Buckets of moonbeams in my hand (kmeghan) wrote in childcaregivers,
Buckets of moonbeams in my hand
kmeghan
childcaregivers

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bad parent?

I have a 3 year old in my daycare that is not held responsibile for his actions....he never gets time outs or any other type of punishment at home. He will throw screaming fits until his parents give in. He's about 4 feet tall and weighs 50 lbs and runs into the other kids.

His parents are ticked because after he'd pooped his pants while playing on the playground (which he does everyday, despite our sending him to the bathroom about every 20-30 min) we expect him to help clean himself up. It's not that we don't help if they need it...but part of moving from the toddlers to preschool is learning to try and do for yourself. He still drinks out of a sippy, can't put on crocs, the list goes on and on. At 3, I think they can get their own clean clothes out and get started on changing. Am I expecting too much?
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They don't sound like unreasonable expectations, though different children will have different capabilities. Is there some reason why the parents might be overly protective of their child? Maybe they feel guilty for having him in care so do as much as they can for him. Maybe it's a cultural thing. Maybe he was born prem or had some developmental complication when he was very little.

It's not going to be easy behaviour management, but I think you'll benefit a lot from 'catching him being good' as often as you can. Make a huge over-enthusiastic celebration of when he attempts things for himself or does something 'good'. Similarly, pay oodles of attention to other children doing things independently within his sight.

Perhaps you can mention your concern to your director and see if they could talk to the family about behaviour management support.
yep, these are things we're trying... using stickers and all that. He's been doing pretty good with a timed time out (waiting for that ding seems to help) He wasn't early, or having any problems.. his parents don't really care (mom has said before to other teachers that she likes the baby sister more!) We're going to give it another week before we bring in any parents. He'll have been in the room a month and that seems like time enough to start being able to function in that room. Our motto in the 3 year old room is "try" :)
I think you should definitely help him clean up poopy clothes. I mean, kids can't put on gloves and wash out the underware in the toilet like you can. Kids can't change the gloves to a new pair and put the clothes in a plastic bag. If anything, by making him do it, you're being extremely unsanitary. You can certainly have him HELP you. Have him hold the bag while you put the clothes in. 3 is old enough to be potty trained, but I've run into a few boys in my daycare experience that insist on pooping in their underware. I'm not sure why they do it...one boy was a lot like yours: he jsut didn't seem to care, and his parents gave in to everything. He was also quite large. What you, as the teacher, have to understand is that physically he might be bigger than the other kids, but that doesn't mean that mentally he's any smarter than they are. In fact, it might make him not as smart because his body is growing faster, so 1. people have higher expectations for him, which can be confusing and/or 2. when kids grow, a lot of times they HURT, or they can't concentrate as much.

You SHOULD talk to the parents. But timeouts are not gonna work here even if they do them at home. Just make sure to let the parents know every day what happens. Don't do it accusingly, don't make it sound like he's a terrible kid, but make it sound like he has a few things to work on. For every bad thing, say two good things.

Does he like wearing his underware? If once he has a poopy underware during the day, you put him back in pullups, would that help? Would that show him that he's not being a big boy? Or would he not care?
oh yeah, he's not doing anything with the actual poop.. but we feel he can get out a pull up (he puts one on if he has an accident), clean clothes, etc. And yeah, he's not quite up to the level of the other kids, but then again, I really think it comes down to his parents having no expectations for him. He doesn't have to clean up his toys, or use a regular cup, etc. And when they come in to pick up on their cell phones and say not one word to the teacher or the child, it makes it clear that they aren't working with him at all. We're got some other things we're going to try before we talk to the parents. We get a lot of "I pay YOU to take care of that" but there's only so much you can do at a daycare if nothing is being done at home.
It is terrible to go back and forth from underwear to a pull up vice versa. It really screws with a kids potty training because it gets confusing for the kid. It doesnt seem in this situation that it would help to put him into a pull up if he poops in his underwear, since it seems like the kid doesnt really care. With potty training consistancy is the key. Do the parents keep him in under on the weekend? If they go back and forth this could be a reason why he is having so many accidents at school.

I also think that there is only so much he can do to help to clean himself up. It would get pretty unsanitary. He couple help in some way...he could hold the bag or something.
they have asked us to put him back in pullups after one accident. god forbid they have to do some laundry. I'm not a fan of going back and forth.. it's one thing to use one at nap time for a bit, until they are waking up dry on a regular basis.
Draw a line for him- make it clear that at school (or daycare or whatever you call it) this is what you have to do for yourself. I have to do this with my pre-k kids all the time... at home it's okay for them to cuss and be lazy, but at school you have to use nice words, put your own shoes on, and clean up after yourself. Teach him your expectations there, now whether or not he does these things at home is up to the parents, but you have every right to set expectations for him while in your care.

Keep in mind too that he's a 3 year old boy... boys develop slower than girls, especially when it comes to self-help skills. Start with small goals (like putting on his own shoes) and build on those successes. Take that list of things he can't do, and teach him how to do those things.
i like the list idea. we'll be doing evaluations in the next few weeks, and that will help us get a handle on things.
Okay... my two cents worth... *grin*

I must admit, I'm not fond of the "time out" myself. I find it to be too arbitrary and not quite as effective as giving the child a bit more control. By that I mean, I help the child to take some time away and let them know that once they are ready to do as they need to do (ie - calm down, play appropriately etc) that they can come back and join us(the class- group)

As for the the toilet-training part. I think that it is important to remember that basically, it is one of the only "real" areas of control that a child has, and thus it is very important to them. In my toilet-training class I try and give the child as much control as possible, and of course, as much praise as possible.

And regarding the part about having the child do for himself, I think that it is very reasonable to have him do as much as he can. He can try to dress himself, etc... You might actually want to check out if Montessori has anything useful on this as, of course, those philosophies stress self-sufficiency and learning.

*shrug* Just a few thoughts off of the top of my head. Best of luck to you and him.
We try not to use time outs... thought it's about all we can do in a daycare. Mostly we redirect, or if he's throwing blocks, he has to leave the blocks and do a puzzle. Time out, for him, is used when he is flopping around on the floor, kicking a screaming, because he can't have the yellow block he was playing with an hour ago, or if he's been told 'please sit on your bottom, we don't stand on the table', etc. He has no concept of what is okay...most kids will get that you can't stand on a table and that's not okay at school. It makes me sad because he can be a very sweet and funny kid. we've got special stickers and we're using them as often as possible. I think we've got a long road ahead of us, esp. since we'll get no help from his parents :(