At my wits end!! Please Help!!!!!

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by SamIAm, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. SamIAm

    SamIAm Companion

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    Apr 15, 2010

    I have a child in my class who has become so difficult, and I am running out of ideas. He has a few behavior issues, but the biggest one is that he hits all the time - mainly targeting one other child. I feel so bad for the other boy. He is a sweet kid who doesn't hurt anyone, and is constantly afraid the other boy will hit him. I know the child is hitting out of frustration. He wants the other boy to play with him, and hits him when he doesn't do what he wants him to.

    Here's what I do/ have done:

    • I keep modeling for him how to ask to play, or express his frustrations.
    • I remind the whole class every morning that our #1 one rule is to "Be kind," and what that means.
    • I've done activities on sharing, not hitting, and even modeled conflict resolution with puppets.
    • I constantly use positive reinforcement when he uses his words, shares, or handles a conflict without hitting.
    • I tried a reward chart for a while, but it didn't seem to work, and the kids were too focused on the prize so I stopped it.
    • I tried TO for a while, but he will sit in TO then get up and immediately hit again. It doesn't seem to work for him. And I don't want to put him in TO all day either. I do still put him in TO when he uses a weapon - which he often does (i.e. metal tongs, cars, dolls etc)
    • Every day, I'm telling him that if he hits he won't be allowed to play with the other child.. and I follow through. Then after a while, I ask him if he's ready to play without hitting, and he says yes, but it doesn't stick. I keep telling him that the other boy isn't going to want to play with someone who hurts him.
    Separating the two is really hard since I run a home school with only 6 kids and one me. There is only one sandbox, one swing set, and one snack table so I have to be on top of him all day. This is very hard when I have 5 other children to manage. He hit sometimes before, but it got considerably worse when the new boy started. His mother said that he was doing it to his father for a while, but it has stopped. She takes him to playdates with other kids without issues. I wonder if that's because she watches him so closely all the time. He always seems to do it the minute my head is turned. I don't know what else I can do, or if maybe I'm unknowingly doing something wrong. Any advice you can give would be so helpful. Thanks!
     
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  3. teacher36

    teacher36 Comrade

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    Apr 15, 2010

    You have a responsibility to the child who is being targeted. I would let the parent of the child who is hitting know that if it does not stop immediately, you will have to remove the child from your program. We are required to provide a safe learning environment for our children and this poor little boy who is being hit is afraid. That is unacceptable. It sounds to me like you have tried everything, so the next step is removal. It's not ok for this to continue.
     
  4. Maxadoodle

    Maxadoodle Comrade

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    Apr 15, 2010

    If I remember correctly, you children are all under 3? Could you keep him CONSTANTLY at your side for a few days to keep an eagle eye on him. Once he has been through a few days of (forced) good behavior, you could SLOWLY start giving him free choice time again. If he hits, he goes back to being at your side. I hope you resolve this issue for the well being of all the children. Good luck.
     
  5. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Apr 15, 2010

    Hitting can be a hard one to stop. I would look the child in the eye and say, very sternly, "NO HITTING." Then I would take his hands and show him nice hands. (gentle touch)

    I know it isn't much, but just a change in tactic might work. Are you licensed? In Oregon, before you can deny services to a child, you have to have proof that you have worked to eliminate the problem. So, you may have to get some documentation going. And, in Oregon, you must work with the parents to eliminate the problem, before removing the child.
     
  6. mrgrinch09

    mrgrinch09 Comrade

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    Apr 15, 2010

    I would concentrate my efforts on the child that is getting hit.

    When you give that child the skills and tools to deal with a bully, then he can help the other child stop hitting. He becomes empowered with the ability to handle this sort of situation in the future. You will be teaching him a life skill that he can use forever.

    When the boy gets hit, he needs to get right in the hitter's face and say something to the effect of:

    "STOP HITTING ME", "I DON'T LIKE IT WHEN YOU HIT ME", "I'M NOT GOING TO PLAY WITH YOU IF YOU HIT ME", etc....

    While the child is saying these words, you need to be right behind him backing him up to let him know that nothing bad is going to happen to him if he stands up to the bully.

    Putting the child out of your program will reduce your stress, but it doesn't solve any of the other problems that the children are dealing with. The child that is hitting will just go to another program and continue to hit, and the child that is being hit won't ever be able to develop the skills necessary to deal with a bully.
     
  7. SamIAm

    SamIAm Companion

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    Apr 15, 2010

    Thank you!!!!

    Thanks you so much for the helpful replies. You all have really given me some food for thought.

    Teacher - I'm not ready to throw in the towel yet, although I will admit that it has crossed my mind. He wasn't doing this so much before which makes me think it's a phase we can help him work through. Not to mention that he has great parents who are right on board with me, supporting my efforts. I want to help him through this, but, you're right, I also need to protect the other child.

    Max - He is 3, but just barely. I think I will have to do just that for a little while. I'm also thinking that I maybe should not allow him to play with the other child at all for a while. I am already watching him like a hawk, and I think that's the main reason the hitting has decreased some, but I think I need to just make it a rule for now that he has to stay with me at all times.

    Blue - I think that's a good idea. I do "soft touches" with my younger ones, but since he is a bit more fluent, I've been trying to teach him to use his words to express himself. Maybe giving him something a little more concrete and simple might help. Actually, I think it might be a good exercise to do with the entire group for circle time.

    McGrinch - I never thought of it that way. You are absolutely right! The funny thing is that the other child is actually older and bigger than the one hitting him, but he's not at all aggressive. He does tell the other boy "no hitting" when he looks like he might hit him, but until now he's been only telling me when the child hits him. I think he would feel empowered by learning some techniques on how to defend himself. I'm sure his parents would appreciate this as well.
     
  8. vbubbles1874

    vbubbles1874 Companion

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    Apr 17, 2010

    I have a similar situation...He is 4 almost 5 and has extreme behavior. Yesterday on the playground he pushed another little boy off the climbing structure. When I told him that it wasn't ok to hurt friends he strated throwing woodchips at me and calling me "stupid" and saying "shut-up". I had to protect the child that got hurt and the angry little boy kept trying to slap at him and hurt him. Then he ran inside the building to another classroom. I'm at a loss as to what to do. I talk with the parents on a daily basis, send notes home and they have taken him to therapy. Mom's only comment is "the older brother is being bullied at school". I'm not sure how this relates to my situtation, but my classroom is in utter chaos. I can't get through group time and if we are able to somehow struggle through it takes forever. He mocks me and everything I say and if we ignore him it only increases. I'm just really frustrated and don't know where else to turn. I do have an upcoming parent/teacher conference on Tuesday and hope that this will give me some solutions.

    Thanks for listening and sorry for hi-jacking your thread!
     
  9. SamIAm

    SamIAm Companion

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    Apr 17, 2010

    Bubbles - Not at all. The more we talk the more we learn. Maybe the parent is saying that the older brother is being bullied, and in turn, bulling his younger brother. This can sometimes create that kind of behavior. I say this because it's what happened to me. My eldest brother would pick on my older brother, who would then pick on me. I would delve into this more deeply with the parent. It might be the key to getting some of these issues resolved. Wish I had more advice for you, but it sonds like you're dealing with a much bigger issue than me.
     
  10. sarzacsmom

    sarzacsmom Groupie

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    Apr 18, 2010

    I had a child in my class room that kept hitting. He was 3. ONe day when I was scolding him for hitting again, he told me he wasn't hitting. He was "boxing". I told him boxers where special gloves that look like mittens andhe wasn't wearing any so he must be hitting not boxing. He insited he was boxing so I told him we needed to find him some boxing mittens. I found the ugliest pair of knitted mittens I could and put them on my desk. The next time he hit I reminded him he didn't have his mittens on and that if he was going to box he needed to wear them and put them on him (if nothing else i figured it wouldn't hurt quite so much when he did hit). He HATED them! I had him keep them on for a little while and then he took them off and I put them on my desk--- after that if he started to hit I'd ask him if he needed his boxing mittens and he'd stop. They stayed on my desk for a couple of months and by that time there was no more hitting!
     
  11. gpsysngbrd

    gpsysngbrd Companion

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    Apr 19, 2010

    My kids are a little bit older than yours (4s) but one of the things I have learned is to be careful that you are not "targeting" him. Are your kids going home and saying "So-and so was bad because he hits". Or are you constantly saying " _____ stop, stop, stop". I had to watch this - I had a child last year who needed a lot of attention and then the other kids started blaming him for things he didn't even do!
    Something else that works with my kids is to talk about "positive attention" and "negative attention" and of course the previously mentioned STOP THAT I DONT LIKE WHEN YOU HIT ME

    Good luck!
     
  12. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Apr 19, 2010

    This is advice that has worked well in my program in the past.

    I have also had great success with "I need your help" to keep the two busy. "Can you pick up all the sticks?" or other long and drawn out tasks like that - keep the two busy w/o making him in TO.
     

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