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misbehaving for attention

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by tea_and_toast, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. I have a child in my class who is misbehaving for attention. She will consistently do the opposite of what is expected of her, will annoy other children, will call out inappropriately and plenty of other things. It is clear she does this for attention as she smirks and is proud when I stop to ask her to behave. I have got to the stage of removing her from situations without saying a word or waiting until I can speak to her away from the class. She has an individual reward chart for good behaviour which goes home to her parents daily. NONE of this is making any difference and I find her becoming more and more impossible to control. I'm only an NQT and have run out of strategies. Any ideas what I can do from here?
     
  2. I have a child in my class who is misbehaving for attention. She will consistently do the opposite of what is expected of her, will annoy other children, will call out inappropriately and plenty of other things. It is clear she does this for attention as she smirks and is proud when I stop to ask her to behave. I have got to the stage of removing her from situations without saying a word or waiting until I can speak to her away from the class. She has an individual reward chart for good behaviour which goes home to her parents daily. NONE of this is making any difference and I find her becoming more and more impossible to control. I'm only an NQT and have run out of strategies. Any ideas what I can do from here?
     
  3. I know this could haev nothing to do with it at all, but i had a boy exactly the same at the start of the term, noticed he was squinting a lot on the carpet so he had his eyes tested, needed glasses! Since he has had his glassess he has been a little angel! (Well, almost!)
    It is worth getting it checked out though - it had never occurred to me it could be his eyesight and the turn around in his behaviour is amazing!
    x
     
  4. Have you tried explaining that she is stopping others learn and she will need to giv eup some of her free time break dinner to do the learning she is missing? I have a boy the same and he hates giving up his time but is happy to waste mine....he is however learning that I am in charge and will keep him behind and we will do the work! Have you got Senco involved? Maybe behaviour plan...one to one time with TA if she can behave for short period of time eg sit on carpet for 5 mins for story then gets one to one with TA for 5 mins then build it up? Have you noticed trigger points...for mine its lunch time he just cant cope with it...so today he wee;d all over the toilet floor!!! Good luck
     
  5. Some interesting points there... hadn't thought of 1-1 with TA as a possibility, I think she would love that too. I have told her that she is spoiling things for other children. I think I'll have a chat with senco and see what can be done there. I can't think of any particular triggers... its pretty much constant from the second she arrives in school until she goes home. This is why it's so tiring for me... I literally don't get a break from it all day and it's really starting to get me down.
     
  6. I have one the same. She refuses to even sit on the carpet. I'm having real trouble with her as it disrupts everyone else. Any advice would be appreciated.

    P x
     
  7. Some children smirk when told off because they are embarrassed, not because they're pleased at the attention. She might not like the attention she's getting.

    I firmly believe that children who feel right, act right. So there is something clearly not right with this child. If she seeks attention, it might be worth considering giving it - when appropriate - above the level you would normally. It might be that for some reason the attention she craves is e.g. lacking at home - working out why she wants it is key to helping reduce her need for it.

    Everyone has to find the style and approach that suits them, but I love the work of Haim Ginott and I find his strategies enlightening. He wrote a book called "Teacher and child - a book for parents and teachers" which is old, but relevant. His work strongly influenced Mazlish and Faber (how to talk so kids will listen, and listen so kids will talk) - a parenting book, but another favourite of mine.

    The key to his approach is allowing all feelings, but limiting unwanted actions. He says "not until the bad feelings come out can the good ones come in". This child may just need someone to help her understand her feelings about some area of her life where she's conflicted.

    I am such a new-age hippy!

    Mrs Mummy
     
  8. Thanks for the reply mrsmummy, was really interesting. I've got a good relationship with her mum and she encourages me to tell her like it is... which makes it so much easier. I think the opposite is actually true in this case - she gets sooo much attention at home that I think she is struggling with not having the 1-1 attention she gets at home. I think she is the sort of child who gets away with everything because she is seen as the 'little angel'. Not sure how to work with this!
     
  9. cinderella1

    cinderella1 New commenter

    a course we went on about attention seekers, said to totally ignore.

    Dont even look at them

    if they have to be moved then someone else moves them without looking at them, and then you take not notice of any behaviour that occurs.

    Amazingly with those who are 'attention seekers' this does work. The behaviour gets no recognitiion at all so they stop
     
  10. I would second what cinderella says. Train yourself not to respond at all unless the misbehaviour is actually impacting directly on the teaching and learning (easier to say than to do, I know!)

    If her behaviour is disrupting your teaching, maybe have a signal that you can give so that your TA immediately removes her from the situation, preferably without too much verbal interaction.
     
  11. I agree with the last couple of comments

    Negative attention is better than NO ateention. By acknowleding this child's behaviour you are actually REWARDING her for it

    It's v hard to turn things around, but do the 'try and catch her doing s'thing good' technique which ackowledges her good behaviour eg " .. I LOVE the way you are trying to sit up straight". For me it all sounds so false, but it does work!!
     
  12. ok, that is my plan for tomorrow then! I've been ignoring her behaviour by not speaking to her, but I have been giving her 'the look'! I'm not even look at her now and see if that helps. I've found that by ignoring it she finds more and more disruptive things to do, but I'll have a code with TA to remove her without talking to her also. Have spoken to mum who says she is totally fine at home and in after school care... so is there a reason this is just happening in school? I feel like I'm the ogre who is picking on little things to accuse her of. But it's getting really bad now with her.
     
  13. I have one too! yr 1 boy exactly the same - have tried ignoring but not getting someone else to remove him- will try that tomorrow.
     
  14. I'm so glad that other people have this problem too (not that I'm glad you have to suffer, you understand!). Just that it's good to know it's not necessarily anything that I am doing wrong. As an nqt I'm tending to blame myself for every little thing that goes wrong - even though I know in my heart that it's not! :)
     
  15. tea and toast - Are you sure you're not a fly on the wall in my class? You are describing a child in my class exactly!
    Have tried the ignoring and it is so hard for the first week as they will try and push you to your limits. It works sometimes but I have often had to intervene as this child is about to kick someone as she is rolling around the carpet. I have also had the problem that she is making so much noise that the other children can't hear what I am saying.

    If you find any marvellous ways of coping please pass them on
     
  16. braz... I feel like you're exactly describing my little angel! hahaha! Will let you know how I get on but I think it's going to be a long running battle. Have you asked mum if she is like this at home? I'm concerned because she isn't like this at home, but maybe that's because she's getting all the 1-1 attention she craves?? Oh the joys!
     
  17. So pleased to see that I am not the only one with a child like this in my class! I have got a little boy who is exactly the same. The parents are horrible and say that it is my fault as he is perfect at home. I know this is not true because his au pair has told me that he is awful to his parents. Just feel as though nothing works and I am so frustrated with it!!!
     
  18. This sounds just like 3 children in my class but in particular a girl , she is actually horrible to the other children too!
    She is constantly trying to hurt them from the moment she gets in.
    Her mum is not at all concerned, and in fact finds it funny when her daughter is in trouble.
    My girl does have a 'hard' home life and there are all sorts of issues there, but I will not have her hurting the other children because that's what she sees at home. She is desperately seeking attention and I try not to give it to her for these things, but it is hard when others are involved. I do try and catch her doing 'good' things and praise her when I can and encourage her constantly. But it is very difficult and there are days when I feel at my wits end with her.
     
  19. Children who want attention need attention, so I am wary of ignoring them--it may be effective, but it can be effective in the same way as not picking up a crying baby; it doesn't teach it that crying annoys you, just to despair about people coming to help. I'm interested in the way that you talk about her, which is rather like that of a mother worn out by a baby! Try using the fact that she's not your only responsibility to help you out here.

    I agree absolutely that smirking may be embarassment. It could be that this child is genuinely not reading signals not very well--not all children are good at this--and that your 'look' is misinterpreted, for instance. If the other children in your class are more able in this way, she may also have friendship problems, because she could be doing the same thing with them--do you know how she gets on with her peers outside class? Watching how she copes with games at playtime could give you invaluable insight into how to develop strategies to deal with her. At the most extreme, clinging to adult attention can be an early sign of bullying.

    Other possibilties--related to the above. Does she feel isolated from the other children? Buddy her up with a few others. If she is an only child, or has no siblings close in age, she may be more used to demanding adult attention for herself alone.

    'Needy' children can be really wearing, but it is often better to channel their neediness rather than be irritated by it. If this child needs attention, you have to try and ensure that there are acceptable ways of her getting it that don't impact on the class--so far, so obvious. The over-emphatic-'well done for sitting on the floor SO still!!!' can work well up to secondary level--I've seen teachers on inset beam at similar praise...

    You may have to go back a step and make all the stages of behaviour very very explicit, so she knows where she stands. Some children who are angelic (apparently) at home are so because they never have to do anything that they don't choose to do there. Emphasise that there are rules for school and rules for home and that they're different.

    Try making her responsible for something small. A friend of mine had a similar problem once, and got the stroppy child to stay in at break and help little ones in reception put their shoes on for their breaktime--he enjoyed the kudos of being able to do something they couldn't, and found it harder to be the tough bully with a flock of adoring four-year-olds following him around in the playground. It stopped his silliness in class, becasue he was getting the attention from an acceptable source. In the same way, you might try and make her pencil-sharpening monitor, or coloured pencil sorter or something, emphasising not that this is a privilege that can be taken away, but that this is a skill.

     
  20. porphyria, thank you so much for your reply. It all makes sense of course, it's just easy to lose sight of it all when you're in the middle of it! I'm going to take on board your suggestions. Before I read your post today I had given her a special job to do which did calm her down. I think I will give her a special responsibility, and as you say, offer it as something she is skilled at. I might even make her a special badge to wear while she does it! thanks x
     

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