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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Curbing the "Well MY Mom Says..."
EntropyControlSpecialist 11:54 AM 06-28-2016
I have a 4yo little boy who is pretty new. I'm having a difficult time curbing certain behaviors.

One is that he will tell his Mom/Dad at pick up what he wants to do/wants to take and 95% of the time the parent will say okay. Even when I correct it, they'll still say okay or they will say, "Well, so-and-so says...." with a very soft voice as the child is doing what I just said not to do. I have to intervene every time.

Today, I have made it so there is a far less chance of these behaviors happening by rearranging things. However, throughout the entire day I heard, "Well MY Mom says I can do that here." "Well MY Dad says I can do that when he gets here." "Well MY Mom says I can get that home with me."

It gets to be obnoxious and I'm not successfully curbing it or his constant sass with this and other things. Help, please.
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Leigh 11:58 AM 06-28-2016
Originally Posted by EntropyControlSpecialist:
I have a 4yo little boy who is pretty new. I'm having a difficult time curbing certain behaviors.

One is that he will tell his Mom/Dad at pick up what he wants to do/wants to take and 95% of the time the parent will say okay. Even when I correct it, they'll still say okay or they will say, "Well, so-and-so says...." with a very soft voice as the child is doing what I just said not to do. I have to intervene every time.

Today, I have made it so there is a far less chance of these behaviors happening by rearranging things. However, throughout the entire day I heard, "Well MY Mom says I can do that here." "Well MY Dad says I can do that when he gets here." "Well MY Mom says I can get that home with me."

It gets to be obnoxious and I'm not successfully curbing it or his constant sass with this and other things. Help, please.
Two things have worked for me:

1) This is my house and your mom doesn't make the rules here. You follow my rules at my house and your mom's rules at her house.

2) When I KNOW that the child isn't telling the truth, I ask their parents in front of the child. "Do you really let XXX jump on the couch at home? He was doing it here today, and said that YOU said it was OK".

3) Today, a child told me that Mom told him not to nap. I know he is telling the truth. I'm letting him not nap. He will make it until about 4:30 and fall asleep on the couch. Mom will have to wake him when she gets here and will be annoyed that he is sleeping so late in the day. I won't hear about not taking a nap again for a few weeks, and he'll say it again. I usually respond to kids that they will take a rest at my house whether their mom says it's OK or not. Not with this one. I'm going to let her deal with his attitude when he misses nap.
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DaveA 12:01 PM 06-28-2016
Originally Posted by Leigh:
Two things have worked for me:

1) This is my house and your mom doesn't make the rules here. You follow my rules at my house and your mom's rules at her house
Pretty much how I handle it
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Cat Herder 12:08 PM 06-28-2016
Go old school.

Active ignore.

"Go play toys"

No further discussion. You are busy.

No further power play.
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KiwiKids 12:11 PM 06-28-2016
My house, my rules. Repeat it over and over. When parents disregard the rules it is always an uphill battle though. I ran into two of my former daycare kids last week and they have a new step brother that is a bit wild. They told their mom "He wouldn't act like that at Miss. Kiwikids' house" glad I made an impression! Haha
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AmyKidsCo 12:24 PM 06-28-2016
Originally Posted by EntropyControlSpecialist:
I have a 4yo little boy who is pretty new. I'm having a difficult time curbing certain behaviors.

One is that he will tell his Mom/Dad at pick up what he wants to do/wants to take and 95% of the time the parent will say okay. Even when I correct it, they'll still say okay or they will say, "Well, so-and-so says...." with a very soft voice as the child is doing what I just said not to do. I have to intervene every time.
If what he wants to do/take isn't at your house you really don't have and control over it so try not to waste energy getting bothered by it.

Originally Posted by EntropyControlSpecialist:
Today, I have made it so there is a far less chance of these behaviors happening by rearranging things. However, throughout the entire day I heard, "Well MY Mom says I can do that here." "Well MY Dad says I can do that when he gets here." "Well MY Mom says I can get that home with me."

It gets to be obnoxious and I'm not successfully curbing it or his constant sass with this and other things. Help, please.
Your house, your rules. "Your mom/dad isn't in charge here, I am." And walk away or ignore further arguing. Another one I've used is "Nope, not here, but you can at home!"

If it continues to be a problem I'd talk to mom and dad directly. It's not cool if they are undermining your authority, but there's a good chance he's making it all up and they have no idea.
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finsup 12:28 PM 06-28-2016
For new kids, I do "our houses have different rules. Here I expect you to..." once they know they rules and are just doing it to be annoying etc it's ignored completely.
However i would be having a chat with the parents on what the rules are here, not undermining your authority and stop with the "dck can do this here" when they can't. If dcm or dcd says something is ok at pick up I would very quickly respond with "No, im sorry dcm, in my home that is NOT ok. Dcb, you were told to...etc and correct the behavior.
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EntropyControlSpecialist 12:31 PM 06-28-2016
Originally Posted by AmyKidsCo:
If what he wants to do/take isn't at your house you really don't have and control over it so try not to waste energy getting bothered by it.


Your house, your rules. "Your mom/dad isn't in charge here, I am." And walk away or ignore further arguing. Another one I've used is "Nope, not here, but you can at home!"

If it continues to be a problem I'd talk to mom and dad directly. It's not cool if they are undermining your authority, but there's a good chance he's making it all up and they have no idea.
What he wants to do is at my house (get on the stairway which his parents allow upon pick up time, open and close my front door, etc.) and what he wants to take are items that he isn't going to take (art supplies lately ).
The latest short things I have been saying are, "This is Ms.___'s preschool. My toys/supplies stay here." or "This is Ms.___'s preschool so I make the rules here. Your mommy and daddy make the rules at YOUR house."

Unfortunately, they ARE undermining my authority. For example:
Me: "Please do not touch the doorknob."
Child: "Dad, can I touch the doorknob?"
Dad: "Okay, son."
Me: "No, I'm sorry but at preschool he cannot touch the front door."
Child: "Dad, I can touch it right?"
Dad: "You can help me close it from the outside just don't touch the inside."
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Blackcat31 12:33 PM 06-28-2016
Originally Posted by Cat Herder:
Go old school.

Active ignore.

"Go play toys"

No further discussion. You are busy.

No further power play.
This ^^

Anything else and you are simply giving him attention.

As for mom/dad allowing him to do certain things, I'd straight up say "He knows that he is not allowed to do X because I said so."

Sadly sometimes you have to let parents know YOU are the boss in your business/house too.
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EntropyControlSpecialist 12:34 PM 06-28-2016
Thanks for all the advice! I will give it a go and see how it goes.

I have also been correcting it when the parent tries to manipulate around my rules but they still do it once I turn my back and leave. I can still SEE them from the toy room to the entryway. The child hasn't had computer time here (5 minutes per day) due to his lack of following the rules. Every day he walks in and announces that he followed the rules ENTERING. I tell him, "Yesterday evening you DIDN'T follow the rules when you ___." to which he replies, "Today, I followed the rules." It can go on endlessly because he LOVES to argue. I just say, "We've already discussed this. Play time."
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Blackcat31 12:35 PM 06-28-2016
Originally Posted by EntropyControlSpecialist:

Unfortunately, they ARE undermining my authority. For example:
Me: "Please do not touch the doorknob."
Child: "Dad, can I touch the doorknob?"
Dad: "Okay, son."
Me: "No, I'm sorry but at preschool he cannot touch the front door."
Child: "Dad, I can touch it right?"
Dad: "You can help me close it from the outside just don't touch the inside."
You: "Dad, it is important that you do not give him permission to do things I just told him he cannot do. Helping you do exactly what he isn't suppose to do is NOT helping the situation. Please do not do that again."

Then just give the "I mean business" look.
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Rockgirl 12:37 PM 06-28-2016
Maybe it's time to have a discussion with the parents about it, letting them know you will no longer tolerate the undermining.
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Unregistered 12:40 PM 06-28-2016
I had one like this where ignoring didn't work. So I used it back on him. Every time he said, "my mom says...", I would confuse him by saying something MY mom told me. He would just look at me like, "whaaaaat?" It got old quick for him.
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Rockgirl 12:47 PM 06-28-2016
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
I had one like this where ignoring didn't work. So I used it back on him. Every time he said, "my mom says...", I would confuse him by saying something MY mom told me. He would just look at me like, "whaaaaat?" It got old quick for him.
I like it!
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nanglgrl 12:48 PM 06-28-2016
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
I had one like this where ignoring didn't work. So I used it back on him. Every time he said, "my mom says...", I would confuse him by saying something MY mom told me. He would just look at me like, "whaaaaat?" It got old quick for him.
I've done this for different situations before and every time I can't help but wonder if it actually works because they think I might be off my rocker and are smart enough to know you can't argue with crazy.
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Mom2Two 02:11 PM 06-28-2016
Some cute suggestions above. And undermining my authority is one of the things that really makes my blood boil. I'm not sure I could stand it, honestly.

My own son liked to ague with me when he was young. I used to swear that I could hire him out as a trial lawyer even as a preschooler. Anyway, in the end, I actually made arguing against the rules. I did tell him that he could say anything to me as long as it was respectful or an emergency. But I did have to get firm with him about it. It drove me crazy, because of course it was just random, ridiculous arguing. I think it must have been for attention or something--to keep me busy with him.

Another thought, at four years, chores have often worked as a consequence for me.
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Mom2Two 02:15 PM 06-28-2016
But part of me is fantasizing about returning the favor to the parents: "Oh, BTW I told Johnny that he could eat as much candy as he wants when he gets home/doesn't have to do to bed on time/you're getting him a puppy for his birthday/can use bad words" etc etc. lol
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rosieteddy 02:22 PM 06-28-2016
I just saw the cutest video on face book.Titled this kid should be a lawyer.Linda linda linda then an argument why he should get what he wants. If I knew how to copy and paste I would share it. Anyhow. as to your problem I would call the parents on it.Then I would ask for a call or text when they arrive and meet them at the door bye bye outside. I did this with all my kids it really cut down on the aggravation . We would sit and read waiting for parents on front porch or at stroller after a walk. Right to car
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EntropyControlSpecialist 02:41 PM 06-28-2016
Oh gracious.
At pick up the 4.5yo had a book he wanted to take home. He asked his Dad and his Dad said he didn't know. I said we cannot take my items home. Let's go put it away on the bookshelf. He told me no. Dad stood by and watched. I turned his shoulders around and walked behind him as he pushed me and told me no the entire way to the bookshelf. I then said, "Are you going to put it back or do I need to?" he kept telling me no so I had to pry it from his fingers and then said it's time to go home. I walked him back to his Dad, who watched this entire thing and said nothing to assist me beyond, "You have a book like that at home!", and was being told NO I don't WANT to to which I said, "We don't tell our teacher no. We say, "Yes ma'am." and upon arriving back at his Dad said, "If you take my things home then I will have nothing here. We would have nothing to do all day. That would be sad." He left fine after that with his Dad.


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Blackcat31 02:57 PM 06-28-2016
Originally Posted by rosieteddy:
I just saw the cutest video on face book.Titled this kid should be a lawyer.Linda linda linda then an argument why he should get what he wants. If I knew how to copy and paste I would share it. Anyhow. as to your problem I would call the parents on it.Then I would ask for a call or text when they arrive and meet them at the door bye bye outside. I did this with all my kids it really cut down on the aggravation . We would sit and read waiting for parents on front porch or at stroller after a walk. Right to car
That is such a funny and scary video all at the same time.


Any time my DH and I get to bickering, one of us always says "But Linda, listen. Linda?" ....and then we are bioth cracking up.
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Mom2Two 03:16 PM 06-28-2016
Originally Posted by EntropyControlSpecialist:
Oh gracious.
At pick up the 4.5yo had a book he wanted to take home. He asked his Dad and his Dad said he didn't know. I said we cannot take my items home. Let's go put it away on the bookshelf. He told me no. Dad stood by and watched. I turned his shoulders around and walked behind him as he pushed me and told me no the entire way to the bookshelf. I then said, "Are you going to put it back or do I need to?" he kept telling me no so I had to pry it from his fingers and then said it's time to go home. I walked him back to his Dad, who watched this entire thing and said nothing to assist me beyond, "You have a book like that at home!", and was being told NO I don't WANT to to which I said, "We don't tell our teacher no. We say, "Yes ma'am." and upon arriving back at his Dad said, "If you take my things home then I will have nothing here. We would have nothing to do all day. That would be sad." He left fine after that with his Dad.


I just wrote a comment then lost it so I hope this doesn't appear twice.

How about doing nothing? Don't engage--don't pick up the ball. See what the dad does as you just watch him deal with his kid taking the book. Just talk to the dad and say either "He's not allowed to take the book" or you could say (if the kid walks out with it) "I'll have to charge you a $40 replacement fee if he leaves the house with the book." Make it the dad's problem. Just tell the dad the rules and let the dad enforce them. If the dad ends up in the hot seat, maybe he'll be more cooperative in working with you about enforcing the rules.

I had something like this happen--just a different version of it. I had a girl who was unusually uncooperative. She had massive melt downs at pick up (and during the day). Mom would say that it was time to leave, but girl wouldn't obey and would scream at mom that she wanted to keep playing. At first, I really exerted myself, trying to make pick up work. But mom wasn't really remedying it. There was no consistent firmness. So then I began just watching and letting mom deal with it. After a while of that, I began talking about what I felt needed to happen to help the situation. Mom was pretty cooperative with what I wanted--afterall, the alternative was to let her deal with it herself. Also, she got to see that my brand of firmness really did work.
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EntropyControlSpecialist 04:15 PM 06-28-2016
GREAT idea!
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Ariana 04:29 PM 06-28-2016
I would make the dad leave and "try again". "ok johnny it looks like you are not able to follow the rules at preschool so your dad is now going to leave and you get to sit here for 5 minutes (place a chair by the door). Instruct dad to come back in 5 minutes. This makes it super inconvenient for both of them. Reiterate the rules, ask johnny if he'd like to try again and then "threaten" - Does daddy need to leave again?", as soon as he starts asking for anything, whining, touching stuff etc. State expectations before dad comes to the door and tell him you know that he can do a good job.

I know this sounds off the wall but I recently had to do this with a child who was acting very disrespectful to me and my daughter during pickup. Nipped it in the bud in 2 days. This is a power struggle between you and the kid and YOU need to step up because he thinks you aren't going to do anything with dad there and he still thinks dad is in charge when dad is there...but he is not and you need to show that.
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AmyKidsCo 05:21 PM 06-28-2016
Originally Posted by Rockgirl:
Maybe it's time to have a discussion with the parents about it, letting them know you will no longer tolerate the undermining.
Definitely.

In the 2 examples you gave I'd add something about safety - when the parents are right there. It's hard for parents to argue against you when your reason is keeping children safe.

"I know at home you can open the doors, but here I need to keep ALL the children safe, so only grown-ups are allowed to open the door."

"I know you're big enough to be safe on the stairs but the little ones aren't - they'll try to climb them like you and get hurt. Big kids need to help keep little kids safe."

As far as taking things home, what if you go the opposite direction and let him borrow it overnight? If it doesn't come back the next morning give 1 reminder. If it doesn't come back the next morning hand the parent a bill for replacement. And don't warn them about it ahead of time.
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laundrymom 06:36 PM 06-28-2016
I think I'd have sat boy down in a time out and dad as well!!
Jeepers!!
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Blackcat31 07:39 PM 06-28-2016
Originally Posted by Mom2Two:
I just wrote a comment then lost it so I hope this doesn't appear twice.

How about doing nothing? Don't engage--don't pick up the ball. See what the dad does as you just watch him deal with his kid taking the book. Just talk to the dad and say either "He's not allowed to take the book" or you could say (if the kid walks out with it) "I'll have to charge you a $40 replacement fee if he leaves the house with the book." Make it the dad's problem. Just tell the dad the rules and let the dad enforce them. If the dad ends up in the hot seat, maybe he'll be more cooperative in working with you about enforcing the rules.
This is a great strategy!!
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EntropyControlSpecialist 07:40 PM 06-28-2016
Originally Posted by AmyKidsCo:
Definitely.

In the 2 examples you gave I'd add something about safety - when the parents are right there. It's hard for parents to argue against you when your reason is keeping children safe.

"I know at home you can open the doors, but here I need to keep ALL the children safe, so only grown-ups are allowed to open the door."

"I know you're big enough to be safe on the stairs but the little ones aren't - they'll try to climb them like you and get hurt. Big kids need to help keep little kids safe."

As far as taking things home, what if you go the opposite direction and let him borrow it overnight? If it doesn't come back the next morning give 1 reminder. If it doesn't come back the next morning hand the parent a bill for replacement. And don't warn them about it ahead of time.
I actually said the safety aspect AND that other little children are watching so the rules need to be consistent across the board. Dad still undermined me.

This child is never told no and that is a part of the issue. He cannot accept no. I need him to accept the no and not have a huge meltdown at 4.5.

Originally Posted by Ariana:
I would make the dad leave and "try again". "ok johnny it looks like you are not able to follow the rules at preschool so your dad is now going to leave and you get to sit here for 5 minutes (place a chair by the door). Instruct dad to come back in 5 minutes. This makes it super inconvenient for both of them. Reiterate the rules, ask johnny if he'd like to try again and then "threaten" - Does daddy need to leave again?", as soon as he starts asking for anything, whining, touching stuff etc. State expectations before dad comes to the door and tell him you know that he can do a good job.

I know this sounds off the wall but I recently had to do this with a child who was acting very disrespectful to me and my daughter during pickup. Nipped it in the bud in 2 days. This is a power struggle between you and the kid and YOU need to step up because he thinks you aren't going to do anything with dad there and he still thinks dad is in charge when dad is there...but he is not and you need to show that.
I've done something similar a couple of years ago for a little boy. However, this child will not go to timeout. He buckles his legs, refuses to budge, and if you try to guide him he becomes a brick wall. He still goes to time out here but it takes A LOT of physical effort on my part to get him to our time out spot. It's so far away from the door that it'd be impossible to do at pick up. He would simply get up and tell me no he wasn't going to do it...and knowing Dad, he would just say, "Time to go! Bye."
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EntropyControlSpecialist 07:42 PM 06-28-2016
Side note: What is the POLITE way to say, "We are really struggling with defiance issues when it comes to him doing as I ask/respecting what I say?"
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Blackcat31 07:58 PM 06-28-2016
Originally Posted by EntropyControlSpecialist:
Side note: What is the POLITE way to say, "We are really struggling with defiance issues when it comes to him doing as I ask/respecting what I say?"
Maybe open up a dialog with something like:

"He is definitely going to be a leader someday because he sure thinks he's the one in charge here...."

Or

"He's definitely an inquisitive kid.. He questions everything I say..."
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childcaremom 06:02 AM 06-29-2016
Originally Posted by EntropyControlSpecialist:
Side note: What is the POLITE way to say, "We are really struggling with defiance issues when it comes to him doing as I ask/respecting what I say?"
I would just say what you have written here. It is polite, imho. Anything else just seems to sugarcoat the issue.

I think dad (and mom) need to hear exactly this. And that they are undermining your authority.

I would also do the bye bye outside (drop offs and pick ups) and just eliminate the stress of dealing with the dcps.
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AmyKidsCo 09:08 PM 06-29-2016
Originally Posted by childcaremom:
I would just say what you have written here. It is polite, imho. Anything else just seems to sugarcoat the issue.

I think dad (and mom) need to hear exactly this. And that they are undermining your authority.

I would also do the bye bye outside (drop offs and pick ups) and just eliminate the stress of dealing with the dcps.
Yup. And if it continues you may want to start looking for a replacement. Life is too short to put up with that.
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Tags:bye bye outside, go play toys, mommy says, parents - don't cooperate, the dynamic of bad behavior
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