Hi all, (I'm already sorry for the long post! )
I posted about my 6yo son's behaviour issues in the Behaviour and Discipline forum, but I have another question I hoped mums with school age kids might be able to assist with please.
At daycare, they encouraged the children to have a self imposed time-out/thinking time/calming down time if the child was upset or getting angry etc. Our daycare had a cool teepee that my son used quite a lot. They would basically let the children stay in the teepee as long as they wanted, but the carers would come by every couple of minutes and ask if the child was ready to join in again, and eventually the child would come out. DS has always has issues with getting angry and calming down (for which we had seen a psychologist) but he has been doing SUPER well since daycare ended last year.
DS has started school this year, and has been hiding (in the bag room or under a table) when frustrated or upset. It's only happened a few times, but most of them were last week, and it seems like his behaviour issues are ramping up again. The first one was when he got lost on day 2 and I kind of understand that one as he was new, didn't know any kids, and was scared by all the bigger kids running around when the bell rang. These other ones are just tantrums.
I have tried to explain that the rules for daycare and the rules for school are different, and that going away like that isn't what you are supposed to do at big school. His teacher is getting extremely frustrated by the behaviour as he has spent between 1 and 2 hours hiding each time! According to both my son and the teacher, the inciting incidences were nothing especially huge (once he felt he couldn't do an art activity but refused to get help from anyone, and the other times another kid bumped him and it upset him even though it was accidental which even he knows) and I am struggling to help him identify that 1. small things should be easy to get over and 2. hiding is not ok or solving the problem/calming him down.
The teacher has said next time he does this, she will have to send him to the principal , and he just doesn't get that it's a big deal. He is so used to being able to have a time-out on HIS terms because of the way daycare worked.
How can I help him understand that he needs to change this behaviour? I've suggested all the usual counting to ten, deep breaths etc etc etc, I've offered rewards for a good day or week, I've suggested taking things away, like TV time etc. I've tried reading stories with similar themes and he just keeps telling me he is "trying as hard as he can" or he doesn't know why he does what he does. I can't understand what's changed in the last week for this to escalate so quickly. He has made great friends and seems to have a great time in school, at playtime, and is doing just fine with his learning.
Does anyone has ANY advice they could offer please? I don't want this to go on any further but I have run out of ideas to make him understand that big school is VERY different to daycare.