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Dear Tom: 6 y/o Hitting Others Without Knowing?

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by ck1ng, Jun 23, 2015.

  1. ck1ng

    ck1ng New commenter

    Hi there. I've recently started teaching a year 1 class after being trained as a high school teacher and working in primary as a supply (big jump I know but I'm loving it). There are a few minor to moderate behaviour issues in the class but one of them is proving harder to resolve than the others. This child is accused by his peers on a daily basis of hitting them. They are seldom seriously hurt or in tears but it has got to the point of being a constant nuisance to deal with.

    I've not actually seen him hit anyone but other teachers have, and I have seen him do other things like pull someone's hair and aggressively snatch pencils and toys from other children. He flat out denies this upon questioning and then vehemently denies it, usually bursting into tears at any follow up questions.

    He is generally a clumsy child and I quite often catch him swinging his limbs about mindlessly. My opinion is that he doesn't know he is hitting others but rather they get hit as a consequence of this child unknowingly rushing past them with flailing arms.

    Are there any medical or behavioural conditions whereby a child will not know whether he has hit another pupil? One thought was that it was his short term memory but he functions very well with his class work.

    I'm far from an expert in this field so any insight would be greatly appreciated!
  2. rustyfeathers

    rustyfeathers Occasional commenter

    You state you've witnessed other aggressive behaviour which he denies, and that other staff have seen him hitting his peers. I'm willing to be the majority of the time it's not down to clumsiness.

    Treat it accordingly- involve SLT and his parent(s)/carer(s) if it doesn't stop when you apply classroom level sanctions. There may well be an underlying cause, yes, but his denial is probably more down to not wanting to get in trouble than being entirely unaware of his actions, given the context you've provided.
  3. hhhh

    hhhh Star commenter

    There's one like this in my child's class. He's affected lots of the other children to the point they don't want to go to school (not actually my child, but that's not the point). He does have a terrible home life, but the situation needs to be sorted to help him at home and to stop saying to the other children that it's ok for him to do this and that you just have to put up with it, who cares if you're hurt.
  4. Tom_Bennett

    Tom_Bennett Occasional commenter

    I don't think that you need to look at medical issues to explain this (although obvious that doesn't exclude the possibility). This is explained far more easily by a child, a little clumsy, a little unaware of others' space or feelings, either deliberately or accidentally hitting his peers. I'd advise you watch more closely when possible to confirm the context of these incidents, and then treat him accordingly. If it looks deliberate, or deliberately careless, then he needs a telling off as quickly as possible, and take him away from his peers every time he does it, to reinforce the idea that a) he can't do this and stay part of the group and b) they don't deserve to be hit.

    Repeat that often enough that he realises x leads to y. Good luck

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