View Full Version : Trouble at Daycare

Witchy Cowgirl
June 22nd, 2002, 08:34 AM
My youngest is 7 and has never had any trouble adjusting to anything. I actually attributed this to his big brothers who have never treated him like a baby and have always included him in everything. (The brothers are 14 and soon to be 13).
The older two can of course stay home in the summer, but my folks like for them to come to their house for a couple days during the week. Mama said that she can't watch 'em all together 5 days a week so I put the youngest in the extended day care - 3 days a week. This daycare is run by the school system.
He looked forward to his first day because he knew his brothers had gone there when they were younger. Turns out the first day was a mojor wreck.:(
When they changed shift (some workers are part-time) BR (my son) thought it was time to go home. Another reason he thought this was cause the summer school kids were being picked up. (They use one central school building for these summer programs.) So he went out to sit with those kids and wait on me. This was around noon and I don't get there till 4:30. Apparently, his group went to the playground and walked right by him. His leader asked if he was supposed to be with them and he told them he was waiting on me. He sat there till they came back from the playground....and fell asleep! When they came back they took him to the summer school office....who brought him back downststairs and told them he was one of their kids. When I picked him up he told me in front of everybody, "Don't bring me back here anymore, cause I had to cry."
The leader told me what happened. So I tried to make things better by changing his days so that he could go swimming. Well, he didn't want to. I spoke with the administrator and told her the above story. She said she watched him that afternoon and would have questioned anyone who tried to pick him up. I told her of my husbands concern that they might leave BR in the other town they were visiting to go swimming. (Our town pool is closed for repairs) She said they do head counts and I told her they didn't on his first day and that they needed to watch him closer cause he's dad had threatened to come down.
Now BR doesn't want to go period. For swim day or anything. They're going on a field trip to the Space Center in Huntsville and he cried for a night and morning. They don't even go till this coming Thur. and he's worried himself sick. So I signed one of the older brothers up for day care so that he can accompany BR on such trips. Of course that made the kid happy. But how do I get him to accept that he has to go on regular days? All other day cares are filled, my mom can't watch him all the time cause she and my dad both have doctors appointments frequently and even though I could leave him home with the other two and as much as they care for him....of course there's always that sibling rivaly thing going on so that's not an option for the whole summer. It's Sat. morning and he's already come to me saying he doesn't want to go to DayCare and his next day is Tue. and that's swim day.
What can I do to re-instill his confidence?

Cats' mother
June 22nd, 2002, 10:44 AM
Sounds like the family is having a really traumatic time at present - and my advice to you for what it's worth is to try and take one day at a time. I personally think that with one of the older brothers going along, that will help matters - and maybe that is the route that you have to take. There is obviously some serious reason for why he really dislikes the group - and if it is because he ended up crying in front of every one, then that at least gives you a starting point - chat to him about that, possibly refer to other people he has seen crying in front of others and explain to him that it really isn't the end of the world - it sounds like "adult logic" but I think that that is the route you need to go. Try, in terms that he can work with, and in logic that he can work with to "unpack" the whole experience and explain the reasons for the various aspects.

People often end up underestimating kids and end up covering up with "half-truths" etc, he will pick it up. That is why I think you need to spend a little time. You will probably find he was crying because he had some mad thought that you were not coming along to fetch, ad left him there forever, and so on and so forth. It may also have something to do with the fact that he is going along to the day care and his brothers are not and he kind of feels as though there is a little conspiracy going on there. Kids do pick up the strangest kinds of beliefs and theories, and that may just be what he is grappling with. If he starts to understand that the fear that he felt was understandable and what the reasons for it were, maybe that will help him a little.

I have made a number of assumptions here in terms of what is making the little one tick - but at the same time, I hope that some of these comments gel somewhere and will help you get back to the happy family you had - it will happen, but there is no pill in the world that will do that. Lots of love and some time are probably the best healers at the moment.

With regard the day care they ought to be "shot" for allowing the little one to wander out front on his own, etc. I don't care what the head-honcho says about watching over him all along - why did she allow the little scrap to go out there and to stay out there for so long that he eventually fell asleep. I do confess that I would be rather concerned about allowing him to go near a swimming pool with that lot in charge of him - it's all well and good wondering whether he will come home with them - but (sorry to worry you a little more) will they actually watch him when he is at the pool to make sure that he will not come to any harm - will they know that he is one of the kids in their care?

Sorry this latter part is possibly an over-reaction, but I think you need to do some serious questioning in this regard!

All the best. Hope to hear that things are starting to run along smoothly! Love cures all ills!

June 24th, 2002, 07:42 AM
Hmm, having taught in daycare for many years, I must say I am concerned that your son was left outsde by himself for so long. If you were supposed to pick your son up at the time he thought and you didn't show- well that would be a red flag to me. I would have been on the phone trying to contact you. And then if it turned out that you weren't picking up at that time, I would have had the teacher/leader in the office, asking why he was out there unattended.

I would try to talk to your son and see if he can tell you why he doesn't want to go back. Is it because he is scared you won't pick him up, that he cried in front of his friends, and/or that he was left alone? From there you will have a better idea of what to say to him. I'd also talk to the administrator and tell your son that you are going to bat for him. Tell him that you thought this was unacceptable on the part of the school and that you are calling them on it. Sometimes just knowing you have someone in your corner who is going to help makes such a difference in a child's mind. If he knows you are going to stick up for him that could really help boost his confidence.

Good luck. Please let us know what happens. :)

June 24th, 2002, 09:43 AM
I read this twice. What disturbs me most is the center. I understand your feeling of "I have no where else to go". I have myself in a similar situation, however, my son is a bit older than yours. The fact that they left your son unattended is wrong. I'd suggest reporting them, however, I understand that you have very limited options.

Do talk to him. Reassure him that you'll be there to pick him up. He probably is very frightened that they will forget about him again. It takes a long time for a child to forget something like that. And once something traumatic happens to them, at least in my experience, they don't forget it.

Are there any other individuals in your area who could watch your son. I understand that you want him with other children his age doing fun activities, but after the experience he has had, it may be difficult for him.

Definitely talk to him and try to find out what exactly makes him scared about going back. And if you don't get the desired response from the administrator, I say, report them.

Yvonne Belisle
June 24th, 2002, 12:22 PM
You may want to look into a private home daycare situation. I would also report that center I was disturbed by this as well and the advice you got on your son I think was right on the money.

June 26th, 2002, 01:57 PM
Find a day care center not run by idiots. (hint - the school building is not the best place to look).

June 26th, 2002, 02:21 PM
I agree with the others about the fact your son was left outside all afternoon. I can see 1/2 hour but not 4 or 5 hours like that. Kinda makes you wonder just how concientious they really are.

What about having his older brothers help watch him on the couple days a week that your mom can't? Most kids are babysitting at 13 and 14. You can pay them something as an incentive.

Ben Gruagach
June 26th, 2002, 10:13 PM
If you decide you do want your son to go to this daycare, it might help if he has a friend there that he can look forward to seeing. Does he have any friends you know of who are also in the daycare? You might want to invite the friend over to your house for a "play date" when you're home (on a weekend, perhaps) to reinforce your son's friendship, and perhaps ask the friend about the fun things they do at the daycare.

It also might help to explain to your son that crying isn't a sign of weakness - it is a sign of a strong person who can cry in front of someone else. Maybe mention that people who can cry in front of others for television and movies get paid a lot to do that. Maybe talk about an actor you know your son admires, and talk about how he or she cried in a show or movie and how everyone still thinks that person is a strong, good person.

If you decide to have one of your older kids babysit the young one, make it out like a real business deal like you would with any other babysitter. Explain the rules of what you expect, and what the compensation will be. The older one will more likely treat it seriously if you treat it seriously, and treat them like you would an adult who you're having babysit. Just be sure to explain what the expectations are for babysitting.

And if you do decide to have your son go back to the daycare, be sure to talk with the people who run it, and also the actual adults who spend the time with the kids. Make sure they are VERY CLEAR that when you entrust your child to their care, they are to SUPERVISE and not leave a kid unattended out front of the school for hours at a time! They are very lucky nothing bad happened, but should be bending over backwards to make sure you are confident it will never happen again.

And the daycare people should also be doing something about making your son feel welcome. Ignoring his fears and concerns won't make them go away. Talk to the daycare people and ask them what they're going to do to help your son feel welcome again after the ordeal he went through. The daycare abandoned your son, not you, so of all people who should be working overtime to make things right it is them.

Witchy Cowgirl
June 26th, 2002, 10:34 PM
:) I want to thank all of you for your advise and your concerns. I have been itchin to let all of ya know what has been happenin this week but wanted to see if things were actually gonna jell before tellin ya'll anything elese.

I decided against reportin the idots (Illuminatus, I laughed when I read your post - idots!, that was my first reaction to the situtation.) (Oh, and WildChild, just to clarify, they didn't leave him for 4-5 hrs - the time they did leave him was bad enough - I was just stating that it was around noon when the shift change took place and I don't get there till 4:30)

I knew I had to turn this around for BR, making it a growing situtation if I could. My mom and I both felt this was just something that he had to do, to regain his confidence. I have talked extensively with the administrator and BR's leader and a couple other leaders there. They know I wasn't the most pleased with the events that took place. And believe me, they know they don't want the kids dad to come down there.
Most importantly I've (we've - brothers and dad) talked with BR. I have to thank Cats' Mother for opening my eyes to the fact that BR may actually have blamed me for not being there to pick him up when he thought I should be. That never once crossed my mind. And it turns out that he didn't understand why the big kids didn't have to go. THANKS!

Basically we told him that even though the leaders made a mistake that he had to take controll of himself. When they lined them up to go somewhere, ask questions, ask where they're goin, how long they'll be gone, when they should be gettin back....etc. I know a kid shouldn't have to do that, but it's something that he can do and it certainly won't hurt a thing. And that's part of what I told the leaders, if he asks, ANSWER HIM. Not with wait and see, but a real answer.

Tue. morning was difficult, but I had told BR that I'd give him something that would help if he wanted me too. I made a bracelet. A decorated silver bead representing the family in the middle, a white bead on one side to bring him good, happy thoughts, and a black bead on the other to block out bad thoughts. The leather thong that held it all together was like the love that holds our family together. Two knots on the outside of the beads, one showing me dropping him off in the morning, and the other me picking him up in the afternoon. And tying it on his arm was the family returning home and being togther again in the evening.

It turns out that my mom picked him up Tue. afternoon. She told me she loved his "bravery bracelet" and BR told her and me that it worked! This morning was alot easier. Tomorrow is the trip to the Space Center - with the middle son going along. They are both looking forward to it.

So, as disturbing as the situation was....I'm thankful that it is better. I'm also thankful that BR is fairly mature for his age (again thanks to his brothers) and is gonna be able to buck up, learn, and carry on.

Again, many thanks to you all for your concerns. It gave me a warm feeling knowing that you all were out there....somewhere....and concerned about my kid.

Warmest and Brightest Blessings to you all.

Yvonne Belisle
June 26th, 2002, 11:14 PM
I'm so glad this was turned into something positive for him sometimes we tend to miss out on great oportunities I have to admit I myself probably would have missed out on it. With people like you guys to bounce things off of maybe I will find more teaching oportunities that I didn't see myself. :)

June 28th, 2002, 05:00 AM
Witchy, I'm glad to hear everything is working out so well for your son. :) That's a great idea about the bravery bracelet.

June 28th, 2002, 12:49 PM
I'm happy to hear all worked out! That bravery bracelt was a great idea. I bet now he'll have one of the best summers ever. :cool:

Cats' mother
June 28th, 2002, 02:35 PM
Witchy - it's great to hear that it has all worked out so well. I hope that things just go from strength to strength!

June 30th, 2002, 08:02 AM
I am glad too, that it worked out fine! The bracelet was a great idea.

Wildchild, didn't you use something similar with your son at one time? For some reason, I think I remember youtelling me that when my son was having a rough time going into kdg. *scratches head*


July 2nd, 2002, 01:41 AM
Yup! The one I made for my son is a protection bracelet. To keep him safe from harm. I never thought about using the beads to represent different things the way Witchy Cowgirl did in her bracelet.

BTW, my son still wears his bracelet. :)