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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Help Needed With 3YO Who Says The Same Thing Every Five Minutes...
Abigail 08:22 PM 06-10-2011
We've had this child in our care for three months almost. She is full time and always says the same thing EVERY DAY. Her phrases: "When is my Grandma going to be here to pick me up?" and "My grandma's going to come get me." She tells all of us (three providers) every five minutes with occasional breaks. She has even begun telling everyone else's parents when they are trying to pick up their child.

What confuses me is this: we had an issue with another girl who constantly "let it rip" and the kids thought it was funny and they would "evacuate the area" to let it air out for a minute before resuming play. After a few of these instances I started telling this girl (her friend) "If you need to fart, go to the bathroom. It's not polite to do it out here." SOOO, everyday this 3YO girl who talks about grandma coming says to me, "Remember what you told me? Fart in the bathroom." , why can't she remember not to talk about her Grandma every 5 minutes???

This is her first daycare and Grandma spends plenty of time with her as they're a close family. Her first month at daycare she never had friends because all she would talk about was her grandma this and her grandma that. Soon the kids started saying "Enough about your Grandma, I don't want to hear about it." They actually said that to her a lot and she'd cry. How can I get these common worries and phrases of hers to stop? She is almost 4 and I feel like I've tried everything.

Examples: We read a book together. "My Grandma read that book to me"
We play play-doh. "My Grandma has play-doh at her house"
We go outside. "My Grandma lets me play in her yard"..... neverending.
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QualiTcare 10:09 PM 06-10-2011
i'm stumped. i'm really lucky that my mother in law (my child's grandma) is retired and able to keep my son anytime i need her to. he spends a lot of time with her and even on days when i don't have to work or go to class, he'll ask if he can go see his grandma. i don't really mind it, but sometimes i'll ask, "don't you want to spend time with mommy?" he'll feel a little bad and console me for a minute, but then say, "i just want to go to my grandma's."

my guess is that this little girl's grandma (just like my son's grandma) showers her with attention that she doesn't get anywhere else and she's become extremely attached. grandmas tend to do things with kids that most of us don't have the time to do - and thank goodness for it. my son comes home from grandmas and they've been outside hunting bugs and he'll bring home bugs, frogs, fish, etc. that they've found. she has time to sit down and do puzzles with her undivided attention, etc, etc. this girl has gone from being the one and only and loving it to being thrown into a group where her wants aren't the priority.

when my MIL first started keeping my son he was still enrolled in daycare. he started going part time since she could keep him, but i still kept his full time spot. he started doing the grandma bit at daycare and even crying and begging to go to her house when i'd drop him off at daycare. i ended up taking him back to daycare full time instead of switching him back and forth between daycare and grandma. i wonder if this girl's grandma was her caregiver before she started coming to daycare? if so, 3 months of being in a group isn't too awfully long to fully adjust after 3 years of being with grandma. i'm sure time will take care of it. i would try to ignore her when she talks about grandma, and if grandma is picking her up spontaneously, early, etc. as opposed to a set schedule, i would talk to the parents about getting grandma to follow a routine. then the girl will realize "grandma picks you up at 3:00" or "grandma comes on monday and friday." right now it sounds like she has no sense of time or routine. she just wants her grandma and no amount of explaining will make her understand - only a routine will.
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Abigail 10:40 PM 06-10-2011
Everytime she asks "When is my Grandma coming to pick me up?" I respond, "You know when she is going to be here" because she does know. It happens at 5:00 on the dot every day of the week! If it's the 2nd-100th time she says that I do a quick response of "You tell me" and she says "At Five O'Clock". If I ignore her statements she continues to say them--even during nap time when she is told to be quiet it's nap time--and she will ask 4-5 times in a row even if I am busy talking to someone else. I can't wait for this stage to end!

She has gotten better. Her first month she just cried all day and even us holding her wouldn't make her quit crying. Her Grandma would walk in during lunch hour and say hi and she instantly started crying while her Grandma was visiting.....no more visits are allowed from Grandma during the day. We even told her she should be happy to see her Grandma everyday because another child's Grandma was in heaven so she never got to see her. Nothing really seems to work.
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Meyou 12:01 AM 06-11-2011
I have a 4 year old boy who only asks questions he knows the answers to and who asks the same questions over and over when he's anxious. His "go to" and it's really a coping mechanism for him is, "Is my name DCB? D-C-B?" He answers his own question by spelling his own name. Ugggh. lol It drives me bananas. He doesn't like new people so if anyone addresses him or even looks at him that he doesn't know he says this.

Whenever he asks a question he knows the answer to.....pretty much the only questions he asks I say, "Do you know the answer to that question?" He says, "yes". I say, "Questions are only for things you don't know the answer to" and I walk away. If he persists I tell him, "I don't answer questions that big boys can answer themselves."

When he repeats over and over...his favorite lately is to tell me I have a chimney on my house 4 billion times a day....I tell him that I love chimneys but that's enough chimney talk today. If he persists we start timeouts. This may sound harsh but it's been ongoing and he does it at home too. Mom and Dad want the repeating to stop as well.

He's MUCH, MUCH better than he was a few months ago when we were catering to the repeating. He used to tell me who was picking him up 30 or 40 times a day, it's Mom 99% of the time but after the first time I tell him we have already talked about that today and for the rest of the day we'll talk about something else. If he keeps at it we start timeouts for not listening since I've asked him to stop.

Have you talked to his parents about it?
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Ariana 08:36 AM 06-11-2011
I have a 2.5 year old who is similar and had a 3 year old that did this too. The 2.5 year old always says "we have that at my house" or "this lunch is yummy in my tummy" 50x during lunch!!!

I think it's anxiety related because both of the kids seem to be extremely sensitive children and tend to have a lot of nervous tension in their bodies. I feel like it's a way for them to calm themselves. Similar to OCD tendancies I would guess. I ususally get down to their level and ask them how they're feeling and find out where the anxiety is coming from.
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Abigail 05:03 PM 06-11-2011
Ariana, anxiety is probably part of it. She sometimes says "I miss my Grandma" and I'll say "I miss my Grandma too, she lives far away" and once she knows I'm not going to talk about Grandma (this is usually the start of lunch or nap time) she says "My tummy hurts" so I tell her to go lay down and rest and she will feel better.

The crying has gone away 90%, but her repeating everything and constant talk of Grandma drives me nuts. Her Grandma mentioned once she thinks she (the girl) has ADD or ADHD which I'm not familiar with either of those. Does anyone think ADD or ADHD have anything to do with this?
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Hunni Bee 01:17 AM 06-12-2011
Originally Posted by Abigail:
Ariana, anxiety is probably part of it. She sometimes says "I miss my Grandma" and I'll say "I miss my Grandma too, she lives far away" and once she knows I'm not going to talk about Grandma (this is usually the start of lunch or nap time) she says "My tummy hurts" so I tell her to go lay down and rest and she will feel better.

The crying has gone away 90%, but her repeating everything and constant talk of Grandma drives me nuts. Her Grandma mentioned once she thinks she (the girl) has ADD or ADHD which I'm not familiar with either of those. Does anyone think ADD or ADHD have anything to do with this?
It doesn't sound like either...because ADD and ADHD present as "being all over the place", unable to focus, and she sounds the opposite: focused (on her grandma) to the point of fixation. I think she's still overwhelmed by daycare and like another poster said, her wants not being number 1. So she fixates on a comforting thought (grandma) or other random, non-daycare-related things to cope. And that's why she doesn't mind being told to go lay down, because removes the "daycare" for a little while.

She may settle in, or she may be one of those kids who won't be ready for a group setting until they're a little older.

I had a little girl who recently stopped coming who just did not want to be there. She came for about 9 months when she was three and it took her a long time to adjust...after weeks of crying, she started fixating her mother and brother, anything we did related back to them. She stopped coming last June, and came back this April. She didn't cry or talk about her mother, but she didn't do anything else either. She would come in the morning, stand/sit in the same spot til lunch, take a nap, and sit in the same spot til she went home. Refused to play, and if the other kids spoke to her, she would just stare at them. No matter how I tried to engage her. She just would not "do" daycare.
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nannyde 04:15 AM 06-12-2011
Three "terms of engagement" posts. Look for mine in these threads

https://www.daycare.com/forum/showth...ght=engagement

https://www.daycare.com/forum/showth...ght=engagement

https://www.daycare.com/forum/showth...ght=engagement


Nope. I don't believe this is anxiety but rather control. She may be anxious because she doesn't have control but control is the root of the behaviors she is exhibiting.

What she needs is SIMPLE straight forward directions of what she is expected to do RIGHT NOW. Go play toys is perfect for this child. It leaves little room for discussion. It tells her in clear terms what she is to do. It's KIND to her to give her SIMPLE. It's kind to give her something we KNOW she can do. It's kind to entrench her into the other children because they are awesome and she can be awesome with them.

When you spend too much time answering her "terms of engagement" ("Im not tired." "When is my mom coming? When is my off day?" "where are you going?") you are petting an unstable mindset. Responding to these are ESCALATING her and keeping her fixed in you doint HER. She's been there SEVEN days and she seems to be fairly intelligent. She's been there long enough to GET what the environment has to offer and she is saying NO to that and "do ME" to the provider.

If you deconstruct each of her phrases and her behavior towards the kids and the environment she is making it about HER. It's time to teach her that it ISN'T about her individually... that it's about the GROUP and you in the GROUP. The group is led by me.

Being a good group member and taking excellent leadership is GOOD for a little kid. She needs to get to THAT. Now once you get to THAT ... THEN... you start pulling out her little uniqueness. You start asking her about her puppy at home or her little cousins she plays with on Saturday. You start asking about her trip to WalMart last night and if she saw any new dollies or the big beach ball they have in the big ball bins.
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Unregistered 09:54 AM 06-12-2011
Originally Posted by nannyde:
\Nope. I don't believe this is anxiety but rather control. She may be anxious because she doesn't have control but control is the root of the behaviors she is exhibiting.
I am going to disagree with this statement. I believe it is anxiety, and her anxiety is the reason she may need control. Not visa versa.

I don't think it is ADD or ADHD but rather could be some other degree of developmental disability. Is she able to communicate otherwise? Hold a conversation without Gma being brought in to it? Or does all of her language consist of taking what was said and adding in gma??
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Abigail 11:41 AM 06-12-2011
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
I don't think it is ADD or ADHD but rather could be some other degree of developmental disability. Is she able to communicate otherwise? Hold a conversation without Gma being brought in to it? Or does all of her language consist of taking what was said and adding in gma??
She is able to hold a conversation without bringing grandma into it, but she doesn't talk much. When she does talk it's all about grandma. She doesn't pronounce all her words right and she knows this, but we understand her. She isn't getting any additional help on anything that I know of and have not been informed about any delays or issues.

She has an older sibling who came one day and still it was all grandma. Her sibling held normal conversations and tried to avoid her younger sister who was annoying her even though this girl didn't know any of the daycare kids, she went off to make friends instead of play with her sister. LOL. It gets annoying quick and her sister didn't want to hear it either.
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nannyde 01:17 PM 06-12-2011
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
I am going to disagree with this statement. I believe it is anxiety, and her anxiety is the reason she may need control. Not visa versa.

I don't think it is ADD or ADHD but rather could be some other degree of developmental disability. Is she able to communicate otherwise? Hold a conversation without Gma being brought in to it? Or does all of her language consist of taking what was said and adding in gma??
Well it doesn't matter either way. The end result is the same. She is fixating and it takes away from her being able to be a part of the group and be cared for by an adult who has a group of kids to divest her energies into.

So whether it comes from a place of developmental disability, control, spoiledness, mental illness, etc. it still needs to stop. At this age the root of it isn't diagnosable but the treatment to get her to move off of it and forward is the same.

Just because a child comes with intrinsic issues it doesn't mean that we shouldn't place concrete expectations and boundaries to stop it for the sake of the child AND everyone around them.
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Unregistered 08:27 AM 06-13-2011
Originally Posted by nannyde:
Well it doesn't matter either way. The end result is the same. She is fixating and it takes away from her being able to be a part of the group and be cared for by an adult who has a group of kids to divest her energies into.

So whether it comes from a place of developmental disability, control, spoiledness, mental illness, etc. it still needs to stop. At this age the root of it isn't diagnosable but the treatment to get her to move off of it and forward is the same.

Just because a child comes with intrinsic issues it doesn't mean that we shouldn't place concrete expectations and boundaries to stop it for the sake of the child AND everyone around them.
It does matter as the means to getting to the end result is different. If it is caused by anxiety, the fixating should not be the focus, but rather, finding the root of the anxiety and helping to eliminate that... then the fixating will naturally ease. And with dev. disabilities and mental illnesses, you can't treat these things the same as you would spoiledness... that would just be cruel.

Yes all children need concrete expectations and boundaries, but they don't work the same for all children, not all children learn these the same way and they can't all be treated or expected to get to the end means the same way.

Yes her behavior is annoying, but right now the most important thing for this little girl would probably be some understanding and acceptance until the root of it can be for sure determined.
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Unregistered 11:01 AM 06-13-2011
Just curious if my last post on this thread isn't getting posted because it contradicts Nanny? I sure hope that is not the case.
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jojosmommy 12:00 PM 06-13-2011
I posted something earlier about a new child who did this type of stuff to me and I promise you Nannyde is right. This child likely controls everything else in her world at home so when she doesn't (like at daycare) she can't function. I wondered with the child in my care if it was anxiety but really it is control. Once I showed her that I was in control of my entire daycare group (including her) and her constant behaviors were not going to rule the group she stopped. I don't think children are innately anxious. I think they become anxious when the don't get their way, especially when they are very used to getting their way at home.

Unless you have a DX medical/mental issue I would treat this kid like everyone else. Tell her 1 time, "X comes to pick you up after snack." End of story. If she obsesses over it again and again ignore it. Tell her what she should do which is what ever the rest of the group is doing "Eat." "Line up." "Go Play." Once she knows you aren't playing her game she will interact with you in a more normal manner and will talk to you about everything under the sun- except her gma or whatever she is obsessing over.
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Mom_of_two 12:05 PM 06-13-2011
I agree that it could be anxiety. Not necessarily 'clinical' anxiety but a coping mechanism. Or even just a habit. Who knows! COuld be a lot of things.

Repeating a statement is not a clinical symptom of an attention deficit disorder. It is frustrating to hear about someone (grandma in this case) throw around potential diagnosis with out a doctors involvement- this happens so much and is a disservice to a child.

From what you have described I think it is a learned behavior, she has taught herself to do it for comfort (whether it be from feeling anxious, sadness, shy) so she can learn new behavior, with practice. Not sure about the controlling, I have not had that experience but am sure there are some kids who attempt to control with words etc.

I have a little girl now who talks non stop. I am working on the same things with her. It definitely takes time to redirect the conversations but getting better. I do what pp's have mentioned, do not engage in it. Keep us posted!
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MN Day Mom 01:05 PM 06-13-2011
I agree. This could be lots of things. Not knowing the child my first thoughts would be that this behavior is a way she copes with her anxiety. It appears to be controlling and if it is, most likely it could be the child dealing with the feelings of uncertainty. Children need to feel they have some control, especially when they are feeling anxious. Not sure I see this as a control thing though, maybe she just needs some reassruance now and again??

I also agree there are many ways that this could be dealt with, depending on the cause, not all things should be treated from the symptom backwards.

**I have a child with a developmental disability and clinical anxiety, compassion and understanding have been two of the most important things for his progress.
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QualiTcare 03:53 PM 06-13-2011
i still think it has to do more with the fact that she's 3 years old, it's her first daycare, and she misses her grandma! and way less to do with "delays, anxiety, etc."

three years old is pretty dang old to start daycare. i used to work with nothing but two year olds and it was ROUGH when a two year old started daycare for the first time. typically, they would do nothing but cry all day long for the first week or two. this kid is 3 so she's had a whole extra year to get attached to her grandma and probably not socialize with anyone...and now it's off to daycare so she can get "used to other kids" before school starts. it's the stupidest thing i've ever heard. i know people have a hard time letting go of their "babies" but i think it's a huge disservice to them because of scenarios like this one. my sister just had her first kid and of course is trying to be the perfect mom. she stays at home with her son and they barely leave the house. that kid gets upset when there are kids around playing and being loud bc he doesn't know how to handle anything other than a quiet house with his mom. this girl doesn't know how to handle anything other than talking to (and NOW: about) her grandma. JMO.
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Lucy 03:59 PM 06-13-2011
Originally Posted by QualiTcare:
i still think it has to do more with the fact that she's 3 years old, it's her first daycare, and she misses her grandma! and way less to do with "delays, anxiety, etc."

three years old is pretty dang old to start daycare. i used to work with nothing but two year olds and it was ROUGH when a two year old started daycare for the first time. typically, they would do nothing but cry all day long for the first week or two. this kid is 3 so she's had a whole extra year to get attached to her grandma and probably not socialize with anyone...and now it's off to daycare so she can get "used to other kids" before school starts. it's the stupidest thing i've ever heard. i know people have a hard time letting go of their "babies" but i think it's a huge disservice to them because of scenarios like this one. my sister just had her first kid and of course is trying to be the perfect mom. she stays at home with her son and they barely leave the house. that kid gets upset when there are kids around playing and being loud bc he doesn't know how to handle anything other than a quiet house with his mom. this girl doesn't know how to handle anything other than talking to (and NOW: about) her grandma. JMO.
Couldn't agree more. I think some above are reading waaayyy too much into this.
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Live and Learn 06:29 PM 06-13-2011
Originally Posted by QualiTcare:
i still think it has to do more with the fact that she's 3 years old, it's her first daycare, and she misses her grandma! and way less to do with "delays, anxiety, etc."

three years old is pretty dang old to start daycare. i used to work with nothing but two year olds and it was ROUGH when a two year old started daycare for the first time. typically, they would do nothing but cry all day long for the first week or two. this kid is 3 so she's had a whole extra year to get attached to her grandma and probably not socialize with anyone...and now it's off to daycare so she can get "used to other kids" before school starts. it's the stupidest thing i've ever heard. i know people have a hard time letting go of their "babies" but i think it's a huge disservice to them because of scenarios like this one. my sister just had her first kid and of course is trying to be the perfect mom. she stays at home with her son and they barely leave the house. that kid gets upset when there are kids around playing and being loud bc he
doesn't know how to handle anything other than a quiet house with his mom. this girl doesn't know how to handle
anything other than talking to (and NOW: about) her grandma. JMO.

I agree.

Either stay home with your kid until preschool or kinder or send him to daycare at a younger age than 3. If you start daycare at 3 be prepared for some little quirks like this.
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Abigail 07:43 PM 06-13-2011
She will be four in a couple of weeks. She has been at daycare for quite a few months now and it's just as annoying now as it was a long time ago, lol. People ask "Does she ever get to see her grandma?"

Today I tried "Go Play" "Go Clean" "Sit Down and Eat" etc. When she is told to help pickup or join the group she is rude and continues to talk over you. Tomorrow I'm going to start addressing Being Nice and Listening because it's not going to work if she will not listen.
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QualiTcare 08:40 PM 06-13-2011
Originally Posted by Abigail:
She will be four in a couple of weeks. She has been at daycare for quite a few months now and it's just as annoying now as it was a long time ago, lol. People ask "Does she ever get to see her grandma?"

Today I tried "Go Play" "Go Clean" "Sit Down and Eat" etc. When she is told to help pickup or join the group she is rude and continues to talk over you. Tomorrow I'm going to start addressing Being Nice and Listening because it's not going to work if she will not listen.
3 months is what you said in your OP. that's really not THAT long for a kid who is 3...and actually almost 4. that means she went to her first daycare at 3.5 and spent those first years with grandma. i can see that it might be annoying for you. i'm just saying i don't think it's anything that profound other than she stayed up her grandma's butt for her entire life and is still adjusting to the "real world."
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Tags:3 year old, first time in daycare, friends, making friends, repetitive, separation
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