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Dear Tom

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by kellyjade1, Jan 29, 2011.

  1. I work in a private British school in Spain which my son who has just turned 4 also attends. He is a great kid but I know better than anyone he is hard work, sometimes its like he is bouncing off the walls. Recently I have noticed that when he is out on the play ground he always finds it hard to initiate playing with his friends, he asks me or his teacher if we can ask his friends if they want to play with him. I mentioned it to his teacher and she said she had noticed it but he is fin in class. About 3 months ago he was put on a behaviour report because he was hitting quit a lot which I'm pleased to say he has now grown out and is now able to express his emotions more appropriately. He is still on the behaviour report as his teacher says she is finding it difficult getting him to listen to her when its time to do things. Last week and this week he seemed to have improved a lot as his chart was giving him some really good days so I was most upset on Thursday when he had had a really bad day especially since his teacher hadn't mentioned anything in particular. On Friday he was very naughty, he wee'd in the toilet bin to make his friends laugh. This is when I found out that the day before he had stood on the urinals. I was very upset as this kind of behaviour is not like him, its difficult to get his to listen and he finds it hard to sit still and is into everything but he knows that this behaviour is wrong. This happened at morning break and his teacher told me that she was going to talk to the head teacher about him then at lunch time once he had finished eating in the dining room at 12:45 he was taken up to the head teacher, who was still in a lesson until 1 and was spoken too, then had to sit on the floor till 1 when he had to then go with her to the dining room where she was on duty till 1:30 and sit crossed legged on the floor till she was finished then went with her to the office where he had to sit until 2pm when lunch break was over. That's a hour and a quarter sat on the floor crossed legged with nothing to do for a child that is 4 years 3 months old. I think this is an unacceptable amount of time for any 4 year old. I am extremely upset about this, more so than him as I'm sure he forgot why he was there after all that time, and would like your advice and opinion on the matter. He isn't a confident child which seems to be getting slightly worse than better as he is scared of everything so I would like to find a way to manage his behaviour without crushing his spirit and great personality.
     
  2. I work in a private British school in Spain which my son who has just turned 4 also attends. He is a great kid but I know better than anyone he is hard work, sometimes its like he is bouncing off the walls. Recently I have noticed that when he is out on the play ground he always finds it hard to initiate playing with his friends, he asks me or his teacher if we can ask his friends if they want to play with him. I mentioned it to his teacher and she said she had noticed it but he is fin in class. About 3 months ago he was put on a behaviour report because he was hitting quit a lot which I'm pleased to say he has now grown out and is now able to express his emotions more appropriately. He is still on the behaviour report as his teacher says she is finding it difficult getting him to listen to her when its time to do things. Last week and this week he seemed to have improved a lot as his chart was giving him some really good days so I was most upset on Thursday when he had had a really bad day especially since his teacher hadn't mentioned anything in particular. On Friday he was very naughty, he wee'd in the toilet bin to make his friends laugh. This is when I found out that the day before he had stood on the urinals. I was very upset as this kind of behaviour is not like him, its difficult to get his to listen and he finds it hard to sit still and is into everything but he knows that this behaviour is wrong. This happened at morning break and his teacher told me that she was going to talk to the head teacher about him then at lunch time once he had finished eating in the dining room at 12:45 he was taken up to the head teacher, who was still in a lesson until 1 and was spoken too, then had to sit on the floor till 1 when he had to then go with her to the dining room where she was on duty till 1:30 and sit crossed legged on the floor till she was finished then went with her to the office where he had to sit until 2pm when lunch break was over. That's a hour and a quarter sat on the floor crossed legged with nothing to do for a child that is 4 years 3 months old. I think this is an unacceptable amount of time for any 4 year old. I am extremely upset about this, more so than him as I'm sure he forgot why he was there after all that time, and would like your advice and opinion on the matter. He isn't a confident child which seems to be getting slightly worse than better as he is scared of everything so I would like to find a way to manage his behaviour without crushing his spirit and great personality.
     
  3. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I'm not Tom, obviously, but here is my view just cos it is Saturday eve and I feel like giving it. Feel free to ignore.

    This is going to sound a bit harsh maybe, but I honestly think you should be pleased that the only punishment your son received was having to miss his lunch break for one day. His behaviour does sound particularly dreadful on those couple of days and he does need to learn to behave properly, especially in school. Liveliness and high spirits are fine at home, but not usually in a classroom.

    He doesn't sound at all like a child who is in any way scared of the consequences of poor behaviour. Although I don't think children should be scared as such, they should be in awe of their teacher and want to avoid consequences for bad behaviour.

    My advice on how to manage his behaviour would be to try to stop getting upset when he is punished (I know that is hard) and show him that you totally support his teacher and that you agree he should listen to her and behave himself.

    Try not to let your feelings stop you actively supporting the school in managing his behaviour, even if you privately disagree with their methods. You have to work there and so need to maintain good relations. In class he is not your responsibility as such and his teacher needs to know she has your total support in managing his behaviour in line with her rules and her class.
     
  4. Thank you for your reply. I do not show my child how I feel about his punishment at school as I know and understand that it is very important for a child to understand that their actions need consequences. His father and myself have spoken to him at home and he know that we are very unhappy with his behaviour. Above I have only noted the negative points to his behaviour but he is almost top of his class with his work. What I do not agree with is that a child of 4 should sit for that length of time when a child of 10 would also be treated in the same way and loose his lunch break but spent only 45 minutes sat once they had finished eating alongside a younger childs 1 hour 15. There are only 9 children in his class. I am more worried about why he is losing confidence and his behaviour seems to becoming quite naughty kind of like he is showing off or trying to make his friends laugh. This isn't like him.
     
  5. I'm having a bit of a problem with a 4 year old being in a school at all. You say there are only 9 children in the class. Is this class like what I would call pre-school?
     
  6. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    Sorry, but I'm going to sound harsh too. The world is full of little boys who "aren't like this usually" but who, really, are just like that indeed.

    Your son was put on a behaviour card three months ago, which means he was exhibiting a pattern of misbehaviour long before that. You say yourself he "bounces off the walls". Three months on, aspects of his behaviour have improved, yet he still has difficulties in some areas. He is obviously having problems with paying attention in class and with appropriate socialising with other children. You say he is lacking in confidence, yet has the confidence to pee in bins so that he becomes the centre of attention. He is obviously bright, but has emotional and behavioural issues which will, in future, impede his development.

    This is not an issue of one punishment - there is a negative pattern of behaviour and sanction which now has to be broken. You must work with the school to look at ways to do that.
     
  7. Is n't this part of the problem. If you did not work in the school you would not know all the minutiae of his day. You probably would not expect constant feedback from his teacher. If you are confident enough in the school to send him there, let them get on with educating and disciplining him. If you are not confident, send him somewhere else, which as you would not work there might be better.
     
  8. Tom_Bennett

    Tom_Bennett Occasional commenter

    Hi. I sympathise with your situation; it must be dreadful to want the best for your son, and to see him behaving badly- especially in the place where you work- must be both frustrating and worrying, as it always is when anyone we care about is obviously in distress.
    I also sympathise too with your boy, who sounds like he's going through a lot of turmoil and distress himself. It's impossible to diagnose his issues from an armchair, so I'll only comment with extreme qualification: he sounds like he is desperately seeking attention from others; it sounds like he's having trouble integrating into his environment, which means that he probably feels very lonely indeed, especially if he can see others playing together in happy groups. The fact that he asks you to ask people to play with him suggests that he's been excluded from his peers for some reason (is he new to them? Different? Does he act in unique way? Children can be so carelessly cruel when faced with difference). In addition, his behaviour sounds profoundly attention seeking- after all, when he misbehaves he gets a whole heap of attention, even if it's for the wrong reasons; at least he can see that people notice him, that he's important, even if it means infamy and notoriety. To some, that acts like a substitute for peer esteem.
    I also sympathise with the school and his teachers- behaviour reports, long term (and sometimes extreme) disruption is awful to deal with when you have twenty five other kids in a room not doing these things. While I also don't condone such a long time sitting on the floor for one so young, I think that the focus should be what's going on in this young man's head and how to help him become socialised.
    It may be that with time he will develop friendship groups that will help him feel more secure.
    It might be worth his while for the boy to be seen by the school ed psych: not because I suspect there's anything deeply wrong with him, but that he might be able to talk to a stranger more easily. Also, if you can show him that he is still loved and valued, at the same time as being firm with him that certain behaviours aren't to be tolerated, you may be able to re-establish normal behaviour patterns in him. But due to the fact that he exists in a community, and that community has rules by which everyone must abide, he really must be expected to know that if he breaks those rules then he will also incur the sanctions connected to them. If he receives special treatment it might only reinforce that he can misbehave and get away with it.
    I wish you both the very best of luck
    http://behaviourguru.blogspot.com/
     
  9. Thank you for your advise it has been very helpful.
     
  10. Random175

    Random175 New commenter

    He's four! He should be playing, climbing, running. In many countries in the EU he would be doing just that at 4.
     
  11. Ha ha. Brings back a story from my daughter's kindergarten teacher. Had a colleague facing down an angry father at a parents' open night. He wanted to know why his 4 year old son wasn't getting homework. The perfect response .....
    "But Mr Bloggs, Henry needs to kill all the pirates in your backyard before he's ready for homework."
     

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