View Full Version : Behaviour issues and parents

01-02-2010, 05:57 PM
Hi there - hope you don't mind me posting. Hopefully I'm posting in the right place!

Basically I have a child who comes a couple of days a week and I'm at the end of my tether with their behaviour :-( I've approached the parents about it and all I get told is that they don't do that at home/it's not their usual behaviour and it's not being addressed. Today I was at the point of telling the parents to shove it :o because I was utterly exhausted from dealing with their child's behaviour. I had put the child in time out several times but the child was not in the slightest bit bothered.

I don't think it's an attention thing as the child has a lot of 1:1 care with me and their parents say the child only misbehaves when they are tired - but the behaviour started early this morning.

The type of behaviour I am talking about is hitting, snatching, pushing, shoving etc which of course the child never does at home :censored: The child is a very mature 3 - I have younger children who know how to behave better. I should also say that I have the older sibling who is at school and I have no issues with their behaviour.

Can anyone help? What am I doing wrong???


NM x

The Juggler
01-02-2010, 06:29 PM
i had a child like this once. he 'never did it at home' apparently but I saw him kick and smack his mum in the face when she put him in the car:eek:

tiredness is usually the key and my lo didn't go to bed until gone 9 most nights he was only 2 and 3 months........ he used to throw my toy cookers, shopping trolley, bang his head, bit himself, me, pull off my glasses and throw them around and scratch me. Most of his behaviour was deliberate attempts to hurt others not just snatching, he would go up and throw sand on someone on purpose or bite them even when there was no apparent reason.

I think sleep exhaustion followed by parents denial of how bad the behaviour is means boundaries at your will not mean much if they get away with at home.

Could you have a chat with them a proper sit down chat and say you need to find a way forward for both of you to work together on the behaviour at the setting, even if he behaves at home. they need to tell him his behaviour at yours is unacceptable. You could raise the issue of bedtime/sleep sensitively at the meeting?

02-02-2010, 08:00 AM
We have had one discussion - well I had it with Mum who is very much in denial and we said we would monitor it and heap on lots of praise when the child is better behaved. The potty training has improved but the behaviour has not (he was deliberately wetting and messing at mine despite being trained for a long time). The other issue is that he's at nursery part of the week and with me the other part but I don't know how to initiate a discussion with nursery. I think it would be helpful to talk to his keyworker at nursery (and of course EYFS means I should be having a working relationship with nursery) but don't know how to go about it. Presumably I need to get permission in writing from the parents? I'm not sure how to word it - I've said to Mum and Dad that it would be helpful to know how they manage his behaviour at nursery but that was a month ago and the parents are not forthcoming with information. They've told me that nursery say his behaviour is fine and 'no worse than anyone else his age' - but I've actually heard otherwise from other parents who send their children to the nursery :( My other issue is - what do I do if the parents refuse to let me talk to nursery?

Anyway I'm hoping today is a better day - and at least I can take comfort in the fact it's his last day with me today until next Monday:o

02-02-2010, 10:52 AM

i have a child that i mind who is 4 and he goes to a private nursery from 09.00-5.00, the nursery approached me one day and said that mum doesnt want them speaking to me about the child as i only have him for 1 1/2 hrs a morning, so they got mum to sign some paperwork to say this is her wishes.

I asked them to give me a copy and put it in his learning journey so that when ofsted inspected me i had the proof that it was mums wishes for me and nursery not to communicate. Ofsted said that it wasnt a worry as some parents are like that!!

He had very bad behaviour problems when he started with me in Sept, which given his personal circumstances is understandable, his dad spoke to me one day to say that nuresery had approached him to discuss his sons behavioural problems and what were my views on hios sons behaviour, i think he was shocked when i mirrored everything nursery had said.

Everyday i was firm and explained what the rules were in my house and what is expected of him and i have to say that just before xmas nursery did approach me to say how his behaviour had really improved and asked what i was doing with him in the morings and now they do things the way i do! and he is now a joy to have in the mornings.

good luck

02-02-2010, 11:10 AM
Ive been in the same boat Im afraid...child could do no wrong and an angel at home!!!!!!

If I were to do it again, as I was inexperienced before and kind of just put up with it!

I would note down all the behaviour factually, mentioning significant behaviour to the parent, being very careful not to seem picky (I mean that with all respect but its hard to put into words on here:blush:) Do you know what I mean? things like XXXX has pushed/shoved a lot today also mention the good behaviour (if there is any ?! :laughing: )

I would then call a small meeting with the parent/s over a cuppa, and show them what you've observed and say that you both must come up with a gameplan to manage the behaviour as it is affecting the other children, be quite blunt and say you want to give it eg. a month then have another chat!!

Sorry if that made very little sense

02-02-2010, 05:47 PM
Thanks everybody -it's a really tough situation. Basically I'm going to do some event sampling obs on him and see where we go and if there are any patterns. When I have enough evidence I will then speak to mum and dad and ask permission to speak to the nursery. I think part of the problem is that he's in 3 places - he's with me 2 days, nursery 3 days then his parents at the weekend - and I doubt the 'rules' are the same in all 3 places.

Another minder said to me though that she personally thinks a lot of it could do with MY perception of 'naughty' :blush: I DO have high standards for the children but no different to the standards I expect from my own children - but maybe I need to be a bit more lenient, I don't know :confused: I did try really hard with him today and try to let some of the 'small' things go but I find if I do that he pushes and pushes until he does something 'big' and gets punished for it.

Ho hum, it's a hard job isn't it??

02-02-2010, 08:43 PM
Another minder said to me though that she personally thinks a lot of it could do with MY perception of 'naughty' :blush: I DO have high standards for the children but no different to the standards I expect from my own children - but maybe I need to be a bit more lenient, I don't know :confused: I did try really hard with him today and try to let some of the 'small' things go but I find if I do that he pushes and pushes until he does something 'big' and gets punished for it.

Ho hum, it's a hard job isn't it??

The type of behaviour I am talking about is hitting, snatching, pushing, shoving etc which of course the child never does at home

I would say the things you have mentioned are unwanted behaviours too. I have one who behaves exactly the same, and yes he pushes and pushes to test his boundaries but he's beginning to get that it's not ok to behave like that and often says sorry before he's put in time away for bashing one of his playmates. Unfortunately just as we are beginning to get somewhere he's being moved to another setting :(

As for standards, I was always taught when working with children always expect the best :)

02-02-2010, 08:58 PM
Why shouldn't you have high expectations of the children in your care? You undoubtably have high expectations of not only their behaviour but their achievements and their safety too.:thumbsup:

Has this behaviour just started, or can you pin point a time it started, or has he always been like this?

I was just thinking if there is something else going on at home, child protection wise, that has started a change in his behaviour?

I'd do a behaviour tracker that notes dates,times,area,behaviour that occured and how it was managed. Do this for a week/month then show it to parents at a friendly meeting.

Hope it settles down soon.

Great name by the way.:D

02-02-2010, 11:24 PM
Has this behaviour just started, or can you pin point a time it started, or has he always been like this?

I was just thinking if there is something else going on at home, child protection wise, that has started a change in his behaviour?

I'd do a behaviour tracker that notes dates,times,area,behaviour that occured and how it was managed. Do this for a week/month then show it to parents at a friendly meeting.

Hope it settles down soon.

Great name by the way.:D

Nope, sadly he's always been like this with me :( I think a lot of things have changed for him this year - he had a full time nanny until the summer, then his sister started school, he started nursery and then with me - so for a while he didn't know if he was coming or going. This was the summer though and I would have expected him to settle by now.

Thanks Nanny McFlea - didn't realise there was someone with a similar name when I joined lol!!!

Thanks Mrs Tiggywinkle - I have questioned whether I'm to blame and this minder reiterated that to me today. I'm glad I'm not the only one who has high expectations of the kids.:o

Heaven Scent
03-02-2010, 07:41 AM
I also expect rather high standards of behaviour - I've worked with children for years now and parents do appreciate it when you manage to change and mould their children - I too use time out when distraction etc doesn't work and I do it from a young age.

I'm just wondering if you have tried distraction techniques or pretending to ignore the behaviour especially when you are on a 1-1 basis - I know its hard especially when your own children and/or other mindees don't behave badly and you don't want them to think this type of behaviour is acceptable.

You don't say how old the child is - it sounds to me as though he gave the nanny the runaround and turned back into an angel child when mum & dad came home. Lots of children do this as they feel resentment that someone else has moved in - was it a nanny that they had before or was it a string of nannies and aupairs who couldn't manage the child - you don't say whether its a boy or a girl.

When its just you and him do you get involved in his play or do you leave him to get on with it and try to catch up with other things whilst keeping an ear/eye out for him/her. Its not a problem for you to do this but perhaps he is resenting it - so if you are using the opportunity to catch up on paperwork before you make dinner/lunch why don't you swap it and prepare dinner/lunch first insteasd and get him involved - depending on his age get him to pass you stuff first then you can get eventually you can get him involved in peeling carrots allowing him to munch on one while doing it or cutting up soft veg. I keep referring to the child as a he because it sounds like behaviour often displayed by boys - I could be wrong.

Before getting him to help why don't you take/let him out in the garden for a long run about so he burns off lots of energy or put an activity DVD or TV programme on which involves him hopping and jumping about or better still go out to a toddler group, soft play centre or childrens centre where he can join in goss motor play with other children its often not possible for children to get this sort of play in our homes due to the restrictions of the size of the rooms and our furniture etc -

On the way back talk to the child about what they enjoyed doing there even if they are a total s*d - get them to focus on the things they liked doing unless they say they enjoyed punching or bullying little johnny.

With regard to the throwing etc - give him plenty of opportunities to throw - outside in the garden or nip to the park on the way to or from school/nursery pick ups and take a ball with you and play a game of catch.

I know a lot of this advice includes a lot of involvemnet on your part - its just an initial involvement which will do 2 things 1) transfer his negative bahaviour to positive behaviour - instead of throwing your toys/equipment around your house he is now using his desire to throw in a positive way in ball games - lots of balls for throwing at soft play. 2) He will feel you are interested in him and value him. Eventually you will be able to withdraw your involvement gradually but not altogether - this is probably a child who needs a lot of attention you just need to turn it from negative to positive attention - the other important thing you need to do when putting a child into time out is to ensure they know that they shouldn't enjoy time out.

The other things I would say is try to see if you can spot when his behaviour is about to change or things that trigger his bad behaviour and learn to jump in with a distraction before the behaviour starts even if it means having snack earlier than planned - another thing you can do if the child is 2.5-3+ let them squeeze their own orange juice or prepare their own snack -spread butter on toast or cream cheese on crackers etc. and talk about things the child likes - I know it all sounds a bit like you are indulging the child but it won't last all the child needs is to feel you value them and care about their opinions and feelings. One other thing is even if the child doesn't want to be cuddled sit in close proximity and eventually put your arm aross the back of their chair and gradually get closer and closer until you can put your arm round their shoulder. - I've come across lots of children like this and it does take longer with some than others but if you stick with it it will work ( unless he has ADHD or ADD that is - but it will help in these circumstances too)

He is craving attention, even yours (whether you believe that or not) wheteher he knows it or not and he will do anything to get it - at the moment his negative behaviour is getting him plenty of attention albeit negative but thats better than nothing - you need to change it gradually round to positive behaviour gets positive attention.

The other thing you need to do is praise him constantly for all his good behaviour include giving him cuddles - if he doesn't seem to want this clap but add things like did you like that or thats lovely isn't it or doesn't it feel nice when you share or do kind things etc - don't just make a throw away "good boy" or "thats better" type statement. Say things that will help him feel better about himself.

Add all the changes you have made to your comments that you note down about him - if you do eventually get to the stage that you are able do do a bit of writng when he is with you make sure you do it in close proximity ro him gradually moving away and never make the mistake if he approaches you and you are mid sentence of saying "just a minute while I finish this" - as he will see it as you are not interested in him - if you happen to be cooking when he wants your attention then say something like - "oh I'm just making sure your dinner is ready for you I'll come and play in a minute would you like to set the table" or something along those lines in order to make it about him and to make him feel important to you.

I know someone suggested that it could be a child protection issue - I wouldn't consider that - as thankfully child protection issues are really quite rare - more common than we would like - but still very rare. Note things down and then you will have covered all angles.
Pplease don't think I'm suggesting that you are ignoring this child - I'm not its just that this child probaly needs more attention and reassurance than others - and you may find that you really have to grit your teeth at times in the beginning because you feel you've done everything you can but one day you will suddenly realise that you don't have to put in so much effort with him and you will be pleasantly surprised. Sorry its long but just trying to help and cover as many aspect in one post.

The Juggler
03-02-2010, 01:48 PM
ignore the other minder. we have a duty to teach children appropriate behaviour or their social and emotional development will suffer. no-one else will want to play with them, and unless they learn to self-regulate their behaviuor they won't be able to concentrate on their play and learning - now or later.

nothing wrong with high standards for your kids. however, might be worth ignoring some of the smaller things for now (as long as it doesn't involve any damage/hurt to others) and work on those later.

good luck.

05-02-2010, 07:57 AM
Thanks ladies. Heaven Scent - you talk a lot of sense!!! I'm just waiting for a child to turn up so no time for a lengthy repply - just wanted to post and say thanks.

I'm doing my NVQ 3 atm and we started behaviour management last night which mentioned quite a lot of what you said Heaven. I've got some free time tonight as hubby is away so I am going to formulate a plan for Monday to try out all the things mentioned so I don't go into Monday morning feeling negative before I even start!:o

Thanks a million

05-02-2010, 09:52 AM
The only thing I can say is HALLELUJAH - there is someone else going through the same as me!!

I have a little boy turning 3 in June who is really going through the mill with me at present. I got so fed up after Christmas that I started to keep the diary - mum hated it from word go as she felt it served no purpose. I explained that I was concerned about his behaviour, how it was dealt with at home and was I doing the same as her etc etc. Of course mum fed me the same line as yours "he never does it at home". Anyway after nearly a month of repeatedly showing mum his unacceptable behaviour every day she took matters into her own hands. She called her own social worker and discussed the issue with her without consulting me. They came up with a strategy - he will now be going to nursery 2 full days a week in 2 weeks time.

I resented this immediately - the poor child I feel is upset at his mum going to work every day and his big sister having started nursery and is there 5 mornings a week - this additional change is going to be another added pressure on the child but that is just my thinking - mum thinks it will be the making of him and has told me that if I am asked to look after another child to take the opportunity as she obviously plans to eventually send him full time to nursery. The thing that annoyed me was mum was not going to tell me he was going to nursery - she planned to take him the 2 half term days when she is off work and if he settled would make it a permanent arrangement. I only found out by accident!

This week I have filled in the diary but it is such a catalogue of disasters that I haven't passed it onto the mother - simply because I think she feels I am out to get her child in some way and that is by focusing on his inappropriate behaviour all the time. It is very emotionally upsetting and distressing - advice from other childminders has been the same as yours - your unacceptable behaviour might be different from the parents! What I really want is the child to come to my setting and be happy playing with toys. What in fact happens is he comes into my house, fingers a few toys without actually concentrating on play and then if another child takes something he wants it and will do his utmost to get it even if that means kicking, pushing, spitting etc etc. I know when his big sister comes in each day she just winds him up because she loves to see him get into trouble - that is her way of attention seeking I believe.

Last night mum came to collect them and the little boy pushed another mindee down onto the floor just to get out. Mum tried for 15 mins to get him to say sorry to the other one but to no avail. She then rounded on me and asked me if he was like this during the day as she wasn't with him to see it. I was so scared of mum to say anything that I just stood there like a dumb ass! Even hubby was saying at dinner time "he really does not like the other children does he?"

I just wonder is this a manifestation of those "terrible twos"? He needs and wants attention and this is his only way of getting it. Big sister does tell on him at night especially about all the bad things he does - yesterday he ripped a photo album page for no real reason at all - I was so annoyed as I had spent time explaining that these were photos of them and they were excited to see them. I couldn't believe he would do this but then nothing surprises me now!

His latest ploy is at night when mum comes to collect - he refuses to go home and she ends up picking him up with him kicking, screaming and hitting her. I cannot believe it is tiredness either - he is in bed every night at 7 and up again at 7 so gets 12 hours unbroken sleep. Having said that he does spend a lot of time rolling about either on the floor or sofa. He loves hubby being in the house simply because he makes a lot of him - hubby cannot believe the things he does when he is not here and I know is questioning me now as focusing too much on the unacceptable to see past to the good side of him. The child definately can turn it on and knows it too!

I have tried the tactic of distraction simply because I personally am fed up with him - I have focused on the other children in my setting and he just stands and watches, then all of a sudden will move in and take the toy from us. Thankfully the other children don't get too upset by this but if he is fingering a toy and they take it off him then all hell breaks loose! I have also tried doing 1 to 1 with him joining in when he is playing with a toy - he runs as far away as possible from me as a result!

Hopefully you get some resolution to your problem and if you do let me know! Sorry for the long posting but some of what you are going through is the same for me!

10-03-2010, 04:44 PM
Hello everyone. Sorry I started this thread, got lots of good advice and then disappeared!:o All I can say is that life has been very very hectic!

Anyway I was just coming back to say I have taken everything you have said on board, and everything my NVQ tutor said to me when she came to assess me and I tried and tried to deal with this child's behaviour. In the end mum and dad have given me notice. I think they felt I was on his case a lot and that perhaps a home-based setting isn't for him and he's gone back to nursery full time (where he is the other three days a week). The good news is that they are more than happy for their older child to stay with me and it's all been very amicable.

I feel very relieved, though a little embarrassed that I couldn't deal with him :o I did take a step back and examine MY behaviour towards him which I admit, on reflection could have contributed to things as I ended up being a bit :rolleyes: that if there was unwelcome behaviour in the setting it was bound to be him :-( which is not positive.

But I've learned a lot over the last 5 months with him and I'm happy with his older sibling and I will take what I've learned and try not to make the same mistakes again.

Thanks to everyone for their input with this situation. Muchly appreciated!

NM x