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Code Of Conduct - Do You Have One?


Guest terrydoo73
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Guest terrydoo73

I know it is not a magic formula looking after children every day but I am getting to the end of my tether. I just feel these days that nothing I do seems to be correct - either my voice is too raised, I step in too quickly, I react too slowly, I am not doing enough on a one to one basis to calm a child or am spending too long with one child who does not need my help ...

 

Exasperated or what!

 

I would really love something that would remain consistent throughout each day when there is a blow up as such.

 

Here's a typical situation....

 

Child is asked a question about their play, they say no, you then ask it a different way, child turns their back on you and walks to the other end of the room - I mean what do you do? Is it a developmental problem, should I back away from the child and let someone else step in? This is what I felt I should do so my Deputy stepped in to deal with this child over the past week. Child repeats the process as above with Deputy but today completely loses it altogether, refusing to listen or do as asked. Deputy decides to follow through on unacceptable behaviour and asks the child to stand with her while a timer is set before his eyes to show that he must wait for when the egg timer has finished. All the time the child becomes distressed that he is not being allowed to do as he wants. Child immediately returns to play and repeats the process all over again. Then he causes an accident hurting another child in the process. Again we ask the child to stand and he becomes more distressed all over again.

 

Another child is asked not to do something in the playroom which we feel endangers others and is not in our opinion constructive play. Child immediately says sorry, will not do again. Child repeats this action again and again throughout the session.

 

Sorry but just at wits end how to tackle this as feel totally unable to deal with this any longer and am questioning whether I am cut out for all this hassle.

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You do seem to be having a really tough time. I don't have anything specific to help you with, but would like to share some bits that have helped me in the past.

 

1. Lower your expectations - works with most things - saves disappointment.

 

2. They probably aren't out to get you. They're little kids trying to learn about their world. They're still learning about sharing and turn-taking and that others have needs and wants of their own. This works in the wider world too, I hope!!

 

3. The ones that drive you nuts the most, need you the most. Relax and have fun. Get down on the floor and play with them or have a run-around so the others can get on. Oh, there's another homily - Going to write Honey's Little Book of Joy!!! Betcha can't wait.

 

Sending you calming thoughts,

 

Honey

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Oh Terrydoo73, i have read your posts over many months and know that you are truly a reflective practitioner and in doing so beat yourself up on all the things that are not going so well in your opinion.

I have thought for sometime given your comments that your Deputy can be highly critical of you and your practice which leads you to question your actions and reactions to certain situations.

My philosophy has always been to start a day fresh and new, so if the day before was dreadful don't harbour over this, it does no one any good.

 

As for the child that turned his back on you when questioned it maybe that he doesn't fully understand your question and his only escape is to try to get away.

My suggestion on this would be not to question children at all.

Let the child set the pace, language, gesture of play and just sit and watch, obviously answering the child if requested to do so.

[ believe me this is an incredibly difficult thing to do] we often feel by questioning children we are showing we are engaging with the children but for some children with limited speech or understanding to do so is actually overwhelming and can lead them to not speak at all.

Could you sit with your Deputy and volunteer and set acceptable, achievable targets, that you all agree on how you wish your setting to run and how you will all handle situations that may occur so it is consistent for the children.

One of the things we introduce each year is a folder of photos of " how we behave at...................... pre-school".

So there will be a photo say of the climbing frame, with the words we come down the slide on our bottoms.

We sit on the carpet keeping our hands and feet to ourselves.

We love to look at books. When we are finished we put them back on the book trolley.

You can have as many as you think is necessary, very good for showing to a child when the behaviour is not acceptable, or a lovely reminder of what we all do.

Take care x

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too many questions

 

I found this a good read and gave reasons why asking questions is not always the way to go... interact, listen, repeat back, chat about things -

 

I would find it irritating if while in the middle of something I was asked a question which I felt was silly and had no real gain towards my thought process at the time.. could be he is seeing the questions as interruption of his thoughts and where he was heading..

 

i did put a big stop to the questions which were not open ended.. and had everyone think before and have chat about what they think may happen and have very open questions or chat with no real answers needed..

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sorry, back to code of conduct.. we had a few brief 'rules' like this but the children decided what they should be and they did change each year depending on the children, most of the time it was things like kind hands, walk inside, things we and they felt really important and were for all to follow.We had a max of 5 ..

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Guest terrydoo73

Thank you so much for your replies. I took your advice on a fresh day, forget what happened yesterday etc etc and today was far worse!

 

We implemented circle time last week to try and give each child space to talk first thing each day as we felt this was a good way to get into the day. Children have a lot to say to you about what is happening in their world and sometimes it is not easy to have them all clamouring for attention at once. So little Pooh bear comes out and we have a couple of minutes either to give a cuddle or talk about something that is on their mind - today it was about how cold our hands are and which one was wearing gloves or mittens and what was the difference. It works brilliantly with the younger quieter children as they respond to this "me" time more and we feel that all the voices are being heard in their own time and way. Then we move into selecting where we are going to play and each child puts their symbol on a large sheet that shows all the toys in the room that day. Needless to say they don't all end up in this area but before they move off we give a few little hints - ask for our help if you need, put the toys away when you are finished in an area, share with the friends who are beside you etc etc. Only one per day as they have been evident from the day before - yesterday we had one little girl who got so frustrated with a computer that she banged it until it broke - we explained that we treat our toys with respect so that everyone can enjoy playing with them and if we need help to work out how it needs to be switched on then we come and ask an adult.

 

We thought this idea might help 2 with these little boys as they are very difficult to handle. Now I am not saying we are watching them like hawks all the time but we have tried the method of interacting in an area they move to by playing with them but they are using the resources so inappropriately some times that we have to remind them how we should play and before you know it they are off to another area rather than listen to us. We have tried to ignore the behaviour and wait until it gets out of hand but the danger as today was the destructiveness of the toys and towards other children in the setting. They both know how to wind each other up and it usually ends up with one crying. We have backed off on our words but we have had so many phonecalls from one of these boys parents asking for the name and address of the other childs parents so they can have a word personally that we are frightened out of our wits what will happen at home time - needless to say we do not give it out but gently remind parents that at this age the children are developing friendships which need to be worked out on the childrens terms rather than parents deciding who is and who isn't best for them to play with.

 

My Deputy and I cannot set achievable targets - that is not to say we haven't done so but every day it is like something new is thrown up and we just have to think on our feet as it where.

 

One of the little boys parents came in with him this morning and my Deputy saw it as an ideal opportunity to talk to them and see if there was something different happening at home which could relate to his behaviour. Bingo - mum has changed shifts from working night to day and she didn't think it was affecting her child in any way shape or form. She never thought to tell the child when she would see him again and as a result the child will not let her out of her sight. It has been a whole 5 days since he has had contact with her and obviously this is having a knock on effect in terms of his desire to be at Playgroup. This is playing on him emotionally we think and then with having a brother who is severely disabled physically and mentally he is replicating some of his behaviour. Mum seems to be the steadying influence on him but she informed us today "well he will get worse as my work will be like this until April". My Deputy gently pointed out some of the behaviour that he is displaying and asked if they could help us particularly in the area of his listening skills and also obeying what is asked of him. Whether it will do any good remains to be seen.

 

As to the fact that these 2 children in particular do not understand what is being asked of them I for one think this is definately not the case. Even when we do not say anything both children know what is expected and not expected of them. One of these 2 boys knocked over milk at the snack table and before we said a word he immediately said sorry sorry. Also when asked to put his coat on to go outside this same child will respond immediately but when he knows it is snack time his response is to run around the room shouting tidy up tidy up. We have tried to show him through praising another child what is involved in tidying up and reminding the children as we go what to do but he continually runs around and around knocking over children in the process and thus endangering others. When this happens he stops, looks at us and then continues to run around and around.

 

Yes I do believe that he is craving the attention we give him particularly if when he is bad he will receive more of it but when we do not bother with him we are constantly worried of how he will treat other children as he lashes out so easily or throws things about. I have tried to remain calm on these occasions and pick the toy up saying gently throwing toys must stop in playgroup but the action still continues.

 

I have tried to look for the triggers but there is definately nothing evident. I am wondering now if it is tiredness that is contributing to his behaviour too - I know when a child is tired they will not want to be playing quietly and can get aggressive into the bargain. We had a fresh pair of eyes today in the form of our volunteer and even she was despairing at the end of the morning.

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We have a similar sounding problem..child very impulsive, lashes out, screams at others, throwing toys and furniture at others etc...we have had parents asking to change sessions so their children dont have to attend the same ones as this child, others have complained, others have withdrawn their child and moved on...and yet really most of the behaviour is not unlike any other child's at this age...apart from the fact it happens more frequently and more intensely...and as Ive said before parents really dont seem to see that with 15 + children in a room for 3 hours at a time...it'd be pretty amazing NOT to have squabbling, hitting, screaming...and we cannot ever see every little thing or get there in time every time to stop it happening...no matter how hard we try...it even happens if the adult is right there..just too quick sometimes and you dont see it coming.

 

In our case we have 5 golden rules - all phrased positively and keep referring to these when incidents happen..also to the feelings of each chlid..."we are kind in preschool...now X is sad..."

 

We also encourage children to make choices about their behaviour, knowing that if they make the wrong choice there are consequences...this has tended to work very well...

if a child is hitting or throwing toys we say something along the lines of "if you choose to keep hurting you will have to move away from the cars." or "If you cannot play safely (having explained what this entails!) then you will not play in this area..." and then give the child the opportunity to demonstrate by their actions the choice they have made...if the behaviour continues the child is immediately told to leave the activity..."im afraid you made the wrong choice X so now you have chosen move away."

Usually the child either becomes upset or accepts this and moves on...if they get upset they are simply reminded that this was as a reslt of the choice they made...and you could remind them of what they should have done...

with our child this really has worked most times to at least break up the behaviour...it still happens but increasingly child knows if they want to keep playing where they choose they have to choose to play appropriately.

 

Putting the 'ball in their court' as it were makes it easier on you too as it no longer feels you are always the 'bad guy' being 'unreasonable'... you gave the child the choice, they made the wrong one and now you simply carry it through...very matter of factly...

 

I hope things settle down...good luck!

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Guest terrydoo73

Well today was slightly better. We backed off slightly from one of the boys and tried to focus on keeping the other occupied. It was difficult to maintain the impetus but we got there. I sat back and observed the child who has tendency to lash out and when on his own in an area he seemed quite happy but if someone else came into the area he did his utmost to annoy and upset them. Most of the children cannot seem to work with him when he is like that, some are vocal in expressing their dislike of what he is doing while others just get fed up and walk away from him. I do think the parents have had words with him or else tried to work with him a bit more at home - am still convinced it is a case that he is not getting too much attention at home and the only way to get it is to misbehave so carries this principle through to Playgroup and we bear the brunt of it all. The one thing I have noticed is that the child has a good attention span which was evident by the fact that he remained in an area while others left and went onto something else. There are things he likes very much and I think it is the therapeutic value of these - sand, paint while others he really has no understanding and lacks imagination as such ie using the crocodile in a zoo set to snap into someones face rather than eating the fish or creating a sea using blocks.

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