View Full Version : Very Difficult Mindee

29-04-2008, 02:47 PM
Warning... this is a very long post but I need to get it all off my chest!

I have been a childminder for the last 10 years so am quite used to dealing with badly behaved kids, but since october I have been minding a 3 year old girl P full time. She is extremely badly behaved, probably more so at home than with me, although I admit to finding her very difficult to control. She is my only full time mindee and goes to playgroup with my youngest son who is 2, so it seemed like a good idea when I agreed to take her on.

I have 4 children of my own, in addition to a total of 12 mindees ( full time P + 11 part time school aged ones, although not all at once!). She regularly hurts the other children I mind, out of temper, and sheer enjoyment as she seems to enjoy the reaction and attention that naughty behaviour gets her. She is very unsettled at home, her parents are very young and not together although both are involved in her care.

Her nan lives near me, is a health visitor and is actually the same age as me( makes me feel very old!) and seems to make most of the decisions re her care, It was the nan and mum who came to see me when the mum decided to go to work and they needed a childminder.

The main problem seeems to be that everyone has diiferent rules as to what she is allowed to do. The mum and nan gave me a list when she started of foods she was allowed and basically it was all organic good stuff, no colourings, or artificial sweetners etc. However, she comes in the mornings with bags of pick & mix sweets, blue ice lollies, ice creams, etc for breakfast, despite me providing a 'proper' breakfast for all my mindeees. Forgetting the fact that its not healthy for any kids to eat all that all the time, its not fair on my kids who are sitting eating their weetabix, fruit and cereal whilst P is sitting eating all that.

P also badly hurts her mum and nan when they come to collect her, having massive violent tantrums because she is expected to get her coat on and go home. No one seems to tell her off, or if they do, it is said very half heartedly. P is getting increasingly fed up at coming to my house because I am strict, don';t allow bad behaviour and won't give her sweets for lunch. Last week she refused to get out of the car to come into my house as she says she doesn't like me and that no one will play with her. Which is partly true as the children are very wary of her as she hurts them, although my 2 year old still loves her despite her hitting him whenever she doesn't get her own way.

The mum eventually got her to come in by promising to get her whatever she wanted if she'd come in, so P demanded a trip to the funfair and then she did come in. I frequently tell the mum who collects her about the problems I am having but she doesn't seem to listen, I think she doesn't know what to say.

I had to speak to the nan on Friday about something and mentioned that she is getting worse not better as time goes on. She is much worse behaved on a Monday and sort of settles down by the end of the week. The problem seems to be that no one at home wants her, I have her 55 hours a week, 7am to 6pm as the mum went back to work full time, and these hours have stayed the same despite her mum now only working 30 hours a week ( 3 and a half days) as she says she has other stuff to get done. P knows when her mum is at home and is much more difficult to deal with on these days. I feel desperately sorry for her as she badly burnt her hand recently at home and no one seemed bothered, no dressing on it, no one even told me.

I try and reward her good behaviuor as much as poss and simply play down the bad stuff, just removing her from the situation and she would then lose treats such as playing in the school playground if she has been naughty. The nan now wants me to go to a meeting with her, the mum, and dad to discuss ways of managing her behaviour. I am reluctant to go as I don't want them here! nor do I want to give up time on my precious evenings or wekends to discuss a minded child.

My rules on dealing with bad behaviour are the same for all the children, my own included, and I don't really want to start having diferent rules for different children. They obviously work for P to some extent as she is better behaved here than anywhere else. I was thinking of printing out my policy on unwanted behaviour and then writing examples of P's behaviour and then how I deal with it. Then if they are not happy with that, then they will have to find someone else to care for her.

She is more stress than all other 11 mindees put together and I do sometimes wonder if its worth it. Thanks for reading this epic post, I really would be grateful for all opinions. Karen x

29-04-2008, 02:58 PM
I do feel for you and the little girl, not sure how to answer as only been minding for short time. I have two step children who I had when they were very young, now 11 and 14 and it was difficult at first when they had different rules at their mums to me. It seems this little girl has no rules at all.

Good luck with it all and I hope you get some useful help from this site, which I am sure you will.

My only suggestion is perhaps you give the family a copy of your house rules and maybe suggest she follows them for a while to ensure consistency.

29-04-2008, 03:02 PM
I'm about to take my dd to trampolining, but will add my 2 pennies worth this evening!!!!:)

29-04-2008, 04:23 PM
Sounds like its time for a serious sit down with the parents/nan and to tell them what you have told us. Have your notes/obs etc, record everything and suggest that you have a 2 week trial and review.
You cannot have this child hurting other children (see contract point 25 NCMA contracts) and see what the parents suggest. You need to ram home that you all need to be working from the same page if this is to work and that includes rules and firm discipline at home as well as at the setting. Tell them you are happy (if you are) to keep control of her at home time (get her coat on in readyness of the doorbell) and will implement rules and discipline as if they aren't there.

What do YOU want from all this - give it a last shot, end the contract??? I think you need to do whats best for you and your family first and foremost, then your business (other children).

29-04-2008, 09:35 PM
Ok...no need to add my 2 pennies worth...Pipsqueak has done it for me!!!!:)

29-04-2008, 09:40 PM
Put yourself and your family first... then the needs of the majority.

Then take your emotional hat off and put your businesswoman one on...

Good luck ! :D

29-04-2008, 10:07 PM
Some young mums are like kids themselves. Instead of telling her the problems with the child, tell them what you suggest you all do together to combat the problem.

I had to do this with some of my parents recently. I told them we both needed to use some good old fashioned strictness, and that their tone had to be a bit sharper with the child. I can scare the living daylights out of someone with my school marm voice.:eek:

You need a set of rules you both stick to, you set them as you seem to be more on the ball in this case. Ignore the temper, if she wont get out of the car then mum just takes her out end of story. Tell her mum why are you arguing with a three year old, its not a debate. But above all be consistent.

Good luck

29-04-2008, 10:15 PM
Hi Karen

Are you really sure it is worth it ? You sound like you are really busy and full anyway so why put yourself through this extra stress and think of what it is doing to all the good children you mind ?

I had a child that screamed and screamed and in the end had to end the contract - It was such a relief when I did and still a few mths on the other children talk about him and how nice it is since he left

I know its a different situation but the results are the same - distress to you - your family and the other children

If you really feel you want to continue and give it a go then I would ask to speak to the mom and the nan together and I would set out your ground rules

You can not all be doing different things the poor little mite is going to be getting so confused

The parent and nan must all continue what ever you will be doing in your setting you need to be really consistent here and insist that they are too

Good luck let us know what happens

Angel xxx

30-04-2008, 11:07 AM
Hi everyone!
Thanks for all the replies and comments to my post yesterday re my difficult mindee P. I've read through them all and started taking on board people's advice.

I am really seriously thinking whether this particular mindee is too much disruption for the rest of the mindees to put up with. My own children range from 14 down to 2 and are remarkably resilient to some of the badly behaved children I have had in the past so I am more concerned about the other minded children. The last thing I want is to lose some of these well behaved children because they or their parents are fed up with the antics of P.

I sent home with P last night a copy of my behaviour policy highlighting the fact that I reserve the right to terminate a contract immediately if a childs behaviour threatens the safety of myself or any of the other children. I also sent home a copy of the house rules that the children were all involved in drawing up, and a list of all the examples of P's recent bad behaviour and how I dealt with it.

It made fairly horrific reading and the mum looked absolutely mortified when she read it on the doorstep. I'm today writing down every instance of bad behaviour as it happens and will show mum every night when she collects P.

I'm still not sure if I want to continue but feel guilty as I feel quite responsible for her as I there are no childminders locally who have vacancies or who would take her on when they've seen her in tantrum/violent mode out and about with me!

Will keep you all posted as to how it all goes, and thanks for everyones help Karen xx

christine e
30-04-2008, 12:27 PM
Only just seen this and feel I have to say something. You mention the horrendous sweets etc that she is eating first thing in a morning. Is her behaviour linked to this. I recently did some training called mood, food and behaviour and I am convinced that there is a definate link between what children eat and their behaviour.


30-04-2008, 12:46 PM
i feel for you , ive had a child similar to this and i agree that its not helped by additives etc. in the sweets she brings. im surprised her nan , being a h. visitor, hasnt made more of this. i would ban all that stuff from your home right away. tell the parents you are following a healthy eating policy and ask them to consider looking at the links between additives and bad behaviour . good luck, remember its your home, your rules! x

30-04-2008, 12:52 PM
Hi Karen
I have just read this thread & just wanted to say that you sound like your doing a great job!

Hopefully the way you are managing the behaviour & working in partnership with mum (if she does as you ask that is:rolleyes: ), you will soon get some positive results.

I agree totally with what Christine says - thats probably a massive cause for the behavoiur. I'm suprised nan alows this being a heath visitor.

Good luck anyway & keep us all posted. x

Pudding Girl
30-04-2008, 01:03 PM
Hi Karen, will say what I said on the other place lol, which is that whatever you decide, it is not your problem to worry about if you give notice, as to what they do next. Your obligation ends when the contract does. It's not for you to worry about where they will place P.

Good luck in what you decide, great advice been given

30-04-2008, 01:11 PM
Ok...no need to add my 2 pennies worth...Pipsqueak has done it for me!!!!:)

Sorry Blaze didn't mean to take the words out of your mouth!!! I have taken on board what you have said very well them!!!!:D

I am morphing into you:laughing: :laughing:

Essexgirl - I hope it works out for you one way or another.

(Ps if you are writing down the bad behaviour - try to pick out some good points as well!!!:o sorry not trying to teach you to suck eggs)

30-04-2008, 01:25 PM

You have had some great advice - I'm not going to add anything because you have far more experience than me!!

I think it sounds like you are doing everything right.

I hope things improve soon - having her all those hours a week, you must be exhausted :eek:

30-04-2008, 01:33 PM
Ps if you are writing down the bad behaviour - try to pick out some good points as well!!!:

That's what I was thinking... what you are doing is a very good idea, but it might be better interspersed with as many positives as you can find or you may well end up with a very distressed parent on your doorstep later. :(

30-04-2008, 02:56 PM
Hi again,
just a quick message as very busy at the mo with a house full of very lively kids and now got to go out again in pouring rain for an after school club pick up. Thanks so much for your comments re this mindee.

I've now decided to continue to record all instances of bad behaviour but to keep this for my reference only. I don't think the mum needs to be presented with it all every night. I'm really glad I posted on here as I wouldn't have thought about the effect it was possibly going to have on the mum's morale to see 'moans' every night.

I'm going to have a serious chat with my OH and kids over the bank holiday weekend to see how they really feel about it. Unfortunately, as P is my only is full time mindee, her fees make up the majority of my earnings so it is not something I can finish lightly IYKWIM!

Thanks again for helping to keep me sane!
Karen x

30-04-2008, 05:41 PM
Sounds like you have it under control... keep strong! :D

30-04-2008, 06:07 PM
Good advice already given!

Good luck whatever you decide to do. Keep us posted

30-04-2008, 07:45 PM
This really is quite a difficult situation you are in. It is very sad for the little girl - this is so often the case with very young parents. I really feel for you.

I look after a lovely little boy who is not at all difficult, in fact he is just a normal, adorable (I might add) little 3 year old. Mum is a single parent and is very young and therefore has very little life experience. She is a very good mother but lacks the ability to discipline effectively and sometimes I think she expects far too much from her son and expects him to understand the way she goes on lecturing him about something. I am lucky as she always asks for advice and we work together to try and tackle any probem areas she is experiencing at home.

Sorry for my waffling. It does make it hard not to become involved with the child's life (I guess thats partly why we are all childminders cos that is the kind of people we are).

Anyway, if you do decide to keep this child on then you will definately need to get the parents & nan on board but it looks like the problems need to be broken down into a more manageable plan. Perhaps looking at what she is eating like already suggested, followed by tackling one probem at a time starting with the most serious one first. I am sure you have already thought of this but you cannot do it alone and the parents have to give this little girl some consistency and this is the main problem - it doesn't sound from what you have said, they are willing to make the real effort.

If you decide to stick with it I wish you great patience and success and remember everybody here will always be on hand to give you support. If you don't then I can't say I blame you - there will always be another full timer round the corner.

Keep us up to date.

30-04-2008, 08:00 PM
I can sympathise having had one hell of a night with a mindee who is becoming the bane of my life and my families and other mindees life. So much so that he is taking up all of my time and means the other children are not getting the attention they deserve.

I work incredibly closely with the family but at the moment it all seems to no avail so I am seriously reviewing what I do next.

It is important to work closely with the family and the advice given above is fantastic but in the end it may just come down to whether you want this disruption in your home if the situation does not improve.

Sorry to sound down beat.:eek:

30-04-2008, 10:23 PM
The main problem seeems to be that everyone has diiferent rules as to what she is allowed to do. The mum and nan gave me a list when she started of foods she was allowed and basically it was all organic good stuff, no colourings, or artificial sweetners etc. However, she comes in the mornings with bags of pick & mix sweets, blue ice lollies, ice creams, etc for breakfast, despite me providing a 'proper' breakfast for all my mindeees. Forgetting the fact that its not healthy for any kids to eat all that all the time, its not fair on my kids who are sitting eating their weetabix, fruit and cereal whilst P is sitting eating all that.

I agree with everything that has been said but just wanted to pick up on this section

I would refer mum and nan back to this list and ask them where the sweets etc come into it. If they come into my house with sweets etc then they are put to one side until home time and if it continues then a note goes into my newsletter yes the parents know it is aimed at them but it lessens the blow if it is aimed at all of them, IYSWIM.

I would also sit them down as has been said if they are getting mixed messages fromhome and childminder then it will confuse them. It is in my policies that my house rules apply until they leave my setting and if parent do not sor them out then I will (only put better than that lol)