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Comforting A Child In Reception


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Hello

 

I was just wanting some advice I have been told that my behaviour towards children is unprofessional as I had a child who was upset on my lap - the child had come into school upset having to be fetched out of the car by the wraparound manager as they were so upset about coming to school, the child and mother were both upset and the mother left in tears while I was left with a sobbing child - i am sorry but this child was beside themselves and threw themself on me - what was I supposed to do?? I am now starting to doubt what I do???!!!!! The person then went on to tell me that I was young and not very experienced!!!

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated am I being unprofessional by hugging a child who is upset???

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Goodness me! We would always comfort a distressed child this way. What on earth were you expected to do! I suspect this person has not read the EYFS and doesn't know that we are now 'allowed' to comfort children. :o

 

It would have been worse for the parent if they hadn't thought that their child was being offered some comfort.

 

Do you know the reason for the distress? Was the child distressed because the Mum was, or the other way around ? Not that that has anything to do with the 'comforting'.

 

Don't doubt what you do - do as you would be done by is a great maxim.

 

I hope this person is never as distressed as this child was and seeks some comfort.......

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I am going to re-read my EYFS today - the child was being bullied and I got to the bottom of it but I now feel totally knocked down!!!! it was our acting head who told me my behaviour was unprofessional - I am so shocked as I have worked in 2 different LEAS, this is my 3rd job and I have always acted this way with children - does that mean I now have to change?? I have never been so upset!!!

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Cant offer any help regarding school policies just wanted to say that the day I cant comfort a child who wants comforting is the day I stop doing this job.

When my son was in Reception he went in crying so I hung around and peeked through the window. Even now I am comforted by the fact that he was sitting on his teachers lap.

I see it as caring not unprofessional, although this person might have been looking at it from the point of view that you could have left yourself open to accusation. But still, I would always comfort a child and if my lap was the easiest place then so be it.

Dont take it to heart and let it ruin your weekend. :o

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I think your behaviour is totally appropriate and not unprofessional in any way. If the child didn't want you to comfort them that is different as you are then forcing yourself on them, but you obviously weren't doing that! Also having children climb on you when they are perfectly happy is also not particularly professional or encouraged in schools and this again is not what you were doing. I'm in reception and I probably end up with at least one child wanting comfort and sitting on my lap. Our head, who admittedly has young children of his own, has no problem with this. At the end of the day our priority is for all children to feel secure and happy - how can this be achieved unless they feel cared for! I totally agree with you that parents are far happier leaving knowing that there is someone caring to be a sort of surrogate parent than if there was someone who was a bit removed in their 'professional' way. Sorry about the rant but that sort of attitude does annoy me.

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I was told that the best way to comfort a child is to speak to them on their level with a reassuring pat!! I was quite insulted!!! The incident happened in a roomful of people as well as the child was upset in assembly what would she have rather I had done left her crying on the front row???

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i had a mum and daughter recently arrive at pre school very upset by an argument they had, you know the type with a child that is 4 and thinks they can try and push to the limit and mum doesn't know the next step to take and has just about had enough, anyway i'm going off track but i ended having to comfort both mum and child as they had got themselves in such a state by the time they got to us, i think if a child is upset they need to be reassured and if they are the sort of child that finds comfort in a cuddle so be it. i would hope that when my children needed a hug when they were young that someone was there in my abscence to comfort them.

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I crossed posts with you there - a reassuring pat.........my eye!

 

Sunnyday

 

 

I would hesitate to suggest that this person has not completed the 'stepping stones' for the EYFS to the end of the Foundation Stage for PSED herself :o

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I really don't know what to do - I am not one to cause trouble and I don't like confrontation but I really don't know what to do!!!

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it seems to be a school thing keeping the children at arms length I dont know how that is supose to comfort a young child??

 

as for unprofessional...... I was complemented by ofted for our caring settling in and letting children on laps was common place in my setting infront of oftsed

 

hope you find something in the EYFS to suport the ethos of comforting children in this way Im sure its there (let us know where when you find it!)

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Its is our acting head who has been bought in on secondment but I am totally shocked at the attitude towards me!!!

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and this acting head worked for tribal the people behind ofsted!!obviously they weren't the inspector at your school else you would probably have had this said to you :o

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Hi pinkprincess, first, welcome to the forum. :o

 

I personally think the 'not allowed a child on lap' is an urban myth, one of those sayings that no-one knows where it originated from. There is the need for all childcare staff to minimise the risk, and safeguard themselves from false allegations (against abuse) but your actions were in the presence of witnesses and clearly a case of comforting a distressed child. To deny this comfort, to me, would be negligent of 'The needs of the child is paramount', which is the basis of all child protection.

Can I ask what is your role and in what capacity was the other person passing comment to you? If this person is your superior then she / he should explain the rationalle behind the comment. Also, making comments such as "you are young and very inexperienced" in my mind is somewhat unprofessional and definately not constructive. Ask this person to expand on their comments regarding comforting the child, ask him / her for what reasons should a child not be allowed on your lap and What should you have done?

 

Please don't doubt what you do because of this comment, but if this person is your superior, do try and get some constructive guidance from her / him about how you are expected to react in the future. It's no use someone telling you what not to do in this situation if they don't follow up with what they think you should have done. Best to discuss this before the situation arises again. Show this person how experienced and mature you are by having a 'professional' discussion about what is the policy of your school, where is it written 'not to comfort in this way' and what does the schools settling in policy say.

 

Good luck, let us know how you get on.

 

Peggy

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Unfortunately we have no policies - I am the Reception teacher my line manager is the KS1 coordinator and this is the acting head who has made these comments to me - her advice was a calm voice and a reassuring pat as I asked her what I should have done!!

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Show this person how experienced and mature you are by having a 'professional' discussion about what is the policy of your school, where is it written 'not to comfort in this way' and what does the schools settling in policy say.

 

Good luck, let us know how you get on.

 

Peggy

 

 

Brilliant idea, Peggy! Yes, where does it say you can't do this? I would suggest that if she's on secondment, she won't be brilliantly familiar with your school's policies and procedures

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I really don't know what to do - I am not one to cause trouble and I don't like confrontation but I really don't know what to do!!!

 

You dont have to cause trouble, you just have to have something clarified. Ask this person for a reason why you cant comfort a child and what it was exactly that you did wrong. Is she your manager? Is there anyone else you could go to for advice? What does the school policy say?

Try not to let it get you down, you know we're all here to support you :o

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Brilliant idea, Peggy! Yes, where does it say you can't do this? I would suggest that if she's on secondment, she won't be brilliantly familiar with your school's policies and procedures

I'll second that.

 

Sunnyday

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If my upset, crying child had been offered a 'pat' of reassurance I would have been outraged!! :o These children are only little and sometime a cuddle is all they understand as a form of comfort!! Parents need to feel their child's needs are being met and that child obviously needed comfort!!

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If my upset, crying child had been offered a 'pat' of reassurance I would have been outraged!! :o These children are only little and sometime a cuddle is all they understand as a form of comfort!! Parents need to feel their child's needs are being met and that child obviously needed comfort!!

Absolutely!

 

Still fuming here.

 

Sunnyday

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I have young children and I would expect them to be comforted - if I ever thought they were given a pat - I'd be hopping mad as a mum.

 

Now my professional hat - sadly your deputy head probably has never had any training in foundation stage and attachment orchild development. How would he calm a sobbing 4 year old - I have a few he can try?

 

Please don't doubt yourselve you sound a very sensible caring teacher.

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Thank you for all your support I really appreciate it!!! I am going to see acting head on Monday and my union rep at school as she also had a word with me about someother issues and made me feel as if all my support staff had been to complain about me, spopken to the other teacher i work with and made me feel as if I was a complete failure as a teacher. She said 'if you don't get your own way you don't like it' I have never been so outraged!!!! I could hardly talk at this point as I was so upset!!

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