View Full Version : Do your mindees need lots of interaction?

Buzz Lightyear
14-05-2009, 08:00 AM
As some of you know, I started with L this week. He's 3 years old, 4 in September. Previously, he's been in a nursery but mum decided to move him to me as he will start pre-school in September and wants him used to a childminder before then rather than two big changes all at once.

Anyway, today he arrived without crying :thumbsup: not bad to say only three fulls days in. But as the title of the post askes, does your mindees need your interaction all the time? L wants me to play with everything he plays with and wont just sit there on his own and play (that sounds a bit awful!) So since he arrived, we've been playing with everything together and I'm exhausted. I just want to sit for half an hour and have a brew, lol! Is that unfair??

I have R who comes three mornings a week but when he arrives, he gets a bit excited to see L and starts being a bit rough with play. L doesn't like it and comes to me all the time complaining, lol. I personally think he needs to toughen up a little rather than tattle-tailing but that's just my opinion.

So how much do you play with your mindees or do you just leave them to it?

14-05-2009, 08:24 AM
I have a mix of both - all mine are small (oldest is 3), so I spend much time with them playing... but think it's important they play on their own and with their friends sans me... is needed for when I am tidying up/cooking etc. anyway!

sue m
14-05-2009, 08:34 AM
I always remember two of my little boys who were about 3 years old (they're both 11 now) and they used to play together really well and I'd sit and watch. I often used to get down on the floor and say "can I play?" and they'd give me a flithy look and say "NO!". Put me in my place. The two I have now play well together, they're brother and sister and don't want me to play much either. When the two get used to each other and are used to being at yours, they will settle down to their own routine and you might have time for that cuppa. :clapping:

14-05-2009, 08:37 AM
Personally I think that it is still early days for the newest mindee, and he is still settling in, getting used to everyone else in the house.

I think it is important for LOs play with you, as well as on their own.

Could you not reward L with positive praise (I am sure you do anyway), when he does play on his own for a minute (or longer), and also encourage him to settle his differences / ignore R when necessary ?

14-05-2009, 08:37 AM
I have a mix of both. The 2-3 yr olds I have have been with me since they were a few months old and will come in in the morning and play and choose their toys quite happily while I potter around and get breakfast ready.

Last September I took on two reception children, one five in October and the other not five until Aug. When they came in in the morning they play quite well but they tittle tattle on each other and the younger mindees constantly :eek:

It took a lot of time and patience to get them out of the habit. Seeing my oldest younger mindee start pre-school last September she started to get more demanding and attention seeking, something she had never been.

I am convinced that it is because they have to demand the attention of the adults at pre-school rather than the adults working with them. (I'm not impressed with the pre-school thats a whole other story but I have reported them to Ofsted:eek: )

I have managed to moderate the behaviour a lot, I think it is also an age thing as they become more aware of the 'rules' and the importance of keeping them they realise if they are not being kept and just have to tell someone.

14-05-2009, 09:23 AM
Thanks for posting this, i was wondering about this myself. When my daughters were small i would always play with them and we would play chase and Gruffalos where i would pretend to be a sleeping gruffalo (had a fake fur blanket over me) and i would jump up and growl....maybe too scary for mindees :laughing:
And we would play lots of board games, but gradually they have been playing together and i've felt a bit pushed out and also the youngest is a sore loser at board games and ends up spoiling them :(
Just can't wait to get some mindees to interact with.

14-05-2009, 10:03 AM
I have a 2yr old that is great and will play equally as happy on his own, with me or with the other kids. But I have a 3yr old that wont play unless im playing with her, she just sits looking at me, she does'nt interact with the others unless one of them is giving her their full attention as soon as anyother joins in she stops and stands staring again. Its not a case of them pushing her out or not including her because Im there with them and they are very throughtful.

14-05-2009, 10:03 AM
It can be very hard for children at someone else's house. They are a bit frightened, missing their home routines and not sure of themselves ... plus they have this adult available who isn't like mummy, she doesn't have lots of housework jobs to do... so sometimes they attach themselves like Velcro.

Some children just love adult attention and need you to be beside them. Again, as their key person that is your job and what you are being paid for I suppose. With children who have this kind of personality, you need to give them all the time they want from you until they slowly gain enough confidence to go and explore by themselves.

It's all about confidence and feeling secure enough to go off and do things with other children or by yourself... some children are great at it and for others it can take a long long time. Even between siblings it can differ hugely as Ripeberry pointed out.

As for toughening up children, I have always found that if they need to tell tales it's because they are insecure or worried about something... better to get to the bottom of that first. Our job is to listen to their worries, to act on their concerns, to keep them busy so they don't have time to be anxious etc etc... gosh it's not easy is it??

If your morning routine is getting a bit fraught you need to come up with some strategies to manage it more effectively. I've had problems over the years with giddiness and over excitement leading to accidents and it's not a good way to start the day as mum leaves her child crying because the other mindee knocked him over etc. It can be hard for the Velcro child to leave you while you answer the door, but you need to build up to this. I have a box of toys for arrivals / departures and when needed I get it out so the child already with me is busy while I welcome the new one. A friend puts the TV on for the short time it takes to welcome other children.

Making sure parents do not hang around for long is another important one. Much as they are welcome to see their child play, arrival time is not the best time for them to tell you their problems because the children do tend to get a bit silly... so keep it short and punchy and get them in the habit of writing things down so they don't have to tell you everything.

Hth :D

The Juggler
14-05-2009, 10:20 AM
I have also found that this is common in the newer children. They just feel more comfortable if you are there. It is lovely they feel secure enough to ask us to join them straight away - you'd be more worried if they sat and didn't speak to you or anyone.

I have experienced this before - especially when children start at over 2 years. However, a quick I'll be there in a tick sometimes works if this is happening all the time and they often carry on without you and then this gives you a chance to observe them.

I have a 2 year old at the moment on her third session and she beckons me to come everywhere, on the mini slide, in the ball tent on those little rockers (which obviously my bum doesn' tfit on!) so sometimes I just have to say no to her or let her know why I can't come.

As long as you are nearby and ask lots of questions about what mindee is doing and talking to them about it they will know you're interested and hopefully this will lessen the need for you to have to sit right 'in' or next to their play all of the time so you can share yourself around with the others.

Buzz Lightyear
15-05-2009, 08:09 AM
I think it is important for LOs play with you, as well as on their own.

Could you not reward L with positive praise (I am sure you do anyway), when he does play on his own for a minute (or longer), and also encourage him to settle his differences / ignore R when necessary ?

Received some great advice on this yesterday so thank you all very much. Zoomie, I particularly took your advice on board and praised L for playing on his own. He's been playing with with the lego since he got here and has built a farm, a park and now a house and has just said he wants me to look in a minute :thumbsup: Brilliant, just gives me time to sort things out!