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CM club - could really do with some constructive advice ( and crticism if you feel its warranted)

(25 Posts)
Saltire Tue 25-Jun-13 14:34:12

Ok <deep breath>
I currently have 4 before and after school mindees. As some of you will recall I have had issues previously with one of them.
2 of them are siblings. Their dad is currently away (military) (not in a "war" zone but away all the same).
These 2 are the ones causing the issues.
last week they were fighting - full on proper fighting with each otehr on the walk from school. Twice the younger one nearly ended up in the road. once when a car was coming.

Today they were fighting again - the reason? The younger child walked past the older child and was thus in front of him. he did it calmly, no pushing et. his sibling didn't like and started pushing etc. Younger child then got pushed into a clump of nettles.
Short of full on yelling at them, they do no listen to me.

My behaviour managing policies include
Discuss with child
Time Out
removal of treats.
depending alot on the age of child and severity etc.

now Time Out doesn't work with the younger of the siblings. he used to get time out at home by being told to sit on a step, which he would then throw himself off and hurt himself. he does that here, so i don't do it with him. He is 6, so talking to him should work, but it doesn't. He doesn't look at me when I talk to him, he pulls away and has been known to kick out or yell. he also has complete and utter meltdowns, seriously that is the only word to describe it. He says no, or I don't want to when i ask him to do anything, adn if I go to him, and bend down to his level he does the eye rolling and I don't care bit.

Removal of treats - he just says "I don't care"

The older child goes into what I can only describe as a huff. he stomps off, refuses to speak to me and does that things where he mimics in a sarky sounding voice what the other children are saying.
Again he doesn't care oif treats are removed.

now on top of all this I have another child who is currently going through a lot of emotional upheaval in her life, she is very clingy and talks - a lot. She never ever stops she just talks for the sake of it.

Anyway her and older sibling don't get on - I think because he sees her as taking attention away from him and he loves to be the centre of attention. Whatever anyone has done he does it better, bigger etc, and tells her this repeatedly.

She then starts crying (aain becasue of the upheaval going on she is very easily reduced to tears).

So this is our walk to school

I have discussed it with DH
And before anyone says anything these children are in his house and how they behave affects him too.

he said (and he's right) "you aren't ensuring their safety, or that of other people- car drivers, other children going to school, and of course the other mindees. If something happens and one of them gets run over, hurt it comes back to you. They aren't listening to you and yes their dad is away but that is no excuse for how they behave with each other"

I really am at a loss as to what to do. Already today the treat of park and ice lolly after school has been removed (not fair on teh other 2), but both boys said they didn't care.

Is it me? Am I handling it badly like DH says, they are making the walk to school unsafe.
Is it them having an extreme reaction to dad being away

YourHandInMyHand Tue 25-Jun-13 14:56:13

Oh the constant chatterer sounds soo like a mindee I used to have. I just let him. At the time I found it hard to give him the attention he needed but he got it. He really benefitted from it and I'm glad I could help him and be there for him.

The physical fighting I agree is dangerous. I'd be having words with parents, telling them you were very concerned and if it continued you would have to rethink things. As your DH says if anything happened to them you'd feel awful and may get the blame.

Not responding to time out/ rewards - does this child have any additional needs?? Stick to removing things that can be removed from individuals rather than the group.

Maybe those who do a school run well earn a token for 20 mins on a ds/ pc/ or something? Something they will get to enjoy on their own.

grabaspoon Tue 25-Jun-13 14:56:40

Saltire - I'm a nanny to a child aged 5 whose parent is away a lot [military] and I'm struggling with behaviour at the moment too - also at an age we should be able to talk etc but I'm having; lieing, deliberately doing something he knows is wrong, cheekiness etc sad Not sure if its because parent is away, if theres another issue, or if it's just being [dare I say the word] naughty.

Will be keeping an eye on this thread.

Saltire Tue 25-Jun-13 15:08:26

I feel like I am always saying to the mum "oh they were fighting again and x started it"

The thing is, X is always starting it. For example today when his sibling go in front of him, he couldn't just walk a bit faster, no he had to walk as close as possible so he could bang the younger child with the bag, and call him an idiot. Of course the younger one responded the only way he does - by pushing back.

it is always older one who starts it, every single day time.

I also think it isn't showing me in a good light as a CM, other people must be looking at me and thinking WTF is going on. I don't ever really shout - perhaps I should.

Today the teacher of older child asked what was wrong with him and I said he's in a huff as he was told off. She told me she had noticed a marked change in that childs behaviou too.

YourHandInMyHand Tue 25-Jun-13 15:18:21

Is the mum supportive or does she just shrug it off?

I have always said I only shout if a child is in danger e.g. about to run into a road/ push a child onto road. In those situations where you can't get to them in time to physically intervene one loud STOP usually makes them pause in their tracks. Most other times I find whispering in a low voice extremely effective.

ReetPetit Tue 25-Jun-13 16:44:51

sounds like a hell of a lot of stress for you for not very much reward - either emotionally or.financially...

can't imagine you are earning that much from.this family.

i guess it comes down much you need the work/income. could you fill the places easily?

also, bear in mind you have summer hols coming up - would you have them then? could you bear it?

and i think you are right to consider how this could other parents/cms - children falling into roads etc. personally i would call it quits but i suppose it depends on how easy it is to get mindees in your area.

leeloo1 Tue 25-Jun-13 18:23:56

Can you find a treat that isn't cancelled for all of them - e.g. with park and ice lolly, you still take them to the park. 2 get to play 2 get to sit and watch (maybe after x minutes they can play if they've sat nicely/apologised etc). 2 get an ice lolly, 2 don't.

I think removal of treats have more of an impact if they see other people getting and enjoying what they would have done.

Bonkerz Tue 25-Jun-13 18:35:25

You need to find what makes the older one tick. I care for siblings. Older boy is 12 and has ADHD and fights constantly with his bro aged 9. My first week with them was hell but I figured out the older boy liked laptop time. I devised a star chart and split each day in to 10. Rewarding good behaviour is always better to encourage co operation. For the first few days I went OTT with rewards. Constantly praising older one and giving him extra things to 'help' me etc. younger one liked ££ so each star was worth 5p and older one each star was worth 2mins laptop time! By the third week of summer hols the behaviour was manageable and much easier!

looselegs Tue 25-Jun-13 22:35:59

The problem is,and I am being completely honest here,is that kids like this take up so much time and energy that the other kids suffer.They don't like the behaviour because they know it will take you away from them.You spend your time breaking up fights and trying to stop the bad behaviour that you have nothing left for the others.It's a horrible,horrible situation to be in and you get to the stage where you dread them coming.They are attention seeking and they are winning.
There could be many underlying issues for their behaviour. Have you spoken to mum about what they're like at home and what strategies she has when they act like this?If it's something you can work with,then you could continue that strategy in your setting. You need mum on board for this as its no good you trying to reign them in if it all goes out of the window at home.
Always try to find something positive about the 2 boys when they are collected-and say it in front of them.Mum doesn't want to hear negatives all the time.
But I would also have a chat with mum and tell her that if the behaviour doesn't improve then you will have to give notice.

HSMMaCM Wed 26-Jun-13 07:39:11

I would have given the other 2 an ice lolly, so they weren't penalised for someone else's bad behaviour.

I had to give notice to a pair of primary school siblings once, because they simply disrupted things for everyone else.

MaryPoppinsBag Wed 26-Jun-13 08:19:08

I gave notice to two brothers for bad behaviour. I couldn't look after the younger children properly whilst the he was 'on one' swearing, gesticulating at me, throwing things, calling me an F ing idiot, running off and finally hitting and kicking me when I was trying to stop him running off in school. (I was actually making him do as he was told - to stand with me in the queue as he'd tried to run off on the way to school).

There had been a handful of incidents including them fighting with each other, and the older one kicking my 7yo between the legs once out of the blue in a roleplay game. I found that when the lost it they were very hard to bring round and became uncontrollable. The incidents were becoming more regular as they'd found they feet with me. And the youngest played up when Mum came to pick up - throwing things, tantruming etc (year 1)
Their Dad was away too.

I gave notice for a number of reasons including:
Because I was in direct contravention of my Ofsted conditions - as caring for older children must not impact on the safety of my EYFS children.
Because I didn't want my other business affected.
Because I didn't want my children adversely affected.
And because I knew that I couldn't work with them as they were constantly bribed and cajoled into doing things at home rather than being made to do as they were told.
And that is not my family's way of doing things.

It was a difficult decision as they were worth the most money to me and were term time only. I did feel guilty but then they left immediately without paying the correct amount of notice.

I have since lost loads of other business as parents requirements naturally change. But nevermind.

Saltire Wed 26-Jun-13 14:51:14

Thanks everyone for replies. I ahve spoken to mum. She is having problems too. The younger sibling ha sbeen in his bedroom after school and dinner, no tv, computer etc for a fortnight now. The problem with him is that he does 9as I said above) go into these complete meltdowns screams yells, etc.
She has also mentioned having problems with the older child, she says winding the younger one up to the point that he hits back - like he's doing with me.

I was watching the older one yesterday - I went to the park with the other 2 mindees after the sibling had gone home, and older sibling was there. he was on his bike, and was racing with a uch younger child ( age 3, stabilisers on bike) and he kept saying "I'm faster than you" "I am better than you" "Look I can beat you". This is how he is all the time he thinks/says he's better/ faster/ cleverer etc than everyone else, and I think is perhaps part of the problem with his sibling becasue the brother says " no you're not".
My teenage DSes get sent to their rooms for the 30-45 mintues they are here becasue my 2 get so annoyed at this child that they start shouting at him to shut up!! One day DS1 was doing some homework (about sports science) on the desktop downstairs and the older child kept trying to read it and saying it didn't make sense and that Ds1 was doing it wrong.

DH thinks I should give notice. They are only in the house for 30 minutes in the morning before we go to school,a nd 30 minutes after school by the time we get back. and quite frankly the past couple of weeks it has been a long hard 30 minutes.

I noticed a few of you asked about additional needs - I ahve thought this about both of them, but in different ways, if that makes sense. I know the mum was convinced the younger child had autism but it was poo pooed by school.
The older child also has the ability to talk for ages when describing something using long covuluted words, 6 words when one would do , and yet struggles to understand basic instructions "I don't know what you mean" he says

having said all that there was no fighting on teh way to school today, lets see what they are like on teh way back

Dozer Wed 26-Jun-13 17:22:38

I would give notice, way too much risk and unpleasantness for you and the other DC and could lose you other clients. Sounds like you've been really patient!

YourHandInMyHand Thu 27-Jun-13 10:41:30

I would give notice but would support and encourage the mum to seek help with their behaviour. A lot of schools poo-poo the idea of autism sadly - my ds has it. If she wanted to look into this again the best pathway is GP and ask to be referred for an assessment by a paediatrician. I realise suggesting this depends on the relationship you have.

The amount of time you have them it's not worth the stress, upset to other kids, and the danger to themselves and your reputation.

Saltire Mon 01-Jul-13 12:12:37

I have decided, after this mornings episodes. to give serious though about giving notice. We only have 3 weeks elft of school run here, but right now it is 3 weeks too long

This morning older child took a massive huff. He and his brother ran on a bit in front to hide (they do this every day). Myself and the toehr mindees went in to where they were hiding from the back, and got out in front of them.
I could see the spot where they were hiding the whole time so would ahve noticed if they have moved. I could also see them looking for us. I called voer " hurry up we're waiting" and little girl mindee said " oh haha we beat you then, we got past and you never noticed, we were running" (she is5)

He jsut turned completely
"you didn't fool me I knew you ahd done that"
"you don't run fast, neither does salitre"
"I always knew where you were you can't bea t me".
Then he stormed off, not listening again and refusing to speak if I spoke to him.

The older boy loves the computer, in fact its all he wants to do, apart from "make things" ( who remembers my threads about him always wanting to make huge elaborate models in the half hour he's here and going in a huff as I didn't have the materials to make helicopter/motorbike etc).
I did also give thought to doing reward chart type things - but if they get a treat taken off them then they jsut descend into fighting again.

In fact, the older child came round in a "i'mnotspeaking" mood this morning as his mum told him off for not eating his breakfast (throwing it at younger brother instead)

MaryPoppinsBag Mon 01-Jul-13 16:56:25

I would give notice.
It's not worth it.

ReetPetit Mon 01-Jul-13 19:01:48

i would give notice too - not worth the stress!

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Mon 01-Jul-13 19:15:36

saltire - my love, where do you find these kids??? Surely you are due some nice, easy going, happy kids next???

Give notice - as harsh as it sounds, whatever the fuck is causing the older one to be a right little shit handful isn't your problem and it's upsetting your kids, you DH & your other mindees - as well as you. For an hour a day - it's not bloody worth it!!

The Mum is having the same issues - she needs to either get help or get them sorted out, it's only going to get worse!

(Not sure what your DH means about 'you' handling it badly though. How would he handle it??)

Saltire Tue 02-Jul-13 13:29:32

chipping - I know I do get them don't I?

Another stressful morning walk to school. Older mindee started to run in front, and I called after him to wait - so he huffed for a while.

Then he and his brother were hiding again and again the other mindees and I caught them out, so cue another massive huf, stomping off in front, so far in front that he claimed he couldn't hear me call on him and I had to really yell his name, in front of other parents - not good at all, but he just wasn't listening.

Apparently though he is very quiet retiring and no bother at all ins chool - a perfect child in fact.

Saltire Tue 02-Jul-13 13:31:32

DH feels that me shouting and yelling to get this child's attention isnt the right way of doing it - but he jsut doesn't listen or pretends he can't hear me, so I have no option but to yell, otherwise he'd be off to school on his own,

Saltire Tue 02-Jul-13 13:34:03

and of course the younger one is getting worse

Oh and his mum told me that the younger one has been put on a special needs list for reading.

The younger childs behaviour was getting better but has goen downhill almost as rapidly as his brothers. he has the most awful meltdowns. In fact I actually let him carry a stick or a stone to school as otehrwise we have up to 30 minutes of him sitting on the pavement screaming.

But both of them have developed this "I don't care" attitude about everything.

MaryPoppinsBag Tue 02-Jul-13 13:39:17

It's hard isn't it. I hate looking as though I've no control over them. What do people think?

The little boy I had who kicked, hit, swore and ran off was a apparently a lovely little boy according to 3 if the staff at school. Erm no he's not! and he was renowned for it amongst his relatives and when I took them on I'd already had the heads up about their appalling behaviour towards their parents. Which is why I gave notice when they tried it with me. The parents couldn't handle them and patented with pleas and bribes.

Saltire Tue 02-Jul-13 13:49:56

It is hard, very hard.
Thankfully I don't have them at all during the holidays,and their dad wil be back.
I think part of the problem is that the mum
a- doesn't like being told her children are misbehaving
b- has totally different discipline ideas and methods to teh dad
c- is struggling to cope too.

Just noticed spellings are bad, got a bit of a fibro flare up today.
The reason I do part time before and after school care is because I have Fibromyalgia. It was supposed to be an easier option as I get time off during the day, but the 2 + hours I work a day is really stressing me out and not helping my coping/pain management techniques

LingDiLong Tue 02-Jul-13 13:54:08

I agree with everyone else, I think you should give notice. Apart from anything else, it doesn't sound like you are able to keep them safe on the school run - I don't mean that as a criticism, I couldn't either but imagine if something were to happen while they were running off or hiding.

Whole situation sounds horrendously stressful for you and one of the major selling points about our jobs is that we are Self Employed; we simply don't have to put up with this kind of crap.

LingDiLong Tue 02-Jul-13 13:55:49

Ah now point A definitely suggests you need to give notice. If the mother won't listen to how bad things are and work with you to improve things then you are in an impossible situation.

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