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Old 03-22-2012, 06:10 PM
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Default Refusing Nap

All of our children nap really well, EXCEPT one 3 (almost 4) yr old... who has been refusing to nap lately. And making it extremely difficult for anyone else to nap either. I have to stay right by her side the whole time she's awake because if I leave her side for a second, even just to go to the restroom, she's up and trying to wake the other children up. If that doesn't work beause I'm there with her and can stop her in time, she'll begin a tantrum, screaming, crying, kicking the wall, jumping all around on her cot.... you name it, she does it. I know letting her do quiet actvities while the others sleep wouldn't work because when she gets too loud and I have to remind her to be quiet, she gets louder, on purpose. And pretty soon ends up having a screaming, crying tantrum. I'm almost positive she does this for the attention, but no matter what I do, she wins and gets attention, whether it's positive or negative. She refuses to lay quiet while I pat her back, so I walk into next room (where I can hear everything, but she can't see me) so she's not getting attention. Then she gets up and tries waking the other children up. Send her back to cot (meaning she gets attention, also, even if it's just leading her to her cot, without talking), and she begins loud tantrum. Even if she stays on her cot, she talks out loud (too loudly) to herself, kicks the wall, etc. If I take her stuffed toy away (because she's playing with it instead of going to sleep, and making too much noise) then she begins the screaming crying fit... and the jumping around, trying to get up and run off, purposely trying to wake the others up. There's no other room I can put her in where she wouldn't still wake the others up.

I am not the owner and cannot term. Plus we couldn't afford to anyway (really low on enrollment), and it'd sound really silly to tell her parents that we're terming just because she doesn't sleep. We CANNOT afford to lose this family (plus the mom is really good, follows all the policies, arrives on time, drops off on time or calls ahead of time if she'll be late, pays on time, only brings her when she really needs care, etc). She also works with us on child's behavior as much as possible, but it hasn't helped. Child doesn't seem to care, no matter what we try, us or her mom, it doesn't phase her. Half the time she just laughs or smiles the whole time while being disciplined (here or at home, either one). So, besides terming her, does anyone have any suggestions we haven't tried yet? Already talked to mom, and no matter what she does, dcg continues to fight nap with us. Nothing new is going on at home that could be upsetting her, either. By the way, she's extremely tried, grumpy, and has awful behavior in the afternoons, after not getting a nap. I really wish we could just let her up after the others go to sleep, but she's too loud for that, and purposely tries to wake the others up so she can play with them, and then is awful that afternoon when everyone gets up from nap.

Last edited by Michael; 03-24-2012 at 01:42 PM.
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Preschool/daycare teacher View Post
All of our children nap really well, EXCEPT one 3 (almost 4) yr old... who has been refusing to nap lately. And making it extremely difficult for anyone else to nap either. I have to stay right by her side the whole time she's awake because if I leave her side for a second, even just to go to the restroom, she's up and trying to wake the other children up. If that doesn't work beause I'm there with her and can stop her in time, she'll begin a tantrum, screaming, crying, kicking the wall, jumping all around on her cot.... you name it, she does it. I know letting her do quiet actvities while the others sleep wouldn't work because when she gets too loud and I have to remind her to be quiet, she gets louder, on purpose. And pretty soon ends up having a screaming, crying tantrum. I'm almost positive she does this for the attention, but no matter what I do, she wins and gets attention, whether it's positive or negative. She refuses to lay quiet while I pat her back, so I walk into next room (where I can hear everything, but she can't see me) so she's not getting attention. Then she gets up and tries waking the other children up. Send her back to cot (meaning she gets attention, also, even if it's just leading her to her cot, without talking), and she begins loud tantrum. Even if she stays on her cot, she talks out loud (too loudly) to herself, kicks the wall, etc. If I take her stuffed toy away (because she's playing with it instead of going to sleep, and making too much noise) then she begins the screaming crying fit... and the jumping around, trying to get up and run off, purposely trying to wake the others up. There's no other room I can put her in where she wouldn't still wake the others up.
I am not the owner and cannot term. Plus we couldn't afford to anyway (really low on enrollment), and it'd sound really silly to tell her parents that we're terming just because she doesn't sleep. We CANNOT afford to lose this family (plus the mom is really good, follows all the policies, arrives on time, drops off on time or calls ahead of time if she'll be late, pays on time, only brings her when she really needs care, etc). She also works with us on child's behavior as much as possible, but it hasn't helped. Child doesn't seem to care, no matter what we try, us or her mom, it doesn't phase her. Half the time she just laughs or smiles the whole time while being disciplined (here or at home, either one). So, besides terming her, does anyone have any suggestions we haven't tried yet? Already talked to mom, and no matter what she does, dcg continues to fight nap with us. Nothing new is going on at home that could be upsetting her, either. By the way, she's extremely tried, grumpy, and has awful behavior in the afternoons, after not getting a nap. I really wish we could just let her up after the others go to sleep, but she's too loud for that, and purposely tries to wake the others up so she can play with them, and then is awful that afternoon when everyone gets up from nap.
I once had a daycare girl that did the same thing. I had to try her in different rooms of my house, away from everyone else. I tried my 10yr. old's room, she got into jewelery, broke items, etc. it was a mess!! I put her in my room, she ended up messing with things in my room, went under the bed, turned on our electric blanket on mumerous occasions, we didn't even realize both times at first, they were even on!!! Amongst all this stuff, she would poop in her pullup during naptime almost everyday!!! I finally termed this girl, it was so ridiculous!!!
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:46 PM
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you are in a center, right?

Your center doesn't have any accomidations for children who no longer nap?

I would think there may be a few in a center.

In WI, children who don't fall asleep after 1/2 hour (presumably those 4 year olds), are to be offered quiet activities. I would suggest a quiet room with lights low for non-nappers. If she is the only one, have her lay down "until the big hand is on the x and the little hand is one the x", and then take her in the other room and give her some quiet activities, her "work". If she talks to you...say "it's quiet time, I have my work to do, and you have yours,. It's not talking time". Build a sense of camraderie vs. antagonsim.

sleeping is like "you can lead a horse to water..." You can make them stay in bed/on their mat, but you cant MAKE them sleep.

As for the post-nap grumpiness because she didn't get a nap, I am fairly certain that all the fighting about napping in the first place probably adds to it. If you can get something worked out, you may find that she is a lot more pleasant in the pm.
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by bbo View Post
you are in a center, right?

Your center doesn't have any accomidations for children who no longer nap?

I would think there may be a few in a center.

In WI, children who don't fall asleep after 1/2 hour (presumably those 4 year olds), are to be offered quiet activities. I would suggest a quiet room with lights low for non-nappers. If she is the only one, have her lay down "until the big hand is on the x and the little hand is one the x", and then take her in the other room and give her some quiet activities, her "work". If she talks to you...say "it's quiet time, I have my work to do, and you have yours,. It's not talking time". Build a sense of camraderie vs. antagonsim.

sleeping is like "you can lead a horse to water..." You can make them stay in bed/on their mat, but you cant MAKE them sleep.

As for the post-nap grumpiness because she didn't get a nap, I am fairly certain that all the fighting about napping in the first place probably adds to it. If you can get something worked out, you may find that she is a lot more pleasant in the pm.
Thanks for the reply. I'm actually at a home daycare (but in a seperate building from the owner's actual house). I agree that it would be good to let her up by a certain time, but I can't. She WILL NOT be quiet enough for that. And the minute she is reminded that, "we need to be quiet", she gets LOUDER, and even if she doesn't throw a fit, she purposely makes a lot of noise becasue she's bored playing alone and wants the others to wake up so she can play with them. She is VERY smart. Plus it'd be like rewarding her, and the others would find out and then it'd be the end of nap time for everyone. There's no way 3-5 year olds are going to allow themselves to go to sleep if they think someone else gets to get up and play. (we've experienced this in the summers with School agers. At one time we let them get up after the younger ones went to sleep, but even if they were quiet and didn't wake anyone up, which was RARE, the younger ones soon learned that the SA got to get up, so most of them would make themselves stay awake, and even if we didn't let them up, they just wouldn't go to sleep, and of course they'd get bored and want to get up, ask every 2 seconds when they could get up...make a lot of noise themselves then. And then it would be a fun afternoon for everyone ~sarcasm~ because everyone was tired from no nap). So letting her up would just create even more problems. Besides everything else I mentioned, I wouldn't be able to get anything done. Nap is when we have to do most of the cleaning, lunch clean up, sweeping, activity planning, etc. Plus it's my only chance to potty during the day lol. And if I leave her alone for a second, she immediately goes around to the other children trying to wake them up, banging toys to make enough noise to wake them, pounds on the bathroom door yelling that she has to potty, etc etc. There's only one of us at nap time after the majority goes to sleep.
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Old 03-24-2012, 06:08 AM
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sorry-I am NOT trying to be snarky, but it sounds like the arrangement there is not very practical. I realize this is not under your control;it sounds like your owner has it set up this way.

The reason I say this is because it sounds like the school-agers are also "forced" (for lack of a better word, but that sounds harsh) to nap. That tells me that there is a staffing issue, maybe for good financial reason, but an issue never-the-less. I cannot imagine expecting my school-agers to take a nap, although they do go into another room and have quiet time. I'm family dc though, and I can be a little picky about what school-agers I take. If they are real physical kids, they don't really fit in here. My own ds is a lego man, and although he can certainly be wild-and-wooly, he can also entertain himself (and a friend) in his room for a couple hours and be fine with that.

I don't know what your weather is like, but my suggestion would be that any non-nappers (and that included all school agers and a few younger than that-this girl, presumably) be seperated from the nappers. My first choice would be that a staff member be outside with them, and maybe do some quieter teacher-led activities, and then maybe take blankets out and lay under a tree. Watching the leaves blow in the trees, the clouds roll by, etc.

Or, how about a seperate room for the older kids with a movie? If you stay on your mat and are quiet, you get to watch the movie. If you get up or make a lot of noise, you get moved to the hall? Is there a quiet area like a hallway that she could be moved to and still be supervised? Being in the movie room is a privilege for "big kids". So, if you want that privilege, you need to show me that you can behave like a "big kid".

This little girl does sound a little out of control, overall. How does she sleep at home? Does attention motivate her to "do bad?" If so, the old catch-her-being-good is essential. I have also found with my defiant 3 1/2 yo here that she needs LOTS of love. Sitting on the lap, extra hugs, pats on the hair, smiles accross the room. The more she gets, the sweeter she is.

Those are my thoughts. I don't know if any of it can help...
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Old 03-25-2012, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by bbo View Post
sorry-I am NOT trying to be snarky, but it sounds like the arrangement there is not very practical. I realize this is not under your control;it sounds like your owner has it set up this way.

The reason I say this is because it sounds like the school-agers are also "forced" (for lack of a better word, but that sounds harsh) to nap. That tells me that there is a staffing issue, maybe for good financial reason, but an issue never-the-less. I cannot imagine expecting my school-agers to take a nap, although they do go into another room and have quiet time. I'm family dc though, and I can be a little picky about what school-agers I take. If they are real physical kids, they don't really fit in here. My own ds is a lego man, and although he can certainly be wild-and-wooly, he can also entertain himself (and a friend) in his room for a couple hours and be fine with that.

I don't know what your weather is like, but my suggestion would be that any non-nappers (and that included all school agers and a few younger than that-this girl, presumably) be seperated from the nappers. My first choice would be that a staff member be outside with them, and maybe do some quieter teacher-led activities, and then maybe take blankets out and lay under a tree. Watching the leaves blow in the trees, the clouds roll by, etc.

Or, how about a seperate room for the older kids with a movie? If you stay on your mat and are quiet, you get to watch the movie. If you get up or make a lot of noise, you get moved to the hall? Is there a quiet area like a hallway that she could be moved to and still be supervised? Being in the movie room is a privilege for "big kids". So, if you want that privilege, you need to show me that you can behave like a "big kid".

This little girl does sound a little out of control, overall. How does she sleep at home? Does attention motivate her to "do bad?" If so, the old catch-her-being-good is essential. I have also found with my defiant 3 1/2 yo here that she needs LOTS of love. Sitting on the lap, extra hugs, pats on the hair, smiles accross the room. The more she gets, the sweeter she is.

Those are my thoughts. I don't know if any of it can help...
Thanks for the reply. The arrangement may not be the best, but it's the best we've been able to come up with, and it works for everyone else excpet the one little girl (they all go to sleep just fine, except her). The owner can't really help it; it's a home daycare, so she can't just find another building for it There's only two rooms, and they are connected without so much as even a door (that 2nd room is the play room, and lots of light comes into it so we can't put her in there, but I do like your suggestion of trying to seperate her from the others. maybe we can put her cot in the hallway? It's connected to the room everyone else sleeps in, so there's still supervision).
We don't have school agers right now, just 2 1/2 - 5 yr olds (I was talking about at one time when we had school agers and we tried letting them get up at nap time; it just didn't work. When we decided to have them lay down too, they were fine with it and we provided quiet activities on their cots, although they usually were the first to fall asleep, so it wasn't forced on them).
We cannot let this little girl get up during nap (or have quiet activities on her cot), although I really wish we could. It would only create even more problems. 1st, she will NOT be quiet, so she would end up back on her cot, which would mean a loud, screaming, kicking fit. 2nd, if the others found out one child got to get up at nap time they would never go to sleep again (what child would, if they think they can stay up and play if they don't let their little bodies fall asleep?), and 3rd, this little girl needs a nap. Her behavior is AWFUL in the afternoon when she doesn't let herself go to sleep, but is fine when she does.
We don't have enough children left in the afternoons (only 4-6 at most) for myself and the owner both to stay after everyone goes to sleep, so one of us always leaves.
Any other ideas, anyone? Thanks again, bbo. If you think of anymore suggestions, please let me know
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Preschool/daycare teacher View Post
Thanks for the reply. The arrangement may not be the best, but it's the best we've been able to come up with, and it works for everyone else excpet the one little girl (they all go to sleep just fine, except her). The owner can't really help it; it's a home daycare, so she can't just find another building for it There's only two rooms, and they are connected without so much as even a door (that 2nd room is the play room, and lots of light comes into it so we can't put her in there, but I do like your suggestion of trying to seperate her from the others. maybe we can put her cot in the hallway? It's connected to the room everyone else sleeps in, so there's still supervision).
We don't have school agers right now, just 2 1/2 - 5 yr olds (I was talking about at one time when we had school agers and we tried letting them get up at nap time; it just didn't work. When we decided to have them lay down too, they were fine with it and we provided quiet activities on their cots, although they usually were the first to fall asleep, so it wasn't forced on them).
We cannot let this little girl get up during nap (or have quiet activities on her cot), although I really wish we could. It would only create even more problems. 1st, she will NOT be quiet, so she would end up back on her cot, which would mean a loud, screaming, kicking fit. 2nd, if the others found out one child got to get up at nap time they would never go to sleep again (what child would, if they think they can stay up and play if they don't let their little bodies fall asleep?), and 3rd, this little girl needs a nap. Her behavior is AWFUL in the afternoon when she doesn't let herself go to sleep, but is fine when she does.
We don't have enough children left in the afternoons (only 4-6 at most) for myself and the owner both to stay after everyone goes to sleep, so one of us always leaves.
Any other ideas, anyone? Thanks again, bbo. If you think of anymore suggestions, please let me know
Ok...Ive got a better picture now!

How about if you put her in the hallway, and set a timer that she can see. Then, tell her if she lays quietly until the timer goes off, you will give her this...(a book, or a basket with quiet activities). She can "earn" the right to use the toys by being quiet for a half hour (or however long you think it will take her to fall asleep if she just lays still...lol).

My 3 1/2 yo dcg like it when I build her "forts", too. Even one of those bed-tents would work, or any kind of indoor tent type thing. I'd present it as a cool thing, when in reality, it will help her define her space. You could set it up in the hallway to help with the supervision aspect.

I really think you can do this with her in a cooperative way. She's 3 1/2 right? Her verbal skills should be good enough that you can say "missy...I know you have been having some trouble falling asleep at nap time. When you don't get good rest, then you have a hard time in the afternoon because your body is tired. Let's try to figure some ways we can help you get good rest, ok? Here's what we're going to do...."
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Old 03-28-2012, 07:23 PM
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Thank you! I might try that tent thing. Some how, I don't know what the change has been (maybe just the lower number of children since it is Spring Break and some are out for vacation), but so far this week she has done well during nap. Monday she laid quietly until I got the others to sleep (it took 45 min of rubbing her back, but she did finally go to sleep without too much fuss), Tuesday she went to sleep on her own, and today she went to sleep on her own again. Hoping we have entered a new "season" that will continue If not, I might be trying the tent!
I also moved the other children away from her, making it sound like it was something special for everyone to have a new spot to sleep. We have done that in the past and all it did was wind them all up, but this time maybe it's what is making the good change. If it is, I don't think I'll ever let her sleep close to anyone else again! We'll see how tomorrow goes. She'll be coming in later than usual, so her day will be "off". Hopefully it doesn't throw off nap, too (since we are finally maybe making progress)!
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Old 03-29-2012, 08:36 AM
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Yep...always present it in the most positive way! They often believe you!
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