Making the best of a not so-great childcare situation

Forums Quarterly Parent Focus Childcare Communication Making the best of a not so-great childcare situation

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 25 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #5153
    Karen Lock KolpKaren Lock Kolp
    Keymaster

    Super good news for a member of our community, Mama Llama and family are starting in a new childcare! But not quite yet…
    Mama Llama writes:
    “Any tips for surviving the next 3 mo at our current center? LittleLlama has no idea of the move yet (way too early for a 3yo brain to process in my view and we aren’t giving our daycare more notice than is required to avoid awkwardness) so this is more for me with dealing with the teachers. We will tell the daycare 30 days in advance per their policy.”

    This post is where I’ll be sharing those thoughts and ideas!

    Have you got questions about how to make the best of a not so great childcare situation?

    Ask them here,  just by replying to this post!

    Host of the We Turned Out Okay podcast
    Author of Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics: Key Tools to Handle Every Temper Tantrum, Keep Your Cool, and Enjoy Life With Your Young Child
    Head Honcho of the Ninja Parenting Community

    #5177
    MamaLlamaMamaLlama
    Participant

    Rough day today…

    yesterday we put in our written notice (it’s fall Registration time so we had to do it more than the usual 30 days in advance that I was expecting). The director said “I’m so sad” and one of the teachers asked me a zillion questions at pickup (his old teacher, she floats sometimes).

    Today at pickup had an incident report that said he put his hands around another kid’s neck at naptime. They also said the last couple of days he has all of a sudden been hitting when kids get up in his space  and that this incident was random as they were waking up from nap.  They  said yeah the hitting is new and I said I said a couple weeks ago we were signed reports of him getting hit when he was getting up in other kid’s space, right, and they said yes, and I asked if this might be the reverse of that and they just said they didn’t know.

    I asked him which friend it was and he named his best friend (who we have a playdate with this weekend!). I asked if he was trying to hug him and he said yes (a leading question i realize).

    I’m just so upset and worried. How do we make sure that he’s okay these next few weeks?

    I’m scared that they are trying even more to cause problems now that they know we are leaving. I just want to get my sweet boy out of this place that frustrates him so much. I dread taking him there every day but we don’t have a choice because we have to work. I feel such guilt about taking my sweet boy to a place that makes him so frustrated and such fear that they will try to find a way to document enough things to kick him out.

    Any thoughts?

    Is my fear about them documenting to make a case to kick him out grounded?

    • This reply was modified 1 year ago by MamaLlamaMamaLlama.
    #5179
    Karen Lock KolpKaren Lock Kolp
    Keymaster

    I am so sorry that you had such a rough day today.

    I advise trying to take each day as it comes, instead of thinking on potential trends. What will be, will be.

    Little Llama might be getting nervous vibes off you, understandably, given the circumstances. But if you can take each day as it comes and close the book on a bad day quickly, just looking forward to the next day as one that will be different and better.

    I interviewed Tricia Tomaso, and she had some interesting and cool advice for you: basically, to call a meeting with the teachers and say “we’re leaving soon.  We are relocating, and would like to make Little Llama’s remaining time here as positive as possible. We want him to have really great memories of this place! How can we make that happen?“  he loves water, can they change the routine so he can spend more time at the water table? Basically, can they adapt their room and routine to the needs of this typical three-year-old child?

    Given what you’ve written tonight, I might hold off on this until you can hear it in Tricia’s words (she says it much better than I did here).  And then make your decision on how to approach the teachers.

    I cannot see them coming back with a response like “ it would all be fine if only he would stop X…“ They are responsible for helping him adhere to their behavior standards. He is not the problem here, although from the way that you write it sounds like they are still thinking that he is the problem.

    I am not a lawyer, and I have not been involved in any situation in which we expelled a child. If anything, we took in children from other centers, and most of the time discovered that the problem (as in this case) was not the child but the adults at the former center.

    But it seems to me that, especially with the backing of your pediatrician, you have good evidence that your son is a typical child, the environment they’re providing is the problem here. Like every child he needs an environment that is not as restricting as they’re making it, e.g. they require him to stay at centers for a certain amount of time, instead of allowing him to choose how he spends the bulk of his time there. Not getting him outside, or providing him the kind of physical activity that a healthy three-year-old needs. That is when you start to see issues, because you’re simply not providing the outlet that is necessary. I find it especially compelling that it’s not just your son. It’s others, and as we already know he is such a good little imitator (as so many children are).  It makes me think of how they tried to frighten you recently, saying that your child wouldn’t get the proper socialization, or peer interactions (something like that), because of his behavior. And now it seems that peers are also misbehaving.

    Above all I would ask you to try and keep emotion completely out of it. Get your observer hat on, try and write down any interactions you have as verbatim as you can. Perhaps you can record end of the day conversations, or  ask them for information in writing, via email. The more closely you can adhere to a written record, the better.

    If you feel comfortable, maybe you could speak with his buddy‘s folks on the play date this weekend? Not about specifics, but more about their feelings on the child care situation and the care that their child is getting.  I completely understand if you don’t want to try this, it is just a thought.

    Hang in there and keep us posted. I know you’ve got this!

    I’ll be posting more in the next few days on communicating well with childcare. I will also go back and listen to what Tricia had to say, so I can give you a better sense of it before the whole week goes by and the podcast episode is out.

    Hugs 💕💕💕

    Host of the We Turned Out Okay podcast
    Author of Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics: Key Tools to Handle Every Temper Tantrum, Keep Your Cool, and Enjoy Life With Your Young Child
    Head Honcho of the Ninja Parenting Community

    #5180
    MamaLlamaMamaLlama
    Participant

    Thank you! We rallied and had a good end to the day even with my worrying about it all.

    It’s so frustrating because the director (did I mention her daughter is one of his head teachers as of a couple months ago?) thinks they are doing a great job getting them plenty of physical activity. And they pretty much have said “he’s a sweet kid it’s just x and y

    that are the problem”

    Look forward to hearing the episode!

    Our pediatrician has an onsite parenting specialist (a neat grant run program with LSWs that is free for all families) that Daddy Llama and I are meeting with later this week and I’m interested to see if she has some ideas too. He and I are both just so frustrated and disappointed at how things are going.

    I’ve been trying to make space for lots of sand and water play at home.

    On the plus side, the potty stuff has really turned a corner- still finding a sweet spot on the meds but only one accident in 9 days and he was trying to get to the bathroom when it happened!

    • This reply was modified 1 year ago by MamaLlamaMamaLlama.
    #5182
    MamaLlamaMamaLlama
    Participant

    His head teacher was already gone last night but this morning gave me a little more info and said he was “choking the other kid” and that LittleLlama told her he put his hands on the other kids neck “because he was dizzy” so who knows what all that means. She said she was surprised because that’s not how he usually acts.

    I told her we agree that behavior is not okay and it also seems like it’s coming off a couple weeks of daily reports of him getting hit and bit and now he’s showing those behaviors too and she said yeah.

    I also asked about what they do to redirect afterwards and she said she sits and talks with them and then they read a book or help them find something to do. Then she told me he threw a fit at lunch yesterday because he wanted her food, and I just said okay, that happens, he has his own food.

    I said “I know we’re only here three more months and we’d like to make this a positive experience for everyone so let us know how we can support you”. She said okay and that was it. This is pretty much how these convos go.

    Interested to hear Tricia’s thoughts and any other advice you might have.

    #5183
    MamaLlamaMamaLlama
    Participant

    Also got the chance to speak with the director again this morning and remind her about the frustration he’s had a couple weeks in a row of getting hit and bit a lot and now he’s turning around and showing those behaviors. She said “yes we’ve had some aggressive behaviors in that class and it sounds like he’s picking that up. This is very typical three year old behavior and we are working with the whole class on hitting and running in the classroom”

    I said “we’re only here three more months and we want this to be a positive experience for everyone”

    she said “yes, we do too, and we appreciate your patience while we are working on this with him. It’s not a one kid thing, it’s a whole class thing and this is classic three year old class stuff.”

     

    #5184
    Karen Lock KolpKaren Lock Kolp
    Keymaster

    Good for you to bring all this up with them!

    I have to say, I like some of these responses. All the “typical three-year-old behavior”stuff. I don’t know if that will turn out to just be lipservice, but they certainly sound more amenable, and less “it’s all your child’s fault and we are going to start taking disciplinary measures like kicking him out.“

    Especially as you can trace his behavior back to things he’s seen in the classroom and had done to him there. To me, it sounds like they are taking ownership of that.

    Again, keep all emotion out of it as much as possible, keep that observer hat on and keep writing stuff down. If you want to, write into here as you have been doing today, so that you’ve got not just the written stuff but  we can do some analysis and metalevel thinking on it all in here as well.

    So proud of you Mama Llama. 💕💕💕

    Host of the We Turned Out Okay podcast
    Author of Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics: Key Tools to Handle Every Temper Tantrum, Keep Your Cool, and Enjoy Life With Your Young Child
    Head Honcho of the Ninja Parenting Community

    #5189
    MamaLlamaMamaLlama
    Participant

    DaddyLlama and I met with our pediatrician’s parenting specialist and she had some great ideas. Some things we are going to try-

    Getting a list of centers/daily schedule- Creating some visual lists to keep in his cubby

    Talking about centers and what his choices are and asking about them at the end of the day

    Making a visual mom night/dad night calendar

    practice at home with what is okay to hit, kick, squeeze

    talk to teachers about a quiet spot/activity for when he gets overwhelmed and is trying to find a way to  (ie hiding in the bathroom to play with water) *we all acknowledged that say they sort of do this now and won’t change but we can at least ask

    possible use of chewelry for frustration. (Something okay to bite)

     

    #5190
    Karen Lock KolpKaren Lock Kolp
    Keymaster

    These are so great Mama Llama! I’m going to share them in tonight’s call, they fit in so well with this quarter’s Parent Focus on childcare communications.

    Talking about “chewelry”… One of our sons chewed on his clothes when anxious, and we were able to get him out of that habit by giving him (of all things) raw spaghetti as an alternative.

    We started by giving this whenever he asked, and eventually moved to just before bed, or really just before evening toothbrushing. I would say this went from about age 5 to about age 7, just as a frame of reference. Eventually he stopped asking about the spaghetti, and we didn’t offer it, and to this day he hasn’t chewed his clothes again.

    Although sometimes he does snag a piece of raw spaghetti if we happen to be making pasta : )

    Host of the We Turned Out Okay podcast
    Author of Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics: Key Tools to Handle Every Temper Tantrum, Keep Your Cool, and Enjoy Life With Your Young Child
    Head Honcho of the Ninja Parenting Community

    #5192
    Avatarjen
    Participant

    “Chewelry” is such a wonderful word! Ruby (6) chews on her hair and clothes and fingers and stuffed animals.. we’re constantly repeating “not in your mouth!” but I can see now that we might be able to confront it from a higher vantage point.

    At work today I had a situation that called on me to use the feedback model called “Situation-Behavior-Impact.” I approached this work issue with your word in mind Karen, to “put on my observer hat,” and when I did that — the need to use SBI was immediately apparent. I was able to end the confrontation with an appeal for the other person to treat me more compassionately. I must imagine that “SBI” could be useful in non-work contexts as well. I wonder what your thoughts are.

    #5195
    Karen Lock KolpKaren Lock Kolp
    Keymaster

    Another win! Hooray!

    Host of the We Turned Out Okay podcast
    Author of Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics: Key Tools to Handle Every Temper Tantrum, Keep Your Cool, and Enjoy Life With Your Young Child
    Head Honcho of the Ninja Parenting Community

    #5196
    MamaLlamaMamaLlama
    Participant

    I am livid. The daycare has started a journal (fb messaged you the pages) to record “how his day is going- positive or negative”. He is the 4th kid in the class in 3 months to get put on a journal for aggressive behavior. They say they want to work with him and that they never kick kids out. I am so frustrated and angry.

    #5199
    Karen Lock KolpKaren Lock Kolp
    Keymaster

    We talked a lot about this in our call tonight, and I hope it’s making you feel a bit better. I completely understand your frustration and anger.

    Better things are in the works!

    And I do think it is good that they would not kick him out. At least that is one worry that you don’t have to have, you’ll know that at least there is a place for him until you find something better, whether that’s sooner, or whether it’s the whole three months.

    Huge hugs to you!!

    Host of the We Turned Out Okay podcast
    Author of Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics: Key Tools to Handle Every Temper Tantrum, Keep Your Cool, and Enjoy Life With Your Young Child
    Head Honcho of the Ninja Parenting Community

    #5200
    MamaLlamaMamaLlama
    Participant

    Thank you! It’s just so frustrating and disheartening to hear constant negative feedback. And now we’re getting a couple written pages a day in the “aggression journal” instead of just the rants at drop off. How do they even have time for this x4 kids?

    Today’s complaints included:

    loudly rejecting a backrub at nap (they said this wasn’t negative except he was loud)

    hitting another kid on the back at circle time (she said this may have been a rough but playful slap on the back)

    Hitting another kid and then going off climbing something

    playing with blocks for a long time and not wanting to to tablework (they said that this wasn’t negative though, which is confusing to have positive and negative randomly on the same list)

    not staying in line and running around the playground when it was time to leave

    Throwing blocks and then running away and climbing on furniture

    He doesn’t seem thrown by it at all, fortunately. Tonight he said “I had a great day at school and I had soccer” even though he got kicked out of soccer early for chasing a ball down the hallway and “not listening”. Apparently they regularly remove 2-3 kids out of soccer each class but this was his first time. They do it in the lobby of the building which faces two long halls (no gym and too cold outside) and they are kicking soccer balls.

    Seems to me like nearly every act of aggression or frustration is followed by physically “checking out” which is exactly what the pediatrician’s parenting specialist mentioned today.

    The more experienced teacher (curriculum director who is helping the 2 young main 3’s teachers) that I talked to tonight says she gets constant complaining from the other teachers about her kids too- not about aggression but just “every bad thing they do”

    and then she later said “he’s not bad, no kid is bad. We just want everyone in the class to stop hitting. I would love a class where they all just sat and listened but none of them listen, not even my own kid”

    So I’m going to go in tomorrow and suggest trying to move from the hitting to talking about it to moving on as quickly as possible,  offering something he is allowed to hit, and putting books on his cot at the start of nap (curriculum director said that is okay) since he is having trouble falling asleep and being loud.

    Thanks again for all your help!

    #5201
    Karen Lock KolpKaren Lock Kolp
    Keymaster

    Thank you for posting these Mama Llama.

    Honestly I am just spluttering at some of them.

    It is all well and good to wish that kids would do what you tell them and not hit. How are you going to make that happen.

    Can’t wait to hear about how today’s conversation went. As always please post in with questions or thoughts!

    And I am really glad it’s not impacting Little Llama. To me that feels very important.

    Hopefully his memories of this childcare will be of the good and fun stuff.

    You hang in there, you are doing just right and I am so proud of you 💕

    Host of the We Turned Out Okay podcast
    Author of Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics: Key Tools to Handle Every Temper Tantrum, Keep Your Cool, and Enjoy Life With Your Young Child
    Head Honcho of the Ninja Parenting Community

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 25 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.