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Please help. I have had an awful afternoon with one child. (He has displayed lots of tantrums and hitting/throwing over past few weeks).


He came to us in late February (near exclusion in his nursery class) and we have an IBP in place which I will be reviewing tomorrow. He will be transferring into school reception class in September and I will be holding a meeting with parents, SALT, EP, school to work out ways to support him into school. Have already made links with local nurture group in another school, who may be able to offer some strategies to his reception class teacher and parents/child may be able to visit nurture group together (unfortunately there is no room for him to attend receptionin school with nurture group). Working closely with family - parents have missed parent survival which they were supposed to be on but are sorting out clinical psychologist to support at home.


What I want help on is how to tackle his behaviour. Today he was sent in from outside (need staff to fill out ABC analysis - was not done before staff went off duty) and threw wooden brick towards door, started shouting, banging, kicking door, saying he does not like person outside. I talked calmly to him after this and we played in imaginative area. Later he shouted loudly into children's ears and pushed children over. We took children from the room into room next door and child helped me tidy up. At circle time, he was in a group of only five children and staff member ignored his loud shouts and carried on activity with others but when childen all sat down for tea, he again started hitting children in turn and held scissors up to staff member and hit her on her back. He hit me in the face and when he saw the shock on my face - he immediately said sorry. I had to take him out of his room and he had tea in my office. He didn't like being in there but he stayed with me and ate his tea. We then had a chat and when he returned to room, holding my hand, he broke free and again went up to same two children and pushed one over and hit/kicked other! EP is coming to observe him in a few weeks and we will look at boxall profile (for children with emotional, social and behavioural difficulties). He had a much better day Friday (one pushing incident and he poured sand over a child's clothes - but staff were able to spend more individual and very small group time with him).


I need to rewrite IBP as positive behaviour management strategies as set down in our policy are not working for him. We do praise him alot when we see him behaving appropratley and try to be specific so he knows what is expected of him.


Has anyone else dealt with similar? Please advice on games/techiques. (perhapes I need to talk about emotions/feelings in circle time or one-to-one with him - haven't specifically done this - any ideas, please). He seems to be doing some of these behaviours for our attention. He told me he does not like the other children. Has anyone used anger management strategies with four year olds.?


Also, think I need to introduce a visual chart - stickers of something for wanted behaviours. Any examples of tried and tested ones would be much appreciated. All staff are getting worn down with this. I do not want to take him out of his room and into my office tomorrow - don't thing that is a good strategy. It was the first time we have taken all chidlren out of room he is in because for want of a better word he was terrorising them/"bullying" even.



In a rush now as I need to get ready to go out to theatre. I will log on later.


Please help one frazzled teacher.


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Oh you poor thing!!!! Know exactly how you must be feeling. We had a similar incident 18mth ago, we all sat down for emergency staff meeting and went through what seemed like 'everything' - in order to find something which might work.

Finally we decided that we would completely rearrange the structure of the session - very radical! and also some of our areas - very brave!, this was not like us at all, who had worked with original structure for 8 years quite comfortably! This had an amazing effect on the remaining group who we felt were being 'left' whilst staff dealt with this one child's behaviour. It was much better. We followed a pre printed sheet from our 'Share 2 Achieve' document from Cheshire as a checklist and worked from there.

We used our Area SenCo to come in to observe behaviour of the child and offer us some strategies - one of which was - 'Quiet Voice' - Staff would give child X positive attention in a quiet voice, when child X behaved appropriately (not very often, I hasten to add), then when child demanded attention, we used hand signal for stop, with no eye contact, if child changed behaviour, we were to say "Well done X, you are using your quiet voice and I can listen to you now" (all very well in theory???) it did have some postive effect, however we were unable to follow it through as child moved. Looking back on child's previous records - had moved through various settings and childminders in his short 3 yrs.

Anyway- hope you enjoyed your theatre trip - and not too long now til half term.

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I had a child at preschool a few years ago who behaved similarly ( girl aged 4 yrs). Her "attacks" appeared unprovoked ( following event sample obs) She would stab others with scissors or pencils, out of the blue, with no apparent triggers. she once pulled a child to the floor and stamped on his head, again he was just passing her by, no trigger.


We don't have an office, but on one particularly bad day I took her into the side room, with a book. subsequently a parent made a malicious complaint to ofsted, saying I had dragged the child there. I went through a horrible investigation, was told never to be in a room on my own with a child, even though the door was open to the main play area. the complaint was found to be unfounded.


When mother was present she was not so aggresive, but did challenge boundaries, running away when called etc. I had, nor ever have known a child like her, sometimes she was really angelic, but always a leader with her peers. Her brother ( older) was diagnosed ADHD, on medication, family were seperated, and we discussed "joint" expectations when she stayed with dad ( tended to spoil her a bit). However, I don't think her behaviour was attention seeking, it was too severe, i think she had a lot of inbuilt anger, but i don't know why.


I refered to the local child psychologist but she hadn't attended by the time she left us ( 6 mths later). I did hear that in her second week at school she got the hamster out the cage and strangled it. :o


Sorry, not much help except to show empathy. You sound like you are doing all that you can and I just hope specialist support will be with you soon, for your sake, your staff, other children and the child.



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Hope you've enjoyed the theatre and a rest!

We use a sun and cloud picture in our school. Each class has a sunshine picture and a grey cloud picture, all the childrens names are placed in the sunshine and if a child displays poor behaviour they put their name in the cloud, they can get out of the cloud by another child telling an adult that X has been really kind/helpful to them etc by doing y. X can then move his name out of the cloud and back into the sun. X misses their Golden Time (basically an extra play or video if its raining) if they have not got out of the cloud by Golden Time. Maybe you could adapt something similar to your situation?

Try to pre-empt any unwanted behaviour ie if X looks as if something is brewing (if there are any signs) create a new situation for him to explore, giving praise for the way he has behaved so far. Good idea to talk about emotions and feelings, use pictures or doll to talk about how things feel eg, why's the doll crying? How does she feel? etc.

Proud time sometimes works, each child says a quick sentence about something they've done that day they are proud of.

Sorry probably not much help and you've probably tried them all!

All I can add is 'Good Luck!'


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PS Also writing on a sticker 'I have been really kind/helpful today, ask me why?' or similar can give a child the chance to talk about what they have done not only in the setting but also at home, on the way home etc.


Wouldn't advise taking child out of situation and giving contact if they are doing it for attention, as child may well want this.

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Fairly new to site - addicted to reading and learning but not to responding until now.


Have just left nursery where one of my key children seems similar to the child you are talking about. He joined at 2.6 and is now 4 and will be going to main stream reception in September where we are hoping (because he will need it) that he gets help from a one to one teachers assistant at the very least.


Anyway... Initially the parents did not want to involve our local inclusion team feeling it was just the 'terrible twos'. However, once they agreed, we got great support from our local inclusion team.


A part of the behaviour could be that the child is not able to 'read' other childrens emotions and body language and so has trouble communicating successfully, thus leading to frustration. This particular child could play alongside other children, but found playing with them difficult. Games using puppets and photos can help to explore emotions. My key child found showing empathy difficult also - so explaining that certain behaviour 'was not kind, would hurt' did not work well - but showing a photo did.


The shouting, in the case of my key child, would mainly occur when the noise level of the other children became dificult for him so he would cover his ears, shout and scream to perhaps 'block out' the noise. With this we would try to guide him to a quieter area to enable him to calm down - he really responds well to one to one adult attention and has good language skills. However, he often repeats learned, set phrases. He loves stories with strong rhyme and rythmn.


He would also became very aggitated during the 'changes' of the day i.e. clearing away inside activities to go outside and the reverse, having lunch, asking him to wash hands etc. What worked really well with this, on some occasions if handled well, was giving him a 5 minute warning that we would need to clear up soon because it was time for lunch. If this notice was re-enforced by a visiual prompt card showing lunch, hand basin, toilet etc


We also had a set of cards, as another member mentioned, showing quiet voice, kind hands, good sitting and these worked well - he used to like showing them to the other children asking them to use a quiet voice etc.


We also used to have the basic structure of the day displayed in sequence(photos taken of activities, toilet, lunch table, circle time etc) was advised to have these photos without children in them.


Must also mention that he was able in many ways - able to recognise most of the alphabet and numbers to 20. Also able to get a pleasant sound out of a harmonica - music is a good area to explore with your child perhaps?


He was/is actually a very loving child and hopefully with the correct support he will be able to manage and thrive at school.


anyway hope some of the above waffle may help and

i wish you luck with the child.



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Thanks for replies. I will need to work on some "scripts" for staff to say - to ensure he is getting consistent approach. He is a very angry child and frustrated at times. His understanding of language is good but pronunciation is poor - difficult to understand occasionally. He is getting a block of speech therapy again, in next few weeks.


Totally agree, I don't want to take him out of situation, as he is getting attention/what he wants.


He is not ready to learn at the moment. Need to deal with behaviours and work on emotions/feelings.



On another note - didn't make it to theatre in time - got a flat tyre and called RAC out. (tyre was actually slashed - assume by lads who were loitering near car). My mother-in-law and I made it for interval and watched second part. It was Romeo and Juliet by Celebrity Pigs theatre group. Romeo was great - a lad with Down's Syndrome. It was based around two adults with learning/physical difficulties and the bureaucracy and prejudice involved in being together. Montague House was a day care centre that Juliet wanted to attend and where she met Romeo. Really fun night! Also got to see Christopher Eccleston at the end of the night - he is their patron. (Not all bad then, eh).



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Good luck Louise, hope things settle down soon. The 2 children I have had with extreme behavioural difficulties eventually ended up in specialist provision and we had no option to remove/ exclude them from school, safety of staff and other pupils from their violent behaviour----not a decision that was taken lightly.

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I had an anger issue and introduced the child around 4 to a pile of newspaper. To start with we had a quiet chat about bbehaviour I didn't like to see, how it made me feel and what i was going to do about it.


We then introduced child to aa signing puppet, and told them sometimes the puppet gets so mad, he could scream and hit people but that I didn't like that behaviour.


We then suggested alternatives and puppet show what he likes to do.


He loves to go to the newspaper - tear if up into tiny pieces and then throw it up in the air.... he gets all his anger out in the tearing, and watching it drift away as it falls back to the floor, and then puppet goes gets the brush and sweeps it up!


The shock on their faces when you do it the first time is brilliant and paper thrown everywehe defuses the situation.... you can also get the child to show you how angry they are by the aggressive way they tear!

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Thanks again for the posts everyone.


Love that idea of tearing paper Puddleducks.


Today was a better day, not wonderful but alot better. Still had lots of screams/shouts at circle time and tea time and he did hit a few children but no tantrums. All staff reminded him to use a quiet voice when speaking to them, which he then did (for a while at least).


He got angry then upset when I laid tablecloths and set table for tea, as he has in past helped to do this (reward for acceptable behaviour).


I hope he doesn't end up in specialist EBD unit this year, he will only be going into Reception in September, but am very worried about transition. Our centre is child-centred and informal. I am holding a multi-professional meeting with parents, school, EP etc and we will support his settling in to school any way we can!

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