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Old 01-11-2012, 11:54 AM
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jojosmommy jojosmommy is offline
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Default Chronic Not Listening...

This has been a long time coming but yesterday was the breaking point for me. I have an almost 4 yr old boy who never (and I am serious) never listens the first or second time I say something. Yesterday it was nice out so we went outside, he immediately picks up a rock (which are always off limits), I say in the nicest but firmest tone "Put the rock down." I am in the midst of carrying a baby to the stroller and attempting to buckle her in. A second later I repeat the directions, "Put the rock back into the rock garden please." I start walking toward him with the baby in hand b/c it is obvious he is not going to do as I am asking. As I step towards him he intentionally drops it on our ceramic turtle (which my 2 yr old calls his pet turtle) and breaks it into a million pieces. My son begins to cry and this 4yr old runs away "can't get me!"

My blood was boiling but I calmly (I don't know how) opened the door and asked him to step inside and take a break. I repeat the directions and still no response. ***, please go inside and take a break!" Finally he does.

I could list a million times a day this happens, not all behavior things but washing hands, going to the bathroom, get out a book, wipe your face etc. The kid lacks the ability to listen the first time and I KNOW EXACTLY WHY. Mom says alot but does next to nothing when the kid steps out of line. He has been conditioned to not listen the first, second, third etc time because mom repeats and repeats and never follows through with anything she says. So, today is a gma drop off and pick up but gma says mom wants to talk about why her son is so naughty on Thursday. How do I politely tell her he is not naughty, but rather has learned b/c of your lack of ability to follow through on anything, that he pretty much doesn't have to listen until you get firm, in his face (or in her case yell/spank him). I half feel sorry for the kid, since he has only learned what they have taught him, ignore, ignore, ignore until adult is seriously mad. I do not want to spend my day repeating everything or punishing b/c the kid can not listen.
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Old 01-11-2012, 12:25 PM
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I have had a few like that over the years and I find that if I use the 1,2,3 method it works wonders.

#1 "Johnny, we do NOT pick up rocks"
#2 "Johnny, PUT THE ROCK DOWN NOW!!!"
#3 I physically go over to the child, pick them up or take them by the hand (depends on age) and place them right next to me. They stay there until I say they don't have to anymore. The length of time depends on the age, the behavior that got them there and the child in general.

He would be my shadow the entire day. No toys, no games, no nothing, just following me around to the point of pure boredom.

Start over the next day. For some kids, the consequences have to be so tight and restrictive so they can learn. Those type of kids have a huge tolerance for time-outs and separations so finding that magic amount that works is the key. My own DS would have sat for days because he was/is so stubborn.

If you are consistent and firm and react exactly the same way every single day, he will get it. Even if he has the complete opposite style of caregiving at home, he will learn how to behave at daycare. I have many kids who are raised with parents who have no clue what boundaries and rules are and yet the same kids can be perfect here day in and day out.

As far as mom wanting an explanantion, I would simply say it is tough for Johnny to learn rules and consistency here when there is no support at home. Or say that if the same things aren't going on at home as at daycare, he will forever be confused. Put the ball in her court so she understands that you both have to work together and obviously you aren't going to start doing things her way so she is going to have to start doing things your way.

In this case....4 yrs old is well beyond mistaken behavior and is knee deep in purposeful behavior. He knows better.

Last edited by Blackcat31; 01-11-2012 at 12:29 PM.
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Old 01-11-2012, 12:28 PM
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SilverSabre25 SilverSabre25 is offline
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I would say, that at his age, you need to quit giving him more than one chance to listen. You tell him something, he doesn't listen the first time, you stop what you are doing and you make him listen. "Put the rock down!" would be followed by grabbing him firmly, taking the rock out of his hand, and saying in a very stern tone, "NO ROCKS."

He has turned this into a power struggle and he KNOWS he doesn't have to listen the first or even the second time. So you need to take the power back from him.
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Old 01-11-2012, 01:10 PM
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I would not repeat myself. I say things once, nicely, and then there are consequences....for my kids, giving them a second/third chance really only means they got away with it the first & second times.

But then, most of my daycare kids have been on the special end of the spectrum for behaviors. So I do not give them multiple chances to misbehave on the same issue.

I also do not give warnings for misbehaviors that everyone knows. You will not hear me say, "Junior, stop jumping on the couch or you will have to sit on the floor." What i say is, "Junior! On the floor, now. You lost your privilege of sitting on the couch for the rest of the morning". If he doesn't get on the floor immediately, I walk over and put him on the floor. I do not repeat a very clear instruction.
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Old 01-11-2012, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by SilverSabre25 View Post
I would say, that at his age, you need to quit giving him more than one chance to listen. You tell him something, he doesn't listen the first time, you stop what you are doing and you make him listen. "Put the rock down!" would be followed by grabbing him firmly, taking the rock out of his hand, and saying in a very stern tone, "NO ROCKS."

He has turned this into a power struggle and he KNOWS he doesn't have to listen the first or even the second time. So you need to take the power back from him.
Exactly, and one step further....I would put the kid in permanent time out until ready to go inside, or else set him on a chair in front of the door and let him watch from the inside out.
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Old 01-11-2012, 01:12 PM
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I do alot of good choice/bad choice. I would have reminded him the rule about the rocks and told him he can make a good choice and put the rock down or bad choice and come sit by me for awhile. If he didn't put the rock down I would have taken it out of his hands and had him sit with me.

Depending on the child I would have even left it at *****, are you making a good choice or bad choice right now? Most of my kids here would correct themselves and drop the rock but I do have a few stubborn ones and one VERY pooky child that I would have to use the above instead. (parents let her be pooky so she's like yours where you have to repeat everything. It took me along time but she's getting quicker at my house. I always hate it when there is a 3-4 day break though since I have to start all over again.)
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Old 01-11-2012, 01:50 PM
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Ok, so I was feeling pretty mean before but now it sounds like you all have to be seriously strict with these kids all the time. This kid lives on a short rope already and I was really hoping that he would start to learn some self discipline on his own and I wouldn't have to be "controllling" his every move. It sounds like you all are telling me I have to be strict with him all the time and can never give him chances to self regulate his own behavior. ?????

I feel like the meanest person in the world.... really this kid can not handle doing anything without me taking him out of the situation (b/c he overdoes it or gets out of hand). I feel like he spends the majority of his time in time out, reading independently, apologizing to everyone else or waiting for me to "allow" him to do something. I literally have changed my entire daycare b/c of this kid. Nobody leaves the table until everyone is done, nobody goes to play unless everyone (and myslef included is 100% ready) b/c I have to watch his every move.

I am trying to lighten up on the kid so he learns to control himself independent of me but it appears that is not a good idea and I (unfortunately) have to keep on his behind every second.....
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:05 PM
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Well, hold up a bit there. I don't think that it's fair to say that we are all "seriously strict with the kids all the time".

I, for one, am NOT that seriously strict all the time. I was telling you what *I* would do in your situation.

You ARE giving him a chance to self-regulate--by telling him the first time. He's 4, not 14 months. He KNOWS what "NO" means and he KNOWS how to obey--he is choosing not to. For things that he has been told many times, for things that are a safety issue, (like picking up rocks, on both scores), he doesn't GET a second chane. You need to SHOW him that you mean business.

Furthermore, I don't feel that taking over and physically showing the child what you mean/making them listen is "strict" or "mean" at all. I do that with toddlers so they learn the meaning of the words. I do it with older children who need a good reminder.

Trust me--you tell him once, which honestly is once more than he should need told, for the rock thing. That *IS* his chance to self regulate. When you show him that you mean business, that you expect to be heeded the first time he is told something, he'll start doing so eventually.

Also, for things that he really ought to know better, like the rocks, I would say that it would be entirely appropriate to warn him that picking up the rocks is an immediate time out. You won't even give a warning--he picks it up, you march over there and make him drop it and haul his behind into time out. Immediately. It's not mean; it's discipline. I guarentee that he will try it. Perhaps more than once. But you SHOW HIM that you MEAN WHAT YOU SAY.

Eventually, he'll listen.

Probably.
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:11 PM
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the thing is, is that when kids don't listen, it creates an unsafe environment for others. YOu are not mean, you are just doing your job.

Try doing this...Sounds like the child likes to want to be in control, like most

Johnny, rocks stay on the ground, would you like a ball? Wait for him to decide what he wants to do. If he does not respond you then move on and say:

Johnny would you like to put that rock on the ground or would you like me to put that rock on the ground? Wait for him to respond. IF he does not, you walk over and take it from his hand and you gently place it on the ground. Johnny rocks belong on the ground. They are not safe and you may NOT play with rocks.

Then say....Johnny kids that don't listen, don't get to have any fun and I really really want you to have fun. So please listen to my words. I know you can make a big boy decision, show me that you are a big boy and make a GOOD decision.

If he does not listen again, you then tell him well you didn't listen, so you don't get to have any fun. Johnny now has to become your shadow and you can not let him out of your sight.....or is it site.....lol Ughhh english

I have all boys and 1 girl right now, so I feel your pain. I have kids that have ran over other kids on the bikes because they won't listen and slow down. The above is what I do. eventually sometimes, the bike gets taken away.

It does take time, but it will work. BOys are so oblivious from birth until they die....lol
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:44 PM
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BOys are so oblivious from birth until they die....lol
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by jojosmommy View Post
Ok, so I was feeling pretty mean before but now it sounds like you all have to be seriously strict with these kids all the time. This kid lives on a short rope already and I was really hoping that he would start to learn some self discipline on his own and I wouldn't have to be "controllling" his every move. It sounds like you all are telling me I have to be strict with him all the time and can never give him chances to self regulate his own behavior. ?????

I feel like the meanest person in the world.... really this kid can not handle doing anything without me taking him out of the situation (b/c he overdoes it or gets out of hand). I feel like he spends the majority of his time in time out, reading independently, apologizing to everyone else or waiting for me to "allow" him to do something. I literally have changed my entire daycare b/c of this kid. Nobody leaves the table until everyone is done, nobody goes to play unless everyone (and myslef included is 100% ready) b/c I have to watch his every move.

I am trying to lighten up on the kid so he learns to control himself independent of me but it appears that is not a good idea and I (unfortunately) have to keep on his behind every second.....
Think of it this way....he's 4 years old and has no ability to self regulate at all from what you're saying. You are showing him how to behave, how to follow rules and how to make his own good decisions by not giving him multiple choices for things he should already be doing.

He is choosing to misbehave, at 4 it's a choice. You give him a chance to correct his behavior (asking him to put the rock down) and then when he chooses not to follow your direction you're SHOWING him how to do it. Noone has done this for him consistently obviously since he's a mess.

The end result is hopefully a group of children that do not need "heavy handed" discipline because they understand that their choices are their decision. If they make the wrong choice life is no fun...if they chose correctly, life is nice.
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:55 PM
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Solandia Solandia is offline
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Originally Posted by jojosmommy View Post
Ok, so I was feeling pretty mean before but now it sounds like you all have to be seriously strict with these kids all the time. This kid lives on a short rope already and I was really hoping that he would start to learn some self discipline on his own and I wouldn't have to be "controllling" his every move. It sounds like you all are telling me I have to be strict with him all the time and can never give him chances to self regulate his own behavior. ?????

I feel like the meanest person in the world.... really this kid can not handle doing anything without me taking him out of the situation (b/c he overdoes it or gets out of hand). I feel like he spends the majority of his time in time out, reading independently, apologizing to everyone else or waiting for me to "allow" him to do something. I literally have changed my entire daycare b/c of this kid. Nobody leaves the table until everyone is done, nobody goes to play unless everyone (and myslef included is 100% ready) b/c I have to watch his every move.

I am trying to lighten up on the kid so he learns to control himself independent of me but it appears that is not a good idea and I (unfortunately) have to keep on his behind every second.....
That is backwards thinking, imo

...some kids MUST HAVE consistency 100% of the time in order to function appropriately in a group setting. To THAT kid, giving a second chance, or 1-2-3, is interpreted as YOU being inconsistent...you are giving 1,2,3 different responses to the SAME behavior. How is that not confusing to a child that constantly pushes boundries. He is begging for someone to show him how to control himself, because he doesn't know how. The harder behavior kids thrive with ultra-strict, no nonsense discipline. They become happy little people with it.
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Old 01-12-2012, 10:26 AM
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That is backwards thinking, imo

...some kids MUST HAVE consistency 100% of the time in order to function appropriately in a group setting. To THAT kid, giving a second chance, or 1-2-3, is interpreted as YOU being inconsistent...you are giving 1,2,3 different responses to the SAME behavior. How is that not confusing to a child that constantly pushes boundries. He is begging for someone to show him how to control himself, because he doesn't know how. The harder behavior kids thrive with ultra-strict, no nonsense discipline. They become happy little people with it.
I agree! I am a very gray person, normally. More like a freakin rainbow. My 2nd ds taught me that some children WANT and NEED black and white. As it is, he joined the army (he's a sniper)...no ambiguity in that job!

I understand why OP feels "mean" though. That is why I often ask questions here I already know the answer to. I want to hear "you handledI that right". Not because I don't know it's right, but because the children certainly don't validate it, and in my case, the dcp's don't validate it, so I end up questioning myself. I didn't think I had a confidence issue, but I am a little rusty (back at dc after 10 years).

I should know by now that I must be doing something right. All the previous dck's I have (that I keep in contact with) have turned out well adjusted, and so have my grown boys. I just need to remind myself of that!
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