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Boys Behaviour


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I have been reading through all the excellent advise on here re behaviour but still wonder if there is more help out there.

The problem is around a group of 5-6 boys who attend day nursery all day. The set up of the nursery means that they can't be seperated but there behaviour is out of control! They have no respect for resources at all and seem to think anything they ruin (which they do freq and quickly) can be replaced. They are over physical in all their play (and yes, they do have lots of opportuntiies to play outside!) and activities have bene set up to specifically try to engage their interests and involve them- but still the disruptive behaviour continues. 'Disciplining' such young children (they are 3-4 years old) is so difficult and i don't want to label them at such a young age but any advise gratefully recieved.

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I wish I had the answer Karen!!

Luckily I'm working with just one lad like that, breaks things, hurts others, laughs when he's told off, giggles, walks away, tells me his mom's going to come and shoot me, contradicts every little thing you say to him 'thats a lovely model' 'no it isnt', 'good boy for helping' 'no I'm not'....the list is endless. Really struggle to find something positive to say to him most days. Last week I gave him my pot of tacks to look after (from the Tap-a-shape game), 'you're in charge' I told him, 'look after things until I get back'. I fetched a piece of paper came back and he'd thrown the tacks on the floor and walked away smiling. xD

I dont like sending children to another room or especially the office, they are tiny afterall, but sometimes the other children just need a rest from the constant disruptions.

Reports have recently suggested that children who spend all day in nurseries can be more aggressive, and I know there are thousands of well adjusted children out there but I think for some it's too much too soon.

I dont like stickers for good behaviour but would something like that work within this group? Even if they were rewarded within the roles they are playing. Do they feed off each other? If one is away do the others react the same? Is there a ring leader?

Have you spoken to the parents? Would there be any help from that direction?

I'm no use am I? Loads more problems and questions rather than help and ideas. I'll read this with interest.

:o

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Hmm. I think whoever has the answer to this one is on the threshhold of a very lucrative career in advising settings on behaviour management!

 

We have a very similar situation (who doesn't?), and in our case one young man is very much the leader of the gang. He responds well to praise and perhaps we've taken our eyes off the ball a little, but we find we are back to square one again, having previously 'tamed the dragon'.

 

Obviously each child is very different and so there can never be "one style fits all" approach to managing behaviour. We do use sticker charts in our setting if we have a child who responds well, we adopt a strategy of "catching them being good", and deciding which issues to pick battles over and which to turn a blind eye to. Of course this in itself can cause problems, because these issues might well be different for each child, which can leave us open to accusations of being 'harder' on one child and 'softer' on another.

 

Speaking to the parents is always a good idea - they may have strategies which they use at home that can be used to good effect in the setting (and this of course lets the child know that home and nursery are united in their ideas of what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour). Mind you, my hair does curl sometimes when I hear how parents discipline their children...

 

One strategy I have used to good effect is to make a real example of the child's behaviour, whenever he is behaving well. So at that moment when I catch him being good I point out what he is doing so well and use this as a model for other children to aspire to. When dealing with the 'leader of the gang' who sets the tone for others' behaviour in the setting, this is particularly successful. This works really well for this particular boy, as I feel he needs to develop a view of himself that he is a valuable, pleasant member of the pre-school who is liked by both adults and children. That can be hard when the only time he hears his name being mentioned is to complain about some misdemeanour or other.

 

We're also doing a lot of work on feelings and emotions in our circle times - how does it feel when someone is mean to us? How can we work out disgreements without resorting to physical methods?

 

And consistency is obviously very important. Decide on a strategy, and ensure it is followed and implemented by everyone. Keep observing, keep talking to the child, spend time together and keep modelling acceptable behaviour.

 

And if all else fails, there's always the old standard - a bottle of chilled white wine waiting for you in the 'fridge at the end of a hard day!

 

Maz

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Overstressed myself here, so very little time - but - have you considered that they may have 'grown up' together so they are much like siblings?

 

See if this changes your approach... like I said, no real help, but may be food for thought?? Got some of my own :o

 

Sue

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We have/have had a very similar situation recently and have felt total dispair about it all. In the last week we have discovered one of the most disruptive and violent of the group wasn't getting a proper nights sleep and since mum has put him to sleep in his own bed (as apposed to with an older brother) he has been like a different child. He's still a 'cheeky little fellow', but much more positive.

 

Hope you find a solution....

 

Elfy

x

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You have my sympathy. This may not help, but it's worth a go. Could you involve the group in thinking up ideas for a new structured play area and then get them to help set it up, making the things you need for it. Obviously, other children can be involved as well. For example, you could make a space station. The children could make lots of 'machines'in your creative area (lots of tin foil covered boxes?). All sorts of instructions, countdowns etc could be written in the writing area. If the idea takes off, it can be linked to most areas of the room. If this group take an interest, they will probably throw themselves in with enough enthusiasm to get lots of other children involved.

Also...I do think that children who wreck things need to sweep up, pick up the strewn toys, help mend the books or whatever it is. We have a tiresome bunch who kick footballs onto our flat roof. We don't send them up,ladders to fetch them (!) but we do say 'no football today' if a ball is deliberately kicked. Even small people need to know about the consequences of their actions.

How old are your gang? We definitely notice that some children seem to grow out of nursery as they are about to leave.

Hope you survive them. :o

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Also...I do think that children who wreck things need to sweep up, pick up the strewn toys, help mend the books or whatever it is. We have a tiresome bunch who kick footballs onto our flat roof. We don't send them up,ladders to fetch them (!) but we do say 'no football today' if a ball is deliberately kicked. Even small people need to know about the consequences of their actions.

How old are your gang? We definitely notice that some children seem to grow out of nursery as they are about to leave.

Hope you survive them. :o

I'm with you on this: we make... er encourage... them sweep up/clear up/put away when they've messed up, so to speak. Another tip I read somewhere (but haven't remembered to try) is that if a child hurts another child, to get the aggressor to administer the treatment. So, if a tussle results in 'Mr Bump' being needed, get the child who did the hitting to hold the ice pack on the affected area. Obviously this would need supervision - you can just imagine the argument being carried on with the icepack in hand...

 

And yes, even the youngest children can learn that their behaviour has consequences - good and bad!

 

Maz

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Thanks for the advise. They are 3 or 4 years old. The space station idea is exactly what we did- it was ready for them by first thing- by noon it was wrecked! As I said it is like they just 'expect' it to be replaced and if it isn't- well we wll find soemthing else to do!!!!

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Guest katylouise1984

I have a little boy in my setting who is 4 and a half, he is the 'setter' he sets the others off and there is a huge difference without him. This child is an only child who craves attention and praise and cuddles. I am at my wits end with him at current. He craves MY attention more than my co workers. He push boundaries and break rules and then will kick off literally and kick punch hit me and in the process other children. I am very firm in believing he will not get my attention when he behaves like this, he forces himself onto my knee or onto my leg craving that attention. He is impossible to talk to when in this screaming state but this often happens at circle or group times and I am comprimising the key time of the other children and sometimes having to abandon it!

 

Does anyone else do anything that seems to work?

 

We have golden rules and guess which child is the only one that can reel all 5 off!!!!!

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I have a little boy in my setting who is 4 and a half, he is the 'setter' he sets the others off and there is a huge difference without him. This child is an only child who craves attention and praise and cuddles. I am at my wits end with him at current. He craves MY attention more than my co workers. He push boundaries and break rules and then will kick off literally and kick punch hit me and in the process other children. I am very firm in believing he will not get my attention when he behaves like this, he forces himself onto my knee or onto my leg craving that attention. He is impossible to talk to when in this screaming state but this often happens at circle or group times and I am comprimising the key time of the other children and sometimes having to abandon it!

 

Does anyone else do anything that seems to work?

 

We have golden rules and guess which child is the only one that can reel all 5 off!!!!!

What do the parents say? Certainly no child should be able to punch or kick either adults or children.

 

Do you have a spare member of staff who can remove the child from the situation so that (a) he isn't being rewarded for unacceptable behaviour by getting your attention and (:o the key time of the other children isn't compromised?

 

It feels a bit like exclusion (and I'm aware that he's only little) but sometimes children have to understand that there are rules which need to be adhered to. Once he understands that when he can behave appropriately he can come back and get some quality attention from you for the right reasons, he might (but only might!) be a bit more amenable.

 

I really feel for you - its hard when you seem to be the focus of his need for attention. What happens when you're not there - how do other members of staff handle the situation?

 

Maz

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