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I have put up with quite a bit of rudeness from a parent at my Pre-school especially over the last term.

Whenever I speak to her about her childs behaviour she is usually agressive and blames everyone else (even their dog for his behaviour). Apparently the child is extremely badly behaved at home, although apart from today he has greatly improved at Pre-school. His behaviour at home is blamed on us, when he painted the walls, himself and the dog blue, when he spits his drink out - all this she blames on us - and more!!!

I have tried all ways of helping but come up against a brick wall with her. She definitely doesn't want outside help - she told me very firmly that she "didn't want anyone poking their noses in"

She is constantly late in picking her child up. Anything from 15 minutes to 45 minutes (when she "just forgot") She doesn't answer her contact numbers and one day I had to get her husband out from work as it was so late. I have warned her that if she is that late again I will put our 'Child not Collected' policy into action. Today she was 15 minutes late again and when I reminded her that it's 12 o'clock collection she made a face at me, stuck two fingers up and walked off.

It's not as if she is occasionally late - she never apologises and just thinks that as we are still there, it doesn't matter. It's not just the two fingered wave, she is aggressive and one day when I was speaking with her she started ranting and swearing.

It's too long a story to go into more detail but it goes on and on.....

We can cope with the child, it's the parent.

Today I have had enough

I don't have any policy that covers abusive behaviour from parents to Pre-school staff.

Can anyone help with advice on this one please.

I'm hoping to get some help from you guys as I feel I must speak to her either later on today or perhaps tomorrow morning. It just can't go on like this.

 

Sue J

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You poor thing. She sounds awful, no one should have to put up with behaviour like that from anyone. We have a late collection of children policy in place, whereby the parents will be fined if they are repeatedly late. However I can't see this going down well. I must be honost though I did get help with this from the policies on the members site. There may well be one there for abusive parents.

 

I'm sure you'll get help with this problems from others.

 

Angie

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Oh sue J how awful for you, i thought with our resent Ofsted and accreditation inspections we had every single policy under the sun..except an abusive parents one. I think if i were in your shoes and cant remember what your setting is (we are committee run) i would take it to committee and pass it over saying that you as members of staff canot deal with it any longer as it is totally out of order and get them to sort it, we also have a NEW fining system in place for late pick ups but i dont think she would take any notice of that would she!!!!

 

Sorry i cannot be of more help... :o

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Sue,

:o As I remember it, you own the pre-school yourself? So the can is well and truly yours!!! ?

 

I would suggest you look at your behaviour policy, see if you can tweak it a bit to suit, for now, and use it to back you up. After all, what hope have we of getting children to behave accaeptably wih her behaviour for all to see.

 

You can always work on something with a bit more finesse in the future!

 

Just a first thought!

 

Good luck

 

Sue :D

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:D Never even thought about a policy for that Sue, and I cant really think of what it could contain! How about approaching this woman and telling her that considering your setting are contributing so much to her sons bad behaviour, that you have decided in his best interests to take his name off the register. You're very sorry, but you can see it's causing mom distress and you along with the committee have decided it's the only way. And make sure the committee back you up if you have one. I bet she's never read any policies anyway so if one on parent behaviour suddenly appears she wont know it's new. I can only wish you good luck :o
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Yes Sue R, I do own the Pre-school, so as you say it's all up to me! I'm going to look at the behaviour policy and as you said give it a bit of a tweak - add something into it about parental behaviour.

I'm not really looking forward to approaching her tomorrow - I did actually think I might phone her this evening (is this a cowardly thing to do, I ask myself). The answer to that is YES!

It's not the child's fault is it - if she takes him away it helps us by not having such an aggressive parent but what will happen to the child.....where will he go when there aren't many places available at the moment?

I've got a meeting to go to tonight for about an hour (nothing to do with children/pre-schools) when I get back I'll have a look at my policies and as you say give it a tweak somewhere.

I'm almost decided to speak to her tomorrow rather than tonight.

 

Thanks

 

Sue J

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Oh Sue, how awful for you!

My doctors surgery and some schools I have been in recently on Supply have notices up stating that abuse of this nature will not be tolerated and will be reported to the Police.

What hope for this little boy if this is the example he is being set. On the otherhand mum sounds quite desperate to me. The only time I have ever encountered anything even vaguely like this there were always other issues lurking.

We used to resort to social services if Parents were consistently late in collecting from school. She doesnt want "any one poking their noses in", is it a viable threat and option should the need arise?

DO you have someone you could ask to be present with you and note take, when you speak to this mum? I agree you need to do something but I dont think I'd tackle her on my own.

 

Good luck.

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Oh poor you - I really feel for you and can only imagine how awful it must be.

 

I don't know that the child leaving is the answer, particularly for the child and also though this may be the first abusive parent it sadly, may not be the last.

 

It's easy for me to say I know, but try looking on it as a challenge to be sorted so you and mum are both happy. It certainly sounds as though it may be an up hill struggle.

 

How about asking to see her without the child present so you can have a 'chat' during which you can both hopeful air and resolve your differences. Her blaming you for the painting the dog etc is just ridiculous. How about the ' parent/school working together for the benefit of the child' aspect of your policy??

 

It sounds as though she is on the defensive (generally i mean) when in reality she may be crying out for help ( though unable to admit it and denying it with the not wanting anyone poking their nose in)

 

Would a good start be somehting along the lines of you expressing concern that the pre-school is 'responsible' for the bad behaviour at home - sort of going in with

'self criticism', asking her what she thinks the problem is, instead of moaning about her childs behaviour or her being late. A few positive comments about her

( if you can think of any!) may also be a good start and then lead on to the late collections etc.

 

This probably doesnt make any sense at all but I know what I am trying to say :o

 

Hopefully after a good nights sleep things will seem clearer in the morning - whatever you decide GOOD LUCK and remember there's lots of people on here sending you vibes of support. Do let us know how it goes.

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Oh forgot to say, another member of staff present or within earshot would be a good idea and if it were me a record of the meeting would be kept. It could be that social services become involved at some point in the future and it could be a valuable part of a picture you have built. It may be an idea to keep some sort of brief diary of incidents such as abusive outbursts, late collections etc.

 

Again, Good luck!

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SueJ I understand how you are feeling. In September I took over a new Pre-school and combined it with mine. All of the parents were brilliant except for one moaning swearing parent. I put up with this for 2 days and decided I couldn't do so any longer. I knew her child seemed happy to come and I knew it wasn't the childs fault that she had a mother like this. I knew all pre-schools were full BUT there was absolutely NO WAY I WAS GOING TO PUT UP WITH THIS. On her third visit she made her next complaints accompanied by many expletives so I told her that as she felt that we are obviously not meeting her child's needs not to her bring her back. I re-inforced the fact that the child was happy but the parent wasn't.She left the building and got very upset outside. I knew she was desperate but there is a limit and she had overstepped the mark.

If you are brave enough it helps to say it face to face . I kept very calm but positive. This parent did come back and she apologised and I accepted her apology and she now is very friendly and often asks for advice.

When you log onto the Ofsted website there is always a section which says "Are you unhappy with your provide" Is it worth phoning them and asking if they can help. I did phoneme EYDCP and they told me not to put up with it and they offered to come and speak to the parent but I had to deal with it quickly.

Good luck

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Hi Sue

I think you have been given loads of great advice already. But you shouldn't have to tolerate this parent any longer. I would have a word with her tomorrow, and as already said, have another member of staff with you. We have made this part of our routine now if we have to speak to parents for any reason. So I always have the child's keyworker with me. I just feel more secure then that what I remember what was said is actually just that. Just let her know that you feel that she is abusing your pre-school , in more ways than one and that you are going to have to carefully consider what happens in the future.

If you have no joy I think you are going to have to ask her to remove her child. When you do this is there anybody you can call on as an independent witness? A development worker or somebody from the local authority? Just for peace of mind more than anything else.

Good luck with this-it's something we all dread and hope we never have to deal with.

Linda

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Sue,

I agree with all the advice but would like to add that I had a similar experience which started nearly 2 yrs ago.

 

A parent continually complained and then appeared ok with everything until a few days later found something else to complain about. She appeared to be what I call a "needy" parent, needing attention even if it was through negative behaviour from her. At all times her child was happy and settled in the setting, it was her who had the problem.

 

Long story short, one day her son came in crying ( I found out later she had smacked him before he arrived) She then complained that he was not happy etc etc, I at this point suggested that if she was not happy she should take him else where. None of these conversations were recorded.

 

She complained to ofsted, I was visited and although I had a complaints procedure in place it wasn't fully followed because we had unrecorded "chats"

 

Ofsted gave me a non compliance order (possible £5000 fine) for not following Standard 14 Documentation, then followed 6 unnannounced visits ( to check that non compliance orders were met) within a 6 month period, each time they found something that needed to be added to documentation, ie: accident forms signed by person collecting if not the parent etc (nothing to do with the welfare of the children, I might add.) Ofsted said that I should have written an Incident Report and sent it to them each time I have a complaint from a parent. Yes, EVERY time a complaint is made. This they call "A significant event"

 

My procedure now is to record any comment/complaint a parent makes, at the time of the complaint and I ask the parent to sign the report, I then send a copy to Ofsted.

 

The nightmare continued because my Inspection that year was biased due to this womans vendetta against me, I received a poor Ofsted, ( which this parent photocopied and gave out to parents at the local primary school :oxD )

 

What I have learnt from this nightmare is that unhappy parents are dangerous to the business. I have now formalised complaints to be dealt with in an official manner to enable parents to

1. Know that their complaint is being taken seriously.

2. To let parents know that to make a complaint is a serious business and should therefore be justified and not just a whim, or a personality clash or just for the sake of it (if you know what I mean).

 

The policy for aggressive parent is important, unfortunately situations can arise such as access issues between parents where one parent may feel aggrieved and turn up at the preschool demanding access to their child etc. We as a staff discussed how we would deal with this in the same manner as dealing with a fire, get the children out the way, staff to act in a way to stay as safe as possible, someone to contact the police etc.

 

On a happier note the bad publicity this parent caused has now ceased and "good" "gossip" is spreading around the local area about my preschool. Although I have heard she has now made a complaint against the school her son attends and is causing them lots of hassle. :(:(

 

As for late pick up I would contact the father within 10 minutes of her being late, then she can deal with his complaints to her for being called out from work every day.

 

Good luck

Peggy

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I said I would let you know what happened this morning -

I spoke to the parent in a separate room with another member of staff present. At first she accused me of never liking her or her child and denied she had ever been rude and verbally aggressive to me. Eventually she calmed down a bit and for a considerable time continued to talk - it just poured out - all her problems at home -she hasn't many friends, etc. She said she never tells anyone her problems, she just grins and bears it and gets on with things because "that's what you have to do". But it all came out - she definitely needs help but still doesn't want any outside help.

We assured her that she can speak to us because we are not just there for the children but there for her and other parents as well. There was a lot of talking and reassuring.

I have always spoken to her, Geraldine, away from the children and when we have given positive remarks or tried to talk to her regarding things we were doing at Pre-school, etc she was still very negative and she is the same with all the staff. I hope, Peggy, that what happened to you never ever happens to us. It must have been really awful.

Last night I quickly wrote a policy covering Abusive parents/carers but didn't actually feel the need to show her this morning, but will definitely re-do it when I have more time to think about it properly. I felt I was writing it just to cover her behaviour and it should be done to cover all aspects - so need more time to think about it.

She was with us for about 1.5 hours this morning and I felt completely drained but that was nothing to how she probably felt.

We will now take each day as it comes and hopefully we have achieved what we set out to achieve.

None of you know this woman, you don't know how she spoke to us, what her attitude to the Pre-school was like but you still offered all kinds of advice to cover all events. You also couldn't know what this morning felt like to hear her troubles. But I can assure you that all the support and advice you have given proved a real help this morning.

Thank you all so much for your support - it is so good to know that there is always help and advice around when it's needed.

 

Sue J

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I agree with Peggy, you need to ensure that your late pick up policy is enforced to the letter with this Mum and call the emergency number (Dad?) as soon as she is over your limit of time. If you cannot get hold of anyone then you need to put the rest in motion. Ours is to telephone the local Children and Families unit and then they send the child to a nursery that stays open later than ours. This policy and procedure needs to be shown and emphasised to mum. We had a similar problem with a child being picked up late, one time an hour late! I was relectant to call the unit as I understood Mum had a few problems, when she came she didn't even apologise and when I pointed out that I'd had to stay behind and keep another member of staff with me her attitude was 'that's your problem'. Next time I phoned the unit and although she arrived before they picked the child up my call was registered. When she realised that I was not going to let her get away with it and that she could actually get into trouble for it herself she managed to pick her child up on time from that day on. I always write everything down that occurs like this in an incident book and get the other member of staff to witness and sign it.

 

Another thought is that she obviously can't cope very well with her child and as he has behavioural problems could you not ask someone from your SENCO team to come and chat to Mum and observe the child for you? Good Luck!

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You sound to have opened a can of worms there Sue-and I mean that in a positive way. This mum obviously has a whole host of problems and perhaps she will begin to open up more now that you have got her to talk this morning. Well done.

Linda

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Yes, you're right I probably have opened a can of worms Linda and I hope she will open up a bit more now.

Yes Rea I did beat you to it, I have had a drink already!!

After the day I have had today (not just this morning) I really needed something.

 

Thanks again - I will hopefully sleep better tonight.

 

Sue J

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Really late here, but well done, it will have been very hard to a) approach this woman and xD to have the whole sad story pour out , You deserve an award!!

 

You could probably find that she will now either be all over you, possibly very demanding for a bit, or that she is a bit 'aloof', albeit more polite, now that she has opened up. Possibly, things might get worse for a bit :o as she realises how much she has revealed to you and your colleague, whatever the scenario, the immediate aftermath may be quite difficult for you still, so good luck, I'll continue to think of you!!

 

Peggy - how absolutely awful for you!!

 

Sue :)

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Well done Sue. :D It's never easy to speak to a parent about negative things and not knowing if they are going to start being abusive makes it doubly difficult. However, you've done the right thing and even if this doesn't solve the problem at least it's a start. :)

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Well done Sue :D bet you were shattered at the end of it, you certainly deserved the drink ( well more than just the one I should think :D ) Not a lot i can say except I will be thinking of you and hope it all turns out OK and the abuse becomes a thing of the past.

 

Peggy - I am lost for words, but well done you for handling such a nightmare! I was interested to read about the accident reports being signed by adult collecting. We don't do that! It is always the parent that signs. We send a note in the childs folder for the parent (if we cant contact them by phone) detailing the incident, saying it has been recorded and that they will be required to sign the following day.The person collecting is just told the child had a minor accident and there is a note in the folder for mum.

 

Nor do we tell other adults such things as the child kicked, hit, threw, bit someone etc etc. That is dealt with in the same way as an accident. After all a parent may not want a neighbour to know her child bit someone at pre-school.

 

However, your message has given me food for thought and I will discuss it with my manager - maybe we need to review things - thanks for sharing your experience.

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Well done Sue. Hope youve had a better day today!

 

Peggy, what a nightmare! But I suppose we ought to be glad that ofsted are doing their job properly. It would be awful if a parents complaint went unregarded and it were justified and harm came to a child.

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thanks peggy for that timely reminder . we have such a parent at the moment, have now started to formalise her complaints which are mostly that her child is not happy ( she runs in every session smiles and laughhs with children and joins in all, making friends etc etc. yesterday she didnt even want to say bye to mum.. we think it is mum not wanting to lose control of her child.)

 

Glad you have come through the other side , dont know how I would have coped.

 

well done sue,good luck with the follow up, hope its easier from now

 

Inge

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I have left it a few days before posting again. The mum I spoke to last week has been into Pre-school again and things (so far) are much better. The day after I spoke to her and she poured her heart out, she was fine and she spoke pleasantly to a member of staff. Friday she was fine and although she was a little late (10 mins) she apologised, which is something she has never done before.

Today Dad brought the child in and also collected him and he was ok - but then he always has been fine - but we weren't too sure of his reactions after the incident last week.

So, so far so good - we have told her we are always there for her and her family, so if she needs to talk again that's fine. Now we know that she has problems and they were probably the reason she was so negative and rude.

You know, don't you, that there is nearly always a reason why people behave the way they do and I am so pleased that we were able to just be there when she needed to talk.

Thanks again to you all for your thoughts and advice.

 

Sue J

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