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Old 01-12-2012, 03:12 PM   #1
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Preschool Behavior Issues

DS is 2.5 and is having some issues at preschool. He only goes to preschool 2 days per week from 9-1:30. We just started in September, and he started having some behavioral issues (primarily hitting/throwing things) a couple of months ago. I could write a book about what's going on, but the bottom line is that DS is often acting out in ways that are not ok - even for a 2 year old boy. His teachers say he is super sweet most of the time, but he just gets these aggressive streaks and can't seem to control himself. Today, in addition to a day full of throwing things and running his teachers ragged, he was pushing his friends' heads into the windows as they were looking outside.

I know that DS has a lot of energy and a lot of his behaviors are typical 2 year old boy behaviors - I'm OK with those! He can get really wild and crazy, he doesn't always listen very well, and some days (like this morning before preschool) he practically refuses to cooperate. The preschool took a 2 week break for the holidays, and a few days into it, DH and I actually talked about how well DS was behaving. He seemed much more calm and in control of himself, and there was no hitting/throwing at all. He started back last Thursday, and that afternoon, he hit me for the first time in almost 2 weeks.

My morning pep talks about how we should use our hands for giving high fives, hugs, and other fun things aren't working. Reward charts are meaningless. Before the break, I started offering a reward of helping with dishes for good behavior, but that's no longer working either. I have no idea how to get through to him that these behaviors are NOT OK! His teachers apparently aren't getting through to him either, and I'm hoping for some advice. DS LOVES going to preschool, and that's the only social outlet I have access to right now, but I'm not sure we need to keep him there... Thanks for any info you have to share

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Old 01-12-2012, 03:42 PM   #2
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Re: Preschool Behavior Issues

My instinct is that he's not ready for preschool -That maybe it's just too much.
My dd is 2.5 and although I don't think she gets quite as crazy, she doesn't cooperate if she doesn't feel like it, she hits, throws things when she doesn't get her way and generally knows what she wants and nothing will stand in her way!
I imagine if I sent her to preschool she would have 'behaviour issues' too. (she goes to a small home daycare and I know she's a handful)

Is there the possibility of him being at preschool for a shorter time? 4hrs is a lot. Either bring him late or pick up early?
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Old 01-12-2012, 03:44 PM   #3
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I think thats an exhausting day. All the preschools here are 9-12. Unless its part day care. My 2.5yr old would come home exhausted.
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Old 01-12-2012, 04:26 PM   #4
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Re: Preschool Behavior Issues

I really have to agree with the above advice. That preschool schedule is extremely exhausting, and quite possibly overstimulating, for a 2.5 year old. I really think he may be too young for preschool just yet. What are your reasons for wanting him in preschool so soon? If he seemed to be better during "vacation", I would really encourage you to look a bit deeper. Most 2-3 year olds don't need that type of environment, and their reasoning skills are still very immature...actually right on target for their age development. But when placed in an such an environment too young, emotionally and psychologically, it creates behavior problems and more.

I'm a mom to 6 kiddos, with another due in Feb. We homeschool and have been through many different stages with each child. Particularly little boys, development and learn a bit more slowly behind little girls. I'd really lean toward keeping him home where he is able to happily be himself, and continue to instill stability, security, consistent boundaries but love him for the little guy he is...only 2 1/2! PREschool is really for older kiddos, IMHO, not toddlers who still need their Momma's fulltime.

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Old 01-12-2012, 07:03 PM   #5
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Re: Preschool Behavior Issues

Thanks for your input, everyone! My DH does not even want to talk about taking DS out of preschool right now because he seems to enjoy going so much. I think that it has been good for him in a lot of ways, but you're right that the schedule is probably exhausting for him. At home, he's ready for a nap by 12:30-1:00, and that's without the constant activity. We originally started him there because I was taking a couple of day classes at the nearby university. The schedule was perfect. I'm due with another baby in April, so I decided not to continue with classes this semester. The only reason we've kept him there is for the social interaction and because he seems to like it - he often asks to go even on days off. With the change in behavior we had over the holiday, it really makes me think that you all are right, and we should consider taking him out...
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Old 01-12-2012, 07:16 PM   #6
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Re: Preschool Behavior Issues

SInce he's ready for a nap at 12:30 or 1 can you pick him up at 12:00 everyday? It may be worth trying if you want to try to keep him in preschool.
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:20 PM   #7
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Re: Preschool Behavior Issues

If it's the social interaction you're looking for, have you looked into your city or towns "playgroups"? I enjoyed that when I was a young mom with 2-3 little ones, and so did they. There are also MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) groups available across the US, that have meetings twice a month. Momma's are able to enjoy an evening with the ladies, crafting, a speaker and treats. Little ones go into the child interaction (child care) for socialization and allowing their mother a little time to herself.

There are many different ways to help your son learn social interaction. But more geared toward his age level, attention span, and daily/naptimes schedule. Toddlers being away from their parents, isn't the only way to achieve "socializing" with fellow little ones. From parks to playgroups, Mommy and Me swim classes, and story times at the local library. Get creative and join in the fun and socialization, right along side your little guy!

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Old 01-12-2012, 08:55 PM   #8
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Re: Preschool Behavior Issues

I'm not sure how the preschool would feel about me picking DS up early, although I may check into that after I sit down with DH to discuss this. We live in a tiny, rural town miles from anywhere, and I actually drive DS 30 miles one way to preschool. There has to be some sort of playgroup within the same distance that we could attend (although I tried playgroups when DS was younger, and I had a hard time making real connections). If nothing else, I know there is a large network of community centers in the area and a really cool discovery center. Maybe next week I'll go check these places out to see if it could work as a substitute. It would save us some dough, too
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Old 01-12-2012, 09:24 PM   #9
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Re: Preschool Behavior Issues

I agree, I really couldn't see my 2.5yr old doing well for that long of a day, and he's pretty mild mannered as it is. He naps usually around 12.15pm, right after DS2 gets home from kindergarten and they have lunch. Otherwise I would put him down earlier. In fact two days this week he acted tired/grumpy around 11.30am and I asked if he wanted to go for nap and he said yes! Off he went.....


Even for kids who are 5, once they start kindergarten that is tiring and takes a while to get used to. Christmas break usually sets them back again at preschool, at least that's what all the preschool teachers used to tell us.


My 2.5yr old just does a intro class, max up to an hour one day a week. Our library offers amazing toddler programs for free, you might want to check out storytime or toddler playtime/duplo etc.
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Old 01-13-2012, 07:32 AM   #10
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Re: Preschool Behavior Issues

DS1 had similar problems at that age when he went to preschool. He went 2 days a week from 9:30-1:30. His impulse control development was just behind other kids his age so no amount of punishment or reward helped him. He could flat out tell you what he did was wrong and why, but he just couldn't stop himself from doing it. By the time he was 4, it wasn't such an issue.

I have to add that due to circumstances beyond my control, he wasn't getting enough rest during his 2k preschool experience. He had to get up early in the morning so I could take him to his Dad/Nana while I went to work. His Nana picked him up from preschool, got him an ice cream, and then took him back to her house. I came to get him at 3:30 and he hadn't had a nap all day long. He would fall asleep in the car on the way home, I'd transfer him to his bed at home, at 5pm he'd have his "night" terror for 15 minutes, and at 5:30 be awake again. He spent Saturday and Sunday with me and went down for his 3-4 hour nap around noon. He was just tired all the time and then put into a high stimulation environment and expected to handle it great.

If I had been the one calling the shots, he wouldn't have attended preschool until 3 at the earliest and he would have been made to at least attempt a nap in a darkened, quiet room around the same time each day. I would have also chosen a different preschool that, among other things, started and ended earlier. Once I was in a position to do so, he changed preschools and got much better rest.

I agree with others that it sounds like your DS may not be ready to attend a program like this. If he really is ready to go down for a nap that early, can you adjust his schedule at home so that he is ready later? It really is ok to back off. I wish I had been in a position to do this for my firstborn.
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