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Is It An Attention Thing.


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I am worried about a child in playgroup, he is three and a half, has a lack of social skills, lashes out at others, spits at you when addressing an issue and now....... every time we speak to child regarding behavior issues he poo's him self ....fab!(Before Christmas he would go to the loo as normal)

Today he has not had a good session, two changes of clothes and need less to say he has been very disruptive.

I have been speaking to mum regularly, she is at her wits end. She tells me he pooed nine times yesterday at home as soon as she spoke to him regarding his behavior.

As we where talking at the end of the session the child came over and punched her proper hard, i'm afraid i addressed the situation with very firm words. Mum feels so alone in this situation and I felt that i did not help her today.

Staff discussed the situation and we had many ideas,

  • Is it an attention thing.(If so then what do i do?)

  • Could it be that he is reacting badly to the arrival of his sister (4 months old).
  • Is he scared of something.

We have decided as a team that we have to address the behavior issues no matter what the result.We will try & find a trigger. We have to change his soiled clothing, but we will now do it with out giving him any extra attention such as converstation while changing.

 

I'm not sure about how firm the parents are at home, i feel that the child makes the rules.

I headed off feeling unhappy about the lack of support that i had given the mother but i went to the local children's center and got enough leaflets on parenting classes etc for the whole group so i can do a blanket leaflet drop on Monday.

Has any else experienced such a situation as i really do not know what to do for the best?

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We have had very similar, but not managed 9 poos in a day!

 

What we did was allocate a one-to-one person for this girl. We gave her lots of praise and verbal rewards when she was doing what we wanted, and as you say, none when she wasn't, when we would obviously appear to be having fun with someone else, returning quite quickly when she had calmed down and scaffolding her behaviour once again.

 

We also asked her to clean herself each time, then she got some idea of how unpleasant it was - and that it wasn't just us suffering! I'll try and find my notes - it was a few years ago and the brain goes on a Friday!

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Well what a conundrum. Lesley the first thing I wanted to say was not to beat yourself up about how it went today and don't concentrate on your worry that you might not have supported this parent as well as you would have liked. I'm sure she is grateful that you handled the situation for her - she sounds as if she's having a really rough time.

 

This little chap has discovered a very effective way of avoiding having to take responsibility for his inappropriate behaviour - providing a nice diversion which needs to be dealt with instead of talking about why he is behaving the way he does at the moment. I've heard of children making themselves sick on demand, but unless this child is having a severe physiological reaction to being 'told off' then it shows advance bowel control skills!

 

You mentioned that he has a baby sister which leads me to ask if his behaviour has always been a concern or if this is something new? If the former, have things got markedly worse since she arrived. However this is obviously causing a problem both at home and in the setting and it sounds to me as if you both need some support in getting to the bottom of what is making this boy so unhappy.

 

Do you think mum would be happy for you to get your Inclusion team or health visitor involved? I think you all need to work together to find out what is happening and identify strategies to help him as best you can.

 

I'm sorry that I can't offer any practical help - outside my field of expertise, I'm afraid. Keep your chin up - and keep supporting each other as a team.

 

Maz

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As Maz says, you mustn't think that you've not supported his Mum. Just the very fact that she has been able to share this problem with you will be helping her enormously. A trouble shared..... and all that.

 

Try to handle it the way you are, by not making it a big deal, and not giving him the attention for this. In a way, involving outside agencies at this point will give the act even more attention. I would say that it's very likely that the new baby could be the catalyst, so any time he can get on his own with Mum without baby will be a help too

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oh lesley I dont envy you, you have your work cut out with this one,

 

I dont think its pure attention, it sounds more a reaction to the baby Ive noticed in our group when children have had younger siblings its about 3- 6 months after the birth that the behaviour problems occure in the older siblings, at the age of three he may also at the stage of testing mums love "will she still love me when im bad" and "does mum still love me now she has a new baby to love" baby gets attention for nappy changing so maybe he is after the same one to one attention

 

positive praise and lots of distractions may help while he comes to terms with his new position in the family, sugest that mum "moan" about the babies stinky nappies and what a chore the baby is and how clever he is as a big boy and all the things he can do, if he can see that mum doesnt enjoy changing nappies and that she avoids making a fuss of the baby during nappy changing infront of the boy maybe he will not feel so clever when he poos?

 

good luck

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I dont think its pure attention, it sounds more a reaction to the baby Ive noticed in our group when children have had younger siblings its about 3- 6 months after the birth that the behaviour problems occure in the older siblings, at the age of three he may also at the stage of testing mums love "will she still love me when im bad" and "does mum still love me now she has a new baby to love" baby gets attention for nappy changing so maybe he is after the same one to one attention

This is a really good point - especially as a child of this age isn't emotionally mature enough to identify these feelings let alone articulate them.

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You say you went to your local children's centre, couldn't you get her some support at home via the childrens centre... we have forms we can fill in with the parents,saying what our concerns are, we then send them to our children's centre and a family support worker arranges a one to one visit at their home and talks them through strategies to help them... just a thought

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This little chap has discovered a very effective way of avoiding having to take responsibility for his inappropriate behaviour - providing a nice diversion which needs to be dealt with instead of talking about why he is behaving the way he does at the moment. I've heard of children making themselves sick on demand, but unless this child is having a severe physiological reaction to being 'told off' then it shows advance bowel control skills!

 

Maz

 

funny you should this happymaz as the child always has an excuse for his behaviour such as "it wasn't me it was Thomas, he is being naughty today" or "I can't stand up my legs aren't mine and they are too wobbley today". What ever the situation, he does not own it, it's like it really is not him but some one else who has caused it.

 

I am planing to have a baby in the setting next week and compare what a baby is not able to do compared to what the playgroup children are capable of doing for themselves. I am hoping this will endorse the fact that the children can all do things for themselves.

 

I don't think the mother is quite ready for health vistor support as she is not quite ready to come to terms with the differculties as yet. I will suggest this soon so she gets the support she needs.

 

I like the idea of using a small adult task as a reward as this would make him so proud.

 

Thank you for your help once again!

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funny you should this happymaz as the child always has an excuse for his behaviour such as "it wasn't me it was Thomas, he is being naughty today" or "I can't stand up my legs aren't mine and they are too wobbley today". What ever the situation, he does not own it, it's like it really is not him but some one else who has caused it.

 

I am planing to have a baby in the setting next week and compare what a baby is not able to do compared to what the playgroup children are capable of doing for themselves. I am hoping this will endorse the fact that the children can all do things for themselves.

 

I don't think the mother is quite ready for health vistor support as she is not quite ready to come to terms with the differculties as yet. I will suggest this soon so she gets the support she needs.

 

I like the idea of using a small adult task as a reward as this would make him so proud.

 

Thank you for your help once again!

 

 

Can't read this - it's too pale, sorry. Can read it now I have put it in to reply. I agree that 'grown up' tasks are good andwe use them frequently at Preschool with rewarding results

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Lesley I thought Id pop back and check to see how things where going with your little darling?

 

must say as I was reading your reply my jaw dropped and I had to re-read the part where is says

"I am planing to have a baby in the setting next week"

that brought all kinds of thoughts to mind (maybe its just me?)

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Hi Lesley I thought Id pop back and check to see how things where going with your little darling?

 

must say as I was reading your reply my jaw dropped and I had to re-read the part where is says

"I am planing to have a baby in the setting next week"

that brought all kinds of thoughts to mind (maybe its just me?)

 

I'm not sure what you mean Alison. xD When I worked in a playgroup we sometimes had a mum bring in a baby and used that experience to talk about what babies can/can't do compared to themselves. The playgroup children were always very excited to have a baby in their midst and it evoked much cooing and aahing from everyone. :o

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it was late at night...I was reading the sentence literally as in "shes having a baby" visions of a childbirth in the middle of session

 

well it would be a new slant on "show and tell" I supose

 

I really shouldnt post late at night!

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