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After school club disaster(14 Posts)
Not quite home childcare but can't see where better to post.
DS (7yo) can be difficult but getting better in most settings, although not at after school club (ASC).
ASC are understandably fed up with unacceptable behavior e.g. lashing out at staff, broke loads of pencils last week (which were replaced out of his pocket money). I'm all out of ideas. Talked to him about it till we're blue in the face, angry, sad, disappointed, the lot. I do not know what I can do or say to ensure he is better behaved when we're not there. Behaviour is at its worst at ASC, by far.
We've managed to arrange work so as to reduce the time he spends at ASC. The manager said to me yesterday she thinks it would be better if he was there more regularly for longer. I say I can't risk getting to the point where they refuse to have him at all, we'll just avoid him going unless we can't avoid it due to work commitments. They've e-mailed to ask for a meeting.
I'd love to cancel the whole arrangement and use a childminder but (1) I don't know of any that collect from his school (probably because ASC is big enough to take as many as need it and it's a good price) and (2) it will be a lot more expensive if we can find someone and as we collect him ourselves as much as we can, it would be a bit sporadic, so not a regular job for someone.
I don't think I know what I'm asking for here! I don't think anyone can suggest any means of ensuring DS behaves at ASC, so any suggestions or messages of hope for managing sporadic after school care.
He is a reasonably nice boy 1:1. I don't think he would behave badly if a minder was picking him up from school, let him run around a bit, take him home, park in front of telly till we get in. Or we can collect him from someone's home.
From what you described it's an afterschool nanny you're after. They are harder to find than daily nannies due to so few working hours and finding somebody reliable to do ad-hoc hours will be a miracle. To make the job more attractive you'd need to offer higher salary. Consider somebody bringing their own child to work maybe ...
Okay - any idea what rates to expect? It probably depends where we live doesn't it? I don't think we're in a position to be precious if it would someone to bring their own child.
Its odd that he's just badly behaved at ASC and not at school.
My two boys at that age would start mis-behaving if they were hungry - do they give a decent after-school snack, or could you pack a sandwich.
Otherwise it could just be tiredness or just general end of day fatigue with having to be well behaved. Are there enough opportunities for expending energy? Breaking pencils may indicate frustration. Have the staff noticed that a certain thing triggers the bad behaviour?
Is there somewhere that you could watch unobserved and see war the problem may be.
I'd try and sort it out first before getting an after-school nanny, you'll have the same issues as a childminder with having to pay every night, but it'll be a lot more expensive. Plus, its very difficult to find an after-school nanny. Do you have space for an au pair?
An after school nanny could cost in excess of £12 per hour depending on area.
How structured is the ASC? You know your DS best, what environment does he need - are routines and structure important to him and help keep him calm? Does he need quiet space where other children do not bother him, is there such a part of ASC - many children need to chill out a bit after school, a quiet/book corner/nap area can be useful with big comfy pillows.
A childminder may consider it depending on the other children already in their care, though finding someone who would collect from the school may be an issue... ask around and ask Family Information Service - cost will be higher than ASC I expect but there will usually be less children and they may be younger... he may even like helping entertain a baby/toddler.
He is no angel at school, but so far (week and a half into new term in Scotland) much better, and has settled down a lot at home too. Was much better at ASC and holiday club before we re-located, although there he was difficult at school. So there is something going on with his behavior, which he have not got to the bottom of yet but are working on. I wonder if it has got worse since term started because he is holding it down in the classroom now and has just run out of good behavior steam by the time he gets to ASC.
Trigger wise - being told what to do/not do and being told off probably! Unfortunately fairly unavoidable in life.
We only have 2 bedrooms so no room for an au pair. Pity, I think we'd be a good job for an au pair in many ways. We don't need many hours.
A lot of ASC are very unstructured and not all children cope well with that - especially when they're tired. Would it help your DS if the ASC could provide a specific job for him to do when he's there or let him keep a box of his own things at the ASC so he can settle down to things he knows he enjoys? I also agree wit the suggestion that you pack a snack for him.
I suspect it's a perfect storm of tired at the end of the day, not a structured environment and no quiet corner to take himself off to if he's not in the mood. We've agreed with ASC that we'll put a couple of things he enjoys doing in his bag when he's coming e.g. a favourite book and the kind of colouring paper he prefers. The previous ASC was more structured and had enough space for a quiet corner. Unfortunately that's 450 miles away now. Oh and they stopped collecting from the school down there anyway.
I'll try putting a snack in when he's going and look at Families Information Service.
ASC have asked for a meeting and say they want to be supportive. Feel a bit sick. And ashamed. Then sad to be ashamed of DS. Or of his behavior more to the point.
Please don't feel ashamed. Different children struggle with different things. His behaviour can't be intolerable or ASC would have kicked him out. If they want to work with you they obviously want to find a way to help him cope. I'm sure he wont be the only one who challenges the staff at the ASC.
One explanation for why his behaviour is better at school than ASC is that after school club don't give him negative consequences for his behaviour there (I would assume school does - correct me if I'm wrong). Have you tried that?
I used to run an after school care,...... tired grumpy children were the norm, and often quite difficult to structure.
one little chap just couldn't amuse himself, so I really went to over kill, any small job I got H to do, kept him as occupied as I could, as the moment he wasn't structured, he'd create mayhem, pencil sniping being quite typical.
is there a members of staff ( is it well enough staffed?) that could direct attention to him, and be in whatever he is doing without it being obvious?
The ASC may actually have a point about him not being there enough as it's something we've experienced (run a childcare business) - when the children aren't there as much they don't build as good a rapport with the staff and the staff don't learn to recognise their signals as well either so are less able to stop bad behaviour early. It also helps with structure IME
Other things we've done/tried to help with behaviour issues:
-member of staff who has specialism in AS/ASD/ASC who has done sessions with all of the children on cool down strategies (balloon breathing and similar) and a poster on the wall about these
-quiet area - we're lucky enough to have a quiet room but we also have a wigman play tent in there which provides a proper quiet cool down space, would be easy to do something like this in the main room but tbh they should have a quiet space
-agree with finding jobs - can he help with the younger children, setting out snack, doing the dishes maybe (we have several kids who love this, honest!)
-agreed a specific behaviour management plan which was agreed with parents and the child so clear rules and clear 'sanctions'
They should have an existing behaviour management policy, ask to see this so you know what their approach is.
Thanks all, apologies for bumping again but wanted to respond to the last couple of posts and update.
Met with ASC yesterday. It was quite positive, they have suggested some strategies they would like to try, we talked about triggers and what activities help him stay calm.
We're still a bit divided on whether he'd be better off spending more time there rather than less. He is my son and it seems daft not to pick him up from school if I can. Picking up from school also means we can maintain communications with the teacher, which seems to be helping this term.
They don't have a quiet room but I might suggest the wigwam thing.
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