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Avatar universal

8 Year Old and Personal Space

I was called by sons principal about three weeks ago that it was reported by another parent that my son touched another boys butt. To be specific she said the other child described to his mother that my son poked his butt hole. Although I do not think that it was intended to be lewd this parent thought that it was. I do not think this is acceptable but the principal suggested he move to another class, also probably because my son is described as a distraction in class... although the principal was not specific about that. I did not accept her suggestion has it is more than halfway through the year and he is finally adjusting to classroom rules.
Today the teacher told me that another teacher witnessed by son lick his friend across the face. I really do not understand where all this is coming from. I did notice him playing with his tongue the other day and told him to stop and let him know that is not appropriate. I don't know where to begin with him because ever since the first instance I have been reminding him not touch other students. I don't know how to implement rules of personal space and I am not sure he understands the difference. I don't want my son to continue to get in trouble and I don't know how to handle the schools concerns.
Also, it hard to enforce manners with him... table manners, how to behave in class. I know he is capable because half the time he fine and then he goes on a binge of forgetting the rules.
Can someone point me in the right direction?
4 Responses
189897 tn?1441126518
COMMUNITY LEADER
        Well, having been involved with elementary school boys as both a teacher and a principal - I would want more information before I really began to worry.
     Usually playful touching does not get reported by the child to his parents.  So the first case is a bit unusual.   Was this child a friend?  When and where did it happen? Did the child feel like he was being picked on?   Frankly, if I had been the principal - I would have had both kids in my office, found out what was going on, and the matter would have been settled at that point.   Since I doubt that this happened in the classroom, not sure what a move to another class would have done.  Kind of a whimpy move by the principal, but I don't have much info.
     Licking across the face is kind of different.  But, it was his friend.  Bet he didn't tell his parents?  The difficult thing about all of this is whose idea was all of this.  Is there someone else giving your son ideas and maybe his impulse control is not so good?   Point being - unless you know what is going on, its hard to decide who is at fault.
      To enforce manners, actions at school, etc.    Well, at home you can enforce things.  At school, you cannot.  To change behavior,  you need immediate, short, consistent consequences over a period of about 3 weeks.  That is why you trying to change something happening at school is very difficult to do since, there is no immediate reinforcement.  
     What you can do is to teach and reinforce at home behaviors which will carry over to school.
      By the way, does he have an older brother?
       Oh, and one other thing that I would feel bad about if I didn't mention it since I am also the CL here - http://www.medhelp.org/forums/ADD---ADHD/show/175
       You said he is, "a distraction in class."   Has this always been a problem or just this year.  If it has always been a problem - have you looked into ADHD.  Impulse control is a major problem at this age.  
      If you have any questions - please ask.  Best wishes.
        
973741 tn?1342342773
To my dismay, my son licked someone's face in preschool.  He said because that was what dogs do and his buddy called him a dog.  Gross, but . . .   nothing to go crazy over.  He got a good talkin' to but was being silly.

I'm not sure what is going on with your son.  How old is he by the way?  

I am the mom of two boys.  I've seen it all.  I have a son with diagnosed sensory integration disorder which is a developmental delay that looks like ADHD complete with impulse control issues and lack of filter.  He has never gotten in trouble at school for behavior.  However, his younger brother had a year and a half in second to third grade that he couldn't control himself at school being a chatterbox, spirited fun loving boy.  He got in trouble for talking and being distracted all the time.  Parenting my serious, often internally struggling older son who never got in trouble and my younger, joyful, not afraid of authority younger son  . . .  my younger son was easier.  He's gotten older and learned to turn it off.  He's given advanced curriculum to challenge him at school which keeps him focused to get through it with his desired grades.  

I would say that for both of my boys, physical exercise was also VERY key.  This has many benefits.  It slows down the nervous system. My sensory boy is so much better able to focus when he has lots of exercise and my younger one has better behavior.  They also sleep better at night which leads to better days.  AND< it has a social benefit. being on a team or having physical play dates helps teach limits, getting along with others, etc.

As to personal space.  I'd go at it like this---  you have to be a good friend.  Good friends do NOT touch bottoms, lick, actually go into the other persons space bubble.  Then show him what a space bubble is.  Take your hands and pretend to make a bubble around you.  That's YOUR space.  Ask him to make his bubble with his hands.  Walk up and go just to where he made his bubble and say 'okay, can't go any further' and make this the rule for ANYONE that isn't mom or dad.  We also did 'robot arms'.  Arms extended, can't go closer to anyone than robot arms. Have play dates at your house with one other child and practice this.  (the other child won't know, you just talk about it with yours at the time and have cue words, robot, that you say to your son when he is close as a cue to back up).  

Now, are you in a public school?  In the US, by law, your child deserves to have an education and not to be treated badly if he is struggling.  Know your rights.  

Are they insinuating that he touching in the butt was sexual?  ugh.  Some parents get crazy.  My son's good friend has overreactive parents who go nuts.  There son got kicked and pushed on the playground in 5th grade after kicking a soccer ball into the other boys gut.  Okay, playground scuffle.  Well, those parents marched into school and have threated to bring the police in for assault charges.  Like really?  Their son still plays with that boy every day by the way.  NUTS.  But some people are like this.  

I'd ask your son about it.  And then again, go to the bubble discussion with your expectation CLEARLY laid out.  

anyway, I wish you luck.  Talk to your school counselor as your child's advocate.  good luck
13167 tn?1327194124
This is such an interesting conversation,  and I feel such empathy for you,  SoCalMom.   I agree with SpecialMom and Sandman,  and also have something to add.

It sounds like you're saying you've been aware that he's been struggling socially in the classroom for a long time - it's January,  and you say he's just now adjusting to the rules.  If he were a kindergartner instead of an 8 year old,  that wouldn't be such a concern.  

These two  incidents are further symptoms of a problem, rather than the problem itself,   in my opinion.  If he were succeeding all year socially in the classroom,  and then suddenly poked a kid in the butt and licked another kid in the face,  that could be addressed with a discussion about this behavior,  and basically "cut it out".

But I think you need to be open to this being a bigger problem of impulse control and address it in a bigger way than addressing the two incidents.  

Have you considered having him evaluated by an Occupational Therapist?  You might get some helpful answers and solutions.

After watching a generation grow up,  often the quirkiest kids grow into the most interesting adults.  

Best wishes.  I know,  from experience,  it's hard to worry about your child's behavior.  
Avatar universal
My 8 year old "squeezed" another kid's butt today on the baseball field, The kid is actually a "friend" who has in the past hit or made fun of my boy. My son will not tell on him because he does not want to get him into trouble. One day my son came home from school with a red mark on his head where this kid had hit him. The principal told me that they have had trouble with the kid and that his mother always just says the "boys will be boys" thing. Today, after not allowing my son to play with this kid, they ended up at a function on the same field. The boys got into the same line and then the kid knocked my son's cap off. I watched my son pick it up and say nothing. Just ignored it. After the activity the other kid told me that my son had "squeezed" his butt. I was so angry. I talk to my kid about personal space all of the time. My son said he fell down and grabbed the kid to pull himself up. I do not think my kid was lying, but I told him again not to do that. Never to touch anyone. My child is ADHD and he is in OT for other issues. He is taking Adderall and I did medicate him today. When I admonished him, he cried and said he told him that he was sorry. He did not think it was a big thing, but I again told him about personal space. I do not know why he gravitates toward this kid. The kid used to pick on him in Head Start and I would have to intervene because his mother felt like it was the other way around even after the teacher told her differently. I do not know why my child wants to be friends with a kid who tells on him constantly and then sits back and sees him get into trouble because I have a zero tolerance for that. I need help.
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