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Problems With Child's Behaviour


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I think to call this a 'problem' is probably a stretch really, in actual fact its probably not a great problem (probably just a trait to him) but mum has concerns


we have a little boy in our room, he is leaving for school this september and is one of the eldest, i think an october birthday (when he will be 5). he attends fulltime with us (8 - 5:30).

this little boy is constantly, and i mean constantly stretching boundaries. he is fully aware of what is expected at nursery but pushes boundaries.


if asked to sit in the book corner and read a book, he turns to his friends and say's 'lets be silly now'. when reminded that we are not being silly he rolls his eyes at us and laughs before procedding to be 'silly' by throwing books, climbing on children, distracting others.


at meal times he is generally rude, spinning his plate, not using manners and hitting others.


at outdoor play he struggles to share with others or wait his turn. at generaly 'free play' time he strives to distract others.


i think what is more of an issue for me is that this behaviour has occured within the last month.... when i first started at pre-school a large proportion of children demonstarted behaviour mentionned here, they all calmed down and settled with the help of a new star chart etc,.... but this one child has stopped being so settled and is challenging us. (nothing has changed recently at nursery or home)


time out does not work (nor a method i like very much!), removing his stars (agian a method i don't like but mum wants us to do) does not work, talking to him has no effect, i mean he listens can tell you what you said but doesn't take it in.

mum/dad take him home and have words / remove toys but this has no effect. generally at home his beahviour is okay, sometimes he is overly excitable mum says but usually he is okay,


mum is concerned at his behaviour at nursery, she thinks he may be bored (no other children are) but i acknowledge boredom may be a factor.....


so what can i do about it,


this child is leaving in 7 weeks, but i want to make his last seven weeks nice ones with us.


any ideas to make him feel good about being at nursery, and to make him want to listen/ be helpful / kind to friends??????


we have tried praise, distraction techniques/ talking to him etc but to no avail.


help.... said id think of something and feed back to mum tommorow, did think that we could make him a special helper perhaps, ie responsable for a certain job maybe but i don't wnat to leave all the other children out... hmmmm




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Hi Dawn,

I agree it is a tricky one! I have tried the technique of getting the child to feel 'special' by giving jobs to do, that often works. Try to praise good behaviour wherever possible and ignore the bad behaviour wherever possible. I know that is difficult if he is disrupting or hurting another child. Try not to make too much of an issue of it but as I say really praise the good behaviour!

I also have a sad face that can be put up by a childs name and if the sad face goes up they have to miss some of their outside playtime.... not my favourite technique but I have found they only need to be kept in 1 to 2 times when all their friends are having fun and it makes them re- think their actions!

Hope this helps,


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Ditto in most settings across the country, I would guess. Certainly got a few in mine.


He is uncertain, unsure and anxious about imminent changes in his life. It's called 'BIG SCHOOL'.


Even if he isn't directly being told 'you are going to big school soon, you should behave like .....", he will be picking this message up. Every parent is worried, even if only slightly, that their child will ok at big school, that he/she will behave and be good for the teacher ( many parents have not so great memories of their school days). Under this pressure children will revert to 'immature behaviour', a bit like when a new baby arrives in the family.


He may also be bored. Does he respond well to adult positive interaction, ie shared board games, challenging constructions, shared stories, not being expected to just 'get on with it', playing with the adults maybe all he needs or wants.

I had a discussion with my deputy today about the very same situation, her response was that he shouldn't take up adult time, especially when the younger ones need the adults, he's old enough / can play with peers/ does know the rules etc not to have to have an adult with him. My response was that he is showing he needs adult attention by behaving in a way that gets it. better to give positive attention, ie: play with him, than to expect him to cope yet still spend most of the day supervising his unwanted behaviour and telling him off.


I find that at the end of summer term the older ones need us more, and funnily enough because of this the younger ones have a little maturity spurt and learn to cope / play / get on a bit better without so much adult support as they have previously had.


Like you say, You only have 7 weeks with him, let him know how much you like him, how much you have previously and still do enjoy his company by asking for his company in play.

I also get out lots of photo's from over the years and look at these with the leavers, we talk about all the good times, and sometimes remember activities we really enjoyed and repeat them. I also do a chart to record what the children have enjoyed most at preschool. Names down the left hand column and pictures of activities along the bottom, tick or colour in all the activities each named person chooses. It makes a lovely display. :D


Ask Mum how much she has talked about school with him, he's either worried because of getting some information ( leaving him feeling he doesn't fully understand about this imminent change) or he's had no information at all ( leaving him feeling worried about the unknown).


He's just a bit lost at the moment, but with yours and Mums support he'll soon be back to his old self again.



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Peggy's sugestion about board games worked well with a lad we had who showed very similar behaviour (unfortunatly, not only when school was getting closer!) We bought games from Woolies I think, Chad Valley, buy one get one free. Hungry Hippos, wiggly worms and some others. From the start we got him involved and helped him to see how he could help other children who didnt know how to play the games. He was still a challenge but with loads of adult suport and encouragement he leaft us a little better. i do know he took a long time to settle into school. Deep breaths love :D

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