View Full Version : I need help to have a discussion with a parent about remarks and questioniof children

25-05-2013, 12:56 AM
I can look after 9 children with the help of two assistants, I have limited myself to 6 children per day although both my daughters and my mum are registered as assistants. Most days there are 3 of us looking after 6 children and some days it is 4 or 5. I have a parent who is checking on the two days her son attends about which children I have and how many. She asks about how many children I have on roll and this week asked my daughter who was looking after the two new babies whilst her son was having a 3 hour tantrum.

I have asked her to come for a meeting to discuss the behaviour of her son who is 2.2 months and to discuss her worries about the other children I look after. She has agreed but she is worried I will stop looking after her child. The issue is the little boy hardly sleeps at night or during the day and I know she is exhausted. During the day at home he has a nap if someone sleeps with him, I can't do that, so he wakes up after 20 mins and yells and cries for upto 3 hours. I have to hold him standing up if I sit down he cries. It is the same with mum. The grandmother who looks after him one day a week is refusing to do it any more. Ideally this mum would like me to keep the numbers down and focusing on her child only, this is what the remarks are about. She knows that I am competent but she is in denial about her child's behaviour and says he is just a baby. The new children are a doddle, as one year olds they sleep when you put them down and they are a joy to have. I adore this little boy and that is the problem I want to work things out with this mum but today I found out that the other mum of this little boy has had enough of child's behaviour and of birth mums 'high maintenance' behaviour. They are on the brink and so am I. I have started to dread the two days this little boy attends but I want to work things out. Any advice on how to have a successful meeting due sometime this week.

25-05-2013, 05:53 AM
I feel for you, there is nothing worse, my son used to cry (sometimes throw a massive temper) after every nap. But I would not do what you and mum have been doing, it is exhausting and is not improving the situation. I would not give into mums demands nor would i spend 3hr holding a toddler while he screams, he is not your child and you do not get paid enough. I would ask both mums to come in and write up an action plan for how you are all going to tackle this together. If she starts telling you how to run your business or making unreasonable demands tell her that unfortunately you are unable to accommodate her needs and you accept her termination. Have you tried having a favourite activity ready for when he wakes up, maybe something in the garden like a treasure hunt, hide 5 items and he has to find them ( a reward at the end). I play where's wally with my little boy (10 pictures downloaded and laminated). My son could turn the screaming off at the drop of a hat (it is a learned behaviour) he would be in the middle of a huge meltdown and if I said 'would you like a jelly' he would stop instantly and go and get one. Mum needs to be on board to change or it won't work and it will be hard work good luck with mum and little one, hope you find a solution.

25-05-2013, 05:57 AM
I have been there and done that!! so to say.

I sigh with exhaustion and in trepidation for you, what a task you have on your hands.

First of all, the first thing I would say is DO NOT take anything the mums say personally, because, you may well be blamed for issues (not correctly) but nevertheless it may happen purely because of mums denial.

Secondly, you are right, you need to address these issues, otherwise it will drive you mad and spoil your day, as it is already from the sounds of it.

Thirdly, and I know this is going to be the hardest, Both mums and you need to do the best for the child. In my opinion the sleep issues need to be addressed and habits need to be broken now, it's going to be very hard because it sounds like it has gone on too long and it will be a matter of breaking the childs persistence to get someone to sleep with him.

No sleeping with child at all and especially at home.
It may be a good idea to implement a controlled crying strategy.
Absolutely no giving in.

Once sleep has been addressed and conquered you may find behavior improving, if not, thats a challenge for another day.

I really feel for the child because it sounds like this behaviour is a product of misguided parenting. I don't want to criticize because i truly believe that all parents do what they think! is best for their child but in this case it isn't.

Lastly, the parents need to understand that their remarks and comments about your business is causing you and your assistants some anxiety and this is not going to be tolerated. You do the best for all the children you care for and you work within the EYFS requirements. If they think that 'pandering' to their child would solve his problems they are mistaken, it will only allow his unacceptable behaviour to continue and therefor be the worst thing for the child.

You need to be have specific measures in mind that you want to achieve and these need to be specific, measurable, achievable and timed.

For example: Child needs to be able to sleep to fulfill a basic biological need.
Child needs to sleep at certain times - identify what time you think are needed
Suggest how this can be achieved - maybe controlled crying strategy, definately no co sleeping, do not give in
Do this for a period of time, a few weeks - a month and then address the outcome

If parents do not commit to addressing the situation, you are fighting a loosing battle.

You do need to be firm, and maybe state that as a professional you cannot allow this behaviour to continue for all concerned, so you consider this an intervention stategy to safeguard all concerned, Mums need to sit up and listen :thumbsup:

GOOD LUCK :thumbsup:

25-05-2013, 06:06 AM
I'm not claiming any special insight as I am sure you have ample experience and resources to manage the behaviour with the support of the parents. I think I would ask for a meeting with both parents, so that everyone is on board, and to underline how seriously you are taking this issue.

It also sounds like Mummy 1 is making a rod for your back and for grandma's, and putting strain on her own partnership, by babying the child. Instead of recognising this and letting you help support his development appropriately, she is trying to get you to do the same. If he is used to constant mollycoddling at home, he is likely to resent sharing your attention, and this may be part of the reason for the tantrums and so on. I think you need to stress that the child's development depends on letting him grow up, and that an environment with lots of other people, older and younger children, is actually a great opportunity for him to develop emotionally and socially, particularly for an only child (which I am guessing he is), certainly not a problem. I think I would probably try to couch any advice to parents in terms of the need to support the child's development, make transitions easier for him etc. and hope that the prospect of helping him on will outweigh the temptation to hold him back.

Good luck, and don't forget that she is quite right in that you can wash your hands of the family if they don't appreciate the great service you are giving.

25-05-2013, 06:59 AM
Great advise from others...

I'd also say if you need some back up explaining where he should be developmentally, try birth to five book, there us also a chikd development book i use i think its by carol meggitt. This gives an indication of where a child should be related to his age and stage. Sleep is so important to little ones and can cause behaviour problems.

I also start talking to parents regarding 'school readiness' as this us a big focus of eyfs. If she thinks it us busy at yours, think about nursery provision and then school. If this isn't addressed now then this little one is going to find these transitions very difficult

25-05-2013, 08:47 AM
Its not easy to go cold turkey on the co sleeping, believe me I have been there with my own child. Mum can get help from the heath visitors Dr etc. I had some one come into the home who worked with me. We put a small childs bed at the side of mine, he felt my arm on his body and slowly slowly the bed went further and further away from mine. Took ages but my main concern was my child would not suffer too much for my mistake!

Good luck with talking with mum.

25-05-2013, 08:53 AM
Just one other thing. My sister sletp with her kids for years!! The kids are much older now and in their own beds. They never suffered ( not like my sister lol) ended up being very confident and bright outgoing chidlren but hey never had to sleep at a childminders!

25-05-2013, 05:11 PM
Thank you for your support, it means so much to me. I am meeting with the mums tomorrow or Monday because I can't go into the week without some plan in place. The mums are currently blaming each other and the grandmother wants to pull out of her baby sitting duties. Both mums are desperate to please me and scared of me pulling out because the birth mum only trusts me to look after him. but I realised that on Wednesday I took a breath in the morning and didn't let it go until Thursday evening when they took him home and I have been upset ever since. The child receives instant gratification at home from 2 mums 2 dads and sets of terrified grandparents.

I don't have an issue with co sleeping all my ch did it, but child only naps if someone sleeping with him in the day time. They went through a phrase where they would put DVD on for him to calm him at night and one dad has him take a 2-3 hour nap on his shoulder whilst he stands watching tv until lo wakes up. Sorry I can't do that. Yes his pse is not where it should be, very over protected and no signs of independence. But mum should know that she is a child psyc.

I do resent having my business interfered with I never said I was going to limit my numbers or look after only her child exclusively, he was not the first minded child and the comments are upsetting me. They are desperate to please me and they have conceded child has regressed re sleep and that sone aspects of behaviour need tackling but as I said blaming each other and neither taking responsibility. For me this child affects the whole set up on the days he attends and it's not fair on the other children or on my poor assistants.