View Full Version : respect - how do you get your mindees to listen?

28-01-2010, 08:28 PM
I did an awful thing today! I had a 4 year old girl with her 2 1/2 year old brother. Instead of playing with the toys they were just basically trashing the place - they had the shop with food items, cash tills and money etc and were throwing it at each other, then taking the books out of the bookcase and doing the same, moving onto the dolls etc etc.

I didn't want to blow my top - I think that is exactly what they wanted to gain my attention - the little girl particularly relishes attention!! So I pretended I was on my mobile phone to their mum and dad asking them to come and collect them as soon as possible because they were throwing toys at each other, trashing my toys about and I was worried from a safety aspect of some one of them getting hurt. I then walked away into the kitchen and made myself a cup of hot water. After 10 minutes I came back and they were very quietly putting all the toys back in their rightful place. The little boy then came to me and said "all toys away", I looked at his sister and said "and what do you have to say to me". She laughed and said sorry.

I was more annoyed at the attitude of laughing than I was at the tidying up of the mess.

To be honest I have had enough of this and they both seem to be doing it a lot lately. I would normally have allowed them to watch a DVD after my daughter comes home from school to allow me time with her to get homework done but today I decided not to do this and told them both that I was upset with their attitude to my toys and to me earlier on in the afternoon and they would not be seeing a DVD.

Yesterday as the mum was taking them out the door the children were asked to say bye to me. The little girl turned around and slapped her mum hard and said no. The mum went after her to the car and gave her a good telling off - she made her come back into me - the child was sobbing at this stage and I really didn't get any word of apology. I heard the child today going over the same thing to her brother during play before lunch "now you better say you are sorry or I will not be very happy with you." I know it is her age to repeat things but I just wondered - do you think she really understands the whole idea of messing about and unacceptable behaviour, whether she really is sorry or is it just words?

Today has made me rethink not just looking after these particular children but giving up childminding altogether.

28-01-2010, 08:35 PM
I have looked after siblings in the past who are great on their own but as soon as they get together they turn into different children.

I usually divide and conquer, taking one out of the situation and encouraging them to be busy elsewhere.

as soon as I spot a potential problem I might bring one to help me in the kitchen, or lay the table... things like that.

some children laugh when they are embarrassed... it's not a naughty or disrespect thing, they can't help themselves.

Hugs xx

The Juggler
28-01-2010, 09:10 PM
the good thing mum is on side (even though you didn't get the apology) as she was sobbing. Mum is not letting her speak to you like that.

I think it will settle down. maybe they are angry with mum for leaving them at the moment (everything OK at home) and you overhearing the older child replaying a similar scenario means she understands at least that it was wrong and about saying sorry.

Making them pick up is the best thing today, they should soon tire of it but is very hard when its happening a lot. Or next time they are throwing, get them out in the garden with a ball if you can.

Hope things do pick up.

29-01-2010, 08:47 AM
Although you have got mum on your side I think you need to establish their boundaries without resorting to mum as a threat. It's your house, your rules.

Use time out, be firm and be consistent, nip things in the bud as soon as they start - they will soon get the message. Once the boundaries are in place, you'll be able to relax and enjoy their company.

Hope today is better for you! :)

29-01-2010, 10:00 AM
Thanks everyone. Mum came this morning with the 2 1/2 year old (his sister is at nursery am) and tried to get him to say sorry to me but he was determined not to! At least she realises that I cannot stand this behaviour and is willing to work through this with me.

I have come to realise that the little girl is definately egging the younger brother on - he just follows her every move. She does not behave like this at home and maybe it is her way of drawing attention to the fact that she would prefer to be at home. I do not know what more I can do to help her settle in my home and enjoy the experience - I think it is a matter of her accepting the fact that this is where she goes during the day.

I have tried in the past to set boundaries but nothing appears to work - they still use my couch as a trampoline, to tidy up with the children and make it fun, to show how to use the toys by say setting up a tea party with the dolls but I never see her actually doing this on her own.

My problem time seems to be after lunch. The little girl arrives with me just before lunch and the playroom is fully available to her. She rushes to finish her lunch and is finished before we have even got half way through ours. I usually will clean up the dishes and tidy up the kitchen generally before I move into the playroom. This is when she appears to enjoy messing about with her brother (hugging which leads to crushing, jumping on and off the sofa or climbing over it and sliding down the back). I have tried in the past just to leave the kitchen as a mess and go into the playroom, bring out something to play with ignoring her at the same time and hoping she will eventually come and join in - she never does! So then I tried the tactic of leaving her on her own and observing while I ask her to pick a toy and play with it - she runs away off down the hall and sits in the corner not doing anything at all. Hence my attitude of just getting on with my own job of tidying the kitchen.

I know this is maybe a time when she is letting off a bit of steam but for it to go on for 2 or 3 hours is beyond a joke at the moment. I do have other mindees and generally have ignored her hoping she will settle on her own but that is not working. I would love to get them outside but with the weather being so wet and messy - I cannot be in 2 places at once ie in the kitchen while keeping an eye on them outside, they would have to wait until I am finished in the kitchen have the nappies changed, put some down to sleep etc etc and by that stage of the afternoon it is school collection time. I am not making excuses but I have to continually assess danger times and points and be aware of the limits within myself. I like routine and doing things each day - I prefer not for the child to dictate what they do in my home so I guess that you could say this is my boundary and rule when they come to me. Mum and dad see nothing wrong with letting them outside at home during the day with little or no supervision but that is not possible here with other children to consider and the fact they are not my children but my mindees!

Pudding Girl
29-01-2010, 10:56 AM
At lunchtime here we all sit at table til everyone has finished and then I aim to get them outside for some fresh air and to burn off energy, the cleaning can wait till a quiet time when they are occupied, she is somewhat taking advantage of the fact you are busy. Just leave it till later and take them out and run them ragged lol. Could you do that?

29-01-2010, 12:23 PM
My problems with this are the other children I mind and the weather - like today it is sleet/hail/snow. I usually have a routine of nappy changing and then sleeping time for the others after lunch or if they are sleeping through lunch then I have to wait and get them up, feed them and then carry on with the playing time before school run.

What I really cannot do is have 2 children in the house while 2 are outside if you understand what I mean. I have tried leaving 2 sleeping before but before I could get in they were out of the cots and that is a danger. The 2 that would sleep are a bit young yet for outside - not that I have a problem because I bundle them all up in overalls and boots but you have to constantly keep your eye on them for tripping, falling etc and while you are doing that the little girl is watching for an opportunity to be doing something she shouldn't.

I am not making excuses for not going outside - we live on a farm and I am constantly worried because of the dangers of machinery moving up and down the lane, animals in the sheds adjoining the yard etc.

29-01-2010, 09:27 PM
I have looked after siblings in the past who are great on their own but as soon as they get together they turn into different children.

I usually divide and conquer, taking one out of the situation and encouraging them to be busy elsewhere.

as soon as I spot a potential problem I might bring one to help me in the kitchen, or lay the table... things like that.

some children laugh when they are embarrassed... it's not a naughty or disrespect thing, they can't help themselves.

Hugs xx

Divide and conquer is certainly the decision mum has taken in this situation. She has decided on advice from a health worker, realising that the behaviour in my setting is not the behaviour in her home, that the children need to be separated. So little boy is going to a day care nursery in 2 weeks time for 2/3 days a week. She is hoping he will settle there, mix with other children and develop specific interest in activities just to ensure his development progresses.

Big sister got into car yesterday evening and asked her mum for some Dunkers when she got home. Mum said only if the daily diary was OK, after a moment she said "I don't want dunkers now mummy"!! She knew she had done wrong.

Mum has reassured me that this decision is not about me but rather she was concerned at the little boy not really wanting to come to mine every day, that he wasn't playing really with anything specifically in my setting and having to deal with their behaviour in the evening after being at mine ie realising that they had messed about again.

Mum also said that she has sorted out the sister - she is going to school in September and that particular school is starting an after schools club then as well. This means I will probably lose both children but I am not overly concerned at this situation - such a relief really.

The Juggler
30-01-2010, 08:31 AM
I'm glad this has turned out for the best for you hon, even though it means losing business sounds like it was a big relief.

good luck with the advertising!