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  #1  
Old 07-12-2012, 07:10 AM
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Default Crazy Tantrums Causing Havok

Hi everyone,

I have been a provider for the last seven years. I have not yet run across something that I can't seem to aid or change at all.

I have a two year old girl that has been with me for a year. Only ever had one issue with her and the parents but other than that life is good.

About two weeks ago she started screaming at drop off, and I mean screaming. Diversion did not work and it was not a cry of sadness but of anger. It is a full out shrieking, screaming at the top of her lungs tantrum.

This now happens for about two hours in the morning and periodically during the day. We will be in the middle of painting or reading and she will start screaming out of the blue!!! I can't see any triggers.

I have a small hall area just around a corner in my room and when she starts her tantrum she will take herself there and scream. Problem is that she will stay there so long that she will miss snack and I don't really want to address her to take her outside so she can scream out there and I can get complaints from my neighbors.

Mom says she does not do this at home at all, but I don't believe her to be honest. She started a tantrum the other day at pick up when they were leaving. Mom instantly picked her up and was frantically searching all over the child for where she may have gotten hurt and was consoling her. She often will put the child down and then pick her up right away when she starts crying, kissing her and hugging her. Now I am not against consoling a child, but a tantrum is not the time for that. I think mom perpetuates the situation and dad is of no aid. He is a child psychologist so instead of addressing the behavior, he leaves that part of things and focuses on why she is behaving that way. He tries to figure it out while mom is consoling her. I also think that boundaries are few and far between with the parents. They ask her all the time if she wants to do things and if she doesn't they make an effort to gain her approval before they do whatever it is.

So she has been screaming around the corner for about 40 min now. I originally put her in a bed, but she likes that and will stay there all day if I let her. She screams when I take her out and then we can't even go outside.

So, advice people? Please!!!!!!!
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:45 AM
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My guess is she's getting wayyy to much payoff...whether by your body language or your reactions.

When she starts, pick a pre-determined spot, very calmy lead her there, and say "when you are done screaming, you can come back and play". Then walk away. Go do something REALLY FUN (having a few things at the ready might help). Do not talk to her, negotiate with her, try to distract her, or do anything else (unless she does something dangerous or destructive).

If it's time to go outside, get everyone ready and outside. Take her out, shoes in hand, set her down (again, pre-determined spot), and walk away.

Tell mom if there are any tantrums at drop off, you will deal with them. She should give dcg a hug and kiss anyway, say "see ya later", and go. Then, as soon as she's out the door, pick up dcg, take her to the furthest available corner of the playroom, set her down, and walk away.

Whenever the incident is over, just smile and say "oh, so glad you're back". That's all, move on. You really, really want to give her NO attention and NO energy for the behavior.

My once sweet dcb flipped a switch at 2. Parents and I have both been doing this and actively ignoring any tantrums. He went from several a day to 2 or 3 a week, and they are never more than a minute. He used to turn into the HULK! lol

I'm guessing if you do this, it will escalate for a few days, but in 2-3 weeks it'll pass.

My theory really is that everyone is entitled to their feelings, including kids. But making everyone else miserable because you are mad or sad or not getting your way is not acceptable. I also think that all the questions (parents are doing) and guessing and negotiating are completely fueling her fire.
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Heidi View Post
My guess is she's getting wayyy to much payoff...whether by your body language or your reactions.

When she starts, pick a pre-determined spot, very calmy lead her there, and say "when you are done screaming, you can come back and play". Then walk away. Go do something REALLY FUN (having a few things at the ready might help). Do not talk to her, negotiate with her, try to distract her, or do anything else (unless she does something dangerous or destructive).

If it's time to go outside, get everyone ready and outside. Take her out, shoes in hand, set her down (again, pre-determined spot), and walk away.

Tell mom if there are any tantrums at drop off, you will deal with them. She should give dcg a hug and kiss anyway, say "see ya later", and go. Then, as soon as she's out the door, pick up dcg, take her to the furthest available corner of the playroom, set her down, and walk away.

Whenever the incident is over, just smile and say "oh, so glad you're back". That's all, move on. You really, really want to give her NO attention and NO energy for the behavior.

My once sweet dcb flipped a switch at 2. Parents and I have both been doing this and actively ignoring any tantrums. He went from several a day to 2 or 3 a week, and they are never more than a minute. He used to turn into the HULK! lol

I'm guessing if you do this, it will escalate for a few days, but in 2-3 weeks it'll pass.

My theory really is that everyone is entitled to their feelings, including kids. But making everyone else miserable because you are mad or sad or not getting your way is not acceptable. I also think that all the questions (parents are doing) and guessing and negotiating are completely fueling her fire.
This is why I am confused and frustrated. What you are stating is exactly what I am doing!! For the first week I would just lead her to her spot and walk away. Now she just goes on her own so I don't have anything to do with it at all. She goes in on her own and out on her own. I acknowledge her presence when she returns, then she starts screaming again and goes back to her spot. If I don't acknowledge her she is fine. In the afternoon I can acknowledge her when she comes out.

Outside I am just taking her shoes with me like you said and leaving her to scream outside. I am having complaints from my neighbors though who are both retired men who are home all day.

Would you just quit taking them outside?

Yesterday and today I told mom do drop her and go. No hugging and consoling her from mom during the tantrum here. Will see if that makes a difference.
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:33 AM
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make drop offs quick. go get her from the car if you have too. I would not let screamers go outside either. they sit on a chair behind the sliding glass door (in view) until they are done. if they tantrum when we are all inside, they go to an area where they cant do or see anything but I can see them. if it was really that bad after weeks of consistent treatment, i personally could not put up with that much screaming.
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:47 AM
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make drop offs quick. go get her from the car if you have too. I would not let screamers go outside either. they sit on a chair behind the sliding glass door (in view) until they are done. if they tantrum when we are all inside, they go to an area where they cant do or see anything but I can see them. if it was really that bad after weeks of consistent treatment, i personally could not put up with that much screaming.
I work downstairs as my whole lower floor is my day home space. I can't leave the other children to get her from the car. At the stairs coming down to the basement I have it gated off and have told mom to hand her over the gate.

I don't have sliding doors to my deck and back yard. It is a regular door but it does have a glass inset. I wouldn't be able to see her outside very well at all. Plus should she get up and run across the house, I have to leave the other children outside to get her.

I am not trying to shoot down the ideas I am getting. Please if anyone has more keep them coming. There must be something that I haven't tried yet!! I am very experienced with problematic behaviors and have tried all of the tricks I know. This is very frustrating.
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:55 AM
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So sorry you are having such a tough time with this one! It's hard when options are limited and you've tried everything.

Honestly, the retired neighbors are just going to have to deal. It's not the middle of the night, and it's not like you are outside 8 hours a day. If you are outside for an hour and she screams most of it, then so be it.

Just as a precaution, I'd call your regulator and let them know you have a child with a behavioral issue, and that some of the neighbors have let you know it bothers them. That way, if they decide to call you in, you've given her a heads-up. If you can email her, I would, so that you have written documentation. Depending on how regulators in your area are, you might even ask her for suggestions.
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Old 07-12-2012, 09:07 AM
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Thanks for the kind words. I will not expect my neighbors to just have to deal with it. They are awesome and we have a fantastic relationship. There is no better way to ruin that than to thrust an expectation on them that they tolerate the behaviors that are frustrating me, in a job that I have chosen, which they have not.

I am private but have an awesome contact with licensing in my city. She will drop by if I ask her to if I want her to check something out to ensure it is compliant. I don't want to be "approved" by the government, but still run government standards.

I called her and talked with her about it. She said to leave the child screaming right around me and the other children during our activities and to ignore the behaviors completely. Guess she thinks the other children should hear that crap all day, but I don't.

Maybe I will just give the parents notice.
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Old 07-12-2012, 09:53 AM
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This sounds like an awful situation for you.
I have dealt with a child that could scream for hours over apparently nothing that I could see. I was very difficult.
Ignoring behaviors is tough advice because it seldom works for me. The behavior only escalates.
Sounds like the child gets to be the boos at home.
That would explain the huge fit at drop off, she goes from being in charge of mom and dad to being in your charge in your care.
Yikes dad is a child psychologist?
I hope he has learned about discipline and setting limitations and rules, sounds like she needs some.

How well does she communicate? Is she advanced or average for her age. What is her favorite types of things to play or does she play at all? (Sounds like she is used to being entertained by an adult.)
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:01 AM
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We recently experienced a very similar situation (minus the coddling from parents) with a 2-year-old.

The only thing that worked (and still works!) is to look at her with a monotone voice and ask, "Do you want to go to time out?"
She'll say, "No." and stop. Seriously. It was that easy.

Being unemotional and designating a spot away from the fun for her to tantrum in did nothing for her.
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by EntropyControlSpe******t View Post
We recently experienced a very similar situation (minus the coddling from parents) with a 2-year-old.

The only thing that worked (and still works!) is to look at her with a monotone voice and ask, "Do you want to go to time out?"
She'll say, "No." and stop. Seriously. It was that easy.

Being unemotional and designating a spot away from the fun for her to tantrum in did nothing for her.
I have a 2.5 year old that tried that too. I say STOP! Go play toys!
I can just point at him now and give him a serious look. He will put his little face in his hands for a sec and then go and play. He used to throw some tantrums and still does at home.
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:13 AM
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I have a 2.5 year old that tried that too. I say STOP! Go play toys!
I can just point at him now and give him a serious look. He will put his little face in his hands for a sec and then go and play. He used to throw some tantrums and still does at home.
Yes, this child still throws large tantrums at home (which include banging her head and thrashing about). But, they don't happen here anymore. She is actually one of my sweetest children.
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Clueless View Post
This sounds like an awful situation for you.
I have dealt with a child that could scream for hours over apparently nothing that I could see. I was very difficult.
Ignoring behaviors is tough advice because it seldom works for me. The behavior only escalates.
Sounds like the child gets to be the boos at home.
That would explain the huge fit at drop off, she goes from being in charge of mom and dad to being in your charge in your care.
Yikes dad is a child psychologist?
I hope he has learned about discipline and setting limitations and rules, sounds like she needs some.

How well does she communicate? Is she advanced or average for her age. What is her favorite types of things to play or does she play at all? (Sounds like she is used to being entertained by an adult.)
I find that ignoring does not work well, but leaving her to deal with it in another spot makes things at least so she doesn't put the other children out too much. Dad has not a clue about discipline actually. One time she was in the habit of refusing to say please even though she can say it. When she wanted me to share toys I was playing with I would only do so if she said please. The obstinate attitude didn't last long with toys. Then she refused to say please when asking for her lunch or milk. She didn't eat that day. She watched all the other children say please and be rewarded but when I asked her to, she yelled no at me. Her lunch sat there ready for her whenever she was ready.

Parents were irate with me and dad said I was using food to punish her. I let him know punishment does not allow choices for the child and that she could have had her food at any time, just like with the toys a couple of weeks earlier. I didn't back down and strangely enough she started saying please without issues after that. They wanted her to say please, but not have to when food was involved as they didn't want her to feel hungry.

She communicates very well for her age. She really likes painting, using my old charged up cell phones, drumming, coloring, using the sand, going outside etc. She just won't do any of those things for most of the days now as she is too busy screaming.

I never thought about her being used to being entertained by her parents. That makes perfect sense. Not sure why this just started recently. I am thinking that she just realized the extent of control in her relationship with her parents as opposed to here and she is not happy about it. Just have to figure out what to do about it.
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by EntropyControlSpe******t View Post
We recently experienced a very similar situation (minus the coddling from parents) with a 2-year-old.

The only thing that worked (and still works!) is to look at her with a monotone voice and ask, "Do you want to go to time out?"
She'll say, "No." and stop. Seriously. It was that easy.

Being unemotional and designating a spot away from the fun for her to tantrum in did nothing for her.
Interesting. I tried initially to do that and asked her if she wanted to stay with us or go to her spot to cry. She just stood there every time I said that and screamed, acting like I was not even there. I don't even know if she could hear me over her screams so I touched her shoulder as I do that often when children are ignoring as it is harder to ignore when they are being touched. She still ignored me and screamed.

I am noticing that designation a spot away from the fun isn't doing much for her either. She will often start screaming and come to me so I can pick her up and console her. Not happening. I just walk away and she goes to her spot and screams there.
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:43 AM
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I had a screamer like this. I stuck it out for two years and tried everything. Finally I just couldn't handle it anymore and termed. Neighbours I didn't even know previously were congratulating me .

I would say if you're stumped as to what to do and you can afford to, just term. Screaming is one of those things that makes your life difficult, but it also makes the other dc kids, your own kids, your husband, your dc parents, and your neighbours go bonkers too. If I had to deal with it again, I'd give it two weeks, and then term.
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:52 AM
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I had a screamer like this. I stuck it out for two years and tried everything. Finally I just couldn't handle it anymore and termed. Neighbours I didn't even know previously were congratulating me .

I would say if you're stumped as to what to do and you can afford to, just term. Screaming is one of those things that makes your life difficult, but it also makes the other dc kids, your own kids, your husband, your dc parents, and your neighbours go bonkers too. If I had to deal with it again, I'd give it two weeks, and then term.
I had a dcb that was 4 when he started here, and after a year of not being able to curb the tantrums, I termed. Of course, he was a big kid, and moving him when he was tantruming was risking injury every time, and he WOULD NOT leave the area on his own. Everyone was stressed because of him (and his 3 sibs, who had similar issues).

I hate to say terminate, because obviously, I don't take it lightly. But, if you've tried everything in your arsenal, and now the neighbors are complaining, AND the whole groups agenda now has to revolve around this child, then I think that's what I'd do...you are clearly an experienced provider, and you're truly looking for answers, but comming up empty... I know, it stinks, because you are probably attached to her and want to help her. But, you can't always "fix" everything.
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Old 07-12-2012, 11:24 AM
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I think mom perpetuates the situation and dad is of no aid. He is a child psychologist so instead of addressing the behavior, he leaves that part of things and focuses on why she is behaving that way. He tries to figure it out while mom is consoling her. I also think that boundaries are few and far between with the parents. They ask her all the time if she wants to do things and if she doesn't they make an effort to gain her approval before they do whatever it is.
I have a friend who is a child therapist. Love her to death, good friend. But her son, 2 yrs old, is absolutely out of control with his screaming tantrums. Part of the problem is, he is THE boss. She gives him a choice about EVERYTHING. He eats whenever he wants and whatever he pleases, refuses to sit still at a table to eat so he takes food & drinks wherever he plays, and she entertains him 100% of the time. She says he doesn't like to play alone.

Occasionally I watch him as a drop in if I have room; or in the evenings so his parents can go on a date. He never used to try the screaming tantrums for me. Never. Until a couple weekends ago when I agreed to watch him for a couple hours while his parents went out. He threw a screaming, kicking tantrum while his mom left. I put him in timeout and he started to kick my walls. I actually got eye level with him and gave him a very stern look and said "NO. You do NOT scream and kick." It stopped immediately. His screaming turned into whimpering that quickly calmed down to sniffles. His timeout was then done and he went to go play. Happy as a clam for the rest of the day, and I haven't seen a screaming tantrum (with me in charge) ever since.

Have you tried getting eye level with her and telling her this screaming is absolutely NOT acceptable? Have you gotten stern with her? Sometimes I will say "This screaming is NOT acceptable. If you do not stop when I count to 3, you go to timeout. 99% of the time, they are done by 3 and off they go to play.
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Old 07-12-2012, 11:48 AM
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I have a friend who is a child therapist. Love her to death, good friend. But her son, 2 yrs old, is absolutely out of control with his screaming tantrums. Part of the problem is, he is THE boss. She gives him a choice about EVERYTHING. He eats whenever he wants and whatever he pleases, refuses to sit still at a table to eat so he takes food & drinks wherever he plays, and she entertains him 100% of the time. She says he doesn't like to play alone.

Occasionally I watch him as a drop in if I have room; or in the evenings so his parents can go on a date. He never used to try the screaming tantrums for me. Never. Until a couple weekends ago when I agreed to watch him for a couple hours while his parents went out. He threw a screaming, kicking tantrum while his mom left. I put him in timeout and he started to kick my walls. I actually got eye level with him and gave him a very stern look and said "NO. You do NOT scream and kick." It stopped immediately. His screaming turned into whimpering that quickly calmed down to sniffles. His timeout was then done and he went to go play. Happy as a clam for the rest of the day, and I haven't seen a screaming tantrum (with me in charge) ever since.

Have you tried getting eye level with her and telling her this screaming is absolutely NOT acceptable? Have you gotten stern with her? Sometimes I will say "This screaming is NOT acceptable. If you do not stop when I count to 3, you go to timeout. 99% of the time, they are done by 3 and off they go to play.
Yes I have tried that too in the beginning when it wasn't quite so bad. She would just move from crying to screaming at that ime. When she was not a screamer, she would cry if I was at all stern with her. Now she is screaming as mom and her are leaving their house and she screams all the way here, and until about 2-3 hours after she arrives. I don't get a chance to even talk with her at all. I believe the way the parents are dealing with her is creating the situation, but they say since she doesn't do that at home, it is stemming from here.

I believe that since she has no boundaries or challenges at home they probably wouldn't be seeing much resistance from her. Since she has them here, I now see nothing but resistance. Of course they don't see the lack of boundaries and since he is a child psychologist, he knows all.

Last edited by clep; 07-12-2012 at 11:49 AM. Reason: forgot a word
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Old 07-12-2012, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Lilbutterflie View Post
I have a friend who is a child therapist. Love her to death, good friend. But her son, 2 yrs old, is absolutely out of control with his screaming tantrums. Part of the problem is, he is THE boss. She gives him a choice about EVERYTHING. He eats whenever he wants and whatever he pleases, refuses to sit still at a table to eat so he takes food & drinks wherever he plays, and she entertains him 100% of the time. She says he doesn't like to play alone.

Occasionally I watch him as a drop in if I have room; or in the evenings so his parents can go on a date. He never used to try the screaming tantrums for me. Never. Until a couple weekends ago when I agreed to watch him for a couple hours while his parents went out. He threw a screaming, kicking tantrum while his mom left. I put him in timeout and he started to kick my walls. I actually got eye level with him and gave him a very stern look and said "NO. You do NOT scream and kick." It stopped immediately. His screaming turned into whimpering that quickly calmed down to sniffles. His timeout was then done and he went to go play. Happy as a clam for the rest of the day, and I haven't seen a screaming tantrum (with me in charge) ever since.

Have you tried getting eye level with her and telling her this screaming is absolutely NOT acceptable? Have you gotten stern with her? Sometimes I will say "This screaming is NOT acceptable. If you do not stop when I count to 3, you go to timeout. 99% of the time, they are done by 3 and off they go to play.
I feel like I won the lottery by passing him up.
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Old 07-12-2012, 01:07 PM
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I feel like I won the lottery by passing him up.
Honestly, when I watch him he is a pleasure!! You would think with him being 100% in control at home he would not be a first choice for a daycare child; but he is really well behaved once he knows he is not in charge anymore. His mom, on the other hand, is a really tough daycare parent to handle. I understand exactly why you said no to this family!
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Old 07-12-2012, 01:35 PM
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Yes I have tried that too in the beginning when it wasn't quite so bad. She would just move from crying to screaming at that ime. When she was not a screamer, she would cry if I was at all stern with her. Now she is screaming as mom and her are leaving their house and she screams all the way here, and until about 2-3 hours after she arrives. I don't get a chance to even talk with her at all. I believe the way the parents are dealing with her is creating the situation, but they say since she doesn't do that at home, it is stemming from here.

I believe that since she has no boundaries or challenges at home they probably wouldn't be seeing much resistance from her. Since she has them here, I now see nothing but resistance. Of course they don't see the lack of boundaries and since he is a child psychologist, he knows all.
It sounds like you are a a very able provider that knows how to handle kids. Sounds like YOU are doing everything right. There may be a few things you could try still but I doubt there are many. 2 to 3 hours of screaming just at drop off is ridiculous. Are you thinking of terming?

All the things I would try are things you are doing. I would probably start her out in time away or what ever with a toy all by herself. But if she is already sreaming for 2 hours geezzzz!!!
How can you stand it??
As Nanny de used to say, it might be time for mom and dad to learn a life lesson. (their kids getting termed from care)
They should be backing you up. But sadly many parents do not have our backs.
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Old 07-12-2012, 02:56 PM
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It sounds like you are a a very able provider that knows how to handle kids. Sounds like YOU are doing everything right. There may be a few things you could try still but I doubt there are many. 2 to 3 hours of screaming just at drop off is ridiculous. Are you thinking of terming?

All the things I would try are things you are doing. I would probably start her out in time away or what ever with a toy all by herself. But if she is already sreaming for 2 hours geezzzz!!!
How can you stand it??
As Nanny de used to say, it might be time for mom and dad to learn a life lesson. (their kids getting termed from care)
They should be backing you up. But sadly many parents do not have our backs.
She is shrieking as we speak in her spot for about five min at a time. She stops shrieking and then walks into the main room. She gets about 20 steps into the room with us, starts shrieking again and walks back to her spot. She has done that about 10-15 times since she woke.

I have to give them 30 days notice according to our contract. Wow, didn't see this coming last year. Actually this whole year she has been awesome.

I am not about to fall for the whole "we have noticed not one difference in her at home". Children don't just change at one place without any change in the other. It will not be as profound since she is probably spoiled at home but something is not right.
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Old 07-12-2012, 04:08 PM
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Yeah the kid I had that screamed all the time, his parents said he didn't do that at home either. But I found out for a FACT that that was not true.
I wound up terming him and all my ather kids were so happy. The screaming was driving us all crazy!

A few months later I ran into someone that worked at his new center. She said he screamed everyday.
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Old 07-12-2012, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clep View Post
She is shrieking as we speak in her spot for about five min at a time. She stops shrieking and then walks into the main room. She gets about 20 steps into the room with us, starts shrieking again and walks back to her spot. She has done that about 10-15 times since she woke.

I have to give them 30 days notice according to our contract. Wow, didn't see this coming last year. Actually this whole year she has been awesome.

I am not about to fall for the whole "we have noticed not one difference in her at home". Children don't just change at one place without any change in the other. It will not be as profound since she is probably spoiled at home but something is not right.
Wonder why she would go from awesome to awful like that. The one I had was always a screamer. Not so much as ababy but as he reached toddler stage and beyond.
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