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On Your Knee


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do any of you have specific policies regarding handling children who are destressed, hurt unwell or just need a cuddle? Do you lift the child on your knee and give them a cuddle or do you make the child sit next to you. What about patting the child or other physical contat like giving them a hug?

We have high windows in our nursery (portakabin) and some of our younger ones want to be able to wave bye bye to mum/dad from the window. One of the nursery staff usualyy pick them them for a quick bye bye. I am wondering if this will be construed as bad practice.

As a parent myself i would like to think that if my child was hurt or upset, staff would comfort my child in an apporpriate way- and would may be a quick hug.

What are your opinions?

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We have put into practise as many safty policies for the protection of children and staff that we can, and until told personally by Ofsted that we can no longer pick children up and give them a cuddle will continue to so :D

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i have been told, if a child is distressed in any way or hurt themselves, then if they want to be cuddled that is fine, if they want to be picked up that is fine, basically follow their lead, my child is in the same setting as i work but in a different class. i walked in to find he was been held back physically by the back of his jumper, and shouted at for not tidying up, this i am not happy with, and i have spent half term pondering over, don't know if i am being over sensitive, but to me, i would never do this, i treat all the children as i would want my own to be treated.

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I don't have any specific written policies regarding children who are distressed or just need a cuddle.

If a child needs comforting then automatically they get a cuddle (if they want one). Also when a child just comes and sits on my lap for a story in the book corner or just to chat about something - I wouldn't dream of lifting the child off and making them sit next to me and neither would my staff. At Pre-school the children are very young and need comforting and reassuring at times. Like you, leo, I would like to think that when I left my child with someone they would be able to give them the cuddle or quick reassuring hug they might need.

When the day comes that I am personally told that I can't comfort a child in this way, that there is to be no personal contact, then I am afraid I will just have to give up - it would break my heart to see a little one upset and wanting a cuddle and me 'allowed' to.

Well, that's me!

 

Sue J

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Sue J, I'm with you, I think we would come to a very sorry state of affairs if we denied children physical contact when they wanted it, although I've always drawn the line at giving and receiving kisses. Stevedeny1, it's a difficult one when you work in the same place that your child attends, but if you did'nt work there and saw that behaviour from the staff would you say something then? Chances are you would, so I think something should be said. I wouldnt be happy, and 'no' I dont think you're being over sensitive. :o:D

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This came up the other day when I was chatting with a very experienced nursery nurse who I work with (I am an NQT in Reception).

 

She said that one of the things she was told in her training was to sit the child 'on a cushion' until someone pointed out to the tutor that by the time they had located, fetched and placed the cushion on your lap the upset child will probably be feeling even more upset about your odd behaviour!

 

I think that its all about making a 'professional judgement' but at the same time reacting like a normal caring human being.

 

One of the most lovely moments I have witnessed so far (have only been teaching half a term!) was one morning when I had a new child in my class who was really upset crying for his mum. I had been kneeling next to him (he was looking out of the window) but needed to speak to another mum. However when I turned around to check how he was doing there was another boy standing with him with his arm on the little boys shoulder both just looking out into the playground - the new boy stopped crying and was fine from then on!

 

It made me realise how important my actions are, and what impact they have on how caring the children in my class will be!

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thanks all of you. It was reassuring to note that we all think the same way and nobody has had these basic human contacts banned in niursery. Ithink it is difficult for staff who work else hwere in school to make sense of this 'unnatural contact' within the nursery setting.

I usually say we provide for the child's care and education and not just education as is in 'main' school. :oxD

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Hi, if its not too late to interact here, we had some training called "Team Teach" which was about physical interaction and the message was clear- as long as the contact is appropriate to the situation it is ok! If you think you need another adult with you, thats a sensible precaution.

so like Rea, no kissing!

Stevedenny, that is not appropriate behaviour/ contact. Although how exactly you tackle it will be tricky. Hopefully it is just a one off situation but could actually be very uncomfortable at best for child concerned. Do staff allow children to grab at one anothers clothing like this? :o

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Completely in agreement with everything that has been said here. Young children often need to have physical contact, providing it isn't forced on them, and we would be failing in our care for them if we weren't to provide it.

 

Stevedeny, this is a really tricky one isn't it. Our behaviour policy specifically states that adults should treat the children with respect and model the behaviour that we expect from the children. Clearly pulling on the back of their jumper and shouting at them is not acceptable. Hopefully it was a one off situation and the teacher involved felt really bad about it afterwards. Did she know that you had seen her at the time? I recently added a paragraph about restraining children in our behaviour policy, following our inspection. Perhaps your school has one but if not it might be worth enquiring about it and bringing it to the focus of the teachers in general terms. Only you can really make a decision about the action you take. Sorry not to be more help. :o

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I always tell new staff that when the children are in our care we should act like their mums would. So if they need a cuddle because they are upset for any reason or just because they want one then that is fine. Many times children just wheedle their way onto your knee-imagine the rejection they would feel if they were pushed off, in even the most thoughtful manner, and asked to sit beside you!

Linda

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  • 5 months later...

Hi All

 

Wonder if I am dreaming or whether one of you may be able to help. I am sure I saw a sort of policy/procedure relating to physical contact with children, what was acceptable and what wasn't.

 

I have searched and wandered but can't find it.It was in a sort of table format, with acceptable and 'unacceptable' columns

 

Sure one of you clever lot know just where it is!! :D

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I'm sure this is one of those 'urban myth' scenarios. Whilst I believe it is important to protect ourselves and the children in our care in terms of child protection, I don't really believe there can be a policy saying that we can't cuddle or comfort a child in the ways you've all described. I think many of us would probably think this was one 'initiative' too many and give up and go home!

 

We take our lead from the children themselves: some like to sit on a knee for a story or when they are upset and some prefer not to be touched at all. Most children are very tactile, and they will soon become very inhibited indeed if the adults who are supposed to be caring for them avoid physical contact and shy away from them when they want or need a cuddle.

 

Maz

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