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Daycare say that my toddler is hard work??

(209 Posts)
Mamalunn95 Fri 21-Sep-18 08:44:21

My partner has just dropped our 19 month old daughter off at daycare which she has now attended for 11 months part time (two half days per week currently). One of the workers in the room has said to him: “I hope C is in a better mood today, she was really hard work yesterday.” Apparently she said it in a quite lighthearted way but to me this isn’t something a nursery worker should say to a parent. I find it quite hard leaving her as it is without the added anxiety that the nursery workers think she is difficult and that I am unable to control her behaviour...

When I collected her yesterday they said that she had been pushing other children and trying to take toys which she wants off them. My understanding as CACHE Level 3 Early Years Educator is that this developmentally appropriate. Although I have only seen her behave this way with her cousins when they are really in her space or snatching from her, she will push them or lash out and we respond to this without negative discipline such as time out. For example, if she becomes overwhelmed and lashes out then we will ask if she remembers how to be gentle and then show her how to be gentle again by stroking her face or our face with her hand and she responds well to this. We also are aware of potential triggers for her which make her behave in an unacceptable way. I think this is what nursery workers should be focusing on rather than telling us she is difficult. If she was a child in my class I would complete repeated observations from when she is behaving unacceptably to identify potential triggers as we know that babies do not have the intention to upset others.

Am I being unreasonable to be offended by this? Or think that it was inappropriate for the worker to make a comment like this?

I’m going to ask to see their discipline policy as I think they use timeouts for the two year old room, which is something my partner and I don’t agree with.

What’s your opinion?

OP’s posts: |
Since2016 Fri 21-Sep-18 08:53:37

So while it’s probably not the kindest way to phrase the feedback, an 11 month old shouldn’t be routinely pushing other children and snatching toys. How are you managing that behaviour at home? For context - my 2 year old does this extremely rarely and knows it’s very bad behaviour. I’m not surprised the nursery have flagged it as it’s unpleasant. Dismissing it as ‘normal’ isn’t helpful if they’re raising it.

WRT time outs - it’s a bit far off to be taking them to task with how they approach bad behaviour in a 2 year old. You may find that once you have a 2 year old your perspective may change - particularly if child is already exhibiting other aggressive behaviours.

Since2016 Fri 21-Sep-18 08:54:10

Sorry have just seen your child is 19 months - defintely not acceptable behaviour.

penisbeakers Fri 21-Sep-18 08:58:51

How else would you have them say it? If your child is being difficult and it's impacting others, then it's reasonable to say something. If they are trying to handle multiple children and one of them is being awkward and pushing others around, with the best of intentions it's going to be noticed and things like that will be said. It's not as if they said "she's being a little shit."

Osirus Fri 21-Sep-18 08:59:30

It’s typical toddler behaviour and the nursery should have the experience to deal with it. The way you deal with it sounds fine and all toddlers will react when their buttons are pushed. You just have to deal with it in an age appropriate way, as you seem to do.

The nursery should know how to deal with this extremely common behaviour.

Osirus Fri 21-Sep-18 09:00:56

I don’t agree with timeout for toddlers (or any child really, it does not work in my experience). A toddler reallly does not have the necessary development to be able to “reflect”.

Harrykanesrightsock Fri 21-Sep-18 09:04:09

I think you are being a bit precious. It’s a term of phrase. And she could well of been hard work that day. It will be another child today that needs more attention that any others.

Languageofkindness Fri 21-Sep-18 09:04:32

I think that nurseries are used to dealing with all kinds of behaviour and if they are flagging it to you as a problem then you should take it seriously. At least have a proper conversation with them. In the long run it will help your child more than you dismissing it as normal.

olympicsrock Fri 21-Sep-18 09:05:55

I think you’re being too easily offended. We all know that toddlers can be bloody hard work - so just something that any career / parent might say with a wry smile. I also think that two sessions a week is not much for a young child to get used to a setting and for the setting to really know a child. Time-out is ok in my book too.

Overgrownyard Fri 21-Sep-18 09:08:44

You're letting it bother you because you're her mum. The nursery are well aware what would be developmentally appropriate but it doesn't make it any less hard work. I don't think key worker has done anuthing wrong, esp if deliveries in a light hearted way... I think its just hit a nerve for you, since you don't like leaving her anyways.

MIdgebabe Fri 21-Sep-18 09:11:17

Do you only want the nursery to tell you how great your child Is?

Surely they are mentioning it because it is something that needs to be changed and also they may be interested in knowing if you see similar behaviour at home or if there is anything that might have led to a change in behaviour?

Depending on the childs state of development and personality giving attention by stroking her face when she does something wrong may be encouraging her to act up. Reenforcing a bad behaviour. .I suspect that's where time out can removes attention.

It's never simple, try to work with the nursery not get upset , all children will go through difficult times

Bobbysausages Fri 21-Sep-18 09:18:02

Maybe try and work with the nursery suggesting ways they can manage her behaviour better?

PavlovaFaith Fri 21-Sep-18 09:57:46

The nursery worker put that as kindly as she could while also trying to get across that your toddler's behaviour isn't ideal. Rather than being hurt by it, have a chat with the worker to see what can be done so you are being consistent between home and nursery.

InTheNavy Fri 21-Sep-18 10:17:52

Imagine if it was your daughter being pushed and having her toys snatched from her. Would you expect the pusher/ snatcher to get the carer's attention and have their face stroked?

My darling DC was bitten badly by another child several times at nursery. It made me very very very upset.You're upset that your child was disciplined -- for hurting other children!!!! Think how the children she pushes and their parents must feel. It's not all about your daughter. To you she is everything, naturally. To the nursery, she is no more important than any other child.

I would hope that the carer would intervene first to look after the child who has been pushed or had their toy snatched- in a positive and restorative way.

Then I would expect age appropriate explanation and discipline ( as outlined in behaviour policy) for the instigator.

Mamalunn95 Fri 21-Sep-18 17:32:50

We don’t stroke her face to reinforce her behaviour, it’s to show her how she should use her hands around others. I.e. “C that’s not how you use your hands, you use gentle hands with your friends/cousins/mummy” and she copies us and says “gentle”. It’s positive discipline rather than causing more upset by sitting her away from her carers and friends. Just FYI x

OP’s posts: |
Mamalunn95 Fri 21-Sep-18 17:38:29

I also want to say we have told them on numerous occasions the times that she naps and we know from our own observations and experiences that she is more likely to show unacceptable behaviour when she is tired.

Also she currently attends two mornings a week at the moment but in the past she’s attended two full days so the workers are familiar with her.

I’m not being precious I work with children and I’m a children’s centre worker so I am familiar with the expectations of children and their behaviour. I just think that saying “Your child is difficult” with no follow up is ridiculous. Her dad and I can’t sit with her in nursery and stop her from snatching? She doesn’t snatch at toddler groups, she’s normally the child being snatched from. She doesn’t hit other children at playgroup and she doesn’t push them.

OP’s posts: |
Nothisispatrick Fri 21-Sep-18 17:45:53

I too think you are being a bit precious.

Would you expect the pusher/ snatcher to get the carer's attention and have their face stroked?

While I agree with a gentle and positive approach, in a nursery/school setting it really wouldn’t be fair for the child who was the pusher/biter to get this sort of attention while the victim stands by upset.

NerrSnerr Fri 21-Sep-18 17:48:10

I have a toddler at nursery (and one that's just left to go to school)l I want to know if they're hard work, especially as they can act differently at nursery and home.

NameChange30 Fri 21-Sep-18 17:48:16

Oh come on. “She was hard work yesterday” is not the same as saying “Your child is difficult”. I do think they should have phrased it more tactfully but I think it’s a good thing that they’re being honest about her behaviour.

My son is 18 months old and very strong willed. I don’t do time out but if he hits or pushes other children, I said a very firm no, physically move him slightly away from the child and tell him “we don’t hit/push, be gentle please”. If he does it a second time I take him away from the child/toy and repeat my little speech but I also say he must play nicely or he can’t play. At 18 months he’s still too young to reason with but I’m pretty sure he understands more than we realise and he certainly understands my tone. I don’t shout but it’s a firm tone.

Tbh I think you’re underreacting and the whole “gentle hands” thing, showing them how to touch gently etc, is for younger babies. At 18 months they’re doing it on purpose and need to know the rules. You can be firmer without using time out.

multiplemum3 Fri 21-Sep-18 17:51:11

Why are people so easily offended these days? She was snatching and pushing other kids, of course that's being difficult. Jesus christ, welcome to 2018.

missyB1 Fri 21-Sep-18 18:00:31

OP you are being precious I’m afraid. You’ve already acknowledged it was said in a lighthearted way as a passing comment. And yes maybe there was some truth in it, your dd probably needs lots of interventions if she’s snatching and pushing. It had probably been quite wearing for the staff that day.
As for the time outs in the two year olds room, lots of parents understand and accept time outs, if you don’t then find another Nursery that don’t use them. But remember at some point you are you to have to use consequences one way or another.

bobisbored Fri 21-Sep-18 18:04:47

Why don't you just ask the room leader or manager if they have any concerns about her behaviour? You might be worrying about nothing. The nursery worker was being a bit rude IMO, I've worked in nurseries and I'd never say that to a parent.

cactusplant Fri 21-Sep-18 18:06:45

I agree that you are being precious. Is this your first child?

How you respond to your child's behaviour at home is your business but a nursery will have a set way they deal with behaviour across the board that may include removing your child from an activity or another child if she is repeatedly pushing or snatching. If your child isn't used to those boundaries at home and is only recieving consequences 2 & 1/2 days at nursery, then rightly or wrongly on how it is dealt with, her reactions may be worse at nursery than at home. These rules won't go away, there will be consequences (negative discipline - age appropriate) that will follow her all the way through her school life and I'm afraid getting offended about it isn't actually going to help her manage her behaviour.

Maybe they would find her less of a handful if you supported their hard work at home as well, it goes both ways. That's not to say she has to have time outs but just that stroking her face may not work long term. She may need a toy taking off her or some kind of boundary or she will find the difference between home and other settings difficult.

gamerchick Fri 21-Sep-18 18:12:42

You are at risk of becoming 'that parent's OP. This gentle hands thing isn't working really is it tbh? Mighr be time to be a bit firmer with her. It might be normal developmentally but it's still hard work to deal with. Let it go.

If you don't agree with the childcares way of doing things then find somewhere else.

Vinylsamso Fri 21-Sep-18 18:15:28

How can you say it’s working well when she continues to do it?

Where did all this rubbish advice come from? Too many stupid articles on the internet about children’s psychology that we all get sucked into reading.

Your child hits another child so you stroke her face?
Look back on history of mankind and at all the animals in the World and ask yourself it’s thats a normal reaction to highly un- sociable behaviour. It isn’t. Parents that follow this tripe always have problem children.
You don’t have to be cruel to children to discipline them but theyre not little china dolls with hearts ready to shatter at the first form of discipline. Ditch the face stroking, kind hands, bollox and firmly let her know that it’s very wrong.
You think you’re helping her but you’re doing her a disservice because she’s rubbing people up the wrong way. It’s your job to make her fit in and be likeable to other adults and children. Only then can she live a well rounded life.

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