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  #1  
Old 12-04-2010, 03:01 PM
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Default Refusal To Listen...WWYD?

We have a 3 yr old in our care who just refuses to listen to anything, no matter what it is lately. No matter if we're telling her what to do or what not to do. She'll be running around indoors along with some others. I remind them all, "walking feet". She continues running. I repeat, "walking feet", she ignores me. I physically stop her and tell her more firmly, "we can't run inside". She grins at me and continues to run... she often has "accidents" in her pants, so we remind everyone to go potty at certain times. She ignores us. So we'll directly tell her more firmly, "go potty". "No! I don't need to!" Two minutes later, she's wet her pants. At nap time, "Time to put our books down. It's nap time." 3 yr old, who may not even have a book at that moment, but the others do (and they lay them down as told), she gets up and grabs a book then. We'll tell her again that it's time to put it up, and she ignores us. Or just smiles, like she thinks we'll just laugh about it. But obviously I'm not laughing, nor have I ever when she doesn't listen. If she gets put in time-out for some reason, she'll jump up and grab a toy to play with as soon as our back is turned. We get after her and take it from her. She just grins again, in that defiant "I don't care what you say" look. Lately her listening has gotten so bad that I don't know what else to do but put her in a time out when she refuses to listen. But as soon as I talk to her about why she was placed there (because she wasn't listening), she gets up and just a minute later she's doing something that I ask her not to, or remind her of the rule. And she'll ignore me. We do the count down thing and everything (letting the children know that in 5 minutes it's time to wash hands or whatever. Then we tell them it's time for x). But 3 yr old doesn't pay any attention whatsoever. I don't know what else to do! I'm getting so frustrated with her refusal to listen, and I know nothing at home has changed, so there's nothing like that that could be causing her to ignore us more than usual. But seriously, she refuses to listen even when it's something she should like doing. Like "lets put our shoes on so we can go outside". Of course she doesn't. So everyone is ready to go out and she's still going around playing without shoes on. "why don't you have shoes on? We're all ready to go out." She grins, shrugs, and says, "I couldn't find them". I know she didn't even look because they're sometimes right in obvious sight. There is no way she couldn't have not been able to find them, if she'd just looked. Of course they aren't where they were supposed to be because she won't listen and put them back where they belong when she takes them off. I don't have time with all the other children and everything else to do to follow along behind this girl and make sure she does what she's supposed to, of course. And I know it's developmentally appropriate to expect certain things out of her, like putting her shoes on, because she used to. She knows how to do the stuff we ask of her. She just chooses not to. ideas anyone before I pull my hair out? Talking to parents doesn't change anything. Already tried.
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Old 12-04-2010, 08:58 PM
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one piece of advice would be to make sure you praise her when she DOES do what she's told. she has to do the right thing SOMETIME, right? no matter WHAT it is - tell her, "thank you for doing what i asked. i like that," or even tell the whole "class" - look at suzy. she is using her walking feet, etc.

with the shoe incident.....what i would've done is gotten her shoes...gotten her...take her outside and made her sit WITH her shoes (not on her feet) right beside me. i'd tell her she's not playing until her shoes are on. if playtime is over and her shoes aren't on still (which is not likely) then i'd do the same thing inside...make her sit with her shoes until they're on. is it too cold to be without shoes? oh well. if her feet are cold, she'll put them on.

i know you might not have time to stay with her all the time, but sticking around during certain times like nap time or when she's in time out (times she's likely to run off) could solve the problem a lot quicker. don't be afraid to use your mean voice!

if she's running and you tell her to walk, MAKE her sit beside you - if you're doing something, sit her at your feet. if you're walking around, hold her hand and take her with you. MAKE her sit on the potty. i wouldn't typically recommend that, but for a child that's being defiant and has a pattern of "accidents" right after potty time, i sure would. she won't sit? "help her" sit. don't give up EVER. it sounds like people (not saying you) have thrown their hands up and let her get away with a lot. let her know that you won't and she'll stop.
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Old 12-05-2010, 07:55 AM
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I agree with QualiTcare except for forcing her to sit on the toilet. Be firm with her and watch her like a hawk for a week and hopefully she'll turn her attitude around.

If you force her to sit on the toilet you may well end up with a larger defiance from her. She'll made you sit there holding her on the toilet until you finally give up. Then she'll purposely pee in her pants. By trying to force something she has 100% control over you could well make her attitude worse. Pick up on what she does right will go along way. She may be doing bad things because it gets more of your attention.

Things may appear to be the same at home but this is holiday season and parents get stressed out and she may be reacting to something subtle at home or something subtle at daycare. I find that when my kids start acting up a lot it's because I haven't done something specifically with them in a few days. I also notice when their behavior starts to slide I don't want to do anything with them which can lead to worse behaviors. It's a vicious cycle and you need to be the one to break it. Try to be as happy with her as possible and give her lots of praise and hugs throughout the day and catch her being good. Spending a few days lavishing her with attention will help her and won't hurt the other kids. After a timeout and she's allowed back to play don't hold the time out against her. Turn your own thoughts on the matter around and be as fun and happy as you can be even it you are faking.

Oh and block her from repeating the behavior. If she was in time out for running, insist that she sit down and color or do a puzzle or have her do a hand stand or roll. Give her something appropriate to do immediately after the time out.
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Old 12-05-2010, 05:41 PM
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How many children do you usually have? One thing you can do (shoe incident, for example) is make everyone wait a few minutes before going outside. Tell the children they have to wait for so-and-so to get their shoes on before outside time or a walk. It could take some peer pressure by them saying "Come on, get your shoes on, we want to go out!" Our daycare kids react MUCH BETTER if another child is telling them to do something, lol, so try to get the other children involved in the actions if possible. Also try to give more one on one time throughout the day and be at the child's level. This usually helps before instructions are given out for everyone to listen better.
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Old 12-06-2010, 05:39 PM
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How many children do you usually have? One thing you can do (shoe incident, for example) is make everyone wait a few minutes before going outside. Tell the children they have to wait for so-and-so to get their shoes on before outside time or a walk. It could take some peer pressure by them saying "Come on, get your shoes on, we want to go out!" Our daycare kids react MUCH BETTER if another child is telling them to do something, lol, so try to get the other children involved in the actions if possible. Also try to give more one on one time throughout the day and be at the child's level. This usually helps before instructions are given out for everyone to listen better.
Thank you for the suggestions everyone! I will try to stay right on top of her as much as possible and see if that helps. I was afraid it'd just make it worse, because it seems the more insistant I get that she do whatever she was told, the worse she gets at that particular moment, but also even later in the day. We have 10-12 children usually, and if I have the others wait on someone (since there's always some waiting time, seeing as how you can't get 10-12 children to the potty, diaper changes, shoes and jackets on, and anything else we have to do before outdoor play all at the exact same time. We have babies to age 5 right now, so by the time I get one of the younger one's shoes on, the other one has taken their jacket off...and if I had the others wait for her, by the time she got her shoes on, half the group would already be off doing something else...It's a circus act around here sometimes!
I did want to add, making sure I praise her when she is doing what she's supposed to is a very good thought. Thing is, I already do that, and a lot of times that's when she decides to do the opposite! An example: One afternoon, everyone was sitting up on their cots, looking at their books, except the 3 yr old. She was already laying down on her cot, covered up, without books or anything! I was so proud of her and I mentioned it. something like, "Look at x! She already put her books away and is laying so quietly! It's time for us to put our books up, too." Well, 3 year old jumped up off of her cot and grabbed a book really quick. Then gave me that "looK" and tried to run back to her cot with it. So when I stayed on top of her and made sure she put it up before returning to her cot, she got more stubborn and then wouldn't lay down, wouldn't be quiet, kept trying to grab another toy to play with...it just got worse from there. Of course I still praise them all when I see them doing the right thing, but it's discouraging when you try to praise them and they end up doing the opposite then and you have to get after them right after just praising them! Today she finally cleaned up some toys she was asked to pick up (it took awhile trying to get her to!) and I said something like, "you did a great job picking up those toys X! Thank you for listening!" So she dumped them back out as soon as I turned around. aaahhh! When I try to kneel down infront of her before asking her to do something (or not do something), she immediately turns around, with her back to me. tells me, "no I don't want to" and walks away. that is, if I'm lucky enough for her to say anything before she walks away! This 3 yr old has always been one who loves to cuddle and be held. So we hold her and cuddle with her as often as possible (none of that has changed, except lately with her new attitude it doesn't leave much time for it). After time-outs I always give her a hug and all that and talk to her just like normal. So I honestly don't think I'm holding it against her or anything like that even after her timeouts. If I were carrying around an attitude, like I was still mad at her, then I could understand why she's acting like that, but I really don't feel like I'm mad at her or anything. I just get SO tired of how quickly she gets in her "I'm not going to listen no matter what" attitude. As soon as I ask her to do the first thing of the day (at the very beginning of the day!) she gets that attitude.
Thanks for the encouragment and not just blameing it on me. So many people want to blame the children's behavior issues on the provider.
I mentioned it to her parents the second time tonight (since today had been exceptionally bad with the not listening, and they asked specifically if she had been good). When I told them, they acted put out with me and basically I was told that my only option is time out with her. well, yeah, I know that. Why do you think I told you about it? So you can try to work with me here since I can't do anything else! But instead they also pretty much told me they weren't even going to do so much as talk to her about it! She's their "baby" and the youngest and cutest of the family. She gets by with everything at home because she's so cute. They've even practically told us that before!
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Old 12-07-2010, 06:11 AM
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Ack! It's bad when parents don't help out. It's even worse when parents don't discipline. Maybe making a clear distinction with her will help. Saying something like "I understand you might be able to do that at home but you are not allowed to do that here" might help. Another approach you may want to take is ignoring her bad behavior. For example when you praised her for laying down and then she got up. You could have completely ignored whatever she did after you praised her for doing good (provided she wasn't hurting anyone). Focusing your attention instead on getting everyone to put their books away and lay down as well. I say this because she got a sentence of attention from you when she did something right and a lot more when she turned around and did something wrong. You said she really likes to be held. Maybe you should try and give her a hug and then praise her. For example when she picked up the toys. Maybe you could have hugged her, praised her while giving her a hug, and change direction before letting her go. HUG "I'm so happy you picked up those toys! Thank you very much for deciding to listen! Now let's go see what we can do about getting shoes on to go outside. End of hug. Then turn your attention to another child and give the impression that you expect her to follow the next direction. Try to not give her attention if she does something wrong instead.
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Old 12-07-2010, 11:14 AM
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Everyones ideas are very good, I've done most of them and they've worked for me (I also agree that I wouldn't force her to go potty). Right now I also have a 2yo DC boy that is like this (thank goodness he's only a drop-in) no matter how much you watch him (shadowing). I'm thinking it's because he's not here regularly so he's not in groove with us. I bought one of those child leads (the ones that velcro around their wrists) and hooked it to my hip and strapped the other end to the back of his pants . I did it because I was at my wits end with him but it ended up being very productive.

The problem I was having was that even if I shadowed him he would run off and I would have to chase him. The lead prevented him from doing that and he was not happy. Explaining to his mother why he was tethered to my hip was a little strange but hey, when you work with kids you have to get creative.
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Old 12-07-2010, 02:50 PM
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"MAKE her sit on the potty. i wouldn't typically recommend that, but for a child that's being defiant and has a pattern of "accidents" right after potty time, i sure would. she won't sit? "help her" sit."

i still stand by my statement. as i said, i wouldn't typically recommend making a child who is having accidents sit on the potty, but this is a 3 year old and it is CLEARLY no accident. there's a difference in making a child sit on the potty who is learning and having accidents (which i wouldn't do) and making a child who is yelling "NO! i don't have to!" and then peeing on herself consistently. if she won't sit on the potty, and you don't make her sit on the potty, and she is not wearing a diaper - you KNOW she's going to pee all over the place. you can't pee in the potty if you won't ever sit on it. "you don't have to potty, but you have to try" is what i would say.

otherwise, if she's not getting on the potty on her own, and nobody is willing to sit her on it - she might as well be in diapers.
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Old 12-07-2010, 04:03 PM
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MAKE her sit on the potty. i wouldn't typically recommend that, but for a child that's being defiant and has a pattern of "accidents" right after potty time, i sure would. she won't sit? "help her" sit. don't give up EVER. it sounds like people (not saying you) have thrown their hands up and let her get away with a lot. let her know that you won't and she'll stop.
The bit in bold is more as to what I was getting at. A potty trained 3 year old can hold out for a very long time even if they have to go. If she is forced (physically undressed and sat on toilet) she may start to hit and fight to get off. If you never give up then you will need to hold her there and if she really wants to win the battle she will hold it for an hour or more. If she loses the battle she won't think oh I'll just go without the fight next time. More likely she'll pee on the person forcing her when they undress her or wet herself on the way. Telling her to just try and asking that she sit down for a minute to try and get her to pee is fine. But forcing her there and not ever giving up will lead to a much bigger problem.
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Old 12-07-2010, 05:39 PM
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The bit in bold is more as to what I was getting at. A potty trained 3 year old can hold out for a very long time even if they have to go. If she is forced (physically undressed and sat on toilet) she may start to hit and fight to get off. If you never give up then you will need to hold her there and if she really wants to win the battle she will hold it for an hour or more. If she loses the battle she won't think oh I'll just go without the fight next time. More likely she'll pee on the person forcing her when they undress her or wet herself on the way. Telling her to just try and asking that she sit down for a minute to try and get her to pee is fine. But forcing her there and not ever giving up will lead to a much bigger problem.
"don't give up EVER. it sounds like people (not saying you) have thrown their hands up and let her get away with a lot. let her know that you won't and she'll stop."

this was a new thought...i guess i should've used the space bar. i didn't mean, make her sit on the potty and never give up til she goes!
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Old 12-07-2010, 06:16 PM
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Eek...parents that refuse to even talk to their child about her bad behavior?? I wouldn't stand for that. I would inform the parents that I need them to talk to her about her behavior and that it is not okay to not listen to me. If they refuse to talk with her, I would tell them that it's not working out and I would term. Not sure if that's an option for you, but if her parents can't even take the situation seriously, this child isn't going to either.

I agree there have been some good suggestions already made. Sticking close to her and not letting her get away with anything. And I would be speaking very firmly with her and very clearly stating what it is I need her to do. Hopefully after a few days of sticking really close to her and not letting her get away with anything will help some. But, her parents, urgh...what is wrong with them??
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Old 12-07-2010, 07:50 PM
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Hmm, I'm starting to see that part of the problem is me. No one specifically said it, I just see what I'm not doing, or can't do all the time. There's times when she gets by with not listening because so much other stuff is going on, or one child is hitting another one, or a toddler is biting someone, or someone potty training just had an accident and left a puddle... you know all those things that come up at the worst times lol So by the time that madness is over, she's already gotten by with not listening. Most of the time we do make her go to the potty and at least try. But she's so stubborn, she'll sit there for a minute (while chaos is going on in the other room of course) and then say she can't, and refuse to sit any longer. Then two minutes later, she has an "accident". But there are sometimes when I tell her to go, she says she doesn't need to, gets mad...and then something comes up and I have to run and take care of that. So when I go back to have her at least try, she says she already went (in her pants of course!). She's even wet her pants before just barely enough that they're too wet to leave them on her, but not enough to actually be an accident all because she wanted to change clothes and I wouldn't let her. I wish I could just let her sit in her wet pants for a little while for doing that kind of thing, but I'd never do that. I could get into too much trouble for one thing. I am careful to not give her any more attention than necessary when she does "have an accident". She changes her own clothes and puts them in the plastic bag herself.
I have heard before that you should just tell a child once and then turn your back and walk away, like some of you all were saying, and I would like to just ignore it when she doesn't listen, but it seems to me that she's getting her way then. The toys eventually just get picked up by me or someone else, she still gets to run (which then makes the others continue it too, because that's what kids do. All it takes is one to break the rules), and she still gets to look at the book or play with the toy she's not supposed to have (while all the other kids yell "no fair" at that, and then do it themself and use the excuse, "but you let x do it!"). Do you think it would eventually work, or what should I do in those cases? She's not the only one we have trouble with on not listening, but she's just gotten worse and SO much more defiant over things.
Thanks for the continued advice!
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Old 12-08-2010, 04:31 AM
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We have a 3 yr old in our care who just refuses to listen to anything, no matter what it is lately. No matter if we're telling her what to do or what not to do. She'll be running around indoors along with some others. I remind them all, "walking feet". She continues running. I repeat, "walking feet", she ignores me. I physically stop her and tell her more firmly, "we can't run inside". She grins at me and continues to run...
After I tell her the first time to walk inside, if she refuses to listen I'd grab her hand gently and walk with her, not saying anything else, but giving 'the look".


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she often has "accidents" in her pants, so we remind everyone to go potty at certain times. She ignores us. So we'll directly tell her more firmly, "go potty". "No! I don't need to!" Two minutes later, she's wet her pants.
Does she potty at home without any problems? I'd ask her parents what they're doing here. Does she just not want to stop playing with her toys? First, I'd make sure that she has a way to 'save' her toys if that seems to be a problem.

Then, after telling her once that she needs to go into the potty, if she doesn't listen, I'd gently grab her hand and lead her in there. Not saying anything or just saying, "you have to try to go potty, it's not a choice." firmly. But ignoring anything else she says to you.


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At nap time, "Time to put our books down. It's nap time." 3 yr old, who may not even have a book at that moment, but the others do (and they lay them down as told), she gets up and grabs a book then. We'll tell her again that it's time to put it up, and she ignores us. Or just smiles, like she thinks we'll just laugh about it. But obviously I'm not laughing, nor have I ever when she doesn't listen.
Before you even say to the group, "Time to put your books down" make sure someone is standing near her cot and don't even allow her to get up. I'd maybe say, "Nope. Lay down." nicely, firmly, but I wouldn't engage in any other conversation with her about it. and wouldn't let her see how annoyed I was at her laughing (Errr...this really gets me annoyed when they laugh just to get a reaction).

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If she gets put in time-out for some reason, she'll jump up and grab a toy to play with as soon as our back is turned. We get after her and take it from her. She just grins again, in that defiant "I don't care what you say" look. Lately her listening has gotten so bad that I don't know what else to do but put her in a time out when she refuses to listen. But as soon as I talk to her about why she was placed there (because she wasn't listening), she gets up and just a minute later she's doing something that I ask her not to, or remind her of the rule. And she'll ignore me.
Again, I know it's extremely difficult to just be by her all the time, but when she's in time out someone needs to be standing near her. Not necessarily looking directly at her because you don't want to pay her toomuch attention. But, looking at her through the corner of your eye and busying yourself with something else, but as soon as she tries to get up, nab her hand gently, saying, "sit down. now your time is starting over." and let her see that you are resetting the timer.

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We do the count down thing and everything (letting the children know that in 5 minutes it's time to wash hands or whatever. Then we tell them it's time for x). But 3 yr old doesn't pay any attention whatsoever. I don't know what else to do! I'm getting so frustrated with her refusal to listen, and I know nothing at home has changed, so there's nothing like that that could be causing her to ignore us more than usual. But seriously, she refuses to listen even when it's something she should like doing. Like "lets put our shoes on so we can go outside". Of course she doesn't. So everyone is ready to go out and she's still going around playing without shoes on. "why don't you have shoes on? We're all ready to go out." She grins, shrugs, and says, "I couldn't find them". I know she didn't even look because they're sometimes right in obvious sight. There is no way she couldn't have not been able to find them, if she'd just looked. Of course they aren't where they were supposed to be because she won't listen and put them back where they belong when she takes them off. I don't have time with all the other children and everything else to do to follow along behind this girl and make sure she does what she's supposed to, of course. And I know it's developmentally appropriate to expect certain things out of her, like putting her shoes on, because she used to. She knows how to do the stuff we ask of her. She just chooses not to. ideas anyone before I pull my hair out? Talking to parents doesn't change anything. Already tried.
With the shoes, as soon as I said, 'time to get on shoes," I'd go to her, walk her to her shoes (which you need to make sure that she puts in the right place), hold her hand, tell her to pick them up and sit down. Sit with her until she gets them on, not engaging with her, looking around the room, but maybe givingher the eye occassionally. If she's not ready by the time everyone goes out, I would do as PP suggested and make her pick them up and sit right outside the door while everyone plays until she gets them on.
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I would probably sit her down on that first day that you're going to start being 'tough' on her and tell her very calmly that you've had enough, she hasn't been listening when she comes to day care and that it's not ok. I'd tell her that you will no longer tell her more than once when she needs to do something. I'd tell her that you know she is a smart girl and that you love having her a daycare, but her not listening has to stop. It is not a choice to not listen to her teachers. Then, I'd end the conversation on a good note, like...'what do you want to play today?'with a smile on your face. Maybe even ask for a hug before she goes to play. I would also play with her a lot that day, be really smiley when she's doing good,shoot her little smiles from across the roomwhen she's playing well, and give lots of hugs for good things etc.

This is going to be a team effort. While the one person is making sure she is doing what she should be doing, the other teachers have to attend to the rest of the room. If you're able to really stick with this, it shouldn't take more than a week or so to see some improvement in behavior.

I had a little girl like this at the beginning of this year and I was tough on her, never told her more than once to do something, would lead her around silently when she needed to do something and now she is one of my FAVORITE kiddos. She does soo well now. And now many times all she needs is the look to do what she's supposed to. I also give her lots of attention at other, good times. Good luck, I hope this helps...
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Old 12-08-2010, 06:51 PM
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Kendallina, those are really good suggestions. I will be trying those out! The only thing I'm not sure about is how to stick right with her until she does as she's told. There's only two of us, and we have a pretty rowdy group, so really there's several that needs shadowing some days Anyone, my point is, with just two of us and so much other stuff to take care of with the others how would we shadow the 3 yr old? For example, when we get ready to go outside, one of us takes care of the potty time children, while the other one gets everyone ready to go outside, helping them get their jackets and shoes, watching the others who are ready and now going through destroying the place, etc. So if the person in charge of getting everyone ready to go outside were to sit beside 3 yr old until her shoes were on, the younger ones (who still need help with dressing themselves) would never get their shoes and jacket on and every toy and bucket in the place would be dumped out and scattered everywhere. There's really no specific time that she never listens. It's just whenever she decides not to. Some days she does fine going potty on her own without even being reminded, somedays she does really well going to wash her hands when it's time, etc. But sometimes she gets into her mood and refuses to do anything she's supposed to, or stop anything she's not supposed to be doing.
The potty thing didn't go so well at all today. She gets by with that too much because there's so much stuff that comes up and I forget to make her go in and sit on the potty to "try". I just tell her firmly, but she gets mad and argues, then something comes up so I run to take care of it, and then next thing I know she's wet. Today she even wet her pants because another child was changing clothes because they'd had an accident. But this was a 2 yr old, not a 3 1/2 yr old who is fully potty trained (when she wants to be). But nap time went well. She went to sleep with only one reminder to be quiet, and some other areas of listening worked well today also.
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Old 12-08-2010, 07:28 PM
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Kendallina, those are really good suggestions. I will be trying those out! The only thing I'm not sure about is how to stick right with her until she does as she's told. There's only two of us, and we have a pretty rowdy group, so really there's several that needs shadowing some days Anyone, my point is, with just two of us and so much other stuff to take care of with the others how would we shadow the 3 yr old? For example, when we get ready to go outside, one of us takes care of the potty time children, while the other one gets everyone ready to go outside, helping them get their jackets and shoes, watching the others who are ready and now going through destroying the place, etc. So if the person in charge of getting everyone ready to go outside were to sit beside 3 yr old until her shoes were on, the younger ones (who still need help with dressing themselves) would never get their shoes and jacket on and every toy and bucket in the place would be dumped out and scattered everywhere. There's really no specific time that she never listens. It's just whenever she decides not to. Some days she does fine going potty on her own without even being reminded, somedays she does really well going to wash her hands when it's time, etc. But sometimes she gets into her mood and refuses to do anything she's supposed to, or stop anything she's not supposed to be doing.
The potty thing didn't go so well at all today. She gets by with that too much because there's so much stuff that comes up and I forget to make her go in and sit on the potty to "try". I just tell her firmly, but she gets mad and argues, then something comes up so I run to take care of it, and then next thing I know she's wet. Today she even wet her pants because another child was changing clothes because they'd had an accident. But this was a 2 yr old, not a 3 1/2 yr old who is fully potty trained (when she wants to be). But nap time went well. She went to sleep with only one reminder to be quiet, and some other areas of listening worked well today also.
It sounds like the entire group is in need of some extra help. What ages are your kids?

I have worked in groups of children where the behavior is so bad that it almost becomes 'survival' mode. Where you feel like you spend your whole day putting out fires... Do you feel like that's where things are now?

When I've worked in rooms like this before it can be so frustrating and make you really hate your days. Do you have support from the other parents?
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Old 12-09-2010, 05:16 AM
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How old is your group? How many are there? It really sounds like the problem may not all be about individual child behavior, but just that you have too many little ones for just two to handle. I don't know if you have the option to either downsize the group or add more help...but either of those would probably be your best option in what sounds like a chaotic situation.
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Old 12-09-2010, 05:28 AM
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Preschool Teacher,

Please don't take this personally because it's coming from my heart and not directed AT you AT all.

I feel really sad for those kids. I read stories like this so much and I can't help but think how the truth is that there really isn't anything you CAN do. You have way too many kids with way too many responsibilities.

That child you describe NEEDS an adult just for her. She needs an adult every day... day after day... for weeks and maybe months. She needs "micro corrections" done on her every move and consequences for infringements. She needs an adult who can really watch her every second and intervene at all of her root behavior.

I feel really sorry for preschool teachers and SUPER sorry for Teachers. I can't imagine being in the public school systems now. It has to be such a crappy job to not have the resources you need and the support you need to work directly with kids to "right" them into a path of excellent behavior.

Posts like this make me SO proud of my kids... my staff assistant... my parents... and myself. We don't have a single bit of what you described. My kids are respectful and very sweet to each other. They would NEVER behave like this in front of me or my staff.

What is the world coming to? We have simply lost our way. Soon enough there won't be adults willing to fill these positions because the work is too hard for the low amount of money.

Protect yourself from burn out. You have to take care of YOU first.

Huggles to you
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Old 12-09-2010, 05:44 AM
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it sounds like what goes on at a big, chain daycare i worked for before. profit driven (only) - maximum amount of kids with the minimum amount of teachers - ALWAYS!

8 two year olds and 2 adults? can't have that! check their temperatures...let's send one home sick and get that other teacher off the clock.

i would never, ever in a million years work in that type of environment again. i only did it bc i was working on my EC degree at the time and wanted to have as much experience with kids as i could for my resume.

nannyde, teaching is nowhere near the same as daycare though. not even close. in a daycare/preschool environment you typically have to do EVERYTHING - help kids potty, clean up accidents, set up for lunch, clean up from lunch, etc, etc, etc. if you're teaching, the kids go to the cafeteria and come back when they're finished. if they have an accident, they go to the nurse. if they puke, you call the janitor. so, you can actually spend your time teaching and if you have good classroom management skills...it's really not bad at all!
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Old 12-09-2010, 05:57 AM
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nannyde, teaching is nowhere near the same as daycare though. not even close. in a daycare/preschool environment you typically have to do EVERYTHING - help kids potty, clean up accidents, set up for lunch, clean up from lunch, etc, etc, etc. if you're teaching, the kids go to the cafeteria and come back when they're finished. if they have an accident, they go to the nurse. if they puke, you call the janitor. so, you can actually spend your time teaching and if you have good classroom management skills...it's really not bad at all!
I know what you are saying.

I'm saying the kids that have years and years of this kind of behavior end up in school at some point. I feel sorry for the teachers who have to deal with the behavior of the kids who have a whole childhood of this kind of behavior. Even though they don't have to do basic cares like we do they do have to do behavior.

That's what I meant.

Kids don't surface "clean" when they have an early childhood of violence, disrespect, defiance, etc. They only have a lot of practice doing it by the time they are five.

I'll betcha if you polled Kindy teachers who have ten years or more they would tell you that the behavior they deal with now doesn't look a thing like what they dealt with ten years ago.
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Old 12-09-2010, 06:25 AM
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oh yeah, i'm sure ur right about kids being different than they were and teachers do have to deal with the behavior of course.

i guess it just depends on your style if behavior is an "issue" or not. there's always one or two in every bunch that test you.

teachers are also different than they were too - not just kids. i'm young, but everyone calls me "old school" when it comes to dealing with kids. you can be DAP when teaching and still be strict when it comes to behavior.

i will not stop a conversation with an adult because a kid walks up and needs to say something. that seems obvious to me, but it happens ALL the time. a kid walks up...teacher stops listening to the adult they're talking to so they can see what the kid wants. not me - no way jose. i'll put my hand up and they better go on until they see me not talking. i don't care if i'm talking about what's for dinner - i'm talking. i've had ppl my age and even older think it's just so funny that i do that. i just think unless you're on fire, there's no reason it can't wait. kids walking in the hallway always made me nuts too. now, if you're "dap" you should know it doesn't REALLY matter if they walk in a line and don't talk or not. you should have them pretend they are "secret spies" or play some silly game to get them to walk down the hall like humans.
NOPE - sorry. be quiet and walk like you're supposed or play time can be spent practicing how to walk. it only takes one or two sessions before they suddenly have self control. that's what it's about for me...not a perfect line, but self control.

i don't know how things got turned around so far backwards that kids became the bosses , but the adults that don't think everything their parents/teachers did was wrong can still manage a group without much trouble.
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Old 12-09-2010, 07:04 AM
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i guess it just depends on your style if behavior is an "issue" or not. there's always one or two in every bunch that test you.
You know what I guess the difference is? I don't think it's one or two. I think it's one or two half way thru the school year but I think it's more like 30 plus percent in the begining of school. I think what is different now is the amount of time it takes to get the kids to go native and the sheer number of them (children with significant behavioral issues) in each classroom.

I think it's one of the main reasons our school systems are failing on a catastrophic level and we are plummeting compared to other nations in core subjects. I think the teachers have to spend SO much of their energy dealing with behavior that they don't have the literal time to teach. Once they get the group sound enough so much of the year has gone by.

The way I see this is by the OP's post. They are really down to survival mode because of the sheer number of behavior issues. Once the kids get into school and the parents aren't "paying" for it then that alone will decrease some of the behavior issues. Once they have free school if they have constant significant issues then free becomes not available. Not having free is enough to get a good portion of the parents on board and things can start to change.

I just think the totality of it is worse than we really understand right now.
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Old 12-09-2010, 07:39 AM
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i was watching dr. phil yesterday and this lady was on there with a 27 year old son who was basically a loser at life.

she said (dead seriously) that it was the school's fault bc she always did what she was supposed to do

people don't want teachers disciplining their children - unless their children have behavior problems - then it's the teacher's fault!

i don't see that little free and appropriate education law changing anytime soon though. just imagine what the kids whose parents couldn't pay (if they had to) would be like!
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Old 12-09-2010, 07:51 PM
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It sounds like the entire group is in need of some extra help. What ages are your kids?

I have worked in groups of children where the behavior is so bad that it almost becomes 'survival' mode. Where you feel like you spend your whole day putting out fires... Do you feel like that's where things are now?

When I've worked in rooms like this before it can be so frustrating and make you really hate your days. Do you have support from the other parents?
The ages of the children are approximately 10 months to 5 years during the day. School age in the afternoon or on school holidays. Afterschoolmom asked how many there are. We really don't have that many. I guess we average around 10, sometimes less. The majority are 2-3 yrs.
And Kendallina, you described it perfectly! It seems like we spend the whole day "putting out fires". Of course some days are better than others, and some children listen better than others, but eventualy, it seems, even the good listeners become like the others.
So I guess this is our problem. Help! I don't know what else to do. I noticed today that I would try to praise them for something, and everyone was so loud they couldn't even hear me!
QualitTcare, I agree with your method of children's self control and how they should learn self control and not just have us trying to make a game of everything. (Besides that, I can't get them to listen long enough to explain the "game"!) I really believe that children need to learn how to listen and not just when they think it's a game. Children don't have any respect that even I was brought up with. If a person is talking to someone else (child or adult), you don't interrupt. You stand quietly and wait. One example of today's children: I was taking care of a toddler who had bumped their head really hard and was crying. I was afraid they would end up with a big lump. Another child walked up and kept trying to get my attention and yanking on my sleeve and everything. I patiently told her to wait a second. Immediately she took my head with her hands and forcefully turned it to face her instead of the hurt toddler. She was trying to tell me something that wasn't even an issue. They way she acted a person would have thought someone WAS on fire!
Okay everyone, help us out here. We need some major changes. I'm tired of being onto the children all day. I feel like I'm the mean old witch of the west. I know we're supposed to get on their level and explain everything to them. Like if they interrupt, then after you finish talking to the other person you should get down on the child's level and explain how they should wait quietly until the two people have finished talking. But if I did this for every issue every time, wow, nothing else would get done and I still wouldn't be able to talk to everyone about the problem because there's always several at once doing different things they shouldn't. We need Super Nanny!
By the way, just so everyone knows, this is a home daycare & preschool. I'm not the owner, so I don't have much authority toward discussing things with the parents. Termination of any of the children is NOT an option, so I can only work with what we have right now. Besides that, I love every one of the children in our care, so I wouldn't want to lose them...
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Old 12-09-2010, 08:06 PM
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I'm not the owner, so I don't have much authority toward discussing things with the parents. Termination of any of the children is NOT an option, so I can only work with what we have right now. Besides that, I love every one of the children in our care, so I wouldn't want to lose them...
So you're an assistant? Is the owner as frustrated with the chaos as you are? What does she think should be done to bring the control back to the adults? Is she willing to listen to ideas and try things to make that happen?

I don't know that I have any good ideas, but I'm sure there are a lot of people here who could really help you! I'm looking forward to hearing those ideas - it can get kind of crazy here sometimes when I have a bunch of kids
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Old 12-09-2010, 08:06 PM
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The ages of the children are approximately 10 months to 5 years during the day. School age in the afternoon or on school holidays. Afterschoolmom asked how many there are. We really don't have that many. I guess we average around 10, sometimes less. The majority are 2-3 yrs.
And Kendallina, you described it perfectly! It seems like we spend the whole day "putting out fires". Of course some days are better than others, and some children listen better than others, but eventualy, it seems, even the good listeners become like the others.
So I guess this is our problem. Help! I don't know what else to do. I noticed today that I would try to praise them for something, and everyone was so loud they couldn't even hear me!
QualitTcare, I agree with your method of children's self control and how they should learn self control and not just have us trying to make a game of everything. (Besides that, I can't get them to listen long enough to explain the "game"!) I really believe that children need to learn how to listen and not just when they think it's a game. Children don't have any respect that even I was brought up with. If a person is talking to someone else (child or adult), you don't interrupt. You stand quietly and wait. One example of today's children: I was taking care of a toddler who had bumped their head really hard and was crying. I was afraid they would end up with a big lump. Another child walked up and kept trying to get my attention and yanking on my sleeve and everything. I patiently told her to wait a second. Immediately she took my head with her hands and forcefully turned it to face her instead of the hurt toddler. She was trying to tell me something that wasn't even an issue. They way she acted a person would have thought someone WAS on fire!
Okay everyone, help us out here. We need some major changes. I'm tired of being onto the children all day. I feel like I'm the mean old witch of the west. I know we're supposed to get on their level and explain everything to them. Like if they interrupt, then after you finish talking to the other person you should get down on the child's level and explain how they should wait quietly until the two people have finished talking. But if I did this for every issue every time, wow, nothing else would get done and I still wouldn't be able to talk to everyone about the problem because there's always several at once doing different things they shouldn't. We need Super Nanny!
By the way, just so everyone knows, this is a home daycare & preschool. I'm not the owner, so I don't have much authority toward discussing things with the parents. Termination of any of the children is NOT an option, so I can only work with what we have right now. Besides that, I love every one of the children in our care, so I wouldn't want to lose them...
Have you talked with your owner/co-teacher about how things are going? What is their take on things?

Do you have a routine in place that includes time for outside/active play, sensory play, music, free play, etc.

Right now it seems the children know that they can get away with everything. Do you talk to them about their behavior - could even do it in small groups of 2-3 children. They could help set up some rules.

What is their environment like? How many rooms do you use? Are there enough toys to play without it being too many and overwhelming? Is there enough space for all the children?

Do the children get to make some of their own choices during the day?

Are there times when most of the children seem to be doing well? Like, at snack time or when you do a project together?

It's so hard to make suggestions without knowing more about the program. Maybe if you can answer those questions we'll have a better idea...
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Old 12-10-2010, 02:10 PM
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I tried to personal message some of you, but had trouble getting it to go through. So if you end up with a bunch of messages of the same thing from me, I'm sorry! Kendallina, QualiTcare, Marniewon, and Nannyde, I tried to send it to you guys, so if you don't get it, let me know.
Everyone else, if you want to keep trying to help me, let me know and I'll send you a copy of the message I sent. My posts are getting too detailed so I wanted to do it more privately where noone who might recognize the daycare would know which one I'm talking about...
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Old 12-10-2010, 02:13 PM
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Oops, Kidkaire, you got one also. I didn't list you in my post a second ago
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Old 02-08-2011, 12:48 PM
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Default Disobedient 4 year old

My 4 year old daughter is like that. She has been kicked out of daycare twice in the last year. The first daycare kicked her for not napping. She would lay on her mat for 2 hours awake as long as the daycare lady was in the room, but would get up and wake the other kids if she left the room. She switched to a new daycare that would let her stay up and watch TV during nap time. She was perfect until I finally got her baby sister in the new daycare. I was picking them up at two different daycares for months. Then the ratio of older kids to babies changed, she was again one of the oldest, and the daycare lady changed assistants. All of a sudden she became defiant at daycare. She has always been very stubborn, but now she just refuses to listen. At home we punish her if she doesn't listen. I admit we were a bit lax in giving too many chances but as soon as the daycare lady brought it to our attention, now we have a clear set of rules and conscequences and there are no warnings. If she throws a toy it is taken away immediately for the rest of the day. If she doesn't listen, we take away her lamp as she doesn't like being in the dark at night (not afraid, just doesn't like it). This seems to work at home, however, our daycare lady does not punish. If a kid hits another kids she will say firmly, we don't hit, and redirect. She will do this multiple times until after 5 or 6 times hitting, she will finally attempt a time-out. I guess with most of her kids she has never needed more than this and is not prepared to offer more discipline. Unfortunately she kept a lot of my daughter's difficulties minimized until she was completely fed up with her and gave us two weeks notice. Now that we are in our two weeks trying to find another daycare she tells me my daughter is so bad she will just get kicked out of another daycare so there is no point in my trying to find another daycare. She says her assistant hates my daughter. She tells me all this in front of my daughter.

I have explained to my daughter that she can't go and play at that daycare anymore because she misbehaved. I punish her anytime I pick her up after she has had a bad day, and reward and praise her when she has a good day. I always back up the daycare provider. I am not sure what else to do.

We have made an appointment with the pediatrician in the hopes of getting some behavioural therapy. She is a very loving girl that loves attention but is very stubborn and won't nap. Am I doomed to daycare hop until she starts school?

I understand the daycare lady's frustration, but at the same time, I do need daycare. I am trying a private daycare this time since the subsidized daycares are in very high demand here.
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Old 02-08-2011, 03:57 PM
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My 4 year old daughter is like that. She has been kicked out of daycare twice in the last year. The first daycare kicked her for not napping. She would lay on her mat for 2 hours awake as long as the daycare lady was in the room, but would get up and wake the other kids if she left the room. She switched to a new daycare that would let her stay up and watch TV during nap time. She was perfect until I finally got her baby sister in the new daycare. I was picking them up at two different daycares for months. Then the ratio of older kids to babies changed, she was again one of the oldest, and the daycare lady changed assistants. All of a sudden she became defiant at daycare. She has always been very stubborn, but now she just refuses to listen. At home we punish her if she doesn't listen. I admit we were a bit lax in giving too many chances but as soon as the daycare lady brought it to our attention, now we have a clear set of rules and conscequences and there are no warnings. If she throws a toy it is taken away immediately for the rest of the day. If she doesn't listen, we take away her lamp as she doesn't like being in the dark at night (not afraid, just doesn't like it). This seems to work at home, however, our daycare lady does not punish. If a kid hits another kids she will say firmly, we don't hit, and redirect. She will do this multiple times until after 5 or 6 times hitting, she will finally attempt a time-out. I guess with most of her kids she has never needed more than this and is not prepared to offer more discipline. Unfortunately she kept a lot of my daughter's difficulties minimized until she was completely fed up with her and gave us two weeks notice. Now that we are in our two weeks trying to find another daycare she tells me my daughter is so bad she will just get kicked out of another daycare so there is no point in my trying to find another daycare. She says her assistant hates my daughter. She tells me all this in front of my daughter.

I have explained to my daughter that she can't go and play at that daycare anymore because she misbehaved. I punish her anytime I pick her up after she has had a bad day, and reward and praise her when she has a good day. I always back up the daycare provider. I am not sure what else to do.

We have made an appointment with the pediatrician in the hopes of getting some behavioural therapy. She is a very loving girl that loves attention but is very stubborn and won't nap. Am I doomed to daycare hop until she starts school?

I understand the daycare lady's frustration, but at the same time, I do need daycare. I am trying a private daycare this time since the subsidized daycares are in very high demand here.
I really feel for parents who, like you, try their best and have consequences at home for child's misbehavior, and it doesn't get better at daycare. Sometimes I think the daycare environment just does that to children...I really want the best for the children I care for, and hate for their sakes the amount of misbehavior going on, even from the other children, because that makes for a negative environment for everyone. We had a 4 yr old in our care who was pretty much what daycare providers would call "the perfect child", but then about 6 months before he'd be going to Kindergarten, his behavior dramtatically changed. Like a complete turn around...the same thing happend at home and at his other preschool (he attended another preschool besides our's, more academic based and only 2 hours long).
One of the main reasons we really hate to terminate children in our care is that we love the children and feel so bad that the parents will have such a hard time finding care for them somewhere else. It's not good for the children to be at one daycare, then have to be switched to another one, then another, etc. and in our area there aren't very many daycares close by. So if we terminate one for behavior, they pretty much won't have another place to bring them. For one thing, the other daycares wouldn't keep them any longer than the first two weeks trial period (that's for the worst cases, like one we had in our care for months with constant communication with parents, who were not supportive, then finally started enforcing the "3 strikes" policy, letting parents know each time they earned another strike, before finally accepting that we couldn't change the behavior and there was nothing more we could do and gave our two weeks notice). I really hope things improve for you and your little girl. The 3 yr old I started this thread talking about has improved a LOT, and we hardly have any issues with her refusal to listen anymore. So I pray that's the case for your little one at your next daycare. Would it be possible to hire someone to babysit her so she gets one on one care? The daycare environment may just be too overwhelming for her, and she may just need more one on one attention without so much other stuff going on around her. I'm afraid I would have had issues as a child if I had been in daycare. I really get overwhelmed in crowds and lots of noise By the way, is your current provider allowed to use time outs? I know the government is trying to take away daycare providers use of time-outs, and it is highly discouraged even now. We use time-outs (which only work for certain children), but we're discouraged from it all the time by childcare experts and told to use redirection instead. So our time outs are only used for hitting (so they can regain control of their emotions) or direct out and out defiance.
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Old 02-08-2011, 04:15 PM
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Ahhh the ODD 3's! I swear 3 is worse than 2!

I've found that sticker charts work with children like this with a nice "carrot" to dangle at the end of it. (a special grab bag toy or lolly that goes home at the end of the day)

For example: They have to earn say, 10 stickers by the end of the week to pick something from the prize box. This will work for potty training too. First they get a sticker for going #1 on the potty and 2 stickers for doing #2.

Of course, they will all want to participate so you can base your sticker tallies on age of the child. Older children will need to earn more stickers since they are more "grown up".

Praise, praise, praise when she gets caught doing the right thing.

Patience - hopefully you'll turn her around.

Oops! Sorry - my post was in reply to the OP. Didn't realize this is an old thread.

Last edited by Kaddidle Care; 02-08-2011 at 04:27 PM. Reason: realized old thread
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