3 yr old behavioural issues at pre-school
But fine at home
, Mar 30 2012 10:15 AM
11 replies to this topic
Posted 30 March 2012 - 10:15 AM
Just after some advise. My 3 year old (4 next month) started pre-school about 8 weeks ago. He has never been in any sort of care before with the exception of going to his grandparents home while I work (two days per week). I have him at pre-school 3 days a week and he appears to really love it. I've never had issues with him going, and he talks positively about the activities and the teachers.
About 2 weeks in the Centre Director took me aside and mentioned that they were having issues with him being aggressive to other kids and hitting and some spitting. We brought this up with DS and mentioned that this sort of thing wasn't acceptable. Fast forward to last week and the director took me aside again and said she would like to seek early intervention for his behaviour and have someone come in to assess him. I'm all for that, however I was a little disappointed that no-one had mentioned that the problem was still occurring until that point.
The thing is that he has always been the most gentle and empathetic child and I am really shocked that he is exhibiting this sort of behaviour at preschool. We certainly don't see it at home at all. He hasn't spent a whole heap of time around children of his own age, but does play well with his cousins (1 year older than him) and brother (younger). They say that he seems anxious and unable to make friends. They said that his communication skills and thought processes are way ahead of any of the other kids in the centre and that they think he might be getting frustrated with them as they just don't understand him and can't find any common ground. He has a highly developed sense of humour and a very active and vivid imagination. He loves to play games that involve a high level of imagination and I guess that it could be a big problem for him when other kids aren't seeing the game the same way he is. He talks about other kids there and says he wants friends but that he doesn't like it when other kids hit him or take his toys. I suspect he has been rejected a few times and now thinks the best thing to do is to reject other kids first, or just not join in for fear of being hurt.
I'm at a real loss as to what to do. I've agreed to the early intervention and hope that they can provide some insight, but I really want to be able to help my sweet little boy fit in. He's very intuitive and empathetic and I worry that the longer this isolation continues the more damage it is doing to him long term. I've tried to talk to him about how not all kids want to play the same games and if a child doesn't want to play a game with him thats ok, and it doesn't mean they don't like him.
Any ideas on how I could help him out?
Posted 30 March 2012 - 10:22 AM
Do they have parent helpers at the preschool at all? It might help you to address the behaviour if you can see what's going on. Otherwise you might have to put your trust in the teachers and try to follow through with their suggestions and see if it helps.
I posted in another thread recently about the PATHS turtle technique. It helps kids to express their feelings verbally and figure out their options before they react. Might be worth looking into, but I'd say it's also important to be consistent with the teachers' system, especially since you are not seeing these issues at home.
Posted 30 March 2012 - 10:30 AM
Thanks for the info on the PATHS turtle technique. I'll definitely do some research on that! Being a parent helper would be a great idea too. I'll ask the centre if I can come in.
Posted 30 March 2012 - 10:46 AM
He needs to be interacting with kids his own age more often and preferably with you there to correct any unacceptable behaviour. What about the park?
Posted 30 March 2012 - 11:08 AM
I don't know if this will have any bearing on your situation as my son was a bit different in the sense that he hates imaginative play and would lash out if someone was pretending to be a crocodile etc.... he just couldn't understand the difference between pretend and real - he still struggles with this....
BUT at 3.5-4 he was having trouble with hitting and pushing at preschool. At home or in any other social situation however he socialised beautifully with no trouble whatsoever. Now I felt that it was partly because he knew we would not allow any misbehaviour whereas the preschool did not have any real discipline in place. But more importantly was cueing into the fact that he had some sensory processing issues. In particular noise was a trigger for him as was having his personal space invaded. So by the end of a long, noisy day at preschool if someone bumped into him in a rowdy game he would lash out. Also he hated being interrupted before he was finished something. So he would react badly if another child tried to join in his game or if it was time to pack up.
After reading about sensory processing issues I took him to an occupational therapist. He had weekly sessions for a year the year before he started school and they helped a lot. I also did social stories with him about the problem areas - like moving to mat time etc. I'd draw a picture of him at preschool and him being first at the door when it was time to go inside etc. Pictures of him sitting on the mat nice and still. He would get upset with other kids not sitting quietly etc so he would shout at them and push them etc. I showed him how to lead by example and show them how to sit nicely. The teacher was amazed at how well this worked as his behaviour changed almost overnight. My son is very academically bright but sometimes needs the basics explained to him very explicitly as he does not tend to take his cues from other people. We did also see a psychologist etc to rule out any major issues.
I think its great your preschool is offering early intervention - its a great opportunity to get things sorted before school.
FWIW my son had a pretty smooth transition to school. He had some similar issues in first term but since then has been doing beautifully and is now happy in year 1.
One of his friends at school is possibly the most outgoing child I have ever met - is super popular and I was amazed to hear his mum telling me that he had a support person through most of preschool due to severe social issues . So don't worry too much, but do act.
Posted 30 March 2012 - 11:23 AM
Could you find a playgroup you could take him on your days off? Friends with kids?
I'm sorry but it sounds like you're trying to come up with reasons to justify his behaviour - 'empathic', 'sensitive', 'imaginative', 'rejected' etc. You're giving a very young child very adult characteristics, when to me, it just sounds like a little boy who hasn't yet been taught social skills. Humans aren't born knowing how to get along with others, no more than they know how to walk, run, throw a ball, or do anything else. And if he's never spent much time in an environment where he' interacting with kids his own age, then he just hasn't learnt how to cope with that environment, and is reacting to that familiarity in a typically child-like fashion - by showing frustration and anger. The other kids know the 'rules' and he doesn't; consequently thu don't want to play with him, and he gets even more frustrated.
I am sure the teacher is only trying to teach him these skills through an 'early intervention program' - why is everything a catch phrase these days? What I think you could do to help is augment that by putting him in environments with other kids and guiding him through the process. Cousins are not the same as strangers or outside friends, and that's what he needs to get used to. And if you're there that makes it a more safe environment, and you can tell him what he needs to do 'ok, you need to share that toy now' or 'jake wants to play firemen, let's do that go a while and then we can do some more drawing'. He may get frustrated and it's ok to validate those frustrations 'yes I know you really wanted to do drawing but jake is your friend and we cooperate with our friends. Its ok to be frustrated, but you need to be a good friend and do what he wants sometimes, and he'll do what you want sometimes'. We have regular playdates with a few kids of our adult friends, and also spend a lot of time at the local parks where we've made 'friends' with local kids and parents. DS is 2.5 and I think we spend about 50% of any playdate (in combination with the other parents) instructing our kids in the 'rules' of human interaction, which in total amount to probably 10 hours a week of cajoling, lecturing, entreating and disciplining. And if the other kids have had this for a few years but your son has predominantly interacted with adults and family, then you can see where the problem might arise.
At almost 4 he'll pick it up a lot quicker than a 2 year old though, and I think the important thing is to be really encouraging and give him lots of love, cuddles and positive feedback when he does the right thing, and be gentle but firm when chastising him for doing the 'wrong' thing.
If he genuinely is a sweet and gentle boy, it's actually in his nature to be cooperative, he just needs some guidance as to how to do that! I'd recommend parks and playgroups, and put all the housework on hold for a few months on your days off, and take him places where he can interact with kids his age with your support.
Posted 30 March 2012 - 12:33 PM
Thanks for your replies. Yes, we do socialise with friends that have kids his age. One in particular he has spent a lot of time with however I have tried to cut back on their time together in the last 3-4 months as there were a few incidents of physical aggression which were starting to bother DS. The other little boy was going through a rough patch I think (new sibling and all that) and had been hitting DS randomly (and repeatedly) with quite large objects (chairs, bikes, metal buckets) and it was getting to the stage where DS was physically shaking when he saw the other little boy. They still play together, however only say once a week and only under supervision. I did wonder that since this little boy was his most regular playmate that he might be copying his interaction (i.e. Open aggression rather than talking). We go to playgroups once every few weeks, but again all these interactions are always with me around and therefore he doesn't show this behaviour. I know at some point I just have to let go and let him sort it out for himself, but his interactions with kids in my presence has always been normal so I guess I just assumed he had learned enough social skills to get by in a pre-school environment. Clearly thats not the case!
MsN, I understand where you are coming from and I can see that it may have sounded like I was trying to justify his behaviour. I don't condone aggression towards other kids at all, which is why I'm so concerned about this. I was merely pointing out his character traits (empathetic, imaginative, sensitive etc) as I feel that its an important factor in understanding why this behaviour is out of character and therefore troubling to me.
Posted 30 March 2012 - 12:39 PM
Its so confusing when they are completely different at school than at home/elsewhere. I know exactly what you mean. Good luck getting to the bottom of it.
Edited by Kay1, 30 March 2012 - 12:40 PM.
Posted 30 March 2012 - 12:51 PM
Does the centre have an older age room ie 4-5 year olds that they could trial him in first to see if he is able to cope better with kids that are more at his developmental level. He may be having trouble with the kids his age but better with the older kids who are at the level that he is at if he is further ahead that the kids he is with. I know that this is how my DS is and once he was moved he was much happier and started making friends. Good Luck.
Posted 30 March 2012 - 01:04 PM
I think it sounds like he's adjusting to a new situation. Of course he needs guidance and what he's doing isn't ok but if he's doing this in one place it still sounds like a reaction to a new environment and something you'd expect he'll soon stop when he feels settled.
I totally understand where you're coming from with your description of your son. I have very quiet, introverted children but when they were little they were quite aggressive for a while (in the one particular group situation). It seems an assumption that the kids that hit, push etc are the loud physical types but that's not always the case. When they're little the kids that need quiet and a lot of personal space can be aggressive too, they're overwhelmed by noise and the forwardness of more extroverted kids and can lash out.
Posted 30 March 2012 - 01:45 PM
I can't put too much now (at work) but my son sounds exactly like mine, we are trying a few things so PM me if you like as I may forget to check back later.
Posted 30 March 2012 - 02:20 PM
I can't speak from experience, but it wasn't until my brother was "acting up" in pre-school that his deafness (subsequently addressed through adenoid removal) surfaced through his behaviour.
Or it could be as a previous poster said about sensitivities to noise (or such an environment) which he wouldn't have come across previously - friend's children have had similar diagnoses and, with the right "help" the child has generally found ways to accomodate to the new needs of schools and classrooms.
1 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users
to WIN 1 of 2 $500 Coles/Myer gift cards
Two children were killed when pieces from their Malm furniture line tipped over.
If you're looking to introduce an organic element into your baby's nursery but want to step away from natural timber, we have the perfect alternative.
I am in no way qualified to advise women on how to cope with hyperemesis, but I've learnt some lessons that might be worth sharing with other partners.
Best friends share everything - and for these two life-long friends, that includes family.
Samuel Forrest didn't want his wife as a trustee of their baby Leo's half million dollar trust for her own "protection", it has emerged.
Men who become fathers experience weight gain and an increase in body mass index, a measurement of body fat based on height and weight, according to a new, large-scale study
She said the photo of a boy with Down syndrome in a washing machine was taken just for fun, but no one else was laughing.
An opulent high tea at a luxury Melbourne hotel has left 44 people with salmonella poisoning - including a pregnant woman, who went into early labour.
Would you know what to do in a fire emergency? How safe is your home and family?
Prince George's second birthday has been marked by the release of an official picture showing the toddler smiling as he is held by his proud beaming father.
Is it safe to use fake tan, hair dye and nail varnish during pregnancy?
The truth is, I can no longer deny that my walking, babbling, somewhat-independent little miss is no longer a bona fide 'baby'.
I'm not usually one who believes in love at first sight but that's exactly what happened when I first saw the Cybex PRIAM.
Where does hanger come from? And why is it that only some people seem to get hangry?
It's a heartbreaking video that anyone who has ever considered not vaccinating against whooping cough must see.
An Australian couple could face a medical expenses of more than $1 million after their baby boy was born three months prematurely while they were holidaying in Hawaii.
Through their drawings, children can be classified into their dominant sensory modes - that is, if they could be classified as visual, tactile, taste/smell, or auditory.
Don't be surprised if your morning brew does more than wake you up. There's more to this magical elixir than you might think.
Days out from Prince George's second birthday, his parents' tendency to dress him in classical style clothing has been revealed as a cunning ploy.
One minute they're contentedly snuggled in the sanctuary of their mum's tummy, and the next they arrive into an overwhelming reality of lights, cameras and action.
An incredible birth video shows a mother delivering her own baby as her husband drives along a freeway in a vain attempt to reach hospital.
Many women happily breastfeed well into pregnancy while others wean sooner; yet others continue to breastfeed both infants together. This is a personal choice.
A new gadget uses a tiny microscope and the camera on an iPad to calculate sperm count and motility.
Julia Watson, a mum of four young girls, was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer in December 2013. She shares her latest blog piece with Essential Baby.
I cried when a specialist told me at exactly 28 weeks that our twin boys would have to be born within 48 hours.
To celebrate the release of Love Child Season 2 on DVD from July 9, Essential Baby and Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment are giving away Love Child Season 1 & 2 on DVD to 13 lucky winners.
Get your free ticket to the Sydney Essential Baby & Toddler Show for September 25-27 - register online now.
to WIN 1 of 2 $500 Coles/Myer gift cards
I believe that you get out of families what you put into them, and I will give mine my all.
I have had two postnatal psychotic episodes. The first when my eldest child was six weeks old, and another after my second child was born.
French names are always in fashion, but a few have risen in popularity in recent years.
A British woman who gave birth in Spain has told of her ordeal after spending weeks trying to convince medics the baby girl was hers.
Some friends of ours say that it's dangerous to have a dog around a newborn and that we should start looking for a new home for him. Is it?
First Apple and Facebook announced they would pay $20,000 towards the cost of their female employees freezing their eggs, now IBM in the US has come up with an innovative new policy aimed at retaining female employees.
The Duke of Cambridge opened up about family life and his plans for the future in an interview to mark his first day as an air ambulance pilot.
A simple photo taken in front of an evening fire gave new mother Sarah Bowers the power to save her baby's life.
Of all the advice people told me before having a baby, no one warned me about the amount of decisions involved.
Parents of toddlers all know the moment when realise your child is being suspiciously quiet. It can only mean one thing - trouble!
If you have trouble recalling the ages of Jeremy Ryan's seven children on The Voice, you're not alone. So does he.
Getting glasses can be a formative moment in a person's life.
When a mum of six was caught shoplifting nappies, clothes and shoes for her kids, the last thing she expected was for a stranger to pay for her haul.
The risk of having uncontrolled depression is far greater than the small increased risk of birth defects that may be associated with specific antidepressants.
Police have raided properties and arrested a number of people over a brawl at a child's birthday party at a play centre in Sydney's west.
Looking for a creative way to share some big news? Look to the skies, like this family did.
Little Owen DiCandilo's name means "young warrior", and it's a description that perfectly fits the inspiring 18-month-old
The exhaustion that comes with caring for young children often means romance between parents becomes a thing of the past.
I've been fat for pretty much most of life, besides a few crazy moments of being less-fat, but for the most part I've existed on this earth with a little more meat on my bones than desirable.
Since the dawn of civilisation, generation after generation of new parents have had to rely on instinct, trial and error - and sometimes get it wrong.
Get your free ticket to The Essential Baby & Toddler Show and save $20 - register online now!