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Help!! behaviour management issue!

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by cristianrodcar, Oct 5, 2015.

  1. cristianrodcar

    cristianrodcar New commenter

    Hi everyone.
    I hope there is someone in the same situation so they can help me.
    I have started a full time job in nursery and it is my first experience in this setting, I have got 25 children. There is one child who refuses to sit on the carpet at any time (morning rutines, snack time, key person time, maths, story time...) and just walks around the class or follows you. When we try to make him sit he just start crying and crying. He doesn't speak english, but he kind of understand it as he was in a playgroup 2hours a day twice a week last year. He refuses to have snack and lunch as well. He has been in for a month and I have seen him sitting down once! I have tried with stickers, lego, train trucks, big writing on the floor, put his picture on a cushion, another staff has spoken to him in his language but it seems no to work.
    Am i missing anything? What else should I do? Please ideas!!
  2. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    Do you mean that he never sits down? Or just when it is some kind of carpet or group time?

    Would he be happy to stand next to an adult during carpet time? Perhaps he finds the group times stressful because of the language barrier.

    Have you been able to speak to the playgroup? Obviously they won't have had as many sit down group times as there are in the school day, but playgroups often do something as a whole group (singing or story). It would be interesting to know if they noticed similar behaviour, or whether it is unique to school?

    What do his parents say? Have they tried speaking to him about expectations at school?
  3. natalie1820

    natalie1820 New commenter

    This may sound stupid and I am sure you have probably tried it but have you tried just completely ignoring him and focusing on the other children and praising them. I used to have a little boy who was like this when I was in nursery, I tried everything to get him to sit. When I finally gave in and just ignored him within a week he was on the carpet!! Don't know if it will work for you. I was in nursery for 4 years and it is a very hard job and you often feel just as you get them to where you want them to be they move up and you have to start again from nothing!!! Let me know how you are getting on and if you want to talk further then I am here!!!
    snowyhead likes this.
  4. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    I like @natalie1820's advice. You've tried really hard by giving him lots of attention and it hasn't changed his behaviour. Now is the time for 'tough love' as they say in all the best child behaviour books.
  5. PollyPuddleduck

    PollyPuddleduck New commenter

    Tough love is correct but also, have you ever thought perhaps the child just doesn't want to sit. Yes, we should encourage rules and structure but the child may have a condition you don't even know about. My son has Aspergers. He cannot sit down for a second, he's in Year 2 now and he does his spellings sitting on a hopper ball... He has sensory issues and I know when he was in Reception and Nursery, circle time was incredibly difficult for him, mainly because it was a time of discussion and the noise level was too much for him. I teach in the Middle East and language barriers are a problem for many ELL children, try to ignore the fact that he isn't doing what he is told and look at more what he is doing when he is walking away. Perhaps he would enjoy circle time sitting on a chair?
  6. missrturner

    missrturner Occasional commenter

    We had a little boy just like this last year. Barely spoke any English and always walked and walked around. His mum actually came to collect him a few times because when she left he would be screaming the place down. I agree that tough love is the way forward. Ignoring the bad behaviour - but be reasonable. Walking away and showing him that you will not give him attention for not following the rules. However, you can't neglect him and you certainly can't have him doing his own thing when there's parents and other children around. When the positive reinforcements didn't work all of them were removed. He either had to follow the rules or he had none at all. He didn't like this one bit.

    If he cried because he didn't want his food then we left it on the table for him. All the other children could go play and he would have to stay. After tantrums and tantrums he realised that he had to eat it. We're talking genuine screams of frustration at the dinner table. (Obviously most of the time it would go cold and we were fortunate that we could call for sandwiches etc).

    One of the things that worked (but not always) was following him around and finding out his interests. Okay, so he likes to sit by the cars? Let him hold a car when he comes to the carpet. Let's have some children come and sit by the small world area with him. Let him pick a friend to come and complete their learning task together. He's drawn a picture? Bring the picture over to the carpet and show the children - make a big fuss whilst he stands and watches...slowly but surely he came over to have a look. He's made something out of the playdough? Keep it by the carpet area and let him come show it off, but only if he sits first. For the first few weeks we were perfectly happy to have him standing by the carpet area, as long as he was involved and he understood he had to join in.

    We asked his parents what the words for 'sit down' 'you're okay' and 'good boy' were in his language. This worked SO well. It must have been so confusing for him - I genuinely believe part of the reason he walked around so much was because he didn't understand English and must have thought the carpet time didn't include him. We introduced having the children say hello to him in his language also. We also asked his parents if they could read him some stories about going to school or show him some cartoons about starting school so he knows what was expected of him. Luckily, his father was very involved with his education and even came one day a little earlier to watch him. When he saw he was not sitting he walked into the classroom and sat on the floor with the children. His son was very confused but eventually came and sat next to his father and his father made such a big fuss of him - it was lovely to see. Definitely call on your parents for this - the school cant be expected to deal with it alone.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2015

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