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Old 02-23-2013, 08:14 AM
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Default 4 Year Old Tells Parents EVERYTHING!

I watch a 4yo girl and her 18-month brother. The little guy is your typical toddler, and he cries A LOT especially when he is redirected of told he can not do something (you know, as in stuff too much food in his mouth or not climb on the table). The 4 yo is reporting to mom and dad that her brother cries "all the time" even though he isn't.

Generally when parents pick up I just say we had a great day, though when the 4yo is having a particularly observant day I will generally say to the parents that "janie (not her real name) was really worried about bobby today"

Are there some helpful phrases I could use to let the 4yo that her brother is fine, and that sometimes he just gets upset? Even when I try and say "Bobby is sad because he cant _____" she still seems unsatisfied with this answer...

So basically... what can I say to get "Janie" to chill out, and should I be telling the parents if there was a particularly "trying" day through the eyes of a 4yo?
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Old 02-23-2013, 09:54 AM
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Some times kids overreact. She may also be bored because she doesn't have enough activities so she is focusing on one thing and going to tell all about it because it was the only big thing they can remember that happened that day. Next time when he cries and she asks tell her that babies sometimes cry for no reason and tell her that she doesn't need to worry about it- 'Janie only needs to worry about Janie' and get her an activity that she can focus on (no TV and computer- those are crutches; not activities).
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:54 AM
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Do NOT discuss the brother EVER with the sister. When she tries to engage you tell her to “leave it" and “go play toys". Give her a stern face and a very strict tone.

When the parents bring up her accounts tell them "yes she tells me about his crying at home" “I've told her to stay out of it here and that I don't need to hear about how he is at your house. His care is between US and she needs to stay out of it" if she uses the moment when you meet them at the door say "janie you have been told to not do that here. If you want to talk about your brother you need to do that at home not in my house"

If the parents bring up her accounts tell them you can't discuss in frontof janie. You will be happy to have a private parent conference if his care requirements change or exceed that of a normal child his age but at this point he's perfectly normal. Janie is four and couldn't know normal toddler behavior. Also tell them that janies behavior is of much more concern because she seems fixated on interjecting herself into the brothers care and using her brothers normal behavior as a way to get adult attention. THAT is not normal and she must stop it at your house. She needs to have the role of a child in your house and focus on her own play.
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Old 02-23-2013, 01:29 PM
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Do the parents believe what the sister is saying even though its from a 4 year old's perspective? I think that's the important point. Because if you explain what is going on is normal and they accept that I don't think there is a problem with the parents misunderstanding what is going on. Then like nannyde said, be firm with the 4 year old minding her own business.

But I had a sticky situation with a 3 year old recently where he went home everyday and told his parents he was getting hit by a child here even when it wasn't true. He had been hit by that child once and gotten plenty of attention from DCP for it, parents even went out and bought him his favorite monster trucks! So I eventually had to term them because the parents were believing their 3 year old and not trusting in my care.

Hopefully your family can see that preschoolers have their own interpretation of things and that is not necessarily how it's happening. And hopefully they trust your level of care.
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Old 02-23-2013, 05:01 PM
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Well they have asked to make sure he is not running me ragged... Which he isnt, I am very used to the toddler stage! LOL.... I do tell her that her job is to worry about her, and its my job to worry about janie, bobby, jack, joe whoever.... They have asked if everythings ok... and basically I just said yes, everything is fine. Bobby is being a typical kid, and janie is just overly worried because bobby cries quite a bit when I tell him no. Because that IS what is happening... It just so happens that there are certain things that I just dont mess with that maybe(??) are allowed at home...and thats why she feels he is crying more????

I am just not sure if I am "right" or "wrong" for telling her its not her business to worry about others or not. I know when I was her age, and had a DCP I was a total mother hen. Though I don't remember how my DCP handled it. I know back then (25 years ago) she had me do tasks, like bring the babies diaper, and throw it away or bring the baby their cups or something... It seems like no matter what I engage her in, art, toys, puzzles, or activities that require her to sit (dot to dot or practicing letters or shapes or whatever) she's SO, worried about the others. It just sorta drives me bonkers! I do have a son too, and she is constantly telling about him too. I guess I just want to know its ok to say "janie your job is to worry about janie and only janie" or something to that effect. Would it be wise to start some sort of accomplishment chart where if she goes so long without "tattling" (not sure what else to call it) she gets something? Even if its just a sticker for her shirt? Or is this just one of those things where I need to repeat it until I turn blue?

I guess when I was a nanny, telling the parents a run down of the day... I am not sure if thats how it is with DCP's? Or do you just only mention out of the norm stuff?
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Old 02-23-2013, 07:22 PM
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Maybe not phrase it that her job is to just worry about her. It is a good character trait to be concerned for others, so I'm not sure I would phrase it along the lines of 'just worry about you and don't worry about anyone else.' Maybe something more like your job here when you come to daycare is to play, have fun, and be respectful of your friends. My job is to care for everyone and keep them safe. That's my job as the adult to look after everyone here and I do, so that you can be the child and have fun. So, I'll make sure your brother and playmates are looked after and okay, and you can just focus on having fun. Go play!
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Old 02-23-2013, 07:37 PM
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My children's first grade teacher would tell parents at back to school night "I won't believe everything your kid tells me that goes on in your home if you won't believe everything that goes on in the classroom!"
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Old 02-24-2013, 03:58 AM
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I've used, "Is this about you or your body?" before the child can complain, comment etc about another child. It's worked for me to get them to think before they tattle or become invested in another child's actions. I explain that I'm the grownup and I look after all the children and their job is to play, have fun and think about their body, their feelings and themselves not the other kids. That's my job.
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Old 02-24-2013, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meyou View Post
I've used, "Is this about you or your body?" before the child can complain, comment etc about another child. It's worked for me to get them to think before they tattle or become invested in another child's actions. I explain that I'm the grownup and I look after all the children and their job is to play, have fun and think about their body, their feelings and themselves not the other kids. That's my job.
I like asking "is this about your body"....
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Old 02-24-2013, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meyou View Post
I've used, "Is this about you or your body?" before the child can complain, comment etc about another child. It's worked for me to get them to think before they tattle or become invested in another child's actions. I explain that I'm the grownup and I look after all the children and their job is to play, have fun and think about their body, their feelings and themselves not the other kids. That's my job.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Live and Learn View Post
My children's first grade teacher would tell parents at back to school night "I won't believe everything your kid tells me that goes on in your home if you won't believe everything that goes on in the classroom!"
LOL thats great!! Its very hard for me to believe "bobby" never cries at home.... ALL kids cry... lol I guess, since I am so new at the home daycare, and am in the process of being licensed I am OVERLY aware of everything so I dont rock the boat too much. I'd hope that if there were concerns the parents would talk to me, before they did anything rash...
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nannyde View Post
Do NOT discuss the brother EVER with the sister. When she tries to engage you tell her to “leave it" and “go play toys". Give her a stern face and a very strict tone.

When the parents bring up her accounts tell them "yes she tells me about his crying at home" “I've told her to stay out of it here and that I don't need to hear about how he is at your house. His care is between US and she needs to stay out of it" if she uses the moment when you meet them at the door say "janie you have been told to not do that here. If you want to talk about your brother you need to do that at home not in my house"

If the parents bring up her accounts tell them you can't discuss in frontof janie. You will be happy to have a private parent conference if his care requirements change or exceed that of a normal child his age but at this point he's perfectly normal. Janie is four and couldn't know normal toddler behavior. Also tell them that janies behavior is of much more concern because she seems fixated on interjecting herself into the brothers care and using her brothers normal behavior as a way to get adult attention. THAT is not normal and she must stop it at your house. She needs to have the role of a child in your house and focus on her own play.
This is excellent!!!
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YHD2013 View Post
LOL thats great!! Its very hard for me to believe "bobby" never cries at home.... ALL kids cry... lol I guess, since I am so new at the home daycare, and am in the process of being licensed I am OVERLY aware of everything so I dont rock the boat too much. I'd hope that if there were concerns the parents would talk to me, before they did anything rash...
Rock the boat! Just do it gentle so no one falls out- but sometimes you have to rock that boat hard.

I find less is more often when it comes to talking about the child's day. Esp if it is negative. If it super negative, then it has to be discussed. I just try to keep it simple, but then you have the parents that want to know about little lulu's day- genuine interest. Then you have parents that ask but don't hear what your saying, then you have the parents who just want to get home. Feel it out- but as a rule of thumb I have found simple is best, for day to day communications.

best-
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YHD2013 View Post
I watch a 4yo girl and her 18-month brother. The little guy is your typical toddler, and he cries A LOT especially when he is redirected of told he can not do something (you know, as in stuff too much food in his mouth or not climb on the table). The 4 yo is reporting to mom and dad that her brother cries "all the time" even though he isn't.

Generally when parents pick up I just say we had a great day, though when the 4yo is having a particularly observant day I will generally say to the parents that "janie (not her real name) was really worried about bobby today"

Are there some helpful phrases I could use to let the 4yo that her brother is fine, and that sometimes he just gets upset? Even when I try and say "Bobby is sad because he cant _____" she still seems unsatisfied with this answer...

So basically... what can I say to get "Janie" to chill out, and should I be telling the parents if there was a particularly "trying" day through the eyes of a 4yo?

Usually kids that age don't give a rip what an infant sibling is doing, I would venture to guess the parents are prodding her for details of the day and this is how she is processing their repeated requests for information about his behavior. Perhaps he cries a lot at home too and they are looking for validation it's not just them?


As he's crying I'd be saying out loud to myself while in her vicinity:

"Man, sometimes it's so hard for babies to understand they can't put so much food in their mouths because they can choke....(to the group) can you all show Bobby how you take tiny bites? Maybe that will help him understand."

"Holy buckets sometimes it's so hard for babies to understand they can't climb up on the table because it's dangerous. No two ways around it. (to Bobby) I'm so sorry you're sad buddy but I just can't let you do that and risk getting hurt!"

To Janie directly:
"Gosh, when babies cry it really makes me sad, does your brothers crying make you sad too? Maybe we can think of ways to help him not be so sad together? Can you tell me what works at home when Bobby gets upset?"



Don't just stop at "bobby is crying because he can't stuff food in his mouth, or because he can't climb on top the table." Elaborate and add WHY he can't do those things so if she goes home and mom and dad quiz her on his crying she will hopefully parrot back - Bobby's crying makes Miss YHD sad, we tried to make him feel better by doing......Bobby cried when he couldn't stuff food in his mouth, but he could choke!.....Bobby cried when he couldn't climb on top the table, but that's dangerous!

While I love the idea of telling her to mind her own beeswax that probably wouldn't go over well with parents who are already poking her for information. I totally get the reasoning behind it and will use it myself for my own kids and others on occasion, but I'm not sure it would be very productive for either nosey parents or an overly concerned/anxious child.
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