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  1. #1
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    Keeping your cool

    Hey Ladies!
    So this may be quite a touchy subject but I have a question on how you ladies keep your cool throughout the day.

    I can't be the only dayhome provider who cares for certain children who seem to push your buttons ALL DAY LONG and no amount of timeouts, talking to, loss of privileges, rewards seem to work. With this specific boy somedays I have had to literally put him in timeout and just walk away because he makes my blood boil some days. The worst part is that he honestly isn't that bad. But he goes through these spurts that last a month or two where I am tempted to terminate him and then he goes back to being 'normal'.

    I've had days where I feel my insides boiling because all the children seem to all at once misbehave or are crying or screaming, etc and I just say 'ENOUGH!! Everyone in your highchairs!!' and I buckle everyone in their seats so they can't touch each other, jump off furniture, fight, scream, etc. This way we all take a breather and just stop whatever it is that we are doing and reset.

    I plan my day with snacks, crafts, sensory stuff, lots of outdoor time, and it just seems that it keeps them for a handful of minutes and then they take off again. My witching hour seems to be at 11ish when I am trying to get lunch on their plates (it's always pretty much prepared because it's normally leftovers so I can't prep anymore than I already am). I've tried giving them stuff to do while they wait and they aren't interested. The junky thing that seems to work this summer is putting the tv on for the 15 minutes to keep them stationary while I get their plates together. I hate it! But it buys me a couple minutes and then they start all over again and we are driving each other crazy again. I serve lunch and go into the bathroom to take a couple deep breaths.

    Some days I ask myself if I am the only one who's home feels like a gong show when the dayhome opens for the day. I know that I am going through a slump right now (like any job. I've been open for over a year and all my kidlets have been with me since the beginning) but these past couple months I am using all my strength to keep my cool.

    The worst part is that by the end of the day when the kids leave I'm completely spent and all my 'irritableness' gets dumped on my own family. I've heard that most day home providers quit within the first year and those who stick it out get better with handling all the stress with time. After almost a year and a half, I'm starting to feel the opposite but I refuse to give up because I know that I can do this and this is what I want to do.


    Anybody go through the same thing? Do you have any tips on keeping your cool when there is so much demand throughout the day?
    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Expansive... Other Mummy's Avatar
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    Sounds like you are going thru a burnout/slump. I went thru this last year. You know what helped? I termed my nuisance child that grated on my nerves and was constantly pushing buttons and trying to get a raise out of the other kidlets. Perhaps you need to restructure your daycare? Term and replace a particular child that is not working out?

    We all know this, but forget often. Make time for yourself. When the kids are napping, take some time for yourself. Do you nails, watch some TV, rest with your feet up with a good trashy novel or magazine.

    This business is very difficult some days(weeks). Don't feel badly about turning on the TV whilst prepping lunch. I do this every lunch time. We watch a Disney movie for 20 min. while I prepare lunch, get the table set, etc. IF this is your sanity saver..while feel bad? Sounds like you run a very structured, organized and fun filled daycare. I promise if you turn on the TV for a few minutes while prepping snack or lunch, your daycare kids won't turn into TV zombies. Sometimes they need that down time as well. If it makes for a more relaxed and sane/happy provider than why not?

    I can completely relate to the irritability at the end of the day. Again, perhaps a 30 min break between daycare closing and starting on your "family" work duties. The first year is the hardest. But it's not written in stone. It can be 12, 18 or even 24 months, but it gets easier as time goes on.

    As far as keeping my cool throughout the day?? Chocolate and coffee keep me going LOL!

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  4. #3
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    I learned a long time ago that one bad apple definitely does ruin the whole bunch. When I find that one kid is the root of everything that drives me batty, it's either time to have a serious chat with the parents or it's time to term.

    No way would I allow one child to affect the whole group like that. Bottom line is some kids are just not a good fit for your program. NOTHING wrong with that. It is what it is, but I certainly wouldn't allow one child's bad behavior to make my job something I dread doing every day.

    Remove the issue and you'll find your happy place again.

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  6. #4
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    I agree with the above responses...I've been doing this for 14years and I still have those days! One child DOES absolutely change/affect the dynamic of the group. The thing about this job is also that it can be very isolating. Are there playgroups near you that you can go to? It's always nice to connect live and in person with other parents/providers. Don't beat yourself up for 15 minutes of tv so you can prep lunch. It's minutes, not hours...you're doing ok!!When I started doing daycare, my husband at the time would take over with our kids while I went for a walk or had a shower as soon as the daycare kids left. It gave me the 20 minutes alone I needed to regroup and be there for my own kids. You are absolutely not alone in this one!! take care of YOU.
    “While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.”


    ― Angela Schwindt

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  8. #5
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    Thanks guys!
    Honestly, I can't tell if it's just this boy or if I'm burning out. Truth is, I had 2 boys for a year that were sooooo bad but as most of us do we think we can 'help' or wait it out. I ended up waiting it out with these 2 boys because I knew they would be leaving at the end of the school year and was hoping that I could be a positive influence in their life. I thought everything was going to be so much better once they had left. I purposely didn't take any more children for the summer because I wanted us all to have that break. Honestly, it was, for the first month and a half of the summer and now it seems that this particular boy and his sister (who is only before and after school) have upped it a notch and have seemed to take the place of the 2 boys I had just finished with. The last couple weeks I have been dumbfounded and left asking myself what in the world has happened to them (mostly this boy), myself, and even my son (he's starting to misbehave). I was hoping that it was just the end of summer jitters getting out of their system (all of us just getting sick of being with each other everyday for almost 10hrs and just wanted scheduled life and routine to get back on track) but seriously! School has been back in motion for over 2 weeks and things just seem to be getting worse and I just keep getting more and more on edge.

    I will definitely be working on all of your suggestions in hopes that this slump works it way out. However, I do feel that if it keeps getting worse that I will have to terminate
    I'm back at the 'well they are only going to be with me until the end of the school year' thinking but I don't think I can wait it out again like I did with the previous family. 12 months is too long to feel like this.

    I'm hoping and praying that this is just a slump and that I am just being too sensitive because I'm burnt out.

    Thanks Ladies for being on this forum and for being such a support

  9. #6
    Euphoric !
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    I don't have any children over the age of 4, no school agers at all, so I think that's what saves me. Do you find the older children are the ones making you feel stressed? I've had the little tattletale, the one who narrated the entire day, the ones who are picky eaters, the ones who don't socialize, and so on and so on. All children are different.

    But from day one at my daycare, even if a child is only 10 months old they are going to learn my rules, expectations and I'm consistent with absolutely everything so that they learn. I get exhausted and burned out sometimes too, definitely. When I have the kind of child you described I have to remind myself to treat them equally when it comes to kind words and hugs when I can hardly stand to have them around. Patience, perseverance, rules, routines, wow, it's really hard some days, I know.

    To answer your question in a more definitive way, yes, when things have gone out of control I've cancelled plans and turned on the tv for the children, told them to play with the toys and have decided to give myself a break that day so that I don't break. Sometimes we have to take a step back and write off the day. Who says we have to be perfect? We're human too. When the inmates are taking over the asylum we have to let go of the trip to the park or the craft for the day or whatever we had planned. Maybe that's exactly what the children need, you know? Maybe they need an easy day too.
    Frederick Douglass
    It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.

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  11. #7
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    What great advice!

    I absolutely agree with all of the other posters.
    First, get rid of your stressor! Its amazing what a difference it can make. I found that my stressor was the school age child(dren) I had when I first opened. Soon as I got rid of them and focused my daycare on babies it made a world of difference. Guaranteed 2+ hours break every afternoon to do whatever you want! I usually spend an hour cleaning up, doing paperwork etc, then the next hour I watch trashy tv that I PVR, read, or even have a little "rest" on the couch. Its very important that we take that time for ourselves every day! After business hours try and do something as well for yourself.
    I initially was SO anti tv... However when you are trying to get something done like lunch, or heck if you are having a BAD day why not turn on the tv to give yourself a break. I am sure parents would rather you put the tv then snap on their child if you got to your breaking point.
    Hugs!!! We have all been there!

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  13. #8
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    Question for all of you...what if the "stressor" is your own 3 year old??!! I am counting the days until she's off to JK next September!!!

  14. #9
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    hhahaha FSD...well that's a little harder isn't it?? can't terminate that one! I always found MY kids were the ones that gave me the hardest time...they know what buttons to push on mommy. Now that they're older, its' fine.
    “While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.”


    ― Angela Schwindt

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    FSD

  16. #10
    Euphoric !
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    Quote Originally Posted by FSD View Post
    Question for all of you...what if the "stressor" is your own 3 year old??!! I am counting the days until she's off to JK next September!!!
    mine was ......I put him in preschool one morning a week which was a small break and he just started full day jk this year and I feel like I have been released from the looney bin ; )

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