View Full Version : demanding minders - tips for coping?

17-03-2014, 08:51 PM
I look after a 17 month old girl 3 days a week, only child, older parents, prem (touch and go at birth) so very protective parents, grandparents look after her other two days (very doting) and parents at weekend. She started in September at 10 m, quickly became extremely clingy and screamed (and I mean scream) if I was not holding her until January, at which point she settled but remains very highly demanding. She does not know how to play independently at all and constantly says my name, attaches to me if she does not have my undivided attention. I also have my own son and another boy, who are both 2.5 yrs. Other boy is also an only child and very demanding as well (less so than the girl). My own son plays the jealousy card from time to time but has now become good friends with the 2.5 yr boy so that is less of an issue now.

If I try to play with boys (eg jigsaws, bingo), girl attaches herself to me and cries, if I try to play with girl (eg story), boys stop what doing and come over and she then protests. On top of this, I feel like I say "no" too much to boy. "Help me (jigsaw)" - no, making lunch. Wants tap on permanently in garden, no. Finds older son's swords and wants to fight with them, no. Wants daughter's DS and climbs on chair to retrieve it from mantle piece - no. Climbing on suite - no. I try to emphasise positive and explain why not but it gets to me and must get to him. Grandad (has him one day) very permissive and parents more so than me, but they just have him, not three toddlers + three more after school.

I am not even sure why I am writing this post. Feeling guilty I guess. Not giving any of them what they need. Not sure how to solve it. Other days have different two year old and eight month old brother plus my son and totally different story. Both mindees socialised from birth and capable of independent play - able to split time between them all far more easily. (Thank goodness!)

17-03-2014, 09:40 PM
I'm reading with interest! I too have a tricky customer, so you have my deepest sympathy, it's horribly draining, especially when you know life can be better!!! I'm so, so sick of the constant calling my name and then tantrums if own way is not got! I'm resigned to sticking to my guns on house rules and hoping that speech develops extremely quickly so whatever it is this child wants they can tell me rather than simply screeching!!! I'm guessing all the time, and there's he'll to pay if I don't guess quick enough.
Oops, sorry, hijacked your first thread with a moan of my own!
I count the hours and get outside, a lot, and seek adult company, although my fellow minders are also finding themselves busy at times now, think they too find it all a bit too much :(

17-03-2014, 10:50 PM
It's going to take a lot of time and ALOT of patience for this little one.

You need to 'wean' yourself off her.

Play with her closely like she wants, lots of encouragement and distraction to begin with.

For example if she insists to sit on your lap. Let her to begin with and work your way into her sitting on the floor right next to you etc. tSlowly move away from her, so there's a bigger gap between you and help her get her confidence to play without needing you so close by. This will take a while by the sounds of it though but it really is the only thing you can do.

You know the child well and I think it's important to be 1 step ahead and if you know potential things she could go for ie the DS, remove it before she has chance to even see it. Prevention is key at this age.

My little one is 16 months - I know the things she's going to be interested in and I'm always assessing everything and moving/removing things before things happen to help avoid the tantrums and danger lol flippin nightmare lol

Carry on telling her no where need be though and follow your behavior policy if she continues to ignore you and put herself or others in danger.

I would also have a talk with the parents and be very open about how her behavior is beginning to put strains between her relationships with peers in the setting.

Some parents are just not aware how they are behaving can have such a huge impact in their child.

Be open with your suggestions and tell them what you are hoping to achieve and what you are planning to do.

Show them her LJ and indicate to them how certain areas are showing limited progress and development and you would like to work with them to help little one progress.

See if they have any suggestions and see how willing they are to support you.

I know it's hard but there really isn't much that you can do apart from things I've suggested above.

If you ignore her and 'push her away' (I don't mean literally lol) you will make her more anxious and stressed.

Sending you lots if hugs and patience - I know it's not easy xxxx