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4 year old son disruptive in school

(14 Posts)
Tink1989 Thu 23-Jan-20 11:55:31

I am not sure if I am posting in the correct place i'm just looking for advice regarding my DS behaviour at school (i'll try not to drip feed).

Since returning to school in January (reception) I am constantly being pulled as is DS father (we are not together) regarding DS not listening and distracting other children. I have found out today that he was put on time out yesterday 3 times for this and the same on Tuesday.

He has also come home with injuries before this from another boy (his best friend) in school which DS said was an accident and the boy in question pushed DS over when DS tried to help him from falling off a seasaw , I have spoken to the school about it and the other mum, I am however aware that my son is not an angel but from what I know he is not malicious and the other mum corroborated this.
I am not sure what more I can do, he has been spoken to (not angrily) and have tried to get DS to understand that when he is in school he needs to listen and do as he is told etc. I have tried taking things away on days when I have been told he has been disruptive (no ipad, there is also a trip to thomas land planned which I have resorted to saying we won't be going to if he is continually disruptive). At home he is a lovely boy but a typical boy and likes being hands on and playing.
for context before christmas holidays he had a nasty chest infection so in total was off school for 2 weeks including the holiday's. Me and his father have been split since he was born so this isn't new, I have however 2 years ago left an abusive relationship and have been living back home with DM, DS loves living with his nanny.

Pulling my hair out and not sure what else to do, of note whilst i remember a few months ago DS would have meltdown's if I asked him to do something like write/scribble his name in a birthday card, on one occasion he cried and took himself off up to his bedroom and refused to do it.

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RaggieDolls Thu 23-Jan-20 17:37:16

What do school suggest you do to support improved behaviour? I would be really cautious about taking this all on yourself... if the school feel the need to talk to you about his behaviour then they need to work with you to put some suggestions in an action plan. You aren't there to observe the behaviour. You can't find all the solutions without input from school.

Beamur Thu 23-Jan-20 17:47:00

Good idea to work with the school.
Personally I think incentives to try are better than disincentives for failure. I wouldn't remove trips out, or even threaten them.
How about a sliding scale of rewards? Remind him in the morning to do his best, practice his very best listening skills and say you really want to hear all about his day when he gets home.
Maybe at the end of the day you ask him how well he thinks he did and ask him to give himself 1,2 or 3 stars for really good effort. Tally them up over the week and have it amount to a reward by the weekend. With the aim being a minimum of 1star (small reward but still something good like a magazine or some sweets) and so on. With the rewards being something he likes and make a big fuss out of doing well and trying!

ALLMYSmellySocks Thu 23-Jan-20 17:59:59

I doubt punishments after the event will help, I would keep working with school. First things to try at home would be make sure he's sleeping enough, getting enough exercise eating enough (and nothing sugary) before and during school.

Honestly he's only 4 do it might well be just immaturity. Boys especially are often just not ready for school and act out. The teacher needs to help him develop perhaps putting him on a table which has fewer distractions. At home you could try playing board games to practise sitting still and concentrating.

Tink1989 Thu 23-Jan-20 20:33:32

Thanks for the advice everyone
Me and the other mum got called in at pick up today as both the boys got sent to the headteacher for being naughty and play fighting with each other, when I got there my DS started crying as soon as he saw me and was distraught.
I spoke with the teacher and we are going to try and do a reward chart in and out of school with little rewards (I was a kind and listened to the teacher today = time on the iPad at home), also could use it as in incentive like you said Beamur to have a bigger reward on the weekend.

ALLMYsmellysocks, Funnily enough about the sleeping, DS has become very clingy with me and trying to come into my bed anywhere from 9pm so he must be very restless at night so will keep more of an eye on that. I didn't think about the board games either, will deffo try that as he loves them smile

Raggiedolls previously the school/teacher have just asked me to have a word with him at home. I know there are issues at home with this other child that can account for his behaviour in school, it just seems DS is the one getting caught and then rightly so punished, I'm just worried as I don't want him getting a label this early on in school. I spoke with his dad and he's going to make an appt to speak with the teacher with me next week whilst DS can be taken home by my DM

Sorry I don't know how to tag/reply on my phone

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Beamur Thu 23-Jan-20 20:56:19

Don't worry about being labelled. They seem to be trying to work with you to improve the situation.

winewolfhowls Thu 23-Jan-20 20:58:39

Could you do activities to improve concentration together like jigsaws, as from what you say it seems to be fidgeting that is leading to further mischief

sirfredfredgeorge Thu 23-Jan-20 21:19:06

I spoke with the teacher and we are going to try and do a reward chart in and out of school with little rewards (I was a kind and listened to the teacher today = time on the iPad at home), also could use it as in incentive like you said Beamur to have a bigger reward on the weekend

I would not be impressed by this, I think this is pretty poor, the kid is unlikely to have the mental maturity to make the connections with such non-immediate feedback. And the fact the teacher can't control what sounds pretty common behaviour in a four year old without invoking rewards/threats from the parent bogeyman is pretty worrying.

He's possibly only just developing the abstract theory of mind capable to even understand that some things disrupt class, and those disruptions can lead him to miss a trip days later to Thomas Land. If he's disrupting class, the teacher needs immediate action to stop the disruption, they are too little for the delayed consequences.

Tink1989 Fri 24-Jan-20 07:49:21

sirfredfredgeorge, I kind of agree with you (literally just done an assignment on theory of mind for uni), but I'm at a loss what else to do, by no means am i "precious" about DS but on the whole he is a good kid and the disruptiveness along with rough play has come out of nowhere, only since going back after christmas.

He is i think i said before being extra clingy, coming in to my bed early, and every time im with him be it in the car, playing at home etc he grabs me saying "mummy im going to miss you tomorrow in school/dad's/etc"

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Elisheva Fri 24-Jan-20 13:18:24

He is 4. Being able to sit still, pay attention and listen is a skill, in the same way that holding a pencil, counting to ten or using a knife and fork is a skill, and some children are just not as good at it as others.
He might not even be sure what ‘pay attention’ means. I absolutely agree with what sirfredfredgeorge says, rewards (or sanctions) need to be immediate and proportionate, and expectations of him need to be realistic. If he can only sit still for five minutes and they keep making him sit for 10 then of course he is going to fail.
There are many interventions available to target attention and listening skills, which one are the school trying?

JeanMichelBisquiat Fri 24-Jan-20 13:47:06

^^ the above advice - school should not be advising you to link up school behaviour with rewards at home. That makes them sound a bit rubbish, tbh.

Why aren't they doing something like a much more immediate rewards system for him, positive only - so my DC who was disruptive when anxious had a small marble jar (quickly filled!), and then would get a little treat time playing games on an iPad with a friend when he'd filled it. You get 1-3 marbles in the jar for every small session of the day, based on stuff like managing to listen quietly, using your words to show how you're feeling, etc. And even if it's been a disaster, you get your bare minimum 1 marble and then start a new session with a clean slate. Means it bolsters their self esteem but also keeps them focused on what's expected. This worked wonders with my DC in only a term or so. I don't think they even use it with him now - gradually phased out without him noticing!

Of course you need to work with the school, but he's tiny and may just not be developmentally ready for much good sitting or quiet listening yet. Don't feel you or he are doing anything wrong - see it as a fairly normal problem that the teacher needs to find a good solution to. And you need to let them know how anxious he's becoming - he's really letting you know he's not happy.

Don't feel bad - of course he needs boundaries, but he needs home to be a safe space.

Take it from me - I had one who was angelic in reception, and one who wasn't developmentally ready and who's self esteem has just really recovered four years later!

JeanMichelBisquiat Fri 24-Jan-20 13:48:39

Meant to say, they shouldn't even just be rewarding him - they should be using strategies and interventions to help him develop the tools. And they should be telling you what those are. If they're not thinking about those, they're not doing their job very well.

BubblesBuddy Fri 24-Jan-20 16:13:54

I’m just wondering - did he go to nursery? What did they expect of him? Was he able to concentrate there? Did they flag up any issues with him starting school and behaviour?

It does sound like immaturity and perhaps being unable to concentrate for long enough. He won’t be the first child like this. A YR teacher should have strategies for this and working with you is good. I would also ask for closer supervision during play. Rough play isn’t acceptable and he needs to understand this. The lunch time supervisors should be asked to keep an close eye on him and intervene when play descends into unacceptable behaviour.

Tink1989 Tue 28-Jan-20 13:32:27

BubblesBuddy yeah he was in nusery from about a year old from then until school nothing was flagged up and he enjoyed it there.

sorry for the lack of reply's DS is currently off with tonsilitis and on antibiotics and I have found out that I am pregnant (recently split from ex) so its all fun and games sad

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