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hi im new to this so here goes...We have a child who is nearly four and due to go to school in sep. He displays a lot of low level disruption: swearing, lashing out, saying no at every opportunity...however the thing we want to tackle at the moment is his spitting. He does it pretty much constantly , at staff if they ask him to do something or not to do something, at children if they displease him. We have tried ignoring it and that didnt work and the other children started copying so now we remove him quickly and calmly from the situation as we do with his swearing and explain that behaviour is unacceptable here. But that doesnt work ans he just goes straight back and starts again. He is very bright and sometimes it seems as if he is looking at you thinking what are you going to do about it? The other children and staff are starting to complain about being spat on all the time and mum does her utmost to avoid discussing it :( We try to follow his interests and praise him to the hills at every opportunity. Our advisor is hoping to come and obs but any ideas in the meantime please? it is wearing us down :(

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Hard as it is, I'd go back to ignoring him, inasmuch as I wouldn't actually say anything to him about it, but I would continue to remove him from the situation. He is obviously enjoying the attention, especially if the other children make a fuss about it. When he spits, I would take him away to get a cloth/wet wipe/antibac wipe and get him to clear up any 'mess' he has made, again without a fuss. Just explain that as he made the mess, he needs to clear it up. ( if it is on other children, he still needs to clean it up, but you will need to ensure that it has been done properly). Maybe once he relaises that the 'fun' ( for him!) and the fuss ( for the other children) has gone out of the situation, he will stop.

Failing that, I'm afraid I would sit mum down and explain that you simply can't have this situation continue and need her support. So, how about he gets one warning and if he spits again, he gets sent home for the rest of the day? Assuming he enjoys going to the group, that might be more effective? I had a biter many years ago and that's how we sorted the problem: because he enjoyed coming, we explained that we couldn't and wouldn't have biting and that if it happened again, he would have to go home. Mum was fully in support and it worked. One arning, then when he did it, off he went home, no fuss, no 'you naughty boy' or anything, we simply said ' I'm sorry,Matthew, I told you that we don't have biting here and I said you would have to go home if you did it again, so mummy is on her way to collect you'..................and it worked. when he came in next time, we simply carried on as if he hadn't been away, it was a new day and the incident had been dealt with. So new day, clean slate.We had one more day of it and the next time,he did go to do it again, saw us watching.................and stopped. Never did it again!

Same with a little girl who could vomit at will ( it was an anxiety thing) after making a fuss of her originally (poor you, how sad, we'll phone mummy), we then took a step back and stopped making a fuss, cleaned up any vomit and let her get on with the day. Then, because it continued and she realised how much extra attention she got, I said one day, 'let me show you where the cleaning things are, then, if you are sick again, you'll be able to help clean it up. She looked at me as if I had grown two heads, but when she was sick, that's what we did......got her to help clean it up. After that, I said that she could do it herself now she knew how to! next time she started retching, I asked if she needed help to get the cleaning things BEFORE she was sick.........and she stopped. It solved the problem for her: no fuss, no point in doing it.! Good luck

Edited by narnia
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Hi onemum and congratulations on making your first post.


This is really hard isn't it.....I for one hate spitting, of all the bodily fluids you get covered in within the setting the fact that a child chooses to spit at you is just the most awful :(


I think Narnia has made some really good suggestions but I think I would also get mum in and however unwilling she is she needs to be told that if the child continues to spit in conjunction with all the other unpleasant behaviour he seems to show then you will have to start calling her in or sending him home. You have a duty of care to the other children and staff and so I think it is time to get tough.


Do you know which school he is going to in September? What is their policy re all the anti-social behaviour he exhibits.....could you try and emphasis to mum that the school will have a less tolerant approach than you have had?


Good luck and hope things improve for you all.

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