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Really difficult mindee(43 Posts)
I've also posted this in parenting, really desperately need advice!!
I'm at my wits end.
Biting, smacking, pulling hair (from the roots), pushing and today we had throwing toys in a babies face. Up to now DH and I have been doing the whole getting into child's level and very calmly but firmly saying No that's not ok, and moving child to side and then asking them to apolgise. But this has been going on for months. SHe sleeps and eats well, it's almost as if she is looking for ways to hurt other children.
What more can I do? Other children don't want to play with her and she will seem to 'attack' for no reason. She is 21months.
Any advice welcome
Is it an attention thing? One of my mindees can be difficult when I pay attention to another child or am doing something not directly involving them to the extent they have to be put in the highchair with crayons / toys which are unbreakable when I'm making tea or changing nappies for everones safety.
I don't know perhaps it is, the behaviours are worse when we are with another child that's for sure, however we do lots together and even if we are in the cinema or at the park or in the children's centre these things will still happen.
It's clear you don't like this child, maybe you should give the parents notice.
Do you seriously expect a child who isn't yet two to apologise? I don't think you understand what is developmentally appropriate for such a young child. I am sorry, but it's bullshit to suggest that a 21 month old baby has a concept of diliberately hurting another child. Babies and young children don't play together until they are much older. Often children under three perfer parallel play.
How many children are you looking after and what are their ages?
ReallyTired, you can feel frustrated by a child's behaviour and still have affection for them. Helping a child stop undesirable behaviour is one of the great challenges and rewards in this job.
I also look after an almost 3 year old who was a biter, to the extent I was covered in bruises as was my DD and one other mindee. I couldn't take him to toddler groups and softplays. After a year of working hard with his parents he is now able to socialise with other children and will hopefully be ready for preschool at Easter. It's been a long road but so worth it.
Button, I think what has helped me is looking at triggers, keep a diary of what the child is doing when they display the behaviour and after a few days look at it along with their food, nappy and sleep diary. I.e. are they grumpy when waking up, do they just need a few minutes and a rice cake before they go back to the main play area.
My 20mo apologises when she has deliberately pushed or smacked someone. She does understand and she can definitely do things on purpose out of frustration or anger!
Of course I care for her, I've had her since she was 6months old. I don't expect her to say sorry as such, I ask them to give each othe a cuddle so that they see the difference between smacking and being gentle.
I will start to keep a diary of behaviours like you suggested glen thank you.
It hasn't helped that a bed time routine has only just been established at home
"It's clear you don't like this child"
Eh? How do you work that out, reallytired.
My little ones do the gentle stroke / cuddle / apology if they've hurt someone. I think sometimes they just lash out, without following through on the thought process when they are little.
Like Glen said, sometimes you can find triggers, or find something for them to do, to keep the other children safe. Also watch for body language, there's a little boy in my care who seems to tense up all over and I know that means it's time for him to have a little play on his own with his favourite car. He's happy and noone gets hurt. Unfortunately I don't always catch the signs in time. It may seem like a time out, but it is not a punishment and gives him a chance to collect his thoughts, while keeping others safe.
Sometimes something simple, like offering a drink of water can be a distraction.
Button, if you can work with the child and her parents she will get through this eventually. Obviously you also have to think of the other children in your care. If they are going home with scratches and bites every day, it's not fair on them either.
I don't think it's obvious at all that the OP doesn't like the child - it didn't come across that way to me. There is a huge difference between parallel play and the kind of extreme violence the OP is describing. A bit of fisticuffs is all very unremarkable at this age but constant aggression is unusual and difficult to deal with.
I don't think I can add anything to the fantastic advice you've been offered OP, I've had similar with a child in my care and the parents were keen on time outs. I didn't feel they were effective at all but have found it helps to remove the child from the room and the toys - I'm fairly sure the trigger in their case is over stimulation though so they need the breathing space. How do the child's parents deal with undesirable behaviour at home?
Longdiling- we have talked through different methods and we now all do the same, firm low voice, talking to them on their level and then time to the side. But I am beginning to question if this is working... It's not the behaviours themselves so much but the regularity of them, I'm talking 5 incidents an hour. It's so tricky, I need to observe more closely to see if there is a pattern, that's my next step
I am not a CM but just went back to work today after a last settling in session at our CM for my two yesterday. It is very very reassuring to hear you all speaking so wisely about dealing with this kind of behaviour...sorry I can't help OP but wanted to say how much cheerier this thread made me feel about using a CM!
Could it be she's trying to interact/play and it's attention from THEM not you she's after?! I don't know, its sounds very tough. 5 times in an hour is no joke.
Have you talked to the parents? Is it something they see at home? If it is, are they trying stuff to deal with it?
I'm guessing they need to be singing from the same hymn sheet etc.
I went through a period with one mindee who went through a biting phase..No apparent trigger.. It is really tough.. I worked with the parents.. I put travel cot in the main play area.. If she bit she was put in there for time out.. No discussion with her about it .. So no attention positive or negative.. She was safe the other children were safe ..After 2 minutes she was lifted out and allowed to continue to play.. this really seemed to work.
My then 2yo DD definitely knew when she was deliberately hurting others
My theory is that her home life is very different to her life with me so she is mega confused and has a million things going through her mind. She has extreme interactions with parents, either left alone to amuse herself or smothered.
I'm trying so hard to speak to mom and dad but they are incredibly busy it's hard to nail them down and our conversations via email/daily diaries haven't been very successful.
I really appreciate the advice you have all given me, I feel much clearer and capable of tackling this now.
I feel for you then, as it sounds v tricky to deal with as a joint effort.
I hope you manage to find a way to resolve things. If things don't improve, I think, given the lack of parental support (for you in trying to tackle this behaviour) I would consider whether to stop minding her tbh.
Best of luck.
I don't tell my mindees off, in that I don't tell them "no, you don't hit/kick/bite/etc" because if you consider not every word is always listened to, but the last word always is.
I prefer to reinforce the behaviour I want, so we play together/gently/softly/carefully or we keep our hand/feet to ourselves, food is for biting.
Also watch like a hawk and step in and distract at the first suspicion of a trigger
I would and expect a 21mth to say sorry
The twins I look after are 23mths and they have time out and say sorry etc if pull each other's hair /hit etc
Children of this age know they've done something wrong
Both you and parents need to sit down together and discuss action plan. Does she behave like that at home /alone?
Is it an attention thing?
And obv you like this child or woukdnt be Asking for help /solutions - if you didn't like her uou would give notice
You've given it your best shot. I know it's difficult when you have had her for a long time. But if it was me I'd say something like she is very unsettled and more or less find another childminder or nursery. I think you owe it to the other children to keep them safe for being hurt. It's a hard decision but how long can things carry on like this. You could try and have one more discussion with the parents. But sounds to me as if one to one care with a nanny would be better for the time being.
"I would and expect a 21mth to say sorry
The twins I look after are 23mths and they have time out and say sorry etc if pull each other's hair /hit etc"
Really... Time out or expecting an apology is a total waste of time for many children in that age group. Trying to reason with a child under two is often a waste of time in some cases. A lot of children only have a handful of words and no real concept of time at 21 months.
Are you not aware that there is a range of normal development? My daughter at 18 months old could hold a full conversation and learning to use the potty. Other children over the age of three before their development reaches that point. At the age of six the developmentally slower children have caught up my daughter in the majority of cases. All neurologically typical children progress at the pace that is right for them. I don't think that my daughter being an early developer was anything to do with the quality of my parenting. Some children need a little more time than others.
Time out might work with a developmentally advanced child, but is ineffecutual with a baby. There is little point in comparing one child's development with another. You need to look at where the child is at developmentally and plan appriopiately.
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