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We are after some advice regarding a child who has just entered our Nursery during the last couple of weeks, when he turned three. He has absolutely no boundaries and throws himself on the floor or over furniture during independent play. If asked to follow a simple instruction he will run, and throw himself at things in the classroom. He doesn't interact with the other children, and has poor speech.

I think that he doesn't know how to follow any sort of routines and has never experienced boundaries before.

We have requested a meeting with parents, etc

When parents have been in, he behaves in exactly the same way and they make no effort to control him.

He has absolutely no attention span, and it seems hard to get him interested or excited about anything. I would very much appreciate any nursery staff's opinions.

I feel very inexperienced with this, we are obviously seeking to get support for him, etc but how do we cope in the mean time?

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He is obviously still within his settling in period, I would suggest tackling issues, one at a time. Do you have an agreed induction for children? For him to respond to staff they need to form a relationship with him, this is where the keyworker role comes in. The keyworker can work through his induction, showing him what he CAN DO in the setting, where things are etc. What do you know of family circumstances, is he confined to a small flat, no garden, and just needing a place to 'let off steam"?


Before talking to parents, do some observations to get a clear picture of his behaviour. tracking obs are good to show how he flits from one activity to another, it can also show any triggers to him moving on, are the activities too difficult for him, ie: just replacing a puzzle for an easier one can enable a child to stay focused instead of frustrated. Does he move away if other children come into his play space etc. Try all the strategies such as diversion, ignoring negative behaviour when safe to do so, building relationships, introducing activities that really appeal to him, changing the way instructions are conveyed, such as making a game out of tidying up etc.


Find out what his current favourite activities are at home. I find water, sand, dough, gloop ( sensory) etc are best for calming and enabling children to get engrossed in one particular activity.


It is difficult to advise with such little information, really time, observation, research into background will best inform you of how to progress. The main thing now is time, for whatever reason he may just feel over excited and is still becoming familiar with the settings equipment and routine. Approach the parents by asking how he is at home, then if his behaviour is similar they may actually be initially relieved to hear that he is the same for other people and not just them. Convey the positives as well, he isn't upset when parents leave, etc, then talk about just one area you plan to work on. The parents are settling in too, in a sense.


Good luck. Let us know how you get on. Also if you do a search for 'behaviour' I am sure you will find lots of other posts on this topic, you are certainly not alone.



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