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Daycare Bullies

Mar21

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Hi, Amalah,

I know you just answered a weird-daycare-situation question recently — it’s actually what has prompted my own query — but I could really use your and your readers’ advice on the following situation.

I have a two-year old boy in a part-time, licensed, at-home daycare. The provider is loving and wonderful, but among the children she cares for is her aggressive four-year old son. Over the last half-year, I’ve watched this child become increasingly aggressive: I’ve seen him throw a wooden block at a three-month old’s face, push my own son into a bookcase; push another child down a slide, and lay my son out flat because he wanted the crayons with which my son played. There have also been mysterious bruises or little cuts that the provider believes (and tells me very apologetically) that her son caused.

Each of these times, the provider was there, and she said something, but she is just not a discipliner/boundary-setter (and not just when it comes to her own son…). I realize as I’m typing this out how stupid it is that I haven’t really brought this up to her, but I haven’t (I mean, in the moment that the event occurs, and I’m right there, I say something to her son [I know that reprimanding other people’s children is not always appropriate, but I cannot not say something when a four-year old purposefully throws a toy at a baby’s face]) and to her.

I just don’t know if I should address this situation more seriously/more specifically, and if I should, how. First, I now pretty much (irrationally) hate her son (I know this is totally ridiculous), so I’m not sure how objective I’m being about the situation. Second, I have a hard time envisioning what I will say if I do bring it up–am I expecting her to just be aware of my concerns or to actually do something, and if the latter, what would that be? I’m a little afraid that if I do bring it up as a concern she might stop telling me when she thinks her son is responsible for my own son’s injuries.

Complicating the situation is that my provider is currently pregnant. She recognizes that her son is going to have a very difficult time adjusting to the baby (he routinely punches her in the stomach when the baby talk starts up), and I’m contemplating pulling him out of the situation when the new baby arrives because I really don’t know how the older child is going to deal with the situation. Doubly complicating the situation is that I’m pregnant, too, and my son really likes and is so comfortable at this daycare situation. I do not want to totally unnecessarily disrupt his life (although we’re currently in the process of selling our house and trying to move, so that ship has pretty much sailed) right before his own brother or sister comes and rocks his world. Basically, I’m just not sure if this is something I definitely should address with my provider (and if so, how) and/or pull out my son, OR if this kind of aggression is within the bounds of normal and really is what I will see more and more of as I continue to parent. What would you (and your readers) do?

Thank you for your help,
M

DANGER WILL INTERNETSON, YOUR ADVICE COLUMN IS RAPIDLY SPINNING OUT OF YOUR REALM OF EXPERTISE!!

Standard disclaimer here: I am not a super-experience daycare veteran. I used the infant room at a Kindercare for a few short months, and that’s it. Ever since, my sending-children-off-into-the-care-of-another experiences have all been either half-day preschools or our part-time, in-home (while-I-am-also-home) babysitter.

First though, let’s talk about irrationally hating other people’s kids. HA! We’ve all done it, or come close to it, I promise. Even if you know, logically, WHY this poor kiddo is acting this way (an overly-permissive mother he already has to “share” all day with other kids, the growing realization that he’ll now have to “share” her all the time with a new sibling), that doesn’t always override your natural reaction of “Wow, what a brat.” Trust me, been there, done that, had to have a “talk” with a super-nice neighbor lady about the marker I had to wash off my playroom walls and could Noah have the MONEY YOUR KID STOLE FROM HIM back please.

So while it’s good to not overreact in situations where you’re silently thinking “stay away from my child, Bad Seed,” you also can’t ignore the facts of this particular situation: Your two-year-old is getting regularly injured by an angry, overly-aggressive four-year-old. Again, I’ve never used a mixed-age in-home daycare setting, but let me tell you that this sort of behavior DOES NOT FLY in pretty much any other childcare/school environment on earth. You are NOT allowed to attend local preschools if you are a serial hitter/biter/toy thrower, and that no tolerance policy starts at like, age 2 or 3. I get a call from Noah’s principal if another child so much as pushes him in the recess line. I had to sign an “incident” report at the YMCA swim camp last summer because Noah accidentally whipped a kid in the legs WITH A TOWEL.

Draconian? Maybe, but at least I’m fairly confident that MOST of the bumps and bruises my kids come home with are 1) self-inflicted, or 2) accidental. And that if it did involve another child, I know that it was dealt with properly and seriously.

So…is there a reason this four-year-old kid isn’t in a “real” preschool setting by now? Besides his mom wanting to save money, or she feels qualified to homeschool him while caring for multiple younger children (including INFANTS)? Because lord, this kid really, really needs to be exposed to some outside rules and structure, otherwise he (and his mom) are in for a really rough go of it in kindergarten.

I realize none of this offers a solution to your problem. I just want to point out that I don’t think you’re overreacting because you’re pregnant and irrationally going Mama Bear on someone else’s kid. This is a pretty big safety issue — it would be bad enough if your son got accidentally seriously injured at daycare, but even worse if you kind of knew that there was regular, escalating aggression going unchecked and didn’t intervene. Throwing a block can result in stitches. A four-year-old “laying out” a much smaller toddler can result in broken bones.

The upset to your son’s routine: oh, man, I feel you there. There are a lot of big chances you’re already throwing at him so I COMPLETELY understand your hesitation to put him through another one. But! Here’s the but:

You say your son is happy and comfortable there. That’s good…except is it really a good thing for him to be all that comfortable in an environment where he’s being injured and/or bullied on a fairly regularly basis? And the adult in charge isn’t doing enough to protect him and put a stop to the aggression? Have you ever witnessed him cringe or recoil from the older boy? Is he coping by simply tossing whatever toy the kid wants and fleeing? Or is he learning to fight back? Does he ever look to his care provider to DO something or has he already processed the fact that she’s probably not paying attention to his problem?

If he’s not doing any of these things: Good. But I’d put money on him doing them soon. This kid’s behavior (and his mom’s reaction to it) has a deeper impact on your son than just the “marks and bruises.”

Ezra attends a Montessori preschool, and in a mixed-age class. It’s age three to six, basically preschool up to kindergarten. The benefits to a mixed-age class are that the younger ones naturally look up to their older peers, and will model/mimic their behavior and basically learn from them AND the teacher. So…what is your son learning from this boy? Throwing blocks at babies? Punching adults? Using his hands instead of his words? How to get away with stuff when the grown-ups are distracted?

What is he learning from this boy’s mother? That those actions don’t have consistent, serious consequences?

It’s unlikely that there’s much you can do or say to her that will deliver instant results: You probably aren’t going to convince her to change her entire parenting style. You can certainly start asking — when she super-apologetically admits that her son “probably” was the one who caused a bruise — what sort of disciplinary actions/consequences she uses to address aggression in the group (be it her son or someone else). You can express your discomfort if you are not happy with her answer, since uh, that doesn’t seem to be working out too well, you know? You can ask if she has plans to move her son to a part-time non-mom-in-charge preschool environment anytime soon.

It came up in the grandma-as-caregiver column and it’s kind of true here, too. Obviously we need to be flexible and understand that other people aren’t going to do everything the way WE would do it, and that comes to parenting and childcare. It’s good to expose our children to those differences…to a point. And personally, for me, that point is somewhere south of letting aggression go unchecked and undisciplined.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

About the author

Amalah

http://www.amalah.com
Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy's daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it's pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to amyadvice@gmail.com.

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.


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31 Responses to “Daycare Bullies”

  1. MR Mar 21 at 11:52 am Reply Reply

    OMG! Pull your son from there!! That is NOT normal aggression. Yes, 4 year olds can be a little rough. Yes, they don’t understand the consequences of their actions. They might throw a block not understanding it is going to hit the baby. BUT THAT IS WHY THE ADULT IS THERE. The adult is supposed to stop these things from happening and discipline the child appropriately. This is NOT happening here. Scrapes and bruises happen when kids play. But this kid sounds like he is running around unchecked. Your dislike shouldn’t be on him, but on his mom. It is HER job to keep him in check and explain the consequences of his actions. And she is simply failing to do so. Being a daycare provider requires you also discipline the children. That’s for their own good and safety. She isn’t doing that. I don’t care how loving she is, she is not doing her JOB.
    About 6 months after our nanny began working for us, she got custody of her niece who was 4. Our dd was 1 at the time. Our nanny couldn’t afford to put her in daycare (and it was summer so no school), so we agreed to her bringing her niece to work each day. A couple of weeks into this new arrangement, I got a call from my husband saying we needed to fire our nanny. Shocked, since we had just been talking about how lucky we were to have her, I asked what happened. The niece took one of those pull toys and was swinging it around by the string in the air and it whacked our darling daughter upside the head. He was furious his daughter had been hurt. I wasn’t thrilled, but asked what the nanny was doing and how she reacted. The niece had just started swinging it and the nanny was in the middle of telling her to put it down when our dd got hurt. The nanny immediately put the niece in timeout, comforted our dd, and made the niece apologize after with an explanation of why she couldn’t do that with toys. Exactly what was necessary, and what I would have done if they had been siblings. That’s what you want from a daycare provider. And that’s what your gut is telling you. Your problem isnt the son. It is the mom.

    • Kate Apr 04 at 10:23 am Reply Reply

      Ooh, the over-protective papa bear reaction, I know it well. DH still isn’t speaking to his best friend (since middle school!) after said best friend’s son (who is 15 months older) purposefully hit our two year old in the face with a very large toy 4 months ago. Did they handle it perfectly? No, but they didn’t handle it terribly either.

  2. Jeannie Mar 21 at 12:15 pm Reply Reply

    I agree with the first commenter — that’s not permissible 4 year old behaviour. Is it understandable, given his situation? Sure. But I have plenty of experience with group daycare, and while that behaviour would gently be corrected in a one or two year old, in a four year old it would most definitely not be tolerated. Honestly I think the bad experiences your son is having trumps the comfort level — I had to move my son from one less than ideal situation to a better one, and he settled in very well, without much problem, and *I* felt so much better because he was being responded to.

    Something has to change — either the mom needs to step up or you need to move.

  3. Cassie Mar 21 at 12:18 pm Reply Reply

    I have to agree with MR here. This isn’t a one-time issue, it is a pattern of aggression that isn’t being dealt with. I use a licensed, in-home daycare provider, too (although she has been doing this for 30 years, her grandson is about four years old). One of the things I love about my daycare is that she is super-strict about manners and rules. There is no running when one of the infants is in the playroom – even though the infants are always either in a exersaucer or a pack-n-play. There is no throwing. There are defined consequences for actions, regardless of who is doing it. Her grandson is very rough-and-tumble, but he is really one of the best-behaved kids, because she is so consistent. He has lots of bruises and scrapes, but they’re because he has a tendency to climb and fall off stuff (for which he gets reprimanded). 
    I look to her for discipline advice for my kid, because she has a demonstrated track record of awesome kids. Some of the kids she watches now are the children of kids she watched when she first started. 
    I’m sure your daycare provider means well, and it’s great that your son likes her, but it isn’t a good situation for him, and it sounds like it is likely to get worse. It sounds like she is in over her head. I would find a new place for your son now, before your new one arrives, so that he has some stability in his life before the new sibling comes along. Be honest with her about why you are leaving. It will be tough, but maybe it will help her see the problem clearly if her son is causing her to lose business. 
    Also, what is she planning to do when her new baby is born? Is she taking time off? I would be really concerned about her ability to look after a brand-new baby and her other charges. I could barely manage to feed myself those first few weeks after my son was born. If you were going to find alternate care for a while after her baby came, maybe that could be a permanent switch? 
    Kids are flexible. He will struggle with the change, and then he will learn to love the new daycare, too. Chances are he won’t even remember the first one. 

  4. c Mar 21 at 12:18 pm Reply Reply

    As the previous commenter said, the problem is the Mom and not the son. Sadly, the son will largely bear the consequences of her inaction at this young age. Although not exactly the same, we stopped trading off once per week childcare with a freiend who didn’t appropriately/sufficiently address her 2 year old’s aggression towards our daughter (although when he was at our house we responded quickly, and his behavior was largely fine after a while). I was concerned not only about our daughter being injured (that kid had a serious swing), but about the messages that she was recieving by going there. It went beyond the message that poor behavior wasn’t repremanded, but that I was willing to put her in harm’s way. Find a new provider….your gut is telling you that and you should listen.

  5. the grumbles Mar 21 at 12:26 pm Reply Reply

    Holy bananas. We also use a home-based provider with mixed ages and where provider’s children intermingle with the paying-kids. I’ve had my share of concerns where I glare at that-one-kid setting a bad example and particular kids just not getting along very well, but nothing to this level.

    You need to have full confidence that she is in control. Period. It’s one thing for kids to argue or push or do typical “sibling” style behavior when they’re together all day– this is at a different level. I wouldn’t be satisfied that she’s handling it ENOUGH. Age + repeat offenses + her not setting boundaries paint a bad picture here.

    It’s time to bite the bullet and have a probably very awkward conversation with her to voice your concerns. The most important thing is having complete trust in your provider to act in your stead when you’re not there.

  6. Christina Mar 21 at 12:36 pm Reply Reply

    To summarize: mom, not 4-year-old has the (initial) problem. Get your kid out. Don’t question your judgment so much. And do it quickly. Yuck.

  7. SarahB Mar 21 at 12:36 pm Reply Reply

    I would pull my child from such a setting, and I would strongly consider filing a complaint with the state licensing agency.  

  8. Jimmy Mar 21 at 12:45 pm Reply Reply

    I could maybe, maybe, see working through this if the provider’s kid was a toddler.  But a four year old?!  No.  No, no, no.  Four is big enough to actually hurt the younger kids, and he does so without repercussions.  And by four, my guess is these actions are officially habitual.  He can change, but not quickly.  Yikes.  I’d pull my kid out of that daycare.  The provider isn’t doing her job.  

    Maybe the kid is off to school soon, but I don’t have high hopes for the second baby turning out much better.  

  9. Olivia Mar 21 at 12:51 pm Reply Reply

    I’d probably have one last talk with the daycare provider and tell her if this behavior doesn’t improve soon, in a couple weeks maybe, I’m finding someplace else for my son. There is just no way I would be comfortable with my child being bullied on a regular basis.

    Also, wow. Maybe I’ve just not had much exposure to aggressive children, but punching his mom in the stomach sounds a lot more serious than just acting out. I’m pregnant with my second and the worst my 3 yr old has done is say she’s not happy to see her (soon to be born) brother. No hitting, no raging, just not happy with him right now.

  10. Amy Mar 21 at 12:51 pm Reply Reply

    I would take my child out of that situation immediately.  If this woman is so spectacularly failing at raising her own son, why on earth would you let her help raise yours!?

    If you leave him there 8-9 hours a day, there’s a good chance that he’s going to grow into a 4 year old that you hate, too.  Then what?

    RUN!

  11. Lauren Mar 21 at 1:05 pm Reply Reply

    Pull him out! YOU’re the mama bear – protect your cub!!

    I’ve already pulled my son from one daycare (he’s 6 months old) because we were unhappy, so it’s a little hard for me to see NOT pulling him out. You gotta do what you gotta do to make sure ALL entities are happy – not just your son. Are you going to stress over the situation if you leave him there? Are you going to work as hard as you did before these problems came up? Are you going to be able to even concentrate on work knowing you have your son there (and possibly other child too?). Children are flexible and adaptable. (Yes yes they need stability too) but you need to make sure you’re ALL happy. And you obviously aren’t (NOT THAT I BLAME YOU!!)

    GOOD LUCK! AND TRUST THE GUT!

  12. liz Mar 21 at 1:15 pm Reply Reply

    I would take my child out as soon as I found an alternative arrangement, and I would make finding an alternate arrangement a priority. And I would tell the mom WHY you are doing so.

  13. Hannah Mar 21 at 1:20 pm Reply Reply

    Dayhome provider here, chiming in – yes, remove your child. That is totally unacceptable behaviour in a four year old, and as one other commenter said, if she can’t control her own child you can be very sure that she is not doing right by the other kids in her care, either.

    I had a bully here about a year ago (not my kid) and after a month of his unchecked and remorseless hitting, kicking, pushing, and toy-throwing, I told his parents he was no longer welcome. It was for the safety of the other kids in my care – including my own – and the peace of mind of my other clients.

    Also, I had my third child in January. My husband took 14 weeks of parental leave to help me while I had a newborn. I lightened my client load and my other two children are awesome – and it was still exhausting and took every ounce of my internal resources for the first couple of months to keep up with everyone and my new baby, too. From the sounds of it, your DCP doesn’t have control of the situation now – this will not improve when the new baby arrives.

  14. Erin Mar 21 at 1:25 pm Reply Reply

    To me the biggest issue here is that the daycare provider is not a competent disciplinarian. Aggression in toddlers and preschoolers is part of life, as are minor injuries, but it’s the fact that the mother does not seem to be able to handle these incidents appropriately that make me think she is not a good care provider for your son. 

    As far as transitions go, I’m currently pregnant and have a 2 year old. Advice from our pediatrician was not to make any big changes within a month of baby’s birth on either side, if possible. If you still have a little time, seize the day!

  15. KelleyD Mar 21 at 2:33 pm Reply Reply

    I’m a SAHM so I have ZERO daycare experience to speak of and all of our baby-sitting needs are filled by my parents who live close by. We do however belong to a regular playgroup and behavior of this kind is NOT tolerated period in even that casual setting. I don’t think I would give it a week or a month or anything to pull your son out, I would give it as long as it takes to find a new provider and that is it. Period. We have our third on the way at the moment, and my oldest was nearly 4 when our second was born and he was nothing but excited and loving to the belly when we were expecting #2. I personally think that this little boy could benefit from some sort of counseling, or even just a “big brother” type class maybe. I know our local hospital offers those to help expectant older siblings get excited about the arrival of their new sibling. I just can’t imagine that kind of aggression and abuse being tolerated by the mom. Kind of blows my mind she allows it to go on towards herself.

  16. lolismum Mar 21 at 2:35 pm Reply Reply

    I agree, pull him out when you find alternative daycare and make sure the mom knows exactly why you are leaving.

    Another thing to alleviate you concerns. Kids are adaptable. At your child’s age, it does not take them long to adapt to a new daycare and they don’t remember the old one. I have two kids, 5 and 7. They have been to preschools, summer camps (in two different countries, two different languages), had 3 different full/part time nannies over the years, they are fine. Find a happy and safe place and don’t fret over the transition. Good luck.

  17. Jolene Mar 21 at 3:17 pm Reply Reply

    Whoo Boy! That daycare provider needs to get an Old Priest and a New Priest to deal with that Demon child she has got on her hands. That is NOT normal behavior for a 4 year old. At 4, they know what they are doing when they lash out physically. I have NO problem going Mama Bear on a kid that hurts mine. Sometimes Kids can be assholes just like grown up people.

  18. tasterspoon Mar 21 at 5:04 pm Reply Reply

    I feel so petty wishing my daughter’s in-home daycare changed her cloth diapers more often.

    This is awful. As so many have said, your child is being injured and nothing is being done to stop it? Imagine instead of the boy your son (and the other clients) were being regularly bitten by your daycare provider’s dog – surely a mere apology wouldn’t cut it, you’d want that dog OUT of there. YESTERDAY. And frankly, just bringing it up and hoping your provider will change her methods is not promising. I agree with others that in addition to voicing your concerns, you need to remove your son. Consider that if he’s happy there, he may be even HAPPIER somewhere else.

    My daughter’s at an in-home daycare and while it’s not perfect (see diapers) they have some blanket rules that are non-negotiable, such as, you must be seated while eating. One rule is that no child can touch an infant for any reason. Sometimes I’ve thought it was a little harsh when the provider stopped a toddler from trying to hand a baby a toy or something but I can totally see the reason for having black and white rules (even sweet kids can be clumsy or misguided) and am fully supportive of her running a tight ship because it is a sign of professionalism and protects my daughter. It sounds like your provider hasn’t figured out these sorts of limits, which makes me question what kind of thought your provider has put into caring for these children.

    Amy and the previous commenters provide so many reasons to rescue your son from known danger, it’s a no-brainer to me. I know the critical conversations are hard, but this is really serious and, however well meaning your provider may seem, she is holding herself out as a professional so you should address her as one and her (possible) failure to respond as one should not be your concern. Put this place in your rear-view mirror and don’t look back. Frankly, I’d inform the other parents of what you’ve seen and why you’re leaving, if they’re not already aware.

  19. Kara Mar 21 at 5:41 pm Reply Reply

    I had a similar situation when I was trading childcare with my SIL. Her son had shown some aggressive behavior that culminated in her then 4 year-old strangling my then 2 year-old. Her response was to spank him then return him immediately to playing with my son and say to both of our kids, “We need to be kind to each other.” Although my son was not physically hurt I lost it and let her know that my son would not be allowed in her care anymore as she obviously did not take her son’s behavior as seriously as I did. This caused a huge family rift; my in-laws sided with her and did not speak to us for 3 months.

    I say this because if you see aggressive behavior now, it will only escalate, especially with the added stress of a new baby. Go ahead and switch your son. If your gut tells you this situation isn’t right, don’t wait to be proven correct.

  20. AmyRenee Mar 21 at 9:49 pm Reply Reply

    besides all the discipline issues (which are a big deal, don’t get me wrong), it seems you also have a logistics issue – what are you going to do with your kid (kids? You didn’t say who was due first) when her baby is born? I can’t imagine she’ll want to be babysitting with a 2 week old, so what will you do then? You will have to come up with an alternate plan for childcare, which would definitely be a change in routine. Given that, combined with the discipline issue, I think it is time for you to find a new care provider now so you can get your son used to it before the baby comes.

  21. Mandi Mar 22 at 8:46 am Reply Reply

    The thing that really gets me is your having another baby – your son may be handeling this ok (which I would pull him out regardless) but he’s a toddler and can run away. Are you actually thinking about putting a defenseless baby with this little terror? Add in that she will have her OWN little baby to handle and things could get very ugly.

    Also, I’m curious, how many children does she watch? Because the additon of her and your new babies might push her over the 6 child limit and you would need to find a new daycare provider anyway.

  22. Therese Mar 22 at 9:15 am Reply Reply

    Most of the previous commenters have covered the issue related to the daycare strucure and the toddler’s behavior, so I won’t repeat. What I will offer is that I have experience with (an almost) 2 year old and a newborn and switching childcare. In my situation, our daycare only served children from birth through age 2 so we knew our son would have to move. Our son was 22 months old when his baby sister arrived. We kept him at his original daycare provider for the first few weeks after she was born and then kept him at home. Both my husband and I were on leave so after having a few weeks to adjust with the new baby it was silly to pay for expensive childcare and drive the 30 minutes each way (provider near my work, NOT my home…won’t do that again!) to transport him every day. After he turned two, we moved him to his new daycare/montessori school (daycare only until age 3, then can transition to the montessori program). I was still at home on maternity leave, so we were able to start him just a few hours a day and work up to full-day. I admit, it was hard, much harder than I expected. He never cried when being left before and it broke my heart to hear him cry at the new place. It took about 2 weeks of adjusment and then he was fine. I do sometimes wonder if it would have been easier on him to just switch and not spend 6 weeks at home with me. At this point, I’ll never know. The end message though is that we had a few weeks of morning tears and transition but it all worked out. Good luck with whatever you decide!

  23. andrea Mar 22 at 1:02 pm Reply Reply

    I was in a similar daycare situation as a child.  I was in an in-home setting where one child was a bully.  He beat me up and bullied me everyday until one day I ended up in the er with a concussion.  The child was finally removed.  I know my mother up to that point had numerous conversations with the provider, but nothing changed until I had the concussion.  Don’t wait for something serious to happen.

  24. S Mar 22 at 5:24 pm Reply Reply

    No daycare experience here, but as a pregnant mom with a four year old son (who believe me is quite the handful and no angel by any means) I can tell you I would NEVER tolerate him hitting my belly! Once a kid is beyond the toddler stage and has a few years under their belt of gently absorbing the “we don’t hit” rule, that kind of stuff is completely NOT age appropriate and should not be tolerated for a second. There should be a definite consequence, not just a reprimand, for something like that.

    Of course kids sometimes have a hard time adjusting to new siblings and one has to understand that, but beating up on their mom’s bellies is not an ok way to express themselves, and they need to know it! This mom sounds like a complete pushover and frankly a wimp who is already intimidated by her own kid. Not. Okay. I don’t even know this family and I feel worried for her new baby!
    By all means, get your own babies away from this family! I’m sure she’s not a bad person, but maybe this is the wake up call she needs to find her inner Parent and do right by her own kid and the others she is in charge of.

  25. Diane Mar 22 at 9:44 pm Reply Reply

    Pull him now! My daughter attended preschool with another boy at age 4.  When we arrived to pick her up with toddler son in tow (who had never encountered boy before) he was tackled and sent flying to the floor (at 15 months)!

    He was kicked out soon after.

    Fast forward to grade school and school offered summer day camp.  Great mature counsellors and loads of supervision.  Outside every day, swimming once a week etc.  Kids loved it.  The same boy was at camp and tried to DROWN my son on several occasions.  Daughter and counsellors intervened each time and I was told about incidents.  

    Boy was kicked out of school that same year (independent school) and was refused a spot in camp the next year.  There are kids (sadly) that pose a real threat and your caregiver’s son sounds like he is on his way.  Punching his mother’s pregnant abdomen is shocking!  No way would I allow my child to continue in that environment.

    Good luck!

  26. Katie Mar 26 at 8:45 pm Reply Reply

    I had a situation where I did not agree with my at home provider’s discipline.  Basically she did not discipline her own children, which was fine when mine was a baby.  Her 2 year old and 5 year old would fight over a toy and the 2 year old would shriek until she got her way.  She yelled at the older one to give it to her.  One day I had them over for a birthday party and her kids knocked over my living room chair.  she didn’t even yell at them – I had to.  It actually ended up that she couldn’t watch him soon after, which was a blessing, and I didn’t really have to end up having the conversation.  My new in home provider (who I found on craiglist, actually) is VERY professional and writes down everything.  When I pick up my son now, she makes her own kids say hi and use manners.  She disciplines them when I am there.  She is great and I am so happy we made the switch!!!  It will work out, I had a week to find my new one before going back to work!!!

  27. Amy Mar 28 at 11:43 am Reply Reply

    I find it interesting how quickly everyone judges the mom for the son’s behavior. There may be more here than meets the eye. I have an Aspie daughter who has had issues with aggression since she was tiny, and let me tell you, traditional parenting did NOTHING to change it for the better. It’s been a long, hard road, and the judgements of strangers haven’t made it any easier. To assume this mom is doing nothing to remedy the situation… Well, it may be true, it may not. You have no idea what goes on in that home or what other issues that family is dealing with. Just something I had to get off my chest. :)

    Back to the original question. Despite what I said above, I would find another provider, even if it means disrupting your son’s schedule. Regardless of the cause, the environment in that daycare is unsafe for the other children. When my dd was at her worst I wouldn’t have dreamed of caring for other kids, especially infants. It sounds like this mom needs to focus on her son and his new sib, and take a break from the home daycare scene.

  28. Dmom Mar 29 at 10:16 am Reply Reply

    Leave…now. At home daycare is a lovely alternative to daycare centers where smaller kids especially get the same love and attention that they would at home. When it is done right!!! I had a licensed daycare meaning I fulfilled regulatory requiments in our region similar to those that are required by YMCA’s and other sorts of places. I submitted to a police check on an annual basis, I had my level C CPR, I had all sorts of safety equipment in my home checked quarterly by my supervisor, I attended workshops on planning, implementing and following up with diciplinary actions, as well as doing “fun” things with the kids. (I put the fun in parenthesis because they were secretly educational…don’t tell the kids) All in all I had 7 kids in my care from 730 am to 530 pm every day, monday to friday.

    If any of those kids were bruised or nicked or otherwise injured I had to submit and injury report to my supervisor (who droped in once a month to check up on us), to the parents, and keep a copy in my file. These were kept track of and there was a line that crossed from regular kid injury’s to ” not so regular, take away her license”. Your provider has crossed that line and unfortunately for her it’s costing her business. You have to ask yourself, if she’s that relenting with her own kids, how is she with other kids?? How is it that kids are coming home hurt and she had no one to answer to other than you who is (resonably I’m sure) uncomfortable to say anything about it. Bottom line, this woman shouldn’t have a daycare, and you shouldn’t be a part of it. Please don’t let it spoil you on at home daycare though, just find someone who is licensed!!

  29. Jen Apr 13 at 9:07 am Reply Reply

    I am a home daycare provider. I do not have children of my own, so I am speaking strictly as a daycare provider. Just a few thoughts:
    1) A child that age does NOT need to be in an organized preschool setting. Not required, and shouldn’t be something that someone uses as a mark against this mther. Not to say he couldn’t benefit from that environment and outside authority, just saying that she has every right ot keep him home if she wishes.
    2) It is unfair for you to ask this mother to change her parenting to suit your needs. How would you feel if she told you that you needed to adjust your parenting to suit her? Yes, I understand that her job puts her son in daily contact with other children and yes she should be doing somehting more proactive about the situation. My point is that your place is to decide what YOU will do about YOUR child, not what you want HER to do with HER child.
    3)In my opinion, as a provider, you need to find other care for your son and coming child. It is clear that you no longer 100% trust this person with your child’s safety. Most of that comes with not really liking the son, but with this warm and loving provider comes her bratty son, so if you don’t like one, don’t stay there. period.

  30. Emily Feb 10 at 5:23 pm Reply Reply

    I also have a 2 year old boy in a home daycare provider….and I’m pregnant too. If it were me, I would remove the child immediately. Your son loves the daycare – I get it. But, he’s 2–He’ll get over it. On his last day, I would explain (in person or in email) the reasoning behind the decision to leave. Not to insult her parenting skills but to give her feedback on how she operates her business and why you have decided to take your business elsewhere. I would also file a complaint with the state.

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