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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Some Input Here Please On My Defiant DCG
MG&Lsmom 05:25 PM 03-14-2011
Do you remember the new DCG that barely made it through her first week? Her parents and I are trying so hard. She's having a heck of a time both here and at home. I had a feeling something was going on that I didn't know. And now I really need some advice on what to do with her.

DCD reveals today that he just returned from a year of deployment to a war zone. He missed so much of her little life so he plays nonstop with her on his days home with her. Mom was working overnights and staying awake all day and giving her extra attention while DCD was away. Older brother and sister dote on her. Now all this has changed. She's in daycare where she's never been before, she's away from not only Mom, but Daddy who just got back from this big bad unknown place. 45 mins after arriving and playing with her sibs, they bolt out the door and get on the bus leaving her. She must be under so much stress. Mom and Dad seem to be under a lot of stress as well. They really seem like nice people and I just could not figure out what the heck was up with the little girl. This is the first time either of them mentioned his deployment (tho I should have put together the name since I saw all the banners a month ago when he returned home - duh moment there). I really feel that there's some issue here with how she's dealing with all the change. And I just wanted to wrap her up in my arms and hold her when I realized all she's been through in the last month or so.

So my biggest problems:
So what's your advice? How do I give her the attention she needs while not feeding into her manipulation?
nannyde 06:00 PM 03-14-2011
For me, it wouldn't work out to have a kid that was this disrespectful to me. My other kids would be devestated if they witnessed that behavior towards me or to them. Their parents would be really upset too.

I would just sit down with the parents and say that her behavior towards me was not working for me or the other kids. I would also let them know that I wasn't capable of keeping her safe and keeping the other kids safe with her. I know I don't have the skill set to accomadate this child in a group.

There are some kids that need their own adult every day all day long. She sounds like she could be one of them. This daycare experience may be the first experience for them that takes them to the realization that she needs more than a group can offer. She may need to be homeschooled and have really intensive therapy for many many years to come. She needs to be with professionals that can manage her and that will most likely be with her being the only child for a very long time.
SilverSabre25 06:30 PM 03-14-2011
Wow, that is a LOT for any aged child to be going through, but three is such a tumultuous age in the first place, and then to go piling all this extra stuff on her, I can't even imagine what she's feeling, but it isn't good.

I think that she is SCREAMING out for limits, for boundaries, for enforcement. She is also SCREAMING out for a safe space, a routine, something to count on.

She feels right now like nothing is in control in her life, in her world. Everything is different and everything has changed. She needs some power, some control in order to feel okay and she doesn't have that right now. Letting her have control over herself where it is warranted (pink cup, or green? Socks or slippers? Pick a book or pick a song? Play with legos or play with dolls? etc, etc) will help her get some of that balance back. It sounds like a LOT of the acting out stems from this total upheaval and loss of all that was familiar--boundary testing, limit testing, not respecting you, things like that.

Some possible help for the problems you mentioned:
1. Playing, alone or with others--I'm not sure. This might come with time. I'm thinking that possibly a Superyard set up for her and her alone, with a few safe and appropriate toys, might be a good way to go. Not that she HAS to play in there, but that she CAN if she's not getting along with others--it can be her quiet space, her safe space.

2. Mouthy, rude, telling you she hates you--oh, this one I'm SURE I know where it comes from. This probably gets a BIG reaction at home, especially saying that she hates you and she hates her mom...her mom probably gives her a LOT of attention for this one. The best possible way to handle such a thing is to smile and say calmly, "I understand that's how you're feeling right now. I love you anyway."

3. Not following instructions--Pick your battles, and pick them wisely. Try only giving her instructions when it's absolutely necessary. Give her choices wherever you can--but be wary of "non choices" such as "do you want to pick up the toys or sit in time out?" because one of those choices leads to the outcome she wants right then--not picking up toys--PLUS it doesn't get the job done. "Pick up the blocks or put away the books? I bet you can't get all those blocks picked up before I get the books picked up!" might work much better.

4. Off limits--constant, calm, reminders, removing her by force if necessary (Pick her up, saying, "We do NOT pound on doors", for example--here's where a space of her own like in Number 1 would be helpful)

5. Tell her that behavior like that is NOT okay; she needs to use nice words and be patient until you're done with "x" or give her a specific time frame, or set a timer. If she's not listening, she needs some time in a quiet space of her own.

Bottom line: you have a heck of a tough cookie on your hands. She needs a lot of support right now. She needs you to be calm, firm, consistent, and loving--and that can be SO exhausting. It's going to take TIME, and hopefully good communication with her parents, and parents who are on board. You are not likely to start seeing improvement for a couple of months--remember, a lot of tantrums and fits and drama is normal for three ANYWAY, let alone a 3 who is going through such a dramatic change in her life. Be consistent, always consistent, and don't be afraid to ask for help here.
Tags:defiant, mouthy, rude, undisciplined
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