Problem Child

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by prekteach10, May 7, 2008.

  1. prekteach10

    prekteach10 Rookie

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    May 7, 2008

    Well this might get kind of long so I will warn you from the start.
    I have this boy "Tommy" who is 3 years old, that started in my class last week. He is having a really rough time adjusting to the class. First let me give you all some background info. Tommy's mom and dad are both overseas serving in the military. He has been pushed around to three different family members and now is finally with a set of grandparents. Each other family member he was with could not handle him and that is why he has been moved around so much.

    He does not like to be told No at all. If you tell him no he throws toys, rips things off the wall(posters), takes his shoes and socks off, throws the shoes at other children, knocks items off the shelves and throws a temper tantrum. This takes place continuously until lunch time. Then comes nap when he is his worst. Tommy will not lay on his bed, runs around the room, screams and yells(making the other children unable to sleep), flips his bed over, kicks other children who are sleeping to wake them up, spits on himself and the floor, and throws major fits.

    The one day I talked to grandpa they said that he has been evaluated in another state before, but did not tell me the outcome of the evaluation. I am at my wits end I have no idea how to help this child. I have tried talking very calm and rational to him but it does not seem to work. Now I have other children in the class going home and telling their parents about this child and they are coming in and asking about Tommy. My director called the local agency to have an evaluation done on him only to be told that they do not do this anymore and to go through our local school district. So if anyone has any ideas on how to handle this child I am open to trying anything to help him.
     
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  3. hawkeye

    hawkeye Companion

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    May 7, 2008

    Hmmm

    Sounds like that kid needs a good paddling, which you can't give.
     
  4. Jezmom3

    Jezmom3 Rookie

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    May 8, 2008

    It sounds like this little guy has been through a lot already. Children do not act like that for no reason. I might be angry at the world if in my short life I felt unwanted(three different homes). He just needs love and patience. The flip side is that it sounds like he is taking his anger out on other children. I would try some social stories about problems in the classroom. Does he have any friends or are they all afraid of him?
     
  5. prekteach10

    prekteach10 Rookie

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    May 8, 2008

    No he does not have any friends. He only plays by himself and next to other children.
     
  6. scarlet_begonia

    scarlet_begonia Comrade

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    May 8, 2008

    It sounds like you'll need a lot of support from your director with this child. I would ask the director to observe him in class first. Sometimes it's hard to see a kid's triggers when you're so busy with other children. I know you said he does not like to hear "No" but are there other things going on? Like, as soon as it's transition time does he freak out? When it's time to clean up? When another child is using his favorite toy? It sounds like you should be trying to head off trouble before it starts.

    I had a child who had tantrums EVERY time we had to clean up. I tried giving him warnings at 10 minutes, then 5 minutes, then 3, then 2. Didn't work. I tried singing new songs. Didn't work. I bought a 3 light time, set it for the time I wanted it. It flashed green at playtime, yellow for 5 minute warning, and red for clean up time. FINALLY the visual worked.

    I had a child who WOULD NOT DO any group activities. No exercises, no morning message, no circle time. I asked, I yelled, I cajoled, I ignored. Nothing worked. I finally gave the child a small toy to sit with and that worked. Eventually I was able to take the toy away.

    Do you try stickers? Prize boxes? Star charts? Choices? If he's really as difficult as he sounds, I would offer him two choices. "Tommy, it's clean up time. After we clean up, would you like to hold the doll or the sensory jar?" If he says no, then I would say, "Well, Tommy, you can clean up and get one toy to hold, or you can get nothing. It's your choice." And when the tantrum starts, you will need other's support to keep him away from the rest of the kids. Preferably the director would remove him.

    If he takes off his shoes and socks, grab them before they become missiles.

    I had two children that basically freaked out all day, every day. One child realized that I WAS NOT JOKING when I gave him consequences for his actions. And he became the sweetest helper you ever had. (I got this boy at 3, and he was in my K room because he just wouldn't listen to anyone else) It took 2 months of tantrums tho. I had another kid that NOTHING worked for and he finally (after 7 months) had to leave the center. He lasted in the public school for 2 or 3 days, then went to a special school.
     
  7. scarlet_begonia

    scarlet_begonia Comrade

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    May 8, 2008

    P.S. About the choices, eventually the kid will (hopefully) realize that: I can sit down and get a sticker, or I can get nothing. <or> I can clean up and get a star for my chart, or I can get nothing. <or> I can lay down for nap and get a prize, or I can get nothing <or> I can earn extra playtime in my favorite center for doing _______, or I can get nothing. Once they get tired of getting nothing, once you find out what they really want to earn, they usually learn to control their outbursts.
     

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