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  #1  
Old 03-07-2012, 04:11 PM
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Default Grandmother Verbally Abusing My Staff

I have a child who has been in our care for almost 2 years. The mother is a single mother - so she enlists the help of friends and family members to drop off and pick the child up. The mom is definitely what I would call "over protective" and gets very upset about any little bump or incident that occurs with her daughter - but I understand and respect that as a parent she has that right. I have no real issue with mom.

The problem comes with grandma. Grandma may come to pick up the child once a week - and every time she does she gets upset about something. Today she arrived as the child's class was going on a walk. The teacher had stopped to tie the child's shoe and as she did another classmate hit the child. Before the teacher even had time to finish tying the shoe or address the hitter Grandma became very upset - said she wanted the child removed from the class - and then told the child "you need to start hitting back". Grandma seems to think that her child is getting beat up on a daily basis - which she isn't. She then starts to yell at my teacher - who was visibly shaken and upset by the whole incident.

I didn't actually witness the incident - nor has the mother expressed any concern or requested her child to be moved to another class. So I have two questions - do I address the Grandmother directly - or do I talk to mom? Can I prevent Grandma from coming on site if she is upsetting my staff so badly?
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hmorsag View Post
I have a child who has been in our care for almost 2 years. The mother is a single mother - so she enlists the help of friends and family members to drop off and pick the child up. The mom is definitely what I would call "over protective" and gets very upset about any little bump or incident that occurs with her daughter - but I understand and respect that as a parent she has that right. I have no real issue with mom.

The problem comes with grandma. Grandma may come to pick up the child once a week - and every time she does she gets upset about something. Today she arrived as the child's class was going on a walk. The teacher had stopped to tie the child's shoe and as she did another classmate hit the child. Before the teacher even had time to finish tying the shoe or address the hitter Grandma became very upset - said she wanted the child removed from the class - and then told the child "you need to start hitting back". Grandma seems to think that her child is getting beat up on a daily basis - which she isn't. She then starts to yell at my teacher - who was visibly shaken and upset by the whole incident.

I didn't actually witness the incident - nor has the mother expressed any concern or requested her child to be moved to another class. So I have two questions - do I address the Grandmother directly - or do I talk to mom? Can I prevent Grandma from coming on site if she is upsetting my staff so badly?
I dont work at a center, I have a home daycare. BUT if I were you, I would not allow for anyone to come onto my property that cannot respect my rules, employees, other parents and children. NO way.

I would be calling the mom tonight and talking about it to her directly. I might even go as far as asking grandma to pick up straight from the office on little susies pick up days so that this does not happen again.

DOnt give grannie the opportunity to complain about anything.
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:34 PM
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I should probably mention that we never know when Grandma is going to pick the child up - it isn't a set day or anything and the time of day varies as well. It may be a Tuesday at 4 or it may be a Thursday at 5:25. She is just on the approved pick-up list.
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:35 PM
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If Granny isn't paying, Granny doesn't get any information or have the opportunity to run her mouth.

Remind her that the contract is between the daycare and the mother, not her. I would also tell her that if she can't respect your teachers and staff assistants, that you will contact DCM to make other pick up arrangements for that day of the week.
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:37 PM
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would it be too much trouble to still ask Gma to go straight to the office and then you or another staff can go and retrieve the child and bring her to Gma?

I know that sounds like a lot of work.....sorry you are having to go through this
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:15 PM
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Part of our contract states that if staff is verbally abused it is grounds for termination. ESPECIALLY if there is a confrontation in front of the children.
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:21 PM
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Can you tell me why you are fearful of confronting the grandma? Are you trying to figure out how to talk to her or are you trying to figure out how to get her to stop behaving badly and not have the Mom pull the kid out? Is your concern about HOW to set limits with the grandma or the possibility of loosing the child and the income?

If you aren't worried about loosing the income then the answer is very simple..... Just call the Mom directly and tell her that the grandma is causing issues every time she picks up and it has to stop today. She's behaving badly in front of your staff and the children. She doesn't have any authority over the staff or the care of the child so she needs to stay out of it. Limit her access to the other children by having her do all arrivals and departures at the front desk. Tell her that any concern she has MUST be given directly to you and she is not to discuss anything with your staff at any time.
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Old 03-08-2012, 07:43 AM
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I used to work at a centre and was verbally attacked by an unstable mom once. Not one of my co-workers came to my aid or tried to "break it up". The more I said back to the mom the more agitated she became. She eventually left. The next day no one asked me about it or said anything about the incident. I went to my boss (who wasn't there at the time of the incident) and she was like "oh yes she called to apologize to me". I was shocked! My boss didn't even talk to me and didn't pass on the apology. We chatted about the incident and apparently my boss talked about it with another co-worker who wasn't even involved instead of asking me!! I told my boss that this co-worker wasn't even there so I don't know why she was getting the story from her. VERY unprofessional behavior IMO.

I wanted to tell this story because I was a victim of a verbal assault and nothing was done to defend me. I felt powerless and had to continue to see this woman. You have a chance to do something here and I urge you to do it for the sake of your staff. I would confront grandma by calling her into my office and letting her know that if she ever verablly assaults an adult or child on the premises, police will be called and she will be removed and banned from the centre. I would send a very strong message that this behavior is not tolerated ever.
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Old 03-08-2012, 07:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hmorsag View Post
I have a child who has been in our care for almost 2 years. The mother is a single mother - so she enlists the help of friends and family members to drop off and pick the child up. The mom is definitely what I would call "over protective" and gets very upset about any little bump or incident that occurs with her daughter - but I understand and respect that as a parent she has that right. I have no real issue with mom.

The problem comes with grandma. Grandma may come to pick up the child once a week - and every time she does she gets upset about something. Today she arrived as the child's class was going on a walk. The teacher had stopped to tie the child's shoe and as she did another classmate hit the child. Before the teacher even had time to finish tying the shoe or address the hitter Grandma became very upset - said she wanted the child removed from the class - and then told the child "you need to start hitting back". Grandma seems to think that her child is getting beat up on a daily basis - which she isn't. She then starts to yell at my teacher - who was visibly shaken and upset by the whole incident.

I didn't actually witness the incident - nor has the mother expressed any concern or requested her child to be moved to another class. So I have two questions - do I address the Grandmother directly - or do I talk to mom? Can I prevent Grandma from coming on site if she is upsetting my staff so badly?
This would be my grandmother other than the advice to hit back. When I was in Kindergarten I was constantly being bullied by other children. My grandma caught them one day and let out a roar and they never did touch me again after that. If it wasn't for her doing something, no one would have.

I can understand why you would be upset, but you have to see this from both prospectives too.
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:05 AM
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Default To add to this post..

I think as providers we get so protective over our "territory" that an issue like this is just simply grounds for termination. We have to remember though that there is provider rights and there is parent/guardian rights. This grandmother did nothing in my opinion that would be terms for termination. What she did was stick up for her grand baby.

I have a dcb that has been with me for 3 years. He is a year younger than my son. One day him and my son got into it. Over lunch I called his mother to talk it through and come up with a suitable solution. At pick up that day we swapped kids (in front of each other with both parent present) the dcm said to my son that she was not impressed that he had hit her son and that he was not allowed to ever do this again and I said the same to the dcb. The boys never did hit each other again after this.

Children know that their parents are there to protect them, what they forget when they are bullying is that that victim also have parents there to protect them.

The teacher should have been either the one to have said something first or backed grandma up when grandma said "no hitting". Had the teacher been on the same side as the grandma I doubt this would have been that big of an issue to begin with. As far as the grandma making the remark, "this child should be terminated." The teacher should have responded with, "sorry but this has never happened before and we do not terminate unless it is an ongoing issue that can not be resolved."
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:29 AM
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The grandmother told the child to "hit back" and yelled at the class teacher, the class teacher was "visibly shaken" by this. Although I personally don't think that either of these things are cause for termination I do agree that they need to be addressed immediately.

The OP said that the grandma thinks that the child is being hit everyday but that "she is not". She is probably getting the message from DCM that the child comes home with bruising or scratches which probably come from normal play and grandma is being protective of her grandbaby. I can understand. What I don't understand is telling a child to hit another child. If the dcg listens to her you will soon be looking at a child that's a bully, the OP doesn't mention that the child herself is being bullied. Also the grandma has verbally yelled at a staff member. There is a point in which we have to realize that we are adults and if an issue arises we need to TALK about it, not yell at each other.

I think that a meeting with the parent of the child to address any concerns that she has is your best option. If she feels that her child is being hurt everyday you can ask for examples and explain that these are normal ouchies from normal play, it happens. I'd talk to her about her mother and about the constant complains and then about yelling at the staff member. I'd explain that this is not an appropriate way to handle a situation and bring up how she would feel if another parent told their child it was ok to hit the rest of the kids. I'd also be firm about the grandma and require that the grandma direct all questions or concerns to the director only. Under no circumstances is she to confront any of the staff especially not in front of the children. I would even offer to have a second meeting with dcm and granma and be clear that if grandma became an issue she would not be a welcome figure in the DC.
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarinaVanessa View Post
The grandmother told the child to "hit back" and yelled at the class teacher, the class teacher was "visibly shaken" by this. Although I personally don't think that either of these things are cause for termination I do agree that they need to be addressed immediately.

The OP said that the grandma thinks that the child is being hit everyday but that "she is not". She is probably getting the message from DCM that the child comes home with bruising or scratches which probably come from normal play and grandma is being protective of her grandbaby. I can understand. What I don't understand is telling a child to hit another child. If the dcg listens to her you will soon be looking at a child that's a bully, the OP doesn't mention that the child herself is being bullied. Also the grandma has verbally yelled at a staff member. There is a point in which we have to realize that we are adults and if an issue arises we need to TALK about it, not yell at each other.

I think that a meeting with the parent of the child to address any concerns that she has is your best option. If she feels that her child is being hurt everyday you can ask for examples and explain that these are normal ouchies from normal play, it happens. I'd talk to her about her mother and about the constant complains and then about yelling at the staff member. I'd explain that this is not an appropriate way to handle a situation and bring up how she would feel if another parent told their child it was ok to hit the rest of the kids. I'd also be firm about the grandma and require that the grandma direct all questions or concerns to the director only. Under no circumstances is she to confront any of the staff especially not in front of the children. I would even offer to have a second meeting with dcm and granma and be clear that if grandma became an issue she would not be a welcome figure in the DC.
I agree that the grandmother should not have told the child to hit back. Grandma is likely "old school" though (given that she is a grandma). Least we forget children used to be taught to hit back when someone hit them (especially little boys). Some grandparents still hold their "old school" ways and just don't understand the changes in the newer generations. A meeting should definitely be made between the director and this grandma to touch on the concern that we just don't teach our children to hit back.

I personally suspect that the grandma "blew her top" at the provider because the provider didn't say anything to the other child. I do not understand how the provider was not able to address the hitter because she was tying the other boys shoe? When a child hits in my daycare the words "we do not hit" come out of my mouth like lighting. This is a natural reaction and I'm sure many providers agree with this. I would have stopped tying the child's shoe and address the hitter immediately as hitting takes priority to shoe tying. Plus grandma is there and she can tie the shoe if need be. I too would have been upset if I showed up at daycare and my child was hit in front of me (as I'm sure other providers would be as well) especially if nothing was said immediately. This would show me that it wasn't much of a concern to the provider and make me wonder how often this is happening and if there is really ever anything done about it.

Verbally yelling at someone should never be acceptable. Although there is a huge difference between raising your voice and making yourself heard and actually yelling. The OP said she didn't witness any of this so really it's the providers word against the grandmas word and a lot can get lost in the middle.

I agree that a meeting should be held to not only reenforce the fact that we do not teach children to hit but so that grandma is aware of how to deal with a situation acceptably in the future if this ever arises again. I suspect though, that this child will be pulled from care and I bet you can expect an inspection in the near future.

**Also in Grandma's generation children were punished in school with the use or a ruler stick over their arse or hands. So much has changed and I think we often forget that Grandparents lived by a different set of rules then us. It's not always easy adjusted to a new set of rules either when you have been used to a certain set the majority of your life. I am not saying this grandma is innocent just that there is two sides to this situation and one side has been completely over looked.**
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Old 03-10-2012, 07:45 PM
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I had a parent not only verbally abuse me,but actually threaten to beat me up! As she left the center she made this threat Loudly in every classroom she passed through.My offense? I informed her that her child must wear shoes to center in case of emergency evacuation!My boss did NOTHING!
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Old 03-10-2012, 09:56 PM
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Default Nip this in the bud.

First off, I'm sorry this has happened to you.


To the story, the grandmother should have fell way back with her reaction. The teacher doesn't have eyes in the back of her head. And we have to understand that children can be very sneaky when it comes to hitting. It sounds like the child took the opportunity to hit as soon as the teacher started tying the shoe.

The teacher is there for a reason, to be a mature mediator. Grandma should not be advising her grandchild, in front of a whole class, to hit another child back. Maybe if the grandmother waited just a second, the teacher would have done her job. I seriously doubt she would've let that incident go unnoticed. These excuses about how she is stuck in her ways and old school is nothing but excusing her behavior. I've seen the world change as well when it comes to child rearing, you adapt; PERIOD.

OP, please address this as soon as possible. You don't want your employees in a hostile work environment where they feel the children's family can say anything out of character and it's okay. You also don't want others to feel like they can undermine your employees at anytime.
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