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  #1  
Old 02-22-2012, 01:40 PM
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Default Tantrums And Behavior Issues In 4 Yr Old

I have a situation with a 4 year old and need some advise. CHild has been at our center (off and on for about 6 months). The past 4 weeks or so have been really rough. The child is spitting on teachers, hitting them and just being defiant. He doesn't like it when he doesn't get his way and he hates having to sit still during nap time.

We have tried pulling him out of the room and having talks with him in the office after episodes. We have tried time outs, we have tried revoking privileges (like being line leader or getting to go out on the playground). We have tried having him work with a different teacher.

Each time we talk to him he seems remorseful and says he will do better. But inevitably he ends up having a tantrum again.

I am at my wits end on what to do and my staff is getting extremely frustrated as well. His mothers says he doesn't act like this at home - so she is at a loss too. She now seems to be getting angry at me that the issues are occurring. And I feel bad that we haven't been able to fix the problem.

Any other suggestions on what to do to resolve tantrums. Or do I just cut my losses and term the agreement?
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Old 02-22-2012, 03:36 PM
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moms lying, I bet you he's an only child who is running the roost at home and she doesn't see it as a problem. Maybe if he was your shadow that may work. Otherwise you and mom need to sit down and make a chart on how to fix it. Also document what happened before, during and after each incident and what you did to fix it. You need to have proof to show her.
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  #3  
Old 02-22-2012, 03:41 PM
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His mothers says he doesn't act like this at home - so she is at a loss too.

Out of everything you said, this is the most important thing. This means that this child CAN be well behaved!!! That is wonderful.

It sounds like he is a normal happy child who is having a terrible and violent reaction to your environment. The only thing that needs to change to complete him and allow him to prosper is to be out of your environment.

I would tell the Mom that she has been very helpful in sharing that he doesn't have these behaviors with her. You know that it HAS to be your environment because he's so well behaved with her. This means all she has to do is take him out of your place and he will be fine.

I wouldn't discuss anything that is happening at your place or how to fix it. I would just tell her that he is not able to cope with your environment but because he does so well with her it's clear that he is perfectly fine... he just needs to be in an environment that is more like what she provides.

OR

She's lying and he is violent with her unless he gets what he wants.

A kid spitting at an adult is one of the highest signs of being completely out of control. It is really only second to biting an adult.

If he were here he would have been gone the day he laid his hands or spit on an adult. I don't do violence. I don't think it's "normal" and I don't feel obligated to "work" on it. If they hit, kick, scratch, bite, or spit they are gone. I have to protect myself, my child, my staff, and my kids. They all DESERVE to live without any violence.
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:12 PM
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Term him. It's only going to get worse and it's not fair to the kids or teachers. I also agree that mom is lying to you because if he is an "angel" at home, then he would not be comfortable with spitting on teachers.
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:15 PM
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nannyde View Post
His mothers says he doesn't act like this at home - so she is at a loss too.

Out of everything you said, this is the most important thing. This means that this child CAN be well behaved!!! That is wonderful.

It sounds like he is a normal happy child who is having a terrible and violent reaction to your environment. The only thing that needs to change to complete him and allow him to prosper is to be out of your environment.

I would tell the Mom that she has been very helpful in sharing that he doesn't have these behaviors with her. You know that it HAS to be your environment because he's so well behaved with her. This means all she has to do is take him out of your place and he will be fine.

I wouldn't discuss anything that is happening at your place or how to fix it. I would just tell her that he is not able to cope with your environment but because he does so well with her it's clear that he is perfectly fine... he just needs to be in an environment that is more like what she provides.

OR

She's lying and he is violent with her unless he gets what he wants.

A kid spitting at an adult is one of the highest signs of being completely out of control. It is really only second to biting an adult.

If he were here he would have been gone the day he laid his hands or spit on an adult. I don't do violence. I don't think it's "normal" and I don't feel obligated to "work" on it. If they hit, kick, scratch, bite, or spit they are gone. I have to protect myself, my child, my staff, and my kids. They all DESERVE to live without any violence.

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Old 02-22-2012, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hmorsag View Post
I have a situation with a 4 year old and need some advise. CHild has been at our center (off and on for about 6 months). The past 4 weeks or so have been really rough. The child is spitting on teachers, hitting them and just being defiant. He doesn't like it when he doesn't get his way and he hates having to sit still during nap time.

We have tried pulling him out of the room and having talks with him in the office after episodes. We have tried time outs, we have tried revoking privileges (like being line leader or getting to go out on the playground). We have tried having him work with a different teacher.

Each time we talk to him he seems remorseful and says he will do better. But inevitably he ends up having a tantrum again.

I am at my wits end on what to do and my staff is getting extremely frustrated as well. His mothers says he doesn't act like this at home - so she is at a loss too. She now seems to be getting angry at me that the issues are occurring. And I feel bad that we haven't been able to fix the problem.

Any other suggestions on what to do to resolve tantrums. Or do I just cut my losses and term the agreement?
When my daughter was in second grade I found out she was misbehaving at school to a much larger degree than at home. We were alread going to a psychologist with her. The psychologist asked if we talked to her about her adoption often. I said...it's an open book.....we talk about it whenever she brings it up. He suggested we ask her about it because maybe she is in a new stage of development. So.....we talked with her and told her we would answer any question she had....and that if we didn't know the answer....we would try to find out. Well, she floored us with this......"If you decide you don't want me anymore....will you just send me back to the adoption agency or back to my birthmom?" We then explained that when we adopted her she would be our forever daughter and we would love her forever. She was behaving better at home than at school because she was afraid we would give her back. You just never know what is going on in their heads sometimes.
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:37 PM
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I wouldn't discuss anything that is happening at your place or how to fix it. I would just tell her that he is not able to cope with your environment but because he does so well with her it's clear that he is perfectly fine... he just needs to be in an environment that is more like what she provides.


Maybe or maybe not. If he is behaving better at home than school.....there might be something going on at home. He might be afraid.....of what? Maybe if he's being abused or he feels he is contributing to a negative situation at home.....or something along the lines of being afraid his parents are going to give up on him and send him away (Yes, far fetched but if you read my post about my daughter....it can happen). Children need a safe haven where they can let off steam and misbehave. It's impossible for a child (or MYSELF) to behave all the time. They might have one place where school is their safe haven and can "let go". My daughter was trying so hard to BEHAVE at home.....so she let off at school.....this is not healthy. Home should be the safe haven.
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by MissAnn View Post

I wouldn't discuss anything that is happening at your place or how to fix it. I would just tell her that he is not able to cope with your environment but because he does so well with her it's clear that he is perfectly fine... he just needs to be in an environment that is more like what she provides.


Maybe or maybe not. If he is behaving better at home than school.....there might be something going on at home. He might be afraid.....of what? Maybe if he's being abused or he feels he is contributing to a negative situation at home.....or something along the lines of being afraid his parents are going to give up on him and send him away (Yes, far fetched but if you read my post about my daughter....it can happen). Children need a safe haven where they can let off steam and misbehave. It's impossible for a child (or MYSELF) to behave all the time. They might have one place where school is their safe haven and can "let go". My daughter was trying so hard to BEHAVE at home.....so she let off at school.....this is not healthy. Home should be the safe haven.
Well that's surely possible but either way... if he needs to be in whatever kind of environment the Mom has that keeps him from spitting, hitting, tantruming then no matter what the center isn't right for him. Whatever she is using on him to get him to be fine at home is obviously something the center can't do. He needs to go where they CAN do what she does.

Was your daughter being violent at school? Was her violence directed towards adults?

If she was just misbehaving at school then that is not a good comparison to this. The key in this IS the violence towards adults.

Remember too that when the Mom is confronted with this she is getting upset at the messenger. If he was being awesome at home and violent at school it doesn't make sense that the Mom would not want to hear it. Who would want to walk away from information that their child is behaving like a little animal in public when the parent knows he's awesome at home? It makes sense if he is awful at home but it doesn't make sense if he is good at home.

There is a very very high liklihood that this kid has been booted out of child care before... that she doesn't have the issues with him because she doesn't tell him no at home.... that she's getting upset because she's been to this rodeo before and she knows a term is next and she's saying whatever it takes to get him to stay there as long as the center will ride it out. She's getting mad because experience tells her that she's going to have to find child care again and restart the process. She's most likely done this before many times and it's getting old. The more she can bob and weave away from the truth the longer the time is before she has to start over somewhere else.

The end game is that no matter what... no matter why.. he is being violent with adults and that needs to stop. It's her responsibility to society to NOT put her son somewhere where he is so unhappy that he's being violent with those around him. She needs to do the right thing for the workers and the other kids. Her kids needs or her wants do not supercede the needs of the adults working there. They have a right to work in a violence free workplace.
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:09 PM
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We need a "tongue in cheek" icon.....although I can't imagine what it would look like.

I had one of these situations and the only thing that worked was telling MOM what she wanted to hear...that it was my fault. I was "not able to meet his/her needs".

I had spent MONTHS working on discipline plans with her, each time she'd not follow through at home, buy him/her stuff, take him/her out for treats after pick-up when he/she had a bad day, bring him/her in with candy bribes to get out of the car, etc..

The moment it occured to me this was NOT going to improve was "He/she never does this at home"...while he/she was kicking & hitting her in my home as she tried to pick him/her up to leave.

I served my two weeks notice and life got better for all the other children in my care. Sometimes it simply is the best option.
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  #11  
Old 02-23-2012, 09:08 AM
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There is, of course, the possibility that Mom coddles him so she doesn't see this behavior at home. There is also the possibility that she REALLY DOESN'T see it at home because there are no other children around, the environment is less stimulating and she has the time to tend to his individual needs. It may also be that he has a sensory integration issues that needs to be addressed.

Personally, I feel the level of violence is out of control and you are well within your rights to end services.However, if you are going to continue working with him I would consider how the environment plays a role in his behavior and see if there are changes you can make that will help him regain self-control. I would also assess staff reactions to his behavior to see if those reactions cause his violence to escalate.

Good luck with whatever you decide.
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Old 02-23-2012, 09:21 AM
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We need a "tongue in cheek" icon.....although I can't imagine what it would look like.

I had one of these situations and the only thing that worked was telling MOM what she wanted to hear...that it was my fault. I was "not able to meet his/her needs".

I had spent MONTHS working on discipline plans with her, each time she'd not follow through at home, buy him/her stuff, take him/her out for treats after pick-up when he/she had a bad day, bring him/her in with candy bribes to get out of the car, etc..

The moment it occured to me this was NOT going to improve was "He/she never does this at home"...while he/she was kicking & hitting her in my home as she tried to pick him/her up to leave.

I served my two weeks notice and life got better for all the other children in my care. Sometimes it simply is the best option.
I just did this too with my problem family, disipline plan, constantly being told that this doesn't happen at home while the children hit, scream and run out into the street when Mom or Dad is here. They listened to all my words and took from it that I was not a good fit. Okee doke, then.
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Crystal View Post
There is, of course, the possibility that Mom coddles him so she doesn't see this behavior at home. There is also the possibility that she REALLY DOESN'T see it at home because there are no other children around, the environment is less stimulating and she has the time to tend to his individual needs. It may also be that he has a sensory integration issues that needs to be addressed.

Personally, I feel the level of violence is out of control and you are well within your rights to end services.However, if you are going to continue working with him I would consider how the environment plays a role in his behavior and see if there are changes you can make that will help him regain self-control. I would also assess staff reactions to his behavior to see if those reactions cause his violence to escalate.

Good luck with whatever you decide.
well, said, Crystal....

BTW, OP: My very first post here ever was "4 yo who throws tantrums"...
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:44 PM
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LOVE nannyde's advice!!!

I had a similar situation with a DCG. It wasn't violent behavior but just odd behavior. The mom would swear up and down this didn't happen at home. Well guess what? It does and then some! In fact her behavior was better here than at home I came to find out.

The mom doesn't care!! My guess would be he has very little supervision at home and is allowed to do whatever he wants. Tantrumming at 4 is a cry for help. He has been taught that this is the way to get what you want. If you don't get what you want step it up a notch to violence. He is desperately seeking attention IMO. It's hard to give advice based on your post but if the mom is in denial there is nothing you can do. The change needs to begin at home.
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:12 PM
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I am reading this as a mother of a 4 yr old with the EXACT problems you are describing. It is very well possible that the child can act out at school and NOT at home. As hard as it is to believe...it is true! I have read article after article, book after book.....My son fits the description of Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Children "act out" in situations where there is structure and they resist it. My son refused to do any classwork and had tantrums in which he would throw chairs and hit teachers and even throw shoes at them. I was at a complete loss for words b/c he would not dare act like that at home. However at home I did not have the type of strict schedule...like 10 minutes of science, 20 min circle time, etc. My son also had symptoms similar to temporal lobe ADHD in which children are defiant, aggressive, violent. It is very hard for a mother that cares about her child 100%!!! I am a VERY involved mother and always have been- I have another son that is 7 and never had ONE behavior incident w/ him. So my suggestion is to not always judge the parent..b/c there are some parents that just have children with emotional/behavioral issues and it is not the parent's fault. It is known that behavior and emotional issues can sometimes be inherited. the last school my son was asked to leave, the owner actually told me that she did not feel as if she had the resources to really benefit my son and that she felt an outside source could be helpful. Our plan was to get a behaviorist/psychologist to come in and observe so that the they could provide the staff w/ some insight on which direction to go. I really appreciated that approach. It made me feel as if they cared and like they didn't just want to give up on him. Mom may not be ready to hear that, but it is an alternative to asking the child to leave if that is not what you really want to do. I started giving my child a homeopathic remedy for ADHD and he is on a gluten free diet and I have had little to no problems with him at the new school which he has been attending for about 2 months. SO HAPPY about that... lol Good luck!
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Old 02-23-2012, 03:01 PM
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I am reading this as a mother of a 4 yr old with the EXACT problems you are describing. It is very well possible that the child can act out at school and NOT at home. As hard as it is to believe...it is true! I have read article after article, book after book.....My son fits the description of Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Children "act out" in situations where there is structure and they resist it. My son refused to do any classwork and had tantrums in which he would throw chairs and hit teachers and even throw shoes at them. I was at a complete loss for words b/c he would not dare act like that at home. However at home I did not have the type of strict schedule...like 10 minutes of science, 20 min circle time, etc. My son also had symptoms similar to temporal lobe ADHD in which children are defiant, aggressive, violent. It is very hard for a mother that cares about her child 100%!!! I am a VERY involved mother and always have been- I have another son that is 7 and never had ONE behavior incident w/ him. So my suggestion is to not always judge the parent..b/c there are some parents that just have children with emotional/behavioral issues and it is not the parent's fault. It is known that behavior and emotional issues can sometimes be inherited. the last school my son was asked to leave, the owner actually told me that she did not feel as if she had the resources to really benefit my son and that she felt an outside source could be helpful. Our plan was to get a behaviorist/psychologist to come in and observe so that the they could provide the staff w/ some insight on which direction to go. I really appreciated that approach. It made me feel as if they cared and like they didn't just want to give up on him. Mom may not be ready to hear that, but it is an alternative to asking the child to leave if that is not what you really want to do. I started giving my child a homeopathic remedy for ADHD and he is on a gluten free diet and I have had little to no problems with him at the new school which he has been attending for about 2 months. SO HAPPY about that... lol Good luck!
You sound like a wonderful mom trying to help her son and cooperate with the caregiver!
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Old 02-23-2012, 03:25 PM
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Kudos to you. YOu do sound like a fabulous parent and thanks for sharing this with all of us...
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Old 02-23-2012, 04:19 PM
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You sound like a wonderful mom trying to help her son and cooperate with the caregiver!
You are exactly what most of us would want:

Caregiver/Teacher tells you there is an issue, and you say "wow, ok, I didn't know that. Now, how do we fix it?" vs. "that's just not possible, he never does that at home"...

It's frustrating to have a child with this sort of issue. It's almost impossible to help a child with this sort of issue without teamwork!
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Old 03-07-2012, 03:53 PM
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Thank you to all for the great advice. As it turns out - the parent un-enrolled the child the day after I placed this post. Not necessarily the outcome I wanted - but I think we both knew it just wasn't the right place for him. As it turns out he is now on my daughters little league team and he seems to be doing well.

Thanks again for the advice.
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