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Violent tots

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by NellyFUF, Nov 14, 2014.

  1. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter


    Last year I was hit by troubled kids nearly every day.

    A little boy hit me today , in the face, knocked my glasses off. I was assisting him with time out at the time. Just what what am I to do with him? This is daily - extreme outbursts - is better after he has had some time out - it is a daily occurence this whole scenario - as I type this I realise the answer includes, 2 x staff and caring 2C's" to remove him from a situation where he, others and me might get hurt. And it is going to take two staff.

    SEN advice is to be very firm and give him time to cool off after any conflict of wills - which is every day shortly after he arrives.

    I think the other children might find this all upsetting too.

    Unfortunately we have another smaller child who had major tantrums which involve screaming for long periods of time and between the two I am razzled.

    Both children are better for being carried out of the room and then kept outside until they stop but management and others do not like to see and hear this. They prefer we keep it to ourselves.

    I am very gentle and can rebuild relationships with tots after such troubles but I am getting stressed by being beaten up every day!

    Some advice from a behaviour expert would be useful.
  2. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Hi, Nellie - I'm sorry that meeting up with you again had to be in such miserable circumstances.

    Are these the children the offspring of drug addict mothers?
  3. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    They are just babies.

    The immediate Service locally is bending under the inclusion of vulnerable two year olds with the governments offer of 15 hours nursery provision. But these children are too young for nursery.

    Why did you go straight to drugs as a factor is there a connection you know of or something I could read?

    I'm OK at work, just get on a deal with although it leaves me drained and wrenched (I am getting a bit old ) but later on, I feel outraged that children and teachers are in this position. We are supported by specialists in SEN and also have had training for "restraint" - but once incident shoud be enough to trigger something larger actions - these children need so much but the others then do not get the teaching and care they need.

    We should phone parents when it happens and get them to take their children home. They would not be able to stay at nursery until the behaviours are sorted out. Then they would take notice of guidance given to them. Something has to change in that child's family and parenting and care - and quickly. But that is not the climate is it?

    Meanwhile we are supposed to get the others Ready for School whatever that means and assess them to death at the same time.

    Every Child a Talker? Bah! Every Child a something else. Can't think what.
  4. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Nelly, I am so, so sorry. In your position I would have gone off with stress/left and gone elsewhere/got the union in. But that was then and I am me.

    YOU are not the problem. You have been instructed in all the strategies. You can do de-escalation. You know TeamTeach. The CHILD is the problem.

    What does 'be very firm' mean? Or 'give him time'? They had better come and show you then, had they not? That's easy to say. Use the broken-record technique? He's beyond that.

    You know the answer. He has to be physically subdued. He cannot be cajoled. He can only be dominated. We're not psychiatrists. We don't know why he's basically feral. We just have to cope.

    So two staff carting him off with the minimum of fuss it must be. If 10 is his maximum response then cart him off quietly at 2 on the scale. You may just be able to distract him at that point or talk to him. Maybe. But the other kids do not need to see a struggle so be proactive.

    I don't give a monkey's nuts what the SMT do or do not like to see. Letting the kid get to 10 is cruel. You manage the situation. Not the boy. You're doing everyone a favour by extracting him early.

    Best wishes.
  5. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    That is useful thinking yes, challenge him early - on arrival probably. Because we fight this battle every day and until he is set the boundaries he challenges. One or two children do wind him up. He then becomes aggressive. Then it escalates.

    There is probably domestic violence at home. Eventually I end up holding him around the waist on a chair. He needs to go out of the room and two people need to do it.

    I feel early retirement beconning.
  6. Honey Loop

    Honey Loop New commenter

    Nelly, I'm sorry this is happening to you. I have no advice to offer as I am exactly in the same boat. For the last four years my team and I have been attacked by our one or more of our pupils.

    We have been bitten, stabbed with classroom equipment, hit with chairs, kicked, punched and spat in the face, slapped, wrestled to the floor...

    My class are 5 years old and I'm in a primary school.

    The management are aware and are supportive, and I know we have to be seen to be trying different strategies and intervention techniques to see if it is behaviour or part of a wider SEN issue, but seriously, four consecutive years is getting a bit much.

    The children who have attacked us have had wider PSE issues than their classmates and their parents have equally struggled with their child's behaviour.

    I am finding it especially difficult to rebuild relationships with these children after being repeatedly attacked, so all respect to you for being able to do so.
  7. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    It seems to be a rising trend then. I have a horror story about a colleague who was covered in bruises ! from an attack by a toddler who then experienced an incident that left her threatened with capability - can't give details. Just the brusing on her arm was enough to chill my blood.

    Last year I had chairs thrown at me, was bitten, punched, kicked, knocked over, ..... this year is better at the moment but I don't know how I can deal with it... I feel for the troubled children and try so hard to help them, but always in such situations you put yourself at risk of being accused of whatever could happen, and in the same breath, you can be accused of not maintaining order - the child who hit me last week, knocking off my glasses, the same child also gave two other children black eyes! In one week!

    I can only protect the others by being on the trail of the violent child at all times which leaves little time to teach.

    Management are supportive and the team is a good one but I am just bleak all over about what is happening to our little ones and what is the impact on the other children of witnessing this kind of incident or being on the end of an attack themselves. They cannot feel safe.

    And meanwhile the other tot is screaming its head off which echoes all round the room.

    I take comfort from your post. I do sometimes find myself wondering if I am to blame, perhaps if I had better x y z then it would be different - ? But I have been teaching donkeys years so probably am better equiped than most younger teachers. And this did not happen in the past. It's new.

    There is also prossibly a drug abuse element. I did read up a little on line. There are certainy some very disturbed children in the system nowadays.
  8. Hello NellyFuf

    I read this with interest as over the last three years I have witnessed several EYFS and KS1 children being aggressive and assaulting staff and other children on an almost daily basis. I have seen restraint being used frequently, and whilst it prevents the child from harming others or themselves it rarely 'solves' the problem...I fact it can often exacerbate the situation. I work in special needs and to some extent accept some aggressive behaviours as 'part of the job' - me and my team are extremely patient and often read the signs and are able to use various techniques to prevent escalation - but last year we had an horrendous time with one particular reception child who bit, pinched, kicked and abused staff and children almost daily. Very little can be done - every time we refer a child for support to CAMHS or paediatrics etc we get knocked back...they don't 'fit criteria'. There is no longer any Behaviour Support team - there is very little help anywhere! It is a dire situation.

    I like you have been teaching for a while - and can't believe the behaviours many young children are displaying. As you say - early retirement is beckoning!

    It is difficult to know what to say to you, it appears you are doing everything 'right' - and we too felt sorry for the other children in the class who had to put up with observing this behaviour daily.

    We are not in this job to be abused, and we certainly don't get paid enough for it!

    I'd love some of these 'experts' to come in and show us how it should be done - easy to talk about - but actually showing us...well that would be a thing! But it'll never happen!

    Good luck!
  9. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    We did try zero tolerance today - two of us and with as little physical contact as was safe - he did hit out - but not so badly - mainly at me - I must be the bad cop - in the end we told him we would take his shoes off it he did not stop climbing on the furniture - this worked - when he was a little calmer we told him what was going to happen next, is Interaction Group for him then outside play for climbing - he did understand - he was angelic the rest of the session and even gave another child a toy that he had because they wanted it and cried - unheard of before today -
  10. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    don't know what happened there - also his Keyperson was absent and another member of the team thinks she might wind him up - too loud and aggressive maybe.

    I feel a lot better but we will see. We had good days with children last year and then it would all break down again.
  11. Hi Nellyfuf,

    I can't claim to be a behaviour expert but I, like most people these days, have witnessed children with challenging behaviours in Early Years settings and Primary schools over the last few years. I now work in a special school with a KS1 class, all of whom display very challenging behaviours on a daily basis. I don't want to say I have advice per say as every child, setting and staff team are different and you seem to be doing everything right but I thought I would give you a list of the things we do - hope some of it helps or at least reinforces that you are doing a fantastic job and doing all you can!

    Logs - we make a log of every challenging behaviour incident throughout the day. This takes a LONG time and sometimes we can't do it at the time, so we record briefly on post-its and write up after. This helps us to identify patterns - times of the day, triggers, behaviours, even staff members, actions or words of others etc which might identify the cause.

    Behaviour plans - We make a behaviour plan for each individual, listing all of the challenging behaviours they present, when these behaviours usually arise, where around the building they usually arise and any triggers which set off these behaviours. For each behaviour we then decide how to act to prevent the behaviours arising e.g. how the children come in in the morning, who meets them, what activities they should do, where in the class they should go. Some of my children need routine as soon as they get in and use of their visual timetable. Others need to be told what to do for each minute. Others need time to adjust to their surroundings and quietly get ready for the day. Consistency is key, as is prevention and de-escalation - as you obviously know from previous posts. Then we write on the plan Team Teach techniques etc used. We do risk assessments for the behaviours too.

    We found that it was extremely time consuming and stressful for the child and staff to constantly restrain a child on a chair or on the floor, especially for the amount of times we were doing this a day. We luckily have a small room which we fitted with a babygate which we put one of the children in now. He has all the distraction, de-escalation, warnings etc and this is a last resort. He doesn't like being able to see the others and be ignored and left out. We use visual timetables, 'now and next', 'I am working with' strategies and lots of incentives!

    If the techniques aren't working, I ask for other staff members experienced in behaviour to come and observe and discuss the children's behaviours at meetings etc. I would also ask for a referral to the Educational Psychologist, CAMHS or social work if I felt home was contributing to the behaviours. I have regular phone calls and meetings with parents to explain what the issues are at school, how we are working with the child and to try and link up what they're doing at home with what we do at school. If parents don't want to co-operate it at least gives me an insight into home life!

    Above all, if something seems to be working, we cling on to it and keep it going until it stops working!! But with one of my children especially we just have to give it time - it may well take over the year but we're sticking with the plan, altering it where necessary and swapping in and out to be 1:1 with him so each staff member gets a break for an hour!

    I'm sure you knew all of this already but I hope some of it helps, or reinforces what you already knew :) Good luck!

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