how would you take this?
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  1. #1
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    Default how would you take this?

    had a schoolie leave today who's parent asked them to say goodbye and thank you to me as they left as they walked off and he said "No!" and blew a raspberry (fart noise?!) in my direction with a scowl! The kid is polite enough to me whilst he's here even though i know he doesn't like coming and he doesn't want to be here. Parent lamely said "no, we don't do that, that's not nice" or something to that effect but no apology from either of them and i'm sure he'll do it again. Not bothered particularly other than thinking the kid is a rude little so and so and the parent more forgiving than I would be but just wondered if this is normal behaviour for a 5 year old?

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    I don’t think rudeness is normal behaviour, but it is reflective of how a child feels. It can be just because he hasn’t been taught how not to be open about his feelings or it could be for another reason completely different, worry, anxiety about something....it does need revisiting though.

    The first thing I think is that children shouldn’t be told to say goodbye and Thankyou.....it should come from them...built up over time of role modelled behaviour from parent, gentle reminders perhaps but genuine Thankyou to someone for helping them have a great time has to come from the heart....not be said as a perfunctory gesture.

    It is always tricky for parents who have behaviour issues with their child to deal with it in public. I would hope the parent would have not let him away with it long term and revisited it later, culminating in an apology picture perhaps.
    But given that the child dared to be so open about his feelings to you in the first place in front of mum gives me a hint that the child may do / say what he wants without consequence a lot and because he is just 5 it isn’t totally his fault, it is up to the adults around him to help him to deal with his emotions, whether it be by discussion or consequence.

    I would need to revisit. On Monday I would find a quiet time to chat about it...revisit it, not in a telling off way but in an exploring how we all felt way. A method I was taught by an ed physc was to just talk, in a friendly manner about the incident and draw as you go along.
    So, start with we need to talk about your behaviour when you left on Friday.....start with before, when everyone was happy- “on Friday I enjoyed....(and draw a happy face)....talk about what he liked and draw his happy face.... establishing that everyone was having a pleasant time.
    Then build up to going home..he was looking forward to.... ( draw his coat, or whatever he tells you and a beaming face)
    Establish you were happy to because..... draw little pictures as you go along...making a time line of events.
    Then reach the point that mum asks him to say goodbye.....draw his face ...ask how he felt when he made it and write in big letters in a speech bubble No. draw a face of his emotion of how he felt...even if it was happy- though it is more likely to be unhappy.
    Then draw you unhappy, because the way he said no made you feel sad, hurt etc..
    At this point you can reflect on what a shame it was that you both were unhappy ( you could include mum too).
    Then ( and this is the most important bit) say “ at what point in this story could we have changed it so that everyone went home happy?”
    Go back to mum asking...what could he have done? Draw a picture next to it, add a happy face for him, you and mum. Talk about if he feels like.... again what could you and he do. In a matter of fact way explain that his shout and raspberry is not acceptable to you and if he feels like doing that again what could he really do instead that would be more acceptable.

    It all sounds long winded but it doesn’t take long and the visual images help to keep focussed.

    It may be he opens up to that there was something he was worried about in leaving ( friends, a game, the middle of a tv prog) or worried about in going home....which means you can help him deal with his emotions more appropriately.

    I once had a child who would hide from his parent on pick up and it ended emotional most days so I used this method and discovered that he went home and went straight to bed most evenings, so when he saw parent he knew this was the end of his playing....I chatted to parent and we dealt with it together...they didn’t put him straight to bed, they talked in the morning about what he was going to play with when he got home, I reinforced this, something for him to look forward to...all solved into happy pick up.

    With this little one, at a later date, I would address him not liking his time with you.....psychologically this cannot be a good feeling to have at the end of the day and it may all be coming out in him speaking inappropriately and making inappropriate gestures. Like you say, he is reasonably polite with you so he knows your boundaries and expectations.

    Most poor behaviour has a reason behind it ( and it isn’t always because they are tired) at 5 all the adults should be helping him by their own behaviour and addressing his behaviour, if not immediately ( which may have caused an even bigger incidence) then certainly immediately after. You never know what is going on in a child’s life. I have experienced the nicest, politest of parents exasperated by their child’s rudeness.....but in reality, when not in public the parent is just as rude....so the child is having to deal with these mixed behaviours as a role modal and doesn’t understand the social rules because he isn’t seeing them consistently.

    Children can learn not to express their feelings in a rude manner, most 5 year olds have already learn’t that, this LO has a long way to go yet.

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  4. #3
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    I have a 5 year old who is polite enough when with me and doesn’t mind coming at all but when his mother collects he turns into another child that isn’t very pleasant .mum doesn’t seem to mind his behaviour. I’ll be interested in others comments also.

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    It's inappropriate but can hopefully be turned around.

    First of all, don't assume that the mum wasn't mortified and that she won't address it when you are not there.

    Is it possible that he has done this before, maybe with a 'fun uncle', and it has turned into a bot of a cheeky joke? Still inappropriate, but the child may not realise that it is actually rude.

    Be mindful of your own reaction if he does similar again. Sometimes when we are on the receiving end of such behaviours we don't know how to react (when the parents are there) and we brush it off to the parents with "Oh, don't worry, he must be tired", or words to that effect, when really we are cross and wouldn't accept it from our own child.

    If, after addressing it, you get a similar reaction, suggest to mum that she doesn't ask the child to say goodbye, and like Floradora says, get them to model appropriate goodbye routines. That way, you are not giving the child the opportunity to repeat the behaviour but are still addressing it through the role modelling. Both of you should make a point of modelling it out and about to, not just between you and the child. So, if you pop into a shop/library, saying goodbye to other mindees/parents etc. You could praise other children for doing it well, or you might think that would be drawing to much attention to it and making it into an issue - you can decide if role modelling is enough for now.

    I had a hard time getting my DD to respond when people greeted her. She wouldn't have dared blow a raspberry, but she did used to put a big frown on and look to the ground. I was mortified - more my problem than hers. In our case it was due to shyness and the fact that when we were greeting people it usually meant that I was handing her over to them - Headteacher on the gate, teacher at the door etc. She wanted to stay with me. She did come across as rude and she is one of the least rude children I have ever met. What I'm trying to say is that there is always a reason for inappropriate behaviour and so it is worth digging a little deeper.

    I did a lot of sensitive coaching with my DD and gradually it did get 'better'. She has no issues now with greeting and it is lovely to see. So, hopefully yours was a one off, but keep in there and work with it.

    Let us know how you get on. x

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    I pretty much go with what ForaDora says.

    Tbh I'd far rather a child be honest than offer some insincere thanks or apology..... and it drives me nuts when parents do this sort of thing because it's all about making themselves look good.

    I don't want children to learn 'good behaviour'; I want them to develop good character.

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