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  #1  
Old 08-18-2011, 12:38 PM
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Default Siblings....Not a Good Fit

As lots of you know, I own/operate a center with my husband. We've been at it 6 years now. We just signed our 4th set of siblings, 4yob and 1yog. ALL the siblings I've had in the past have been just wonderful and great. Not this crew...

We are a multi-age approach center, meaning we spend about 75% of our day together. We have one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon when we seperate into two groups, so older kids 3-5 can do fine motor skills and school readiness worksheets and games without interference from the littles. All my siblings before have LOVED being together and its never been an issue.

These two....4 yo boy hates having his little sis anywhere near him. Sis hates not having her brother near her. "Get away!"....."Whaaaa".... Over and over. The boy is very demanding and has never been in a mixed-age group. A little will just stand next to him "get this baby away, I hate babies, he's looking at me, she's touching me"....yada yada yada. When we separate into groups, lil sis is crying and looking for her brother. These two are totally screwing up my entire approach. Oh, and parents are really into and overly hyper about boy doing "schoolwork". But boy has zero interest in all "educational" activities, just wants to bang toys together and make noise. He barely participates in Big Kids Time. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. So if he's being disruptive during Big Kids Time, I suggest he comes out to play with the Littles. "NO! I don't want to play baby stuff!" Its just not working out. They ARE new, but its almost 2 weeks into care and no change. I am going to start lining up replacements. it just really stinks how these large centers ruined this boy. Multi age REALLY WORKS (as most of you home daycare providers already know as you do it anyways). It teaches the Bigs respect, caring and responsibility and tolerance. It provides a steeper learning curve for the littles, improves their speech and language use, sets examples. I feel like I'd rather just term then try to explain how and why we do things the way we do here, to both him and his parents. Parents don't seem to get it. Some don't. Most do. And the ones that get it, love it. WWYD?
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:44 PM
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Oops, let me clarify! I DID fully explain the multi age approach to parents during initial tour, follow up visit, and its all fully outlined in their handbook and on my website. I did explain to the boy too, repeatedly. What I meant was, I don't feel like RE-explaining it, and having to justify it.
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:49 PM
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Is he coming from a larger center?

I remember them sending big kids who were acting out to the "baby" rooms as punishment back in the day.

When they came back to their rooms the other kids were almost encouraged to mock them by calling out to them in a sing-songy way " you're a baby" or "you have baby cooties".

The rest of the day the kids would play "keep away" from the kids who had "baby cooties".

Every where in the room they went to play the other kids would run off and hold their noses or pretend he was covered in slime of some sort.

Have you seen that at other centers in your area?

If so that could explain some of his "I hate babies" behavior.
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:59 PM
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Yes Cat, he came from a big chain center. I have only worked at one center other than my own, for a whopping whole week. I was appalled at what I saw. Its what made me open my own place. Big centers...don't like 'em. Can't stand being lumped in with 'em when people say "....oh all centers all do that". We are MOST like a large family daycare, we just don't live here.
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Old 08-18-2011, 01:06 PM
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Oh, hun...I don't see you as a large center at all.

You are more like a "Classical School" in my eyes. Those are all the rage, here. (for those that can afford $1200 a month per child)

I was referring to what I saw as an Educational Coordinator at 300+ centers.

It was my job to catch that kind of stuff and either retrain or send them packing.

I just wonder if your new little guy had been through that and had the possibility of coming around with a better environment like yours.
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Old 08-18-2011, 04:25 PM
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maybe instead of re-explaining and defending you could send a letter home saying that the older boy is not enjoying the multi-age aspect of the center. If asked by the family what you mean simply refer them to the hand book and explain how the child acts at different times of the day. Re-explain is one thing but you should not have to defend they choose your center knowing you where multi-age.
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Old 08-18-2011, 04:38 PM
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This post really makes me sad. The parents are doing a terrible injustice to both of their children.

Throughout your life, friends come and go. Sometimes, even spouses/SO's come and go. Family is for life, you have no choice there. IMHO, the love for family should be nurtured from the beginning.

This child has already been taught that his sister is an imposition, something to be avoided. It's obvious he hasn't been taught any different at home.

I don't know if you can change his behavior, but I would try.

(Yes, I do understand that some family members are just best left out of your life.)
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Old 08-18-2011, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugar Magnolia View Post
Oh, and parents are really into and overly hyper about boy doing "schoolwork". But boy has zero interest in all "educational" activities, just wants to bang toys together and make noise. He barely participates in Big Kids Time. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.
I would just sit them down and tell them that you are going to suspend ANY educational activities for him for at least one month and just focus on behavior. He doesn't need abc's and 123's. He doesn't need crafts.

He needs to BEHAVE


That's the only thing I would work on with him and I would dedicate my every second to it. I would have him ONLY with the babies for at least a month. He's showing you that is where he NEEDS to be. I would have him EARN his way into the big kid stuff and it would be in ten minute increments... then back to the littles.

What the parents want is exactly the opposite of what he needs. Tell them the truth. Tell them that he has significant delays in compassion, understanding of other children, his "place" in the group, his ability to self entertain, his ability to manage his time without creating constant chaos.

If he is to stay that will be what you do with him. Take it or leave.

We need to stop mollycoddling this generation of parents. It's time to make friends with the truth whether they are paying money or not... they need truth.
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Old 08-18-2011, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Catherder View Post
Oh, hun...I don't see you as a large center at all.

You are more like a "Classical School" in my eyes. Those are all the rage, here. (for those that can afford $1200 a month per child)

I was referring to what I saw as an Educational Coordinator at 300+ centers.

It was my job to catch that kind of stuff and either retrain or send them packing.

I just wonder if your new little guy had been through that and had the possibility of coming around with a better environment like yours.
Oh Cat, I didn't mean you were lumping us in with all centers. But its true, centers sometimes get a bad wrap, and they usually earn it. There is definitely some harsh criticism of centers here. Not from you though

"Classical School"...I like that title. Way better than "Center".....I also like that $1200 a month number! Wish I could get that much!

Yeah he is a big center product. He's confused.
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Old 08-18-2011, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by familyschoolcare View Post
maybe instead of re-explaining and defending you could send a letter home saying that the older boy is not enjoying the multi-age aspect of the center. If asked by the family what you mean simply refer them to the hand book and explain how the child acts at different times of the day. Re-explain is one thing but you should not have to defend they choose your center knowing you where multi-age.
Yes Family, I agree. I would do it in conference form though Without the kids present. as opposed to a letter. I have given them updates daily, and they know its an issue. I think I'll give it through next week to see if I can make head way. Then conference time if no progress.
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Old 08-18-2011, 07:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharlan View Post
This post really makes me sad. The parents are doing a terrible injustice to both of their children.

Throughout your life, friends come and go. Sometimes, even spouses/SO's come and go. Family is for life, you have no choice there. IMHO, the love for family should be nurtured from the beginning.

This child has already been taught that his sister is an imposition, something to be avoided. It's obvious he hasn't been taught any different at home.

I don't know if you can change his behavior, but I would try.

(Yes, I do understand that some family members are just best left out of your life.)
Oh I think he LOVES his sister, he is affectionate to her, when he wants to be. He's just NOT used to dealing with her at school. Its foreign to him. He is irritated by her and all the Littles. He sees school as "I don't have to deal with sissy" time. The family is nice. But I just don't think they "get it", (my approach).
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Old 08-18-2011, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by nannyde View Post
I would just sit them down and tell them that you are going to suspend ANY educational activities for him for at least one month and just focus on behavior. He doesn't need abc's and 123's. He doesn't need crafts.

He needs to BEHAVE


That's the only thing I would work on with him and I would dedicate my every second to it. I would have him ONLY with the babies for at least a month. He's showing you that is where he NEEDS to be. I would have him EARN his way into the big kid stuff and it would be in ten minute increments... then back to the littles.

What the parents want is exactly the opposite of what he needs. Tell them the truth. Tell them that he has significant delays in compassion, understanding of other children, his "place" in the group, his ability to self entertain, his ability to manage his time without creating constant chaos.

If he is to stay that will be what you do with him. Take it or leave.

We need to stop mollycoddling this generation of parents. It's time to make friends with the truth whether they are paying money or not... they need truth.
Agree with all this! Its only 2 hours a day (out of 8 awake hours) that they are separated by age, he does need to EARN Big Kids Time. The sister is half the problem too though. She cries for him when he's out of the room. She has had to CIO at nap, and she has accepted that she can't nap with the Bigs. She craves him as much as she annoys him. Like Cat said, he has been 'raised' (in his daycare life) to be separated ALL THE TIME by age. She went to the toddler room, he went to the preschool room and they see ya later at pick-up. Its not that they are bad kids. They are just confused. 'School' is not the same here. They will likely need a lot loooooonger adjustment period. Yeah dealing with the parents is not going to be easy. They want DCB reading. And doing math. Seems like the kids least interested in ABC and 123's have the parents that want LOTS of "education". That's what Big Kids Time is for. Its not alllll daaaaay looooong.
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Old 08-18-2011, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Sugar Magnolia View Post
Multi age REALLY WORKS (as most of you home daycare providers already know as you do it anyways). It teaches the Bigs respect, caring and responsibility and tolerance. It provides a steeper learning curve for the littles, improves their speech and language use, sets examples. I feel like I'd rather just term then try to explain how and why we do things the way we do here, to both him and his parents. Parents don't seem to get it. Some don't. Most do. And the ones that get it, love it. WWYD?
I totally agree....this summer since we've had SOOO many kids...we created a mixed-age group. It was great...field trips were more fun, there was less of a "mob" mentality among the same-age boys, I really liked it...but it's really not encouraged where I live and it'll probably go back to split age groups in the fall .

Now, what really HASN'T worked for me ever...is siblings. Same sex or older brother/younger sister sibling sets work better...but strangely all I ever get is older sister/younger brother pairs. I have two right now...basically the little brother considers the sister to be his property only, and tries to take over her life. Big sis wants to play house with the other girls? Nope! Big sis has a cool toy? Gimme!! Big sis builds a house/draws a picture/etc...little brother wrecks it.

I have not figured how to get the brothers to understand that their sisters will still be their sisters even if they don't breathe on the back of their necks all day. And I don't let the sisters be mean to their brothers, even though I sympathize with their frustration of having their games wrecked, their names called every two minutes, etc. I encourage (and sometimes insist) that all my kids learn how to play together; bigs, littles, boys and girls. That's why I like a mixed group and my 5 year old girls play just as well with my 3 year old boys as they do with each other. But I also encourage my kids to be individuals, develop their own interest, and make their own choices...and same-gender bonding is definitely on the menu at this age, and I don't discourage that either. So I will not "make" a sister play with her little brother all the time just because its her brother...the brother doesn't get to develop himself because he's constantly doing whatever his sister's doing.

I know this probably goes against what other people are saying, bu I truly try to avoid siblings together in the same class if possible.
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:48 AM
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Default Update.....

Looks like these two have gotten with the program. Brother has learned Littles are people too, he has become a LOT more tolerant. Sis has learned she has to be away from her brother when it is Big Kids Time. The boy is still high maintance, demanding and not into doing his preschool work, but at LEAST he has learned to accept Littles as a fact of life and will include them in his play. It took a while, but I think I may have them acclimated to a multi age approach. I still think big corporate centers wreck kids and definately DON'T teach tolerance and respect for younger kids. IMO.
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