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Eal And Behaviour Problem


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We have recently had a 4 yr old Arabic boy start in nursery. He has been with us about 6 weeks now full time (8am- 6pm man to Fri). I am quite concerned about him- his behaviour has been violent, lots of kicking of staff and other children, hitting, spitting and eg. after these outbursts walking off grinning.

 

We are very aware that he must be frustrated with the language barrier but are trying our best- he does know quite a few English words eg he can name body parts, uses 'yes' 'no', 'more' esp at snack time or when he wants something. We have lots of Arabic writing and books and worked 1:1 with him with simple picture books in both Arabic and English. He quickly picked up the difference between 'tree' and 'leaf' in the garden. He loves pencil and paper activities and is keen to eg trace his name.

 

We have had EMAS (Ethnic Minorities Achievement Service) to come to the setting but their advice seemed for older children...

 

Last week was just awful- he seems to be doing anything for attention bad or good- he threw a child from the top of the slide (luckily someone caught him)

Constantly spitting- getting into tantrums and making himself sick. He is aware of boundaries but is always running off then when someone comes to bring him back attaches himself to the nearest wall or rail and clings kicking and punching. He is quite a big lad, one staff member has just had a major operation and another is pregnant so all in all it is just awful

 

Can anyone advise me of what to try next? We have been trying to praise good behaviour and don't give him attention with the bad- but usually the bad is getting dangerous.

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Oh Mharhi, this is just so bad for you!

I'm afraid I haven't really any advice, which I know isn't what you want to hear, but I am thinking about you.

Just make sure your 'electric ears' are switched on. This was something a child in our setting said ages ago, when we all suddenly knew and understood some probs he was having. It's a fave expression of mine.

Just a bit of a thought, the attaching to walls and rails sounds like the asylum seekers look on tv news...any connection...?

I am sure someone here will be able to help, in the meantime .... have a hug!

(xxxx)

 

Sue :D

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I have WASPs in my nursery who cling to walls and fences. and i don't think it si bec they have seen it on TV. It is a reaction to either get away from whoever is restraining you or to make it bloody difficult for you to move.

WASP? whats that i hear you ask - White Anglo Saxon Protestant.

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Mharhi,

I do sympathise, it is so difficult knowing the child is obviously showing he is unsettled / unhappy and meeting his needs, whilst also ensuring he and others are kept safe.

 

Are the parents aware of the difficulties? Without wanting to sound stereotypical but in my experience of boys from this ethnic origin, I have found they tend to have more respect for the men in their lives and little respect (shown by behaviour) towards women. How does he respond to his parents with regard to respectful behaviour?

 

good luck, and I hope the situation calms down for you all soon.

 

Peggy

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Sounds just like a boy I had in nursery last year. He was always throwing things over the garden wall which was a bit irksome when the bus stop was right behind it. Poor people kept getting lego bricks raining down on them. He would run away grinning, and didn't really engage with the others because they got fed up with him hitting them. Although born here he was EAL arabic/Somali. We talked withmum and he was apparently the same at home and had also been asked not to attend weekend Arabic school because of how he behaved. We monitored ourselves and realised that most of our engagment with him was of the "No ****** don't do that "type so what we tried was very focused adult interest in him. We gave him as much attention as we could muster and engaged in play with him alone/in groups. We found out what He was fascinated by (shapes and puzzles, aeroplanes, maths activities) and tried to engage in these areas. It took nearly 3 terms but by the end of the year he was half the trouble!! He certainly wasn't the only one though!! For me the issue was he was getting a "Name" as a naughty boy, which could stick with him throughout school and I didn't want that to happen.

 

It's tiring though!! hang on in there :)

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i have real reservations about lablelling a child's behaviour bec of his ethnic origin. That is making assumptions nd stereotyping certain communities and giving in to all the rhetoric that the tabloids feed us.

his ethinic origin may or may not be an issue but his behavior should be explored and observed before the child is labelled.

This assumption leads me to beleive that there are no behavoir problems among children from other communities or from local white children. and all of usnknow that thats not true. Weall have prarents who transmit theri antisocial tedencies and behavior to their children

As early years proactitioners we should try and rise above these everyday assumptions and concentrate on what really matters- tackling the issues individually.

As catma indicates the child in her class could be any little boy who gets the same negative messages at home and school- irrespective of his ethnic origin.

And yes, i'll get off my soapbox now!!!!! xD:D:D:o

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I really didn't mean to offend, and my example was only from personal experiences.

 

I have a problem with the term "irrespective of.......(gender, status, ethnic origin, religion etc") , I think we should all consider "with respect and value of.............(gender, status, ethnic origin, religion etc")

 

I believe that every human being has stereotypical views and to deny them is easy because then we can ignore them, however to personally achnowledge this truth enables us to look beyond our steretypical viewpoint and learn more about and value each individuals ethnic / cultural diversity.

It is by understanding every childs individual ethnic and cultural background, their family's values and principles that we begin to understand the individual child, including their behaviour.

I am passionately against "labeling" children when used as a negative term. But don't we all label children? This child is labeled EAL, this is positive because it enables the practitioners to meet his individual identified need.

 

Peggy

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