October 29, 2007,
K.H. asks from Oak Park, IL on October 26, 2007
How to Handle Behavior Problems with My Son
My son has been attending the same daycare preschool for 3 1/2 years. I t was in the home for the first 2 years and last year they moved to a building and expanded the base. Here is my question my son is an only child and the kids at school are really the only kids he see on a regular bases. Some of the kids have some pretty bad behavior to were 3 of the boys have been sent home for 2 or more days. My son has started to done the same as the other boys or they have told him they will not play with him. So everything they do he does. The did not want to send him home because they know that's not his normal behavior. But he was sent home yesterday until tuesday. My husband and i Have talked with him and the teachers at school. his has had his toys taken away no tv no outside fun events. ANd I know this is harsh he has been spanked, but he does the same thing. I am at a lost about what else to do. I'm sorry this is so long but I guess i needed to get it out. Thanks for your help in advance.When asked about what he does he always says they wont play with me if he don't.
1 mom found this helpful
So What Happened?™
Thank you all for all your helpful advice. It's been a slow process But he is coming around. We still talk about it everyday. Some days are better than others but it's working to keep remind him why he needs to behave. Also the little boy whom he was follwing He is getting some help it has been found that he has some other issues that's leding to his behavior.
T.H. answers from Chicago on October 27, 2007
Ugh, that sucks. My SIL has a son who ran into conflicts with boys in his kindergarten class encouraging him to misbehave. He's really a great kid, loves to help the teacher, excells in his work. One day my SIL brought him into the classroom and he started to do something for the teacher. One of the other boys came up and said "don't help the teacher, that's lame" and my SIL heard him. She went over to her son, and told him that boy doesn't know what he's talking about, and that helping the teacher is a very good thing to do. She's had talks with him several times about that boy not being a real friend and how she doesn't like his behaviour. She doesn't 'attack' the boy, just tells him how his behavoir is poor and could be better. She encourages him to be himself and find other friends.
Your poor son is caught in a hard place. He's getting pressure from his 'friends' and his parents are punishing him. Have you given him options or tools to deal with these kids? He's struggling with bullying behaviour at a very young age, and it's so confusing and he probably has NO idea how to handle it all. Instead of telling him what not to do, maybe role play some scenarios and teach him what to do and what to say to these bratty boys. This is a perfect teaching and bonding opportunity for you.
Oh and yeah I agree with the other posts, it sounds like this daycare isn't a great fit for you. Bullying should not be permitted, especially in a group so young.
1 mom found this helpful
J. answers from Chicago on October 26, 2007
I agree, find a new daycare/preschool. To send a kid home who is having a bad day and is out of control and needs time to refresh himself would be one thing, but suspending kids for multiple days is not effective behavior management. The teachers clearly aren't managing the group well.
Also - at that age, parents rely on having childcare. Sending home should be an absolute last resort that happens only after meetings to discuss the behavior and what the teachers and parents are going to try. If he's actually hurting other kids, maybe it could be a safety issue, but if that's the case my answer would be the same - find new daycare because these people aren't able to keep the group occupied and peaceful.
I think you may be surprised at how different a kid that age will behave in a new environment. Where he is, he's not learning the sort of coping skills he is going to need for Kindergarten. It sounds like at this place, he is going to start to think of himself as a "bad boy," which is not fair to any child that age.
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J.C. answers from Fort Wayne on October 27, 2007
Hi! All you can do is explain, explain, explain to your son what constitutes as acceptable/unacceptable behavior, and give him different options of correct ways to handle distractions. With my 5 year old, we role play. I will pretend I'm a friend in class who's trying to get her to talk with me in library time, and then she practices how to handle the situation. I think that pulling him out is not a solution to the problem, although I strongly disagree with sending him home also. I'm saying this solely through the words of a good friend of mine, but I would NOT consider kindercare. My friend has a degree in early childhood development and while she was doing her research for some kind of final, she visited several preschools, one being kindercare. She said the way it was set up was something that she wouldn't send her child to if it was the only preschool around, so she had pretty strong feelings against it, and I really trust her. I personally like Peace Nursery school, but I just recommend you go in and visit a few that you consider if the time comes, and really pay attention to what the curriculum is before you decide.
Back to your son though. If he's never been taught how to handle peer pressure, than he's not going to handle it with confidence. Practice with him, and also, with them all being so young, I don't think it's crossing the line to talk with the parents of the other two kids and telling them what's going on. You may same them from a lot of headaches down the road too.
A.A. answers from Chicago on October 29, 2007
I highly recommend the book "Raising Cain" to help understand what your son is dealing with and to help you being navigating possible solutions. Sounds like you are taking this seriously - way to go! Caring about his behaviour and looking for its cause and how to help him says great things about you as a parent! Good luck!
A. answers from Chicago on October 26, 2007
I would agree with the posters that recommended finding a new preschool. It does not sound like some of the teachers/caregivers know what to do with disruptive behviors, and more importantly, how to prevent them from occuring. If kids are not involved in structured, age-appropriate activities, they become bored and create their own negative activities. Calling you and other parents in to pick up and keep the child out of school is not beneficial to you or your child, just the school.
S. answers from Chicago on October 26, 2007
I know how you feel. My son is 3 and has been attending Kindercare since he was 6 months old. Several months ago Kindercare called me at work and said that my son needed to be picked up because he was spitting and punching the teacher and throwing chairs about the classroom. This shocked me because my son has never displayed this type of behavior. I picked him up and asked him why he would do this. His reply was he was mad because all the bad guys were taking "miss nephie" (his teacher)time and she did not have time for the good guys. That shocked me. I explained to him that no one likes bad guys and that if he did not behave he would not be able to go back to Kindercare-which he loves-I made him sit on the couch for the remainder of the day with no tv. He went back to Kindercare the next day and he was awesome the teacher said so I had my husband pick up some little toys at the dollar store and put them outside the front porch by the bushes. On our way home from Kindercare I told him that he was excellent at school and how proud I was of him and that maybe the "Candy man"(even though he doesn't leave candy) might have seen how good he was and left him something special for him for being good. Next day at Kindercare he was bad again and they made me pick him up. I picked him up made him sit on the couch for the afternoon and explained to him Candy man saw and would not be leaving anything for him. His behavior was good/bad on and off for over 3 weeks. I was ready to put him in counseling for lack of what else to do. Evidentally after over 3 weeks he figured out that it was easier to be good than bad because his teacher called me at work one day to say that alot of the boys were being really bad and trying to get my son to join in and my son said "no, me be good" "me not a bully" I guess the consistent punishment/reward system finally kicked in, in his little mind. Even though he is only 3 he still likes to be like the other boys, not in behavior so much anymore but he has to wear 2 shirts like one boy and he has to have spiderman shoes like another boy. Just think of what we have to look forward to when they are teenagers. Hang in there and be consistent with your punishment. He too will find out that it is easier to be good than to be bad.
W.O. answers from Chicago on October 27, 2007
First of all, I'm not a big believer in punishments and rewards, I believe a parent/school should work with the child first as much as possible. I agree with the other posters who say to role play with him. My dd went through a tough time at school last year and we role played how to handle situations with other children (she'd not had much opportunity to be around others until then). This year she's having some trouble with some "bullies" and again we've role played a lot. I've talked with the teacher and she said that whatever we've been doing at home is helping. Some of our favorite phrases are "I really like being your friend, but I don't like xyz (teasing, hitting, etc.)" Another is, "I'll worry about myself and you worry about yourself."
By giving my dd some words to use, and letting her know we are all on her side and that we are there to help her when she needs it has given her the confidence to enjoy school and make some really good friends.
I don't know that changing schools is the solution for you. But I would have a serious talk with the teachers and try to find some alternate solutions to sending kids home. I think they should help them find different ways of "playing" to help keep them out of trouble.
T.S. answers from Chicago on October 26, 2007
When I read this, my first response is to change his daycare arrangement. It's obvious that they are not handling the situations (whatever they are) and are sending children home, instead. My son attends a KinderCare and I've never heard of anyone being sent home. I've seen children in the Director's office, but it seems that they are able to work with parents to correct behavior problems. I'm sure that some situations would warrant being sent home after other methods have failed. But, I can't see so many kids just being sent home.
Look into care elsewhere and work with your son to explain to him that people that ask him to do "bad" things are not this friends.