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  #1  
Old 10-04-2012, 06:58 AM
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Angry Drop-Off Dilemna: Suggestions And Comments Needed!!

I am having a problem at drop off with my almost 3.5 year old twins. Occasionally at drop off, they throw fits and act like my house is the worst place in the world....only in front of their parents. Yesterday, the little girl threw a temper tantrum, so the mom came in, took off her shoes, sat down, and talked to them and gave them attention. Which led to today's behavior...

Today, since they obviously learned that when they throw epic fits they get their parents to do what they want, they both ran around my front yard screaming at the top of their lungs, crying, yelling that they dont want to come to my house, etc etc. Todays fit lasted longer than yesterdays. The dad finally wrangled them in, where they continued to cause epic tantrums, resulting in a very long drop off again. All of the other kids just stood there and stared at them, and I finally had to send them to play in an adjoining room because I dont want the other children exposed to that type of behavior. When the dad finally left, they took off their shoes, and happily started playing with their friends like nothing was wrong at all.

The issue is that I have had these kids for almost 2 years, and they are way old enough to know better. I have a very good program that involves arts and crafts, outdoor play, etc. I read to these kids everyday, sing them songs, play with them, hug them, talk to them, etc. It is a kick in the teeth to me when they act that way at drop off, and look at me like I am the Wicked Witch of the West. Aside from the fact that it is just embarassing to have two kids running outside of your home screaming.

I dont know what to do. I refuse to allow that type of behavior in my home, but I do not know what to say to the parents. When I step in to help at drop off, they scream and run from me and back to their parents, who stick around and try to talk to them until they calm down, so I feel like anything i would do would be undone right there. The kids are totally manipulating them. I sent the parents a pic of the kids a minute after drop off, and they were playing and having a blast. When I asked them why they cried this morning they literally started smiling.

I am sick of feeling like I have to defend myself and prove to the parents that the kids are totally happy and fine while here. When a kid comes to your house screaming that they dont want to be here, it makes you feel really bad.

What should I say to the parents today? After 2 years, it is getting really old. The temptation to term is really creeping up, especially since these two are generally the ones who I constantly have to watch like a hawk (wrestling others, pushing, not sharing, etc), and are the two that have a 3.5 month unpaid break in the winter months (some of my first clients and I made a mistake and agreed to that arrangement). I am missing out on $120.00 per week by keeping them, if I were to take two different kids at full price year round. I kept them because I have had them for so long and I care about them, and I made an arrangement and wanted to keep what I had originally agreed to.

Suggestions? What should I say to the parents? What would you do?
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:03 AM
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I have had this problem several times. The kids love to push their parents buttons and the parents kinda like it because it makes them feel needed by their children. I flat out tell the parents that the morning routine is too crazy and it's not working. I tell them that I will meet them at the door and I will take the kids in. You(the parent) will not come into the house. This usually takes about a week, but the behavior will stop. Works everytime. I had one of my new families try that the first day coming into the playroom and sitting down while the child still screamed. When they picked up the dad asked how long the child cried. I told him until he got to the door. I flat out told him you cannot do that again. It does not make it better, it makes it worse. He stopped it that day.
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:20 AM
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DCD has always walked them in. After 2 years I would feel odd asking him to stop walking them in. Is there anything else that might help?
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:25 AM
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My two year old twins do not always no better, maybe if they were closer to two and a half, but they just turned two in August. They always throw a fit when i leave them somewhere, even if its with mommy. Its just the nature of things with kids. The best thing is for the parent to drop and run as fast as they can, the longer they stay the harder it is. My niece is always a lot better off when her momma just drops her inside and leaves quickly. And shes two and a half and still gets upset
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:29 AM
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DCD has always walked them in. After 2 years I would feel odd asking him to stop walking them in. Is there anything else that might help?
I would not feel bad about that at all. I have had that exact same situation. I had a little girl once since 6 weeks old. All of a sudden at the age of 3 she started doing it and I talked with the mom about it. It was just as frustrating to her as it was for me and the dcg. I called it the "football pass". Explain how you're going to do it and why and he should understand. Tell the dad that you are sure that this is no fun for him either, I know a technique that will work if you're willing to try it. My dcm used to walk the dcg in too, but this worked.
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:33 AM
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Do 1 kid at a time. Leave one locked in car in driveway. Walk 1 to door, you get first kid in door, shoes off and off to play. Dad goes and gets other kid then when he brings her in he can say hello and whatever to you.

They are feeding off the fact that there is too much chaos to control either one.
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:38 AM
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You have to make drop off as quick as possible. Having them dropped at the door is the best way. I'm sure the parents would agree that the current drop off routine is not working.
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:57 AM
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Do 1 kid at a time. Leave one locked in car in driveway. Walk 1 to door, you get first kid in door, shoes off and off to play. Dad goes and gets other kid then when he brings her in he can say hello and whatever to you.

They are feeding off the fact that there is too much chaos to control either one.
I dont recommend this at all. IN CA it is against the law to leave your child in a vehicle for any length of time.

First off, you need to speak up. You need to be honest with the parents and tell them that the drop off is not working out and that you need to resolve it now. Let them know that you would like them to come in, remove their shoes, sign them in, kiss them and leave. Tell them, the sooner they leave the better for everyone so that you are able to get on with your day. It is way too distracting and taking your attention off of the other kids in care. Also, let them know that should this not work, that you would like to start implementing the bye-bye outside program. BUT you have to start some where. and that is by talking to them
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:07 AM
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Have you tried approaching the issue with the kids? They are the ones who are acting so badly and getting away with it too!

If I had a child or children like that I would treat them appropriately during the day. If they act like 3.5 year olds during drop off, they can be treated like 3.5 yr olds during the day playing with and intracting with the other older kids there.

If they act like screaming wild animals during drop offs, then they wouldn't be allowed to participate in an big-kid activities or play with any big kid toys etc etc.

The parents might be the problem but they aren't the ones who have to deal with the kids day in and day out AFTER they are dropped off....kwim?
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:26 AM
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Have you tried approaching the issue with the kids? They are the ones who are acting so badly and getting away with it too!

If I had a child or children like that I would treat them appropriately during the day. If they act like 3.5 year olds during drop off, they can be treated like 3.5 yr olds during the day playing with and intracting with the other older kids there.

If they act like screaming wild animals during drop offs, then they wouldn't be allowed to participate in an big-kid activities or play with any big kid toys etc etc.

The parents might be the problem but they aren't the ones who have to deal with the kids day in and day out AFTER they are dropped off....kwim?
Excellent suggestion! I have talked to the kids about why they do it, but had not thought of telling them that if they do not act like 3 year olds then they wont get to do the fun 3 year old activities.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:33 AM
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Have you tried approaching the issue with the kids? They are the ones who are acting so badly and getting away with it too!

If I had a child or children like that I would treat them appropriately during the day. If they act like 3.5 year olds during drop off, they can be treated like 3.5 yr olds during the day playing with and intracting with the other older kids there.

If they act like screaming wild animals during drop offs, then they wouldn't be allowed to participate in an big-kid activities or play with any big kid toys etc etc.

The parents might be the problem but they aren't the ones who have to deal with the kids day in and day out AFTER they are dropped off....kwim?

This is exactly what I was going to suggest.

Even if you were able to convey to the parents what you thought was going on doesn't mean they're going to agree or cooperate. Nor is there much opportunity for them to work the problem as they have to leave. Doesn't hurt to try of course, but if that doesn't work or even if you get them on board and get to working together I'd shoot to solve it directly with the kids myself.

As soon as mom or dad drove off I'd be sitting down to have a serious talk with the boys about that bologna behavior not happening in my home again. And if it does these will be the consequences. They certainly wouldn't be all smiles running off to be rewarded with playtime as if nothing had happened. I'd make sure to outline how how I did expect them to act....hugs and kisses are great, waving goodbye at the window is fantastic....but the screaming hoopla will not be tolerated for another single day. Stern, and eyeball to eyeball type conversation. Because they are twins I would emphasize they EACH have their own choices to make as far as their behavior goes. Use it. If Billy acts like a baby and you don't Johnny, you will be allowed to go play with the other kids while Billy has to hang back and accept x,y or z consequence. If Johnny chooses to act like a baby and you don't Billy then you will be allowed to go play with the other kids while Johnny has to hang back and accept x, y or z consequences. If you can both say good-bye like big boys then you can both go play together. It's up to you.


I have one kiddo that will on occasion go ballistic at pick up and drop off, but it shuts off like a light switch the second her foot touches my driveway to come in or leaves it when she's hopping into their vehicle to leave. There are so many times I've wanted to walk up to the vehicle, look her in the eye and tell her to knock it off because I know she would immediately, but mom would be horrified and never follow through anyway. As a result she's an angel here and h*ll at home. Their choice to live with that ridiculousness is none of my business as long as it stays that way.

As long as they know it won't be tolerated in your presence it will stop!
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:33 AM
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I dont recommend this at all. IN CA it is against the law to leave your child in a vehicle for any length of time.

First off, you need to speak up. You need to be honest with the parents and tell them that the drop off is not working out and that you need to resolve it now. Let them know that you would like them to come in, remove their shoes, sign them in, kiss them and leave. Tell them, the sooner they leave the better for everyone so that you are able to get on with your day. It is way too distracting and taking your attention off of the other kids in care. Also, let them know that should this not work, that you would like to start implementing the bye-bye outside program. BUT you have to start some where. and that is by talking to them
I do think that I need to tell them to speed up drop off. When they are not throwing tantrums drop off is too long. The kids have their parents going through a routine of giving them 3 or 4 high 5's, another 3-4 hugs and kisses, and lifting them up to touch the top of the door. The the other kids come up and all want high 5's, and it takes forever. And that is if they dont bring toys to "share," which usually adds a few minutes because one or both of them want to hoard their toys and keep them away from the other kids. All of my other parents bring their children, give them a hug goodbye, say have a nice day, and leave. No one else flips out, even the other 1 year old who is new.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:37 AM
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I do think that I need to tell them to speed up drop off. When they are not throwing tantrums drop off is too long. The kids have their parents going through a routine of giving them 3 or 4 high 5's, another 3-4 hugs and kisses, and lifting them up to touch the top of the door. The the other kids come up and all want high 5's, and it takes forever. And that is if they dont bring toys to "share," which usually adds a few minutes because one or both of them want to hoard their toys and keep them away from the other kids. All of my other parents bring their children, give them a hug goodbye, say have a nice day, and leave. No one else flips out, even the other 1 year old who is new.

Can you ask the parent to do all that in their vehicle before they come in? Just let them know that none of the other kids go to that extent with their parents and it's causing some problems.

Tell them you respect that they want a longer good-bye, and if it weren't causing issues you'd be more than happy to let it continue, but as such you need to do what's best for the group and it's just becoming too much of a distraction. Tell them you think that may be why the boys are acting out lately. That studies have shown (who cares if they're just personal provider studies lol) that longer separation times definitely cause anxiety for kids. Tell them it's really bothering you to see them getting so upset and you need to sort out a way to fix that, then see what they say?
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:47 AM
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Can you ask the parent to do all that in their vehicle before they come in? Just let them know that none of the other kids go to that extent with their parents and it's causing some problems.

Tell them you respect that they want a longer good-bye, and if it weren't causing issues you'd be more than happy to let it continue, but as such you need to do what's best for the group and it's just becoming too much of a distraction. Tell them you think that may be why the boys are acting out lately. That studies have shown (who cares if they're just personal provider studies lol) that longer separation times definitely cause anxiety for kids. Tell them it's really bothering you to see them getting so upset and you need to sort out a way to fix that, then see what they say?
This is good advice too because the longer the drop off, the more issues there are and the more time there is for more issues to crop up.

I have several parents who will literally park in my driveway for anywhere up to 20 minutes doing their good-byes and whatever else BEFORE coming in and leaving child.

The longest amount of time a parent is actually in my house for dropping off is about 60 seconds. That particular mom has an infant and she takes off the baby's fleece snowsuit thingy, hangs it on a hook and then hands baby over and walks out.

My other parents all walk in, say good morning to me and I say "Have a good day" and they leave.....just a few seconds tops.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:53 AM
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This is good advice too because the longer the drop off, the more issues there are and the more time there is for more issues to crop up.

I have several parents who will literally park in my driveway for anywhere up to 20 minutes doing their good-byes and whatever else BEFORE coming in and leaving child.

The longest amount of time a parent is actually in my house for dropping off is about 60 seconds. That particular mom has an infant and she takes off the baby's fleece snowsuit thingy, hangs it on a hook and then hands baby over and walks out.

My other parents all walk in, say good morning to me and I say "Have a good day" and they leave.....just a few seconds tops.
Do you have any particular handbook wording advice that may help to say "Please do your goodbyes in the car before coming in?"
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:58 AM
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I am having a problem at drop off with my almost 3.5 year old twins. Occasionally at drop off, they throw fits and act like my house is the worst place in the world....only in front of their parents. Yesterday, the little girl threw a temper tantrum, so the mom came in, took off her shoes, sat down, and talked to them and gave them attention. Which led to today's behavior...

Today, since they obviously learned that when they throw epic fits they get their parents to do what they want, they both ran around my front yard screaming at the top of their lungs, crying, yelling that they dont want to come to my house, etc etc. Todays fit lasted longer than yesterdays. The dad finally wrangled them in, where they continued to cause epic tantrums, resulting in a very long drop off again. All of the other kids just stood there and stared at them, and I finally had to send them to play in an adjoining room because I dont want the other children exposed to that type of behavior. When the dad finally left, they took off their shoes, and happily started playing with their friends like nothing was wrong at all.

The issue is that I have had these kids for almost 2 years, and they are way old enough to know better. I have a very good program that involves arts and crafts, outdoor play, etc. I read to these kids everyday, sing them songs, play with them, hug them, talk to them, etc. It is a kick in the teeth to me when they act that way at drop off, and look at me like I am the Wicked Witch of the West. Aside from the fact that it is just embarassing to have two kids running outside of your home screaming.

I dont know what to do. I refuse to allow that type of behavior in my home, but I do not know what to say to the parents. When I step in to help at drop off, they scream and run from me and back to their parents, who stick around and try to talk to them until they calm down, so I feel like anything i would do would be undone right there. The kids are totally manipulating them. I sent the parents a pic of the kids a minute after drop off, and they were playing and having a blast. When I asked them why they cried this morning they literally started smiling.

I am sick of feeling like I have to defend myself and prove to the parents that the kids are totally happy and fine while here. When a kid comes to your house screaming that they dont want to be here, it makes you feel really bad.

What should I say to the parents today? After 2 years, it is getting really old. The temptation to term is really creeping up, especially since these two are generally the ones who I constantly have to watch like a hawk (wrestling others, pushing, not sharing, etc), and are the two that have a 3.5 month unpaid break in the winter months (some of my first clients and I made a mistake and agreed to that arrangement). I am missing out on $120.00 per week by keeping them, if I were to take two different kids at full price year round. I kept them because I have had them for so long and I care about them, and I made an arrangement and wanted to keep what I had originally agreed to.

Suggestions? What should I say to the parents? What would you do?
I think that as DPs we should always keep in mind that DCP are who the child prefers to be with, even though they have a great day with us...the truth is they would rather be at home with their parents. It is hard to not feel sad when a child doesn't want to stay with us, but these children have a strong bond with their parents and are probably not getting the attention they need from them. Especially with twins, not only are they away from Mom and Dad all day but they also have to compete for the little attention they do get in the evenings.

These littles have probably learned that persitence is the key and the loudest and most annoying once gets noticed first.

The only way to stop this is for it to be ignored. I would tell the DCF that they need to drop the twins off quickly and walk away even if they girls are screaming because the crying game every morning is very disruptive to the other children and sets the whole day off with a negative tone.
Tell the parents that you will help them get undressed once the parents are gone. Just open the door, pop them in and shut it. Tell them to call you in 5 minutes and they will see that the twins are no longer crying at all. It is all a show and 3 year olds tend to be really smart and very manipulative. They know how to get what they want and will persist for as long as someone will pay attention to it.

I would also start looking for a replacement family if this continues. I have termed in the past due to this. It makes me crazy to deal with that every single morning. It starts me off in a bad mood which I don't like.

Good luck **Hugs**
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:00 AM
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Do you have any particular handbook wording advice that may help to say "Please do your goodbyes in the car before coming in?"
The only thing my handbook says about drop offs/pick ups is:

Drop off/Pick up

Transition times such as drop off and pick-up can be a difficult time for children. Please try to make these times as short as possible.

If there are things you need to discuss with me, please call and set up a time where we can talk uninterrupted. If your child is experiencing any separation anxiety issues, please rest assured that I will do everything necessary to welcome your child and make their transition from parent to childcare a comfortable and pleasant one. If your child does not calm down and join the rest of the group within a reasonable amount of time, you will be called to assist or pick up if necessary.

Behavior for some children during these times can result in needing to be disciplined. Should this occur, you will need to be the one in charge. As your child's parent, you need to be the ultimate authority. If it becomes necessary for me to step in and discipline your child, alternate drop off/pick up routines will be discussed.


If anything happens with one particular family, I try to address the situation directly with them and let them know that good-byes need to said in the car.

If you need a specific note or letter to address the stress the current situation is for ALL involved, I would be happy to help.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:12 AM
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The only thing my handbook says about drop offs/pick ups is:

Drop off/Pick up

Transition times such as drop off and pick-up can be a difficult time for children. Please try to make these times as short as possible.

If there are things you need to discuss with me, please call and set up a time where we can talk uninterrupted. If your child is experiencing any separation anxiety issues, please rest assured that I will do everything necessary to welcome your child and make their transition from parent to childcare a comfortable and pleasant one. If your child does not calm down and join the rest of the group within a reasonable amount of time, you will be called to assist or pick up if necessary.

Behavior for some children during these times can result in needing to be disciplined. Should this occur, you will need to be the one in charge. As your child's parent, you need to be the ultimate authority. If it becomes necessary for me to step in and discipline your child, alternate drop off/pick up routines will be discussed.


If anything happens with one particular family, I try to address the situation directly with them and let them know that good-byes need to said in the car.

If you need a specific note or letter to address the stress the current situation is for ALL involved, I would be happy to help.
Thank you for sharing!
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