View Full Version : Have a very challenging new mindee - Need tips and advice please !

03-09-2013, 11:10 AM
I have recently taken on a 3.5 year old boy,who will be with me 2 mornings a week,from 8am to 12.30.It doesn't seem much,but after yesterday,I beg to differ :panic:

I had met him with his gran and mum before,and he seemed sweet as pie,and very much on the quiet side.
Then yesterday was his first day with me,and I took him to the park with my other mindee,a 1 year old boy,who has been with me for months.
The new boy would not stick to any activity for more than 5-10 minutes,before saying " I have had enough !",so it was a real challenge to amuse and entertain him,as he very quickly got very bored.

I gave him a drink,and he handed it to me,saying " I have had enough!",I replied "Oh,it's empty ",and he replied back crossly "No,I said, I have had enough! I did not say that it was empty ,did I ?"
I told him off and said "There is no need to be impolite sweetheart".
He would not hold my hand or hold onto the buggy,and would not stop when I told him to.
He then ran straight into the road,and I ran after him with the buggy,telling him off "You must NOT run straight into the road.It is very dangerous". He refused to look at me or even stop, so I said out loud and firm "Please look at me when I am talking to you" (he refused), "You must never run into the road,it is very dangerous.And you must ALWAYS hold my hand or hold onto the buggy. We want to keep you safe,don't we ?"
I also had to be stern with him about washing his hands after using the toilet,he refused to,and I said that "We always have to wash our hands after going to the toilet,just like we always have to wash our hands before we eat",to which he'd reply "Oh gosh !". I have never seen such behaviour in such a young child.

I sent his mother a text as she was at work,telling her of the situation,and I also didn't want to discuss the situation in front of the boy.
She was extremely apologetic.

When she came to collect him with her mother,they were both very sorry,and told me to please be very firm with him,to not be afraid to tell him off and to put him on the naughty step.They both assured me that his behaviour was very out of nature for him,and that he was probably just trying to test the waters as this is a new arrangement.

Before I took him on,I was told that he was very easygoing and not fussy,but when it comes to food,he doesn't seem to like anything,and he wants to control everything we do " I don't want to do that,I am fed up,I have had enough !",and I replied each time "When you are with us,you have to do what we do sweetheart".

I felt so exhausted after he left that one neighbour said "Are you ok ? You look absolutely deflated !"

I badly need the money,and I cannot afford to let this child go until I fill another vacancy.And part of me hope that I can manage to change his behaviour,or that these are just teething problems as he's new here
He does go to nursery part time,so this is not the first time he has been in a childcare setting.

He lives with his mum who is very young (early 20's) and she separated from his dad when he was 2 (the dad is still in his life)
I am also a single parent,so I am not blaming the mum here,but I just wonder if maybe she is just too soft on him?

If you have any tips on how to handle this situation in the best way,I would be every so grateful .I am dreading the next time he comes :/,how bad is that ?

03-09-2013, 11:27 AM
It does sound like he is testing the boundaries and maybe having trouble adjusting to the new situation.. Being in nursery is quite different as he is just part of a crowd there and probably doesn't get out too much, however he should know how to behave when out and about as I am sure he goes out with mum and gran! Perhaps they are too soft with him but he will soon learn different rules at yours,, the key will be being consistent, pulling him up each time he is cheeky or misbehaves..
Do you have a settling in period on your contract?

Mrs Scrubbit
03-09-2013, 11:31 AM
Oh poor you! I would set up a time to have a chat(maybe even include Grandma)with Mum and child, and in child-friendly language( so he can understand too) go over your behaviour policy and perhaps think about a reward sticker book based on one of his fave characters or intersst hth xx

03-09-2013, 01:16 PM
Sounds like he's testing the boundaries with you...give him time to settle in of he dosent like playing in the park then he can sit and watch th others,,,
Get a wrist strap to tie to his wrist I use this as the naughty strap! If a child runs off they get made to be strapped to the pushchair. He may pull and kick off at first it's just going to take getting used to,better than getting run over I guess

03-09-2013, 01:24 PM
my sympathies firstly make him wear reigns or backpack with strap until he can walk holding the pram.he will get the message eventually ,you cant put other children at risk to follow a child who wont listen !! secondly its quite normal to flit from one activity to another at first (very annoying but normal) I find they just want to try everything .if he talks with a cheeky voice tell him you cant hear/understand him until he talks nicely and just ignore him until he changes his tone.ask mam what his favourite foods are and make them,if he doesn't eat them then tell mam she will need to provide food ,much better to see someone elses food wasted than youre own x good luck

03-09-2013, 01:24 PM
I agree, it seems like he is testing the boundaries. I always feel like the wicked witch of the west with new mindees but think it's better to be strict at the beginning, then when the understand the 'rules' life gets a bit easier.

Walked friend's son down to nursery this morning and had to constantly remind him of the 'rules' as we were near a very busy road. Other 2 mindees were great as they know if they dont comply the wrist strap will come out or tv time will be withdrawn.

Good luck

03-09-2013, 01:59 PM
Thank you for your feedback everyone :)
I have a 4 week settling-in period.
I hope that things will settle down and that he'll start to behave himself,but if it doesn't work out after a couple of weeks,I think I'd have to reconsider this agreement.
He did not play nicely with my other mindee,he would snatch things and try to push him out of the way,which I told him off for.
There is certainly a lot of work that needs to be done in order for this to work out.
I feel a bit trapped that I am in this situation where I really cannot afford to let him go if the situation doesn't get solved (being a single parent things are tough financially),but I will have to see what happens,fingers crossed !

03-09-2013, 04:25 PM
I agree with the others, he is probably testing the boundries. BUT I have a 3.8 year old who still behaves this way, totally ignoring anything I ask her to do, walk nicely with us, eat properly at the table, take turns etc etc - she just turns her head away and shuts her eyes! Last week she had a total melt down at the park - kicking me, hitting me, head butting and spitting, all because I asked her nicely to take her turn as all the children were playing a game. She had a tantrum for a whole hour, I had to strap her in the buggy on the way home from park as she wouldn't walk and I carried the baby. When mum came to collect I told her about it all as mum could see she was still upset and all mum did was laugh! :panic: Just no hope really, cant wait til she starts school next year!

karen m
03-09-2013, 04:49 PM
I have 3.5 who can be like this, I also babysit once a month for this family and his mum just screams at him then gives in . Since he has been with me coming up to a year the tantrums have got less I think this is because he knows when I say no I mean it when on school run if he is n a particularly bad mood I take buggy out of boot , i say to everyone when i stop the car mo running away or i put the wrist strap on or you go in the buggy and he knows if he runs off I will do this , his mum is in full agreement just wish she would follow through at home

03-09-2013, 05:07 PM
:group hug:

Don't sweat the little things - but get tough with the important ones.

Get him involved in writing the rules if he will engage - no running off or he goes on reins - no snatching or he goes in time out ...

Take control xx

04-09-2013, 10:50 AM
I was thinking,maybe I should have a word with his key person at his nursery ?
I will be taking him there twice a week.It would be interesting to see how he behaves there,if there has ever been any issues with his behaviour etc.

I know it's normal for a child's attention span to be very short,but he will either say "No,I won't do this/I won't go to the park" ,which of course he has to do regardless anyway,he has to dance after my pipe,not the other way around. He will also say "I'm fed up/I have had enough! " after doing something for literally a couple of minutes.
I know that the mother wants me to help him to prepare for school next year,so he will have to get used to doing things for a longer period of time,or he will find it impossible to settle in at school,where you are required to follow things through and will have to do as you are told.

I tried to get him involved in the rules,but he will simply look away and not say anything.I will just have to keep persevering and see what happens.
He is due to come here tomorrow,and I pray to god that his behaviour will be better this time.
Probably his mother and grandmother (who looks after him sometimes) hasn't been very firm with him,and perhaps the nursery staff hasn't been either?

04-09-2013, 12:36 PM
A lot of what you have written I wouldn't have considered challenging behaviour. Saying he's bored and fed up must be tiring to listen to but I wouldn't consider that to be bad behaviour in a 3.5 year old. I wouldn't keep trying to amuse him, if you've set out activities and he has a selection of toys to choose from then I would just ignore him moaning and let him get on with playing and entertaining himself.
He's only young and on his first few days he might be nervous or upset which may come out as him being rude to you when he wouldn't normally be and he's just trying to take some control of an unfamiliar situation.

It sounds like he has different boundaries at home, like washing his hands, maybe mum doesn't insist he washes or if just goes to the toilet by himself he might not know he has to every time. When he's at home he might not have to hold hands or onto a buggy, if he doesn't have younger siblings being asked to hold onto a buggy will all be new to him so it may take a while for him to learn the new rules. He might be allowed to run off ahead when out with mum so he wouldn't know to stay with you.

I'd work on his behaviour when you're out first, if he's going to run off in the road and won't hold your hand then I'd get him to wear reins until he knows that he needs to stay with you and has learnt your rules.

04-09-2013, 12:58 PM
I had a new one start on Monday who was like this at first. I think he was majorly testing me and I'm glad I was very firm with him as he's been very good since

Nicola Carlyle
04-09-2013, 01:08 PM
I don't tend to take new mindees out straight away for this very reason. I like to keep them at home for a little while and seeing how they react to different situations in the home and garden first. It's helps get all the nerves and boundary issues out the way and it lets you see they cope with different a guidelines and requests etc. I then start with a short walk outside and keep repeating my expectations with lots of praise etc. we then build up from there and see how it goes. I'm not saying its ideal for everyone but it generally works for us. Also talking about and explaining what might happen in certain situations helps to. Hope you can find something that works for you. x