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Old 01-17-2012, 03:54 AM
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Default Final Notice?

Is it fair and helpful to give a family a final written warning about their child's behavior before I terminate? I'm still considering termination on Friday but giving myself a few days to think about it.

I have a family with two children who account for 90% of my behavioral problems here. Mom and Dad are always quick to address the behavior but it's one of those situations where it's ALWAYS SOMETHING and the something is normally completely unpredictable or strange or dangerous.

I would like to put on paper that the incident yesterday was the last one of it's magnitude that I will tolerate and then list other behaviors or policy violations that will now lead to immediate termination. Is this counterproductive?

My biggest problem is that Mom is a childhood friend (I've posted about this family before) and I think I'll lose the family as a friend if I terminate. However, at this point I've resigned myself to that fact if it comes to it. I'm hoping a final notice will soften the blow? I'm pretty sure it's beyond this family to improve things with their children to the point they can stay long term. It's only a matter of time before something else happens.

The latest incident involves me vacuuming my backyard with a shopvac and until then no child can even go in my backyard (and outdoor playspace). Hopefully DH can get to it this weekend since he needs daylight to clean up the glass.
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Old 01-17-2012, 05:40 AM
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23 views and noone has an opinion?
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Old 01-17-2012, 05:48 AM
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Glass? Yikes!!! What did they do? Do what you have to do for the safety of the other children and your sanity.

I personally don't think a final notice is required especially in this case.

Are the parents aware of this last incident? I might have them sign an incident report.
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Old 01-17-2012, 05:58 AM
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She found a jar in the backyard which I think fell out of a recycling bag when one of my daughters was putting them out. That's the only explanation I can come up with as to why it was there. She threw it and it shattered on the frozen ground. We don't throw things and she's 4 so she obviously knows better.

They're aware although we haven't discussed it extensively. I was too angry last night to have a conversation with Dad so he just took the kids and went home with them. They're home with mom today (normal day home).
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:13 AM
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Have you had a conference with them yet to work out a discipline plan specific for her?

That may be the best place to start if there is the slightest hope of salvaging the friendship....

Yes, It is possible they are feeling the same way about the conflict of friendship/business and a clean, mutual, daycare split may be the best answer for everyone.

It is also possible that a well thought out and consistently enforced discipline plan (both at daycare AND home) may solve all the behavioral issues AND strengthen the friendship.
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:22 AM
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I have a discipline plan in effect for their other child that involves her never being left alone with any children here even for a second among other things. If you remember the bad bite I had here before Christmas? That was the younger sibling of this one.

I don't have a plan for this one but she's the child that strangled her sister last year. She also regularly lies and implicates other children when she breaks rules, has bitten her sister twice in the past month here and once at home (left a bruise), has ALWAYS had to nap in a completely separate area of the house or she wakes everyone deliberately and I could go on and on but those are the major (current) problems.

Catherder, do you really think a plan will work with this child and family? I just don't know. What I do know is that out of the 8 children I have here during the week 9 out of 10 timeouts, redirections or problems involve these two children and it's been that was since the oldest was about 18 months.
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:33 AM
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You know what I would do..... Begin to dread child's arrival.... Star on calendar..... 30 days, no change.... Term. That is what works for me and my program.

I can't say 100% what will work for you. I just sensed that you were hesitant and wanted to give you a way to assess if it was time to let them go without guilt.

If you value the friendship more than your sanity OR would feel like you somehow failed....then keep working at it for a bit longer KNOWING it is about your needs, not theirs.

If you know these children are taking away from EVERYONE in your home, then give them notice this week. I think (just me, not necessarily anyone else) it will be a HUGE weight off everyone and the rest of the group will thrive.

Only you know the needs of your group, though.... KWIM?
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meyou View Post
She found a jar in the backyard which I think fell out of a recycling bag when one of my daughters was putting them out. That's the only explanation I can come up with as to why it was there. She threw it and it shattered on the frozen ground. We don't throw things and she's 4 so she obviously knows better.

They're aware although we haven't discussed it extensively. I was too angry last night to have a conversation with Dad so he just took the kids and went home with them. They're home with mom today (normal day home).
While I understand that this was the last straw, I wouldn't 100% blame the child for this one. It was an unfortunate accident. Thankfully nobody was hurt. (I'm sure she's not allowed to throw glass items around at home.)

Try to place yourself outside your situation. If it were anyone's child, (not a personal friend's) would you have terminated already? Probably.
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catherder View Post
You know what I would do..... Begin to dread child's arrival.... Star on calendar..... 30 days, no change.... Term. That is what works for me and my program.

I can't say 100% what will work for you. I just sensed that you were hesitant and wanted to give you a way to assess if it was time to let them go without guilt.

If you value the friendship more than your sanity OR would feel like you somehow failed....then keep working at it for a bit longer KNOWING it is about your needs, not theirs.

If you know these children are taking away from EVERYONE in your home, then give them notice this week. I think (just me, not necessarily anyone else) it will be a HUGE weight off everyone and the rest of the group will thrive.

Only you know the needs of your group, though.... KWIM?
I hear you. You're telling me what I'm already thinking and know. They do cause a strain on the group and there is a difference when they aren't here. It's almost like the group and I alter our day when they're here to manage the damage if you know what I mean. Things are just different. Days without them are clear skies for the most part and days with them are always a pending thunderstorm.

I value the friendship highly but I also KNOW for a fact that if the friendship wasn't involved I would have terminated last year when the strangling happened. I wouldn't have put this last year in with the list of problems that happened. This is so hard.
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:50 AM
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I totally agree with Kaddidle Care on this one. I don't know the other things that have gone on that have you at your terming point with this one, but I wouldn't hold it against the child. It was an accident. The glass was there, it broke. Honestly, if the kids are outside, I let them throw balls and play around...now, I understand glass and toys are different...but the kid is 4 and is outside.
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Sunshine44 View Post
I totally agree with Kaddidle Care on this one. I don't know the other things that have gone on that have you at your terming point with this one, but I wouldn't hold it against the child. It was an accident. The glass was there, it broke. Honestly, if the kids are outside, I let them throw balls and play around...now, I understand glass and toys are different...but the kid is 4 and is outside.
We don't throw. Balls or anything else. She smashed it on the ground. Please don't think it was an accident. It wasn't. I listed some of the other things in a previous post. They include biting, lying and trying to smother her sister among a long list.
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Old 01-17-2012, 07:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meyou View Post
I hear you. You're telling me what I'm already thinking and know. They do cause a strain on the group and there is a difference when they aren't here. It's almost like the group and I alter our day when they're here to manage the damage if you know what I mean. Things are just different. Days without them are clear skies for the most part and days with them are always a pending thunderstorm.

I value the friendship highly but I also KNOW for a fact that if the friendship wasn't involved I would have terminated last year when the strangling happened. I wouldn't have put this last year in with the list of problems that happened. This is so hard.
I know you do... It IS hard. We are talking about kids, not changing caulk color.

It is never easy. I can count on one hand the number of times I have done it and I still feel a bit bad about each one.

I do have to say the entire world gets better once it is done. Watching the rest of the group blossom was always worth it for me in the end.

Also, they all (the ones I let go) did better once they moved on to a "one age" type chain center. The more specific age group setting seemed to "even the decks" and they got with the program better.

IMHO, (not scientifically proven by any means) Not everyone naturally makes a good leader... for some reason ALL of the ones I had to let go were the oldest of the group. MOST of my "oldest" kids did wonderfully...but a few seemed to use it to pick at weaker kids... YKWIM?
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Old 01-17-2012, 07:02 AM
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with all the issues, I sometimes wonder "how does a parent not realize how bad their child is" At 4, they know better, doesn't matter that it was a jar, why didn't she bring it too you. I have 2 yr olds that bring me everything. I really don't think it was an accident. I would stick it out for 1 month and then if it doesn't improve then term. I would tell the parents that the 4 yr old has outgrown your program. and if they value the friendship, then they will understand.
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:00 AM
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I would terminate. Nothing is going to magically change after a written warning when you have discussed the same issues over and over and tried to address it on your own as well.
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:46 AM
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Meyou~ I think you already know the answer but are simply trying hard not to have to be the bad guy. These issues aren't new and you know they aren't going to change.

Sometimes things just are what they are. Plain and simple.
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:10 AM
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If you feel strongly that the situation has reached a point where you can't help with the behavior and that is unsafe for the other children in your care, then I would terminate (if you can financially handle losing the spots). I think if you are frustrated with a family, it can get harder and harder to deal with them as the behaviors continue. You have made the family aware of your concerns. If it isn't working and you can cut your losses, I suggest terminating. It isn't worth the stress~
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:45 AM
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I had a child like this about a year ago. The mom was a young single mother, but she was a great mom. She worked very hard with her son. The mom was the only reason i kept the kid. She was very receptive to my advice and request.

I was at the same point where you were and I held a conference with mom. I told her that I could no longer provide services if his behavior kept putting others at risk. She understood and together we came up with a plan. The mom and Italked at the end of each day. If he didn't do well at my house, he basically got to go home eat dinner, take a bath and go to bed. No tv, no games, no toys. After two weeks of this, guess what. He calmed down a lot and when things got to the point that I could not deal with the kid, mom sent her BF to pick him up.

This boy loved being at my house and hated it when he had to go home. He was kicked out of several other daycares and centers before me and I just really wanted to give this boy a chance.

I also had to have a lot of structure with this boy. Any free time and he would find trouble. During free play, I would have him stack large empty boxes, push heavier ones from one side of the room to the next or just something to keep him busy. Often he had to be separated from the group, but he played well by himself when he did.

I feel your pain. You are in a tough spot. Sounds like from reading the other post you have gotten a lot of great advice so far.

Good luck
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Old 01-17-2012, 10:10 AM
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Wow that's a hard spot to be in. I recently had a child (the gifted one) that has horrible behavior and I was at the end of my rope. Was soooo ready to terminate. I gave it 2 more weeks and within those 2 weeks his behavior changed. I stuck to my guns and continued to be firm with him and cut him no slack for bad behavior. Finally it clicked after months of work on my part. I'm not saying this is how it normally works out. I'm glad I gave it 2 weeks before I terminated though. I really had taken all I was willing to from this child though
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Old 01-17-2012, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
Meyou~ I think you already know the answer but are simply trying hard not to have to be the bad guy. These issues aren't new and you know they aren't going to change.

Sometimes things just are what they are. Plain and simple.
Yes! sometimes we need others to reassure us that the decision we're making is the right one. If it were me I would have termed long ago. This behavior is ridiculous, causing you stress and putting others in danger.
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Old 01-17-2012, 10:26 AM
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Here are my thoughts on this...If your friendship won't last bc your unable to continue care for her 2 children then I don't think she's a real friend. Yes, it will be kind of weird after words but, how much time do you spend together other than daycare. Do you both spend a lot of time out side of daycare hrs hanging out. Bc, I think if she really knows the time and heart you invest in working and helping her two children in your daycare she shouldn't be upset with you over much...yes she will be sad bc she prob. really loves and trust you in caring for her children and she might even know what problems her 2 have. Best thing here.....another meeting. I would let her know that the kids are on probation for 2 wks but also give another 2 wks to fine alternative daycare if those 2 wks do not get better. Start Mon. and count down. Be firm but loving with Mom and Dad and let them know it will be up to them to get involved right away. I would even start making calls having them start picking up kids if there awful that day. Yes, it's an inconvenience to miss work. But other daycares will do it if they haven't been around the 2 and know the history. Some will be lenient others will suspend at the first incident...(biting). As far as the glass jar...Most of my children age 2 will hand me things if they see something they know they are not sure they can play with. I think with this jar you've got to chalk it up to being super lucky and you can't blame that child entirely for the incident and I'll tell you while. You know what this child is capable of and if given the chance she will probably pull something like that which means that she shouldn't be left alone not even for a moment...I noticed in a post you mentioned you and mom had already discussed that. But no one noticed that she had a glass jar in her hands in the first place. Regardless of whether she knew better or not. My son takes out the trash also and he is always leaving stuff out or it falls out of the trash can or trash bag. It happens. I have to make sure though that each time we all go out side that there isn't anything harmful to the kids so I do a quiet sweep of the back yard. This isn't to make you feel bad bc bad things happen all the time but there are way to prevent them. Hope you don't think I am coming down on you for this post. But I understand and feel your frustration with this family. Honey, you've got to do what is best for your family, daycare and sanity. If your guys friendship doesn't last bc of your terming then you guys weren't really friends anyway.
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Old 01-17-2012, 01:20 PM
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Thanks everyone. I'm still waffling between outright termination and a final written warning so they have more notice that termination is coming. Blackcat, you're right...I'm trying not to be the bad guy. :/ I know I WILL be the bad guy but I'm still trying to avoid it. DH and I are going to talk more tonight.

As for the comments about supervision I'll address those. I understand she had a glass jar in her hand and she shouldn't have. That was my fault that it was in the yard. I don't have a clue how it got there BUT I do know that we've played in that yard more than 10 times since the last time the recycling went out so it was NOT in plain sight or I would have seen it. I regularly check the yard and tidy it even in winter because we're out there almost every day. The bottom line for me is she knows we don't throw, smash or break and she chose to throw, smash AND break then lie again even though I was standing right there.
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Old 01-17-2012, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Meyou View Post
Thanks everyone. I'm still waffling between outright termination and a final written warning so they have more notice that termination is coming. Blackcat, you're right...I'm trying not to be the bad guy. :/ I know I WILL be the bad guy but I'm still trying to avoid it. DH and I are going to talk more tonight.

As for the comments about supervision I'll address those. I understand she had a glass jar in her hand and she shouldn't have. That was my fault that it was in the yard. I don't have a clue how it got there BUT I do know that we've played in that yard more than 10 times since the last time the recycling went out so it was NOT in plain sight or I would have seen it. I regularly check the yard and tidy it even in winter because we're out there almost every day. The bottom line for me is she knows we don't throw, smash or break and she chose to throw, smash AND break then lie again even though I was standing right there.
You have to do whatever is going to most beneficial to YOU! If you think that by terming this child, your daycare will be more relaxed and peaceful, so be it. If you think it will cause a strain between the DCP's, that'll be a bridge you'll cross when you come to it. Good luck!
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