Negative association with school - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 07-27-2004, 07:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My 3 year old DS has associations with certain places. Such as, I once took him to a new grocery store. DS had a fit in that grocery store. I took him back there the next week and he did the same exact thing. He behaves beautifully in other grocery stores. This one just has a negative association for him.

I also took him out to lunch to particular restaurant. When he finished his lunch, he got up and ran away from the table (which he usually does not do at restaurants). I took him back to the same restaurant a month later and he did the same exact thing.

When he has negative associations with a place, I usually don't frequent that place with him. However, recently my son now is acting out in school. I know the change in the schedule for summer threw him off and is the reason behind his acting out. His teacher and I have tried many things to deal with this but nothing is working. I am getting the feeling that he is having a negative association with school and this is the way he is accustomed to behaving now.

If your child has associations like this, what have you done to rectify the situation?

Thanks,

Lori
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#2 of 5 Old 07-27-2004, 09:15 PM
 
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Hi Lori. My son used to have issues like these when he was younger, and we would avoid certain situations, though his was not so much with "place" as with certain things. (for example for about 1 1/2 years we had to avoid balloons in all shapes and sizes). He eventually got more flexible as he got older. He had some difficult behaviors in preschool, and we found through talking with the teachers that they often had to do with transitions that he wasn't expecting or changes in the routine, etc.

Have you talked with the teacher yet to brainstorm when these behaviors happen? It may not be an association with place, but with some other aspect of the routine or the program, or even a certain other child not being there that he is accustomed to. Maybe the two of you can discern what is going on for him.

 
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#3 of 5 Old 07-27-2004, 10:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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HI Lauren,

Thank you for your reply. It was a change in the routine and a bunch of new younger/needy kids that triggered it. He started preschool in January with the same group of kids and he has done well with them. Then in the summer, they changed the schedule and added new kids to the class. Ever since that, he has been acting out. The schedule is no longer new, since it has been in effect for about 4 weeks. The younger kids who were not able to handle school were switched to a different class, however, he is still acting out. I feel as though this is the behavior that he associates with school now. I have tried many consequences but they have no effect on him or his behavior. I now feel as though that I should not draw attention to it and hope that it all changes when he has a new class in the fall and he won't have the same associations.

I am really at a loss as to what to do.

Thanks again,

Lori
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#4 of 5 Old 07-27-2004, 11:42 PM
 
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Can he talk about this? If so, what does he say 'bugs him'?

Do you know if he has any other difficulties (i.e. social, sensory processing, speech etc.)?

I would tend to think that not drawing attention to it would be a good plan (fall is not that far off) unless the teachers are getting frustrated. If they are managing o.k., it might be fine to let him ride it out until the next change.

Another idea is to make up a story that resembles his situation, but with a more positive outcome. For example, "Tommy the turtle had a hard time at school because he......(didn't like the noise, felt like being alone, etc.) He tried misbehaving, but he just got in trouble. Then one day he figured out he could tell his teacher when he felt "x" and ever since then he has been feeling better. Now he likes going to school." In this way you are talking about the problem without really talking about HIM. He could make up parts of the story, add to it, etc.

It's a tough problem for sure.

 
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#5 of 5 Old 07-28-2004, 12:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Lauren,

We have talked about this. There is nothing that he has said that bothers him. What I think happenned is that with the new kids getting a lot of attention from the teachers he realized that the other kids take attention away from him so he will act out in order to get attention from the teachers. (Unfortunately, the world has revolved around him at our house. We are trying to change that but for 3 years that is the way it has been.) When he started in January, the other kids were part of the school package. School was kids and teachers. Now, it is as if he is competing for attention from the teachers. He spends most of his time at school with one teacher or another instead of playing with other kids or by himself.

He is very bright. He is very verbal, loves to read books and has a great attention span. HE definately has his quirks. He does not adapt to change well and is very set in routine.

I have tried talking to him, telling stories, giving consequences. The teachers have tried many things as well. At this point, I just want to not draw any more attention to it, and hope that he will outgrow it. However it is difficult when he is acting out against other kids and his behavior is affecting the rest of the class.

Thanks for your help,

Lauren
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