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7 Year Old Labelled With Behaviour Issues: How to Handle it?

By: Sarah Edwards - Updated: 23 Nov 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
7 Year Old Labelled With Behaviour Issues: How To Handle It?

Q.My son is seven. He is competitive and a perfectionist but gets angry and frustrated if others do better or if he is unhappy with his own work. He goes into sulky strops but at home where he can be given space and ignored they last minutes but at school over the last few months it's all got out of hand. I feel the school mishandled situations initially. A minor incident such as tearing up his own picture resulted in five members of staff getting involved, then he was allocated a mentor who after weeks of breathing down his neck said he couldn't work out how to help him.

He has lost confidence in how to behave which was apparent at a recent childrens party, when he was being play tackled and teased - he walked unhappily away as though he no longer trusts his judgement or ability to interact without getting told off. His behaviour is under the spotlight and appears as a result to have got worse at school. The school bring me in for meetings but they seem to have come to their own conclusions. How do I protect and help him from being labelled as troubled or bad? I feel a bright, interested, sensitive child is being demonised. He had seclusion for a whole day recently even his breaks were on the playing field alone when the others had gone in... he's 7. What can I do to put the brakes on this and help him address the problem.

(M.H, 11 May 2009)

A.

At just seven years old your son can be helped to overcome his difficulties. All too often we hear about children whose behaviour has been misinterpreted and handled in what we perceive to be an inappropriate way, and this simply serves to make the situation far worse. I am always quick to encourage parents to talk to their school and work with the teachers, but it seems that in your case you feel the school has potentially made the situation worse for your son, and led to a deterioration in his behaviour. However, do not write the school off just yet.

Your son clearly takes a lot of pride in his work which should be admired and praised, however if he is finding it hard to cope with other children doing better than him at school then this is the first issue that needs to be addressed. It is important that children receive regular praise and encouragement for all their school work and activities, but it is equally important to stress that nobody gets everything right all the time and that being perfect at everything is simply not realistic. One way to help your son could be to identify different people within your family or circle of friends who all have a particular talent in one area. For example ask relatives or friends to talk to your son about the strengths and weaknesses that they have. This may help him to understand that he simply can't be brilliant at everything all the time, and that we all have our strong points.

It is unfortunate that your child has put himself under such immense pressure to be the best, as this kind of stress can impact negatively on all of us. For your son to be excluded from break times with other children, and for five members of staff to have been involved in a recent incident seems to be very heavy handed. From the information you have supplied it appears that you have a bright little boy who wants to do his best and enjoy the company of other children but who is now scared to get involved in case he does something wrong. I would encourage you to go back to the school and state your case again as unfortunately the school will be pivotal in helping you and your son overcome these difficulties.

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John - Your Question:
Please could I have some advise or a point of contact so I could discuss issues regarding my sons education. We are a forces family trying to cope with my sons education. Recently my son aged 9 has been excluded from school for disruption in class. He is a lonely child. He has been excluded a few times now. My son has recently been diagnosed with autism and has difficulty dealing with emotions. Me and my wife attended a meeting last night regarding my sons permanent exclusion. I feel that the school is against us because we are a forces family. We are constantly going through a difficult time and would like some more advise. Thank you

Our Response:
We can't give individual advice unfortunately. Has your Local Education Authority been involved with this too? Do they have any alternatives to suggest for your son? There are specialist schools for autistic children and also local support groups etc. The National Autistic Society is a good place to start.
KidsBehaviour - 27-Nov-17 @ 12:12 PM
Please could I have some advise or a point of contact so I could discuss issues regarding my sons education. We are a forces family trying to cope with my sons education. Recently my son aged 9 has been excluded from school for disruption in class. He is a lonely child. He has been excluded a few times now. My son has recently been diagnosed with autism and has difficulty dealing with emotions. Me and my wife attended a meeting last night regarding my sons permanent exclusion. I feel that the school is against us because we are a forces family. We are constantly going through a difficult time and would like some more advise. Thank you
John - 23-Nov-17 @ 10:06 AM
Hi! I have a 7 year old son. Recently he gets distracted very easily and has an answer for everything. His class teacher complained me about him that he was not listening to the teacher and he does let other student to answer if the teacher ask anything. While the teacher was talking, he was talking to the other students and he did the same thing on his soccer training. He is an intelligent boy, good student however his behaviour is letting everyone down. I would really like some advice on how I can improve his behaviour.
Sabrina - 31-May-17 @ 11:11 AM
Hi I have a 7 year old son going on 8. He no longer listens to anyone and has an answer for everything.He is an intelligent boy, however his behaviour lets him down always. He's a type of a child who does bad but later realises his mistakes and apologies.He himself is becoming frustrated about his rude behaviour. I am really afraid that this may effect him long term. I would really like some advice on how I should tackle this situation. Many Thanks.
J - 19-Nov-14 @ 10:24 PM
I have a 7 year old daughter and she's in grade 1...she was always shy when growing up not talkin much, now in school she finds it so har to open up,when a question is asked from the teacher they just get a blank answer she just stares at them,and now she has failed her june exams,as a mother I am really stressed I want so badly for my child to pass and start talkin and listening to the teachers.please help I know she needs a differnt approach.
sameera - 3-Jul-14 @ 8:55 AM
Its quite helpful to have read this. i too am having a problem with my 8yr old child. she is too naughty and often disobeys us. punishments has no longer effect on her. nor sweet talks can make her behave nicely. she gets agreesive and her such behaviour is shamful for us. how to control her behaviour? please help me with some suggetions
sujata - 6-Feb-13 @ 8:53 AM
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