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Upset at childminder shouting at DS.

(32 Posts)
Cazzr Tue 28-Jul-09 18:35:45

Went to pick up my son who's 3 from the childminder today after work and whilst chatting to the childminder and her helper DS swiped (playfully) at her older son.
He was holding my hand at the time and I honestly didn't notice or I would have reprimanded him myself but had I have, I doubt I would have gotten in quick enough as she jumped on it so quickly...
Anyway, the point is not that she told him off, thats fine, he needed to be told. My problem was the way she did it.
She's quite a loud person anyway but I have to say the way she shouted at my son made ME feel quite taken aback let alone him. She said (to him) she didn't care if he was playing about it wasn't on, etc etc. All the words she used were fine, it was more the way it was done.
If she had spoken to me like that I think I would have either nearly cried myself or punched her on the nose as I would have been quite intimidated..
He very quickly burst into tears and I tried to get him to apologise to the other child as no, hitting is not acceptable, but he was in such a state and burying his head in my shoulder that they had to leave to go to an appointment (the helpers were looking after the kids, which is fine).

I'm left feeling quite upset about the incident and feel I should have taken him straight out and away from there (protected him) or stepped in straight away and said calm down/don't shout at my son. But I didn't, I let her do it.
I understand kids can be trying at times, and I have shouted at DS before, tho not quite like that...
Normally he is well behaved but I think as the school holidays have started and there are more kids it's all the more exciting.

Anyway, am I being unreasonable to think this was out of order? I know not everyone can be Supernanny when it comes to discipline but this isn't right, is it? Am I being an overprotective blinkered mum who thinks her darling son can do no wrong?

FranSanDisco Tue 28-Jul-09 18:40:35

At the end of the day if you are not happy with the way she disciplines him find another cildminder. It's not a case of is she right or wrong as another parent may not have found her reaction shocking. Your ds needs consistenty of care and discipline. If there is a discrepancy between parental and childminder practice that can be confusing. Are you happy to continue with her care?

hercules1 Tue 28-Jul-09 18:42:32

How is she otherwise? I would be very tempted to talk to her about it. I don't agree with a childminder shouting on a regular basis but perhaps it was a one off.
I do feel for you. I recently changed my childminder and it was a hard but right decision. I dont think you should rush to consider change though based on this one thing.

Nancy66 Tue 28-Jul-09 18:43:03

I don't think you are over reacting. It was a playful misunderstanding - there was no need to shout.

Does your son like going to this woman? If she shouts like that when you're around I'd be a bit worried about what she does when you're not.

FranSanDisco Tue 28-Jul-09 18:44:37

Your ds may have gotten more upset because you were there. I know ds used to be more sensitive when I was around. Does he enjoy going to her generally?.

lazylion Tue 28-Jul-09 18:48:28

I would get a new childminder. The fact that your child was upset shows that her 'methods' don't suit him. If she loses her temper in front of you I would be terrified to think of what she could do when you aren't there.
I'll come and punch her if you like.

littlestarschildminding Tue 28-Jul-09 18:51:15

I have been shrieking like a banshee at my children and mindees alike today...has been a loooooong day!! Rain rain rain...stuck at home no garden and they have been 'getting at each other' all day.

Im not normally a shrieky person at all...really... Im normally very calm and controlled and patient. I don't expect my mindees have heard me shriek before blush

I guess what Im saying is you only saw a snapshot of the day..maybe your ds had been playing up for a while and that was the final straw..that said I have been shreiking in general...rather than shouting at any particular child. Not having heard how she spoke to your ds then its hard to judge but if you weren't happy then you need to go and speak to her about it. It isn't acceptable as a childminder to intimidate a child by shouting at them. But it is ok for her to speak to them firmly and fairly. (And ocassionally shriek in exasperation when it all gets too much!! We are only human after all)

If you think she was unreasonable then YANBU and you should confront her.

Cazzr Tue 28-Jul-09 18:52:12

Well I guess this forms why I have posted this. On the drive home, I was so het up I was planning to start looking for somewhere else.

We moved to this childminder when our previous childminder got ill (long term) and this was a friend of hers so we knew DS would already know her, and make the transition smoother. This was back in October.
He settled in well and generally behaves well and I knew she was strict but today just took me back a bit.
He is generally happy there and it's a larger chldminder with more kids to play with, hence the helpers. I don't want to uproot him if I'm just being a bit sensitive but there has been a few times when I've thought "Blimey, dont get on the wrong side of her".
DH and I are both quite laid back but do discipline him and try to maintain the whole calm explanation and thinking time methods.

I don't know, this is a different environment to the previous CM, who we were very happy with and maybe we took the easier option rather than the right one in going with her friend....

Cazzr Tue 28-Jul-09 18:54:20

wow, suddenly got more replies whilst typing last response...

hercules1 Tue 28-Jul-09 18:54:39

It's a really hard one. It may be that that's just the way she is and children know and understand this and arent intimidated at all - similar tohow littlestar describes it.

However if you think your ds is being intimidated that's another thing.

FranSanDisco Tue 28-Jul-09 18:56:02

There are pros and cons to more children being present. Stricter boundaries by CM but more role models for your ds to copy. It sounds like more of a pre-school environment than home environment (which I tend to think of with CM). It's your call really but I would be looking for a CM who was more like minded to my way of doing things.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Tue 28-Jul-09 18:57:25

The comment about not getting on the wrong side of her is ringing warning bells to me I'm afraid.

Cazzr Tue 28-Jul-09 19:05:50

I've seen her discipline DS and other kids before now and he method is quite strict and loud. She technically wasn't working today (doing coursework, but still in house) so not sure she'd had it up to her eyeballs with kids, tho I am sypathetic if that were the case, I don't think I could be a CM...

FranSanDisco: yes I think he got more upset because I was there, I gather he doesn't get so upset when i'm not around, but not sure this is still right. Could he be 'not crying' because he doesn't feel secure enough to?
He really was quite upset today, I actually think she was a little taken aback by it, not that I looked at her face, I was too busy dealing with DS. One of the helpers commented at the time that he normally doesn't get so upset..

littlestars: when i arrived today, it was a lot louder than normal just because of all the extra kids/excitement so imagine if it's like that for you, you'd have to shreik to be heard over the din.

As it happens he's still quite pumped this evening as we are trying to calm him down for bed. Think he'll take a while to get used to the extra excitement. Got next week off anyway to chill out so will probably see how things go. Think this has been naggin the back of my mind for a while tho and this incident has stirred it up..

FranSanDisco Tue 28-Jul-09 19:14:10

I think you know you want to change CM. I remember an incident when ds was in Reception (so older than your ds). There was an open day where parents could wander round the school and observe there child in class etc. As I walked into his class he was being sent away from the construction area, firmly. His face was unhappy but accepting. He looked up, saw me (smiling) and disolved into tears. Teacher and TA were very concerned and a little embarrassed. I had certainly added to the situation blush. I wish you luck with your decision.

Cazzr Tue 28-Jul-09 19:39:58

FranSanDisco: yeah I think you are right, I think i'm second guessing my instincts because I am reluctant to go through all the upheaval again. He was with previous CM since 4.5 months and loved it there. I do realise that no place is perfect tho, it's trying to pick the right reasons to move.

I do worry also that because he looks so much older than 3 (he's well over a metre tall already) that people forget his age.
I'm not saying hitting is good at any age but I think you hit the nail on the head about role models.
He loves to play with the older kids, always has, but I think he gets carried away and probably doesn't fully understand the games to know when to stop.
I suspect he might have been playing rough n tumble type games with CM's son earlier and when he came back in the room thought it would carry on.. ??? I don't know.

Anyway, I'm not a confrontational type of person so dread the prospect of bringing it up.

Cazzr Tue 28-Jul-09 19:45:59

hercules: if you don't mind me asking, what were your reasons for moving?

Cazzr Tue 28-Jul-09 19:53:54

FabBaker/Lazylion: I don't think for a minute she would get physical with him if you get my meaning otherwise he wouldn't be going back at all...
I do think it's her style, I guess it's just that I don't like that style..
I'd find her a bit intimidating in a very direct loud way, as in would be one for an argument, but do kids pick up on that stuff, react the same as us adults?

FabBakerGirlIsBack Tue 28-Jul-09 19:59:10

If you don't like her style how can you send your child there?

Cazzr Tue 28-Jul-09 20:29:21

Just the discipline style, the other aspects of the childcare are fine. He gets to sleep enough (important to me), has healthy meals (also important) and educationally the place is fab, he has improved his speech and learning in general since moving there (tho it;s hard to tell if this would have happened anyway over the past 9 months). It's just that it's a lot more schooly than homey. I thought it would be a good transition to work up to school but I spose I wonder if he is still quite young in my eyes. He's 3.2.
He was showered with love at the last CM (tho still with discipline) whereas it's a bit more formal here.
If i didn't have to work so much/at all I wouldn't. He's there 4 days a week and worry he'll feel a bit on his own if you get what I mean...
God I must be hormonal to be coming out with this stuff!

booyhoo Tue 28-Jul-09 21:28:35

if you felt intimidated by her, then imagine how your much smaller, younger boy felt when she shouted down at him from way up there? if it was me i would move him somewhere else where he will learn to deal with situations in a calm but assertive tone rather than shouting. but he is your son so its up to you.

Cazzr Tue 28-Jul-09 22:10:53

agreed, the search begins, hopefully in time for preschool in september.

Cazzr Thu 30-Jul-09 09:18:56

UPDATE: Had a word with CM last night explaining that whilst I thought the words were fine and agreed he needed to be disciplined I didn't agree with the tone of voice used as it's not how we discipline at home.

She seemed to take it ok (had already checked for a place at a local nursery just in case..) tho was probably a bit disgruntled, naturally. Knees were knocking together at the time (i'm such a wimp) but feel proud of myself for making my point and ensuring my son gets treated how I want.
Will just see how it goes now..
Thanks those who gave advice and reassurance that I wasn't being unreasonable to be upset about it.

ssd Thu 30-Jul-09 09:28:13

good for you cazzr

now she might think twice before taking out her bad moods on your ds

but I'd keep a close eye on this, sounds like she has been childminding too long for her and needs another job

Cazzr Thu 30-Jul-09 09:41:03

Possibly.. I do think she is generally quite a loud exitable type of person, totally opposite to DH and I, and to a degree DS too (he can be loud but then aren't most 3 year olds?!).
I think in trying to keep control of the kids behaviour she may have gotten into a bad habit of using a very strong tone to get the 'effect', so I'm hoping she may have taken my comments on board and maybe change all round, not just for my DS.

It's funny tho, I was fully expecting her to say, if you don't like my style then go elsewhere, and I was prepared for that, that I almost feel a bit.. I don't know ..'side swiped' that she didn't. Maybe I was too prepared for a battle?
Despite the knocking knees I felt I put my point accross in a calm and professional manner, perhaps in some ways showing the method I'd like her to use...

ssd Thu 30-Jul-09 10:00:58

were you sort of hoping she wouldn't agree so you could go ahead and put ds into a local nursery, feeling like you pulled him of her care through her actions?

I get that sort of vibe from your post...although maybe totally wrong (and often are!!)

just remember you owe her nothing, if you feel unsettled about leaving your ds with her now maybe thinking about other childcare would be a good solution

I was once a childminder who got really fed up with the job and gave it up, but I know many many other minders who got fed up years ago but can't give it up as they earn too much money from it. Thats ok in an office/ other workplace, but when a childminder gets too fed up IME they take out their frustrations on the kids and that not fair.

(I gave up as I found myself moaning at dh every night about a certain 3 yr old who didn't listen to me,( although I know kost 3 yr olds don't listen!!) until dh said, "you need to quit, its getting under your skin". He was right and I did.)

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