the way he does.
I am due a meeting with school later this week to discuss his behaviour as he is becoming increasingly disruptive and the system we agreed on the beginning of the year isn't working for him. The school nurse and SENCO are aware but they've put it off assessments as they wanted to see how he settles this year. I'm a bit heartbroken over it all as I don't want him being marked the naughty child and I fear he will end up getting excluded by his peers or even their parents. I feel like I've failed weekly. His father has ADHD as did my own so I guess it's not that unlikely.

Have you spoken to her teacher about possible extra support for her? They should be able to refer you to the school's SENCO

pumpastrotter Mon 08-Oct-18 13:03:40

DS* not dd

longestlurkerever Mon 08-Oct-18 13:12:12

Thank you so much for your reply. It really helps to know I'm not alone, though I feel for you too! I am going to ask about the SENCO I think, though I haven't had any complaints about her from school this year. Previous teachers did call me in quite frequently to discuss her challenging/defiant behaviour but it generally settled by about half term to the point nothing official ever happened and they agreed just to keep an eye. By the end of each school year the teachers had generally won her round and found her quite rewarding ulrimatey I think because she can be so enthusiastic, though they'll admit to challenging. Y2ion was better actually and I hoped she'd grown out of it but this year has been quite bad, though she says she's happy, bar one or two friendship ups and downs. I did once see a child psychologist which was more about her stool withholding that she was struggling with at the time and he didn't dismiss my concerns re ADHD but said she was too young to be diagnosed. She was 4-5 then. School at that point said SEN were not on their radar for her.

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longestlurkerever Mon 08-Oct-18 13:19:39

Ps just had a call back from her teacher. She said she is very academic and she feels a strong connection with her but she struggles to work with others. I'm going to chat with her this afternoon. FX!

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pumpastrotter Mon 08-Oct-18 13:32:48

I was only offered it after a parent's evening last year, I said I was struggling at home with him (not his attitude, but his focus and not doing simple things he is told) and the teacher got the nurse to contact me. I was given an early years help assessment to fill and send but I've yet to finish it, it is incredibly confusing and I am waiting for the SENCO to contact me for help, most of it seems like a professional should be filling it out and there are no indicators to what the parent should be completing. He has good weeks and then really bad weeks, he was very eager to please and get rewards but this year he just doesn't seem to care and strops at the suggestion he behaves. The teacher this year had put a reward system in place but it's not worked. They've been back a month and this is the second time I've been called in for a meeting, at least twice a week we've had to have words about his behaviour at the end of the day (usually through the childminder which isn't great for her) and frankly, it's embarrassing. Funny you mention the withholding, he also does this, it's got better the past year but there have been incidents at school bad enough where I've had to collect to him. One of the things I am going to suggest this week is that we have some type of diary between me and his teacher to note his behaviour each day and speak to the SENCO about the assessment form, even if it's not ADHD there is definitely room for further support as the teacher, in her own words, is spending more time trying to correct him than teaching the others and that is not fair.


pumpastrotter Mon 08-Oct-18 13:33:26

Good luck!

longestlurkerever Mon 08-Oct-18 13:37:44

Part of me is pleased we seem to be on the same page and part of me is upset she didn't just say she's fine! She always used to be such a sociable little thing. I'm sad about her falling out with everyone. Parenting doesn't get any easier does it? My 3yo is a doddle in comparison. I worry that she'll be properly self- destructive as s teenager.

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longestlurkerever Mon 08-Oct-18 14:23:34

I don't find rewards (or punishments) help much either. They just up the stakes so you get double the tantrum. The only thing that's worked in the past is letting her build a relationship with the teacher and get settled into the new expectations. I'm hoping this teacher has some strategies. She seems to think reasoning with her will help. We shall see!

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longestlurkerever Mon 08-Oct-18 14:24:24

I might also skip her swimming lesson and take her for a 1:1 treat of some sort while dd2 is still at nursery

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pumpastrotter Mon 08-Oct-18 15:14:32

I would definitely make some 1:1 time if she's struggling with her friends. I ordered one of those 'worry monster' things last week too hoping it will help.
My son is social but he's a bit....odd? even to us....he's desperate for people to like him but he's so rowdy that other kids don't want to play and get annoyed by him, it breaks my heart. He was making a present for a boy in his class over the weekend 'so he would be his best friend again' after this boy told him he doesn't want to be his friend and to leave him alone, and he's not at an age where he can understand it's better to stay away and give some space. It's a bit awful but his dad calls him 'Lennie' to me, as in 'of mine and men' because he's so big and lumbering, he doesn't realise how rough he is. I have a younger DD he is great with but he has to be supervised because he hurts her squeezing too hard when he hugs her, same with the dog and younger children at childcare, he's really lovely and helpful but obliviously clumsy.
We had to stop swimming and football because he was too disruptive and the teacher spent the whole lesson trying to get him to listen sad. Last year he had several teachers so didn't have chance to get comfortable with one, his teacher this year is new and very young, i would guess it's her first year teaching, nothing against her, but maybe this is just not something she has encountered before. I really don't want to jump onto diagnosing things because I think a lot of people just use it as an excuse for bad behaviour, but the older he gets the more apparent it's becoming, he's not 'catching up' with his classmates like expected.

It doesn't! He was a fabulous baby, goodish but demanding toddler and since school he's got worse each year. DD is the same as he was. I'm hoping I don't get this stress with her too, but then her dad is at home and I have an overwhelming guilt that DS acts up because even though he sees his, he had quite a lot of instability.

longestlurkerever Thu 11-Oct-18 09:38:22

Thank you, sorry for my late reply. Reading your story I think your little boy sounds lovely and he'll find his tribe, but I know it's hard not to catastrophise as parents. His wanting the other boy to be his friend again is heartbreaking and I really feel for you.

The meeting with the teacher went ok and we had some nice time together afterwards but has made no difference to the mornings. Am on the brink of tears after another hour long battle over getting dressed. It sounds so silly written down but I just get so angry when she just ignores my pleas to get dressed and carries on crumbling up polystyrene on to the floor or whatever when I'm literally yelling at her to stop and threatening all sorts of dire consequences. Everything escalates and I just can't cope with it every day. Seriously considering just giving up and making her go to school in pyjamas.

The teacher didn't mention SENCO or anything and DD was there so I didn't either. She just said she'd scored by far the highest in a recent reading comprehension test but hardly ever does as she is asked and keeps squabbling with her work partners over sharing worksheets and other petty stuff. On the other hand she was so happy on Tuesday having had the BEST time at after school club with her friends so I dunno. She's so hard to figure out. I wonder if she's testing me somehow? I think I'm failing if so.

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pumpastrotter Thu 11-Oct-18 11:31:35

Thank you - he can be, but he has his moments! The same for your girl, maybe she just works better alone as many people realise they do the older they get. It's not necessarily a bad quality, just not helpful at school when you have no choice.
Your morning could be mine, replace polystyrene with stickers though. It's like banging your head against a wall to get them to do the simplest thing, we have 40 mins in the morning to get dressed and 5 mins before we leave I'm lucky if he has his socks on. There have been plenty of times I've left the house in frustrated tears and the neighbours probably hate me from 07:30 onwards. It's not just on occasion, it's every day and it completely wears you down. My family used to moan at me about having 'no patience' with him and shouting too much, then someone had him for a few days whilst I was away with work and apologised when I got back as they could see how much hard work it is for the simplest of things. I almost think it would be easier if he was purposely defiant, but he seems so oblivious to it.

We had our meeting too, SENCO wasn't there and it wasn't brought up but we had a quick chat about daily rewards for 'kinder' behaviour, she suggested the diary herself and will be writing in it each day either noting things he has done that he could do better or praising/stickers for being well behaved. You're not failing, it's hard not to feel that way, but if you were you wouldn't be giving a shit

PlonkyPlink Thu 11-Oct-18 11:39:57

My son (8) is similar at the moment but maybe not quite so extreme. You might have tried this, but he’s no longer allowed downstairs until he’s dressed. I’m amazed but it does work and has completely changed the morning stress levels. He gets out of bed and just gets dressed now before coming down, as he knows he’ll have to go back up and might miss breakfast time and go to school hungry.

Good luck.

Maldives2006 Thu 11-Oct-18 13:40:37

Please speak to the GP/SENCO for a referral to the community paediatrics because this really sounds that it’s really impacting his life and your life. Neurodiverse conditions can really impact a child’s anxiety and other mental health conditions. He also deserves to know and understand why he is the way he is and to learn the strategies to help him

longestlurkerever Thu 11-Oct-18 13:45:48

Oblivion is totally right. Just as you say, she isn't normally deliberately defiant, almost absent mindedly so. But when I ask her if there's anything she wants me to do differently she says be less shouty. It breaks my heart because it's the last thing I want to be.

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BlankTimes Thu 11-Oct-18 13:50:50

Try some of the strategies here, see if making requests in a different way helps.

Maldives2006 Thu 11-Oct-18 14:00:41

Please ask for a referral it does sound a lot like my adhd (inattentive) dyslexic child with medication is life has changed

SleepyPaws Thu 11-Oct-18 14:03:34

We have a 7yr old with ADHD, he struggles immensely with change, the new school year is always the hardest and it takes him a good while to settle. Towards the end of yr2 his teachers did a lot of transition work with him, lots of trips down to his new classroom 1-2-1 with the chance to ask questions etc... it's been a big help and he's settled a lot better this year.
His behaviour dips when he gets home and we tend to find this is because he's mentally exhausted because he's having to try so hard whilst at school.

Mornings are a battle here but once we had the diagnosis it was like a lightbulb moment. We had to massively changed our expectations of him. It's still a struggle and physically having to dress a 7yr old everyday isn't ideal but it's by far less frustrating for us all. Simple instructions said in close proximity and guiding him to where he needs to be help and knowing he's not doing it on purpose helps me not get so angry at him.

He's doing ok academically at school although he does need more help than others. He does struggle socially and his impulsivity causes a few problems at playtimes as he's mentally not as mature as his peers.

longestlurkerever Thu 11-Oct-18 14:54:38

Thank you everyone. You've given me the confidence to pursue it, though am not sure of the best route. It's a small school, the SENCO is the deputy head. Do I just email and ask for a confidential chat with her?

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SleepyPaws Thu 11-Oct-18 15:04:58

Yes, we set up a meeting with his teacher and the school SENCO (deputy head) luckily his teacher had spotted something wasn't quite right. At hat point (just about to turn 6) his behaviour wasn't an issue at school but he was struggling academically. They offered to refer him for us and then fully supported us when it filling in questionnaires etc

Just to add we also have a younger child who has no issues what so ever so it was quite obvious it wasn't just a parenting issue! It was as the younger one was becoming older and more independent that we realised how much our son was struggling. Good luck

longestlurkerever Thu 11-Oct-18 15:12:26

I have had chats with her before, in the context of stool withholding and touching briefly on general behaviour. Not for a while though as she seemed to find her feet in y2. I did feel a bit judged/patronised on my parenting if I'm wholly honest, but will try and put that aside. I have a 3yo too, who is a doddle in comparison, though I have another thread running about her potentially needing speech therapy. Am a bit overwhelmed tbh as DM and DH also have quite serious health issues atm.

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Maldives2006 Thu 11-Oct-18 15:13:42

Yes you can speak to the SENCO and tell them you would like to be referred. You can approach the school nurse directly to be referred but you would still need to speak to the SENCO to organise support (the child should still get support while waiting to see the dr). The school nurse maybe quicker because i’m not sure if the SENCO has to speak to someone else anyway before putting the referral

longestlurkerever Thu 11-Oct-18 16:37:55

Thanks. Am not wholly sure there is a school nurse but will find out, and maybe ask gp too.

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