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Violent child in Primary

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by dizzymai, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. dizzymai

    dizzymai New commenter

    We have a child in Y3 with a brother in Y6 who has been categorically told, from a young age, that you need to punch people who do the wrong thing. The father, who has rarely, if ever, been into school believes this strongly and the boys, naturally, deal with things they see by punching others, quite expertly and forcefully. The youngest has great difficuly with viewing what he does as in any ways wrong and is very anti authoritarian and defiant- he has great difficulty following rules- most specifically- not to hit someone whom you think is doing the wrong thing because it contravenes school policy.

    Today he had to be restrained by 2 adults because he would not accept that he had to miss his breaktime for punching a child on Friday. The child he hit (J) was winding up another girl (an ongoing behaviour of his) and he saw it as "justice" to punch him. Both were deemed to be in the wrong and to miss their playtimes but the first child (J) went out with the teacher because it was not a good idea for both to sit and miss their breaktime together.

    He would not agree at lunchtime that he could not go out to play, so the Head called his mother who came and took him home.

    What do other schools do with violent and defiant children in primary? Do they get sent home every time they are violent?
  2. sarah_dann1

    sarah_dann1 Occasional commenter TES Behaviour peer advisor

    This sounds very challenging. The task is to teach the child that his Dad is wrong and that's never going to be easy!

    When the mother picks him up, what is her reaction? Do you feel there could be any support from her in showing the children a different way to approach situations? Clearly, this could be a potentially very difficult situation and you don't want to do anything at school that makes life worse for the mum or the kids at home. But...by being in this job, we have a duty to notice and try to help.

    Are any other agencies involved with the family? It might be a good idea to refer the children to social services or even CAMHS (could be hard to get involved with them as they appear to be swamped) but for any impact to be made, it sounds like the whole family could do with some support.

    In terms of just dealing with the behaviour at hand though, the school certainly needs to be firm and consistent. Even if the boys only acknowledge that within school, they cannot deal with their emotions by being violent, this needs to happen. Was there not a second room for the other child to spend break in? It probably seemed unfair that one got to go outside, albeit with the teacher.

    Miserable as it is, ensure you are doing everything to protect yourself during any incidents. Record anything that happens, especially if you have to restrain him physically and try not to be alone with him where possible. You don't need any false allegations of injury caused to add any stress to you.

    What is the head's response? Violent incidents would typically be dealt with by senior management. Perhaps with internal exclusion if the school felt that staying home wouldn't really benefit the child. Can anyone tell us what their school would do?
  3. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Wasn't it justice? It doesn't sound like you and your colleagues have had much success curbing J's bullying behaviour. I wouldn't encourage random violence but sometimes force is need to protect others, else why would you feel the need to restrain children when you feel they are in the wrong? Sounds like a lad with a healthy sense of right & wrong, the last thing he needs is attention from CAMHS for trying to be virtuous.

    Invite his father into school for a cup of tea and a slice of cake, talk things through with him rather than disrespectfully going around him and condemning his very young child to a mental health pathway which isn't warranted.
    pepper5 likes this.
  4. sarah_dann1

    sarah_dann1 Occasional commenter TES Behaviour peer advisor

    Am I right to think it's not an isolated incident? I think the OP is talking about a genuine belief in violence being the answer, not a one off punch to "save" the girl.

    If so, it needs to be taken more seriously to stop it continuing. You're right that a meeting with the parents and a friendly chat would be a good first option though. I probably got ahead of myself there assuming those things had been done already!
    pepper5 likes this.
  5. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Yes, the first recourse must be to speak with this child's father. Children should not be managed unthinkingly along pathways. Too often the default response of teachers is to make a tricky child the responsibility of an agency rather than engaging with their parents or carers.

    Meanwhile, J's parents need a meeting too, to address his habitual bullying behaviour which is more hurtful in the long term than being given a dead arm. He needs to be treated exactly the same as punchy-boy with the same potential interventions. Fair's fair.
    cellerdore likes this.
  6. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Lead commenter

    I must admit, from very early on I found the best way to deal with bullies was to show them you would not be intimidated and push them away. One hit his head on a toilet wall, another hurt his back and the last one leading a gang of six got a black eye for his troubles. I also stood up for other victims but do not condone violence normally.
    Vince_Ulam likes this.
  7. circuskevin

    circuskevin Established commenter

    Are there any martial arts classes that this kid could attend?

    Maybe he could go with his dad?

  8. Landofla

    Landofla Established commenter

    Have I understood correctly that the “violent” child missed his break but the “bully” child didn’t? Consequences need to be followed through and applied fairly to all imo.

    I would try going for the proactive approach rather than being reactive to what is happening. I would do something like suggest School Council lead on a peer reflection service and include a few more members per year group to support them. I would ensure the “violent” children are picked and guide SC planning sessions around how the service members could help children in different situations. This gives you the opportunity to big up the desired responses and to ensure that the “violent” children are at the forefront of implementing them. Knowing that they are ambassadors for this initiative would hopefully ensure they start to act in a less hurtful way. Maybe there is some budget that could go towards rewards and these members can give them out or allow for “good citizens” to go on a trip or something?
    sarah_dann1 likes this.

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