Copycat Behavior Issue

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by Ms. Danielle, Nov 16, 2007.

  1. Ms. Danielle

    Ms. Danielle Rookie

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    Nov 16, 2007

    I work in a multi-age classroom and the range varies from 2.75 years - just turned 5...

    and our youngest is having a tough time behaving. Everyday, from the moment he's no longer alone in the morning, he's constantly mimicking other children's behavior, and most of the time it's unwanted behavior.

    I've tried to explain to him that he's an original, talented, unique little boy and can do things that only he can do... so that he may start acting like himself, but it doesn't seem to have much of a result.

    What's strange is that at the start of school, he was perfectly behaved and did his own thing with children, had no problem sharing, didn't fidget during circle time... and over the last month he's been increasingly getting worse.

    And I do realize that mimicking behavior is a way that children learn, but how to I curb the bad behavior from being learned and mimicked? It's reached the point where it disrupts the class and causes problems for other children...

    I also explain to the other children that he does what he sees and so they must not encourage him to do these behaviors (like crawl under the table or roll around in the blocks...).

    He also had trouble sharing and taking turns... is this just an age thing? or is something going on where I can help him?

    I've also tried the thinking table where we have books to look at that have to do with good manners and being a good friend, so that he may calm down and remember what he needs to say if he wants to play with someone else's toy... But it doesn't seem to stick because a few minutes later, he's copying someone's phrase, or chasing someone or taking their toys away without asking.

    Anywho... sorry for the length, but I really need some advice on how to help him out.

    Thanks!
     
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  3. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Nov 16, 2007

    Personally I dont think it is appropriate for him to be in the same classroom with such older kids. I know when I taught a class of 3-5 we couldn't get in near the learning and had to deal with a lot more behavior issues than when it was split to 3-4 and 4-5. It is SO much better! You can't have the same behavior expectations - it is definitely an age thing.
     
  4. monica

    monica Comrade

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    Nov 16, 2007

    I agree it sounds like an age thing. I'm surprised that even a multi age classroom let's one so young join in with that older group. That's social, emotional, education levels that are no where in the same ball park. (or the same city) By the time the children are older 3's, 4's or 5's they know when to "knock it off", for lack of a better term, with inappropriate behavior. One that young may be just thriving on the attention, doesn't matter if it's positive or negative attention.

    I can't imagine being in a classroom that diverse, good luck!!
     
  5. Myname

    Myname Comrade

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    Nov 16, 2007

    I am in a class like that myself and it is tough at times. Those young ones though just are so needy compared to the rest of the class.

    I have dealt with this issue and I too am looking for some input.
     
  6. Ms. Danielle

    Ms. Danielle Rookie

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    Nov 16, 2007

    I agree with all of you in that the ages should be split... that was a given.

    I should have mentioned that we are a brand new preschool... only open since September, and only have a total of 14 kids. On any given day, we only have 12 since some of them come only certain days. So... though it may be for the best, we're unable to separate the ages right now.

    When we have about 20 students, then we'll able to hire more teachers and create 2 classrooms with the obvious age division. Eventually this will happen... hopefully soon.

    And I think I mentioned this as well, that he used to behave so well in the beginning of the year. Only lately has he become a problem. It's like something changed in him... or there is some influence on him I am unaware of. Also, he'll be 3 in February...so he's an older 2, but still the youngest of the class.

    Another possible factor is that he's an only child... What's even stranger is that he is so intelligent for his age. He knows his colors, he's completely potty trained, rarely has accidents (maybe twice since the school year began), he knows the sounds of all the letters, brilliant at puzzles, recognizes numbers and letters... it goes on.

    From what I gather... it's just socially he's regressed.
     
  7. slickchik

    slickchik Rookie

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    Nov 17, 2007

    Make sure you are praising the other kids around him who are doing things that are appropriate. Once he sees that the other kids are getting lots of attention for doing appropriate things he will be more likely to mimic those behaviors instead.
     
  8. rasberri

    rasberri Rookie

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    Nov 18, 2007

    I'm only guessing at this, but when school first started were there even smaller numbers!?!? Most children flourish in a smaller group setting and have a difficult time when faced with working in larger groups. He may be just feeling like a gold fish in a large ocean and seeking attention. I know I've had this happen and of course the younger the child is, the more difficult it is for them to even know 'why' they are acting out. I also agree that the current age grouping is not idea.... Good Luck.

    rasberri*
     
  9. Ms. Danielle

    Ms. Danielle Rookie

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    Nov 18, 2007

    Thanks for all the suggestions... I will try them and hopefully with the right encouragement he stops mimicking other kid's bad behaviors.

    Thanks again! I'll keep you updated...
     
  10. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Nov 19, 2007

    sp ed - non-english!

    Ok, well I just realized that I have two kids that just turned 3, and since they are all developmentally delayed, they are technically still two!

    one wears pullups!

    I am worried because the limited English speaking child threw a block today! I wish I had those soft foam blocks! he too, has been watching his friends as the toss the pretend food around the room. I don't think he realized how hard those blocks can be.

    then again, it's special ed...so who knows what they actually realize! I had an aide tell him in Spanish, don't do that again...

    but what is my next move??? :unsure:
     

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