is this 'normal' preschool behavior - at a loss here

Discussion in 'The Toddler Years(1-3)' started by ilovemykids, Feb 12, 2014.

  1. ilovemykids

    ilovemykids Well-Known Member

    my LO is 4.5 and in preschool.  the teacher tells me he is 'very hands-on.'  not a malicious kids - a follower and will hit people if they don't want to play with him…likes to be the center of attention.
    i have been trying an incentive chart at home.  he needs to have a 2-sticker day in order to get a matchbox car.  at the end of the week we 'celebrate' by going out to dinner….
    i am at a loss though bc we take things away and it sometimes works.  we give him cars, treats, whatever and it 'sometimes' works.  just not sure what else i could do.
  2. kingeomer

    kingeomer Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I think the incentive chart is a good idea. I would also reinforce making a good choice versus a bad choice and ask him would he want to play with a kid that hits him?  Maybe roleplay with him different ways he can react when kids don't want to play with him.  
    1 person likes this.
  3. ilovemykids

    ilovemykids Well-Known Member

    we do that!  we 'show' him what a 'good boy' looks like, too.  that he needs to just walk away.  sometimes he does and sometimes he doesn't.
  4. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    My son used to do that.  It turned out he had a severe expressive speech delay.  He could talk, but he couldn't always express himself--especially in the heat of the moment.  For example, if a child took his toy, instead of asking for it back he would hit and grab.  Just a thought that this could be how he can express himself.
  5. ilovemykids

    ilovemykids Well-Known Member

    how do i know if someone has a severe expressive speech delay???
  6. Rollergiraffe

    Rollergiraffe Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    You'd have to have him evaluated by a speech therapist, but I would bet the teacher has some insight into how he's faring compared to other kids in his class. It's worth talking to her about what she thinks is triggering the behavior and how she's handling it; I think consistency between home and school helps a lot when my boys have troubles at school.
    One of my boys is a total attention seeker, and I find taking things away doesn't work with him because he doesn't care about the toys or material things; he just wants attention. So what I try to do is give him the right kind of attention and not reward the negative attention seeking behavior. This means that when he hits or whatever, I stop it, but I don't look him in the eye or get upset or engage him until he calms a bit. Then I will get down to his level, look him in the eye, and give him positive attention for calming down.
  7. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    Find a speech therapist and have him evaluated.  I actually started the eval because we thought Jon had an articulation issue (pronunciation), the expressive delay came out during the eval--something I had never even considered.
  8. KCMichigan

    KCMichigan Well-Known Member

    As a preschool teacher-- I agree to look at some language.
    Of the kiddos that were in my class, both have some language concerns. One is getting speech and the other is still learning English. And I work with   3s and young 4s.
    Honestly, sticker charts and long term (weeklong) goals are not terribly successful for that age group unless the kiddo is highly motivated to complete the task anyway. A week is too long for that age and if it is a language concern and/or impulsivity then as much as he might WANT to be successful, a sticker chart may not be the best tool to help him since both of those things are not easily controlled or learned through just  reminders.
    Also pinpointing time/events/other kids that seem to trigger the actions that are unwanted. Try shifting/preventing/being proactive at those times/activities.
    Make sure that the child is not hungry/tired (often hungry tired kids will be more physical or weepy)
    Depending on the kiddo- a few things that I do with my students are:
    lots of one on one attention
    'special roles' (helper, door opener, etc)
    pairing with kids that they will not 'clash' with during play
    teach phrases to help " May I play when you are done/ or next?", " Can I play too?", etc. Practice them when not in a heated moment. No, they will not work all the time-- but with practice it helps lend some of the control to the kids.
    Make sure lots of physical activity prior to more focused or cooperative play
    Use a 'fidgit' (something to hold) when in close proximity to other kids during things such as circle time, games, etc to help reduce 'touching/hands-on' of other kids
    At 4.5, it is not unusual….but it depends on how often it is happening. Once in a while is completely standard for preschooler…but if it is a multiple times a day and to the point other kids dont want to interact with him- I would consult with the teachers and your health care provider on what you can do to help him build better relationships and communication skills with his peers. 
    Preschool should stress the social-emotional growth of kiddos….which includes conflict resolution (age appropriate), verbal skills, cooperative play, coping skills (what if someone doesnt want to play!), waiting (for a turn, in line, for a toy), and how to express their needs/wants/thoughts.
    2 people like this.
  9. Dielle

    Dielle Well-Known Member

    I'm not an expert, but I do have 6 kids and my youngest is 4.5.  Some of my kids have been much more likely to react that way at that age, but all have a little at some point or another.  The things that have worked best for long term change are to very calmly, immediately stop the behavior and in simple terms explain that that's not an OK way to react.  The first few times I'll model the correct behavior and then ask them to try it again.  After the first few, I can usually ask, "What would be a better way to act when you... want a toy/want someone to play with you/are angry with your friend/etc.?" and I ask them to try it again.  Then if one of my kids is having a hard time, in general, I work really hard to praise positive behavior when I see it.
    Even with my teens, if one of them gets sassy, sometimes I'll say, "That was pretty rude, why don't you try it again?"  They usually roll their eyes a little but also kind of laugh and then change what or how they were saying whatever it was.  But at 4.5, many kids still just don't have the tools to deal with their frustrations. 
    1 person likes this.
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