View Full Version : My Very Unsettled Girls - Could be crunch time

17-02-2014, 07:25 PM
I've posted before about sibling sisters who come one day a week and my efforts to get them settled.

They were due last Thursday. The toddler had tonsillitis so the baby came on her own.

Well Baby was unsettled as would be expected, but no more than a typical 9 monther with separation anxiety. Mum said she liked Peppa Pig so I put back to back episodes on which distracted her, then I could see her peering at me, trying to work me out. By 10:30 she was playing with only a short burst of tears here and there. She's never eaten a thing here before bit she ate a huge lunch. It was lovely. Made me think we might get there eventually.

So this week is half term. They are TTO. I suggested to Mum that she pop in for a cuppa with the girls and then on Thursday they come for an hour or two on their own. Mum agreed. However she has since discussed this with her 27mth old daughter, who has said she doesn't want to come without Mum so they are just popping in for a cuppa, for an hour on Thursday, all together.

I have offered lots of chances for extra sessions, but the girls have either been too tired or too ill. They go to grandparents for the other two days Mum works. Mum has said the grandparents can't see why Mum has chosen a CM one day a week as they would have the girls on that day too. I extended the settling in period until the end of the month as I thought Mum might pull the girls out due to all the distress. I have a feeling that on Thursday when they come if there are too many tears Mum won't bring them in.

If that happens I will feel that I have done all I can. I realise sickness can't be helped but I do wonder if there is more to this. If they don't come in I am thinking I will terminate as it is a bit of a lost cause. Would that be the right thing to do? I've never terminated before and don't want to give up but I am beginning to get a bit of a feeling about this.

17-02-2014, 07:38 PM
It's so tough when parents seem to make the problem worse. Why put into a 27mth olds mind that she can chose whether or not mummy is there? Mum could have helped so much more by being positive about it.

Rather than give notice I think I would speak honestly with mum and ask if she thinks it would be best to end the arrangement. If she does, you can do it with no hard feelings. If she wants to continue, I would tell her that she has to be positive about the girls coming to you. She has to help the older girl, in particular, see it as an exciting thing. If there is a lot of negativity about it at home (from parents and grandparents) it's going to rub off on the girls.

17-02-2014, 09:40 PM
I agree with Mouse. You and Mum need to be in agreement about whether you continue to care for the girls. Discuss it with her and if she still wants to use you, agree a way to work together to help them settle in.

18-02-2014, 09:36 AM
No I agree, there's a reason why the girls are so anxious about separation and from mum discussing with a 27 month old then doing as the 27 month old says, I can see why!
Any child, given the choice, would stay with their Mum but that isn't always possible. Mum is doing herself no favours by putting children in charge as at some point she will have to leave them and it will be so much harder, given that they won't understand it.
I'd have a bad feeling too, and I think you've done more than enough already. If on the next session Mum doesn't fetch them in because of tears or anything similar I think it'd be time to politely suggest that your setting is not for them. Don't feel you've failed, you can only do so much and as Mum appears to be thwarting efforts for you to form a bond with these girls then I'd give it up as a bad job x

18-02-2014, 09:46 AM
It does sound a bit as though mum is sabotaging it.. If grandparents would do it for free maybe she doesn't want to have to pay you? See how next session goes and if they don't come in, have a chat with mum and see where she is at. You have done more than enough to settle them if she would back you

18-02-2014, 10:58 AM
I have had this....mum apologising almost for sending them even though lo was enjoying his time here, very overprotective mother and cared for by over protective grannies on other days and then to me one day a week term time only. In the end we have an honest discussion and I said that it was not fair on the child to carry on like this, it is too traumatic and if they were to continue there needed to be a shift in how things were handled. We started again with new settling in sessions etc etc and he is now fine....