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Thread: What do I do?

  1. #1
    Starting to feel at home...
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    What do I do?

    I had 2 boys start this week - brothers. Only had them 2 days so far, but WOW! Nonstop screaming, fighting, grabbing, temper tantrums. I hated every minute they were here and am dreading having them back tomorrow. Would you give it more time, or tell the parents to start looking somewhere else? I have a 1 month trial period written into my contract and the mom doesn't start work until the end of the month as far as I know - just bringing them p/t to get them adjusted. Am I giving up too soon?? This is not how I want to spend my days and I don't need the money that bad. Not to mention, I don't want to lose my current kids because of these newbies. What would you do??

  2. #2
    Euphoric ! Inspired by Reggio's Avatar
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    How old are they?

    I personally would give it time for them to learn the rules at YOUR house and I would be on top of their behavior being unacceptable like a little Drill Sergeant for the first little while so they GET that this behavior is not going to be accepted or tolerated in your program!
    Children construct their own intelligence. The adult must provide activities and context, but most of all must be able to listen. Children need proof that adults believe in them. Their three great desires are to be listened to, to understand, and to demonstrate that they are exactly what we expect."
    Loris Malaguzzi

  3. #3
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    They are just turned 3 and 4 1/2.

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    Euphoric ! Inspired by Reggio's Avatar
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    Oh well than for sure the 'hammer' of expectations for behaviors in my home would be coming down on those siblings ... every morning upon arrival we would be having a little sit down discussion about how we talk to each other NICELY at my house, the acceptable indoor voice tone and level, the respect for furniture and equipment and so forth and how 'conflict' is resolved in the program and the consequences that will ensure for NOT behaving!

    Might help with that age group to put up visual reminders .... so for example in our program conflict resolution has 6 steps and when I have newbie BIG KIDS I have an actual poster I put up in the playroom to help them learn it ...

    1. We stop the behavior ~ adult takes anything that might be fighting over like a toy or what not (a no circle with arguing/fighting pics inside it crossed out)
    2. We gather facts about and discuss each others points of view talk to bystanders about what they saw (talking bubbles)
    3. We restate the problem as each person understand its (nodding heads in agreement)
    4. We discuss potential solutions (a bubble with a 'list' inside it)
    5. We choose a solution both sides agree up and a consequence if it happens again and implement it (a light bulb over kids playing happily)
    6. Adult stays close by to follow up and support as necessary (pick of kids playing with an adult nearby)
    Children construct their own intelligence. The adult must provide activities and context, but most of all must be able to listen. Children need proof that adults believe in them. Their three great desires are to be listened to, to understand, and to demonstrate that they are exactly what we expect."
    Loris Malaguzzi

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  6. #5
    apples and bananas
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    I'll be completely honest... if they were younger I'd hold out and try longer. Since they are already 3 and 4, they are just siblings that fight. They may always be like that, regardless of your rules I think it's going to be very hard to break that. So, if the sibling rivalry is what's not fitting in, I personally don't think you'll be able to get them out of that.

  7. #6
    Expansive... Judy Trickett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apples and bananas View Post
    I'll be completely honest... if they were younger I'd hold out and try longer. Since they are already 3 and 4, they are just siblings that fight. They may always be like that, regardless of your rules I think it's going to be very hard to break that. So, if the sibling rivalry is what's not fitting in, I personally don't think you'll be able to get them out of that.
    I agree. The older the kids are the longer they have had time to be taught by the parents and other caregivers that their behaviour is okay. Because if they were told their behaviour was NOT okay and held accountable then they would not be acting in that manner.

    It goes back to the old adage that it is easier to teach someone right the first time then to unteach them the wrong way and re-teach them the right way.

    My worry would be - what are the behavioural expecations of the parents? Obviously they allow their kids to act like monsters. And if they have that ideal of behaviour then you won't change the kids because their parents will not be supportive of it because they don't see it as a problem.

  8. #7
    Euphoric ! Inspired by Reggio's Avatar
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    Yes ~ parents on board is KEY for sure ... if it is a real problem behavior I would be giving the parents a 'behavior and guidance improvement contract' with a 'time line for improvement or termination' for sure!
    Children construct their own intelligence. The adult must provide activities and context, but most of all must be able to listen. Children need proof that adults believe in them. Their three great desires are to be listened to, to understand, and to demonstrate that they are exactly what we expect."
    Loris Malaguzzi

  9. #8
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    This is what I would do. Have the parent(s) over tonight or tomorrow and sit down with them. Tell them specifically what behaviours you are seeing in their kids and tell them it is NOT ACCEPTABLE in your home. Make it clear to them that it will not be tolerated and that you expect them to make that clear to their kids. Then, sit down with the kids and repeat the same thing to them. Give it 2-3 days and if their behavior hasn't changed, terminate.

  10. #9
    Euphoric ! kidlove's Avatar
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    It's your choice. BUT if they are behaving this way at your house chances are this is what they do at home. A few questions you can ask yourself or things to consider:
    Do the parents seem willing to work with you on any behavior issues? (if not? let them go)
    Do the boys have respect for you and your authority now? (if not? let them go)
    Is this behavior affecting the other kids or your abilty to care for the others? (if yes, let them go)
    Is their behavior violent or threatening toward anyone? self,each other,others. (if so, let them go)
    depending on how old they are, you may be able to turn things around (the parents could be extremely grateful for your abilities) BUT....consider the behavior as something they are very used to, if you think this is how Mom and Dad allow them to behave at home, it may be a loosing battle for you. Consider the use of your termination period and use it if you have to.

    I had a pair of brothers that came to me a few years ago, they fought like cats and dogs with each other, and hit, scratched, kicked and bit each other. That to me, is not normal brother behavior...it seemed very violent and after watching their behavior for a few days, came to the conclusion (due to the responses they gave me when I tried to redirect or discipline) they did this at home and got away with it....it tried for a week. Then I got a call from a dif Mother that her daughter had been bit in the arm..... I knew who the cullprate was and was not willing to open my home to harm to other children due to the fact that these kids parents had no control over their sons. serious anger issues. Like I said def up to you, but consider if it's something you can control while they are in your home...if not, let them go!

  11. #10
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    Thank you for the responses so far! They've given me a lot to consider. I am really leaning towards letting them go, not necessarily because I CAN'T handle them but really because I Don't want to. I really want to enjoy doing this and constantly dealing with that kind of behavior is not enjoyable and really takes away from the other kids in my care.

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