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Old 07-01-2012, 04:11 PM
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Default Defiant 4 year old...Term??

Hi all. I could use some advice. I've never had to term before, so I guess I'm wondering how much you all put up with in terms of a child's behavior.

I have a 4 year old dcb that has only been with me one week. During the interview dcp expressed how much energy this kid had. It wasn't an issue for me. I've had quite a few little boys with a LOT of energy. However, this dcb's energy level is not my issue. He is completely defiant. He refused to take a time out on Friday, he's argumentative, and I've seen him push a child a couple times. My daughter can't stand him, and I can't say I blame her. On Friday he was horrible and I texted the parents to let them know and said if he didn't shape up someone would need to come pick him up. dcd got off work early and came by to get them (dcb has a sister that is a joy to watch) about 3 hours early. He seemed concerned about his son's behavior, but from the parent-child interactions I've seen, this kid is hugely under-disciplined.

Dcp are really nice, and I feel bad terming after only a week, but I'm wondering if it's really the right thing to do at this point. I have other kids to worry about.

Advice?

Thank you!
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Old 07-01-2012, 04:51 PM
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If there DD is behaved and there DS isnt I would say he has some issues going on and it wouldnt be lack of parenting. You cant KNOW for sure how his parents are with him after only a week of watching him its easy to judge from the outside looking in. All his symptoms Hyper, Defiant, Arguing, being rough sound like he may have a special need such as ADHD I would suggest you talk to the parents in a meeting and lead them into taking him to the doctors for an evaluation it would be good for him and the parents to get some answers early on. Weather you keep him or not is up to you and what you think you can handle because if you cant handle him it isnt good for him or you and the other children.
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Old 07-01-2012, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by RubyBell View Post
Hi all. I could use some advice. I've never had to term before, so I guess I'm wondering how much you all put up with in terms of a child's behavior.

I have a 4 year old dcb that has only been with me one week. During the interview dcp expressed how much energy this kid had. It wasn't an issue for me. I've had quite a few little boys with a LOT of energy. However, this dcb's energy level is not my issue. He is completely defiant. He refused to take a time out on Friday, he's argumentative, and I've seen him push a child a couple times. My daughter can't stand him, and I can't say I blame her. On Friday he was horrible and I texted the parents to let them know and said if he didn't shape up someone would need to come pick him up. dcd got off work early and came by to get them (dcb has a sister that is a joy to watch) about 3 hours early. He seemed concerned about his son's behavior, but from the parent-child interactions I've seen, this kid is hugely under-disciplined.

Dcp are really nice, and I feel bad terming after only a week, but I'm wondering if it's really the right thing to do at this point. I have other kids to worry about.

Advice?

Thank you!
I have very very low tolerance for aggressive behavior. The pushing would have this child on probation. If you are already not feeling this is going to work, I would talk the parents about what you are seeing and put this child on probation. But if you really dont want to deal with it, you dont have to. at 4, he has a lot of established bad behaviors so it is going to be hard work to get him on track and with the pushing, it is a risk to leave him with the group. dont feel bad if you just arent up to what he needs right now.
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Old 07-01-2012, 08:09 PM
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First, let me state that I'm not "judging" his parents. I simply said, from what I have seen, he is under-disciplined. He is just as defiant with them as he is with me and they do nothing about it (in my presence).

I have worked with kids with ADHD and my own son is ADHD. I know and understand those behaviors very well. I do think this may be the case with this boy, HOWEVER, a common problem I have seen with kids with ADHD is lack of discipline from the parents. This is not a blanket statement by any means...so I'm not looking for a debate on this. I'm simply saying that in my experience I have seen this issue. They excuse the child's behavior because s/he is "special needs" instead of trying to correct the negative behaviors. My son is all over the place and he constantly needs to be reminded to stay on task. But from a very young age we established appropriate behavior. Don't get me wrong, he attempted defiance and aggressiveness, but he learned quickly that it was unacceptable and wouldn't be tolerated. Today he is a happy, respectful, and very kind-hearted boy who just happens to have a ridiculous amount of energy and jumps from one thing to the next without warning

My real concern is the safety of the other children. He hasn't hurt anyone yet, just some pushing...but I don't know that I want to risk the possibility of him hurting another child. His behavior also interferes with the other children enjoying activities, and there's things we can't do because I can't trust him not to take off on me. We went to the park and he tried to "run away". In addition, his complete defiance makes me wonder if the other children will see that and think that I am not someone that needs to be respected and listened to. kwim?

THis is really stressing me out. Thank you for the advice.
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Old 07-02-2012, 06:02 AM
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If there DD is behaved and there DS isnt I would say he has some issues going on and it wouldnt be lack of parenting. You cant KNOW for sure how his parents are with him after only a week of watching him its easy to judge from the outside looking in. All his symptoms Hyper, Defiant, Arguing, being rough sound like he may have a special need such as ADHD I would suggest you talk to the parents in a meeting and lead them into taking him to the doctors for an evaluation it would be good for him and the parents to get some answers early on. Weather you keep him or not is up to you and what you think you can handle because if you cant handle him it isnt good for him or you and the other children.
This isnt necessarily true. Some children respond to a certain style of parenting but other kids in the same family may not. I would absolutely not jump to conclusions about a special needs case just because the other sibling is well behaved. She may be much calmer and eager to please and therefore, respond better to her parents hands off/lax approach to parenting.
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Old 07-02-2012, 06:23 AM
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I had two children who acted similarly recently. I struggled with what to do. I would never have termed them simply because overall, the family was very nice and I loved them all. But the kids were VERY disobedient and the pushing and hitting was getting to the point it was a safety issue.

Here are two things that I learned from the experience. (btw - that family recently left and the kids are staying at home with their dad. It has worked out well for everyone. They still visit occasionally, when I have room)

1) The children were very bright, very stubborn and used to getting away with a lot. I found that if I spent every second with them - doing projects, singing, whatever, they were fine. But it was almost always in free play that they misbehaved. So my time was totally limited when they were here. I couldn't do any bookwork, I couldn't even hardly fix lunch. Several times I couldn't fix what I had planned because they were misbehaving too badly and I had to fix something much easier - like hot dogs. They were extremely stressful and time consuming, especially for what I get paid. :P

2) They got bored VERY easily, esp. the dcg. I had to have something to engage her every second of every day or she'd be hitting, pushing, fighting or destroying, usually within minutes. She could not entertain herself for more than, well, I'd say about 15 minutes, and seldom that without fighting. Again, if I kept her engaged she was fine. I did things like sing with her, tell stories back and forth, have her help me, etc., just to keep her from her unruly behavior. Again, very high maintenance child.

3) The parents wouldn't work with me. I feel this is the key. If the parents will work with you, then you can work through the issues. If they won't, then you can't.

I have a one month trial period in my contract for this very reason. And I'm not sure that's long enough. I wish it was 6 months! You can't really get to know a child or its family and they can't really get to know you in less than 6 months, IMO.

Whether you term or not is strictly up to you. I would never have termed this family that I had, but thankfully, it worked itself out, because it was causing a lot of stress and the dynamics of the daycare has changed dramatically since they have gone. Both of the children left have commented on how they miss them, but also on how nice it is without them. I love that they can come and visit us for a few days a month!
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Old 07-02-2012, 07:20 AM
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its only been a week. I would give it a month and if things don't improve then term. He's probably testing you, sometimes it takes just one adult to give a child rules and they will be fine. Labeling a child adhd is so over the top its now ridiculous.
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Old 07-02-2012, 07:32 AM
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I would say you need to have a conversation with the parents about the aggressive and defiant behavior you have been seeing. Let them know that these behaviors are not tolerated and That if you don't see some improvement soon you will have to terminate. Do you have an Initial trial period in your contract? If so, I would give it until the end of that time to assess if there is any change. Personally, I do not keep children in my care who are openly defiant and aggressive. It disrupts everything. It makes everyone's day less enjoyable, it stresses me out and keeps me and the children from looking forward to our day. It just isn't worth it to me.
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:40 AM
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Thank you for all the responses. Dcb's sister is only 2.5 and she is one of those children that is very eager to please. She's quiet - doesn't talk much, and she responds really well to positive reinforcement. I don't think that just because 2 children of the same family have vastly different personalities necessarily means that one of them is ADHD/special needs.

My contract states a 2 week trial period.

To be honest, my thinking is along the lines of what originalkat said. His behavior takes away from the other children's time, ability to enjoy activities, and the ability to even experience certain activities. I don't feel like it's fair. Not to mention, I don't want kids to be afraid to come here because of another kid who may act violently towards them.

It seems that his behavior actually worsened over the week instead of improved regardless of the rules/boundaries that I enforced. I recognize that it may be "testing" on his part, but It's difficult with it just being me here because I really feel like he needs more one-on-one care and I just can't give it. He refuses to take a time out, so I take him there and he gets up. I can't sit there with him and make sure he doesn't move. I've got babies, toddlers, and kids that need my attention, and that want to enjoy the fun things I've promised them and he's taking away from it daily.

I'm sorry, but I just don't feel like it's my responsibility to "parent" this child so he understands rules/consequences for negative behavior. Realistically, he understands that he's here for 8 hours a day and then he gets to go home where his behavior is probably tolerated. If parents don't discipline at home it undermines the discipline I try to enforce here. Partly because of inconsistency.

Thanks again for your input! It really is appreciated!!!
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:09 AM
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Thank you for all the responses. Dcb's sister is only 2.5 and she is one of those children that is very eager to please. She's quiet - doesn't talk much, and she responds really well to positive reinforcement. I don't think that just because 2 children of the same family have vastly different personalities necessarily means that one of them is ADHD/special needs.

My contract states a 2 week trial period.

To be honest, my thinking is along the lines of what originalkat said. His behavior takes away from the other children's time, ability to enjoy activities, and the ability to even experience certain activities. I don't feel like it's fair. Not to mention, I don't want kids to be afraid to come here because of another kid who may act violently towards them.

It seems that his behavior actually worsened over the week instead of improved regardless of the rules/boundaries that I enforced. I recognize that it may be "testing" on his part, but It's difficult with it just being me here because I really feel like he needs more one-on-one care and I just can't give it. He refuses to take a time out, so I take him there and he gets up. I can't sit there with him and make sure he doesn't move. I've got babies, toddlers, and kids that need my attention, and that want to enjoy the fun things I've promised them and he's taking away from it daily.

I'm sorry, but I just don't feel like it's my responsibility to "parent" this child so he understands rules/consequences for negative behavior. Realistically, he understands that he's here for 8 hours a day and then he gets to go home where his behavior is probably tolerated. If parents don't discipline at home it undermines the discipline I try to enforce here. Partly because of inconsistency.

Thanks again for your input! It really is appreciated!!!
You do what you need to do. Just because we are daycare providers, does not mean that we HAVE to work with every child that comes down the pike, you know? If he doesnt fit in well and is just too exhausting and aggressive, chances are likely that he will always be a handful, no matter what you start working with him on. Its not fair to have to take all that time from the other kids in order to be shadowing and correcting a 4 year old every second of the day. Think about the other parents too....I doubt it is fair for their children to be second place in favor of this one that needs so much extra attention.
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:07 AM
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You do what you need to do. Just because we are daycare providers, does not mean that we HAVE to work with every child that comes down the pike, you know? If he doesnt fit in well and is just too exhausting and aggressive, chances are likely that he will always be a handful, no matter what you start working with him on. Its not fair to have to take all that time from the other kids in order to be shadowing and correcting a 4 year old every second of the day. Think about the other parents too....I doubt it is fair for their children to be second place in favor of this one that needs so much extra attention.
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Old 07-02-2012, 06:27 PM
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You do what you need to do. Just because we are daycare providers, does not mean that we HAVE to work with every child that comes down the pike, you know? If he doesnt fit in well and is just too exhausting and aggressive, chances are likely that he will always be a handful, no matter what you start working with him on. Its not fair to have to take all that time from the other kids in order to be shadowing and correcting a 4 year old every second of the day. Think about the other parents too....I doubt it is fair for their children to be second place in favor of this one that needs so much extra attention.


I agree! And I have to say, Cheerfuldom, your advice on this forum is like gold. I always appreciate your insight.
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