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Recording Disruptive Behaviour


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I have two children who are causing chaos each session due to disruptive behaviour. In nearly 10 years in my job, I have never encountered it to this extent. They are quite boisterous, tons of energy,race around, wrestle, are quite rude at times, don't really play unless we separate them and the list is much more exhaustive than this but generally other children are now starting to copy their behaviour and I feel I've lost the plot.

We are over staffed and try to separate them as much as possible doing one on one activities with them, but at the end of the day there are always toilet runs and other children to spend time with and we are finding it difficult to separate them the whole session as they are like magnets.

We have talked to parents and they acknowledge what is going on but seem to think it is fine and somewhat funny!!! I'm thinking I should be recording their behaviour daily and have parents sign it. Does anyone have a behaviour record and would be willing to share it?

I also am thinking I need some kind of behaviour chart, but that doesn't seem fair for all the children who behave impeccably and they would always be on it for good behaviour.


Any ideas?


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Yes, document everything including any trigger or antecedent, what the behaviour was, and how it was dealt with and whether this worked.

We are also suffering the same with a boy who is just on his own with Mum. She allows him away with anything to keep the peace and make for a quiet life. Unfortunately this doesn't help in any other situation which involves any form of 'rules' or discipline. We're struggling to find ways to make him more "inclusabe" (if you know what I mean). He throws toys, food (anything) and pushes children over, nips, bashes, kicks etc. I think the room leader is starting to struggle. We are noting everything down and I'm going to have a word with Mum the next time we see her. (Nana often brings him in)

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Sounds like you have your hands full! We have experienced this kind of thing before and the only way we were able to manage it was by trying the following things:

Is there a pattern to the behaviour?

Have observations hi lighted when things are particularly bad? (Believe it or not our obs showed that before and directly after. Snack time were particularly bad times)

Have you made it clear what is acceptable behaviour and what is not acceptable and given clear guidelines on what the consequences for unwanted behaviour are.

We keep our observations as evidence of the behaviour/situation to show parents. When we have any discussions with parents we record them and ask parents to sign. Just a simple log showing date, what was discussed and the action to be taken. We then set a review date to chat to parents again and see if anything has improved. If we have five meetings with no progress at all or little adult support we would suggest to the parent that we reduce hours, change hours to avoid contact with the other child, or whatever we felt was appropriate a s a final straw.

We make sure we review and update the behaviour policy regularly to ensure it includes all the best practice we operate by.


These situations are never easy but we would also suggest to parents who find it funny that if no improvement is seen despite all our efforts we would want to do a referral foe social emotional and behaviour difficulties. have the children got any SEN which needs supporting?


It is such a shame these situations take so much of our time and we reflect so much more on these groups than children who are well mannered and well behaved.


Good luck, hope the situation improves.



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Must be the season for it I have 3 at the moment who are sparking off each other - unfortunately they are all full hours so are always together and they have all been with us for 18 months now.

It doesn't matter how many times we go over the rules - and they can tell you everyone - they just don't abide by them. When you get one of them to do an adult led activity the other 2 are always trying to drag them away, it's very draining at times.

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we have a set of twins and another little chap who wind each other up all the time, They were friends outside of the setting but it has got so bad that they are not talking to each other and blame each others child for the disruption. We are writing everything down on an ABCC chart so that at the next parent partnership meeting in february we can show our evidence and hopefully devise a way forward between us. Luckily they are only together 2 days a week but it is exhausting and we all come to work on Mondays and Thursdays with a list of distraction activities in the hope that things will be calmer

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello MegaMum,


I really feel for you, it sounds exhausting! I know the last thing you want to do is to complete paperwork but in my experience, ABC sheets is are very beneficial, even if it's only for 30 minutes of the session, just to get an idea of the frequency and type of behaviour occurring and also, how it's being responded to by staff.


We can describe the type of behaviour to parents and the impact on the setting but showing a parent ABC sheets for 30 minutes of the session has more of an impact. (In the past I've had 15 sheets of ABC sheets for 30 minutes!) This isn't meant to be negative but if you've tried lots of strategies and there's little change, parents should be taking it seriously although I appreciate it's not as simple as that.


I believe there's always a reason for the behaviour although it can be difficult to decide what this is. It sounds as if there may be few boundaries at home but understandably, it may be difficult for parents to admit or realise this. Maybe show the ABC sheets and say you need advice about the best way to deal with the incidents as you need to be giving a consistent message at home and within the setting.


How do the children respond when they're hurt? Do they know what to say if they don't like something? This could be modelled to them by staff eg. You need to say - "Stop, I don't like it!" The response from peers can often have far more of an impact.


I've attached a blank ABC sheet, the National Strategies Confident, Capable and CreativeABC Observation Record SheetSheet number.docDCSF-00682-2007boys.pdfsocial emotional early years 2012.pdf - Supporting Boys' Achievement and the Social and Emotional Inclusion Development Programme just in case you haven't got copies.


Good luck and let us know how you get on, particularly if you come up with a strategy that works! :1b

Edited by katkat1972
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