View Full Version : Testing the boundaries, new starters

28-01-2010, 07:27 PM
Hi All,

I have a brother and sister who have been with me for 3 weeks, the brother is 3 and the sister is 20mths, these are my first full timers, I have only previously had afterschoolers and one child that did adhoc days for a couple of months.

They are challenging to say the least, they don't have any concept of reasoning and fight like cat and dog, they throw toys, they pull hair and show alot of frustration and anger towards each other and when they can't get what they want its unbearable, the eldest undoes seat belts whilst I am driving its making my day stressfull to say the least.

I am a calm person and it takes ALOT to push my buttons but I honestly don't know what to do - I feel like I am failing them as a childminder, I have house rules which I read out to them daily, I get down to their level I have seperated them and asked them to cool down and to sit and think about what they are doing and then to make friends, I provide an active day with lots to stimulate and encourage them but what should be a nice activity is just such hard work and ends up in chaos, please tell me that someone has some magic words of advice as I just don't know what to do.

Mum is brilliant and very supportive, she talks to them with me, we have both sat down with them at their level explained safety on the car front, we have kept a diary, they are however 2 of 6 siblings so Mum says that she has to be strict at home and it could be that they are just testing the boundaries to see what they can get away with, at home they will be sent for a time out, to their bedrooms for the older ones, but that obviously isn't an option for me.

Help I feel like I've aged 10 years in 3 weeks !

Paula x

little chickee
29-01-2010, 01:11 PM
Hi - i think you are right they are just testing you. As you have tried various techniques to no avail i think you have to go in tough.

Be ultra firm and nip any unacceptable behaviour straight away with a time out. They need to learn that you mean buisiness. They may well spend most of the day in time out - separate areas so they are not together - but in effect that is their choice.

Hopefully they will soon learn that if they want to participate in all your activities they will need to behave.

good luck!

29-01-2010, 04:42 PM
I feel your pain!! I had a "NO means NO" day yesterday....by that I mean that I was fed up explaining myself all day long and trying to allow my little lot enough freedom to explore their own desires without imposing too many rigid rules....but after 3 weeks of chaos whilst they have been settling in, I had had enough!!! I explained that when I say "NO" it means "NO"....I didn't elaborate, or go into detail....I just laid down the law! And as if by magic they walked to school perfectly this morning. I think the children I have at the moment don't respond very well to freedom and have been pushing each and every boundary I have introduced, I felt like a right ogre being soooo rigid this morning but they actually seemed to settle much better once they knew there was no room AT ALL for ANY NONSCENSE OF ANY KIND!!!!

Don't know if a much stricter regime would work for your gang or not, but it might be worth a try!

30-01-2010, 07:57 PM
Thank you, I think come Monday Morning I will put my Tough Guy Bill Cap on and go in tough, I am also going to try the time outs and hope that can calm some situations - I have also set up a reward chart which I am going to start on Monday for the little monkeys, the one with the most stars will get the weekly best behaviour certificate and their picture will go on the notice board, fingers crossed it works - luckily the LOVE stickers so hopefully this will do the trick :jump for joy: .

Paula x

30-01-2010, 09:50 PM
It's good mum's supporting you and is willing to work with you.

Good luck with the reward chart - hope it works for you

Miffy xx

01-02-2010, 01:00 PM
Can the 3 year old go to playgroup for the morning, it sounds like they need a bit of space from each other.

Pudding Girl
01-02-2010, 01:20 PM
I'm on week 4 with newbie and today she has started testing me ;) they all do it and I tend to take it as a sign of them settling in well and feeling comfortable enough with you to find out the boundaries :)

A few days of it and they usually stop in my experience, anything over a week ortwo so I would say is a behavioural issue rather than testing boundaries.