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DS had a fight in preschool and might get booted! Help!!

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
My ds1 will be four in a few months, at about 2.5 yrs of age we had a period where he would push anyone who got near him but he eventually grew out of that.

Now at almost 4 yrs old, he has started hitting not only other kids but me as well. I just had a baby 7 weeks ago and have noticed his behavior go downhill shortly after his brother came home. Hitting when he doesn't get his way, micro managing how he wants others to play and generally acting like a little meanie.

Today he got into a full on fist fight at preschool and was made to have a time out. I was told about this in such a crappy manner and when I asked who he fought with they wouldn't tell me saying it was a privacy issue!?! And if he doesn't get better he won't be welcome back. While she was telling me this ds1 was playing with a few other boys and he jumped on one of them and they were all giggling and it was very playful, but this preschool teacher bellowed at my ds1 to not jump on other kids, meanwhile they were all jumping all over each other and only my guy got singled out. I tried to explain why I wanted to know who he fought with and was stone walled. I just thought if I knew I could arrange a play date with that kid so they could get to know each other away from all the other kids, I found this has helped in the past with ds1. Of course ds1 told me who it was tonight so I will talk to the mom next time I see her. Then after ds1's bedtime story he asked to watch a video and I said no so he hit me! I responded poorly, but then went away for a few minutes and came back and was able to tell him that hitting made me sad etc...

Anyway this has gotten far longer than I'd intended. So in short, new baby = ds1 becoming bully-like!? I hate it! Help!!! Ds1 is truly a sweet and eager to please little man, this is not normal and I am so upset.
post #2 of 9
That you were told in front of other people and that the teacher "bellowed at my ds1" instead of dealing with the situation in a more hands on manner shows that she doesn't know how to deal with the kids or respect their privacy. My DDs preschool teacher would have gently physically stopped the jumping on each other and calmly said "we don't jump on our friends, someone could get hurt". Also anytime there has been an issue at school she has called afterward at home. It could be mostly the school instead of your DS.
post #3 of 9
ITA it sounds like the incident was poorly handled by the school. Kids this age need to be closely supervised in a school setting. If they were all leaping on each other, things should have been redirected before it got out of hand. We had a similar incident at my ds' preschool (older kids were taunting him but the teacher said they were "just playing tag" so it didn't matter that my poor 3 y.o. ds was wandering the playground in confusion as a group of 5 y.o. kids chanted his name in unison over. and. over. and they would run away whenever he came near them. I arrived in the middle.) Ds no longer attends that preschool.
post #4 of 9
Does the school know that he's dealing with extra stress at home of a new baby? They should take that into account. They should also probably keep him in closer proximity to the teachers while they work on this behavior.

It also sounds like the preschool doesn't have great behavior management. At our preschool, the teachers would have immediately stopped talking to the parent, gone over to the boys, touched them gently and explained that someone could get hurt. They then would have redirected the children to jumping that is more appropriate or another activity.

How many teachers in the classroom? Is it understaffed?

At home: I'd set aside 30 minutes every day where you get down on the floor and play with him. During this time, he sets the lead. If he wants to micromanage your play, oh well. For this 30 minutes, that's OK.

Make sure he gets lots and lots of large motor play too. If you're not up to wrestling with him, maybe someone else can do that with him. Take him for loooong walks. One of my favorite games with my kids is that I sit on the couch while they run in circles past the couch; at random times I reach out and try to 'catch' them. It's a great game for a tired mom because it doesn't require me to chase!

Find a consequence for hitting that works for you. In our house, if you hit, you were immediately sent to your room to cool off. No talking, no nothing. When we were calm again, you could come out. When we were calm, we then practiced other things you could do, and we asked the hitter to make amends (either saying sorry, hugging or getting an ice pack).
post #5 of 9
At our school neither parent (the aggressor and the victim) knows who the other is. The incident report never mentions anyone by name.

These things are so fluid too-one day your kid is the "bad guy" and the next day someone else is. It really does sound like they don't handle this stuff well.

I would absolutely mention that there is a new baby at home and your son has had a huge world shift.

A fist fight does sound on the more extreme end of behavior though-are they possibly overstating what happened?
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
They know all about the new baby and I have mentioned that ds1 was having issues almost from the moment we brought ds2 home. It is one specific teacher who I am not pleased with, I will have a chat with the other one tomorrow.

We are pretty much back to our regular routine now at 7 weeks pp, our mornings are spent either at preschool or in social activities with other kids. After that we have a snack and go for long walks by the water, to see trains, or whatever else ds1 wants during that time. It is our afternoons that are the most changed since we do not get the same amount of cuddle time together and he misses that, but at the same time his bedtime routine has not changed at all.

I am going to try to do the 30 min on the floor though in the afternoons, that sounds like we could pull it off! Ds2 does not nap for long periods.

As for the type of fight, I dont think fist were involved, I think it was more sushing and batting at eachother. I talked to one little girl and she said ds1 was mad because another kid wouldn't share a toy with her so ds1 tried to get it for her and that is when things went bad. But who knows!

I did speak with one of the managers at the Y today and she said there is no specific policy on not telling parents who the altercations involved especially considering we are a small group and most of us know each other pretty well. This whole situation had me up stressing for most of the night.
post #7 of 9
Having worked in 3 different schools, I will say that we were NEVER allowed to disclose the name of the other student in any sort of incident because too often parents will "fight it out" on their own and it can get sour really fast. That said -- the kids will always tell so its kind of a moot point. Eg. -- I had a mom wait at the bus stop and smack/ curse at a child who wasn't her child because of ongoing conflict between the children on the bus.
post #8 of 9
Originally Posted by betsyj View Post
At our school neither parent (the aggressor and the victim) knows who the other is. The incident report never mentions anyone by name.
Yeah, I believe that in our state, handling incidents in this manner is a licensing requirement.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
I can understand not telling names to avoid conflict between parents, but yes my ds told me who it was anyway. I have no plans to smack the other kid though, instead we are going to have a picnic lunch after preschool at the park with the other boy and his mom so they can get to know eachother away from preschool. We are hoping that will help.
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Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Gentle Discipline › DS had a fight in preschool and might get booted! Help!!