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Little boy getting tough character...

  1. #1
    Frenchy is offline Registered User
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    Little boy getting tough character...

    My son will soon be 2 yo. He is very sociable, smiling, polite (knows when to say Please, Sorry....), independant, funny... when at home ! Since a month, each time we are going to preschool (2 times 2 hours per week), he is behaving very differently. He is lying down, doesn't want to play, to listen, will hit his little friends, will cry etc etc...
    Since a month, he has also started to hit/punch, us or the other kids. We have tried everything, talking nicely, explaining, shouting, ignoring, time out, in his bedroom... but there is no way he will understand it's hurting or bad behaviour !
    Have some of you already been through this phase, and how did you manage to solve it without waiting too long ??
    Thanks !!!

  2. #2
    yonge is offline Registered User
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    Have you ever observed him in his preschool or mentioned this change in behavior to his teachers? They may be able to tell you about something that may have happened to him that upset him. When my elder son was 2 years old, he was an absolute angel, but started to "act up" after going to playgroup. We mentioned it to teachers who didn't think anything of it until he was finally bitten by another child. After that, he became more fearful and desperate to avoid going to school, including crying, etc. The teachers continued to say that he would just "get over it", but I think they just weren't very hands-on when it comes to addressing bullying issues. My son is physically quite small and some of the other children looked like they were twice his size! I took him out of that school and moved him into another one that was much more attentive and proactive about bullying and my son has returned to his sunny self since.

    I agree that one really shouldn't wait too long. Wouldn't want to reinforce to a child that he can be left at the mercy of behaviour we wouldn't tolerate at home while he is in school.

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    Frenchy is offline Registered User
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    Everything is going really fine at preschool, I'm going with him and spend the 2 hours with him. He used to love it at the beginning, participating, dancing etc... and suddenly it seems he has lost interest and gets nervous very quickly with the other kids.
    I know I can't ask him to be patient yet, and that there are kids stuff they have to learn by themselves, I just don't want him to hit us/them everytime he can't get something or is not happy !

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    carang is offline Registered User
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    maybe try a new playgroup? he may be bored of the "same old"...

    but just to let you know... the terrible two's are named that for a reason. a 2 year old is only starting to understand the world around him. EVERY child at some time or other tries out some kind of "naughty" behaviour... be it biting, pushing, hitting, kicking, pulling hair...

    when my kids hit, i IMMEDIATELY take them away from the situation. if we are in playgroup, i take them out (obviously, only holds true if i'm not teaching!). they get a "time-out" or "quiet time". at the end of a couple of minutes i explain quietly that hitting is not acceptable. they go back to what they were doing and MUST say "sorry" to the person attacked. if no "sorry" then out they go again.

    this approach WORKS but it takes time. you cannot expect it to work after one day. it could take up to a week. also, you MUST do it EVERY time... you cannot let a single time pass without the removal. everyone in the house MUST follow the same pattern with the little one.

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    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    If he's in preschool, I would really observe the preschool. We took a tour of the preschools (pre-kindergartens) in our area when we were trying to find one for my son a couple of months ago and the way that I observed a lot of the local teachers dealing with the 2-year-old "behavior issues" (crying, hitting, disobeying etc.) was pretty sad. Most of the teachers would just ignore what was going on. In one of the pre-kindergartens, a 2-year-old cried for the entire 20 minutes we were there and no one comforted him or even tried to assess the situation--the care-giver instead purposely turned her back to the child and completely ignored him--he was reaching out grasping at her and looked very fearful. It was heart-wrenching to see. So, if there has been a huge change in your son's behavior it may be because someone isn't taking the initiative (the care-giver or teacher) to really work through the disputes that arise. At this stage, little toddlers don't know how to work through the intense emotions that arise in their little worlds and that is precisely why adults are needed to mediate and separate children sometimes so they don't hurt others or hurt themselves. Honestly, after what I saw in 75% of the 8 separate pre-nurseries we toured, I would first suspect the nursery--especially if its been a radical change.

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    however, thanka, sometimes the BEST thing to do IS to ignore the behaviour. there are many kids around, especially in hk where helpers are so prevalent, that are used to having everything their little hearts desire.

    i have one girl who spent her first 3-4 classes (1.25 hours each) crying and screaming. she was not crying or screaming out of fear (in which case, i would handle it completely differently) but out of anger for not getting what she wanted. everyone in her world ALWAYS gave her everything (they even left a school interview because she wouldn't stop screaming). at this young age, children learn very quickly what to do to get what they want... and she had learned exactly that.

    i'm pleased to say that after a few classes with me, today, she cried for about 5 minutes at the very end of class!

    i used a combination of techniques with her. i spoke firmly, but kindly. i told her what was acceptable and what was not (standing ON TOP of helper, screaming in her face, is totally NOT acceptable behaviour). this in conjunction with bringing her into the group and showing her what we were doing (not offering it to her as a choice, but picking her up and bringing her to what was happening). has so far worked.

    i agree totally with what you said about the inability of kids of this age to manage their emotions, which is why the behaviour the frenchy's little one is expressing is not uncommon.

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    Frenchy is offline Registered User
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    We have no helper, and my husband and myself are sharing the same education point of view, which we think is not too bad, as our son behaves very nicely, generally... he is also able to express himself when he wants or doesn't want something. He is not spoiled and is able to play by himself for quite some long time...
    I'd like to stay in the same school, as he will go to this one for the next few years, the system is good, the school is new, the teatchers are caring. When my son has a bad behaviour, the teatcher will come to him and talk to him, putting him out of the group for a time out... which is think is ok.
    The schedule is nearly exactly the same every day of school, which I think is good as kids like to repeat things and need references... so I just don't get what's wrong there.
    We really have to be strict on the time out in case of bad behaviour... but it's quite hard as this little one is very clever ! he will hit, and then give a **** immediately, saying sorry ! how can I explain it's bad ??... but if it's only a matter of a week, I'm ready to try !!

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    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by carang View Post
    however, thanka, sometimes the BEST thing to do IS to ignore the behaviour. there are many kids around, especially in hk where helpers are so prevalent, that are used to having everything their little hearts desire.

    i have one girl who spent her first 3-4 classes (1.25 hours each) crying and screaming. she was not crying or screaming out of fear (in which case, i would handle it completely differently) but out of anger for not getting what she wanted. everyone in her world ALWAYS gave her everything (they even left a school interview because she wouldn't stop screaming). at this young age, children learn very quickly what to do to get what they want... and she had learned exactly that.

    i'm pleased to say that after a few classes with me, today, she cried for about 5 minutes at the very end of class!

    i used a combination of techniques with her. i spoke firmly, but kindly. i told her what was acceptable and what was not (standing ON TOP of helper, screaming in her face, is totally NOT acceptable behaviour). this in conjunction with bringing her into the group and showing her what we were doing (not offering it to her as a choice, but picking her up and bringing her to what was happening). has so far worked.

    i agree totally with what you said about the inability of kids of this age to manage their emotions, which is why the behaviour the frenchy's little one is expressing is not uncommon.
    No, no, no...it wasn't the behavior that was being ignored--it was the children themselves. Whereas you communicated with the children in your care these teachers are doing something I've seen commonly with many local parents--frustrated with the child's behavior (and not not knowing how to respond) they just give them the "cold shoulder" which is just as abusive as yelling in their face. Sometimes that means they refuse to just stand up to the child and tell him/her no--they just go cold. Ask any psychologist--that is damaging. And I saw these teachers doing this exact same thing. It makes me wonder what type of early childhood development training (if any) they go through!

    What you did was correct--you responded to the child appropriately. You made the boundaries clear. That means getting down on his/her level and speaking firmly and directly to him/her. It's not a "let him/her have whatever will quiet them" approach. Many of these children are ignored and that communicates hopelessness and abandonment and often provokes more temper tantrums as children struggle to be heard.

    I definitely know the difference and the only thing that child was doing was crying and asking for some help. What I witnessed in these schools was complete neglect--totally and completely and you can guess we won't be sending our child there. So, I'm saying, observe carefully and then make your own decision.

    I am definitely not one that would ever pander to the whims of a toddler just because I'm afraid of upsetting his/her world but I do believe in showing respect to children--they are afterall, small people with important needs. Ignoring needs does not make them go away.

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