I have a 3 1/2 Yr little boy who is in preschool and is very disruptive in class. He has been in daycare since he was around 8 months old. He was one of the "good" kids up until he hit middle 2's. His current teacher has had to put him in time out or sent him to the office at least once a day for a while now and I don't what to do. He hits, pushes, spits, yells at the teacher. He has even hit or kicked the teacher. When they go outside for playtime he trows rocks at kids. He also will not listen when he's told to do something, the teacher asks him to get off of something or stop doing something and he either tells them "no" or totally ignores them. He is a very sweet loving little boy most of the time, but then he acts like this and I I'm afraid he's going to be a "trouble maker" the older he gets. His teachers tell me that he is the brightest kid in his class and he is very charming and they just love him to death but he has disipline problems. He also is not fully potty trained. I've tried every method possible and if I dont make him go to the bathroom every 30 mins he will mess on himself and acts like he doesn't care if he's "dirty" or not. In his class they will be having lesson time and he just walks off and starts to play with the toys and when he's told to stop and come back sometimes he complies and other times he lashes out. When you ask him the question "WHY?" and can not answer me, his response is ALWAYS "Cause I not want to" I'm worried for him and I would like some advice on what I can do to get him to mind his teachers and behave. I have tried time-out and all he does is scream the whole time and cry while in time out. I have tried taking toys away and he doesn't seem to care. I have tried to sit him down and talk to him eye to eye and that doesn't help. I have done all I can think and its not getting any better. PLEASE HELP!
Ah, love the threes. They can be a real challenge and no one really talked about that and made 2's sound so awful. Three was harder for both my boys and 4 isn't much better (sad to tell you-------- smile). Deep breath, it will be okay.
Well, one thing that I am picking up on in your post is that your boy spends a lot of time in school. I get that it is also your daycare and he has to be there for the full day but that is a REALLY long day for many 3 year olds. The preschool that I put my boys in was only for 2.5 hours a day and they only went 2 days at age 3. Now I make this differentiation because your boy may do better in a different enviroment. What kind of "lesson time" are they having? Is it a circle time in which they talk or she reads a story? He's honest enough to say he doesn't want to sit there. And the rule of thumb to most preschool teachers is if someone doesn't want to do an acitivity they do not force them. So what I'd do in your son's case is give him choices. "Do you want to sit here by me in circle time or do you want to pull up a chair beside us or would you like to sit in the bean bag with head phones on today?" He picks one and he'll most likely comply because he was given a choice. Choices are the best friend of a difficult child.
By the way, age appropriate attention span for kids of his age is about7 to 10 minutes period. That is why most preschools break everything down to very short increments but play time.
As far as his behavior with hitting, pinching, etc. I think they are taking the right approach to give him a time out. It should be consistent. Your punishing him at home for what happens at school doesn't help at all. Developmentally, for many years to come all discipline has to be immedate to have an effect. Before the age of 10, delayed punishment works better but at 3, it is a waste of time and energy. Not to mention that home should be the "safe" place if he finds school overwhelming.
Bringing me to another point. My son has sensory issues. School was difficult for him due to this. He did the best he could but was described as problematic and difficult. We addressed his nervous system and school became so much better. I had tried punishing him too and am so upset I ever did because the kid was dealing with an overactive nervous system and trying. We still deal with self esteem issues due to those early years and how he felt about himself always being in trouble at school and that the other kids didn't like him due to disruptive behavior. Occupational therapy was the best thing we ever did. He's doing great now at almost 7.
Amp up his physical activity. He should be at parks, running around as often as possible. Take him swimming at an indoor pool. Play physical games. This has a direct affect on the nervous system and behavior. Also, purchase the book "hands are not for hitting" as it is a great book for kids. Talk about emotions with him and use kid language. The library is great for books that do this. Then give him alternatives for his outburst behavior. Going to a "cool down" spot was a favorite of my son's in preschool. He'd go there, folks would leave him alone while he cooled off and then he would rejoin without doing anything he shouldn't. Counting is also good and deep breaths.
Lots of very good points by specialmom. I do want to reinforce what she said about punishing him for what he did at school. It doesn't work. You can model or reinforce things around the house that will help him in school. To punish him for something that he did hours earlier at age 3 or 4 or 5 or even 6 won't work.
Also realize that he is the "brightest kid in the class." Bright kids quickly figure out how to get what they want. Unfortunately, at his age - they don't have much self control in how they go about getting this. If the school is consistent in there consequences, he will figure out what he can and cannot do. Unfortunately, he will also move on to plan B - but thats what makes them so much fun. You just gotta stay one step ahead of them.
By the way, a child of 3 is not going to really be able to tell you why. And as a retired schoolteacher, vice-principal, principal - I can tell you that as they get older - they may know why, but they certainly aren't going to tell you. I finally quite asking. And worked on the future. If this happens again, what would you do. But I think that is still a few years away for you and your child. Best wishes.
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