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CHILD DESTROYING DAY CARE
By Fiona Lohrenz
DESTRUCTIVE CHILD AT A DAYCARE
I drop in on a child care providers discussion forum from time to time and make comments and/or suggestions if I feel I can be of help (or just want to join in on a rant!!). Recently, one of the providers had a terrible ongoing problem with a child who was willfully destroying her property i.e. toys, day care equipment and furniture. The parents laugh it off, ask the child to say an empty "I'm sorry" and offer no discussion nor action for remedy. As you can imagine this poor lady is at her wits end. To date the child has deliberately destroyed over $200 worth of items. All too often day care providers can be faced with very delicate situations when handling difficult behavior in a child.
Sometimes challenging behaviors can be an unavoidable aspect of running a day care. A firm and consistent approach is vital in dealing with same regardless what the reasons for the behavior. "Meet the parents" is a must when it is clear that a child is consistently destructive, aggressive and disruptive. Parent and provider working together is key to dealing with challenging behavior successfully.
Discussion will uncover if similar behavior occurs in the home, if there is a root cause that can help all parties better understand the triggers and reasons for the behavior. Most importantly though, the parent/provider meeting will ensure that a mutual behavior plan is on the table and everyone is on the same page. It is pointless if you are being consistent and constructive in your handling of the child if the same positive actions are not dealt out at home.
Use your behavior policy (you do have one right??) as an outline for formulating an individual plan. Ensure that you put in place a time frame for implementation and a deadline for re-evaluation. It is helpful also to include in your parent handbook/contract details of situations where parents will be expected to cough up for "over the top" damages caused by their child.
Also, consider inserting the "I've had enough" clause when, due to lack of parental cooperation and/or insurmountable behavior issues you will withdraw your service. Requesting professional help may sometimes be necessary and does not indicate failure on the part of either party - sometimes it is the only, constructive way forward.
Owning and operating a day care for 10 years provides Fiona Lohrenz with lots of material for her child care articles. Not to mention her childcare website and DVD guide to Starting a ChildCare business at www.startchildcare.com.
This article was submitted by Fiona Lohrenz for electronic reproduction on www.moondragon.org March 22, 2008. Thank you Fiona for your contribution.
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