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Old 11-15-2012, 05:14 AM
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Default Need Some Ideas and Reassurance

I am a regular member logged out. I need some guidance. I have only been in this type of daycare (home daycare) for one year and I have a child situation that I am not sure how to handle. I keep wishing they would just leave, but I am a single mom dependent upon the income, so.....

Here's a little background. Split family. Mom and dad trade weeks. Dad is strict, maybe too strict, but the kids are well behaved and I can work with him at least to a point. We had his youngest, who is a screamer, hitter, kicker, absolutely cured - no outbursts for a whole month! Then youngest went with mom for a week (she had been out of picture for a while). Now the screaming, hitting kicking is back 10 fold. He now hits and kicks ME frequently, as well as hitting and kicking furniture, stomping, not staying in "time out" chair, not staying on cot when it's time to sleep, etc, etc. Most of this behavior is in the morning, but it lasts from 1/2 to 1 hour and is escallating. Mom has absolutely NO discipline with him. Yesterday I told her he could not hit her in my house, so today she dropped him at the door and left him to me, again, kicking, screaming, etc. I do NOT have a separate room or space blocked off where he can go. He is fine the rest of the day normally. Again, he used to throw fits during the day, we got that cured, but now yesterday he threw one again. All I can say is thank the LORD next week is Dad's!!!

I need some alternative methods of dealing with this. I am not willing to let him destroy my furniture and/or toys. They don't pay me enough. I am not willing to allow a child to hit or kick me. I had a teenager and a husband who did that and I SWORE I would never allow it in my house again.

Short of terming, I am hoping that someone has some "miracle cure" way of handling this situation. I have honestly thought about becoming uncertified so I can use more firm punishment, but they are on child assistance - I honestly think he would respond and Dad has OK'd it. But as certified, of course, I can't use it. The child just knows he gets away with it. He is also having a HUGE time adjusting to all of the changes. Mom is VERY inconsistent with her schedule. Dad is not as bad, only as work dictates to him. If I could I would refuse to watch them on the weeks mom has them, but it is my only full-timer right now.

HELP!!!
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:56 AM
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dEHmom dEHmom is offline
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Sorry, I don't have much to offer in terms of advice. The only thing I can think of is telling mom and dad together, that if this behaviour keeps up, they will lose their space. I understand your money situation, but there is always another child. IT's not worth it if you have to deal with this.

I would tell mom that she will be required to deal with this issue at home, start disciplining, enforce rules, and that if this behaviour happens at drop off, the child will be going home with her every time until it straightens up, or until the termination date . You do not have to put up with any violence from a child. If the child lays a hand/foot on you, mom has XX minutes to pick him up or you're calling the emergency contact.
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:23 AM
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MarinaVanessa MarinaVanessa is offline
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I think that you should sit down together with DCM and DCD and point blank let her know that this was a non-issue while the child was not seeing her and now that the child is back to seeing her the problems have started again. Start logging the behavior and let her know that you are logging it. Maybe that'll give her that nudge that she needs to help her get a handle on it.

Make sure that you emphasize that although this type of behavior might be normal for some children that it is not appropriate for group care especially since the behavior was stopped before, so the child knows better. The DCM is basically telling DCK that the behavior is ok. If mom was not an authoritarian parent before she'll probably be less of one now due to possible guilt that she feels for not spending as much time with him as she would like. Have her sign her own agreement stating she will replace any items/property that the child damages, maybe that'll make it more serious for her or if anything at least you'll have items replaced and it won't come out of your pocket.

This a tough one for sure. If worse comes to worse and you notice that the behavior only happens when DCM drops off/picks up then maybe have DCM be unable to drop-off/pick-up. I know that'll make it hard for both parents considering that it sounds like the child spends one week with DCM one week with DCD but if you don't make it inconvenient for her then she'll have no reason to make changes.
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:36 AM
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I'm a foster parent as well as a daycare provider. From my experience, I think the issues stem more from the separation of the parents and not so much the parenting style of mom - although it certainly doesn't help the matter. We've had several foster children come through our home over the years and with every single one of them, we see behaviors return once they start having visitation with the parents again. It's a way for them to cope with it all. Most of the time, the children are young and they don't understand why their parents aren't with them everyday as they used to be. Especially in young children, this is how they "cope" with it - by the various behaviors. I'm guessing that next week may be rough as well, as the child goes back to dad - creating more confusion. I would expect things to settle after a few weeks and much routine with the child. Once the child gets a chance to see that both parents are still going to be in their life...

But how do you deal with it all... depending on the age of the child, I'd make sure to validate the feelings of the child. Ask them if they are feeling angry... reassure them that both mom and dad love them... explain to them the schedule that's going to take place - this week with mommy, next week with daddy... I've provided children with other ways to get their anger out. - scribble on a paper, scream into a pillow, whatever you find appropriate for your home. But always be consistent and stand firm with your expectations.

I'd certainly be talking to both parents about it and make sure they are aware that these behaviors are returning and that you can't allow this child to cause harm to your other children or yourself and that if the behavior continues you'll have to terminate services.

I think play therapy may be benifical to the child as well... but that of course would be the parent's responsibility to start.

I wish you the best of luck.
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:53 AM
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Thank you so much for all of the ideas. You people always make me feel like I CAN do this! I am very frustrated with this whole situation, and it especially helped to hear the take of a foster parent!

Like so many others, I struggle mightily with having a backbone. But I also struggle with being nice about it. When I get my backbone it's usually "my way or the highway" type discussion. Not good. I'm working on it, but it comes very slowly.

The thought had occurred to me to suggest only dad does the drop off/pick up, and it is one of the suggestions I am going to present. We'll see if they even want to work with me or if they just want to find someone who will deal with it all. Good luck on that one. I'm their 3rd daycare in about 9 months. I am also going to calmly state that the continuance of the behavior is not an option.

You all gave me even more options and ideas! THank you! (((HUGS)))
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