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DD says childminder hit her?

(22 Posts)
gemmied Sat 20-Oct-12 01:39:25

Hi all, just wanted some advice, as I'm not really sure what to do...
My daughter is 3, and started going full time to a childminder about a month ago.. Before she started she was very outgoing, friendly, rarely shy, absolutely loved playing with other kids... I was more nervous about her starting with childminder than she was!
But somewhere from then to now she changed, and became clingy when I left her, but also, unhappy when I picked her up!? She would cry (not with tears, just screaming/moaning) when we arrived at childminders and say she didn't want to go there, and also want me to stay with her, but then do the same when I picked her up and say she wanted to stay at childminders, so I thought it was just settling in nerves and tried to give her time. Childminder has been giving her sweets when she leaves (bribing her, I call it), so that she won't make a fuss, which both I and my husband have asked her not to do, but she continues.. DD also has become difficult at times with other kids, not wanting to share, and being quite mean at times, which I know kids are, but seems to be getting worse...
But the real problem is today, on the walk home, my daughter was telling me about her day, which she does everytime she goes to childminders, and said that the childminder had hit her on the leg, because she had woken up another child who was napping. I didn't really know what to say to her, so I sympathised and asked if it had hurt, and she said yes, it had make her cry, and she also did an impersonation of childminder screaming at her , saying she said "you've woken ...child.. up!"
I didn't make a big deal out of it, but I'm 100% certain she's telling the truth about it- she does have an imagination (she tells me about 'dreams' she's had etc, which are things she's imagined), but I know she's telling the truth from what she said, how she said it etc. Later on my husband asked her about her day, and again she told the same stories- not just that, but other stuff, what she had played, etc, all of it the same.
So... now I have to decide what to do. Luckily I don't 'need' childcare for a while, so that means I can pull her out right now and probably be ok for finding other childcare before I need it. But should I complain to someone, confront her, or something else?
The childminder did tell me when I picked her up that my daughter had woken another child at nap time, and in hindsight, seemed to have a guilty look as she told me, but I know that doesn't mean anything...
Ahh, am super stressed, I don't like to believe the worst of people, but really can't stand the thought of someone hitting my child!
Any advice or thoughts would be much appreciated smile


Whiteshoes Sat 20-Oct-12 01:49:06

Dear god. I'm glad you can get your child out of there forthwith.

Are there other children whose parents you know with this childminder? Although, I'm only asking that for corroboration, and actually you sound like you trust what your child has said, quite rightly.
no good advice on what else to do. Hopefully someone with more expertise will be along shortly.

HSMM Sat 20-Oct-12 08:32:37

Doesn't sound great and you should go with your gut instinct ... however ... a child accused me of hitting her once (I had been cross with her, but not hit her). She is still with me 6 years later and is the only complaint on my record.

lechatnoir Sat 20-Oct-12 10:06:17

I would call her and request a meeting before your DD is due back in. It could be like HSMM and she was cross bit didn't actually hit her but I think you should at least sit down and see what she has to say about the claim and her general behaviour changes, gauge her reaction and then make a decision. Does she have children if her own? Can you speak to any if the other parents? It's tricky because if your daughter is correct you don't want her to feel you don't trust her or worse, stop telling you things because you didn't act the first time, BUT something like this could have huge ramifications for the CM (both professionally & personally if she has children & you report her) which would be hideous if not correct.
Hope it works out for you.

colditz Sat 20-Oct-12 10:10:04

Sit down with the childminder and say to her, quietly and calmly, that you want her to explain her behaviour yesterday. Then stay silent. If she really did hit your daughter, she is likely to start babbling on about how your daughter was really naughty, or it was an accident, but if she didn't, she'll probably start talking about the sweets, as this is the thing you have asked her not to do.

colditz Sat 20-Oct-12 10:11:29

And have you asked your daughter to point to the place that got hurt at the child minders, and what exactly hurt it? If she is accurate every time you ask her, I'd say she's telling the truth

Pancakeflipper Sat 20-Oct-12 10:13:59

Your daughter is not happy there so remove her. You will have doubts about the CM and be suspicious and it won't make anybody you happy.

If it was me I would tell the CM that my child had said they did this, and see what explanation they give.

But even without the hitting bit I would be taking my child out.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 20-Oct-12 10:26:31

If you are not happy with her care in general then remove her. If it is the latest incident that you are really unhappy about then you need to address that with your childminder. As another poster suggested just ask her to explain what happened and leave it as an open question.

blizy Sat 20-Oct-12 10:28:01

Hmm, it's a tricky situation. I once had a mindee who said I had hit her, she would also go home complaining she was starving as I had not fed her. Obviously she was fibbing. Good job her mum is a friend and knew the truth!

However, it does sound like your dd is not happy at the childminders, I would have to ask the minder her version of events, also write down everything. If you are certain she has hit your dd, I would make an official complaint to offstead/care inspectorate.

mellen Sat 20-Oct-12 10:34:15

Are you going to report this?

Vinomum Sat 20-Oct-12 10:44:18

You really have to trust your instincts with CMs. Mine is absolutely lovely, and I couldn't in a million years ever imagine her hitting my children. the fact that you are able to think it a possibility that your CM might have hit your DD would be enough for me, I'd be straight out. I would suggest speaking to her about it though, as if your DD is telling the truth then this CM is dangerous and shouldn't be allowed to continue childminding.

fraktion Sat 20-Oct-12 12:23:55

I would also be asking the CM for her version and see whether given enough rope she hangs herself.

colditz has good advice about asking your DD to point and seeing whether that's reliable.

Either way your DD is not happy and the only reason I would want to find out more about this incident is to decide whether to complain or not. I would be finding an alternative carer that your DD is comfortable with.

gemmied Sat 20-Oct-12 16:20:54

Thank you very much for the advice everyone! I did ask DD to point to where she was hit, and every time she has been consistent, and pointed to her leg, and also the fact that she said it hurt and made her cry, which makes it more serious in my eyes. Also, that the CM mentioned the incident, but not that she hit her, is dishonest, I think.
DD has said, when questioned more closely, that CM hit her with 'paper with lines on it' and when we showed her a sheet of paper with lines on it and said 'Like this?' and she said 'no, big hard paper', so a book of lined paper, or something similar. She's said this consistently too- she never said she was hit with a hand, we just assumed so, and haven't really wanted to make too much of it to DD, just in case it was made up to get attention or something, although she has never done that before. Now we've gone through it with her properly though, and reinforced that it was wrong, hitting is never allowed, etc.
Hubby and I are going to confront CM about it, but have already decided to pull her out- the sweets/bribes and a few other things I've noticed have been playing on my mind for a while now, but until this happened I felt as if I would be making too much of it to change carer, as CM seems nice and DD has made friends there. I don't think CM really knows how to discipline, except from bribing, and that's a slippery slope. When we went to visit I asked about discipline, and she said that she used the time out chair, but usually talking to a child would be enough, which I thought was perfect.
I feel I am firm but fair with DD- we do the time out chair as a last resort if I feel she's being plain naughty and won't stop, but generally if I explain why she shouldn't do something, she'll understand and stop. I've always taught her hitting and violence is never allowed, which is probably why she told me about it right away when this happened, she seemed to know CM had been wrong to do it, and to feel hard done by. I asked her if CM had said sorry, and she said no, so I don't think it could have been an accident.
We will report it anyway, because I think that's the responsible thing to do, although I am reluctant as I hate to cause trouble for anyone. But at the end of the day CM shouldn't have done it, and it worries me that most other children in her care are a lot younger, and wouldn't be able to speak out if she was hitting them... I think if she had told me upfront, and said "I'm really sorry, I lost my temper for a second" or something like that, I could have let it go once, everyone's human after all, although it's bad form for someone involved with kids to let temper get the better of them, but she didn't do that in any case. DD is very good at expressing herself, luckily, I feel relieved that she can just leave, it would be truly horrible if we couldn't just pull her out!

blondefriend Sat 20-Oct-12 20:51:53

I think you've made the best decision to remove her. Slightly off topic but my sister and I were with the same childminder for years as children. She never hit us but was constantly undermining to us and mentally cruel. We hated it there. My sister cried every day and despite telling our mother we were never removed. I still put that experience down to my sister's continued emotional problems that she still has 20 years later despite councilling. I put off having a childminder for my own children for that reason but have now found one I love for my son. I hope to never have to put my own children through that experience where they are genuinely unhappy and dread every day. You may even find that the "hitting" incident is a blessing in disguise if you now find a new childminder who your DD loves and bonds with. I wish you every luck in that search.

blizy Sat 20-Oct-12 21:14:33

i'm glad you made the descision to remove dd from her care. Please make an official complaint about the childminder, I would hate to think she was also hitting younget mindees sad. How is your dd?

blizy Sat 20-Oct-12 21:19:35

oops, sorry for typos. blush

JustFabulous Sat 20-Oct-12 21:27:00

I am a bit confusedhmm why she told you your dd woke up another child. Sounds like she was complaining about her and balmoing her for the woken child. A 3 year old can not be blamed for another child being woken unless she wasn't supervised..

calmlychaotic Sun 21-Oct-12 03:13:36

I have a mindee who kept saying my ds hit him, I was watching, hiding, so know wasn't true. on one occasion he pushed my ds in the chest, my ds pushed him back in the chest, mindee then started crying holding his leg saying he hit me! He was new and unhappy and was hoping he would get to go home, also 3. He has settled now and stopped saying it. It really worried me in case he said I hit him. Your dd stories stand up to being repeated and I don't know if my mindees would, in any case she seems unhappy and there is more than one problem so I would remove her, very difficult call whether to report or not though.

minderjinx Sun 21-Oct-12 08:21:37

Justfabulous, of course a toddler can wake up a baby especially if they are being closely supervised. I often say to mine would they be quiet as nice for a second as I am just popping in to check the baby, straighten his covers or whatever, and they then make an almighty racket and wake the baby - not every time, obviously, but every now and then. If I had a massive mansion I could put them too far away to do that, but then I wouldn't be supervising them properly. So if they are close enough for me to keep an eye on they are also close enough to wake the baby. I have also had a little one (no longer so little!) who was jealous of her baby brother and would wake him deliberately, so I would of course tell the parents when she did that, or any other sort of mean behaviour towards him.

minderjinx Sun 21-Oct-12 08:41:11

quiet as mice.

Gemmied, I have no idea whether the CM smacked your daughter. I was taught, and many people believe, that toddlers can't lie, but like calmlychaotic, I have seen some do just that, and very very plausibly. You have to go with your instinct, and probably err on the side of caution, but I think there must be a little doubt or you would not be seeking advice? Personally I would confront the CM and factor her reactions into my decision.

The behavior you describle - clingy at drop off then umwilling to leave at the end of the day - is very typical of many children settling in. They want the parent to stay and spend time with them, but would be just as upset if the parent said okay we will go home then. The sweets thing would annoy me, but would be more the kind of thing I would want to call a meeting about than automatically take my child away without warning.

pinklantern Sun 21-Oct-12 09:11:30

Your DD is telling you, clearly and consistently, what happened to her. Report it and let the professionals investigate it. Would we be so concerned for the CM if the allegation was of a sexual nature? My background is child protection social work and I can say with confidence that trusted professionals do harm and abuse kids. Teachers, interpreters, sports coaches etc I've seen complaints upheld against all these professionals. Sadly I've worked on couple of CM cases too, one where the concerns weren't at all substantiated and I really felt for the worker, another where the child had a clear injury but the reporting parents felt dreadful because the CM was so lovely and they thought that because the CM also did some work in a nursery surely she was a safe adult and there must be some kind of reasonable explanation. Unfortunately they were wrong, there were witnesses to the assault that the CM had attempted to conceal and a CRB check revealed a list if violent offences as long as your arm. Obviously this led to questions around how this woman could have got her job at the nursery and it ended up being a right can of worms but I guess what I'm saying is that no matter how unlikely the story seems from the outset, give your child the benefit if doubt until it can be investigated properly.

JustFabulous Sun 21-Oct-12 09:35:49

Your CM is telling tales on your child imo. Ridiculous.

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