what to do?
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Thread: what to do?

  1. #1
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    Default what to do?

    I look after a 4 yr old who doesn't have many rules at home and doesn't cope very well with rules or being corrected. Sometimes if I remind her of a golden rule she cries...

    We have introduced a rule in my home recently mainly for my ds who gets down from the table constantly so we've said they have to stay at the table until they finish (which most mindees did anyway) and then ask to get down.

    This 4 yr old mindee the last couple of nights just sits at the table after dinner and waits (45 mins) for mum to arrive and then gets down without asking when mum arrives.

    Now I don't want to make a big deal about this but should I do anything about this and if so what?! It doesn't bother me if she sits there for an hour but should I be enforcing the rule?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    To be honest, it would bother me if a child was just sitting at the table for an hour after everyone else had got down. Does she understand the rule? Does she realise she can get down & carry on playing with the other children?

    How many children do you have eating at the same time? Do they each get down when they have finished, or do they wait until everyone has finished?

    What I would do is let all the children get down when they ask, then tell mindee she can get down and play. I wouldn't make her ask when everyone else has already gone, but I would expect her to ask if she wanted to get down while others were still eating. What did she do before you brought this rule in? Would she just get down, or would she wait?

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    Yeah she understands. I think she's doing it because she doesn't want to ask. She can be a bit funny about stuff like that. Eg if she wants a drink she'll ask ds to ask for one. Theres usually 5 or 6. They all have to wait til each other is finished and then ask to get down.

    I don't want to let her down without asking because I don't think that's fair to ds or others and don't want ds to think that if mindee doesn't have to then he doesn't have to.

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    It's so tough finding the right balance, isn't it? On the one hand you don't want to make an issue out of it, but on the other hand you want all of the children to follow your rules.

    If she doesn't mind just sitting at the table, and she's not getting in anyone's way, perhaps just leave her there for now. She's not going against your rules (she's not getting down without asking) until mum arrives, so i'd cut her some slack. She's partly doing what you want and I wouldn't make an issue out of it. I know you want to enforce the rules to help your son, but does he really notice that she gets down when her mum arrives? I'd try to distract him so he doesn't notice. You never know, it might even be having a positive effect & showing him that if you don't ask, you don't leave the table

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    Obviously you know this LO and I don't, so you'll know whether her behaviour more likely stems from a 'trying to assert herself' thing, or a 'finds it genuinely hard to ask grown ups for things' thing.

    If it might be the second one, I wondered whether you could maybe give her an alternative non-verbal way of asking you? Maybe suggest she use a certain gesture as a signal (hand sign or putting her cutlery a certain way), or give her a discrete written sign that she could point to/ put her hand on? Then when she's comfortable with that, when you see the signal, you could ask her "Would you like to get down, X?" to encourage her to at least communicate with a nod, without too much pressure. (But not labour the point if she doesn't respond.) You could let your DS and the other children know that that is her way of asking at the moment, and that watching them ask to get down will help her learn to say it too in time.

    Staying at the table for so long, put together with asking for drinks though your DS, does make me wonder whether she might be struggling rather than trying it on? Actually it reminds me of my own youngest child (who does have reasonable boundaries, lol!) - she finds it very hard to speak up to teachers etc, even about injuries, and if a teacher reprimands even gently she is distraught about it.

    Hope you find a way that works for you all x

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