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Has anybody got any advice on how to deal with a child who keeps pushing the other children, we had so many incidents today. Just today he walked in the door pushed another child over to get to the table to put his name card in, he then went to the carpet and took a car of another child, when the child cryed he hit the other child, he then walked over to another child who had bought a toy in from home, snatched it off him and broke it, the other child screamed and kept on punching him in anger, the child who broke the toy hit him back and screamed. We then queued up and he pushed the child in front. This was all between 9.15 and 10.15am. we have tried everything, rewarded the good behaviour, stamps, reward charts, giving him his favourite toy when he does something nice,spoken to his mother, but she says he is the same at home, filled in an ABC, which is now 6 pages long in the last 3 days. When you ask him what he has done, he says i broke his toy, i hit him, he admits to what he has done. we explain its not nice etc, he says sorry!!!!! Before the behaviour, there doesn't seem to be anything that instigates it. I'm really getting concerned, he is going to school in september, i have tried contacting the school about my concerns, they didn't seem to be interested.

Has anybody else got some good ideas on how to deal with this behaviour, today has been the day from hell,i feel like i'm just policing. His mother is coming in tomorrow for a meeting with me to discuss him, i'm not sure what i'm going to say.

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We have had several children with similar issues. The area SENCO came into observe a couple of them and with another child who displayed violent behaviour and spitting, we agreed a strategy with his mum that as soon as he spat or hit another child, we would phone his mum and she would come and collect him immediately. I had to make that call only once!!! He was very very upset that his mum was being called as he loved pre-school and didnt want to go home! That was the only time we had to do it!! This action was only taken after a long period of 'policing' him, rewards etc etc and was done at the request of the parent who had also had enough of the behaviour.


Hope this helps but it obviously depends on the parents as well.

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really wish i had some advice / tips


we have a boy (also levaing for school soon) that sounds similar to this child you talk of. however the boy in our setting is good at home....

after discussion with mum, and the usual tactics star chart, stickers, time out, reward / praise for good behaviour etc... we concluded that for our child it was a case of big fish small pond... he is too big for nursery, he is bored,.... even though are activities are varied and challenging he needs a change of setting... he is fed up of our 'rules' he is too familiar (maybe that's the wrong word) with the staff and his friends and is just really settled and now 'acting up'.

again he knows his behaviour is wrong, he will apologise and then two seconds later does it again.

when you ask him why he does such a thing he say's "because i did" and laughs....


so at least know your not alone.



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It is quite a broad issue, is it 'new' behaviour, possibly because of the 'big fish' agenda?


Has he always been like this?

What are his communication skills? I'm sure you have tried this but when I have had this situation I wouldn't say, 'that wasn't nice' after an even, I make ( for want of a better word) the child retrace his steps, and 'verbalise' how he should have managed it, ie: pushing through the door, i would take his hand, walk him back to the door and as he walked through would say, "excuse me, can I come through".

with the snatching, I would give the toy back to the child it was taken from, take the snatcher to the child and encourage him to ask for the toy ( I know, and he knows, he doesn't really want the toy, but while he has to 'act' the scene properly, he is learning that his behaviour has 1/ not 'pressed my buttons' I am still calm, 2/ the' victim' gets the attention because he/she is involved in the 'proper' way being shown and 3/ He is taken away from doing whatever next he wanted to do until he has done correctly what he should have done in the first place. The 'victim' is also encouraged during this 'example' role model approach that he/she can say to the snatcher "No" I haven't finished with it", thus giving them a voice other than crying, to get the snatcher supervised.


This takes a lot of patience, persistance and consistency from all staff, but I have found that it does work, the reaction doesn't put a label on the child -ie unkind, not nice, bully, thoughless etc. It doesn't show any over reaction or non reaction, it just shows it like it should be. The child learns that any unwanted behaviour has to be re-enacted the 'right' way before he can do anything else, and he soon learns it is easier and quicker to do it the right way ( which we both know he already knows) the first time.



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Thanks for all your replies, I did have a thought today as i was observing his behaviour. He seems to react when other children are around him. When he is on a table by himself he sits quite happily, he seems to cope with one or two children but as soon as a group arrive he will just hit out. He was in the book corner today by himself, another child sat next to him and he was fine, when 4 more boys turned up he just pushed 2 of them and punched the other. Its as if he doesn't like them to close to him. All incidents have been when there are large groups of children. I spoke to his mother and apparently he is like it in the corridor when everyone is waiting to come in, he hits out at everyone for no reason. After going back through all the ABC's they are all when he is in a large group, but on the other hand these incidents would happen more with more children around him!!!!!

Does anybody know if this is a sign of a condition?

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  • 3 weeks later...

its hard to say of this is a sign of a condition

but what you could do is support the child to participate in small group activities then gradually increase the size of the group

this could be an IEP target

another could be praise for behaviour you want and ignoring the behaviour you dont want


adults could help by aniticpating a situation is 'bubling' and intervene before the behjaviour has a chance to happen


also a consistent positive approach is essential - this may need to be in place for a number of weeks (consistently by all staff) before you see any progress


ask your area senco for positive behaviour training for staff - so oyure all working together


look at your environment and evaluate if it is stimulating, exciting and challenging


are your routines too strict or too formal


are your expectations realistic


do you warn children of changes in the routine - ie tidy up time


do you operate on good ratio's of staff to children - remeber 1-8 for pre school is minimum standards - this is different from good practice!

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