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Supporting Unsettled Child


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I think your colleagues are being rather harsh. Children who are unsettled need reassurance and support. She may demand a little less attention if you just left her to get on with it but that wouldn't necessarily be because she was happier or more settled. It would probably be because she didn't feel anyone cared about her feeling and that would be much worse.

 

I'd keep doing what your instincts tell you. I'm sure you'll cotton on pretty quickly if she starts milking it.

Edited by Upsy Daisy
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Without knowing the child well it is hard to say what to do for the best. I'd talk to mum and see how she'd like you to handle it. We have had children before who we have 'left to get on with it' and bit by bit became more and more interested in what was going on and would in effect settle themselves. We watched carefully to see what activities would draw them in and make sure these (or variations on them) were always available on the days the child attended. That said, we were very careful to monitor her when she was getting upset because leaving a child to cry for extended periods of time is obviously in no-one's interests. One child I remember used to stand at the front door with her coat and back pack on, crying for her mum and refusing to move from that spot and no amount of reassurance from us would make her budge!

 

It is a very tricky thing to do well - what looks like cruelty in some instances can be in the best interests of the child, and what might seem overbearing in terms of adult attention for another child can provide that close personal contact the child needs to draw them into life in the setting.

 

Inconsistency can be just as unsettling for a child, so if they react to her very differently she will begin to seek you out because she will know she will get a warm welcome from you. Which unfortunately would appear to bear out what your colleagues are saying, but probably for entirely different reasons. In every case I can think of in our setting, we agreed how we would handle each child, and be there to support each other appropriately.

 

As Upsy Daisy says, go with your instincts and provide what you feel the child needs until you have evidence to the contrary.

 

Good luck!

 

Maz

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We have a child that doesn't settle well within the setting. I offer her support and encourage her to join in with activities.

My colleagues are now making comments that I should leave her alone and that I may be encouraging her unsettled behaviour.

 

Would love to know anyones thoughts.

If it were their child how would they want her treated?

 

I know that if she were mine.........no actually if she were mine I would be in the setting until she had settled..........however, I'd better not start all that again - have already caused 'havoc' (not really) in another thread.......

 

Is she actually crying? Or is she just unable to settle at anything without help? Being left to cry is in my humble - just awful and there has been research to back up my gut feeling - with reference to the build up of cortisol......

 

Sounds to me as though you are doing a fine job - carry on I say! :o

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If it were their child how would they want her treated?

Always a good question to ask as a starting point for a team discussion and I wonder what these practitioners would say in response? However every parent and every child is different. So talking to the parent at an early stage is really vital.

 

Maz

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This is always a hard one to call. I would certainly ask the parent/carers as the first point of reference, taking on board their views and opinions.

We have had children that just need that reassuring arm to say it will be okay. Others that under no circumstances would that be the right path of action. We had one little boy that would scream quite loudly i hasten to add when mum would decide to go albeit for a very short period of time[minutes if that] but needed to be left alone with a practioner always observing /caring from a distance. This child would not let you pacify him. He would quickly become engaged in activities when he felt ready and had a thoroughly great time for the rest of the session.

He now waves and says bye mum go.

In fact mummy has now been able to come in on parent rota with out any problems.

Good luck and keep to your instincts their generally the right ones. :o

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Thanks for your replies. Very reassuring. I will continue to go with my gut feeling and support her. She obviously gets distressed usually crying if I leave her to get on with it herself.

I feel we have to use different stratergies for different children. Just hard to be criticised when you feel your looking out for the childs interests.

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Guest pamgreen

One thing which helped one of our children was having photos of her parents/family/dogs in her learning journal. The little girl was able to independently access her journal look at the photos and it helped with the support of her key person to settle her

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