View Full Version : Need some advice on broaching tricky subject!

30-09-2013, 12:03 PM
Hey all, I would love to hear some advice and suggestions on how to deal with my tricky situation. This may be a long post, please bear with me!

I look after three mindees, all the same age (2.5yrs), parents are all friends (met in anti-Natal) and they talk! One of the mindees, a boy, is and has always been the tallest, he looks 4, but his parents are also very over the top safety conscious. He isn't allowed to walk up or down the stairs, they carry him, he isn't allowed to go in the children's paddling pool with out a life jacket, and they have never allowed him to climb. Mom isn't as bad as dad, but still a little over the top. As a result he has always been lacking in confidence, and never taken risks. He walked fairly late, 20months, and the other children often leave him behind when we are at the park, and he just sits on the floor of runs around on the grass.

I worked really hard to encourage him to climb the slide and to hold the banister and walk up the stairs, and he eventually got there. He can also go in the paddling pool now without his life jacket, although I don't think dad is aware of this! And then he went on holiday, for 6 weeks, and he came back last Monday and I expected to see him talking more, and to have matured in those 6 weeks, but actually he has regressed. He won't walk, he won't sit down on the children's table and chairs without losing balance, he won't climb up the slide, and this morning he was trying to get on to the sofa, and when he saw me watching, he held out his arm and whined for help, and when I said "you can do it!" rather than trying to pull himself up he just flopped on the floor and gave up.

He is obviously used to mom and dad doing everything for him, and has got little confidence, but also little willing to try things for himself. It is so frustrating. Especially as he is with his friends, and over the summer they have developed so much. I realise you shouldn't compare, but the stark contrast in their abilities is so clear, it's hard not to. The difference in their abilities have never been this evident. And I know the parents talk, and this little boys mom is always seeking reassurance that her boy isn't far behind where he should be, which pre holiday he wasn't! He doesn't put two words together, which he was starting to before. I can't deny now that he isn't close to acquiring the skills he should really have at this age.

This week he is slightly snotty but generally ok, and I really feel like I need to bite the bullet and mention his lack of confidence in his physical abilities, but I know mom won't listen and will just say that he isn't really himself today, any suggestions on how to broach this?

30-09-2013, 12:20 PM
Have you thought about holding 1 to 1 parent meetings with all parents where you go through tracking sheets? You wont need to point out lo is behind if you hand mum a laminated copy and go through what he is achieving at home? I always mention to parents that children always acheive different things at home than with others so they might have seen other things to us?

30-09-2013, 12:35 PM
I do as Gail has suggested.

I would have meetings with each parent, just so the Mum of the child you are concerned about doesn't think you are singling them out. I show them Development Matter and explain how it words, I would stress that children's learning is not linear and they all learn things at different rates and the DM is merely a guide, not a check list.

I would ask the parents (specifically Mum in question) to "work with you" on finding out where you think LO is, what area YOU BOTH think he could have help in developing and HOW you will move on from this (Next steps) I think this will help the parents see visually what you are doing and instead of you working on your own, you can come up with ideas and discuss concerns together as part of working in partnership.

30-09-2013, 12:51 PM
We did this as standard in July when I was filling out the 2month check, but since then he seems to have regressed, that's what I am worried about saying in particular, the skills he had developed pre holiday, he seems to have completely forgotten now :/

30-09-2013, 01:10 PM
We did this as standard in July when I was filling out the 2month check, but since then he seems to have regressed, that's what I am worried about saying in particular, the skills he had developed pre holiday, he seems to have completely forgotten now :/

I would do it again. I would go through what you went through pre-holiday briefly, then go through what you are thinking post holiday and see what parents think. It may just be that he has come back after 6 weeks, which is a long time, and he is having to "re-settle"

I know when I had one child in-particular even he if he had a week off, you could see he had "regressed" a little, not doing things that he was fully capable of doing before he left.

I still getting parents to sit down and chat and find out what their thoughts are because to be honest, if they don't think anything is wrong and carry on "babying" him, this will keep happening every time he is off for any length of time.

30-09-2013, 02:20 PM
Ok great thank you!

30-09-2013, 02:35 PM
It's really tough when you have to approach parents about their child being behind in their development. I always start with a positive & take it from there.

Eg. I have had concerns about one mindee's speech for a long time. I knew I couldn't just come out & tell mum, so I said it in a round about way. I said it was fantastic that he was now trying to say so much, but what a shame it was he couldn't get his words out as clearly as he wanted. I said I thought it would be a really good idea if we worked together to help him and how I was sure it would bring him on even more.

I wonder if you could try a similar approach. Think of something positive you can tell her and say that now lo has made some progress, you want to do everything you can to push him on even further.

I've found that once you bring up the subject you can be quite blunt without them taking it too badly.

30-09-2013, 02:40 PM
That's really useful thank you all!

blue bear
30-09-2013, 06:10 PM
Most days I write in the diary x did x and y today please try getting x to have a go at x as a ext step.

Gertrude pushed her arms in the sleeves in her coat herself today, please can you encourage her to get her coat hood on her head so she can get her sleeves on herself.

I regularly have chats about where the child's development is in regard to dev matters and ideas to move children forward. Chikdren do regress for lots of reasons so if he has gone down an age bracket be matter of fact about it and positive about things to do to encourage him on with his development.