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Unregistered 05:05 PM 04-03-2018
I have gone through a difficult situation recently which has left me feeling confused and inadequate as an educator.

We have a child who has been really hard to manage since the day that he started. I actually know the family outside of work and know that the reason for the child's behavioral problems are due to extreme family problems which I won't go into. Let's just say there is a lot going on there and it has effected this child to the extent that he has deep emotional problems from it. When he was two I had him for a year and he was just starting to show his anger and behavioral problems however we did the best we could to manage it at the time.

My room leader at the time and I expressed our concerns to our Center Manager and sometimes if he got into an extremely bad state we would have to move the other children and ourselves away while he hit and threw items in the room. It might sound silly that we had to do this but he was a very large and strong boy and so we made the decision to remove the children out of his zone when he was very upset as he had hit and hurt others before.

After that year he was moved up but skipped a room as we thought maybe he was feeling bored and uninterested with the place or peers that he was with. We had tried our best to help and manage the behaviour but were struggling.

A colleague ended up caring for the child for a whole year. I didn't speak to her much but I knew that they were also having troubles finding a way to manage his behaviour. Towards the end of the year it was getting very bad and the educator that had him was getting hit, bitten, kicked, sworn at, spat at, and also had to manage the possible dangers to the other children within the room when he started to lose his temper. He had thrown items at others, hit others, bit them and sworn at them and was strong enough to pick up chairs, overturn tables and trash a whole room. The educator had an assistant but was pretty powerless over the whole situation. All she could do was document all that was happening, speak to our Center Manager about it and try to keep herself and the others out of harms way when this child was in her care. I never once saw her get mad, angry or upset about the whole situation as the educator in question is usually really calm, quiet and rational and even after the child became very aggressive, if she needed to speak with him she was always kind and polite to him.

The educator has a whole folder of documentation of bites, scratches, and paperwork with photos of her own wounds (bites, scratches, bruises) explaining different things that happened during different days and what had been done to cause/manage it so that she has this information on hand and filed away if she ever needs it.

This year I am in the room with this child and this educator. I am seeing again first hand how angry he can become and it makes me upset because I can see the fire in his eyes and I can see that he is hurt and broken from things going on at home (he is only 4 now)...

The fact that I can feel his hurt when he is swearing at us, hitting us, biting us and going into a rage hurts me on the inside too. But I don't know if it is our job to continue caring for this child because I don't see HOW we are benefiting him. We are sympathetic to his cause and we want to help but we are powerless in this situation. Nothing we can do is helping and I feel like he needs more specialized help than what we can provide as educators or a daycare center in order to help him to manage his emotions and anger. I doubt he will be able to get this help due to financial and familial issues that are going on at the moment which has led to him becoming like this in the first place. There is also a huge conflict of interest as one of the child's carers is also a staff member at the center.

It has gotten to the point where we pretty much just let the child do what he wants as we can't control him and when he starts to get mad I will open up the door for him and stand at the door to our play yard whilst he trashes it. Sometimes it is so bad that our Center Manager has to intervene. He will frequently swear at our CM if she tries to speak to him and spits in her face. If we cannot calm him down he is removed from the room entirely and brought back once he is better.

My room leader is suffering a lot, she had to make it clear that she could no longer work with the child as she did not know what to do. She had sought out assistance from outside sources, attended workshops, spoken to our CM and also our Area Manager. No solutions are working for us. Although my room leader requested that she could not work with this child anymore (due to the fact that she is getting very stressed, hurt, and her husband is becoming upset to see her come home every week with bruises, bites and scratches) our managers suggested another compromise where instead of removing her from the room they add another staff member. So we would have three staff members in the room instead of two staff on days that he attends in order to accommodate us. We agreed.

Four months in and we have only had two times where this has happened. For the rest of it we have not had the third staff member due to staffing limitations, staff off sick, etc.

We are at our wits end and everyone who is involved in the situation is becoming very upset and stressed out over it. We have now been accused of treating the child unfairly which is completely not true and brought me to tears upon hearing it. I have seen first had and had experienced being hit, bitten and sworn at, trying to protect the other children and doing nothing but being as polite as possible to this child during his moments, whenever they happened.

It is hard because I do not feel we are getting the support we should be, and I also don't think we are able to benefit this child anymore. I am unable to help him, my coworker feels equally frustrated and as helpless as I do. All we can do is document what is going on and grin and bear it.

Has anyone else dealt with something like this? I am worried that it is very clear that the child requires some outside help however the center is reluctant to do anything about it because we are low on attendance at the moment and to have him removed would mean less children at the center and is overall not want our Area Manager wants (we work at a big center, big business and have a lot of higher up managers). I must reiterate that I do NOT want to just get rid of this child, I am just at a loss as to how we can help him. I do not believe he will be able to get the best start in his life as he needs assistance but a lot of people (CM, child's carers) do not want to see it, will sweep it under the rug or try to minimize the problem whenever they can.

I am upset for this child and I think they deserve better than this. I am confused because I am suppose to care and nurture these children but I don't know how I can help this child and also care for the others at the same time. It is such a frustrating situation.

Please help!
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hwichlaz 05:09 PM 04-03-2018
Call CPS.

He is emotionally disturbed and his guardians are failing to provide the necessary care for him. Iím surprised you havenít mentioned calling before now. Failing to meet a childís needs to keep them safe is neglect.
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Michael 05:17 PM 04-03-2018
Are you located in Australia? Here is some information that may help: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports-stat...ction/overview
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Unregistered 05:19 PM 04-03-2018
You're right. I knew some background of what was going on from when I had him when he was younger but these issues were only starting to emerge.
I had also heard that the current educator who had him was struggling to manage the situation but she herself was working with our CM and AM in order to find a solution. It's not until I've been put with this educator this year and we are 4 months in that I'm seeing how bad the situation really is.
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storybookending 06:17 PM 04-03-2018
What is the parent involvement with this child? I know you said he has stuff going on at home but have they been called for conferences to discuss the childís behaviors?

This is not something I would be dealing with and had it happened at the center I worked at the child would have been kicked out and CPS would have been called.

It is hard when in your heart you donít want to kick the child out and you want what is best for them but sometimes you cannot fix a child that is that broken and disturbed without the help of a professional be it a psychiatrist or whatever the child needs.
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Josiegirl 03:23 AM 04-04-2018
This child needs much more than ordinary guidance and discipline, much more than a family conference will allow. That poor little guy is looking for someone to love him unconditionally, someone he can trust and feel secure with. He must feel so angry, out of control and confused with his home life.
He clearly needs professional help and intervention at this point. I'm not sure why help hasn't been called in before, aside from having an assistant.
If the parents and his home situation are that bad, the child needs to be somewhere else. Now. Are there other children involved? Do the parents get any help for themselves? I hope this dcb gets what he needs before he self-destructs.
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Snowmom 08:09 AM 04-04-2018
Originally Posted by Unregistered:

The fact that I can feel his hurt when he is swearing at us, hitting us, biting us and going into a rage hurts me on the inside too. But I don't know if it is our job to continue caring for this child because I don't see HOW we are benefiting him. We are sympathetic to his cause and we want to help but we are powerless in this situation. Nothing we can do is helping and I feel like he needs more specialized help than what we can provide as educators or a daycare center in order to help him to manage his emotions and anger. I doubt he will be able to get this help due to financial and familial issues that are going on at the moment which has led to him becoming like this in the first place. There is also a huge conflict of interest as one of the child's carers is also a staff member at the center.
^ Bolded:

Am I assuming right, from that sentence, that one of this child's guardians is an employee?
Why isn't that employee/guardian assigned to this child's classroom?
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daycarediva 09:36 AM 04-04-2018
This child needs PROFESSIONAL HELP. The fact that your director has not followed up to help him get the help he needs is bordering on negligent. He will not be successful ANYWHERE.

WHAT is going on in his home life that does not warrant a call to child protective services, yet makes him behave so aggressively?
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Ariana 12:00 PM 04-04-2018
This is beyond ridiculous that you guys are still dealing with this violent behavior. He may have Reactive Attachment Disorder which is extremely hard to treat.

I also see a few mistakes you guys made by coddling him and accommodating his behavior. I do not care what is going on at home, it does not cloud my judgement of appropriate behavior for a child. This is what a child like this NEEDS. A guiding light in the storm, not another punching bag. This is what is being modeled at home and now he is learning that if he feels bad, acting out is perfectly fine. Most people in jail never learned to comtrol impulses when emotions run high. Unfortunately it is too late to go back when this behavior could have possibly been stopped. He is only 4 though so he can still get help but not from you guys. For the good of this child and society at large please bring in a professional to get this child some guidance.
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Tags:australia, australian member, child neglect, cps, cps protection
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