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Behavior: Social Skills, Self Esteem

Kindergarten tantrums


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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
Posts: 69138
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Posted Aug 27, 2002 at 10:48:06 AM
Subject: Kindergarten tantrums

We have a kindergarten student who throws tantrums and screams at the top of his lungs when spoken to. He refuses to do any activity and sits with his arms crossed and an angry look on his face. At times he throws himself in the floor and kicks and screams. He screams that he hates adults, he wants time alone, he wants his Mommy. Ignoring him does not work. Consoling, hugging, talking to, don't work either. What are we to do with this child to stop the screaming? It is totally disrupting the class and those nearby.

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Anonymous
Joined Nov 24, 2014
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Posted:Aug 27, 2002 1:19:28 PM

Mamm:

He sounds like he is not mature in chronological or emotionally for kindergarten. He is possibly having separation anxiety possibly developmentally delayed. Talk to his parents about holding back a year to get him time to emotionally mature or get them to go to a testing professional to get a diagnosis and refer them to the LDA website or the CHADD website for help in dealing with this matter. You are to be commended for questions on this bulletien board about catching this problem early to possibly save this kid the academic failures sooo many of us on this board have had growing up. Good Luck to you ...

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Anonymous
Joined Nov 24, 2014
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Posted:Sep 04, 2002 10:22:40 PM

Wow. I'm assuming this child has no preschool experience. I find the history of a student always helpful. If he has preschool experience, what was his conduct there? If he's had none, I'd get in touch with his parents and quickly. I'd want to know from them if they see his school behavior as typical for him or unusual. Is this a child who is always angry? Or is he just angry at being sent to kindergarten?

I'd also want to know what he's saying about school at home and what their hopes are for him? If his behavior is part of a difficult adjustment to school, he will eventually adjust if supported through the transition by his teachers and his parents. If his behavior is attributable to deep seated anger, it may not be possible for him to remain within a regular classroom.

As he will not be consoled by his teachers, would the presence of his mother be consoling? I am not a fan of the 'cold turkey' approach to kindergarten or school and if a child feels abandoned, as some do when they start school, they can become angry. If a feeling of abandonment is causing his anger, I'd suggest Mother or Father pay a visit to school or bring him to school and remain for a period of time. Not every child understands that Mother and Father will return. Sometimes that needs to be proven - even to a kindergarten child.

There is no 'quick fix' to such behavior nor would we really want one. Any 'quick fix' would at best be temporary and his issues would only resurface in some other teacher's classroom. The puzzle of this child needs to be figured out before it can be solved.

Good luck.

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Anonymous
Joined Nov 24, 2014
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Posted:Sep 05, 2002 3:40:01 PM

Sometimes it helps to focus on when a child does a behavior as opposed to the actual behavior. Some of the suggestions would be:

Take a look to see if there is a pattern to when the tantrums happen. Is it during reading, math, circle time? He could be displaying behaviors to avoid what he is having problems with. You may want (if it possible) to chart the behaviors as to when they happen.

Is this child having a response to sensory defensiveness? This child could have Sensory Integration Dysfunction. You could have the school do some testing on Sensory Integration Dysfunction.

Finally you might think about a functional behavior analysis. A behavioralist comes in a observes the classroom and gives his suggestions as to when or what could be producing behaviors.

Also ask the parents is this common behavior at home or just at school.

Good luck.

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Anonymous
Joined Nov 24, 2014
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Posted:Oct 03, 2002 11:43:06 AM

I'm glad you suggested sensory dysfunction. A good book on the subject is The Out of Sync Child.

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Anonymous
Joined Nov 24, 2014
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Posted:Oct 04, 2002 11:31:58 AM

In regards to these tantrums...have you had a meeting with parents & necessary people involved?
Do parents have any ideas why this is happening?
Any older siblings @ home or even a baby who might be getting more attention than this child?
Do you have an aide who can help you during these times of tantrums? Could he/she possibly get this child out of the classroom...so the 'audience' is taken away. Alot of tantrums thrive on the 'audience' (classroom watching the tantrum...this gives them satifaction, that the 'tantrumer' is in control.
I'd suggest involving a Behaviorial Specialist to come & observe & see why the tantrums are occuring & if they can be avoided before they start.

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