3.5 year old school behavior all of the sudden, very concerned!!!!!

Lbelyavina - posted on 11/15/2016 ( 12 moms have responded )

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mommies, we’ve been in a very stressful situation with our daughter in the last 3-4mo. She started showing behavioral issues at school setting only. What we are being told is hard for us to believe because we never see this at home, except meltdowns here and there and also frustration sometimes if she can’t get things right or right away she can get upset. At school they are saying she can hit other kids and teachers, spit, scratch, etc….. First we thought it was the daycare problem and new teacher so we pulled her out but it seems to continue at new place as well. We are at the whits end, we have tried EVERYTHING and nothing is working, we decided to get her evaluated. Have any of your kids experienced it, especially at 3.5? It started for our daughter when she turned around 3.5. She’s always been a very emotional and sensitive girl and very strong willed, but never did she hit and push other kids prior, even when she was younger and biting was never an issue. One thing we are told that she’s extremely smart, can even say gifted. I am thinking could it be she’s bored and needs a challenge? I can’t think of anything else, I already started thinking and researching about ADHD or other disorders but she can sit and concentrate for even 20-30 min on a project or drawing, etc. She’s very hyperactive and always has been.

At home she’s really great. She listens (sometimes I do need to remind her with consequences), we can easily go to public, dance school, parks, hang out with friends and their kids, she’s really wonderful everywhere. I have never seen an aggressive behavior. It’s only in school setting. We are so concerned what it could be and it breaks my heart every day!

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Lbelyavina - posted on 11/15/2016

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I think thats what they are doing also. I really hope she will get better very soon

Ev - posted on 11/15/2016

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We used time out most of the time or separated from the other kids if hitting was involved and told them hitting hurt. We used simple terms they could understand and did not make a big deal out of it. We praised their good times and they strove to do that more often than not. It is common sense parenting.

Lbelyavina - posted on 11/15/2016

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EV, in your experience, when you had kids who had these kind of behaviors, how did you discipline them? Did you pull them out from a classroom to take a break?

Lbelyavina - posted on 11/15/2016

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they just think that she really needs that 1:1 attention and being able to control her emotions and to learn that it’s ok to take turns… I don’t think they are complaining about hitting much, i guess many kids go through this. She’s very strong willed and I can say dramatic. She can easily start crying or have a meltdown, but again i feel it’s normal for this age. Maybe she feels isolated that not all kids want to play with her, maybe she hits back because she’s being picked on, I don’t know. Maybe i should ask to come in one day and sit for an hour or so and see how she’s doing in a class. But we will most probably have a specialist come and evaluate her just to make sure there’s nothing else going on….

Ev - posted on 11/15/2016

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I can not answer for the evaluation person. But the school should be telling you what is going on and what they are doing to get it worked out. It could be just a stage of transition to a new school, kids and teachers and also some of picking up things from other kids. But you should always be in constant contact with the teacher and not just take what they say totally to the bank, but ask questions so you can find out more details. To me it sounds like your child is pretty normal for her age and that is normal for kids to be like that.

Lbelyavina - posted on 11/15/2016

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i see. You do sounds very experienced thats why I asked :) The notes I had to sign was at the old school, since June when the new teacher came in my daughter started acting out. They said sometimes hit, say not nice words, scratch. They didn’t say what caused it, it was just blaming my child for everything. This new school I do like the teacher very much and I can see she is trying to work with my daughter. You are right i haven’t been communicating with school too well. The reason is every time i hear my daughter misbehave i get sick to my stomach and have sleepless nights, thats how stressed I have been in the last 4 months. I was hoping its a stage and will pass, but at this situation i think is very hard to say because maybe its still a transition to new school, kids and teachers. But honestly i don’t think they teachers will tell me if there are those “kids” whose behaviors my daughter is copying. The person that will come for evaluation, will they be allowed to tell me these things if they see there are kids who might influence my daughter?

Ev - posted on 11/15/2016

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I am not a behavior specialist but I do have TWO grown adult children, two grandchildren, over 20 years experience with preschool aged children and in other child care situations. I have learned over the years how to handle these very issues. If the teachers are not working with her much on anything, there won't be improvement. I have 5 years as a lead teacher in a preschool with children with special needs. I guess that does make me a bit experienced where children are concerned. I have als been trained most of my time and have gone to school for a portion of my training. It does not take a behavior specialist to see that her behavior is normal, she is learning things from school from what you described, and that the teachers are not talking to you or you are not asking the right questions in this....you said you get notes to sign. What have you specifically asked?

Lbelyavina - posted on 11/15/2016

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thank you so much for your advice once again. Teacher said she will set up another parent meeting after thanksgiving and I will be asking all of these questions you have mentioned. Since i never dealt with such situation I have no idea how to react but go by what they say unfortunately. Do you think getting my child evaluated a right approach? I did speak with my pediatrician and she mentioned that if my daughter had some underlying issue we would see this behavior everywhere, but since it’s only in school setting, something must be triggering this.
On friday when we spoke they said she got frustrated because she didn’t want to take turns so she had a meltdown, another day she got frustrated because someone took away her paper clip, so she hit or bit. When in circle time if she doesn’t sit right by the teacher’s side, she starts getting up and throwing toys, etc… But i will absolutely ask more detailed behavior list, in fact i will ask director if they can document what happens right before and after. I do praise her every time she does something good and not always give her prizes. At home 85% of the time she’s really great and never aggressive or even throwing toys. She used to when she was 2-2.5 but i never see this at home anymore

Ev - posted on 11/15/2016

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{You don’t think he behavior is worrying? I am worried because of her hitting and kicking, etc… Where does she get it from, especially i NEVER see this at home or anywhere we go.}

I never said her behavior is not a worry. I said you need to find out what is going on when this happens and what they do about it. Reward systems only work for so long and then the kids come to expect it every time. Praise her on when she does well not give her an award for it every few hours. Do time out or take away something that she likes a lot. The teacher should be able to work with her somewhat in the classroom even with 13 other kids. Maybe she needs a smaller group to be in rather than in one that is so large. It is also typical for kids to pick up behavior that other kids are doing....it is how they learn things by picking up how to do things regardless of being right or not....part of the process of learning but a parent/teacher has to also teach the differences in what is accepted and not accepted in behaviors.

It does not sound like you are in good communication with the school because you have not said what they told you was causing this to happen.....what happened before, during and after the situations occurred.

I have worked with children my entire life, raised two to adult hood, and also worked with two year olds in a preschool setting.

Lbelyavina - posted on 11/15/2016

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Thank you so much for your great reponse. It was a VERY big mistake pulling her out from old place. I feel that i made the situation much worse. But I couldn’t take it anymore and every day coming to pick up my child with signing notes that she did this and that was really worrying me… As I said, it all started with the new teacher, but I feel she learned these behaviors and when she came to new school she continued… I don’t know maybe in both places there were kids that she follows these behaviors from, its very hard to say since I am not there. But here they said they tried to do the ABC chart and was hard to do because its always different and mostly at different times. Sometimes just because and sometimes over sharing or frustration. What they did notice is she does the best on 1:1, but of course the teacher can’t do that with another 13 kids in the room. They suggested evaluation and perhaps a specialist can devote her that 1:1 time and as well teach her and see if she’s getting frustrated its ok to wait, its ok to take turns. It seems like she gets frustrated if she can’t get something RIGHT AWAY and can’t be patient, where at home she’s patient and can wait, she can repeat the same thing 5 times until she gets it, but she knows how to wait. I forgot to mention she also has a younger brother he’s 11mo. She’s so wonderful with him and loves him so much. She is usually very good with sharing with him also.

At school they created a checklist board, and if my daughter gets 5 check marks she gets a sticker, 10 she gets a lollipop and so on, but as of Friday we spoke with director and they will try even intense reward system. Every few hrs when she’s good she gets something….

You don’t think he behavior is worrying? I am worried because of her hitting and kicking, etc… Where does she get it from, especially i NEVER see this at home or anywhere we go.

Ev - posted on 11/15/2016

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What do they tell you at school is causing her to do this---what is the situation that triggers it? Also pulling her out of one day care and into another does not help the situation but makes it worse as she sounds like she just started in the one place and had not been there long enough to get used to rules, playing with other kids, and the teachers. It is not consistent to change schools thinking that it is the place. Also you did not mention what they have tried to do to work with her. Also she is not going to remember she hit others or was out of sorts from eariler points of the day when you get her and you punish her again at home....kids this age have short memory skills.


{ I already started thinking and researching about ADHD or other disorders but she can sit and concentrate for even 20-30 min on a project or drawing, etc. She’s very hyperactive and always has been.}

Also as far as ADHD, they won't do anything until she is five on that and other disorders are sometimes not looked into until older. She sounds like she is trying to communicate things and has issue with that because she is still learning to express things with words as is normal at this age. Also kids this age are going to be active...that is in their nature and normal. Sitting for 20-30 minutes is great.....she sounds normal to me. I think you need to be talking to the day care people who take care of her on a daily basis and the director to see what is going on when she has the issues and what they do to work with her.

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