Advice for a Daycare Provider

by Joyce
(woodbridge va usa)

I currently do daycare for a 2 1/2 year old boy. I've been his in home daycare provider since he was 18 months. He started showing some behavior signs about a month after he came into my care. He would go into rages and hit and bite the other children and sometimes myself. When I told the mother she said that she thought he had out grown that. So this was an issue before my home. For punishment I would place him in time-out. He would kick scream for 15-30 minutes. He doesn't really enjoy playing with the other children. He will attack the other children if they came to close to him. This is an everyday event. Lately he has started to hurt himself. He will hit his head on the ground or wall when he has been told no, or when his grandmother drops him off in the mornings and she leaves. He will bite himself and scratch himself when told no. I can't even put him at the same table with the children when we do art projects or lunch/snack times, because he will hit them and start screaming and hitting the table.

He has rages sometimes for no reason, he'll be playing by himself and then he'll start screaming and hitting himself. A few weeks ago he was very sad, crying for no reason. Then other times he is just overjoyed and laughing. This can all happen in an hour. I've told the mother and grandmother they have taken him to the doctors but I don't believe they are expressing how bad it really is. His mother also tells me he has night terrors.

Is there anything that I can tell the parents, or that I can

try to help him with the behaviors and rages? He is the one I'm worried about, he can't control the rages. I can only imagine how hard it is for him.

Any advice

Thank You

Hi Joyce:

What a difficult position you are in. I think there are several routes you could take when trying to impress upon the parents how serious you feel this child’s issues are. You could attempt to educate them by providing them with handouts from the internet about these issues you are reporting concern about, for example the self harm.

You could inform them that you care very much about their child but you want to have a conference to discuss how concerned you truly are about the distress he is experiencing. Specifically you could discuss how developmentally his behaviors are not the same as those of other children his age, and clearly indicate he is experiencing a great deal of stress,

I don’t want to offer specific advice about how to handle those behaviors because I am not actually observing them and don’t want to provide inaccurate information. I can tell you, however, that the purpose of time out is to assist children in thinking about what they have done wrong, to remove them from a situation where they are getting in trouble and to assist them with self regulation. If this child is screaming and tantrumming for this length of time that child might not be benefitting from time out.

A child like this requires a lot of flexibility in a daycare setting. Honestly it sounds as if perhaps you need to think about whether your setting is the most appropriate for him. Good luck and thank you for your concern about this child!

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