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  #1  
Old 04-07-2010, 03:22 PM
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Angry 4 Kids (Mostly a Rant)

I have 4 dckids from the same family. I've had them since January and I only have 3 of them (school-aged) on Wednesday's for early release day. The 3 year old I have Monday-Thursday.

DCM NEVER has control of her kids! Several other parents (including my own) have commented on how she just let's them get away with whatever. (I live in the finished walk-out basement of my Mom's home so that's where all daycare stuff goes on.) The front door is all that they should be touching upstairs. I can't tell you how many knick knacks they have broken by the front door. Knocked a vase off the wall and broke it, knocked another thing off just yesterday. I barely get an "i'm sorry" from the dcm...I don't know whether she's embarassed or not. I feel like I'm 100X's more strict than she is but I don't know if she's one of those mom's that is trying to not let me see how she disciplines.

I'm completely at a loss for this type of parenting.

Today for instance, mom gets here, rings the bell and then let's herself in. In the meantime after the doorbell I tell all 4 kids to go upstairs...a few listened. One, I harshly said "______, get upstairs!" because he is 7 and still was trying to play. I get so tired of repeating myself and yes, I'm aware that this is part of being a provider but MAN! I feel like they obviously aren't made to listen at home so they are here testing the waters ALL the time. Then 5 yo dcg is sitting out front IN my mom's flowerbeds that line the sidewalk, picking her planted flowers. Dcm just says come on ______, stop. Girl doesn't stop and keeps on picking. She says again, please stop. All in a quiet, nonchalant voice. At this point, I'm super annoyed. I think dcm got annoyed for me when she heard me talk so harshly to dcb but I have to make them listen. I refuse to be a docile provider that gets stepped on by children. Plus, all of her rowdy non-listening children make ALL the children act up!

UGH! If you have any advice I would gladly like to hear it. I'm about to send home a termination letter but really can't afford to. I'd prefer my sanity though! I have not had to terminate anyone yet and feel very nervous about the whole process. I don't know if it will come to this but I still feel so unsure!
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Old 04-07-2010, 03:41 PM
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I think that I would send out a formal letter to the parents explaining that your home is downstairs and they need to be careful around the property because these are not owned by the daycare.

When I have a parent who doesnt know how to stand up and control their kids, I do it for them. If they are in my home then they will behave the way I expect them to. In a way I am coaching the parent as to how to assert their discipline. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesnt. I have one little girl now who ignores her dad's polite requests to leave. I figured out VERY fast that I would have to take control because he wasnt going to. Now he is doing a little better job with getting her to comply.

If they are schoolage I would have them ready and lined up against the wall a few minutes before the mom ususally arrives. Then I would tell them what is expected of them when they are picked up. Walk them through it several times until they start obeying. Take them upstairs with their hands to themselves and walk by the front door calmly without breaking things and to the driveway without disturbing the landscaping. Repeat Repeat Repeat. There is no excuse for this kind of behavior especially for school age kids.
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Old 04-07-2010, 03:58 PM
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I've also thought about sending home a refresher of my current handbook. How often does everyone send out a handbook? Once or twice a year? I have my parents read my handbook on my website and then initial in the contract that they've been on there and read it. I'm starting to quickly realize that not many of them actually read it. I thought about printing it out and sending it home again and back with a signature. Not that that will resolve matters because they still may not read it but it might help.
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Old 04-07-2010, 05:37 PM
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I hand out monthly newsletters on items of importance, days off, birthdays, welcoming new children, pajama days, show and tell days ,etc. Then at the bottom I place reminders to the parents, if I had this happen everyday, I would definately place this in there!!THis has worked so wonderfully since starting this in Jan.
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:19 PM
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This year I started sending home an updated parent handbook in January. I call it "Yearly Enrollment Updates". I sent home the Parent handbook, policy agreement form for them to sign, new contract if changes have been made, and request a copy of updated immunizations. This has worked out beautifully. On the new forms I write 2010 update so I know which one is the newest one. When I filled out my yearly registration forms for the State last week I had all that ready to go (they require I fill out every enrolled childs immunizations along with my paperwork.)

If I have an ongoing policy issue I put the reminder in the monthly newsletter I send home. Like when winter started I reminded parents of my illness policy and quoted the parent handbook. It was VERY effective.
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Old 04-08-2010, 12:18 AM
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I like originalkat's idea of a formal letter explaining about the upstairs. Give one to everyone of course.

And I'd also take charge while mom is there. Show her what you expect of the kids and her while in your home.

To make it easier until they adjust to behaving at pick up time, either have them all sit at a table (coloring or something) until you and dc mom are done talking and actually ready to walk out the door with them. Or have them dressed and ready to go when mom gets there and physically walk them out the door and hand them off when you see her coming. If her pickup time varies ask her to call you a few minutes away if she has a cell so you can get them ready.
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:34 AM
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The kids may be testing you, too. They may be testing to see whether the rules stay the same regardless of the time of day (ie, daycare hours, or pick-up time). I had one little boy once that knew my rules quite well, but when Mom came one day, he climbed up onto the coffee table (a HUGE no-no in my house). This kid was 5 at the time. Mom watched him from about 10 feet away and didn't say A WORD to him! Just kept talking about whatever it was we were discussing. I actually didn't say anything, thinking "Mom's here, so she's in charge now". I don't do that anymore. From the boy's expression, he was clearly testing me, and I failed the test. Needless to say, I "remind" the kids of the rules now, whether the parent's there or not.

In this case, the mom's not being the grown-up. Provide some reassurance for these kids, and put your foot down. They need to know that someone will call them on it when they're breaking the rules.
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:48 AM
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This may sound ignorant but how harsh is too harsh to talk to DCKids...I feel like my "mean" voice is sometimes not mean enough and others, too mean. :-) I don't cuss (duh) or degrade them so that's not what I'm asking.

What are some of your favorite sayings while using your "mean" voice? Like for instance a child not listening...what do you say and how?

This may be silly but I'm just trying to get a grasp on things.
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Old 04-08-2010, 10:03 AM
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I know you weren't talking to me, but my "mean voice" is just a lower tone (like supernanny). I say whatever it is to the children firmly and with the expectation that I will be obeyed. The kids can tell when you don't mean it or aren't willing to follow through. I didn't used to, but I sometimes have to take it all the way to time out when a mom is here. Usually once that happens I rarely have a problem with that child again during pickup/dropoff.
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Old 04-08-2010, 10:58 AM
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I think my favorite "mean" line is "That is not acceptable behavior at my house!"
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Old 04-08-2010, 11:59 AM
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My "mean" phrase is "(Name), we DO NOT (hit, kick, sit in flowerbeds, etc.) at daycare! You need to (stop, apologize, sit for time out, etc) right now!". And then, threat of all threats , if they're not doing what they need to do "You are NOT listening to my words. If you do not (do whatever), I will HELP you do it!". I'm still not completely sure what that means, but it seems to work really well I've been using that threat for the past 11 years, and it works every time!

I do like to specify though, that whatever rule is being broken, is the rule we have at daycare. That way there's no room for excuses like "Mommy doesn't make me do this", etc., and it gives parents a way out if they have different rules at home.
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Old 04-08-2010, 12:01 PM
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I was talking to anyone willing to answer. :-) lol

OK, I just feel like I might be too mean but it sounds like I'm consistently doing what I should be doing/saying. I'd say 95% of the time the kids get that they aren't allowed to do that....ALOT of the the testing comes during pick-up times (which I'm now guessing is normal).
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Old 04-08-2010, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DBug View Post
My "mean" phrase is "(Name), we DO NOT (hit, kick, sit in flowerbeds, etc.) at daycare! You need to (stop, apologize, sit for time out, etc) right now!". And then, threat of all threats , if they're not doing what they need to do "You are NOT listening to my words. If you do not (do whatever), I will HELP you do it!". I'm still not completely sure what that means, but it seems to work really well I've been using that threat for the past 11 years, and it works every time!

I do like to specify though, that whatever rule is being broken, is the rule we have at daycare. That way there's no room for excuses like "Mommy doesn't make me do this", etc., and it gives parents a way out if they have different rules at home.
I use that one too! I say "Would you like to do _____ on your own or would you like ME to help you do it?" My voice is calm and firm, but the look on my face lets them know that they won't be happy if I have to help.
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Old 04-08-2010, 01:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by originalkat View Post

When I have a parent who doesnt know how to stand up and control their kids, I do it for them. If they are in my home then they will behave the way I expect them to. In a way I am coaching the parent as to how to assert their discipline.
Amen. I hate doing it because I believe (and it's in my handbook) that I am in charge of the child from the moment the parent leaves until the parent arrives. After that they child is their responsibility but that doesn't always stop the parent's from allowing their children to go insane! If I feel like I have to then I interfere. Sometimes a parent just doesn't know if you'll frown upon them if they discipline. They feel like they'll do it wrong. Nowadays it seems like parents get in trouble for everything. Here in CA spanking is illegal and only in the US can a mother get arrested for terrorist for spanking their child on an airplane. I think that parent's are afraid to parent because parenting is scrutinized so much now that it's rediculous. If we aren't allowed to discipline our children then don't complain when they are disobedient and throw full on tantrums in public places. I love that phrase "This is not acceptible" and I use it all of the time when they start to get out of hand. I just treat them in front of their parent as I would if they weren't here. Sometimes you can embarrass a parent into finally being firm by stepping in where they should. I have no problem saying to a parent "Wow, he/she never behaves like this when you aren't around". Of course I sugar-coat it with a pleasant tone of voice and a smile but it can still get your point across.

I also like the idea about giving the mom boundaries as to what is considered a part of the daycare and what isn't. In the letter add a policy (I have one) about damages and how she'll have to replace any damaged items including plants. Itemize the list especially for her of all of things that have been broken up to now and plants that have been mauled by her children up to this point and say that as of now (or two weeks if giving her the two weeks notice of ammended policy) any property that is damaged by her kids will be added to her daycare fees. Hell I even charge for shipping, taxes, delivery and any other fees that I may get when I have to replace an item that is intentionally broken by a child that knows better. Maybe that will get her to come around.
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Old 04-08-2010, 01:51 PM
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I tell parents in the initial interview: Your children will naturally test the boundaries when you are here because they want to know who's in charge when both you and I are here. You are of course, welcome to discipline. However, I let them know that I am in charge when they are at my home.

Then, I do it. I talk sternly and tell them in front of the parents, these are not your things. Please do not touch them. I believe parents look to us for modeling. And part of our job is modeling for them how to parent.

Good luck.
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Old 04-08-2010, 02:11 PM
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I tell parents in the initial interview: Your children will naturally test the boundaries when you are here because they want to know who's in charge when both you and I are here. You are of course, welcome to discipline. However, I let them know that I am in charge when they are at my home.

Then, I do it. I talk sternly and tell them in front of the parents, these are not your things. Please do not touch them. I believe parents look to us for modeling. And part of our job is modeling for them how to parent.

Good luck.
Yes... I like this. I might add something like this into my discipline section of my parent handbook and cover this aspect during the interview as well.
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Old 04-20-2010, 10:53 AM
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I've also thought about sending home a refresher of my current handbook. How often does everyone send out a handbook? Once or twice a year? I have my parents read my handbook on my website and then initial in the contract that they've been on there and read it. I'm starting to quickly realize that not many of them actually read it. I thought about printing it out and sending it home again and back with a signature. Not that that will resolve matters because they still may not read it but it might help.
I also have it on my website but I found that even though it costs me more money to have it printed, giving them a copy works best. I give them each a copy and they sign the contract which has a section at the bottom that reads

"By signing this contract I, the parent/guardian, indicate that I have read, understand and agree to follow the provider’s contract and policies as stipulated in the (daycare name) Policy Handbook Parent’s Guide and I understand that this is a legal and binding contract between me and (Provider name) of (daycare name)."

This just makes everything easier for me. I was thinking about changing the contract, however, because as of now it's a short legal term version of my handbook and I think I will just remove everything except the payment and fee's things, attendance and termination procedure to make tha contract shorter. That should still leave my bases covered right?
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Old 04-20-2010, 01:52 PM
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Thanks for all the suggestions! I've starting becoming more strict when she's around...I think maybe it took her aback at first that I was disciplining, who knows. I've noticed even just in the past week or so, she backs me up with whatever I'm saying.

She still doesn't go out of her way to make sure it's followed through but at least she's making a step towards it.

I have also made the "flower rug" by the front door the area that no one is allowed to leave once upstairs. It's a huge sunflower so the kids think it's cool and are beginning to understand that they can't leave it to run around or do whatever.
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Old 04-20-2010, 02:10 PM
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Thanks for all the suggestions! I've starting becoming more strict when she's around...I think maybe it took her aback at first that I was disciplining, who knows. I've noticed even just in the past week or so, she backs me up with whatever I'm saying.

She still doesn't go out of her way to make sure it's followed through but at least she's making a step towards it.

I have also made the "flower rug" by the front door the area that no one is allowed to leave once upstairs. It's a huge sunflower so the kids think it's cool and are beginning to understand that they can't leave it to run around or do whatever.
I sooooo need a flower rug!!! This is a great idea and I am going to look for a special rug to put in my entryway. This is why I love this site so much.
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Old 04-20-2010, 02:17 PM
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Misol, do you have Joann Fabrics in VA? I know they have some super cute ladybug and frog ones. :-)

It just dawned on me one day to say "stay on the rug!" Ha!
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Old 04-20-2010, 08:12 PM
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Misol, do you have Joann Fabrics in VA? I know they have some super cute ladybug and frog ones. :-)

It just dawned on me one day to say "stay on the rug!" Ha!
Sure do! I'll check them out this weekend. Thanks a bunch.
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