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2 Year Old Behaviour


Rea
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This is killing me so I'd appriciate any ideas. There's a 2.5 year boy who at one time was on the CP register, (although I have no details about that) in plain language a little sod, but lovely with it. He will occassionally throughout the day hit out, push, bite, shout, swear at adults and children, destroy childrens play, run off, spit... He can also be conversational, caring, funny, inventive, inquistive, charming and just plain lovely. We have started a daily chart especially for him, smiley face for things that make us happy, sad face for things that make us sad, it's the 3rd day today so too new to know if it will be a help, the idea is he will get a special sticker at the end of the day for most smiley faces and at the end of the week a certificate. Mom is on board too. The problem is, if he does something wrong he is always asked to say sorry, I was so uncomfortable when it was me he was having to say it to I had to find an excuse to leave the room. I dont want to undermine the staff, but really cant be part of that. He wont say sorry, so ends up sitting out. The worse episode was when he sat for around 20 minutes during play time because he wouldnt say sorry to a 1 yr old. I really dont feel it's appropriate for him to have to say sorry, if anything he's clever enough to cotton on that when he says it the whole thing will be over so he may end up saying it without knowing it's meaning but knowing it will enable him to play. I want to say how I feel about this but would rather have an alternative to offer and I'm stuck.

Any ideas? Please :o:)

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I'm with you Rea - I never make a child say sorry. Sometimes they can feel sorry but the very act of saying it is like a huge hurdle. If the staff are digging their heels in and this is in itself becoming an issue then they are not really responding to the child. Perhaps they could just ask if he is sorry and accept a nod of the head. If he shakes his head then this is a different issue to tackle! Maybe he really isn't sorry at all and what he needs is sensitive staff who can help him to develop a sense of empathy. :)

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Sorry Rea, I dont have any alternative strategies either but empathise completely with you.

All too often children say sorry and think that their behaviour has somehow become acceptable as a result. Children sometimes also think that "sorry" is an admission of guilt. Saying sorry and meaning it is completely different.

 

Good luck.

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Rea the problem could be that if the staff do stick out for the "sorry" he will think that that gets him out of the situation and will soon learn to say sorry very quickly if it gets the adult off of his back. it would be better for a quick acceptance that he understands that he has done something wrong. as Beau said a nod should do. if he has been on a CP register it might help to find out what for. that might give you a bit of a clue in to his behaviour. He obviously is quite happy to sit out for a very long time. If the other staff are adamant about him saying sorry you might remind them that time out is meant to be only a minute for every year !!!!! he is not a 20 yr old. good luck

 

also Rea what was the point as a one year old wouldn't understand sorry any way!!!!!

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also Rea what was the point as a one year old wouldn't understand sorry any way!!!!!

 

EXACTLY!!! :o

 

 

Thanks everyone for endorsing my thoughts, I was begining to think I was wrong when no-one else at nursery thought anything of it, or maybe they do and dont want to say anything. I may have to take the bull by the horns!

I found this today while looking for an answer, it's directed at parents but it has some useful thoughts -

 

Positive discipline rests on the loving relationship between children and parents; assumes that children want to behave well; focuses on good behaviour; expects it; makes sure children understand what it is and why; rewards children for it and thus motivates them to keep on trying.

Negative discipline, on the other hand, rests on the power parents have over children; assumes that children have to be forced to behave well; focuses on bad behaviour; expects it, watches out for it, punishes children for it and hopes that will frighten them into doing the opposite”.

:D

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When I read your post my first thought was that the staff are actually role modeling 'bullying' behaviour, power over the child., as your quote says. I don't agree with 'making' a child do anything, encourage, yes, but forcing an issue or using discipline totally out of context for the child is both inappropriate and clearly doesn't work. Soon he will be putting himself on time out just to get even with the staff.

 

From your description of the child it appears that he has the vocabulary so isn't hitting out etc through frustration at not being able to communicate.

I think you are doing the right thing by seeing his positive behaviour.

 

I would suggest ( to the staff that demand an apology) as I am sure you already know, that they all try observing for triggers, praising good behaviour etc.

 

I intervene when children are 'acting out' and listen to the child, ask him not 'why did you do that ?' but, 'What did you need?, 'You're swearing are you angry?, 'What did I do/say to make you feel angry?' how can we help you feel happy again? in other words, I read his actions to be some sort of message he is trying to convey, some need he is trying to convey, or some feeling he is trying to convey. Rather than just letting him know he is using the wrong methods and then punishing him, help him find the right way to one communicate his wants, needs, feelings, and more importantly help him learn the correct strategies of meeting his own needs through acceptable social interactions with his peers and adults. Give him the words to use, the body language, help him learn ways to calm himself down but don't teach him how to be a bully.

 

Staff need to have patience, there is not a quick result, his behaviour is learnt, and/ or reactive, he is not actively trying to be unsociable. His CP issues will be complex and what ever 'reason' is given it will only be someones interpretation of what has happened to him, and how this may or may not have affected him, therefore knowing another persons interpretation of his past experiences will only evoke different interpretations of how to respond to him. ( based on how that information makes you feel it may have affected him, no-one will ever really know)

I do believe in 'need to know' basis re: CP or any other 'personal' issues, they are so subjective and more importantly part of his past. It is his future development, his learned behaviour can change by re-directing his negative behaviour towards positive behaviour for the future.

 

He sounds like he has got a lot going for him, good luck, let us know how it all goes.

 

How do other children reacte to him getting stickers? Does this method exclude him from his peers? ( in the context that he is being treated differently). As your quote rightly says, positive reactions, praise, kindness, positive expectations, clear expectations, loving adults are all the rewards a child just really needs. How will he feel when the stickers stop, even if they work in the short term, what will replace them? Why not start with the answer to what will replace them and save him the 'feeling' he gets when the stickers stop.

 

Peggy

 

Peggy

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I agree, have never felt comfortable with asking a child to say sorry, they probably won't mean it. This was certainly the opinion of a child physcologist on a behaviour management course I went on.

 

If a child has hit someone say, I would try to encourage the hitter to see the effect their action has had, 'oh dear, that (action) hurt Sam, he's crying, shall we see if we can make him feel better' then say stroke the child's arm, when the hitter does so, praise their kind hands etc.

 

As for sitting out for 20 minutes waiting for an apology, as adults we have to find a way to help the child get themselves out of the corner they have got themselves into, not dig them in deeper.

 

Do you have any suitable books to read to the child ie Be Gentle at a quiet moment?

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