T.D. asks from Katy, TX on October 18, 2008
What would you recommend I put on a sticker chart at home for my three-yr-old son who has been acting out at preschool? Last week he yelled NO! at his teacher and crawled under a table, and he refused to sit in time out. These are behaviors that he knows are unacceptable at home. Or can you recommend another creative approach to modify his preschool behavior? I've always spanked him but need something else. Thanks
1 mom found this helpful
S.O. answers from San Antonio on October 20, 2008
If my child acts that way at school, he is very aware that he will get a spanking at home. For minor offenses, I usually find another punishment, but yelling at the teacher or refusing discipline strategies is unacceptable behavior. That's all the teacher can do and she needs your support in this. If you're uncomfortable with spanking, you need to find a punishment that hits home with him. Take something away that he loves.
L.A. answers from Austin on October 19, 2008
I agree with Melinda. If this behavior is just now happening and is completely different you need to find out what happened before he became so upset. You need to think about what is different in your child's life. Do not speak about this in front of your son, also ask the teacher to inform you if it happens again. If you have already spoken with your child about it, and he gave you an answer great. If he says "I do not know why I yelled at her" ask him to next time try to use his "regular voice and think about why he is yelling". Also ask the teacher if your son can put himself in time out when he begins to feel like he is going to yell.
My daughter was never in trouble in daycare until one day she jumped on a kid and started hitting him. Once the teacher calmed them down, she found out the little boy had been picking on one of the other kids and my daughter had told the boy to quit picking on her friend. When he did not stop my daughter said she was "frustrated" and "had to push him down and hit him, so he would listen to her words."
She was put in time out and we had a talk about the hitting part. Remember there is ZERO tolerance for hitting anyone.
A.J. answers from Killeen on October 21, 2008
sounds like normal 3 yr old behavior to me =) i would sit down with his teacher and see what they think the problem is and try to come up with a solution together. also, you might try talking to your son and seeing if maybe there is some underlying issue. has there been a big change recently in his life he may feel insecure about? was there a change at school? (friend leaving, new teacher, new rules, new environment, etc.)
A.P. answers from Austin on October 20, 2008
Something that I also found to be quite effective with my son and preschool is that the next day he had to talk to his teacher and apologize to her for his behavior. When you talk to him at home, remember to talk about how we respect our teachers and that "we don't do this in our family" kind of stuff. Having him apologize to the teacher will embarass him a little (not therapy inducing, but enough to make a point and bring him down a notch), plus show him that you support and respect the teacher.
I'd also make some time to "surprise" him at school and pop in for a visit.I'd definitely want to do some covert observation to see what might be causing this behavior. Is there a reason for his behavior? Another classmate? Teacher not giving him enough attention? Not enough choices? Inappropriate expectations for the age? Try talking to him and see if you can figure out if there is something bigger that he's reacting to - so that you can rest assured that he is in an appropriate situation.
P.B. answers from San Antonio on October 20, 2008
Ask the teacher for a brief written summary of the day - each day your son goes. Keep this up until you are satisfied things are improving - which they should if handled properly.
Using a sticker chart could work well if the teacher is willing to tell you in her note that your son has earned one and if everyone reminds him of the need to behave in order to earn a sticker. Whatever he earns should not be extravagant or easily earned.
This issue is primarily up to the teacher and staff members to handle because it occurs at school. That being said, you have an important role to play in verifying you agree with and in supporting their discipline approach. If your son will not sit in "time out", they should send him to the director's office for a talk - or something comparable. The staff members should be willing to call you to come if necessary. You and the staff can let him know if Mommy has to come, he will be in even more trouble. If you have to go, you need to be firm with him in the way you interact. If things don't improve soon, each of your visits may need to result in a loss of a priveledge at home later that day. The point would be to tell him this when you go to the school and remind and enforce the loss later in the day.
This is not a crisis, all kids go through rough spots. You, your son and your school's staff can easily deal with this challenge.
M.C. answers from Houston on October 19, 2008
Hi Sam, has something else changed in his life recently? (divorce, mommy went back to work or one/both parents working longer hours, no alone time with mom/dad without sibling, new teacher, potty training, new kid in his class that isn't so nice?). Usually, if the behavior is out of the norm there is something else going on that is different than before. It's hard to figure out sometimes, especially when it's kind of hard for him to explain at 3 years. But you might try asking him, if you haven't, maybe he can give you some insight. If not ask his teachers to make note of what happened just before he started acting out. It could be a lot of things so the more info you have the more likely you can figure out the trigger. After you figure out the cause it will probably be easier to figure out the solution. Good Luck!!
J.H. answers from Houston on October 19, 2008
Have you tried spanking (no, not beating) this kid and informing him that that action won't happen again? A little swat now and then is not abusive and can work wonders. He knows he has the upper hand and that the teacher can't do anything about it. Little kids are smart and they learn quickly.