4 yr old preschool transition issues - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 09-08-2006, 11:33 PM - Thread Starter
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My son is 4 and just started preschool 5 days a week 9-12:30. up until now he has had limited contact with other children his own age. from day one he loves school and just does not understand why it does not last 7 days a week. Plus I have to drag him out of there with him begging to stay longer On the other hand we are seeing some behaviour issues as a result of school. When he gets home he is completely out of control. He does not listen. He is hurting his 1 yr old brother and the dogs. When I ask him about his day he tells me bits of things and then tells me the rest is a "secret". Naps make no difference. He pushes and pushes and pushes until the "thinking chair" where we sit and discuss his behavior is now a distant memory.

I stayed longer this morning to watch him with the other boys. He left me immediately and went to play with 2 other boys. One kept on telling him no because he plays too rough. I asked the teacher about it and she said he wanted to crash toys and the other boys did not. I guess 2 days before they asked the teacher to stop him and they all sat down and discussed it. My son just kind of sat there sort of playing with them but they took off trying to keep him out of it. I did notice my son never even went near their spaceships and was not trying to crash at all. It seemed to me the kid would not drop it. Though knowing my son he was sitting there saying he likes to crash to the boy at the same time but I could not see his face. When I went over to say goodbye the one boy kept on telling me my son crashed things. I told him and my son that my son would not crash their space ships if they asked him not to. The teacher had pointed out to me a lot of preschool is learning socialization. This I understand. I know my son has to learn how to play well with others. I asked him this afternoon about those boys and he said they say stupid a lot. I asked if they call him stupid but got no answer. He said they are not nice. I asked who he played with and it sounds like he ends up doing a lot on his own or half with other kids. Meaning he kind of joins in wether they liek it or not. Today also we went through another "secret" thing with him. He told me he played outside but a boy took his glove. I asked what happened next. My son said he tackled him. I asked what happned next and my son said it was a secret. Eventually we worked out that the teacher had to speak to him. I do not know what happened, if he got a time out or just a "we do not tackle other kids" since this is still the first week of school. My son also has a hard time telling me what is going on. And I cannot figure out if it is because he does not understand (which is likely) or if he is afraid he will get in trouble from me if I find out he did something bad in school. I ask the teacher every day how he is and she says he is fine. No reports of bad behavior.

Anyway I am beginning to wonder if the whole school transition with new rules and structure has him acting more contained in a way. He is quieter there then at home. And I wonder if, even though he loves school, he is acting out his agression at home that he cannot act out there. Agression towards the kids who will not play with him and he does not understand, the new environment, the general stress, the loss of his livein babysitter, etc. I am at a loss at how to help him deal with this and to try and get the behavior under control. As for school behavior my husband has been talking to my son about playing nice with the other kids. Only crash with the one boy who likes to and do not crash with the others. That way everyone is happy. But as for the behavior at home. The only relief time for all of us is when he gets to watch a dvd. Ideas???? or do you think this will work itself out? Ways to deal with it? I hate having to be on his case all the time. This is just too long sorry.
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#2 of 3 Old 09-09-2006, 01:48 AM
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Originally Posted by lucyem
Anyway I am beginning to wonder if the whole school transition with new rules and structure has him acting more contained in a way. He is quieter there then at home. And I wonder if, even though he loves school, he is acting out his agression at home that he cannot act out there.
I think you sort of answered your own question here. My ds is a lot like this as well. When he started preschool he was fine at the drop off but when we'd get home he'd have some cosmic meltdowns. I think he had a lot of mixed feelings about school. In a way he loved it but it was such a new thing for him that I think it really stressed him out and he just needed to deal with it in his own way. (He's 6 now and he's still not too big on talking about his feelings.) I suspect your ds may be feeling the same way. You may want to just give him some extra support, attention and love right now and a little space to work through this on his own. I know when kids are being aggressive at home it makes it more difficult to want to give them that extra attention, but I think that's when they really need it most.

Hang in there. It sounds like you and your dh are doing great trying to help him out. He may just need some time to adjust to this new transition in his own way.
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#3 of 3 Old 09-09-2006, 05:07 PM
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I agree, my ds is the same way too, same age.
Part of his secretive behavior and acting out, persistant pushy and badgering behavior, not listening started before preschool even started, so I think some of it is just being 4. He already told me that one kid at preschool pushed him down, and he had a small mark on his knee from it. I had to pull the info out of him. It does make me sad to think that he is having negative interactions, but I also know my son and he has probably pushed a few kids as well.
But I do think that when they leave the structure of school, they need to let off steam somehow. My ds had a very nasty tantrum last night, and it was his second day of preschool, 12:30-3:30. I know alot of parents who say the same thing, their kids are reported to have great behavior in school, but at home, watch out!
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