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  #1  
Old 09-22-2011, 09:16 AM
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Unhappy 4 YO Throws Temper Tantrums

I am a family childcare provider, and in my group have a 4 year old, 60 lb boy who still regularly has temper tantrums when he doesn't get his way. I'm talking kicking, screaming, throwing anything in reach, if we are outside, he has yanked out handfulls of grass and thrown that.

He is the oldest of 4, leads by example, others occasionally have tantrums, but since they are considerably smaller than he, I usually just pick them up and move them to a safe spot, and walk away. With the 3 yo, I know the triggers, and can often bypass them with humor or redirection of some sort. His tantrums usually come with little warning.

Today mom arrived to pick everyone up, and this boy he was stacking some blocks on the table. He saw mom, he yelled "I want to BUILD" twice, then sent one of the blocks sailing across the table, whacking one of the twins in the face. He screamed, kicked, etc. I very camly (I thought), picked him up under the arms (too big to lead by the hand when fighting), and took him out the door (right behind him) to the back porch. I sat him on the ground as gently as possible considering his flailing and weight. I said "you can come back in when you settle down". This boy has a good vocabulary, and he turns these tantrums on and off at will. I have tested him with something like "hey, do you want to go (do something fun), and can stop a tantrum immediately.

I then went in to comfort the baby, get him out of his chair, and hand him to his mother, who then took the baby to the car, which started him screaming AGAIN (NOOOO...dont leave...other baby is still sitting here, and he knows perfectly well she's not leaving without him).

DH just happened to be home, and witnessed this. He says the kid needs a good spanking (not an option here). DH said mom's face was "horrified".
I'm not sure if that was due to her son's actions or if she thought I handled it poorly. Communcation can be a challenge when she's comming in and out with 4 children, and it's hard to get ahold of her in the evenings.

What would you think? Do you think it's a poor strategy to put him outside? If so, what do I do in winter, stick him in the snow (might cool his jets!). I have put him in the next room, but that just happens to be my bedroom, and I honestly don't want anything destroyed. At 60 lbs, dragging him even 1/2 way across the room is hard on my 40+ yo back.

BTW he didnt nap today, but he had a similar fit at pick up yesterday (mom wanted him to go find his socks while she took one baby outside) and he'd slept 2 1/2 hours.

Once he calmed down, I took him to his cubby and out the front door, where he had another tantrum because mom had grabbed his backpack and coat on the way out. I let her deal with that-which she did by not letting him in the car until he (mostly) calmed down again.

Normally, I will speak to him about the incident after he has settled, but since it was the end of the day, that did not happen.

Any advice would be appreciated. Also, this child has no diagnosed exceptionalities, and I do not believe he has any. Generally, the tantrums are always about power-he wants what he wants, and feels he should get it. NOW!
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Old 09-22-2011, 11:40 AM
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I wouldn't put him outside just because you wouldn't be able to properly supervise everyone with everyone else inside and him out. What if he ran into the yard or something? You'd have to leave the others to go get him, and from the sounds of it, it would be quite a task getting him back in. I'd find a spot away from any breakables, toys, etc, that he can get ahold of and put him there. The "tantrum spot". Honestly, I don't put up with that kind of thing and I can imagine that's very frustrating for you.

Another option would be to have him go lay down when he's acting up. "Oh you must be sleepy since you're cranky. Time to sleep!" That's what I do with my 3 year old dcg. She learned very quickly that I don't give in to fits and crankiness equals more naps. Not fun!

Something that I will say is working for you is that the mom seems to be supportive of you giving him a consequence for his actions.
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Old 09-22-2011, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbo View Post
Today mom arrived to pick everyone up, and this boy he was stacking some blocks on the table. He saw mom, he yelled "I want to BUILD" twice, then sent one of the blocks sailing across the table, whacking one of the twins in the face.

DH just happened to be home, and witnessed this. He says the kid needs a good spanking (not an option here).
I agree with your husband. You can't do it but what about his Mother who was standing there watching this? She did NOTHING? She said Nothing?

I wouldn't put him outside - you need an inside time out chair where you can see him and he can see you.

Mom needs to get it in gear. a 60lb. 4 year old? Yikes! At this rate he'll be bigger than her in 2 years!
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Old 09-23-2011, 07:07 AM
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I finally got to talk to mom about this via phone yesterday. I always get the impression she is reluctant to talk about anything real, but she did open up. I asked her how she felt about the situation.

Mom didn't like that I put him outside, although she agreed it was the nearest, easiest, exit. I guess it probably looked a little like Fred Flinstone putting that cat out!

She says at home she NEVER has to physically move him, that she just tells him to go to his room. Neither DH or I beleive this. I am pretty sure that I would have had a 5 minute screaming battle on my hands to get him to go to timeout, and then the whole reason (the hurt toddler) would have been forgotten. Had I been by myself, I should have been comforting him, not fighting with the other one about taking a break. My strategy has been get him out of the audience asap, and hopefully he will stop pulling this so often.

Yesterday, I watched mom deal with a tantrum, and a light bulb went on. She crouched down, and cajoled him into agreeing to do what he did not want to do. He ended up smiling and going "willingly". I guess here's the philisophical difference. Mom is of the mind that we should basically talk him into complying; a situation where he ends up thinking it was his idea all along. I don't find that completely honest, or right. I am more old fashioned. Your a child, I'm a grown up, and I say what goes. That doesn't mean I am going to disregard your feelings, but I don't feel like fooling around everytime I say something. I still think a child should comply out of respect, not because someone spent 20 minutes convincing him.

It's kind of like the clean-up game. Yes, we do that sometimes, singing that inane Barney song. But I don't think it should be expected every time. You make a mess in life, you clean it up. I would just like some balance here.

How does everyone else feel about this?
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Old 09-23-2011, 07:25 AM
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http://www.daycare.com/forum/showthr...hlight=therapy


I wouldn't be upset if time out was banished. It doesn't work anyway. It's a measure of last resort at my house. If you limit it to the number of minutes of the age of a child it is completely ineffective. There's no point in doing something that has no real bearing on the child.

One of the problems with discipline is that we can't even try to share with each other what works. Providers aren't able to have real conversations about their techniques because anything short of giving the kid a bunch of lovin and cuddles and a plead to not repeat the action is considered abusive. It's one area of child rearing that we can't even use what did work from the generations before us because nothing short of petting the child is acceptable now. Anything that we do that isn't sunshine and roses is either specifically against state regs or is considered to harm the self esteem of the child.

The reason the kids in the OP's situation act like they do is because they can. I would have behaved that way as a child if the adults couldn't do anything about it. Most kids would. You will get a small number of kids who will natuarally be sweet and compliant but as time goes on that group is becoming smaller and smaller. If you don't have the children from the time they are babies you are going to be in the business of a lot of kids with a lot of behavior problems.

Another huge problem with todays acceptable discipline techniques is that they are simply too time consuming. If we are to "discuss" and "distract" and find ways around the child's behavior we have to have a lot of TIME for each child in each situation. My parents were able to do a quick NO or a quick swat on the butt or removing the child by making a child GO TO BED and stay in bed. Now there's nothing that the adults can do that is quick and stops the behavior. Now we must do a therapy session for every time the kid acts up. Most adults being paid to take care of kids aren't being paid enough and have a low enough number of children to devote that much of their resources to doing a therapy session to get behavior to change. We expect it now but nobody wants to pay for that. If the providers aren't being paid for that they won't do it.

It's getting worse. I have been doing this for three decades now and I can say without equivocation that the behavior of children has become markedly worse with each generation of kids. When you have kids who are ALLOWED to hit their mother, destroy property, harm themselves and others and their consequence is a two minute time out... you are going to have BIG problems. It doesn't work.. that's why it's getting worse. It's that simple.

I think one huge problem with discipline is the ability for adults to be honest with the parents. Not only can you not suggest there is anything wrong with the child but many parents don't even want to hear that their child is normal. We have a society now that believes that their child is "advanced", "really smart", and often "gifted". Normal is a slap in the face now. This is something that I did not see 10 years ago.

So when you have the parents believing their child is gifted and in reality the child has serious issues and is normal or even developmentally delayed you have NO common ground to unite and work on issues. It's BAD business to be honest. It doesn't "right" itself until the child goes to school.. free school.. the great equalizer. When no money is being exchanged the truth floats to the surface. Bit by bit the parent begins to see the truth of their child compared to others. The behavior becomes a liability to the public and generates societal changes like "zero tollerance" and "bullying policies". That's where we are now.

One other contributing issue IMHO is the diet of this generation. So many kids are living off of really bad nutrition from toddlerhood on. I think one of the main reasons I don't have behavior problems with my group is that they have excellent diets at home and at care. Their parents COOK for them and they eat healthy meals both at home and day care. Their bellies are full and their bodies are growing with the most excellent nutrition available. I could be wrong.. but I don't think so. I think nutrition is a HUGE factor in discipline and behavior.
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Old 09-23-2011, 07:47 AM
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My experience is very similar to Nan's.

I only enroll infants for this very reason.

It is the only way to prevent these issues when the State wont allow me to follow through on discipline plans the parents and I work out together.

Before, Parents had a say in their child's discipline plan in childcare, not anymore.

Sitting in a comfortable chair, in the same room, facing the group, for three minutes has NEVER, in the history of EVER been effective and that is all we are allowed. Even then it is only for ages 3 and up, everyone else is to be redirected.

Ever tried time-out/redirecting a spitter/biter/kicker/thrower with 3 years of chain mega-center (30 in one room, 1/15 ratio) under his belt? No Thanks.
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Old 09-23-2011, 08:13 AM
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I agree with the others.

I think a very quick swat on the bottom end stops tantrums much faster than a threat of a time out. Now, you cannot do anything that hurts their feelings. Well, sorry, but society could really not care less about their feelings.

I remember the first time I saw a gf put her son in time out, 32 yrs ago. I laughed at her then and watched as she had nothing but trouble with her sons growing up. She had no control at 2, and sure didn't when they got older.

Now back to the problem. Putting the 4 yo outside, unattended, is probably a big no, no in all 50 states. What if Mom deals with the temper tantrum throwing 4 yo and you comfort the baby? Or, what if Mom calls when shes leaving work or a few blocks away to give you notice so that you can have all 4 kids ready to walk out the door?
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Old 09-23-2011, 08:59 AM
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I have a couple that mom and dad do spank. Guess what they have already figured out that I can't spank so they try everything here that they can. They are in quiet time alot but we just go on with our day. They are slowly figuring out that they are missing out on some fun stuff-projects, songs, etc. It takes awhile but all part of learning! For the old time providers, were you ever able to spank children? Like how schools were alowed but not aren't.
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Old 09-23-2011, 09:08 AM
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I will admit to giving a quick pop on the bottom with an open hand back in the old days. I also gave a quick smack on the hand. I'm not talking spanking hard 3 or 4 times, but just a quick pop.

I remember our principal carrying a paddle during recess. Anybody who didn't "freeze" when the bell rang was sure to get a quick swat. Do kids even "freeze" anymore or just line up?
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Old 09-23-2011, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by sharlan View Post
I will admit to giving a quick pop on the bottom with an open hand back in the old days. I also gave a quick smack on the hand. I'm not talking spanking hard 3 or 4 times, but just a quick pop.

I remember our principal carrying a paddle during recess. Anybody who didn't "freeze" when the bell rang was sure to get a quick swat. Do kids even "freeze" anymore or just line up?
At DS's school they freeze when the bell rings and can unfreeze when the teacher/staff blow the whistle. The whistle doesn't get blown until everyone is frozen and silent. Then they silently walk into school.
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Old 09-23-2011, 09:32 AM
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I personally disagree that time out doesnt work. I use a variety of discipline methods with my own children including time out, grounding, being grounded to their room, hard work like hard yard work for the older ones, and spanking if they are really bad. I do not allow my bad. I think the most important thing is consistency and swift action. I also do a lot of praising and i think that works MUCH better in the long run. What i dont agree with is children running the household. I am only 25 but it is so ridiculous when i see kids telling parents what to do or mouthing back. I would of had my teeth knocked in if i did that.
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Old 09-23-2011, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Catherder View Post
Ever tried time-out/redirecting a spitter/biter/kicker/thrower with 3 years of chain mega-center (30 in one room, 1/15 ratio) under his belt? No Thanks.
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Old 09-23-2011, 09:42 AM
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and AMEN to that nannyde. You articulated exactly what I was thinking.

I am not a huge fan of spanking, but I do think there is a window of time when it works, if used sparingly. My own children got an occasional swat on the rear from toddlerhood until probably school age, maybe once or twice a year. No big speeches, just a quick correction after they'd been warned about a behavior. After they start school, they should be old enough talk to.

I interviewed said DCB this morning at breakfast. Seems mom DOES spank if dad's not around to do it, and dad spanks "real hard". Hmmmm...Again the honesty thing. Of course, anything a 4 yo says I take with a grain of salt, as they say.

Part of the issue is that 4 of my 5 group members are from one family, so family dynamics come here. Sib stuff, expectatons, etc. If he was one child comming into my group, he would adapt to our culture much more quickly.

I think I just need to do whatever I think is best, and if he throws a fit in front of mom, I will just walk away and let her handle it. Normally, my rules until you are out the door, but I guess I will give on that one. If he breaks something she can pay for it, and if he hurts someone other than a sib, I will give them notice.

If she is not going to work as a team with me, and be completely honest, I can't do that alone....
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Old 09-23-2011, 09:58 AM
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Just to be clear (not being defensive, I asked for input): The door was open, and I set him right outside it, closing only the screen. I was never more than 3 feet away. He was sitting in a chair, at the table, right by that door when he launched the block. I was attempting to act quickly, so I chose out the door. In retrospect, I probably should have taken him the other way, to my room, but it is halfway across the playroom to that door. I was just trying to get him out of the way so I could help the hurt child.

Both mom and DH did not see what he did. They just heard him yelling, heard the baby screaming, and saw me remove him. I had to fill them in afterwards on what happened, although both were standing right there. If that had been another person's baby, I am sure that parent would not have been cool with it...
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Old 09-23-2011, 10:22 AM
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You need to have a talk with Mom, tell her that you have to work together. Remind her that the child's behavior is unacceptable for daycare. You do not have the time or resources to constantly get down to his level and negotiate, cajol him into believing that behaving is an option.
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Old 09-23-2011, 10:33 AM
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Here I would have gotten down on his level, real close to his face and said, TRISTAN STOP you will NOT do that here. YOU WILL BE NICE. Do you understand me? You lost dance time tomorrow. If he screams spits hits or thrashed,
TRISTAN STOP you will NOT do that here. YOU WILL BE NICE. Do you understand me? You lost color time tomorrow

TRISTAN STOP you will NOT do that here. YOU WILL BE NICE. Do you understand me? No outside time.


And follow through. It will take a few days but,.... Hang in. It gets better.
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Old 09-23-2011, 10:33 AM
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I think at interview the "discipline" talk should be def. discussed. It's important to find out how parents discipline their child at home and how they go about difficult situations when faced with a tantrum or behavior not acceptable. How the parents would like you to handle such situations. When I interview I tell them up front that I am very stricked. Not military stricked but I don't allow bad behavior to dominate my day. It's dealt with right away. And I agree..with other posts...I find it a lot easier to have children start as a infant so they get a jump start on discipline. Manners here are key also...they learn as soon as they can utter words Please, Thank you, Amen, May I Be Excused...and the parents are very supportive. It really starts at interview of what is exspected from the children but also mostly with the parents.

I don't think you should place your dcb out side by him self for a time out. He needs to be supervised and you can't do that if he is out side. If this happens when mom is there for pick up it's best to use Nans approach with "The Changing Of The Guards". All children need to be ready to go before mom comes and she needs to call you or text you when she is outside and you should walk them all to her car. I don't know about you but my 4 yr old loves to have something to do so put him in charge. Have him be your helper. There should be a sticker chart or a behavior chart up just for him. Start praising him for things he's doing that are praise worthy. If he throws a tantrum he needs to go lay down and don't pay much attention to it. The less attention the better bc then he gets to listen to him self. He'll tire of it bc no one is giving in to the attention. Good luck dear I hope the days get better for you!! He should be starting Kindy here pretty soon too so next yr should be better hopefully!!
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Old 09-23-2011, 10:44 AM
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We had a sticker system in place, and it did help. I give him lots of "jobs", which he loves, and try to find him "being good" as much as possible. All this has helped, he can even say "yes maam". But, the minute he wants what he wants when he wants it, everything goes out the window...and the wild rumpus begins!
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Old 09-23-2011, 11:59 AM
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Do you have a place for tantrums on the sticker chart? I would designate a place for tantrums for him specifically or for any child that throws one and let him know when mom drops him off on monday where tantrums will be held. Let him know that will be where he will have them and there for him to cool off. I would recommend one of the back bedrooms and when he throws one and just sit him on the bed or a mat and then walk away. You can tell him when he done he can come out. I understand your worried about him putting holes in the walls or braking something.. I would inform the parents that this is the last resort that you have to take bc he is getting to big to be able to handle and the fits are escalating out of your hands at this point. If he brakes something then she will need to replace it. Or there will be a call made for him to be picked up. If this happened at a school he'd be called to the school to be picked up and the teacher and principle would be involved in it. Sometimes I call schools or facilities to find out what they would do in those situations.
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Old 09-23-2011, 12:37 PM
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Do you have a place for tantrums
This actually was my discipline plan for a "temper screamer". I set up one corner, with soft seating, little rug, board books (that I took away if thrown), away from the other kids. One child only, and you must be "excused" to leave (same rule as dinner table).

I had the little seat turned to face away from the group to minimize the time it took to settle down (instead of the other kids feeding into it). When a tantrum started I'd just point to the "Screaming Area". If they did not go, I put them there.

They could not come back to the group until they were done screaming. Simple enough . (I also put in a time limit planned with the parents, once the child reached their specified time of continuous screaming, parents picked up)

"No longer allowed because it is humiliating and negatively effects their self esteem".

Loophole/Irony: Toss in some stuffed animals, turn the chair partially facing the group, call it the "Quiet Play Center" and it is suddenly perfectly acceptable.

I am learning this play on words thing, now....
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Old 09-23-2011, 01:54 PM
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Nanny-
I just spent some time on your website, read about the 8 yo who was pepper sprayed. I'm a little worried that this is where could be headed. If he has no self control at 4, then when will he start to learn it?
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Old 09-23-2011, 02:07 PM
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First... I have put kids out on the FRONT porch when they are throwing a fit and the mom is standing there. So, I am not against putting a tantruming kid outside.

However, I never use timeout for anything. Unless I am the one who needs the time out. Or a child just needs to chill out, and then it's called "Why don't you lie down in the hallway with these books and I'll make sure the kids leave you alone... come back whenever you feel better". <--with a sympathetic look. When I'd REALLY love to say "Why don't we strap you into your carseat and leave you out front til your parents get here?"


Anyway... I agree with either

1. Ignore the tantrum as long as nobody else is getting hurt. The Mom has four kids, I bet she's overwhelmed...so, I ignore, and never tell the parent.

2. Get down on their level and try to be understanding of how this kid feels... he's obviously tired and overwhelmed himself. He's the oldest of four kids. This is very hard on him too. I won't "cajole", but I will try to redirect a tantrum, and disarm the tantrum before I lose my own temper.

However, YOU are also tired. It's the end of the day. How much nicer would it be if they would leave your house efficiently and happily without all the drama?
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Old 09-23-2011, 02:40 PM
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Four is to old for that, and the parents have allowed it to go on too long so imo he needs a wakeup call. I've seen parents do this counting thing, and crazy stuff and the kid just laughs in their face. You put them in a timeout chair they just scream and cry and upset the group. At my house the out of control child is usually voted off the island by the others, not just myself. He goes in a room without a view, and takes a hugh timeout until he can control himself. When the tantrum stops they are allowed to be with the group. Once they learn that doesn't get a response, it will stop at some point. I'll continue it throughout the day if need be. I also make sure I praise them for their good behavior, maybe even a reward. And I clearly let the parents know what I am doing, if they disagree they can go elsewhere. Luckily to date haven't had to drop anyone, but often once the parent picks up they go into Chucky mode because the parent is allowing it.
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