3 yo - hitting when teachers try to calm him... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 10-09-2013, 02:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm getting kinda stressed out about DS at school. He just started preschool a month ago and he has gotten used to the routine, doesn't cry at drop-off and looks forward to school and says he likes it. He is generally happy about school as far as we can tell or I would pull him out if he wasn't or if he wasn't ready.

BUT his teachers say he cries on and off all morning for reasons they usually can't decipher (he's really sensitive and easily frustrated) and when they try to calm him down he lashes out and hits and kicks them. He'll also lash out if any of the kids get near him when he's upset- he won't go after them but if they approach him when he's upset he gets violent.
As I said DS is very sensitive and easily frustrated, so very temperamental- the ways that we calm him at home aren't transferable to school where the teachers have other kids also needing their attention. And sometimes he just can't be calmed- we just wait for it to blow over. A lot of the time the things that work to calm other kids escalate things for DS. So... Yeah.

I've talked to his teachers about this - and maybe they expected him to get better as time goes on but he isn't. I've arrived to pick him up sometimes and found him crying with no one really attending to him and I don't like it. But at the same time I don't want him hitting the teachers! They keep writing in his daily reports that this is happening and I kind of feel like I'm expected to fix it... Or something? I'm also kind of sad that DS is "that kid"- as a teacher I know that there are favorites and also kids that they don't like much. 😟DS is that kid who is unpleasant and difficult to deal with. I'm just sad that this might mean less positive attention for him.

I just don't know what to do or how to navigate this situation. Any advice?

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#2 of 6 Old 10-09-2013, 06:12 AM
 
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I'm sorry and I know that's frustrating for you and sad for him, but if he hits anyone who is trying to comfort him that I don't think it's unreasonable that they leave him alone to cool off.  What are the alternatives?  I would not let my own child lash out and hit me, much less a student.

 

It sounds like leaving him alone to cool off IS the best option but it's worrisome that he has these incidents EVERY day.  Even for temperamental toddlers, that seems excessive.

 

How do you handle it at home?  It may not work for school, but it may provide some insight.

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#3 of 6 Old 10-09-2013, 02:24 PM
 
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Having that many breakdowns when you are not present is an indication that he's really not ready.  His ability to cope with difficulties is an issue and at home it works, but since the school can't do what you do, either you need to incorporate things into your routine that they can do, or pull him for the time being and allow him to mature a bit more and develop better skills so that he's not so overwhelmed.  He lacks confidence, it's why he can't cope and it makes him super sensitive.  Leaving him there could work out just fine, or it could backfire.  He might be outcasted by other kids who see his meltdowns as bizarre and you said it yourself, teachers do handle things differently with different kids and they do put more effort into the "easy" ones.  Lack of positive attention means he may begin to accept the negative attention as a filler and it could lead to an increase in less than desirable behaviors.

 

If that was my LO, I'd pull her and try activities to boost her confidence before trying again - Swimming lessons (we did ISR and it had an amazing impact), gymnastics/tumbling, dance, art...Learning new things is a confidence booster, but not all kids learn the same, much the way typical schools would like them to.  Unless you are using a Montessori styled school that has the ability to focus more on the individual and allow growth in areas they are interested in (which boosts confidence to learn in other areas), then it doesn't seem like he's ready IMO.

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#4 of 6 Old 10-09-2013, 02:55 PM
 
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Hi Expat Mama.

I agree that it seems like this situation just isn't working for him. It seems like he's just not adapting well to the preschool environment, or perhaps this particular one. What kind of school is it? It sounds like they're not really willing or able to work individually to help your child get through this. Or maybe it's just too soon for him. A month in it's still very new. How was the adjustment period? Did you just leave him there or only do a day or two adjustment phase? Because sometimes kids seem to adjust well but then within a few weeks or months they start expressing their apprehension about the new situation.

If this were me, I'd take him out or at least drastically reduce his hours there to maybe 2-3 hrs per day or only a couple days a week, and start from square one and do a new adjustment phase. Or, look for a more child-centered preschool like Montessori or Waldorf or similar, or private daycare. Or~ unless you're desperate for daycare, I'd just take him out and wait another year. Some kids aren't ready at three or even four. It's a HUGE transition and one that I think it's easy for us adults to overlook just what a big leap it is for a very small child to take.

His behavior is telling you something. It's not his fault. He just can't explain it otherwise. But I would say the message is: this isn't right.

I would also ask: is everything okay at home? Not to answer here necessarily but sometimes kids act out difficult emotions from situations in the family at school. Just something to consider.

 

I hope you find the solution. It makes me sad to think of your little guy so unhappy!


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#5 of 6 Old 10-10-2013, 06:12 PM
 
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It sounds like either he's not ready, or it's not the right place for him. At any rate, you might want to pull him.
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#6 of 6 Old 11-02-2013, 09:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm sorry I didn't return to this thread for so long! I didn't get any subscription notices. Anyway thanks for the advice- we have decided to keep him in school for a number of reasons and we are trying some different things at school and at home. It's still pretty much the same but we are working more closely and communicating better with his teachers.
Thanks again.

Me dreads.gif 32, loving him fuzmalesling.gif33, more each day. Rad boy, jog.gif 7/12/10 & Cool gal baby.gif  4/28/13

I'm a biracial, atheist, humanist, pacifist, anarchist, bibliophile, and educator. Rainbow.gifgd.gifwinner.jpgnocirc.gif

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