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"Bullying" at childminders?

(14 Posts)
bluebean Sun 07-Jun-09 12:30:34

My daughter is 18 months and goes to a fantastic CM one day a week.

The CM also looks after two slightly older boys. One 26 mth old boy seems to be "bullying" my daughter. I know it's not the right word, he's only two so can't really be a bully but I do think his behaviour is out of order.

He comes close up to her face and screams as loud as he can to make her cry and then laughs. The CM has remarked a few times that he likes to "wind her up". I've expressed my concern but the CM is of the opinion that my daughter is very sensitive and that he's just being a typical toddler boy.

I would have accepted this but I've just had our first report book from the CM. It's folder with comments and some photos of DD's first six months at the CMs. The CM describes DD as "serious" and she is not smiling in a single photo.

Is she just really unhappy at the CMs? Is this older boy intimidating here? Should the CM be doing more? Or am I totally over-reacting?

Is is possible for a child to be happy going to a CM just one day a week?

I thought we had childcare sussed but am full of doubts now!

nannynick Sun 07-Jun-09 12:40:47

If your DD dislikes the actions of the older child, which I think she does, then my view is that the CM should be making the older child aware that his behaviour is unacceptable.

A child should be happy regardless of how many days a week they attend a childcare setting. When attending only one/two days a week, it will be quite natural for them to be a little resistant to leave you... as they will have had you for 5/6 days... but once at the CM's they should be happy and they will look forward to your return.

"she is not smiling in a single photo" - why would a CM take photos of a child who isn't happy? The best photos in my view are the one's where a child is really enjoying an activity.

Summerfruit Sun 07-Jun-09 12:50:45

I'm a cm, I look after a 16 months old and a 20 months old and I have a 25 months old dd..DD can be sometimes rought with the other children (territorial, possessive etc..) but when she push one the children or is too much in their face...No way I let her get away with it...She goes to the naughty corner after I have conforted the upset child..Your dd is maybe sensitive but the cm must do her best to stop the other child to bother with some form of disciple ie naughty corner, talking to him at his level...etc

For the pictures, I agree, I dont understand the point of taking pictures of your dd not smiling..unless she is not smiling because too focus on the activity.

bluebean Sun 07-Jun-09 12:52:28

Thanks nannynick.

I found the photos particularly odd as we have hardly any pictures of her without a big cheesy grin on her face! She spends three days with my parents while I'm at work and they have hundreds of pictures of a very happy little girl.

Maybe she just doesn't smile at all while she's at the CM. Which is a very sad thought.

bluebean Sun 07-Jun-09 12:53:39

cross posted with Summerfruit - thanks also.

I'll raise my concerns again with the CM.

CrushWithEyeliner Sun 07-Jun-09 12:55:43

"she is not smiling in a single photo"

This would ring alarm bells for me, as you say she is smily in other photos.

MollieO Sun 07-Jun-09 13:01:04

Sounds like she is unhappy with this CM. If the CM isn't addressing the behaviour of the other child then I would be moving my dc. Ime CMs sometimes don't do anything unless you threaten to leave. This happened twice with my CM over issues which were important to me (ds being bitten repeatedly - other child's mother a HT but not bothering to address issue and CM a bit too intimidated to insist) but didn't seem important to her.

littlestarschildminding Sun 07-Jun-09 13:12:37

You need to speak to the cm about your concerns...if your dd is serious at the CMs but not at home then talk to the cm about this..show her pictures of your dd being cheesy and explain to her your concerns that dd is not smiling in her pics and together look for the causes and solutions... if you don't talk to each other...you can't resolve any problems. She may think this is how your dd is??

The boy being rough is a little more complex, you need to work out a stratergy with her for managing his behaviour..if she is a good cm then this won't be a problem for her and she will be happy to work with you to resolve the problem.

TALK TALK TALK before you make threats about leaving...or get too stressed.

I wouldn't unduly worry about photos, I only take photos of mindees engrossed in activties and actually doing things, rather than posed smile at me photos, they do not help to show what we get up to during the course of the day.

Please make an appoinment to talk to your CM about your other worries.

hester Sun 07-Jun-09 15:13:45

I think you are right to be concerned. My dd was very sensitive/scared of other children at that age and I used to really hate it when other mothers would watch their children bash her and scare her and then blame her for being a wimp. I understand why they did it - they didn't want to demonise their own children for what was very normal toddler behaviour - but that isn't an excuse for not protecting those kids at the sensitive end of the spectrum.

Your dd deserves to be happy at her CM. If it doesn't suit her, even if that's nobody's fault, you need to take action. Best of luck.

Scarfmaker Sun 07-Jun-09 15:22:31

I would agree with TheOtherMaryPoppinsDi - I don't always take photos of my mindees smiling away - sometimes it's better to take a more natural picture with them - like if one of mine was engrossed in a puzzle they wouldn't be smiling. I do keep another folder with maybe more "smiley" photos that I give to the parents when the child leaves me.

My father-in-law was always taking photos of my own kids (and me) when we went to weddings, parties, indoors and outdoors. I observed that in a lot of them we weren't smiling but when I look back on them now they're just natural.

I would be worried about the older child maybe being a bit overpowering with your daughter - although at 2 and two months I wouldn't think this is intentional. Have a word with your childminder and see how she manages this.

wotulookinat Sun 07-Jun-09 15:27:15

My son goes to his CM one day a week. I was concerned a while ago that he might be getting bullied (yes, a strong word, but you know what I mean!) by the older boys - but nothing serious at all.
He enjoys it, especially now that he is no longer the youngest.
I wouldbe concerned about the behaviour of this boy. Does the CM do anything to let him know it is wrong?

HSMM Sun 07-Jun-09 16:57:56

I am a CM and I have looked after 'sensitive' children and 'boistrous' (sp?) children. Your CM should have a clear behaviour policy, which explains how she allows the children to express themselves, while ensuring that they are all feeling protected and secure. It should also explain how she manages less desirable behaviour. sad at the photos

princessduck Mon 08-Jun-09 12:19:31

I am a nanny for 3 yrs old triplets and I know that some kids are messing around with other kid'd feelings, I see it at the playground... The CM may say is normal for young children, as they can't really control themselves at this age, but it can be improved, he is 26 months. I don't agree that she tells the little girl is very sensitive.So what? The CM should respect her feelings! She should talk to the boy and the boy's parents to sort out the situation. It is your child and if you feel she is not ok there, even if it is only for 1 day a week, then don't continue anymore. I wouldn't like my child to be treated like that and to bring her come sad and scared. Typical toddler boys/girls are ok till one point!

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