to be fed up with nursery(50 Posts)
DS is 3 and attends nursery 2 days a week. At home he is a bouncy energetic toddler, that talks well, and is loving and sweet.
At nursery he will sometimes hit or push other children and he has on a few occasions bitten anther child. We are always mortified when they tell us and in the whole of September there was one biting incident and on Friday there were 3 incidents in one day, where he either pushed or hit another child (they didn't see)
We have tried everything we can think of, rewards and stickers if he has a good day, talking to him continually about being gentle and gentle hands, to now taking it up a notch and taking away his favourite toys when he gets home and stern talks.
We are at a loss and don't know what to do, nursery always say 'we didn't see what happened on that occasion' which frustrates us even more but tell us like they want us to fix it. How can we fix it?
The reason we are fed up with nursery is because they dont see what happens and when we say please tell him off when this happens put him on a thinking step/spot etc like we use at home, they say they don't do that. They just say "gentle hands". So how can we fix something that happens in their setting?
DH and I talk about it constantly and things we can do, as DS attends nursery on a Friday we spend the whole weekend talking about it, the plan for Monday when he attends again and it's a constant state of worry.
What happens when he has friends round or when you go to their houses? What is he like at soft play? Parties?
How can they not of have seen all three incidents? I'd be asking them a) who was supervising? B) was the ratio being adhered too and C) if they didn't see how they know it was your DS and then depending on the answers I would either find a new nursery or ask them what strategies they are going to implement from now on.
If they didn't see then how do you know about it?
I wouldn't take toys off him later in the day though - is he old enough to understand that kind of delayed consequence?
The nursary sounds shit tbh. At his age he should be spoken to about good and bad choices ect.. And where there hell is his key worker? At his age he should be doing specific play/learning and being monitored.
You can't fix at home what they're doing in nursery. I wouldn't even try. It's too long after the event to make any sense to a 3 yr old. They're telling you because you're his parents and you need to have the full picture of his behaviour. You can say "I'm sorry to hear that, thank you for telling me."
Given this seems to be a long-standing pattern, I think it would be very reasonable to ask for a meeting, point out the "gentle hands" thing doesn't seem to be working and ask how you and they can help him behave better. Do they have any idea what's triggering it, if it's not normal behaviour for him at home? Even if they didn't see, they can ask him and the others what was going on can't they? I ask because my DS was a very timid child who would hit out if he felt threatened in some way. Still a problem but a slightly different problem to a boisterous child pushing everyone out of their way or a child trying to play "fighting" games.
I'd be wondering whether maybe a smaller setting might be better, a CM maybe where he'd be more closely supervised. (Also you may be able to find one who uses discipline more consistent with home.)
The nursery sounds a bit rubbish to be honest, if they haven't seen any of the accidents (and there were quite a few going by your post) i'd be wondering what's going on, e.g. are they short staffed? I wouldnt be a fan of 'gentle hands' approach either, i think time out is more effective.
It sounds like they just dont want to deal with it/can't be bothered tbh.
How do they know it's him biting and pushing if they never see it?
The you for your replies.
In answer to your questions, he used to hit/push when he was 2, had to hover over him at soft play, intervene, time out etc, but he has done so well and now he is fine on play dates, soft play, parties and with his friends. He has a 3 year old little girl he calls his best friend (my friends little girl) and has never been aggressive with her, ever and they have been friends since babies.
How do they nursery not see it? Exactly! That is what my DH and I say all the time. We asked DS what happened and he said a little girl grabbed him on the cheek, so he pushed her. When my DH asked what happened the nursery staff said well that little girl never hits so we know it must have been our DS.
Such conflicting stories as well, the SENCO walked past us in June when they were telling me about a shoving incident and she said, "don't worry, it's our job to deal with it, it's a social thing, he doesn't do it at home that's why he comes to nursery to learn these things". Was such a weight off my shoulder, then a few weeks later, "there was an incident today"..... and I feel like they are telling me off for being a shit mum.
Is this a private nursery? I'd take him out for that comment alone! 'She never hits it must be your DS'. Er no! Not on AT ALL!
They aren't telling you off, they just have to report each incident. Yes, you feel awful about it, but the SENCo is right - lots of dc go through a phase like this and they will be used to dealing with it.
However, I wouldn't be impressed that it seems continual that they don't see it - occasionally yes, the member of staff has 8 dc to look after, but, IME, Nurseries usually do what they can to ensure someone is shadowing a dc going through a phase like this, and then they can try to get to the bottom of it more easily.
I wouldn't be happy about what your ds has said being dismissed out of hand. Sometimes kids don't tell the truth but it seems like it's being assumed about your ds. I would ask if someone could shadow him so you could have ore of an idea about what is happening when he is hitting out
or if he is hitting out at all.
Since my dd who is almost 4 has been going to nursery i have noticed she is badly behaved when she comes home.
Once when she was being a little swine when i picked her up i did shout at her and was called into the office afew days later as apparently other parents and staff members were appalled at my behaviour and they did not feel it was in my dd best interests to be treated like that!!!!
Well they was no way they were telling me how to parent my daughter and they were utterly godsmacked at the way i spoke to them when they tried to make me out to be a shit parent!
The nursery were she attends (same nursery as above) promote themselves to ignore bad behaviour and reward the good and pride themselves on being very nicely nicely people who are constantly going on behaviour management courses every year to ensure they are doing what the modern parenting clan are doing.
I dont believe in this you can discipline your child and cant use the naughty step etc. Thats how you end up with a child who wont do as they are told and becomes a brat.
There are a few of pandering parents at the nursery and the way their kids behave makes me cringe!
So my guess is is that your ds plays up at nursery and not for you because children know who they can push and who they cant.
thos doesn't sound right. Consequences need to be immediate at that age. The nursery we use doesn't have a naughty chair or similar, but somehow has high standards of behaviour. Mostly it seems to be about high expectations and engaging staff. Some things will happen that the staff can't get in quick enough to stop (DD1 put her finger in another child's mouth, of course she got bitten) or are accidents. But few and far between.
Thank you again, and great to hear from people that work in nursery too. I will be sharing this thread with DH when he finishes putting DS to bed.
No it's not a private nursery lottiedoubty, just a normal nursery close to where we live.
We have thought that it's probably the noisy boisterous setting that nurserys have that maybe make him more aggressive and react like this, and we are certain it will be to do with sharing, someone taking his car etc. Which he is learning slowly, but on our radar and we remind him of regularly at home.
We have also thought about switching to a childminder, but then we think in a setting with just a childminder with 1 or 2 children he will probably be fine, but what if in a years time he goes to school and hits or bites there because there are 30 in the class and it's more boisterous etc and then he gets excluded?!
I meant a private nursery as in not a school nursery? Which sounds like it is?
Oh no it's not in a school just a stand alone nursery, would it make a difference if it was in one within a School? Would that be a preschool?
I have a DS nearly 3 who went through a biting stage. IMO hitting, biting, pushing etc needs immediate intervention - e.g. removing from situation / firm simple words (I'd pick up and physically move to another spot and crouch/ sit down with him at his level and say firmly but not shouting something like 'No - you must not bite. Naughty') . I once had an old lady tell me I sounded like I was telling off a naughty dog when telling off my DS in public - good, that's what I think works! Short, simple words/actions he understands. I don't think he'd understand that me just saying 'gentle hands' would mean than the whallop he just gave another child was a REALLY bad thing to do!
Having a 'conversation' or talking about it/ disciplining later I think at 2/3 doesn't really work as they don't understand and get confused so easily.
I would also be pretty worried about the nurserys lack of action. I think I'd ask them to keep a closer eye on him at times/situations when it seems most likely. I'd also say I really would like them to be firmer when disciplining bad behaviour like biting and would like it be immediate. If they refuse then I'd make it clear you're not happy and talk to manager and consider looking to change nursery.
Yes I think I need to chat to the manager, I know they will say we don't have enough staff to watch him continually. So where do I go from there?
Do you all think removing toys when he gets home is pointless? Or should we carry on?
I don't think you should be punishing him at home at all.
If they tell you there has been another incident, the correct response would be "How did you (the nursery staff) respond?"
If they do not have an adult witness to any of the incidents I would be inclined to disregard all of it.
At this age snatching toys and responding by hitting/slapping etc is pretty normal as is the "kind hands" "be gentle with your friends" message.
<shrug> I don't mean to dismiss your anxiety over the situation, but the nursery staff should not be asking you to fix anything, they should be telling what their strategy is so you can reinforce it at home.
Don't punish him when he gets home - especially as you don't know the full circumstances. I also found it very annoying when nursery seemed to complain about DD2's behaviour. So she refused to sit down at group time - I wasn't there so what do you expect me to do about it? DD1's key worker had a much better way of putting it - DD1 did x, so we said y and did z.
It sounds like your DS doesn't have siblings to share with so he doesn't practice sharing routinely. And that's why they go to nursery for socialisation..... Next time throw it back at the nursery - he doesn't do this at home, so how are they managing the behaviour? I suspect they aren't doing anything particular such as shadowing him because his behaviour is so normal for his age!
Personally I wouldn't take away toys for something he did earlier in the day in a different setting. I'd be worried that 'punishing' him when he gets him would really confuse him and make him think coming home was bad in some way.
Trying to talk to him about his day at nursery is worth trying though. I'm no expert but if he is chatty and does talk about his day then trying to draw out of him what happened might help? If he says 'I hit Bob' then asking why, then I'd try to gently say that hitting isn't very nice. If someone upset him or won't share he should tell a grown up and not hit/bite/ push etc. However you'd probably need a few more details from nursery about the situation to be able to ask about it! Personally I'd be doubtful my DS would recall any detail from more than a few mins ago without a lot of prompting! When asked about his day at preschool all I get is his played with his friends, went down the slide, sang songs... even that amount of detail might only gradually come out over the rest of the day when asking if he played in the garden, sat on the circle mat etc!
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.