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Old 06-08-2014, 05:35 PM
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Default Conflict between My Child and DCK

I know this is a bit lengthy so thank you if you read it. I kind of need to vent, but am hoping for some ideas too.

My son is almost 3 and I watch 2 full time kids from the same family ages 2.5 & 4. The children I care for struggle greatly with any type of independent play and I have spent 10 months modeling how to play with various toys, encouraging any positive behavior I see, etc. but I feel like I am failing with them. It's so frustrating. My son on the other hand LOVES to play and build with toys. He will build train tracks, block structures, play with rescue centers that have many parts, etc. and he will entertain himself sometimes for more than an hour.

The problem is that the other children won't initiate play with anything, but as soon as my son starts playing they run over to "play with him." In reality this involves taking his pieces, breaking the parts he has already constructed, knocking down his towers, etc. He gets so frustrated some days that he will just sit and cry. I have tried both explaining and showing them how to find the unused blocks and build beside him or join in his story line without taking the exact pieces he is using, but they just don't seem to get it.

I've had to resort to letting him play in his room by himself some days and I have to gate off the doorway to keep them from bothering him. Then they stand at the gate and holler at him. Nothing I have tried to get them to play with something else is working. I play with them, but the second I get up they are done with the toys.

He is now becoming aggressive with them and crying a lot, and when I ask him why he hit his friends he says "I asked them to stop nicely, but they won't listen." I'm at a loss as to how to handle this now. Anyone else have an issue like this? Do you allow your children to have their own space when dck are present? I know it really bothers the other children if he is allowed to play in his room without them, but I just don't know what else to do.

Thanks in advance.

Last edited by Blackcat31; 06-08-2014 at 05:41 PM.
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Old 06-08-2014, 06:16 PM
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I have this problem sometimes between my kids and dcks. Sometimes I let my dd go play with her favorite toys in my room (which is near the daycare area but around the corner so the dcks cant see her. Outta sight outta mind) Sometimes I redirect everyone (my dd included) to doing things like coloring and whatnot. Not going to lie, some days the bickering between all of them gets so frustrating that I pop in a movie for some quiet time. LOL. I feel the important thing is to keep modeling good play behavior to the dcks while also keeping your childs feelings in mind. Its important that everyone get to play but if your child is crying because they are so frustrated, its time for action. Good luck!
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Old 06-08-2014, 06:50 PM
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In this scenario, your son is modeling the behavior you want. I would absolutely allow him to play in a gated area you (and they) can see, and have peace from the other kids tearing up his stuff.
They can stand there and holler if they want. When they can play nice, maybe he will want to play with them. For the record, I would allow peace to any child who was being kind and playing nicely, not just my own.
These two need to figure out they are not going to get to terrorize someone for their own entertainment. I also would not play with them any more. Tell them to go play with toys. People are not your toys. I play with kids, but not with kids who have not shown me they know how to play with other things. I am not your entertainment center. You need to entertain yourself.
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Old 06-08-2014, 06:51 PM
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Many years ago I had this problem with my son.I felt that part of the reason I was doing childcare was to be with my kidsd.I felt at 3 yrs letting him go upstairs defeated the purpose of working at home . So I got more structured (less free play)and when he wanted to set up his Gijoes without the others wrecking it ,I set him up in the :clubhouse" acoral set up for the littles . He got some space but was with me and I set up the other children with their own toys.It did work for that tough year.
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Old 06-08-2014, 07:39 PM
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I HEAR ya. I agree that your son seems to be taking the high road as much as a 3 yr old can. I would definitely allow his private time in his room (it's his home after all, before it's a daycare) but I would NOT allow the children to stand at his door and pester him. Run them away every.single.time. Tell them, go play. If they stand there and stare at you blankly, take them by the hand to the toy area and say again, go play. They will eventually get it. Rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat. So much of early learning is based on repetition, so keep it up.
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Old 06-08-2014, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Wednesday View Post
I HEAR ya. I agree that your son seems to be taking the high road as much as a 3 yr old can. I would definitely allow his private time in his room (it's his home after all, before it's a daycare) but I would NOT allow the children to stand at his door and pester him. Run them away every.single.time. Tell them, go play. If they stand there and stare at you blankly, take them by the hand to the toy area and say again, go play. They will eventually get it. Rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat. So much of early learning is based on repetition, so keep it up.
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Old 06-08-2014, 10:07 PM
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I understand that you want to model good play behavior but after 10 months, these kids just need to hear "no, go play" over and over. I wouldnt sit and play with kids that age much at all nor do I insist that my kids play with the daycare kids if they really dont want to. It wouldnt bother me at all if the daycare kids were acting bored or whatever, I would direct them back to their area and toys and thats that. Anyone that repeatedly is yelling at the gate, messing up other's projects, etc. would be removed from the area and separated in a timeout spot or cry corner until they were ready to join the group and show good behavior. I personally think you are doing too much entertaining with these two
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Old 06-09-2014, 04:06 AM
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I understand that you want to model good play behavior but after 10 months, these kids just need to hear "no, go play" over and over. I wouldnt sit and play with kids that age much at all nor do I insist that my kids play with the daycare kids if they really dont want to. It wouldnt bother me at all if the daycare kids were acting bored or whatever, I would direct them back to their area and toys and thats that. Anyone that repeatedly is yelling at the gate, messing up other's projects, etc. would be removed from the area and separated in a timeout spot or cry corner until they were ready to join the group and show good behavior. I personally think you are doing too much entertaining with these two


When I have a rougher group, I get out the hoola-hoops. Each child is assigned a hoop on the floor and that is where they can play with blocks - they can NOT get up, they must use words to ask for additional pieces or to "trade" with another child. If they don't listen or get up/take something from another child, etc. They get a TO while the others play. Just another idea
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Old 06-09-2014, 04:37 AM
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When I have a rougher group, I get out the hoola-hoops. Each child is assigned a hoop on the floor and that is where they can play with blocks - they can NOT get up, they must use words to ask for additional pieces or to "trade" with another child. If they don't listen or get up/take something from another child, etc. They get a TO while the others play. Just another idea
Was going to say this. I've seen it with special mats or blankets and when the playing child gets up but intends to come back NO ONE is allowed to touch it while he''s away.

Also, you're apparently doing a great job with your son because he really is taking the high road, as someone said.
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Old 06-09-2014, 01:06 PM
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I always protect kids who are playing nicely from the plunderings of others who don't know how or are choosing not to. I would allow your son do just as you've been.

As for the others, the younger one should definitely be able to play alone and absolutely the 4 year old, and also with friends. I agree that ten months is completely generous for teaching them. Someone, I believe Blackcat, sets a timer and the kids have to stick with whatever activity they have until times up. They can either play or stare at it, but they don't get to bother others or wander aimlessly. Maybe it's time for that?
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Old 06-09-2014, 01:07 PM
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I always protect kids who are playing nicely from the plunderings of others who don't know how or are choosing not to. I would allow your son do just as you've been.

As for the others, the younger one should definitely be able to play alone and absolutely the 4 year old, and also with friends. I agree that ten months is completely generous for teaching them. Someone, I believe Blackcat, sets a timer and the kids have to stick with whatever activity they have until times up. They can either play or stare at it, but they don't get to bother others or wander aimlessly. Maybe it's time for that?
Yep, that would be me. The kitchen timer is my bff sometimes

Hunni Bee! Nice to see you back!
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Old 06-09-2014, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Play Care View Post


When I have a rougher group, I get out the hoola-hoops. Each child is assigned a hoop on the floor and that is where they can play with blocks - they can NOT get up, they must use words to ask for additional pieces or to "trade" with another child. If they don't listen or get up/take something from another child, etc. They get a TO while the others play. Just another idea
I totally am going to get some hoola hoops next week! That sounds like it would work so well with my kids

My kids generally cooperate but sometimes get so frustrated with each other that I need to separate them. They do independent play but then get in each other's space so a fight ensues. I definitely am going to try the hoola hoops though and see if that changes anything with them playing. If nothing else they can learn to hoola hoop!
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Old 06-09-2014, 01:26 PM
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Yep, that would be me. The kitchen timer is my bff sometimes

Hunni Bee! Nice to see you back!
Nice to be back!!!
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Old 06-09-2014, 06:42 PM
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Thank you for the ideas. I like the hoola hoop idea a lot. I used to do this with blankets & each child had their own, but it still felt like such a fight to get those 2 to stay on the blanket. I guess I need to be consistent with TO if they get up. How long do you set your timer for when you do this? Just curious. I really want to give it a good try again
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Old 06-10-2014, 12:16 PM
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Well, it's been an interesting morning around here. Let's just call it behavior boot camp. lol Trying to be loving, but firm. When dcb refused to find something to play with and began picking on my son as usual I immediately redirected him to the toy area and told him to go play. This went on repeatedly every minute or 2 for about 15 minutes. Then I got out a blanket and told him if he didn't choose a toy I would choose for him, but he was going to sit still and play. Had to repeatedly put him back on the blanket and he cried, "Don't want to," repeatedly for like another 15 minutes. At this point my nerves were pretty much shot so I strapped him in his highchair at the table, put a bunch of blocks on the table, and told him it was his choice whether he wanted to play with blocks or just sit in his chair, but he would not be getting up for 10 minutes as this was his chance to practice playing nicely. He threw the blocks in the floor and screamed for most of the 10 minutes. When I took him out of the seat I explained that he could go and pick a toy, but that if he bothered the other kids it would be right back into the high chair to play. (I'm not sure how else to get him to stay in the play area without hurting himself or terrorizing someone. He flat out refuses to stay on a blanket or in a hula hoop and he climbs over furniture and knocks down baby gates. Thankfully, he hasn't yet learned how to work the buckle on the high chair.) It was an hour and a half of back and forth with me saying "go play" and him screaming "Don't want to play," but right before nap time he actually went and picked a book on his own and sat down and flipped through it. Hopefully he catches on quick because this is exhausting.
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Old 06-10-2014, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by mamamanda View Post
Thank you for the ideas. I like the hoola hoop idea a lot. I used to do this with blankets & each child had their own, but it still felt like such a fight to get those 2 to stay on the blanket. I guess I need to be consistent with TO if they get up. How long do you set your timer for when you do this? Just curious. I really want to give it a good try again
I do one minute per year. My 3yo gets 3 minutes. My 2yo turns 3 next month so he gets 3 minutes and my 1yo turns 2 next month so he gets 2 minutes. I try not to choose time out unless I'm at my wits end. I usually make them my buddy and they get to sit and watch me in the kitchen, or whatever task I am doing, until they calm down and are ready to play since timeout makes them more mad and harder to calm down. Where watching me do something boring and they can't play allows them to relax so I can talk about how we treat our friends or toys or whatever made them my buddy in the first place. It usually just takes a warning of being my buddy or the count of 1..2...3... For them to redirect their attention. Long process but has worked well and is a lot more calm here
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Old 06-10-2014, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by mamamanda View Post
Thank you for the ideas. I like the hoola hoop idea a lot. I used to do this with blankets & each child had their own, but it still felt like such a fight to get those 2 to stay on the blanket. I guess I need to be consistent with TO if they get up. How long do you set your timer for when you do this? Just curious. I really want to give it a good try again
When I use the timer for play, I allow 30 minutes.

The kids make a choice as to what game, activity or toy set they want to play with and they can play the whole 30 minutes... or not, but they do not get to change or switch activities until the timer goes off.

This helps build attention span, wise choices and determination to stick with choices they made.

Of course depending on the age of the child, you may have to adjust the time to allow for more or less ability to stay on task.
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