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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>What Would You Do?
fifi 02:08 PM 01-21-2018
Sorry this is so long.

We have a 4 1/2 year old who shows a lot of signs of ADHD. His mom refuses to get him assessed by Child Development, but she has taken it upon herself to diagnose him with ADHD, and she is constantly giving us stuff she's printed off the internet about how to deal with a child with ADHD. She comes into the centre every day at the end of lunch to see her kids, and completely disrupts our transition from lunch to nap. Then she comes very close to closing time at the end of the day, and lets her toddler run around and take toys out. She tells him not to, but doesn't do anything to stop him. Meanwhile the older boy runs around the room and gets all hyper, and his mom refuses to be firm with him.

Last week we had a huge upset at the centre involving her 4 1/2 year old. We ran out of our regular cutlery at lunch time, and so we gave him a spoon that is usually used on the infant/toddler side. He refused to eat with it, and then his mom came and wondered why we wouldn't wash a different spoon for him. We have 16 children with 2 staff, and lunch is often very chaotic, so it's not always possible to do that, and his mom was really upset. The next day she put plastic cutlery from home in his lunch bag, and all was well. Wednesday she forgot to pack plastic cutlery, and we gave him 3 different options for cutlery, and he refused to eat. When she came to see her kid, he told her the situation, and she accused us of withholding food as a punishment, which was not true at all. This was all in front of her child and all the other children. She called her husband at work, and he came to the centre and calmed down his kid, fed him, etc. My coworker, who is the head teacher, talked with the dad, who was completely reasonable and asked for the forms for getting his child assessed. At the end of the day the mom came to pick up her kids, and gave me info about a series of workshops about ADHD and said she would pay the tuition for one of us to attend.

I've been so upset about this that I haven't been able to think about anything else all weekend long. She wants us to make all kinds of exceptions for her son, and all kinds of special treatment. She is always telling us about how sensitive he is, and yet she fails to recognize that we have many children with special needs and behavioural issues who are in the process of being assessed, yet we don't go about washing the specific spoon the want. We feel that all the children, including the little boy in question, have to learn to cope with situations that aren't exactly to their liking. In elementary school there won't be special treatment for him unless he has a diagnosis and a special needs worker. Yet his mom always manages to make me feel guilty. Maybe I should have handled the situation differently. Maybe I should have just washed the damn spoon. Did I do the wrong thing?
Josiegirl 02:22 PM 01-21-2018
Why is she allowed to visit and then leave again? And she suspects he has ADHD? Yet she still does this, knowing how upset he becomes and how disruptive it is for the entire group of children? Some providers here have a policy in place that parents can come but when they leave, they take the child with them. I only have a small in home daycare but even I know how much an adult can disrupt a small group. I cannot imagine a large groups reaction. I would not allow parents to visit if it creates such a chaos. And as far as the spoon incident, omyword, can you imagine stopping to wash a spoon for each child? Every single little action in a large group of 16 kids becomes magnified x16.
Is this a center or an in-home with assistants? Do you have any say in what happens in regards to rules?
fifi 02:36 PM 01-21-2018
It's a centre with a preschool age group (16 children, 2 staff, no assistants) and an infant/toddler group (12). Neither of us on the preschool side have our special needs training.

I am so upset by this situation that I am feeling anxious and depressed. I am dreading going to work tomorrow.
Josiegirl 02:50 PM 01-21-2018
Have you talked with the center director to see if something can be done about the mother being so disruptive?
Please try not to take what the mom is saying/doing to heart. It sounds like the dad is more reasonable; will he grant permission to have their ds assessed? I don't understand why mom is acting so know-it-all yet doesn't even want him to be assessed if she thinks he is ADHD.
Are you feeling uncomfortable because of your lack of special needs training? If so, you can talk to the director about getting more training on the subject.
fifi 03:04 PM 01-21-2018
I don't even know where to begin to respond. The manager/owner has 2 centres, and doesn't come very often to the centre where I work. I'm going to text her to let her know that I want to talk to her about the situation. As far as any workshops are concerned, my boss doesn't pay for us to attend, and if I go to a workshop or seminar during work hours, I also don't get paid for that day. I want to find a different job, but where I am now I work the closing shift so I never get sent home early and get my full 40 hours a week. Another centre where I worked for a month kept sending me home after 4 hours or texted me at 10 pm to tell me what time to come in the next day.
TheMisplacedMidwestMom 03:07 PM 01-21-2018
I agree about getting the director involved. If you and the other teacher do not have the power to stop her from visiting, the director needs to step up and set some boundaries. The spoon thing is a simple power play on kids part, and mom is just feeding into because she apparently enjoys the drama. If she was not enjoying the drama she was creating she would stop coming. This is more about her than her kid. It will continue unless some boundaries are set.

I would also guess that mom wants the child to have adhd because she does not know how to handle him, and its easier to say he has an issue than "I created this problem and don't know how to fix it." She is not seeking an evaluation because she is afraid he won't actually get a diagnosis.

I disagree that dad is the reasonable one. No reasonable man I know would leave work to go "calm" his child AND wife over a spoon. I mean seriously?!
fifi 03:26 PM 01-21-2018
He was reasonable in terms of being able to talk with about the situation and getting Child Development involved. But yeah, totally messed up that he would have to come to calm down his wife and child. Way too much drama last week. I want to just go to work and do my job and not have to deal with crazy parents. The mom wants us to call her at work any time there is an issue, while any other parent would be like, "why are you calling me at work to tell me my kid won't eat with the spoon you provided?" I have no desire or time to micro manage this child and his mom. I feel sorry for the little guy, because he is caught in the middle of it all. And apparently his parents are splitting up, but still living in the same house.
fifi 07:28 PM 01-21-2018
I am absolutely exhausted and feel like I am starting this week with a deficit. All week last week I was dealing with it okay myself, but I've been a wreck all weekend and wish I could call in sick.
Ariana 06:17 AM 01-22-2018
It is really tough if you have zero authority to really do anything. If you do have some authority I would call a meeting with the family and your supervisor and come up with a plan of action. Let the parent know how YOU handle things and let her know what you are not willing to do. Right now the mom feels like you are her employee. This is not true. You provide a service, so if she does not like it she is free to find the service that suits her needs. Also let her know that without a formal diagnosis NOTHING is going to be done about his “ADHD”. You can a commodate needs up to a point but unless there is a real diagnosed reason for special he is not going to get it.

This mom sounds like a loon! I am so sorry you are dealing with this. It sounds to me like she enjoys the attention of creating the chaos and then playing the victim. She is most likely mentallh unstable. You need to get your director or supervisor involved in this.

Also do not let this affect you. How is it helping you to be so worried and anxious. This kid and this mom are not worth the effort and time. Try and control your thoughts about the situation. None of this is your doing or your fault at all! Dealing with people with mental illness is very hard because they make US feel like the crazy ones when we are not!
fifi 06:29 PM 01-22-2018
I am feeling better today after having talked with my boss. If this mom continues to be disruptive at lunch time, my boss will let her know that it's not working for us to have her visit her children at lunch time and ask her to not come anymore.
Tags:center based teachers, center workers, evaluation form, unreasonable parental expectations
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