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Tackling Upsetting Behaviour


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Hello all

 

We have been having a few behavioural issues at the moment with most of the children. The main ones being, not doing what's been asked of them, e.g. being told up to 5 times to stop rolling around on the carpet etc. the other being unkind to each other e.g. you're not my best friend today, I hate you, you can't come to my party, pushing, hitting out of frustration.

 

In the past we've often had a couple of children doing this but now it's most of them! We've tried tactics such as praising kind behaviour, telling them that we are all friends at preschool and encouraging 'good listening', discussing being kind and unkind.

 

Does anyone have any successful games or circle activities that work? We do wow vouchers and make each child feel special and generally they are lovely children but they just seem to be constantly bickering and upsetting each other at the moment.

 

We have considered giving each one a card and they get a stamp for kind behaviour- which I'm sure most of them will get but it's the unkind behaviour we need to tackle. At home children have behavioural charts where if they are unkind have something 'taken away'. I'm not sure this happens in settings and I'm not sure I want to do it but we need to tackle it somehow.

 

Hope you can help

 

Thanks

 

ppp

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time for big school!

 

maybe find out what the schools do that you feed into and use something along their lines in preparation for school.

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I heard a really nice idea yesterday........a 'sunshine tree', which the children moniter themselves................if they feel someone has been kind, or done something special/nice/kind, they put a photograph of that child up in the branches.apparantly it works wonders!

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Occasionally you do get "epidemic" cohorts I believe - we had a group of girls who treated each other to verbal unkindness we never resolved it to our satisfaction and tried all the things you are already doing P3. This year we have one girl who who would I think be like this, but the other girls don't appear to buy into it and the girl group is getting along well in quite small pockets, pairing up rather than in 3's (always the worst combo I think). They don't appear to be vying for the attention of one another. A couple of the girls are also pairing up with boys rather than girls and this is perhaps helping.

 

On the boys "bundling" on the mat etc. I have decided to allow some of this to take place this year rather than going for zero tolerance of it. Listening to a Woman's Hour programme this week one of the experts said that this is the classic way for boys to bond and if they are not allowed to play in this way they do not know what hurts and what doesn't and they can become aggressive adults as a result. Sooooooo..... as I say we are allowing a certain amount of bundling at appropriate times and but keeping a careful watch on them so that we can step in if it gets too heavy, for instance one pair were playfully 'bonding', but then 2 more boys came along and in a moment the smallest lad had 3 others on top of him - so this is something we will watch out for and stop quickly.

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really feel for you on this, it can be so unrelentless when they are all at it. We have asked parents to come in and stay and observe their children, when all other strategies have failed and so far its been very successful, especially for two children who werent getting on at all, so we invited both mums in for a few sessions, both children can now tolerate each other..perhaps this is something worth looking at.

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Thank you everyone!

 

Narnia I like the sunshine tree idea can you describe the 'tree' in more detail? Does their face get moved off the branch if they have later been unkind?

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I use "2 stars and a wish"

 

You've been really good at x and I wish you would y and you've also been really good at z.

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We have a similar problem, I was begining to think that we are doing something wrong. Most of the children are ready for school!! And we have another 7 weeks after half term!!!

 

I also like the sunshine tree, will think about using it after half term.

 

Only one more week!! Need the break

 

Scottiedog

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Love the idea of a sunshine tree. Just a couple of queries: Like PPP- what happens if they do somehting unkind later? And how long do you leave their photo on/are they taken down every day and you start with a blank tree?

and lastly is it truly the children monitoring it themselves, or do you sometimes suggest a name?

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Think I'll be plagiarising that Sunshine Tree too. But just like a McDonalds promotion- 'For a short time only!

 

I have also found that giving responsibility to the 'less sensitive' children helps. In my limited experience, the most trouble comes from the brightest and physically developed children. One in particular benefited from being asked to look after one of the smaller children on the walk to school (my own child - not a minded one). Stopped him running ahead and challenging my authority. I also noticed the school made him Reception Student Council Reprentitive! - a challenge within his ability to live up to.

 

By ignoring as much of the negative behaviour as possible, and complimenting the good, I have found that Tale-Telling is also reduced. I care for another child who's bad behaviour is exacerbated because every do-gooder in his class thinks they'll be getting brownie points for dobbing in every tresspass he makes. The child is so anxious about getting into trouble (I'm thinking brain chemicals here but can't think of the proper ones) he goes off his nut.

 

I like the 'bundling' name for rough and tumble. Is that teacher talk? I've started allowing it a bit as I've become more experienced and I often get in there too. My setting is very boy heavy - 11 boys, 3 girls. Maybe not too dignified with other adults around though - especially considering I'm not 10 stone.

 

This is probably off message a bit but I've enjoyed writing this.

 

Good luck

 

Fe

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I like the 'bundling' name for rough and tumble. Is that teacher talk? I've started allowing it a bit as I've become more experienced and I often get in there too. My setting is very boy heavy - 11 boys, 3 girls. Maybe not too dignified with other adults around though - especially considering I'm not 10 stone.

 

 

Fe

 

 

Hi Fe, not sure where the term bundling came from - probably my childhood - not a teacher term as far as I know! I have 3 boys of my own and witnessed many a bundle - they never really harmed each other, but they do need a safe place to do it - for them and others around them. I think it can be more stressful trying to stop it - everyone gets a bit frayed at the edges - some boys just can't help themselves no matter how often we tell them not to do it because.........or sit them out for doing it - within reason I am preparing to accept some this summer term.

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I use "2 stars and a wish"

 

You've been really good at x and I wish you would y and you've also been really good at z.

 

 

I call that a s h i t sandwich! (Not to the children) Yours is a nicer term.

 

I think this time of year is ripe for fidgety behaviour - maybe you could tweak the routine to get them to shake their sillys out at some point? Sit for shorter periods on the carpet?

Edited by Guest
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It's that 'April to July' feeling when most of the 4yr olds are beginning to visit their new schools for september and automatically think 'pre-school' is for babies, so there is an increase in the 'pecking order' and competitiveness. This can be really upsetting for younger children. We have several children who have become challenging of late and we find that dividing them up into 'carefully chosen' groups to do more physical activities work well for our more lively members. I have also teamed up more assertive children to a younger child. They seem to calm down immediately when they are focused on looking after a smaller child than themselves. Sticker rewards are ok but can also cause more trouble than their worth!!

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Hi do you have any consequences for unacceptable behaviour? I'm all for rewarding the positives but I also think some good behaviours are a given otherwise they only 'perform' for rewards - and then what happens when those rewards aren't around?

 

It's almost like rewarding staff for arriving at work on time - it's expected. Hope I'm making sense!

 

The consequences side is just life - when I do this (positive), this happens (reward) BUT when I do this (negative), this happens (consequence)

 

obviously they need to know your expectations and what the consequences will be. We have been through some very very hard times behaviour wise but found boundaries are apprecited by the children as it helps them know where they are and actually become more confident and independent.

 

It's by no means a quick fix, and got worse before they got better cos they pushed the boundaries!!! But I have to say (touch wood!!) they are a great bunch now

 

had to get parents on board cos consistency is important and we also looked at our routines and were we interrupting them too much and 'controlling' them.

 

we call ours time out to calm down and chat about it once they have. We have a count of 3 and they know when 3 cones we are intevening if they are still defiant.

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Meant to say we use specific praise to reward so they know exactly what part of their behaviour is being celebrated - I really liked that you helped Ted, look how happy he is now he has his coat. Sounds patronizing and is hard at first but I believe it helps.

 

Kids love attention so much -

 

Best of luck

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yes, I gather the happy face stays on all through the session for the sunshine tree...........................though I guess you could adapt it to remove the face if there is an unfortunate incident later on. and yes, each day starts with a blank tree, ready to be filled up again

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actually, the more I think about the sunshine tree............and I must ask the colleague who described it to me.......................as the children regulate this themselves, i guess they COULD take the picture off if someone was unkind to them??

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ok, me again!! Just looked at the colleagues Ofsted report ( they got Outstanding!) and it says that they also have a 'feelings' area, where they display lots of pictures of faces in various moods, plus mirrors so the children can compare their own face to those in the pics. There are also soft cushions, favourite books and soft toys, so the children can use it as a calming down area. Sounds really nice

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Love the feelings area idea with mirrors.

 

I have to agree with gingerbreadman though, is there anything wrong with a consequence is they do misbehave? I don't think you're doing them any favours by making out that everything in life is about positives. So long as the majority of strategies are positive reinforcement, there is no harm in having consequences for certain undesired behaviours. They do need to learn which behaviours are unacceptable.

 

Otherwise they are going to get a nasty old shock when they start school!

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Love your 'bundling' term Panders!!

 

Reading that description brought back something a speaker had said at a seminar -

 

"Have you noticed how grown women greet each other.....and have you noticed how (some) grown men do?"

 

She described men 'punching' each other on the top of the arm, slapping each others backs and squeezing others hands in intricate handshake fashion, 'headlocks and hugs', jumping on backs etc

 

and we all had some of those memories...something to do with their hormone balance and brain development (and i suppose as a Friday night goes on, alcohol!! LOL)

 

Fascinating

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