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nursery staff dislikes ds1 (3.2yo) :o(

(22 Posts)
Honneybunny Sat 17-Feb-07 20:38:57

I hope someone will be able to give me some advice on this one: my ds1 (3.2yo) is a real boy. He's full of energy, a toddler, loves to run/climb/etc but also likes reading, painting. At home he's generally well behaved with the odd temper tantrum, but well... he's just over three, so what do you want. At nursery there's a boy in his group that he loves playing with, but since they like doing the same things, they often end up fighting over the same toys. Nothing out of the ordinary IMO. For some reason though, two of the staff members in his room have taken a dislike to him, and single his out as the bad-guy now. This has lead to him being sent to the office, and experience that really frightened him, and even though it now is over a month ago still gives him nightmares: he wakes up crying in the middle of the night, and is inconsolable. They have now said they are going to keep ds and his friend separated, and ds won't be allowed to do what he loves doing best. This I was told one day before nursery, with ds and some of his friends standing right next to me...
I don't think my son is an angel, but he's no devil either, and definitely not always the one to blame i'm sure. I just really don't know how to handle this one though, as I dont want to do what they did and bring things up with ds listening in...
Any advice, what to do/say? It just makes me so sad that he's not having a nice time!

Hassled Sat 17-Feb-07 20:51:29

Is it remotely possible or practical to just move him? Is there any other nursery you could get him to? You're right that his behaviour sounds absolutely normal for a boy of that age - and it's possible that things will just calm down with a bit of time, but there's a risk it won't - the nursery staff behaviour sounds outrageous, and the sort of thing that OFSTED should know about.

fishie Sat 17-Feb-07 20:56:10

you are paying for this yes? so presumably you have some pwer here. it doesn't sound great. how many hours is he there?

Ladymuck Sat 17-Feb-07 21:02:48

I would make an appt with the nursery manager. You should be able to have a meeting with her out of sight of ds1. Ask for reasons as to why your ds1 is being singled out for special treatment and ask to see copies of their policies on managing behaviour.

Ultimately you need to be prepared to move your ds, but in the meantime you should also challeneg whether this behaviour is in line with what they profess to do. I have to say that it isn't in line with what I would consider to be best practice for handling 3yo boys.

Sheraz Sat 17-Feb-07 21:09:58

It sounds a bit off to me. 3 yr olds need careful handling , ad certainly shouldn't be singled out as being the naughty boy.

Honneybunny Sat 17-Feb-07 21:20:53

thanks for your messages
i am glad i am not alone in thinking that their behaviour is out of line. sad thing is that we are actually generally happy with the nursery, they have never given us any reason not to be, and it really is just two of the members of staff that seem to have a problem with ds1. ds2 (14mo) is there too, both are full time.

they just don't seem to be able to handle ds1 very well atm, and it is making me sad and angry at the same time... one emotion i had was: ffs if you can't handle a toddler's behaviour why become a nursery nurse??? i think part of the reason why this is happening is because they seem to be very understaffed atm.

i think it is a good idea to go and talk to the nursery manager. was also wondering if it would be possible to go and observe ds1 in a normal nursery day (as it could be that he's different there than at home). just thought that might be difficult as the staff knowing we were there would make them behave differently towards him i'm sure...

admittedly, the time he was sent to the office he was probably out of control, as he had apparently kicked first another child and then one of the staff. no one tells you what happened before he kicked the other child though, and as ds1 is really not agressive by nature, and the child he kicked has on many occasions scratched and hit him in the past.... don't get me wrong: i am not syaing that kicking is acceptable behaviour, just that it was just the once that ds did it, and i think sending him to the office is just not a very grown-up way of handling the situation of a toddler with a tantrum.

Sheraz Sat 17-Feb-07 21:27:20

I know I had a prob with a playgroup wher they sent DS2 for an overlong period of time out( on his own for 15+ mins) in a room away from others, because he had bitten someone. It was so out of character for him, and he was so upset by his tretment. I ended up removing him from there. Know it is not the sam for nursery, but as you are footing the bill, and he is there full time, you realy need to address it with managers for your own peace of mind.

Skribble Sat 17-Feb-07 21:36:12

I think you need to get to the bottom of the problem and how things are being dealt with. Have you seen them doing this first hand, or have the staff told you this is how they are dealing with him. Or is this how DS explains it.

Anyway if it is as described then...FGS you don't send 3 yr olds to the office for being naughty. There would be no children left in the classroom then.

If the staff can't cope with him and have to send him out then they are not doing there job.

I have worked in social work nurseries with children with shocking behavioural problems, you deal with them in class or take them aside to a queit room to calm them down, but you def don't send them off to another member of staff to deal with.

nurseryvoice Sun 18-Feb-07 13:37:03

we have a child who has behavourial problems and we find him hard to deal with. thats honesty.
his behaviour is worse when he plays with 2 other boys they all wind each other up and end up fighting, we try distraction. to no avail
the parents of all children complain to us we try to explain that they play and it gets out of hand(like a lot of boys) but at the end of the day parents believe their own child is perfect and cant always believe that this is what children do, this is what theyre good at!!
we have discussed strategies with all parents and in particular the one with the behavioral problems.
its always a bit risky when you tell parents their child is misbehaving (they could pull their child out of the setting)
however i agree with your posting about going in to observe your son. but be prepared for him to be a little angel whilst you are there.
we did this for another child at the setting and it worked really well, the child could see that we were working together with mum and we agreed some strategies that worked. thankfully that situation is now brilliant.
im not saying that your son is in the wrong all im saying is that there are 2 sides to every story, hopefully you will get to the bottom of yours.good luck

Honneybunny Fri 23-Feb-07 20:23:22

Hi, i just thought i'd come in for an update.. last thrusday ds1 was brought to the office twice, once for refusing to sleep at naptime. i honoustly think they are overreacting to his behaviour. he hasn't had a nap during the day at home since he was 2.5yo. when we mentioned this to the staff their reaction was that he has to have a nap there, as during the time the younger children sleep, the pre-schoolers are having some activity. problem is that ds1 is just 3 months younger than some of the pre-schoolers, and his best friends are in that group. i don't find it strange at all that he feels like he's treated like a baby, when he has to nap, while his friends get to do some pre-school activity. as the nursery is seriously understaffed atm, we find lots of the time the whole age-group spends their mornings in pre-school anyway...
Anyway, i guess writing this i am running the risk of being 'exposed' as the honneybunny of mumsnet at ds's nursery, but i don't care... i am just so upset at what is happening: today ds was at home, after the disasterous "twice in the office" yesterday. he was seriously upset yesterday evening, and didn't want to sleep. today my brother was here, so we offered that ds1 stayed at home with him, and he did. Anyway, he is obviously very upset with what's been happening, that now he started poo-ing and wee-ing in his pants again. He has been trained for several months now, so i am blaming it entirely on the emotional stress that he's under from what's going on.
We are going to have a chat with some of the other parents before we step into the manager's office, but i am now so upset, that i am seriously considering moving him to another nursery.
BTW nursery voice: i can see what you mean with the 2 sides to every story, and i am not saying our ds is faultless, just that he is an energetic little boy, but def. no behaviour problems!

Overrun Fri 23-Feb-07 20:32:15

This is one of my concerns about nurseries, that they can get into this stand off position with some children, because they need things to run relatively smoothly, and always have to make decisions about the collective good, sometimes things get blown out of proportion iyswim
Then a child gets labelled with behavorial problems, its the terminology that gets me. Instead of saying a child is naughty sometimes, its "behavorial problems" so much more stigmatising.
I am not anti nursery btw, ds1 went when he was younger and I worked. I just think this is a potential problem area, and can well understand OPs position on this.

Honneybunny Fri 23-Feb-07 20:44:17

thanks overrun! i feel like this is what is happening with ds1: they have now labelled him as a trouble maker. i also think they actually miss what's really going on half the time. e.g. dh was picking up yesterday, and they immediately told him of for ds's behaviour, but failed to notice that ds at the time of pickup was trying to read a book, while another child was jumping on top of him... ffs! it wasn't until dh asked ds waht was happening that they noticed this.
of course it still is posssible that ds is at his worst behaviour when we are not around, but behavioural problems... ?? i think if that were true, we would have noticed at home in his behaviour to us and his baby brother.

Jimjams2 Fri 23-Feb-07 20:49:57

Had a terrible experience at one chain nursery- pulled ds1 out, he went (very cautiously on my part) to another nursery and it was fantastic. DS2 went through there and ds3 is there now. DS3 is just 2 and at nap time today wanted to talk to another little 2 year old (they're chums) so rather than napping they both sat on their cushions talking to each other, and were allowed to. He came home exhausted but had a lovely day. I had a long chat with one of the members of staff at pickup time and she was telling me how strict other nurseries can be really unecessarily- eg at one children were told off for putting dolls down small play slide (why????).

A long ramble, but seriously I'd really look at moviing him. The attitude there sounds dreadful.

Overrun Fri 23-Feb-07 20:51:27

I tend to agree, and usually dc's behaviour is worse at home than at nursery or school. I'm sure you know your own son well enough, its not as if you can't concieve that he would ever be in the wrong.

Overrun Fri 23-Feb-07 20:52:51

One more thing, the nap thing is just looney and a good example of forcing children to fit in. My dts have given up their nap, and god I tried to get them to keep it, but you just have to be led by the child in the end.

IWannaBeLikeYou Sat 24-Feb-07 09:40:37

Just wanted to add a note here. My DS is almost 3 yo and goes to nursery full time. He is generally is as good as a 3yo can be, but some days he just comes home from nursery so frustrated and out of control.

I think staff play a big role in this. Positive encouragement and lots of loving attention improves behavior better than "bad" label and single out. One would expect nursery staff to know this already, but it seems that it is not quite so.

HonnyBunny I would suggest you talk to the staff and manager again and tell them how you want them to handle your DS's behavior.
If that fails, then changing nurseries may be best.

nurseryvoice Sat 24-Feb-07 10:55:06

mmmmm. that is not right you cannot force or make a child take a nap...
none of our 3yr olds take a nap and not that many of the 2 year olds and this is only because mum wants this.
yes i agree there may be some issues that need addressing at this nursery
good luck

bambi06 Sat 24-Feb-07 11:04:03

it could be the other childs behaviur is rubbing off on your sons and he`s getting in trouble for it. bu ti agree it should be worked on in a positiv emanner , givenpraise when he`s good and not just having a go athim when he`s naughty as he`s going to expect the worse only and his self esteem will suffer .do you know the other childs parent and have a word to find out the story fromher as to whether they`ve mentioned anything toher regardin gher child..

usandnosleep Sat 24-Feb-07 11:21:44

I have read the whole thread and I'm horrified, your poor little boy

Let's just say even if his behaviour is atrocious I still think they have handled the situation very badly.
It is obviously really affecting him emotionally and has been terribly shaken by the last couple of weeks.
I have managed pre-schools in private nurseries for many years and I would never have allowed a child to be sent to the office in disgrace this is very bad practice and could be frightening for the child.

Seperating the child from his friends is also not going to help is it? They should be teaching them ways to play nicely together and strategies for handling their own anger and frustration.
I would speak to the manager but also I would be looking for another nursery, if the manager was worth anything she would be aware of how the staff are handling discipline and should have stepped in way before now.
Also it sounds to me that a nap is handy for the staff and not in the best interests of the child.
You can contact your Early Education and Childcare Unit and speak to someone there about the situation without naming the nursery if you like just to get an idea of discipline strategies the staff could be using.
Also ask the manager at the nursery to see their Behaviour Policy I bet there is nothing in ther about being sent to the office, it should also detail how to work with parents to improve unwanted behaviours.

I hope the situation is resolved quickly and {{hugs}} for your son.

mumeeee Sat 24-Feb-07 12:55:40

Hi Honneybunny. I think your sons nursery was out of order foe sending him to the office for not sleeping at naptime. I have been working at a nusery recently where the children do have a sleep after lunch but they do not al have to sleep we gp along with parents requests and what the child needs. Some of the 3 year olds do slep and some of the 2 year olds don't. So I should speak to the manager and tell her that your son does not have a nap at home and you do not want him to have one at nursery. Can he join the older ones when the others are having a sllep that what happens where I have been working.
Not sleeping at naptime is notnaughty behavior for a 3 year old.
If the nursery will not listen to your concerns then I should pull him out.


NAB3 Sat 24-Feb-07 13:01:07

I have only read your OP but I would seriously look at taking your son out. My DD went to a playschool for 5 months and I thought all was fine. I picked her up one day to be told certain things. I felt they had either kept things from me or were looking for extra help too quickly. She has been going to a nursery since June and is doing brilliantly. Admittedly we are paying a hell of a lot more but the staff "got" her immediately and she is happy going. She is a bit out of the ordinary in that she is exceptionally bright but staff are meant to be trained to deal with all childrens characteristics.

Honneybunny Mon 26-Feb-07 20:29:51

hi it's me again
Today dh went into the office to have a chat with the manager afet he'd dropped of ds1 and ds2. She was extremely nice and clued up about it. She will call the leaders in the room for a meeting on Wednesday, but in the meantime has said that she considers and always has considered ds1 a perfectly nice and well-behaved little boy. She did mention that she thinks he is a bit bored in the room as it is, as she thinks he is a very smart cookie. I was v. glad to hear this. We will see what happens and will suggest he could maybe join the pre-schoolers at naptime (since he doesn't want to have the nap and as this will keep him busy and entertained). Keeping my fingers crossed for Wednesday.

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