Default Style Register
Daycare.com Forum
Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Child Aggression to Animals
Lilbutterflie 01:47 PM 05-09-2011
Hi there. I have posted about my now-5 yo dcb many many times. Initially his problems here were non-violent. Timeouts do not work for him; and he will impulsively do things against the rules multiple times a day.

He goes through phases of being great for a week, terrible the next. He had a problem months ago with climbing on top of furniture, but once I implemented a punishment of being my shadow for the day he stopped this behavior.

He has always on and off been aggressive with my animals (a large shepherd and a cat). He will chase the cat around, pull my dog's tail, and occasionally hit my dog. This was on a fairly rare basis though (an incident would happen maybe once a month); so aside from discussing his behavior with mom and punishing him for it; I have not made it into a huge deal.

Two weeks ago he hit his brother with a nerf sword across the face so hard that it left a red mark on his brothers cheek for a couple of hours. I use to allow nerf sword play under very close supervision in order to get their energy out; but they know the rules. No hitting with them, and be gentle. I no longer allow this type of play here. His punishment was to be with me for the rest of the day, he was allowed one book at a time to read while he was by my side. I brought it to his mom's attention that this behavior would NOT be tolerated here. She is on board with me.

Last week, he had just come to daycare and his brother was getting lots of attention for losing his first tooth. I could see that dcb was a little upset by this as he had gone in the other room and was sulking. As I walked into the room to talk to him; he kicked at my dog and missed. He then took a step further and before I could stop him; kicked at my dog again... this time making contact. I called his mother and she warned him that if he got in trouble again that day he would be losing TV, video games, toys, everything at home for a long time. He was okay for the remainder of the day. I actually mentioned to his mother that I thought he needed therapy or counseling since his behavior had gotten worse and violent in the recent weeks. She told me the next day that their plan for his behavior was to increase his t/o time for arguing. I told her my problem with him is not arguing; it's constantly disobeying my rules and now becoming violent. She was amazed that I didn't have a problem with his arguing, but never suggested any other plan of action for his violent behavior.

This morning he was having a great morning. He asked to play on starfall.com (a preschool website) and I was in process of bringing up the site on the computer. He was excited, and he was sitting next to my dog who was laying on the floor. He suddenly push-kicked my dog with BOTH legs and was in process to do it again when I reprimanded him and he stopped. He got a t/o and lost the privelege of playing games on the computer for the rest of the day. I explained the next time I saw him hitting, pushing, kicking anyone or my dog; he would be shadowing for the rest of the day again. I will be discussing with mom tonight that his violent behavior HAS to stop.

I know most of you are going to tell me that violence should not be tolerated in a daycare setting and that I should give him a probation period or terminate care. I don't think terminating care is going to help any of us; he only has 4 more months in my care until he's off to kindy and afterschool program there. If she has to find another provider for him; it won't do any good as it will be short term only. Also, I only keep 3 children besides my own and all 3 kids are in the same family. This means if he leaves... the other two will probably leave too. That means total income loss until replacements are found. And about replacements; I have already signed one replacement b/c the 2 boys are going to kindy but care starts in AUGUST. I would have to hold one of my spots until then. Which means income loss of 1/3 until August for sure.

So I'd really like to work with him until he leaves for kindy; but I really do think he needs to be checked out by a therapist. Animal cruelty in a 5 yo is NOT normal; and his behavior otherwise is consistently defiant and disobedient. SOMETHING is wrong. How do I tell mom this and get her to seek help? Or is it none of my business?

Any suggestions???
Reply
grandmom 02:18 PM 05-09-2011
Positive reinforcement for his good behavior.

Don't let him near the animals.

Hang in there till kindy.

But, if he hurts your pets or another child, terminate.
Reply
Live and Learn 02:23 PM 05-09-2011
Originally Posted by grandmom:
Positive reinforcement for his good behavior.

Don't let him near the animals.

Hang in there till kindy.

But, if he hurts your pets or another child, terminate.
Yup!

.....and NO Nerf or weapon play at all for anyone during dc hours. It is all fun and good until someone gets hurt.....and you already have your hands full with this little guy. Adding weapon play into the mix is just asking for trouble.
Reply
Lilbutterflie 02:42 PM 05-09-2011
Yup, I don't allow it or any sword play of any kind any longer. I learned my lesson.

I give positive reinforcement ALL the time. If I see he's using his manners or using his words to solve a problem; he gets a "Thank you for using your manners!" or "Thank you for using your words!!!" and a big hug. If he goes a whole day without any timeouts, he gets a reward at my house. I've tried behavior charts and prize bins, stickers and the whole like. It doesn't work with him b/c he's extremely impulsive and doesn't think before he acts.

I'd really like to encourage her to seek professional help with him b/c his behavior is not normal and I truly believe he needs therapy or counseling. Is it crossing the line to suggest this; or even make it an ultimatum to continue care?
Reply
Live and Learn 03:58 PM 05-09-2011
Originally Posted by Lilbutterflie:
I'd really like to encourage her to seek professional help with him b/c his behavior is not normal and I truly believe he needs therapy or counseling. Is it crossing the line to suggest this; or even make it an ultimatum to continue care?
I have a good relationship with my dc parents and I think I could have a serious heart to heart with any of them.

It depends on the mom but some moms might get so offended that they will leave your daycare! KWIM? It depends on your relationship with her. You could lose a whole lot of income if Mom is the super sensitive sort.

I had one dc mom that thought her daughter was perfect and didn't want to hear anything negative ever about her (only) child. Glad I termed her!

Something that works for me with my own kids is rewarding the well behaved child and when the naughty lil dickens asks for his reward I say " oh yeah, sorry you were __________(fill in the blank). Maybe next time when I ask you to _________ you will and then you will get a treat too!" Then I make sure to catch them doing the appropriate behavior ASAP and reward him. I like to just randomly reward good behavior.
Reply
Lilbutterflie 06:21 PM 05-09-2011
Well, I sent mom an email (she gets a daily report emailed to her every day before she leaves work) discussing his kicking episode with my dog. I explained to her the next time it happens he was told he would be my shadow for a day. No playing, no activities, he gets one book at a time to occupy himself and he has to follow me around since I cannot trust him. I told her if this behavior continues; it will NOT be tolerated.

She is taking it seriously. As she pulled up; she was on the phone with her grandma for advice. Grandma used to watch the kids a couple years ago and she admitted that even when dcb was 3 he would kick their dog, too. This was news to dcm; she never knew. But anyway, Grandma told her that she has to find him help. That his aggression to animals is NOT normal and nothing she or I are doing to punish is working. I am so thankful for Grandma!!! I am also so thankful that she is on board with me to try to find a solution. And that hopefully this means she'll be seeking help. I know we have a long four months ahead; but it's nice to know that she is admitting he needs outside help and there is a serious problem.
Reply
Kaddidle Care 06:48 PM 05-09-2011
Please, please, PLEASE keep him and the dog seperated! Oh gosh! I applaud your dog for being so tolerant but if the dog ever retaliated it would be hell!

You could face having your dog put to sleep for it!

Keep the little monster away - gate him away or keep your pupper in another room with a latch that only you can open.

It's been too many times. That child is looking for a bite and it will be horrible when it happens. Don't let it be with your dog.
Reply
Lilbutterflie 07:27 AM 05-10-2011
I should state that my dog is 100 pounds, but a gentle giant. He has never once been HURT by dcb, who is a very small 5 yo. And those who know my dog know that he would NEVER bite any of us; he is our guardian.

He's an Anatolian Shepherd; a breed who is famous for being livestock guardians. In home settings, Anatolians will label themselves their families' guardian. This dog would be DEVASTATED if I had to lock him away during the day. His sole existence in his mind is to protect me and my family. My family IS my daycare family as well. My dog goes wherever we go. If we go outside, he goes outside with us. Even out front. I trust him off a leash b/c he will sniff the perimeter (the surrounding 5 houses or so); then when he deems everything safe; he finds a spot where he can view all of the children playing and he lays there ALERT and watching all of them. If one of them is riding a bike down the sidewalk, he runs alongside them. If one of them is playing on the grass closest to the street, he puts himself b/w the child and the street. I'm really not kidding! If one of the kids does something to him he doesn't want, he will lick them until they stop. That's his way. He's never growled, shown any aggression, or showed any signs he might bite any one of them.

If I ever felt that dcb was seriously hurting my dog, or that my dog was showing behavior indicating he might bite dcb; I would have to let dcb go before I locked up my dog. It's just not going to happen. However, you can bet that I have a VERY watchful eye on dcb; and that if things don't get better in the next few weeks I really may have to let him go no matter how much I want to keep him.
Reply
Live and Learn 09:57 AM 05-10-2011
If this was my daycare and I was not willing to separate the dog from the kids then I would term the boy.

In my opinion safety is our number one priority and to be honest I think every dog owner whose dog has bitten a child thought "My dog would NEVER EVER bite anybody." .....until the dog bit.

I love my dog too much ( she is a 100lb. happy lovable breed too) but I would not expose her to a child like that just in case she got fed up and took a quick nip. I wouldn't want to have to have her put to sleep because of an out of control 5 year old.

If the kid is stressing you out he is probably stressing your dog a bit too.

I say separate the dog or term the boy. Easy peasy.
Reply
MyAngels 10:04 AM 05-10-2011
Originally Posted by Live and Learn:
If this was my daycare and I was not willing to separate the dog from the kids then I would term the boy.

In my opinion safety is our number one priority and to be honest I think every dog owner whose dog has bitten a child thought "My dog would NEVER EVER bite anybody." .....until the dog bit.

I love my dog too much ( she is a 100lb. happy lovable breed too) but I would not expose her to a child like that just in case she got fed up and took a quick nip. I wouldn't want to have to have her put to sleep because of an out of control 5 year old.

If the kid is stressing you out he is probably stressing your dog a bit too.

I say separate the dog or term the boy. Easy peasy.
Absolutely right - at the end of the day dogs are still domesticated wild animals, no matter how many generations removed, and given just the right circumstances will bite. Once that happens there is no going back to the loving sweet dog you once had.

Given the fact that your dog considers you as his master, it would not be a stretch for him to begin to see your dcb as the threat that needs to be guarded against, rather than the one who needs to be guarded.
Reply
Tags:5 year old, animals, bad behavior, cuelty
Reply Up