One of my biggest worries is that child 4 will become "the naughty child" you know the child other children talk about in hushed whispers, the child that classmates gleefully share stories about because he has been in trouble again, the child that doesn't get invited to birthday parties or play dates. I worry that I will be stopped as I walk into the playground because the teacher or SENco needs to speak to me. I worry that parents will stop speaking when I walk up to a group of them chattering away.
I have seen a child like that before and have watched as he becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. He was a child that didn't sit still, that didn't cope with school boundaries. He became known as the naughty boy and other children wouldn't play with him so he became desperate to make them like him and when that didn't work he pretended that he didn't care - I honestly don't know which was worse but, either way he became ostracised and ended up moving schools.
Until this week we were doing ok, but now I'm not so sure, child number 4 is over excited, over anxious, agressive yet clingy just different. Why, I wonder, his behaviour points to anxiety but I can't quite work out why. It could be that Christmas is on its way. They children have been writing their Christmas lists, this weekend we baked the Christmas cakes and I have started the shopping. Maybe he knows that something is coming and maybe he can't cope.
If we are doing something out of routine he keeps on and on and on and on until it's has happened. It could just be visiting Grandad after lunch but he will from the moment he knows ask when we are going and he will incessantly keep asking until it is time to go. I suggested putting a timer on so that when it buzzes he knew that it was time to go but that resulted in a complete melt down.
I have noticed that he is following his friends blindly, they are happy to set him up to get into trouble and he merrily follows their lead, not understanding that there are boundaries, a wonderful example of this was when one of his friends had taught him the phrase "f***ing awesome" our initial response was to just ignore it, but the two boys were having none of that and kept hunting me down just to shout it at me. So, I explained that it wasn't nice and that we don't say that in our house and the tone of their voices were not friendly. They both stopped and carried on their play until the play dough came out. Child 4 sat there saying it again, this time when I commented he looked me straight in the eye and said "I didn't say f***ing, I said bucking" after a stronger discussion and a banning of anything except awesome they boys didn't say it again. Interestingly child 4's friend knew what was happening and knew that he had over stepped a boundary, child 4 just didn't. At a meeting discussing pupil premium money his pre school manager shared similar experiences, Fortunately the staff understood what was happening and are dealing with the child that instigates the behaviour as well as Child 4 for over-stepping the boundaries.
And so again we are rethinking old strategies and hunting out new ones. A visual week showing the activities with a picture of child 4 that can be moved from day to day to teach him about time and provide security. A much more watchful eye on what he is doing, with quick, efficient boundaries put into place to help him recognise that he is overstepping the line. Closer communication with pre school staff to ensure he doesn't become " the naughty boy." And where possible quiet times, calmer evenings and a stop on Christmas excitement until December. Where possible is the operative word as we are busy every weekend until the new year.
Wish me luck..........