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CMs- Help! How do I tell mum I can't look after her nightmare child?

(12 Posts)
allegin Sat 10-Oct-09 17:18:58

Been minding a four year old boy for three weeks and it's been awful. Have tried so hard to make it work but he is uncontrollable on the school run, only listens to me about half the time, and is really boisterous around the little ones. Final straw this week was when the toddler I mind started copying some of his behaviour. His mum is lovely- how do I tell her I can't mind her son?

allegin Sat 10-Oct-09 18:01:32

Actually I guess what I'm asking is have you ever had to tell someone you couldn't mind their child, and how did you handle it?

drinkyourmilk Sat 10-Oct-09 18:14:17

If he's four am i right in assuming he attends school? Maybe he just needs more time to settle with you, especially if he's not with you full days? I am also assuming that he's only just started school, and combining that with starting with you, and being four - so wanting to assert himself I think it's a fair bit for him to take on.

Would you be able to reconsider and perhaps mention to mum that his behaviour makes school runs difficult and dangerous and that smaller kids are starting to imitate. Suggest you need a to agree a behavioural system - like reward charts, time out etc - and have this re-enforced at home. (not a childminder btw - so no idea what you can and can't do legally re punishment/reward). Re listening to you - could you make things into a game sometimes - then it becomes exciting to listen to you and follow instructions (and the more he does it the more habitual it will becomewink)

allegin Sat 10-Oct-09 20:03:00

Yes, he's in reception and I agree that it's a time of big changes for such a young child. I have introduced a reward chart but it only works half the time and I have spoken to his mum but her answer is use a naughty corner which I don't really think is the answer as he would be permanently there. It also doesn't solve him running off near v busy road. He is a lovely lad in some ways but there are so many things wrong and we have gone from lovely relaxed fun environment for the little ones to boisterous stressful one.

I appreciate your advice, drinkyourmilk, but am really looking for a diplomatic way to tell his mum I can't mind him.

bigchris Sat 10-Oct-09 20:06:59

I think you have to be honest and tell her you didn't anticipate how tricky the school run would be and you were worried all the kids you mind are being put in danger
presumably you have a notice period already in your contract?

HSMM Sat 10-Oct-09 20:23:39

You can say you are concerned about being able to keep him safe? Tough one.

Danthe4th Sat 10-Oct-09 22:15:32

I would insist he wears a wrist lead(or whatever they are called) and when he has learned to walk nicely by the pram then you will consider taking it off. You have to consider his safety first, and running off is not acceptable. Personally i'm not that keen on using them but for this lad it may be enough to make him think first. After the school pick up can he have the opportunity to play outside for a bit before sitting down for a snack. Perhaps get him sat at the kitchen table doing some colouring or even just chilling watching a bit of tv for 10 mins.
If you really don't want to mind him just be honest and say you can't cater for him as he needs to be able to let off steam and you can't take hi to the park etc with the little ones and you don't think its fair on him being made to sit down or to play quietly.
Don't feel guilty you've tried and he doesn't fit in.

FABIsInTraining Sat 10-Oct-09 22:17:59

3 weeks.

No time at all. Poor thing is probably in turmoil as starting school, being away from mummy and new person looking after him.

If he was behaving better - iyo - would you want to keep him?

FWIW if I heard this about my cm I would take him out immediately.

alibubbles Sun 11-Oct-09 08:20:07

4 year old boys get a burst of testosterone and are super charged at this age.

He just needs firm boundaries and praise when he is behaving well and listening to you.

I had a very difficult 4 year old, he basically didn't know right from wrong and yes from no. I worked hard with him and the mother, he very quickly turned from a hoolie to a lovely, well behaved and funny happy little boy,

It is hard work, but very rewarding.

llllll Sun 11-Oct-09 10:43:12

Hi I had the same problem. The little boy I looked after was a nightmare and I was close to giving notice several times but as it was the only work I had I couldn't. I found the wrist leads were good, I never used them but I carried them in my bag all the time. Stickers have worked as well. It took longer than 3 weeks though!

allthatglisters Sun 11-Oct-09 13:45:43

Hi there,

I had a similar situation, and was saying to another CM that I was going to give notice, and she offered to have the mindee - so I was able to tell the mum this. It's nice to say something complimentary about their child - e.g. "they're really lovely, and we do like them, but ....."

If you are set on giving notice then remember you don't have to put a reason. If you are pressed just use the old excuse of a change in circumstances. No need to paint the lad as a hooligan to his parents. Which he isn't sounds just a normal 4yo boy to me.

It would be a shame to though he sounds like he just needs time to settle in and consistency and boundaries. I really don't think 3 weeks is long enough to form an opinion of if the relationship is going to work.

Good advice from Danthe4th.

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