Help my DS is in trouble because he gets angry and aggressive at school

(20 Posts)
StrawberryDaiquiriPlease Fri 11-Jul-14 18:13:14

What do I do? Should I spend the weekend talking to him about how to be calm?
How would you react after you found out your child had a fight and hurt another child?
How would you react if your child was repeatedly in exclusion for doing something which threatens to hurt others because he had been annoyed by someone or because the teachers asked him to do something he didn't want to do?
Last weekend I took away all screen time, tv, computer games etc. But DS played with lego. Also I took him out swimming and to a children's exercise club on Saturday because I thought exercise might be a good idea.
This weekend I think I need to be more serious and keep him in his room and take away all treats altogether. We've talked and talked, I'm not shouting. It is how he reacts at school and to other children that gets him into trouble.

StrawberryDaiquiriPlease Fri 11-Jul-14 18:32:24

He is in Year 2. Please help.

StrawberryDaiquiriPlease Fri 11-Jul-14 18:40:16

What would be the suitable reaction?
You get a sticker every day you don't come home with a letter saying you had a fight?
You don't get dinner if you get into a fight???
Any experience of a child getting into trouble in year 2 and advice on how to deal with it?

LIZS Fri 11-Jul-14 18:45:01

Think you need to establish what triggers the incidents and develop distraction techniques for him and you/teachers. Has he always been like this ?

StrawberryDaiquiriPlease Fri 11-Jul-14 18:47:44

Anything can upset him, being asked to stop playing and come in for lessons, seeing other people do well at something might mean he wont do as well as them and he immediately starts attacking them or what they are working on.
He can throw things at people and one day he might really hurt someone.

coppertop Fri 11-Jul-14 18:48:39

I agree with LIZS. You really need to find out what's triggering these episodes. What is happening just before your ds gets angry?

WeAllHaveWings Fri 11-Jul-14 18:49:09

My ds is only 10 so haven't got to this stage yet, and not looking forward to it.

I think if it was an ongoing issue I would do what I always seem to do and look for a book. One to start to give me ideas on how to help him with strategies to deal with his anger and how to understand or find out from him why he is getting angry. Then take that and work with school for consistancy. Can't recommend any because I haven't had too yet.

Good luck, sounds like you are having a tough time.

coppertop Fri 11-Jul-14 18:50:17

x-posted.

How are the school dealing with this? If he's been threatened with exclusion, have they considered calling in outside help/advice for next term?

BertieBotts Fri 11-Jul-14 18:55:31

No ridiculous OTT punishments like witholding food or locking him in his room. That's not going to help.

Problem solve. Figure out why it's happening (he might not know, that's OK) speak to school for another point of view especially if a member of staff has witnessed any of these incidents. Is it happening at home at all? If not, why is it only happening at school? Is it always against the same children/teachers? Perhaps consider assessment for additional needs.

StrawberryDaiquiriPlease Fri 11-Jul-14 19:01:39

My DS is 7. They are going to call in outside help now. It usually seems to happen after playtime/lunchtime and he does seem to get stressed or angry when with children, he thinks something bad is happening often or things get out of proportion for him.

merrymouse Fri 11-Jul-14 19:06:32

My suggestion would be this website www.livesinthebalance.org

It uses this process:

1) Identify the problem (this is both the trigger from your child's point of view and the boundary that has been crossed from your point of view)
2) Work with him to collaboratively solve the problem - importantly you aren't just saying to him 'there, there, do what you want', but you are showing him that you take his concerns seriously while teaching him that your concerns also matter.

I would add the caveat that if he is attacking other children the teachers need to do what they need to do to protect their pupils and this method won't work when he is in the middle of an outburst.

However, as others have said you need to focus on what is causing the problem and identify his 'lagging skills' (to use words from the website). You can't punish him into having emotional maturity that he doesn't yet have.

DS had similar issues when he was in year 2. It was a very difficult period, and the school found it difficult to recognise what was happening preceding DS's outbursts (he has some sensory issues and misreads social situations). However, as his brain has matured, he has become much, much, much better at managing his reactions. The child that couldn't cope in year 2 is now able to verbalise his problems and see the consequences of his actions in year 5. (Although it is an ongoing process and there is still progress to be made). It is awful when your child behaves like this.

It took me ages to really 'get' the 'lives in the balance approach' and it isn't a magical cure. However, I think it works because when I use it my child knows that I am on his team.

coppertop Fri 11-Jul-14 19:07:45

I would forget about punishments and wait and see what happens with the outside help. It may be that there is more to this than your ds behaving badly.

It may be, for example, that he finds transition difficult and that the switch from playground to classroom is upsetting him. Or it could be that he misunderstands the intentions of the other children and genuinely thinks that they are distressing him deliberately.

mummytime Fri 11-Jul-14 19:09:47

You need to get outside help. Got to your GP and request to be referred to a Paediatrician. I would also get advise, is the school going through the proper steps to exclude your child? What are they doing to enable him to be safe in school.

To be honest I suspect he is too young to really understand what he feels or why he does what he does. If he is not responding to normal social pressure then I think you need to investigate why.

Reading the explosive Child might give you some strategies.
As might venturing into the special needs area, where there are fabulous parents who know all about coping when your child is the one being violent.

merrymouse Fri 11-Jul-14 19:18:00

(to avoid confusion, 'The Explosive Child' is by Ross Greene and 'Lives in the Balance' is his website.)

I think merry mouse has some good points. Ross Greene's book The Explosive Child seems like it would help you address the problems. My 10yo does a lot of this, his aggressiveness is getting worse as he gets older. He has a hair trigger temper and sees things in black & white. He was recently diagnosed with Aspergers, But my 5 & 7yo boys also display similar behaviour and don't have ASD (that I know of!). It's really stressful being in your situation not knowing when they're going to blow up next but certain things will help. And I find there are particular things that calm my 10yo (not in the midst of a meltdown though) such as the trampoline, humour (lol cats, buzzfeed dog photos etc), even a nice bath helps. Do you think there are any sensory issues : does he get upset by noise for example?

mnistooaddictive Fri 11-Jul-14 19:24:00

My dd is In Year 2 and very aggressive and unpredictable. 3 weeks ago we started the feingold programme of removing food additives. The change on her is amazing, her teacher sought me out to tell me how much calmer she was. I would recommend trying it for 2 weeks, you may find it has an impact, if not, it is only 2 weeks . A great blog is " our family eats".

BathTangle Fri 11-Jul-14 19:24:41

Are the school open to working with you on this? Are you open to working with the school? I don't know much about the behaviour issues you describe, but that seems to be key.

DS1 struggled in Y1 (with anxiety and over-reacting to negative situations) and the school were good at working through with me and him why this was happening. So I had meetings and discussions with his class teacher, then class teacher and SENCO, then SENCO and ed psych. Between us we worked out what the issues were and how we could resolve them. Result was that by Y2, DS1 was much much better - he still can get over the top about certain situations (just finished Y3), but we can now talk through them using the information we gained from the process in Y1, and he can process them much better.

StrawberryDaiquiriPlease Fri 11-Jul-14 19:51:51

OK great I am going to that website now. Thank you.

MexicanSpringtime Fri 11-Jul-14 19:58:06

Some good suggestions here. I don't think this is a punishment issue, though of course you have to make it clear to him that this is unacceptable.

Apart from the food additives idea, does he get enough sleep?

I had to look after a little boy who was absolutely impossible to deal with, and only later I found out that the poor wee mite was going to bed very late every night and getting up very early.

WeAllHaveWings Sat 12-Jul-14 10:07:57

Sorry, for some reason I had it in my head he was Secondary Yr 2 (I'm in Scotland).

mex makes a good point. ds(10) at 6 was ok during the day but a nightmare at night, couldn't control his feelings. School is mentally very tiring for them. An earlier bedtime, even by 30 minutes did make a amazing difference (although he was very reluctant to go to bed earlier!). He changed from getting out of bed tired to springing out of bed in the morning, if kids don't spring out of bed they are not getting enough sleep, there is only very rarely a kid that's not a morning person!

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