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View Full Version : Did I over-React???



Cadillac
11-21-2013, 07:47 PM
Here's The Story
Child A: My 3 1/2 year old girl
Child B: 3.5 year old boy
Child C: 2.5 year old boy

I'm at a small play structure with a little guy (just 2) while my five other kids (all 2.5 to 3.5 are playing in the leaves across the (fenced in park and yes; in my sight line) Child A lies down on her back on the leaves and is throwing leaves in the air while the others are doing the same or throwing a few at each other (quite a cute scene really. Until child B pick up a tree branch (a big nono in my DC as picking up sticks inevitably leads to tears) this branch wighs about 3-4 pounds is about 3 in diameter and two feet long. It's a branch, not a little stick) he drops it. I hear child A say ow I don't like that!!! Child A picks up the branch and drops it directly on her legs and she yells OW! so I'm walking over to take care of the situation. I see child C pick up the branch and now I'm jogging while I hollor to put it down. He heard me. He thorws the branch at her and it hits her in the knees. So now she's crying.

I, not so gently, grab B and C and sit them down on the ground and proceed to lose it a bit (I'm not a yeller, but this really got to me). I tend to my child and them gather them all by the stroller and sit the boys on the bench. Child B is smirking and giggling. Child A is hurt ad I am really mad.

I call the parents right away and tell them to come pick up their kids after briefly explaining what happens. Child C's dad asks to come later as he cant leave work. I said no he needs to go now. Child B's mother is at the baby doctor and says she'll come after. As much as I am trying my best to stay calm I think I may have been curt with them. Things like this don't happen with my normally gentle and caring group. I regret that I was angry when I called.

Child C's parents send his uncle to come get him. It's like the best treat in the world for child C when uncle comes. so I tell dad that I really hope the afternoon is not going to be fun. (stupid stupid!!! why did I say that?!?!!!) Uncle shows up and sees the branch (I brought it home so parents would understand why their kids aren't welcome for the rest of the day). Uncle is surprised and asks for details on how to handle the afternoon. He makes sure child A is ok. is very concerned and really saddened. I explain my three strike system. He gets it

Child B's mom shows and she doesn't want to talk, she doesn't ask about child A, she seems mad that she is even there. She takes her child and walks down the street looking pissed (but not at her son).

I sent both parents a text apologizing about my curt phone call and explained that I was scared and angry and very very surprised. I said I was sure they felt the same way and I asked for a meeting to discuss further. that was an hour ago. no one has responded.

Child A has a bit of a swollen knee and bumps and bruises that weren't there before. she was confused why her two best friends would be mean to her and pointed out every branch to her father this afternoon saying THATS THE BRANCH THEY HIT ME WITH!

I think the parents are upset and think I over reacted because it was my child. That could be true in a sense but I still would have sent the kids home if it was another child. I would probably be even more freaked out because now I have to call a parent who left their little one in my care to keep safe and they wound up ganged up on with a tree branch! I would be left with a decision whether to kick them out instantly rather than give a strike.

So my question is: what would you have done? Did I over react?

I think that they think I over reacted that

playfelt
11-21-2013, 08:09 PM
I don't think you over - reacted. If anything is said remind the parents that ONLY because the child being ganged up on is your own that child B and C were not kicked out on the spot but only sent home for detention. You have a responsibility to the parents of the children in your care to protect them all and if the situation had been different and another daycare child had been hurting their child they would expect you the caregiver to terminate the offending child.

This makes it look like you have actually done them a favour.

Personally not sure I would have called the parents for pick up but would have had child B and C in virtual lock down mode the rest of the afternoon and the parents made aware of why and how they were being treated. It is things like the smirk though indicating total understanding and willful disobedience that comes into play here. I'm sure the parents were more ticked than they would have been had you just mentioned it at the end of the day so having been inconvenienced maybe they will speak with the kids about their behaviour and/or punish accordingly.

Ideally dress your child in loose enough clothes she can show the bruises on her legs to the parents in the morning if they ask. If nothing is said just use that glaring look at the boys as they walk in as much as to say I have my eyes on you and then for sure for tomorrow they do not get out of your sight - ideally arm's reach the entire day.

Cadillac
11-21-2013, 08:19 PM
Virtual lock down is hard in my house, especially if its two kids. There's no where to isolate them unless I put them in a room with the door shut. which I wont do.

I feel bad about the way I was on the phone.

I needed the kids gone though. I don't feel bad about that part to much actually lol.

Neither child is here tomorrow (Friday s a light day for me) so by the tie the kids are back the bruises will be gone. Kids and their damn super healing powers.

It was the worst feeling in the world running to that scene. even if it was three year olds. Man you should see this stick!

Thanks for the back up I needed to hear that

I'm nervous of what is to come Monday

Cadillac
11-21-2013, 08:29 PM
Am I right to feel a bit upset that child C's parents haven't called to discuss or say sorry for behavior? or ask after the injured child?

5 Little Monkeys
11-21-2013, 08:40 PM
I would have disciplined them and told their parents at pick up time. I don't think I would have called the parents to pick up right away though. Part of my reasoning for that is because IMO it shows the parents I am not capable of supervising the group. I am not saying this is the case for you, it is just how I would feel and how I feel my group of parents would take the situation.

Depending on the severity of an incident like this, I would tell the parents that if it happened again I would possibly be calling for an immediate pick up and if this behaviour continued than I would have no choice but to terminate.

Kids hurt each other all the time with toys, books, hands and unfortunately branches. I wouldn't terminate after a one time incident but if after an agreed set amount of time, the parents and I couldn't get their child's inappropriate behaviour under control than I would terminate.

mickyc
11-21-2013, 09:26 PM
I agree with 5 Little Monkey's. I would not have called for kids to get picked up. Kids would have gotten a double time out. I would have told the parents at pickup time about what happened. You said yourself that this was shocking because the group isn't normally like that so it was.

I think what you have shown the children is that if they want to go home or be picked up quickly that all they need to do is hurt someone. Kids learn quickly how to manipulate (had this issue once kids have been sick - how they play it up knowing that mom will come get them).

Crayola kiddies
11-22-2013, 06:18 AM
As a provider I would not have called for pick up either especially since your child picked up the branch and dropped it on her own legs .... This perhaps contributed to the injuries. As a parent who has had children in daycare before I started providing care would have been annoyed that I had to pick up my child unless of course your child's leg was broken or had severe enough injuries that warranted a trip to the hospital. JMHO

Crayola kiddies
11-22-2013, 06:43 AM
Am I right to feel a bit upset that child C's parents haven't called to discuss or say sorry for behavior? or ask after the injured child?

I think that you are looking for the parent to validate your concerns and therefore reaffirm that you did the right thing by sending all the kids home. To me it seems the parent has already demonstrated how they feel about it. However you are entitled to feel how you feel regardless if its right or wrong.

Cadillac
11-22-2013, 06:56 AM
As a provider I would not have called for pick up either especially since your child picked up the branch and dropped it on her own legs .... This perhaps contributed to the injuries. As a parent who has had children in daycare before I started providing care would have been annoyed that I had to pick up my child unless of course your child's leg was broken or had severe enough injuries that warranted a trip to the hospital. JMHO

Maybe I got my ABC's mixed up. my child never dropped the stick on herself.

My thing is why do you wait until someone needs to go to the hospital to see the severity of a situation??? I'm happy that it was her legs and not her face.

Cadillac
11-22-2013, 06:59 AM
I know that children hurt themselves and each other. this situation just looked so particularly malicious!

I think that's why I sent them home and am having so much trouble with how I feel about it.

Cadillac
11-22-2013, 07:09 AM
thanks for the feedback

5 Little Monkeys
11-22-2013, 07:32 AM
There is a part where you say child A dropped the stick on her legs. I assumed you probably meant B or C.

IMO, (and remember this is my opinion from just reading your OP, I did not see the situation), if I called the parents every time a situation like this arose, it could potentially mean I was calling a parent every week! I know it probably scared you more because it was a tree branch but kids could drop toys(and some toys are heavy!) on each other as well to be mean. Would you call for pick up then?

What I'm trying to say is....did it bother you more because it was tree branch(which is a bit more surprising to see) or because they were hurting a child?

gravy_train
11-22-2013, 07:43 AM
I can understand why you called the parents to pick their kids up and I can also understand why the parents would be a bit upset. The thing is though - it's your home, your daycare, etc. and if you felt like it was warranted then that's all there is to it. Your clients chose you because they get your philosophy and your behaviour management procedure is a huge part of that.
It seems like you are regretting your decision and worried about what the other parents think about you - one incident isn't going to permanently damage their opinion of you. Instead of worrying about what they are thinking, why don't you just give them a quick call today and have a down-to-earth chat with them? That way you can explain that when you called them you were upset because this type of behaviour needs to be curbed now and you needed to send a strong message that it cannot happen again. Ask them to reinforce that with their children this weekend.
Let us know how it works out!

Cadillac
11-22-2013, 07:55 AM
It really bugged me because someone was getting hurt in a particularly malicious way IMO. My kids really don't behave like this ever. They do push at times and steal toys and that sort of thing. hitting each other with toys or using anything as a weapon is not something I see. These two children are smart and they know exactly what they did. They knew it while they were dong it.


I've never sent a child home before. I may have over reacted on that. I can see that now. At the time I thought that these kids needed to know that if they act like that; they can't be here. Being sent home is a punishment for them that they were surprised and sad about. It also gives a message to parent that I don't screw around when it comes to safety.

I have to hold my ground with the parents. The potential of that situation being so much more serious is not lost on me. Perhaps its the potential I freaked about.

What if it was someone else's kid and I had to call them and tell them their child was beaten by a stick?
What if they chose her head instead of her legs?
What if they hit one of those great spots and broke her?

With all the DNA stuff going on, children dying in daycares (for whatever reason), I feel like my name and business are on the line and 'accidents' like this cannot happen if we expect a result in our favour. the children' decision to be malicious looks bad on ME not them. Like a few said it makes it look like I wasn't supervising when this is not the case.

There was a lot that played into this little situation it seems.

Cadillac
11-22-2013, 07:58 AM
I can understand why you called the parents to pick their kids up and I can also understand why the parents would be a bit upset. The thing is though - it's your home, your daycare, etc. and if you felt like it was warranted then that's all there is to it. Your clients chose you because they get your philosophy and your behaviour management procedure is a huge part of that.
It seems like you are regretting your decision and worried about what the other parents think about you - one incident isn't going to permanently damage their opinion of you. Instead of worrying about what they are thinking, why don't you just give them a quick call today and have a down-to-earth chat with them? That way you can explain that when you called them you were upset because this type of behaviour needs to be curbed now and you needed to send a strong message that it cannot happen again. Ask them to reinforce that with their children this weekend.
Let us know how it works out!

Thanks> I did send them a quick text last night and asked for a meeting in person to discuss further (I hate the phone because you cant see the persons face) One wanted to call me at nap but I insisted that we meet in person and suggested that we do it at pick up next time the child is there (next week)

5 Little Monkeys
11-22-2013, 08:08 AM
I'm sure once you and the parents discuss this, you will feel much better :)

Even though we will all do things differently, we need to remember it's our daycare and at the end of the day as long as we and the parents are happy than all is good.

Good luck with your meetings!

gravy_train
11-22-2013, 08:10 AM
Re. extra stress because of changes to DNA and media scrutiny of home daycares :
I find myself extra stressed about the DNA stuff going on too. I think I have developed a bit of a paranoia and I find myself worrying that my neighbours will call CAS or the ministry if they here a child crying here, etc. My mind always goes to 'worst case scenario' and if I was in your position the other day with the branch thing I would have worried about that too.

Sassygirl
11-22-2013, 08:21 AM
You did what you felt was right at the time.

That would have been very concerning to see one child ganged up and getting hurt and that one kid was actually smirking afterwards?

I don't think I would have called parents to come and pick up. I would however have told them at pick up what happened and that behaviour WILL not be tolerated. If it happens again dcb/g would have to go elsewhere as we don't hurt our friends in this daycare.

Just try and let it go. Its so easy to get paranoid with all this DNA stuff on the news. I am paranoid myself taking the kiddos for walks so we are sticking to my backyard. Soon as someone makes a peep we head back inside. Not a good feeling.

5 Little Monkeys
11-22-2013, 10:13 AM
I'm outta the loop....what DNA stuff?

Fun&care
11-22-2013, 10:54 AM
I think sending the kids home was an overreaction, but at the same time I don't blame you for being really upset. Especially when it's your own child getting ganged up on it can really set you off. And with a child being really malicious and not showing remorse...that would not go over well with me at all. I feel like I am walking on eggshells too with everything in the news lately,

mamaof4
11-22-2013, 11:13 AM
I think, for me the biggest issue would be the lack of remorse. Kids hurt each other-- but usually once they see one of their friends is hurt they show compassion. I don't know if I would have called the parents-- but whats done is done, and done for the best. I think from now on you need to have an established plan so if it happens again you won't be caught off guard.

JennJubie
11-22-2013, 11:16 AM
I do agree with the other ladies that sending them home may have been an overreaction. BUT - I've never seen a child ganged up on like that so I can't say just how I would react myself.

I would like to add, also, that I find it irritating that some, (not all, but definitely some), parents assume that because the child who has been hit or harassed is ours that we are automatically over-protective. Our own child's safety and well being does not matter any less than any other child in our care.

Secondtimearound
11-22-2013, 11:24 AM
Hmmm I think so much of our actions come from our personalities so its hard to say if you over reacted , not knowing you . I think kids do things without expecting consequences like throwing the branch was fun hurting someone with the stick maybe didn't occur to him .
I don't think I would have called parents I think I may have used the situation as a teaching one and made the two offenders sit while I attended the hurt child .
I think it's our responsibility when dck are with us to teach them how to interact with other kids properly , what's acceptable behaviour , I think sending them home just changed the focus of what happened ! Now the focus is on parents mad and frustrated at you rather than their child doing something wrong . My opinion is of course they think you over reacted because the hurt child was yours !
I would of taken a pic of the branch and the injuries and sent a text or letter to each child who was involved and inform them it is a documented incident and going into your files and any further issues will be a reason for immediate termination .
I know it's frustrating I have my own child I'm my Dayhome and watching unfair play and seeing her get hurt is hard but it is good for both to learn life lessons , but I would be the one in control of what was going on in my Dayhome . Believe me those kids prob never heard a word about hurting your daughter but I bet they heard all about your behaviour and actions .
Ugh do not at all mean this to cause more frustration !!!' It is just my opinion on your post !!!

mimi
11-22-2013, 11:58 AM
I agree with the other posters. I would not have called the parents for pick up, but would have had a talk with the parents and ask for reinforcement at home of my daycare's non-violence, anti-bullying policies.

As far as over reaction? I didn't see what you saw as far as the look on the dck's faces as they committed the act with the branch. If it was a look of maliciousness or enjoyment, that would have upset me too along with the injuries sustained.

I do see myself in your quick reaction with the parents. I have always been a quick reactionary when I see an injustice done and am fast with a verbal tongue lashing to the perpetrator (I refer to adults only). I have learned through experience that some careful thought needs to be done on my part before I do react to a situation. Sometimes my quick reaction was not well thought out and didn't fall on appreciative ears.

I think your heart was in the right place wanting to defend and stand up for this child (who happened to be your own), but you should have used this as an important teaching moment to show consequences for nasty actions, discuss the potential for greater injury, to show empathy to the victim and to apologize for their actions (all at the appropriate age level)

Have that chat you want to have with the parents. Let them know if it had been their child you would have been equally upset. I wouldn't apologize for what you did, but I would say you have learned to take a couple of extra moments to fully access a situation before you act. This will let them know that this kind of situation will not likely happen again.

I hope your daughter is o.k. :)

Cadillac
11-22-2013, 01:02 PM
update:
talked to one parent when she met up with us at outing. We are ok. a little off but ok. we do not agree on what happened or how it was dealt with or should have been dealt with. the uncle told the mother that they were plying when he came (my daughter and their son) which was so untrue. LOL what does that matter anyways? She said that she trusts the way I deal with her sons behavior so she didn't understand why he had to go home. She understands that I cannot wait until there is a more serious occurrence to set a precedent. She agreed at least that she cant fully grasp my reaction because she didn't see how it all went down

The other parent pulled her child. He wont be back. she said she doesn't feel comfortable anymore. fair enough I guess.

Cadillac
11-22-2013, 01:06 PM
I hope your daughter is o.k. :)

She is fine. Her knee was pretty swollen last night. a few more bruises than before but shes not favouring it anymore today.

Next time I'll not send the kids home. I see now that was extreme but I wanted to make a point to those kids and the parents that this type of behavior will NEVER be accepted in any way. I thought that was a serious enough episode that the parents should be disciplining for it.

smileyface
11-22-2013, 01:20 PM
I feel for you! These situations are never pleasant! It was a bit extreme to send those children home, but all of us humans sometimes react irrationally when we are upset. It would be great if some parents could extend a little more grace. Maybe realize that we are just people and are not perfect. It sounds like you've learned a lot through this situation, which is great. It's helping you become an even better daycare provider. It also sounds like you are a very cautious person and safety is extremely important to you (an awesome quality in a provider)! I would certainly prefer an overprotective provider over a careless one! I'm sorry that one of the families pulled their child out. It seems a little ironic... their mad at you for acting irrationally, but they themselves are now acting irrationally.

Lou
11-22-2013, 01:23 PM
I believe it was an overreaction to send home as well. If this was a new behaviour it would be worked with to make changes, and I would only send home if there were repeated offences. This actually happened very recently with me. A child very aggressively pushed my son from behind which caused him to nail his head into the corner of the wall and the result was an enormous goose egg. The aggressor started giggling in a very malicious way when my son started screaming (they are both 3) and smirked while in time out. I was furious, and raised my voice as well. He stayed in time out for 15 min which is a very long time at my house.
I sent a picture text to his Mom and explained the situation. Mom was mortified and offered to come pick him up, but I refused saying that I can manage his behaviour here at daycare and you can reinforce it at home. I did call a meeting with her, to explain that while he is going through a difficult phase (he is having difficulties at home as well), I have to think of the safety of the group as a whole and future incidents will not be tolerated. As professionals, we are picked by the parents because they trust that we can manage behaviour issues that arise. Nothing is solved as far as addressing the child's behaviour by sending them home. They will just go home and play with their toys, and get to spend more time with their parents.
That all being said, I do NOT think you overreacted as far as your feelings go because I have most definitely felt them!! FURIOUS!!! So, I get you 100% there, but I do think you overreacted by sending them home. I'm sorry you lost a client :(

Cadillac
11-22-2013, 01:32 PM
Ok so Moving forward: can you guys help me come up with a procedure when these things happen?
I want to send all my parents this new plan and perhaps it will help the parent that stayed regain her confidence in my abilities and show the other parents that I am now trying to be proactive should these situations arise in the future

I was thinking
first offence: long time out, serious talk, at arms length for the rest of the day (parents alerted immediately)
second offence: long time out, serious talk, arms length for the two days? (parents alerted immediately)

I don't know where to go from here. things of this serious nature do not happen often. Sticker charts don't really work when acts like this are random. I'd love to hear all imput to make this a really great procedure.

Cadillac
11-22-2013, 01:35 PM
I'm sorry you lost a client :(

Me too, but things had changed with this family a while ago and I think this was just the excuse they needed to pull him. They really had nothing on me before. Our relationship has been dwindling for months now for no real reason.

Lou
11-22-2013, 02:00 PM
Well, that stinks :( I noticed you didn't seem too bothered by it, so maybe it was for the best?

mickyc
11-22-2013, 02:24 PM
I sent you a copy of my Behaviour Management Policy. Hope it helps.

Secondtimearound
11-22-2013, 03:15 PM
I think natural consequences , I'm sure if you see any child getting hurt by another your going to yell !! So do it , not a freak out in your face , but I would totally be like 'hey that is not nice !! We do not hurt our friends !!!that is not ok to ........... Our hands are not for ....... And I would def do time out ! But only the right amount of time not a long time out . I would also make them say sorry and might put them at a small table with toys and not let them interact with other children for awhile . I would notify dcp at pick up with a verbal account and written account they would sign and bring back so it is documented ! I would also inform the parent of the child hurt and explain what happened and the steps taken to correct the problem. I would never 'trust' the child and would watch for any improper behaviour and jump on it , not letting anything slide but I would also praise good and friendly things the child did and reinforce it big time .
I would also in the letter notify the parent bullying is not accepted and is a reason for immediate termination. And I wouldn't have second chances ! I'm not talking about horrible things kids do to each other ie hitting , slapping, even biting we are after all looking after children !! They need to be taught these are not acceptable behaviours but they are not bullying.
So if it happened again , I would phone to pick up as this is no longer your Dayhome !!!
That is what I would do lol !!! Hope it is helpful to you !!!

Cadillac
11-22-2013, 03:22 PM
ok so this time would have been a time out and off program. if he did it again then term them? . . . . . . what if the next episode is three months from now? this is where I'm stuck because these things never happen. . .

pushing and such are a daily thing (its a kids learning limits and such) but beating with a stick is definitely not an every day.



so if this happens again 4 months from now do I term?

Secondtimearound
11-22-2013, 03:52 PM
Good point !!!! And very frustrating !! I think it would depend on you and your knowledge of this child ! If this is something out of left field for this child I would def document and inform parents ! Beating with a stick is pretty serious !! Is it ok if it only happens every four months ? Unacceptable behaviour is unacceptable !! Doesn't matter the time line ! Childish behaviour and discipline needs to be different from malicious behaviour . It would come back to you and how you judge the situation .

mickyc
11-22-2013, 04:56 PM
Here is the thing - kids will be mean. It will happen. I feel like as a daycare provider it is up to me to discipline and take care of the child's behaviour while the child is here. I would never call a parent to pick a child up. The parent and I would have a good long talk about how it isn't acceptable behaviour and I would hope they would reinforce those teachings at home but that is something that can never be enforced. Some parents care some don't.

You said yourself that this group is normally a good group. You also wondered what happens if it happens again 4 months from now. Nothing happens 4 months from now. You discipline the child while in your home and tell the parents when they pickup and hope they talk to the child at home. The only way I would terminate is if this is constant behaviour and if you are not having any help from the parents.

I have never terminated for any reason (yet). I have had kids who hit, throw toys, bite, pinch etc. I deal with the behaviour here, that is my job. Parents have all been on board and the behaviour eventually gets better.

It wasn't right what the kids did but I don't think it was a reason for them to be sent home.

5 Little Monkeys
11-22-2013, 05:42 PM
I agree with Mickyc.

I don't think it's fair to term, especially after only 2 incidents. I totally understand that we have to protect our whole group but how is the child going to learn if the dcp's just keep terming him. It will take a patient dcp and parents to be on board to help this child learn appropriate behaviour.

Going from dc to dc is not going to help IMO.

Cassandra2013
11-22-2013, 07:50 PM
I would find out why they put the branch on the other child and go from there. I would encourage them to say sorry and explain we can't hurt our friends and I would show them the marks on the child. The consequence depends on their reason as to why they did it. I would fill out an incident and injury report and speak to parents at pick up. I do think it was an over reaction but I think it's great that you are reflecting on ur practice and learning from errors so they will not happen again.

playfelt
11-22-2013, 10:26 PM
Going forward there should still be some consequences at your house to reinforce that what was done was wrong. They bullying aspect - especially the two ganging up on another needs to be addressed. For sure they will no longer be allowed to play more than 10 feet away from you as they have lost trust and explain it to them that way about what trust means and what it means to lose it and the consequences of it.

From the standpoint of dealing with the parents use the bullying angle rather than the fact they hurt your daughter. The parents should be outraged at their children that they would think hurting a friend was a good way to play. When a girl says "no", "stop", "you are hurting me" and they don't it says a lot of bad things about their character that needs to be changed before they get older. Bullying is such a big thing in the news and almost all cities have some sort of program for dealing with bullies but what people have to be taught to see is that in almost all older bullies there were signs of negative delinquent behaviours when they were younger that went unchecked. Take that line with the parents and it should actually help smooth things over in the sense that you were doing them a favour.