If I could give you one gift it would be to see yourself through my eyes and then you would see how special you really are.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

The Behaviour Book

Since his return to school in January. Child 4 has been struggling, I am not sure what or if there has been a trigger but I do know we had similar issues this time last year. When it comes down to it, we have to deal with his behaviours regardless of whether we know what the triggers are. As do the school.
Since January, I have been into school at least once a week. We have had fighting, temper tantrums, defiance and a little boy desperately trying to do the right thing but when met with obstacles just can't manage by himself. The school as a whole have been trying to support him but some staff are so caught up with procedure that they forget that there is a scared little boy just trying to do the best he can. The last straw for me this week was when child 4 in an emotional outburst told me that he was put in the behaviour book, that he is in the behaviour book everyday, he is the only one in his class that is in the behaviour book and that he is the naughtiest boy in the school.
I followed this up with an email to his teacher asking what the behaviour book was for and what was the expectation for children put in the behaviour book and what would happenif there wasn't a change in their behaviour.  Apparently, the behaviour book is required as part of the school behaviour policy and is to keep a record of behaviour. That sounds like procedure and policy running the show, not what a child needs to support them. At first I was really angry and upset but once calm decided that I needed to help the teacher focus on one single behaviour that she would like to change with the most we could help child 4 through to the end of the school year, when he would move to another class and another teacher. I have also assertively requested that if there is a need for a behaviour book that child 4 should not be aware of it at all.

The teachers biggest issue is child 4's constant interrupting and shouting across the room. I went out to my Twitter and NATP groups and asked them for any ideas to help. Today I went into school armed with a 5 minute sand timer and a list of ideas and word patterns. I am jut just hoping that if we can help with this one thing, just maybe everything else will fall into place. Thank you to my wonderful support groups.
Little reminders that you know he is there, thumbs up, squeezing his shoulder, lots of smiles.
Giving him something special to look after so he knows that you will come back. 
Teaching him to put his hand on your arm, you then put your hand on his so that he knows you are aware he is there and will help him once you have finished your conversation. 
Using a timer to help work independently for a short while, knowing when the time is up the teacher can return to help.
I'll be glad to check in with you in a couple of minutes, once I have seen you give it your best independent try.  
I can't change what has already happened in school, I can however help determine what happens next to do this I have to have a working relationship with those that work closest to child 4. They may not be able to fully understand why he behaves like he does, they may not want to but if we can come up with strategies that help then there is the reason to persevere.

Sunday, 11 February 2018

I don't care

"I don't care"
"That's sad"
"If I care, I will cry"
"It's fine to cry if you need too, sweetheart"

(I know I missed my chance, I should have said gosh you don't care, that must be so hard)

Last week brought our first major incident of the year. Late on Tuesday afternoon child 4's school phoned me at work to let me know that he had been involved in a fight at morning break, a fight where two members of staff had to seperate him and a 7 year old. Earlier that morning a complaint had been made by a parent accusing child 4 of pinning her child (the 7year old in the fight) to the ground and then strangling him after school on Monday. According to the teacher child 4 had, had a bad day. After the fight he had taken himself off to the quiet book area and stayed there to calm down, he had been content to stay  with one of the TA's at lunchtime reading and playing games but he hadn't learnt anything! I  think he had learnt a lot, just not academically!!!
I wasn't picking up that day and child 4 had already left with his Nanna and Grandad to go to their home until I finished work.
There had been no investigation into either incident just acceptance that number 4 had done exactly what he was accused of. Interesting as I later checked with the child minder who collects on a Monday who was completely perplexed, she wasn't aware of any after school incident.

I was glad that child 4 was with my parents, safe, warm and surrounded be people who loved him, it also meant that when I picked him up we could have a chat  on the drive home about his day, no eye contact, non confrontational and no way to escape. Child 4 seemed to have no idea what I was talking about regarding the incident on Monday night, but was happy to say that the other little boy had been mean to him, trying to punch and kick him which then led to the fight. He had told the head teacher everything. I pushed too hard and his I don't care tirade began.
When I recovered from my heart cracking, I could at least consider the insight his profound words gave me. Just not sure what I am to do with them yet.