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Unwanted Behaviour - Dealing With It Correctly?


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I work in childcare and a friend of mine who works in another setting, a full day care setting, recently told me that her boss pulled a troublesome child by his arm across the floor about 25ft, because he would not go where he was suppose to go when asked, he was laying on the floor and would not get up. She held his hand and pulled him to where he was suppose to go, he was still laying on the floor and was not struggling, but was being dragged along. I told her to report it but she hasnt because she is worried of the implications for her boss who she said was doing it in a jovial way. What do people think, is this acceptable, I think not but how would this be dealt with?

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Without being there to see it it's very hard to make any sort of judgement. I can imagine (and have seen) someone pulling a child around in an intimidating and unacceptable manner. However I can also imagine that pulling a child carefully across a polished floor as a method of distraction and redirection could be fun and effective if the child responded in the right way.

 

I think your friend needs to think hard about what she saw, how the child responded and whether the practitioner was putting the child at risk of harm in any way.

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Tricky. But, I have been known to drag children round the room by their ankles to squeals of laughter because we all knew it was a game, I've ended up with a queue!

Sometimes, getting a child to do what you want by using fun, jokey methods can work, it can also backfire and the next time they demand to be dragged again. Its very much about knowing the child though and the relationship you have.

Without knowing the manager or being there when it happened its very difficult to say either way. Your friend doesnt want to get her boss into trouble but she also says it was done in a jovial way. Is there a bit of a crossed wire there? Has she any other concerns aboiut her bosses behaviour or was this an anecdote she told that has got dramatised in the telling.

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In my opinion, and having had to deal with a similar incident where a parent had spotted a member of staff pulling a child by the arm and reported it I would say how would it look if a parent or visitor had walked into the room at that point ? Young childrens joins are pretty flexible and can dislocate when too much pressure is put on them - how would the person have felt if his arm/wrist had dislocated ? Also theres the message ( jokey or otherwise) that it gives to other staff about how reluctant children are dealt with, and I can think of more effective ways than dragging them across a room ?

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Also theres the message ( jokey or otherwise) that it gives to other staff about how reluctant children are dealt with, and I can think of more effective ways than dragging them across a room ?

 

But dont you think staff should see that there are many ways of dealing with unwanted behaviour? We cant deal with every behaviour in the same way, it depends on the child, the situation, if they're putting themselves or others in danger, it might be a one off or repeated behaviour. I cant see your point if you've been in a situation that went badly but the opening post does say it was jovial and maybe that was apparent to everyone.

I've seen children as young as 2 sat in a corner facing the wall for not following instructions to 'line up nicely'. I personaly prefer a jokey method. :o

Edited by Rea
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I cam see what your saying Rae , but I feel there is an element in 'making' a child do something they really may not want to do - the child for whatever reason had chosen to not move the 25 feet himself, and as a practitioner isn't it best to try and find out why rather than just moving them against thier will ?

I can see that what you are doing with the pulling by the ankles is a 'fun' way to get the child moving, and can be a game, but for some children the fact they just might not want to join in would make me question why. If a child is putting themselves or others in danger then yes they need to be moved in a safe way, but pulling children by any limbs is potentially dangerous, and as i stated before can be seriuosly misconstrued by others not familiar with the setting.

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While we don't know the full story or the background circumstances it would be very hard to make a fair judgement about this practitioner's actions.

 

Even holding a child's hand while out walking could be uncharitably described as pulling him/her by the limbs.

 

I know I have used picking up an uncooperative child and giving him a tickle as I did so to move a situation on and get him going in the right direction. I have, on occasion, held his hand firmly to walk to school when he didn't want to go. There are times when I feel it is better to speak calmly but directly when asking him to cooperate and others when I would sit by him and work out what the problem is. Different approaches are appropriate at different times.

 

We all need to be creative when solving problems and be able to adapt our behaviour management techniques to the myriad differences in children and circumstances. Let's not contribute to the view that we must never use a particular strategy because we're worried about how it would sound if an unknowledgeable bystander described what they saw to a third party. We have enough hoops to jump through and rules to remember already.

 

The result of reporting it would clearly depend on what was reported. If there were a perceived risk to the child then I would expect the practitioner to receive a warning and for the matter to be reported to the parents (and possibly Ofsted???). If the child was not put at any risk and the strategy was successful in terms of behaviour management I would hope that the matter would go no further.

 

Perhaps the best course of action would be for this lady to raise the matter informally with her boss and ask how she made the judgement that it was an appropriate thing to do. She could approach it from the angle of wondering how to make such a judgement herself and being concerned about overstepping the mark by accident. That way she would cause her boss to reflect on the incident without causing any ill feeling.

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I work in childcare and a friend of mine who works in another setting, a full day care setting, recently told me that her boss pulled a troublesome child by his arm across the floor about 25ft, because he would not go where he was suppose to go when asked, he was laying on the floor and would not get up. She held his hand and pulled him to where he was suppose to go, he was still laying on the floor and was not struggling, but was being dragged along. I told her to report it but she hasnt because she is worried of the implications for her boss who she said was doing it in a jovial way. What do people think, is this acceptable, I think not but how would this be dealt with?

 

 

it is totally UNACCEPTABLE and I can only advise that you try to convince your friend that she should report it and inform her boss that she is going to do so or tell her boss that she believes this was unacceptable , there should be a behaviour policy in place that outlines how staff deal with /and techniques to use in dealing with these situations. we have a duty of care to the children placed in our settings.

I beleive this particular boss may need to attend some training !!

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I think it is difficult to know what to advise, not having been there and seen the incident itself. I'm not in a position to make a judgement about this person's practice, or what the OP's friend should do in this instance.

 

I am interested to know whether this is a pattern of behaviour, and typical of the way this practitoner deals with children who don't want to comply. Are there other concerns about her practice which might throw a different light on what was observed that day? There isn't enough information about how the child responded either to the practitioner, or to being dragged along the floor.

 

There are issues here about how we encourage children to comply with our wishes, and as Upsy Daisy says our approaches differ to take into account different situations, different children and so on. If the observer is concerned about what she saw then she needs to follow it up. I know it is worrying when you have to raise issues like this with people in authority. However if there are concerns that this practitioner is manhandling children inappropriately then not to take action is to condone the behaviour.

 

Are there colleagues she can discuss this with to try and gain a consensus of opinion?

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I had to do something similar a couple of years ago with a boy who refused to movewhen we were out at the park and was putting himself and others at risk. I had to pick him up kicking and screaming because he refused to move.

He was a big 3 year old who we knew had problems but mum (who was a teacher) refused to let us get help for him for fear of labelling. He has since been diagnosed with ADHD

I didn't concern myself with what passers by may have thought - my concern was for this child and the others in our care.

 

No real advice - I just wanted to share that not everything is clear cut

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Thanks, my friend has witnessed this type of strategy before, as a parent I would not want my child to be pulled around, different if it was a game but as a strategy to move an un-cooperative child rings alarm bells in my mind. We have a duty of care as professionals. The child, in answer to your questions was not struggling or unduly upset at being pulled, just un-cooperative.

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I'm not sure I could really offer any opinion on the reported incident to be honest as it's already a second hand story........if the person who saw the actions was uncomfortable they should have done something then following their policy guidelines.

 

Cx

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I had to do something similar a couple of years ago with a boy who refused to movewhen we were out at the park and was putting himself and others at risk. I had to pick him up kicking and screaming because he refused to move.

He was a big 3 year old who we knew had problems but mum (who was a teacher) refused to let us get help for him for fear of labelling. He has since been diagnosed with ADHD

I didn't concern myself with what passers by may have thought - my concern was for this child and the others in our care.

 

No real advice - I just wanted to share that not everything is clear cut

 

that is a different situation and from what you have said it was necessary for safety reasons but anyone who has attended behaviour IDP or training will know man handling is frowned upon and from what was described in the initial post - it should not have happened and if someone feels uncomfortable enough to confide in a friend seems to me there is a concern

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it is totally UNACCEPTABLE and I can only advise that you try to convince your friend that she should report it and inform her boss that she is going to do so or tell her boss that she believes this was unacceptable , there should be a behaviour policy in place that outlines how staff deal with /and techniques to use in dealing with these situations. we have a duty of care to the children placed in our settings.

I beleive this particular boss may need to attend some training !!

 

Thanks Lashes, she is going to make a formal written complaint, it is unacceptable,even if she did do it laughing and joking, the physical action is wrong. Thanks for your comments

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Thanks Lashes, she is going to make a formal written complaint, it is unacceptable,even if she did do it laughing and joking, the physical action is wrong. Thanks for your comments

 

 

Surely the first step should be to talk to the lady? It may be that like a couple of people have mentioned she has always done this and in a laughing, joking way and just hasn't thought about possible things such as dislocating arms etc. I know I used to pull around my mum's childminded children when I was younger in a joking way (I'd like to point out not in front of her, I'm sure she would have stopped me) because it would never have occured to me it was wrong and the only reason I haven't done it since is probably coincidence. Personally I wouldn't see anything wrong with doing it in a jokey way as others have described if the child was joining in the joke. It seems a bit unfair that no one should bring it up with her before suddenly the full force of a written complaint comes down on her. Surely a written complaint is for if a verbal discussion doesn't work?

 

You don't mention if this is the only physical contact of concern, but if it is and this lady has always shown herself to be a caring and sensible practitioner in other ways then it would sensible and kind to take the lesser action first. Imagine the stress she will potentially go through if she is investigated when actually she thought she was just having a joke with the child and all it needs is someone to mention to her why they don't think it's right. I really hope your friend considers these things before potentially heaping a whole lot of stress on what might be a very kind and caring practitioner.

 

I also think that as several people have said, we on this forum need to be very careful before sitting in judgement on these things when we are only hearing this from a second hand source. Everyone does ill-judged things from time to time and this doesn't make them a bad practitioner or mean they suddenly need to be hunted down and punished when a quiet word is all that is needed.

Edited by Guest
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Surely the first step should be to talk to the lady? It may be that like a couple of people have mentioned she has always done this and in a laughing, joking way and just hasn't thought about possible things such as dislocating arms etc. I know I used to pull around my mum's childminded children when I was younger in a joking way (I'd like to point out not in front of her, I'm sure she would have stopped me) because it would never have occured to me it was wrong and the only reason I haven't done it since is probably coincidence. Personally I wouldn't see anything wrong with doing it in a jokey way as others have described if the child was joining in the joke. It seems a bit unfair that no one should bring it up with her before suddenly the full force of a written complaint comes down on her. Surely a written complaint is for if a verbal discussion doesn't work?

 

You don't mention if this is the only physical contact of concern, but if it is and this lady has always shown herself to be a caring and sensible practitioner in other ways then it would sensible and kind to take the lesser action first. Imagine the stress she will potentially go through if she is investigated when actually she thought she was just having a joke with the child and all it needs is someone to mention to her why they don't think it's right. I really hope your friend considers these things before potentially heaping a whole lot of stress on what might be a very kind and caring practitioner.

 

I also think that as several people have said, we on this forum need to be very careful before sitting in judgement on these things when we are only hearing this from a second hand source. Everyone does ill-judged things from time to time and this doesn't make them a bad practitioner or mean they suddenly need to be hunted down and punished when a quiet word is all that is needed.

i dont think anone is being hunted down and punished but this is someone who is a boss , in a position of leadership who should be able to show good practice to staff , i agree we are only hearing it second hand but is n't everthing second hand on here , the friend had cause for concern , i suggested she speaks to her but this person is her boss and may be difficult. manyyears ago i had concerns about my boss who was ill treating the adults with severe learning difficulties, i had tried to speak to her as had several others but to no avail, she had trained many years previous and worked in institutions where this was not thought wrong. my point i guess is that someone in her position should have had plenty of training and be aware of what is and what is not acceptable.

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