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My son can't keep his hands to himself!

Posted by on Sep. 23, 2011 at 12:10 PM
  • 6 Replies

I have a 5 year old son who seems to have a hard time keeping his hands to himself. Somedays he will be good at his after school care, and many other days I get a daily report of what he did to other kids. He likes to just touch other kids, take their snacks sometimes, take toys away, or sometimes just knock down their blocks. Other days he is really good and gives hugs, and listens. It is a constant daily battle, and any suggestions for this issue would be appreciated.

by on Sep. 23, 2011 at 12:10 PM
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by on Sep. 23, 2011 at 1:20 PM

I found this online about teaching friendship skills.  Maybe this will help:

5 Simple Activities to Help Young Children Develop Friendship Skills

Posted: Dec 02, 2009 |Comments: 0 | Views: 1,326 |
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The first thing I teach young children is personal space. As a dance educator, it is more then just “keeping your hands to yourself” but understanding what exactly is space. For example, some children like to talk close in another child’s face, other’s will instinctively grab a friends hand or sit on top of another child. Some children do not have an understanding of their bodies and when they play they easy knock into others and are considered “rough.” When the child’s whose space is inadvertently being squished speaks out the squishier can interpret this as the child does not want to be play or be friends.

This can be the furthest thing from the truth but teaching children about friendship is more than using kind words, sharing and good manners. It is also about respecting boundaries and space and achieving a certain level of body control. Think back to your own personal relationships. How do you feel when you are in a conversation with a close talker, or on top of someone in a tight elevator? A certain amount of control is lost. Your body is constricted and it reflects how you feel. The same is true of children. There are simple games that you can do with children to teach them about personal space, the space around them and how they move their body through the space. Try some of these ideas out with your children or students and watch as their understanding of their bodies change and the concept of friendship develops beyond words.

 1. Have every child start in their own special spot. They can use “magic glue” to glue to the bottoms of the shoes to the ground. Ask each child to take their most favorite food out of their pocket. Let them describe it to you. If they need help prompt them. Some good examples are: sticky, gooey cheesy, melty pizza. crunchy popcorn, wiggly spaghetti, and/or jiggly jello. The more descriptive words the better. Now have them pretend to eat it and follow the journey of the food as they swallow it and the jiggly jello jiggles down their throat, jiggles in their bellies and jiggles to the bottom of their feet. Maybe the sticky, gooey pizza travels around their ribs and to their arms. This exercise begins to teach children that we have space inside our bodies. Food gets chewed up and travels through out our body as energy. They can experience the inside of their bodies through a visual and kinesthetic experience. They can move inside their body without traveling from their spot.

2. Every child should still be in their own special spot. They cannot move their feet from their special spot but they can reach and stretch with their arms in any direction. Let them explore the space around them, above them ,under them, beside them. Let them explore the close space around their neck, behind their knees, under their chin and reach as far away as they can as well. Space is not only inside them but always around them as well.

3. Now we are ready to move through the space. Make the movement boundaries very clear. You can use cones or painter’s tape to mark the movement space on the floor. I usually make a rectangle or square and call it our movement square. We have a defined space and are not to go outside the space. Now that the children worked on moving their bodies in their spots, remind them they have control of their bodies and the space around them. Start slow and have the children walk around the space. They may be close or far from another person but may not touch. This game gets better the more they practice. Have the children meet very close to the center of the space without touching and then get as far as they can from each other. They are becoming aware of their own space and others. After they have mastered walking you can add other steps like galloping, skipping, jumping and jogging. You can move sideways through the space, and carefully backwards through the space as well.

4. Kids like to touch each other. With permission and guidelines gentle touching is a great way to connect to each other. When they are comfortable moving through the space, add touch to the experience. Yell out two body parts like “hand to hand.” The children need to touch a child connecting with their hands. “Hand to foot” would be two children touching one hand to one foot. Other fun ones are hip to hip, hand to knee, elbow to knee, back to back , etc.

5. Lastly, see if they can put some of these concepts together. In groups of four or more see if the children can created a shape together that explores space. They can reach in high, middle or low level, they can be close or far from each other, they can choose to touch and they can choose to move their shape through the space. Team work is involved, muscle control, spatial awareness and body awareness.

 After working on these activities, a gentle reminder about space when a child is sitting on top of another child or talking very close to a friend will take on new meaning. These kinesthetic exercises give children the practice they need to become better friends; understanding space, boundaries and gentle touch. It gives children ownership of their bodies, the space around themselves and others. Have fun learning with and through the body, developing connections and helping the little ones in your life develop friendships.

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by on Sep. 23, 2011 at 11:14 PM
My ds had the same proplem last year too. We talked about it a lot. I think what finally got through to him was we talked about how is actions affected the other person. That helped a little. What really got his attention was if he was getting in my space I would get in his space then ask him how it made him feel. Then i told him that's how Other people felt when he got in his space. I think that is what made it click with him. I had to do it a few times though.
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by on Sep. 24, 2011 at 7:58 AM

what type of consequences are used:

1) at the afterschool program

2) at home

by on Sep. 24, 2011 at 12:59 PM


by on Jan. 7, 2012 at 10:50 AM

my 4 yr old son is the same way.  he's generally attentive and well-behaved but then he has these moments where he cannot keep his hands to himself and seems to have no control over it.  have you had your son evaluated?


by on Jan. 7, 2012 at 11:05 AM

My son had this problem in Kindergarten. His teacher set his desk next to hers, gave him frowny faces etc. Nothing seemed to be working. His worst offence was "flicking" other kids with his finger. Finally when he came home one day, I sat down next to him and began flicking his arm. Then I asked him if it was annoying. He said yes and I said then don't do it to other kids because you see how annoying it is. I told him that all the other stuff he did to the kids was annoying too. It was like it finally clicked for him and he got much better. I don't know why I didn't try that sooner LOL.

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