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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Ever Had A Child Say You Hurt Them?
JLH 02:07 PM 09-27-2013
I have a 3 year old daycare boy that is sort of our resident pest. His favorite thing to do is to go from one friend to the next knocking down their toys, throwing toys at them, and making them cry. Needless to say, we do a lot of redirecting and separating this child from the other children that he is having problems with, as they are all between 2 and 4. Well, last Friday he was sent to a time out for running around the house and not listening when we were getting shoes on everyone to go outside. I was busy getting kid's shoes on so my husband told him to go sit in a chair. While crying and being upset walking to the kitchen table, he stubbed his toe on the chair. He blamed it on my husband, who works as my assistant, and said my husband hurt him even though my husband was on the other side of the kitchen. His mom called me Friday night because the child had told her that my husband hurt his toe, and I reassured her that we did nothing wrong and he simply stubbed his toe on a chair. Now my husband wants no part of caring for this child because he doesn't want to be accused again and I can't blame him. Well, here we are a week later and today he was not listening and upsetting his friends once again. I told him to go sit in the kitchen, as he had been acting out all morning and I was trying to get beds out for nap while my husband was cooking lunch for the kids. I placed my hand on his back to gently face him towards the kitchen and he yelled at me, "don't push me!". Now, I am at a loss for how to handle this. Do I talk to mom again? Do I document, and if so do I make mom sign it at pick up tonight? Should I terminate? I certainly don't want to lose my license over this 3 year old falsely accusing us of hurting him. Especially when we have 9 other children here every day whose parents are all completely happy with us. I suspect that he got attention for saying that my husband hurt him at home, and now it is going to be his new habit every time he gets in trouble. The sad part, is that I really like his mom so I would feel bad letting him go. How would you handle this?
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Unregistered 02:25 PM 09-27-2013
I would notify mom first either by call or text. Then document it and make mom sign when she picks up. Kids that tell stories is a normal part of development but lying like this is not. I would tell mom that if it continues I will have to terminate.
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Heidi 02:28 PM 09-27-2013
Document, and check in with your licenser.

For an allegation of abuse to be substantiated, there has to be evidence. There are no marks on this child, no trauma. Still, a child saying these things makes us feel very vulnerable.

I would simply call your licenser and give her a heads up. Ask if there is anything else she needs you to do, other than document both the incidents and your conversations with the mother.

I can understand why mom would ask; it's scary putting one's child out there. This time, head little man off at the pass. "So, mom...we had a little trouble this morning, and now little man seems to feel he has an ace up his sleeve. It looks like it's a phase he's going through, so I'll make sure to communicate with you when we have these incidents. That way, you won't worry!"

Just wait, he WILL do it to them; or grandma, or grandpa, or his brother....
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TwinKristi 02:35 PM 09-27-2013
I was just talking to a friend of mine who's also a provider (who I subbed for from time to time) about a little girl she watched who claimed her husband hurt her arm. Her assistant was there and she was just waking from nap time and her husband gently escorted her from the room. No issues what so ever. Well when her grandpa picked her up she claimed the husband hit her. They called later on and told the provider what she said and she had the grandparent bring the girl back over to talk about it. Things were resolved but this little one was also the problem child of the group with hitting and causing problems.
Personally, depending on your situation, I would consider terming over something like that. If he's problematic anyway it may be for the best. Is it a spot you could easily fill? Would it create major financial problems to term him? There are many things to consider but if it's already a problem and now you have this, it may be for the best.
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Maria2013 03:00 PM 09-27-2013
Originally Posted by TwinKristi:
Personally, depending on your situation, I would consider terming over something like that. If he's problematic anyway it may be for the best.
I would Term no doubt about if mom believes kid enough to call me

think about it...this happened twice already, thank god he didn't have any marks to sustain his accusations but what happens if next time he does get hurt? say hits a wall while running from you, gets a huge bump on his head and accuses you of pushing him into the wall?
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sharlan 03:04 PM 09-27-2013
From past experience, I would term without thinking twice.
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Josiegirl 03:37 PM 09-27-2013
Kids lie and it makes me awfully nervous. My 5 yo dcb told me one of my school-age girls touched him inappropriately this summer. Lie. Just a couple weeks ago a 5 yo dcg told me my dog bit her. I said let me see the marks. She turns around and bites her arm. A little 3 yo dcg tells her mom right in front of me that I hit her. I looked at her mom completely flabbergasted and said I never hit her! Dcm believed me and said her dd says things like that all the time.
Yes, making up stories is part of normal child development. Seasoned parents understand this, I hope. Others may not think their child is capable of it.
If it were me, I would do what I could to keep communication open with dcf and tell them if it continues that you'd be very uncomfortable with keeping him enrolled. Either she believes and trusts you or she doesn't. Maybe you could find a good article about it to share with them?
Perhaps a 3 strike rule might work?
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Heidi 06:59 AM 09-28-2013
Years ago, when my son was 6, I had a little girl in my group (2 1/2) that was quite a "handful".

One day, she is in the bathroom (she was independent at 2 1/2), and came out into the hallway with her pants down around her ankles, giggling.

My son was just passing by from his room, and his reaction was "! I don't want to see THAT!" I just happened to also be nearby, and caught the whole thing. Redirected dcg, son went on his way.

Next morning...first words out of Mom's mouth were "what is this about YOUR son looking at my daughter with her pants down!?"

I was SO glad I was standing right there, because I was able to say...."woah, there, dcm...this is what happened".

These things happen with little kids. I hear the term lying a lot, but children under 5 really don't get it's lying. Developmentally, they can't distinguish fantasy from reality. I think that as an Early Childhood Professional, we can CONFIDENTLY tell parents that it's developmentally appropriate to make things up, and that very young children don't understand the backlash.

Like all things developmentally, it doesn't mean it's OK. It means we need to teach them. Hitting is normal for toddlers, but we don't say "yeah, ok..go ahead". Throwing food on the floor is normal for infants, but we don't say "Oh, well!".

Personally, when my little people lie, I usually say "boy, you sure are using your imagination again!", or "I bet you WISH that were so". An older preschooler, I might say "Is that the TRUTH?" and play a truth/fib game at circle time. Now, if an SA told a fib, I would handle it differently.

I did find this article, which was kind of funny. Perhaps OP could print it and give it to the parents to back up the fact that it's a developmental phase.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/famil.../why.kids.lie/
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Cradle2crayons 08:24 AM 09-28-2013
Originally Posted by Heidi:
Years ago, when my son was 6, I had a little girl in my group (2 1/2) that was quite a "handful".

One day, she is in the bathroom (she was independent at 2 1/2), and came out into the hallway with her pants down around her ankles, giggling.

My son was just passing by from his room, and his reaction was "! I don't want to see THAT!" I just happened to also be nearby, and caught the whole thing. Redirected dcg, son went on his way.

Next morning...first words out of Mom's mouth were "what is this about YOUR son looking at my daughter with her pants down!?"

I was SO glad I was standing right there, because I was able to say...."woah, there, dcm...this is what happened".

These things happen with little kids. I hear the term lying a lot, but children under 5 really don't get it's lying. Developmentally, they can't distinguish fantasy from reality. I think that as an Early Childhood Professional, we can CONFIDENTLY tell parents that it's developmentally appropriate to make things up, and that very young children don't understand the backlash.

Like all things developmentally, it doesn't mean it's OK. It means we need to teach them. Hitting is normal for toddlers, but we don't say "yeah, ok..go ahead". Throwing food on the floor is normal for infants, but we don't say "Oh, well!".

Personally, when my little people lie, I usually say "boy, you sure are using your imagination again!", or "I bet you WISH that were so". An older preschooler, I might say "Is that the TRUTH?" and play a truth/fib game at circle time. Now, if an SA told a fib, I would handle it differently.

I did find this article, which was kind of funny. Perhaps OP could print it and give it to the parents to back up the fact that it's a developmental phase.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/famil.../why.kids.lie/
Love the article!

While I agree that most kids under 5 aren't maliciously lying, in my experience that's not always true.

SOME children under 5 DO, in fact, KNOW truth from a lie and DO lie on purpose, even when they know the difference.

It's something I always discuss with parents at interview though, mainly because up to a certain age, they do tell some doozies.

As a provider, I think it's important to assess each child individually and know whether they just don't know the difference or if they do know the difference and are doing it maliciously. Because the way I handle each is different.
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Maria2013 08:54 AM 09-28-2013
Originally Posted by Cradle2crayons:
SOME children under 5 DO, in fact, KNOW truth from a lie and DO lie on purpose, even when they know the difference.


if I feel it's done on purpose I will not give a second chance
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Heidi 09:27 AM 09-28-2013
Originally Posted by Cradle2crayons:
Love the article!

While I agree that most kids under 5 aren't maliciously lying, in my experience that's not always true.

SOME children under 5 DO, in fact, KNOW truth from a lie and DO lie on purpose, even when they know the difference.

It's something I always discuss with parents at interview though, mainly because up to a certain age, they do tell some doozies.

As a provider, I think it's important to assess each child individually and know whether they just don't know the difference or if they do know the difference and are doing it maliciously. Because the way I handle each is different.
ok...I agree that 5 is generalizing. There's certainly a developmental continuum and just like learning to read or ride a bicycle, each child is different on that continuum. I really don't think a 2 or 3 understands it.

I was a fairly bright child; read very early, rode a two-wheeler and could tie my shoes at 3. Still, when I was 4, I drew stripes on my white tennies. When my mom asked why, I explained in all seriousness that it would help me run faster.
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e.j. 09:46 AM 09-28-2013
Originally Posted by Cradle2crayons:
While I agree that most kids under 5 aren't maliciously lying, in my experience that's not always true.
Yeah, based on my own experience, I would have to agree with this. I had a 4 year old who was highly intelligent and quite "creative". She went home one night and told her mom I had been hitting her and the other kids on the head with a wooden spoon. I had cared for her cousins prior to her coming here so her parents knew me enough to know that never happened but dcm did mention what had been said. Dcm worked for child protective services so she explained to her dd that it was her job to protect kids and that if I really did hit her and the others with a spoon that she would have to call the police to report it. Dcg fessed up and told her mother that she "was just joking" and that what she had said was not true. Dcm followed up with a conversation about the seriousness of that kind of accusation. As much as I appreciated her support and trust, I have to say it made me very nervous about what could have happened had dcm not known me as well as she did and had she believed dcg's accusation!

OP, I don't know that I'd terminate just yet but I would definitely document what happened. I don't blame dcm for calling to question you about what her son told her; she wasn't there to see what happened and she'd be remiss as a parent if she didn't at least talk to you about it. Given the second incident, though, I would ask to meet with her and dcd to discuss her kid's behavior and then decide what to do based on their reaction to what I had to say during that meeting.
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babylady 01:26 PM 09-29-2013
Originally Posted by Heidi:

These things happen with little kids. I hear the term lying a lot, but children under 5 really don't get it's lying. Developmentally, they can't distinguish fantasy from reality. I think that as an Early Childhood Professional, we can CONFIDENTLY tell parents that it's developmentally appropriate to make things up, and that very young children don't understand the backlash.

Like all things developmental, it doesn't mean it's OK. It means we need to teach them. Hitting is normal for toddlers, but we don't say "yeah, ok..go ahead". Throwing food on the floor is normal for infants, but we don't say "Oh, well!".

Personally, when my little people lie, I usually say "boy, you sure are using your imagination again!", or "I bet you WISH that were so". An older preschooler, I might say "Is that the TRUTH?" and play a truth/fib game at circle time. Now, if an SA told a fib, I would handle it differently.

I did find this article, which was kind of funny. Perhaps OP could print it and give it to the parents to back up the fact that it's a developmental phase.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/famil.../why.kids.lie/
Thanks for the great article. Good to save for parents to read.

I agree, lying is developmental and children need to be taught not to do it. You handle it well. This particular lie about adults harming them, of course, is very dangerous to everyone, not least to the provider's future. Whether you work alone or with assistants, you are more vulnerable than a provider in a larger school or center, and you have to take action immediately. I would talk with the parents about the seriousness of this lying, then document, get signatures, and keep all the records. You will have to be very vigilant and observe this child closely. If you can't work together well with the family and the lying continues, termination may be necessary.

Consideration should be given to why the child is doing this. He/she may be getting rough treatment somewhere else, and/or he/she may be getting more negative then positive feedback from their general behavior. He/she may have trouble with hyperactivity or impulsivity. Where is the difficult behavior coming from in the first place? Involve the child in the discussions with the parents, so he/she knows that you and the parents are on the same page, if you are.
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se7en 06:12 PM 09-29-2013
Once, when my child was in kindergarten, the principal told the parents " You can believe all the stories the kids come home and tell you about us, but just remember they are telling us stories about you and things that happen at home. If you won't believe everything they say about us, we won't believe everything they tell us about you. " Maybe when they tell mommy some crazy stories about daycare, laugh and tell their parents some of the crazy things the deck says about them. I think most parents get the idea.
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Heidi 07:05 PM 09-29-2013
Originally Posted by se7en:
Once, when my child was in kindergarten, the principal told the parents " You can believe all the stories the kids come home and tell you about us, but just remember they are telling us stories about you and things that happen at home. If you won't believe everything they say about us, we won't believe everything they tell us about you. " Maybe when they tell mommy some crazy stories about daycare, laugh and tell their parents some of the crazy things the deck says about them. I think most parents get the idea.
Yeah, I had a mother last year who was a social worker for DHS. Her job was removing children from terrible situations. One day, her 3 yo told me that Mommy hit Daddy and broke his nose!

I, knowing this child by now, chided mom via text. Turns out, Dad did have a broken nose courtesy of a work accident, but when the kids asked, he thought it would be funny to say "Mommy did it". Mommy was NOT amused.
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Tags:accusations, lying kids
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