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  1. #1

    When is a behavior too much?

    I have a boy (3yo) in my care whose behavior is driving me up a wall. Hitting, running toys into other kids, grabbing toys, racing to get a toy first when another kid sees it... this is every day all day and the other kids are starting to mimic his behavior. The worst part is he doesn't look up when I say his name so it's stressful to go on any outings because he'll just run off or I have to constantly raise my voice. Then we can't bond because it's like he doesn't seem to hear any of the positive things I say to him. He also doesn't like to be touched (hugged, hand held, bum wiped). Last week he's started telling me he doesn't like it here and telling his mom that at PU/DO. I feel like I spend all day correcting him and trying to get his attention. I've watched him (and his 1 yo brother) 3 day/wk for a bit over a month now and I feel like I'm making no headway. Suggestions? Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I take the toy away when I see the child running the toy into the other child and give him a warning that you will take the toy off him and sit him out the next time he does that and then sit him out for 3 mins as he is 3 , and he will soon learn. it will take time - but it is also a good idea to be his shadow till he gets the message and it will be worth it.
    Next time he says to Mom he does not like it here just tell her what you are working on and she may even do it at home which will reinforce the learning process.
    Good luck

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Van View Post
    I take the toy away when I see the child running the toy into the other child and give him a warning that you will take the toy off him and sit him out the next time he does that and then sit him out for 3 mins as he is 3 , and he will soon learn.
    Yes, that's what I've been doing, I thought he would show some improvements by now, but he seems to think that I'm being mean/ doesn't understand it's a consequence of his behavior. I get the impression he's allowed to take toys from his brother and play rough at home. I do try tell the mom what we're working on, but she is generally rushing off or just says "oh thanks, I know he's difficult"... would you ever sit a parent down and say this is what you need to do at home? it feels like overstepping...
    Also, when you take a toy away do you put it out of reach or do you let the other kids play with it?

  4. #4
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    Put the toy out of reach for a week and then put it on the shelf before the kids arrive and just observe how he /they play with it to see if it needs to go again.

    Don;t sit the parent down as that is overstepping the line as the child will learn that the rules are different at home and at your daycare.

    When he tries to grab a toy from someone just give it back and say .... Ollie's hands are on that toy , it is his turn and show him where he can get another toy from such as a shelf, or toy box

  5. #5
    Euphoric ! bright sparks's Avatar
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    I find it quite interesting that everyone is focusing on the interactions involving the toys when your first complaint is hitting! also the fact that this child is unresponsive when called and outside of a controlled area, your daycare setting. This child is high risk. Doesn't mean it can't be resolved but if he is hitting and running off, the liability is huge and it not only puts himself at risk but the other kids too. I would time out this child almost constantly and have some consequences for his actions rather than redirecting him all the time. It is a passive response in my opinion. Also he would have to play by me all day if he is hurting the other kids which is what it sounds like. He can't be trusted and so this is the result of his actions.

    I would probably set a 4 week goal to see improvement in behavior, I personally would sit down with the parents, it isn't crossing the line. It is your home, your business and there are other children involved. If they don't get on board with you and collaborate by doing the same disciplining methods, then this won't go away. It is a bit ridiculous to expect a child who doesn't respond to his name, to be able to differentiate between daycare rules and home rules. That is expecting a bit much IMO. The 4 week period should be a probationary period too where if you don't see any improvement in his behavior at daycare, then childcare services will cease in the best interest of all children and their safety.

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  7. #6
    Euphoric !
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    Many potential red flags. Do you have any autism resources on hand? I can't help but wonder if he is on the spectrum. Not all children with autism are unable to speak and just sit rocking all day. Some are able to speak and function fairly well but greatly lack the social 'norms'. They are very sensitive to touch (as you mention), they won't respond to their name (as you mention), they do not or have great difficulty bonding with others (as you mention).

    In your shoes I would be getting a hold of a list of potential behaviors and observing. Making notes. Writing down observations. This may come in handy later on if the child is eventually diagnosed. It may not be now, may not even be until he is in school but I would be taking notes just in case.

    I would change your focus. There is a chance this child is not capable of the same expectations as the others. Pick a few key things you need progress on and figure out a game plan. This doesn't mean the child gets a free pass for everything else but it means you have a focus on the things that mean the most right now and you may be able to progress there and move on to other behaviors.

    If he does not respond to your name then you need to do more than just call his name. You may need to get in his eye sight and give a signal. Teach him a signal that is easy to do and that he knows means you need his attention. Do this while also saying him name so you can hopefully eventually move to just saying his name.

    Give him a hula hoop. That is his play space. His toys stay in that play space or they go on the shelf. This will prevent him from running them into other children. It is a clear, visible boundary. If a hula hoop is too small a space find another carpet or very distinct clear boundary.

    If you need to go out with him then you need to find a way to prevent him from running off. It may mean he wears a harness or a wrist strap. Be aware for many children on the spectrum this is a hard thing to handle (sensory) but with any luck if will work. While I rather dislike harnesses on children even I recognize that with certain children they are needed for the safety of all.

    If there is any chance of a delay or developmental concern then the first step isn't just to get him to follow the rules it is to get him to function in your group. This will be MUCH easier if you set the environment up so he can function in the group. This would be the clear play boundary, the harness and other steps you take. Then once he's functioning and you aren't just calling his name and yelling all day you can start to work on his actual behaviors and making gains there.

    Even if all this is just behavior and not delays or him being on the spectrum the above steps will just make your life that bit easier and hopefully that leads to progress as well!

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  9. #7
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    Hi. I currently have 6 boys in my care. And it is busy. Use the nipising check list? This will tell you how is his developement going in general.I find that in general boys have more energy and need to be challenged constantly. It has been three months now that I took away all toys (and we did not have many); my setting has most hands on activities, the chaotic area was the toys area so, no it is gone. We go earlier for a walk or the park, I usually wait for them ready outside and when we comeback is just paceful, everyone gets to do something different (their choise), and we do the group activities during circle time. I developed activities that targets each one abilities and skills some more challenging than others. I also have included ocupational therapy activities. Parents cannot believe how peaceful is in here. And obviously, I devote all my attention to them (especially for the ones that need it). There is always an instigator so, that one gets to be my helper the whole day. I have many little projects for him to be busy.
    Search, read and try the following; ocupational activities, loose parts, preschool hands on activities. Search in pinterest. You will definitely see a big change.

    Also another fact to consider is his diet, sometimes too much processed sugars (juices, some cereals, energy bars, even granola bars, etc); can definitely cause high levels of energy making it hard for them to develop self-regulations skills. Ask his parents what he had for breakfast and guide them if needed.

    And another reason could be that he feels neglected (you've mentioned he has a 1y old brother); or he might have hearing difficulties, i have seen some children not liking hugs or any physical contac but unless it is extreme (shown in behaviour) then it would show a red flag. Children in general like their own space. Once you get their trust and when they feel they're safe, in a positive environment they usually get close and give and accept hugs.

    There are some workshops for "no time outs" options there are very informative with positive outcomes.

    Also keep up with a journal to help with information of the little boys development and behaviours.

    I hope it helps.
    Last edited by Peacefulbird; 10-28-2017 at 09:04 PM.

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  11. #8
    Peacefulbird, it wounds like you have the dayhome I'm striving for! I wonder if the boys in your care are similar age? I have been trying to find activities for them, but most seem like they're mostly for kids that are a bit older, maybe I'm looking in the wrong places? They all (except the 1 yo) do better if we get outside every day and we sit down and all do puzzles or build...

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    Hi. The ages of my group are two boys past 3 and half years old, two boys three years old and two boys 15 months. As you know the old kids have a lot of energy. But also if you observe most boys fine motor skills develop slow making challenging for them to focus on small parts (crafts, arts, games, puzzles quiet activities as we call) when they're not engaged then their behavior is negative and it affects the whole group. To control that part I target in helping them to practice and develop more fine motor skills with engaging activities ex. They do not like small or challenging toys then they will just throw the toys so, I decided to target that with things that like most. Ex. They love their food, I let them peel their own bananas for snack time, little tangerines etc.

    Once they have a.better control of their hands then you enrich your environment with activities that they can manipulate ex. Playdough and feathers and popsicle sticks (you'll love their creations). Also read interesting (silly if you find some) story books, start with short stories (engage them) at first they will sit and listen, repeat the same book for at least a week and then you will built on that, you will increase more stories once they like it they will ask for more and more stories. Once they know that books are interesting they will automatically find a cozy spot and explore them quietly (I change the books weekly from my local library); implementing a variety of blocks to keep them intetested also helps.

    Do not buy things I recycle a lot, ex. My blocks area gets changed weekly ex. Legos, plain wood blocks, colored blocks, empty cans, empty boxes); playdough gets also changed weekly (plain, with sparkles, kool-aid, bright colours, chocolate, mixed with coloured sand to ad texture, etc)

    I constantly implement new activities they get very busy and engaged, ex. Squishing a sponge in little water and dish soap, etc. Look in pinterest, Google it you will absolutely love those ideas and your children will too.

    Also keep going outdoors my group loves it. We go out everyday. Weather permitting.
    Last edited by Peacefulbird; 11-22-2017 at 06:38 PM.

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