Am I the only daycare worker who takes care of a child that I can't find one good thing to say about him?
You shouldn't be in an early childhood environment from the sounds of things. I've taught preschool, pre-kindergarten, nursery school, and Sunday School, all early childhood 18 months-5 year old kids. I've had classes as small as 12 and classes as large as 48.
The first thing that you need to understand is that young children have an extremely short attention span. The general rule is you get one minute of their attention for each year old they are up to age 5. What this means is a 1 year old has a 1 minute attention span; a 2 year old has a 2 minute attention span; a 3 year old has a 3 minute attention span; and so on and so forth. That means that the average four year old has a four minute attention span. That doesn't mean that every four year old has that short or that long of an attention span, it's a general guideline.
What you need to realize is that middle school and early childhood education are two very, very different worlds. Middle school aged children are in the pre-teen age and are very difficult to work with. You have things like peer pressure, bullying, makeup, drugs, alcohol, etc to worry about. I would lose my mind in a classroom of middle school aged children because I do not have patience for the smart mouthing, the back talking, and the drama, all of which middle school aged children have. At the same time, there are people I know, including my significant other, who would lose it in a classroom of 48 four and five year old's. I've seen many parent helpers fold under the pressure.
The way a child behaves in school, daycare, and other settings depends on the way that they are allowed to behave at home. If they get away with hitting, pushing, and biting siblings at home, chances are they will try it on their peers in the classroom. Sometimes, a child who is a little angel at home is poorly behaved in a classroom setting, and when that happens, you have to find the cause. It could be anything from them not getting to use their favorite colored crayon to someone grabbing the book they wanted before they did. On the opposite end of things, if you have a child that behaves badly at home, but is an angel in school, it's usually a reflection of the parenting and/or the child not getting enough attention at home and loving the attention they receive in class.
Some of what you described is not misbehaving at all. Asking the same question 100 times is very normal for kids this age. So is the "why" questions. Example: "why is the sky blue", "because God made it that way", "why", "because he made everything perfect", "why". You can get stuck in that loop if you are not careful. The best way around it is to try to avoid answering questions with a simple yes or no, so they don't ask for clarification. You get used to kids asking the same question 100 times, even 1,000 times. I remember I had a child who used to ask "why do we wear shoes" every five minutes.
As you've found out, ignoring a child is not going to help the situation, nor is it going to make the child stop asking questions. Ignoring the child is also considered disrespectful when they are not doing anything wrong, especially in a classroom setting. What you need to do is divert the child's thought pattern into the activity that you are currently doing. For instance, the child who asked "why do we wear shoes" asked when it was snack time, so I said "Amy we wear shoes to protect our feet, do you want to help me get snack ready". If you give children the chance to show that they can be helpers and do good things, they act out less frequently.
The getting up and down from nap is also quite normal. Some kids don't take naps at home. If they don't have naps at home on the weekends, transitioning them into nap time for the school week is hard to do. You can try handing the child a book to "read quietly" and say something like "Brittany, it's okay if you don't want to take a nap but I need you to stay on your cot and read quietly so that the other kids can sleep". Believe it or not, if you offer an alternative to napping, the child will often take it. Sometimes if you give them a book to read quietly, they will settle down on their cot and fall asleep on their own, literally because they had permission not to take a nap.
The other behaviors that you describe are not considered normal for a four year old. Throwing toys over the fence is never acceptable. When this happens usually a time out is the best way to solve it, put the kid away from the playing children and let him simmer down and realize he can't have fun while he's on time out. Tell him when he's ready to apologize and change his behavior he can get out of time out. The lying is also unacceptable, I would bet he has listening and behavior problems at home.
Calling a kid a brat is never acceptable. Disliking a child and wanting them gone is never acceptable. Whether you like a kid or not, you should never feel like you want them gone. Some kids go through phases and behave completely different in six months or a year then they do right now. Some kids stay that way their entire life. When you say you are glad you want the kid gone, what you are essentially saying is if the kid got hit by a car and died, you wouldn't miss them. If that was not your intention in your words, you should be careful how you word things, because parents can see that as threatening. I would never allow a child to be in a classroom where a teacher or worker did not want the child to be there or the child was thought to be a brat.
Your statement that you love that the mom believes a different environment would be a different situation which you believe is false is ludicrous. You have NO IDEA how this child acts at home, in restaurants, outside of the classroom, unless you've spent time with this child outside of the classroom. Having also been a nanny, daycare worker, and babysitter for many years, I can tell you that the way an adult approaches a child, the mixture of the kids, everything down to the temperature of the room can affect a child and sometimes yes, all it takes is a different environment.
I think you really need to examine your heart and see if you have a heart for this age group. It sounds like being among the middle school aged children gave you thick skin, which I commend you for, because I definitely don't have it. Preschoolers on the other hand need love, discipline, acceptance, and plenty of patience. It sounds like you do not have the heart for this type of work.
Jan 04, 2017 |