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How Can I Support This Parent?


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Hi

 

Sorry Ladies and gents but once again I need some advice.

 

I have a parent at my nursery who has two young sons, one is three the other four and has started school. This mother is a single parent and has a very small support circle consisting of her ex partner and her own mum. Her ex partner plays a very small part in the boys lives and is very inconsistent in his approach and the mum feels he is of no help at all. Her own mum is very critical of her and tends to put her down regarding her parenting.

 

So the problem is these children, in particular the four year old, show very extreme behaviour and anger towards their mother however they do not display anything like this at nursery or school. They are polite and respectful little boys yet at home they are destructive, they swear and yell and hit their mother and are basically very very demanding.

 

I have chatted with the mum about the importance of her being consistent and firm in approach etc and given her some basic behaviour management suggestions however this does not seem to be working, the mother is becoming down and depressed and I think she feels shes in a vicious cycle and she doesnt know how to stop or control her boys.

 

The children themselves are lovely but it is seen that they behave very differently in their mothers presence but I have noticed lately that the older child in particular is becoming very emotional.

 

I obviously know and understand the correct 'procedures' here but I so desperately want to help this mother get past this and start to enjoy her time with her children so both they and her can be happy.

 

So I'm wondering if any one has pearls of wisdom or ideas for intervention methods or suggested practice I can pass on - anything really.

 

Many Thanks and apologies for the essay.

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I don't know if this is the right answer for you, but I have taken aprt in and once run a course called 'From Pram to Primary School - Parenting Small Children from birth to age six or seven' by Michael & Terri Quinn.It's published by the Family Caring Trust and I believe you can order from them online. They were based in Ireland I think. It may have changed since I did it but it's probably stil in use as it's so popular. It's non-threatening & affirming. We did it as a staff group once and everyone said they would adapt the strategies with older children , too. I think you can do it on your own but it's probably better done in a small group.

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Sound like you have done the right thing already, you could give her the number of parent line they might be able to give more advice and support. Obviously she needs to use some techinques and get to bottom of behaviour, its great she felt she could approach you and ask for support. Knowing that she can just chat to you proable helps her to stop feeling so isolated.

Often kids can be well behaved for others, and then use anger on parent especially if there have been problems with break ups etc. Maybe if she tried 1 new behaviour thing a week> or have I been watching too much super nanny :o

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Hi

I have to agree with Weightman that is an excellent book for parents.

The suggestion i have is to ask the parent to come and help for a couple of sessions. Then you could show her children she is a very valued and needed person. It doesn't work for everyone but it has worked for one of my parents. Sometimes if a person is always put down thats how the children see and treat them. Even if she just sits and reads a couple of books she may get a bit of her self-esteem back and be able to tackle the problems with the boys.

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On a practical note; have you thought about having the boys and the mother with you at some point, maybe for an afternoon, or a Saturday morning if you have the time. You could go for a picnic together or do something else, a walk perhaps. What the boys may need to see is that someone treats their mother with respect and upholds her values (someone who they respect). It is also a way for the mother to see how you work.

United we stand, divided we fall.......

 

I offered to do this for a parent last year as it was the only thing I could think of.

 

EDIT: oops, just noticed it's basically the same suggestion as the previous post

Edited by Guest
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Following Weightman's post above I found the following link from a Google search. It looks great.

 

http://www.familycaring.co.uk/summary1session.htm

Also following a link sometime ago from somewhere on this forum I now get a really good e-mail newsletter from these people:

http://www.good-child-guide.com:80/

 

It sounds like the mum you mention needs really affirming, that she IS doing a good job despite the negative feedback she gets from her kids.

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I have just recommended home start to one of my mums - she too was having lots of probs with behaviour at home although we weren't experiencing any.

 

We had a representative from our local home start come in to school to explain their services to me - I now have leaflets on teh parents information board and referral forms. Parents can refer themselves or you can refer on their behalf (with their consent).

 

Great thing is they know someone will be in touch within a week of the referral going in (unlike so many other services) - support is then agreed between the parent and the home start volunteer to suit the family.

 

So far the mum has fed back to me that she has found the supprt useful.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi

 

When we had an issue like this we recommend that the mum got in touch with her health visitor. They are always a good port of call. We also liase with them as a setting and you could suggest that if necessary the health visitor also gets in touch with you.

 

However as a good starting point I would suggest she trys this. Some Health Visitors can be very good and will come to the home and chat and offer support and advise. The case we had was a mother with a very "challenging" child and it this did help and offered support which she needed.

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Today I had to talk to one of our parents about her little boy who has behavioural problems and as part of the process I gave her a copy of the attached positive behaviour management tips. I guess this family situation mentioned in this post has gone beyond this but it may help others on the forum!

 

Incidentally, I think I picked up the original from this site (thank you whoever you are!) but I have adapted it for our setting.

 

NicLDDC: Any updates on progress?

POSITIVEBEHAVIOURMANAGEMENTTPS.doc

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LJW

 

Thanks for that - We have many of the 'tactics' in our p&p and behaviour management file, but I really like the straightforward way this lists them and I will certainly be posting this (if that's OK?) on our parent's board and as a reminder to staff!

 

Thanks again

 

Sam

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LJW that is a great behaviout management document. It`s what we do in our setting but written out so well so everyone can read it to ensure all staff - and parents are implementing it. Think I may add it to our new parents info document and staff training.

 

That`s one of the things I love about this site. With everyone sharing great ideas to help each other. Working in childcare can be a thankless task it`s so nice to have the support and help from this forum.

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