When George started school, he was physically and verbally aggressive towards other children and was destructive with school property. When the school raised this with his mum, Ruth, she admitted he’d been showing this kind of behaviour since his early years.


"He’d been physically aggressive towards her, hitting and biting her. But she felt powerless to stop his challenging behaviour and needed help urgently."

Boy with hands on head on white backdrop

The school referred the family to a Children's Centre run by Action for Children and a support worker helped his mum understand the importance of engaging and playing with her son, not submitting to all his demands and giving him appropriate rules and boundaries.

His mum was given a one-to-one course in Managing Behaviour. She started playing with her son for 10 minutes a day and by switching off the television and interacting with him she was able to better understand him and read his behaviour.

George was rewarded for good behaviour with trips to the park, which provided another opportunity for him to spend time with his mum. His daily sugary snacks, which he’d previously received as a reward, were cut which helped improve his behaviour and his sleep.

Their support worker said: “When I first saw the mum and asked her to describe her relationship with her son she was in tears. She was finding it really hard. Now, four months down the line, she’s managing much better and her stress levels have reduced.

“There are rules in place and she’s being consistent, which is having a positive impact on her son. His behaviour is still very challenging but there has been a big improvement in his behaviour at school. I believe he’s got a better relationship with his mum compared with when we first started working with them. It’s a slow process and we’re taking baby steps but there have been positive improvements.”

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