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Temper Tantrums


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We have a child in our setting who sometimes comes in without any problem. However for weeks now she has been having bigger and bigger temper tantrums as Mum tries to leave. She screams, flings herself on the floor, kicks any adult who comes near her, tries to run out of the door. Within a very short time of Mum leaving she 'swtches off' becomes her usual sunny self and helps to set out the small group areas with her key person or another adult. She seems to enjoy the rest of the session and greets Mum with a huge smile at the end.

 

This morning it went completely haywire. She would not come upstairs into the setting at all. Mum couldn't stand it any longer (not surprisingly) and gave in and took her home - picked her up and carried her out. She was only seconds outside the door when it stopped.

 

We are going to try something different on Monday to try and break the pattern. She is going to be brought 20 minutes late so that everyone else has arrived and the parents have left meaning we can shut the door and not be in anyones way.

 

Hopefully it will work but any suggestions if it doesnt. We've already tried Mum staying for a while, having a favourite jigsaw available at the door, stickers, positive praise, bringing things from home, her Aunt bringing her instead of Mum (she wouldn't get in the car)

 

 

Al

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You don't say how old she is.

We usually ignore this kind of behaviour once we've tried everything - as you seem to have done. She's doing it for Mum's benefit as you says she's perfectly happy once she's stopped. She has worked out that this is a powerful way of getting attention, so apart from making sure that she - and everyone around her is safe, I'd just reassure Mum that she will be fine, let Mum stand outside the door for a few minutes if she feels happier doing this, but I would not let her be taken home, what message does that give? It certainly isn't going to help her come in next time.

I would definitely be firm but reassuring on Monday, and hold your ground with her. You know she's going to calm down and have a great time.

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Hi!

 

We have had a similar situation although it doesnt seem to be this extreme. We are very lucky that the parent says 'ill do whatever you think I should'. We decided that each morning she brings him in, puts his coat on his chair and says goodbye. She then leaves no matter how the child reacts. He screams for about 5 minutes but then gets bored as he gets no attention from it and he gives in and goes and plays. After 4 days of this he has come in without crying and goes and plays without a tear. How this helps in your situation I dunno but thought id let you know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

 

x

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My youngest used to do this and we did as above. I gave her a quick kiss and hug and then left. Didnt look back no matter what she did. I used to go around the back and peep through the window to see her playing happily. It was all for my benefit, it is heartbreaking as a mum to see your child acting in this way though. It didnt take long to sort it out. She always made a bit of a fuss though right through to reception at school, but only for a few seconds as I left her.

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Two of my boys did exactly the same. I also used to give them a goodbye kiss and walk away - usually in tears as I went back to the car - while they were already playing happily inside!! It took a couple of weeks to break the cycle but we got there so there is hope if you persevere, as long as the parent concerned works with you. Good luck :o

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One little boy in my setting does exactly the same, we can here him coming down the path before we even see him. Mum is very good talks to him constantlky and reassuringly and she keeps it short and sweet (KISS) when she drops him off, then as always he stops when she has gone and plays quite happily. When she comes to collect he then cries and carries on because he doesn't want to go home - little tinker!!! Bit of an attention seeker I think!

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Guest MaryEMac

We once had a little girl who would throw herself on the floor screaming and crying when her mum left her. After making sure that she couldn't injure herself, we left her to it. The other children used to step over her to get to the activities. After a few minutes the noise stopped and she lay there waiting for someone to come to her. When nobody did she got up and quite happily played for the rest of the session.

Good luck for monday.

 

Mary

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Yes and they don't always grow out of it either. We have a rising 5 that has been doing this since Monday. It all started because he had been told off by his mum for jumping in the puddles and getting soaking wet. I can see both mum and childs point of view. The child is very stubborn anyway.. The first day his keyperson sat with him for a long time but when he eventually told us the full story we are dealing with it in a different way. We ask one of his friends to talk to him and so far its worked. Whether he will continue this on Monday???? we shall see.

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My eldest went into pre-school, nursery and reception with barely a backward glance, number 2 cried until one of her faourites gave her a cuddle. Number 3 is now in year one and on occassion we still have trouble getting him through the door, he'll start crying in the playground and when he reaches the door he braces himself in the frame and it takes two sometimes 3 of them to prise him loose (he's what I'd call extremely 'sturdy' bless him). Once he's over the threshold tears stop and he's fine again.

 

At pre-school we've had some real screamers and kickers who just didn't want to be left, the majority of these are usually EAL children so it's understandable that they are most likely petrified. For us it really has been a case of waiting for the childen to realise mum is coming back for them, and most have been willing to be comforted by one of us.

 

I also think a later start is a good idea slowly decreasing the time as she will eventually need to be able to leave mum when other children and parents are about.

 

I still have vivid memories of my sister being carried into school by her hands and feet while my mum sobbed in the playground. She was fine once she was inside (where my mum couldn't see her) but it effected my mum so much that my youngest brother didn't start school until he was seven because my mum couldn't bare to go through it again.

 

Hopefully it will all work out for you;

Karrie

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We have, as it seems a lot of people have also, experience of this kind of situation. I have taken a few minutes to talk to mum on these occasions at the end of the session when the child was happy, and explained that the crying stops after she leaves. By doing it then I've found the message is taken on better than when the child is crying and screaming. I encourage the parent to continue saying a firm goodbye and a member of staff will take the child from them if necessary, although some have preferred to throw themselves dramatically to the floor and scream instead!

 

I then make sure I take the time to call/text mum during the morning after the crying has subsided to reassure her. This seems to have worked very well, but I have had a few experiences of children doing this throughout their whole time with us, as if it was a habit they got into. One child did until dad brought her in one morning and she was excitedly showing him her coat peg, etc before saying "you go home now", and seeing him out the door. Mum dropped her off the next day and it was back to normal!

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Sorry just a thought but can one of you meet her at the main door so the child can say bye to mum at the door???? That way mum doesnt have so much heart brake to escape her child!

 

Sorry for butting in

 

But i think thats what i would do

 

Kat -x-

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Sorry just a thought but can one of you meet her at the main door so the child can say bye to mum at the door???? That way mum doesnt have so much heart brake to escape her child!

 

Sorry for butting in

 

But i think thats what i would do

 

Kat -x-

 

Why would you think you are butting in? You were just offering your advice - and you beat me to it, incidentally. I was just going to suggest the same thing as it works for us

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We seem to have made a breakthrough. On Monday I met her downstairs after all the other children had arrived and parents left. Mum left straight away. We had a couple of minutes screaming and kicking the door. Tuesday, same arrangement but only seconds of scream before she decided to help me put the toddler toys out. Yesterday and today we moved the time back a bit earlier but still met her downstairs. Not a flicker of temper and she ws really keen to come up, take her coat off and join in.

 

Al

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Great news whitetree, thanks for the update. :(

 

So, that's one childs particular 'phase of behaviour' over with, wonder what the next childs 'phase' will be. xD:o:(

Life is certainly interesting, if somewhat demanding sometimes in the world of early years. :( Successes like these though, however small they are in the scheme of things, do help make for a good sense of job satisfaction. Well done to you, your team, the parent and of course the child for getting through this 'phase'.

 

Peggy

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