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How Do You Deal With A Defiant "no"!


Guest terrydoo73
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Guest terrydoo73

Our children have started to say "no" very openly and loudly particularly to us as Playgroup Leader and Deputy Leader. Today one child was lying across the floor kicking his legs behind him. I happened to be sitting in a chair close to the area he was in and when I turned to get out of the chair he managed to kick me in my ankles. I asked the child to pull his legs in as I wanted to stand up. The child shouted "no" and proceeded to kick me again and again in the ankles. Another volunteer who had been playing with this child joined in asking him to move his feet and let me stand up, not actually saying to stop doing this as we knew that to do this would mean he would carry on. Obviously I was thinking now if this was another child he could bruise the child and this is not behaviour I want to continue.

 

We have another child who we asked to put some toys into a box and she said "no I don't want to". We told her that the playgroup rules are that you must tidy away when you have finished in an area to which she responded "no I don't want to." We are thinking that one is copying the other to gain attention from us but we just cannot seem to get around this problem of children refusing to do something we as adults ask. We are supposing that something is happening at home which is making them look for attention from us and are trying desperately to give them one to one time with lots of praise but at the same time are aware we have 9 others who sometimes do require our help in developing their own self esteem confidence etc

 

The little girl who repeatedly says "no I don't want to" is a flitter! She moves from one thing to another and is a real leader in terms of opposing what is the natural flow of the playgroup in other words will lift a toy play with it and then move away to another area and this is having the knock on effect to other children. Hence our method of giving her one to one attention in order to extend her time in an area but obviously this ends up with her being our shadow for the rest of the session.

 

The little boy thrives on one to one attention and will insist on someone remaining with him throughout the entire session - ideally we would love to try and develop the idea of him choosing to play with resources by himself rather than us hinting where to play next. He has done this in the past and has been happy developing relationships with others although in a harmful way - yesterday we had to remove a doll as he was using it to hit a child over the head and marking his face in the process.

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Hi

 

This is going to sound harsh but had that been me after asking him and explaining that he was kicking me and hurting me if he had said no again I would have just stood and gently moved his legs out of my way (he was laying on the floor so he just needed swivelling round a little bit) and then walked away giving him no further attention.

 

As for the little girl I would have said something like 'Oh that's a shame I will have to do it then' and just packed away the toys again not making a fuss.

 

Sometimes children will keep on to provoke a reaction from you and so you have to break the cycle. Sometimes they will not do as they are asked and this is frustrating but assess the issue and if it is safe to just walk away then maybe that is what you need to do sometimes.

 

Children who like attention don't like being ignored....they like to see you flustered and react...it is no fun if you don't.

 

Focus on the good behaviour shown by these children and lots of praise when appropriate.

 

Good luck

Sue

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Great advice by Sue. The only other thing I would do would be to work on building the children's empathy. So I'd say how sad I was that the child was choosing not to help tidy up (and heap praise on those children who were tidying up), and explain how getting kicked is painful and upsetting, but would quickly move away from the child in question.

 

As Sue says, removal of attention from the child in these situations is often the most effective way of managing their behaviour combined with 'catching them being good' and rewarding positive behaviour with lots of praise and positve attention.

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I used to have a nursery nurse who used the tack of.. Im sorry you don't want to help me it makes me very sad.. but xxx is making me very happy as she is helping me, with a big smile for the child helping and then turn back on one not... and then got on with helping the children do the job..

 

the kicking i would have done the same, walked away, number of times I walked away form my own son when he tried it with me I lost count of.. I cleared the space so he could get on with it, same with children at preschool, made space and moved other children onto a very noisy but very fun game..

 

sometimes it was better not to ask a child to do something as this does give more opportunity to say no - but tell and can often confuse and cause an action rather than the reaction of saying no.. tone of voice also has a lot to do with this.. they always knew my no nonsense voice.

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Ohh I had a look and a voice :o

 

I remember one little one saying to me once something along the lines of 'I don't do it when mummy ask me' and using my look and voice just said 'I am not your mummy, now please do ask I have asked'.....off she trotted and we never had an issue again.

 

You don't have to be mean or nasty just professional and remember you are the adult trying to maintain order and safety in between having fun & learning!

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Yes Maz the look worked very well too... often found the children having a quick check to see if I was looking and it had a really good response at group times too..

 

as Sue said it was not nasty or mean or threatening, but was a tone where they took notice and did not argue with it!

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I'd have walked away too. I wouldnt stand and have a full blown yes you will/no I wont debate with my own children and I wouldnt do it with other peoples children either. Walk away and find something fun to do.

The look can be an absolute bonus, works a dream on my hubby too. He even tells his friends 'oh dear, she's giving me the look'. :o

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Guest terrydoo73

Thank you for your replies. We have had another day when we realised yet again we were giving attention to these children - we have tried the "I'm so sad today that some children are not helping me or I'm sad some are not doing as I say" and yes we did heap praise on other children who were helping us so well but the children in question just come up to us and laugh in our faces! Yes I did move the childs legs away and attempted to move away from the area but the child then moved his legs back and pinned me so that I had no way at all.

 

We took the step today of following through on this little boy. He was using a toy but at the same time swinging it into a child's face. The child was getting annoyed and upset but hadn't the vocabularly to say to the boy to stop. We noticed what was happening, gave the child a warning that if he continued we would have to take the toy away. He persisted and I walked over and removed the toy. He ran away screaming and crying, then turned to another child and said "you go and ask it back again". The other little boy turned to him and said "I don't think she will give it to me". Priceless!

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We use a few different tactics

 

My first if the child was kicking and lashing out and continued to do so when asked not too then I would use my voice and look along the lines of 'exucse me, I do not want to see this at playgroup.' I would then ask for an apology and if the child refused would then ask if they needed to go on my sad face (red face on the wall ) and would I need to speak to mummies or daddies etc. This is usually enough to deter them and make them stop

 

As for tidying up with make a huge effort to dish out stickers at carpet time for the boys and girls who have helped to tidy and make an effort to say what they've done well. If a child hasn't helped and asks why they haven't had a sticker we explain why. We use the same technique for good manners and tody up time and it works well

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Don't take the children laughing in your faces as an indicator that you are failing. This is them looking for your attention and trying to create a response. Keep working on the same tack by turning your back on them and heaping praise on those who are behaving appropriately.

 

Keep waiting for a chance to spot the others doing something good and really make much when they do. Don't wait for it to be something big. It starts with little things like "Thank you for putting the car in the garage, xxxx", even if they did it by accident or as part of their play.

 

It takes time and consistency but, with patience, you will get there in the end.

 

Also remember that a smile and a quick thumbs up across the room when someone does something good and looks to you for praise can work wonders.

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Guest pamgreen

Have you ever used the SEAL resources, they are excellent we do these activities during key group time, it gives children the opportunities of talking and reflecting on situations. Also have you ever thought of using persona dolls .

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Another thing that might help, is reducing the amount of words you use? I use 1000 words for everything, and I know we are meant to talk to the children so that they learn a wide vocab of language, but we have had a lot of non listeners recently and realised our language is too 'flowery' with them. We have reduced instructions to direct and few words. Stop hitting now. Put it in the box. etc etc. It feels rude, and goes against all my polite manners skills, but it seems to be working, they 'hear' this much more. Our area SENCO was the one who said we were being too flowery when she came to observe a child.

 

HTH

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Guest terrydoo73

We have tried this Rea but the child completely ignores us, even turning the head away. I know you are not to touch a child inappropriately but we have had to tap him on his shoulder say the child's name and then look at me when I am talking to you. The child purposely turns himself away from us continually and I have even seen me following his head on my hands and knees just to gain his attention - infuriating!

 

I tried the tactic today with the little girl who kept saying No I don't want to. I asked her would you like to go outside today and she said obviously no. I said that is fine you go and sit on the couch and when everyone is ready I will tell them we cannot go outside today because you don't want to go out, the rules in Playgroup are that we do as the adults ask us to and everyone enjoys getting outside to run about but if you don't want to go out then no-one can go out. The girl immediately started to tidy up the area and said I do want to go outside. I know it perhaps was long winded explanation of her to understand but I think it worked!

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