Need help with my 4.5yo — The Bump
Pre-School

Need help with my 4.5yo

A little back ground DS has been at the same daycare center since he has been 12 weeks old. He move to the 4 yo room in June. He typically has some troubles when he transfers to a new room for the first 3 months until his the rest of his friends move up.

Well over the last month DS has been really physically aggressive to a lot of different friends from pulling hair to kicking pushing and hitting. The last 3 weeks he has been earning his weekend activities if he good he gets an activity if he is bad he looses the planned activity. The last 2 weekends he missed out on birthday parties. This week he earned one activity but was really aggressive today so did not earn his visit with his BFF even though he was perfect yesterday.

He is great at home we haven't seem any physical aggression at all. His teachers say it occurs during down time or free play. It's not just one friend but multiple friends he has been aggressive with. When we ask him why he does it what happens before he says nothing has happened and he just wanted to kick or hit.

I am at a loss. I just feel horrible I don't know what to do it seems to be getting worse. He has also had a cold and hasn't been napping great at all. However the behaviors can occur in the morning or afternoon. Please help. TIA!
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Re: Need help with my 4.5yo

  • They typically just redirect and use a stop light to hold the kids accountable for their behavior. So green is a good day, yellow some issues but can work to get back on green or if it gets worse then a red light.

    I've asked them to have him go and sit at the table when he starts to act up to have him reset. We also work with him at home when he is upset to take a deep breath and count to four a couple of times which helps him at home. So they are going to try that at school as well.

    We have an appointment with his pedi next week so hope to get some help there too.

    The more I think about the last month he has had a really bad cold, he's not napping well and probably not sleeping well at night due to his cold. I'm hoping this in ability to self regulate has do with being tired. I can't think of anything else. I'm 10 weeks pregnant but he doesn't know so maybe he senses something. But since its only at school I think that would be odd.
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  • Having him wait till the weekend for rewards or punishments is probably too long. Can you do immediate rewards/consequences at home? For example, DD gets to stay up "late" (10 extra minutes) to watch a Thomas episode if she has been a good listener that day. Or do a sticker chart for good days and set goals where he gets certain rewards for earning X amount of stickers. DD likes counting her stickers and figuring out how many more she needed to get her reward. We also make a really big deal out of the good days as my DD responds way more to positive than negative consequences.
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  • You know, boy (and some girls!) play around 4 starts to really become very physical, IME. I wonder if he's having trouble adjusting to this different type of play? It can be tough for some kids to figure out that chasing and "fighting bad guys" and such are really not supposed to be acted out. We did see that with the younger 4's in our son's 4-5yo "gang" at school- they were just a little too aggressive with their play- almost like slightly obnoxious goofy puppies. They did adapt.

    If it's angry aggression, there's definitely something to address- his impulse control should be starting to really improve at this age. And this would be a much more serious problem in K.
    Ditto this. I went to a really neat workshop about how boys learn and the presenter talked about how boys learn what is socially acceptable through their play. If they are too rough, no one will want to play with them- kind of like natural consequences.
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  • LSU628 said:



    You know, boy (and some girls!) play around 4 starts to really become very physical, IME. I wonder if he's having trouble adjusting to this different type of play? It can be tough for some kids to figure out that chasing and "fighting bad guys" and such are really not supposed to be acted out. We did see that with the younger 4's in our son's 4-5yo "gang" at school- they were just a little too aggressive with their play- almost like slightly obnoxious goofy puppies. They did adapt.

    If it's angry aggression, there's definitely something to address- his impulse control should be starting to really improve at this age. And this would be a much more serious problem in K.

    Ditto this. I went to a really neat workshop about how boys learn and the presenter talked about how boys learn what is socially acceptable through their play. If they are too rough, no one will want to play with them- kind of like natural consequences.


    My DS will be 4 in December and we having a lot of the same issues. They also use the green, yellow, red code. DS had gotten red everyday for a week and a half for hitting and kicking. I was mortified at first, but the teacher and director birth assured me that wine it is behavior that needs to be addressed, he is not the only one. Apparently, his whole lore gang of about three or four friends are all doing it but it is more rough play than outright meanness.

    So no advice here. We are also taking away privileges. So far it hasn't worked. When you figure out out, let me know. :)
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