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How Do You Get A Child Out Of A Hiding Place?


Guest terrydoo73
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Guest terrydoo73

Have just been attending a child protection course and rethinking the way I do things with children. Have become aware of an issue that I cannot really deal with appropriately without being seen as abusing the child if you understand what I mean ... let me explain.

 

Child M hears the words "tidy up time" and all the children start to help put away the toys as we like to teach responsibility etc etc. We have been doing this all year since September and this child knows this. He understands the warning and that tidy up time means exactly that - everyone is to help - it is not frustration on his part in not participating but we think attention seeking. He goes into the large Little Tikes tunnel and stays there until tidy up time is past. We have tried the tactic of ignoring him and praising those who are helping us out loud so that he can hear we are really pleased etc. We have even moved into the inside playroom without this child in the hope that he will follow but he remains. One of us has to then go out and reason with this child to come out and into the playroom - we cannot have one child out and the remaining 11 inside as it goes against our policy and procedures. Basically if he remains there we cannot open the outside gate to parents as there is a safety issue. I am sorry but we just cannot let the children go home and leave all the work of clearing up to us - that goes against our feeling of getting the children to take responsibility etc. Apologies if I am justifying our actions so much but we have been through so much in terms of risk assessment, child protection, health and safety issues and talked the whole thing through so many times we no longer know where to turn.

 

Most days this has no effect - the child remains in the tunnel - result - we have tears and tantrums when mum comes. To reach in and bring him out would not be correct in terms of child protection and anyway we wouldn't be able to fit in there and get him out without hurting either ourselves or him.

 

We have talked to dad who expressed the opinion that his child is stubborn and basically it is up to deal with it because it is happening with us - true but how do we deal with this every day! It is getting to the point where we no longer feel confident in the way we are handling this situation effectively.

 

This same child has resorted to slapping and I mean slapping children as well as elbowing others leaving one child today in tears and whilst we comforted the child hurt and left him to hide once again in the tunnel we could hear him saying "I'm in here." We continued to ignore and eventually he came out of his own accord.

 

Today he did the same at tidy up time with another child following his actions but when the second child saw we were inside and he was left out he came in when my Deputy went out to persuade the two to come in. Child M then came in but quite slowly. He promptly sat down beside the other child who he had been outside with and for some unknown reason started to slap. He clearly saw this as being playful but we could see the other child being frightened so asked him to move away. Result - he eventually (and I mean after lots of persuasion) lay down on the floor and started crying very loudly. We ignored the outburst and continued with our rhymes. When we stopped he stopped and by this stage parents had arrived. I rang the father as it was his granny who had collected him today to explain what had happened. Dad's attitude was one of couldn't care less - playgroup was over and we should have dealt with it there not afterwards.

 

Apologies for the long posting but I want to put everything down clearly to give you an understanding of our situation.

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Is there some way of changing your triggers? Could you come inside for something other than tidy up? Could you put the tunnel away or not get it out in the first place. I think you perhaps need a routine change, or something. Our children don't go out until they have put away the things they were playing with indoors. So if this child has been outdoors all session and not made the mess snide, then he perhaps can't see the need to clear other people's mess. It looks as if he has got into this game now, and it's going to take a bit to break his routine.

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Crikey Terrydoo73, you have my sympathies! Dealing with a child with behavioural probs day in day out is very demoralising, especially when you dont have the parents onside!

 

If it was me ( and I have experienced similar ) I would put a behaviour plan in place. Have two or three strategies thatvyou all agree on and stick with it for at least four weeks. Get one of the parents to read and sign it. They may take you more seriously when they see you have 'a plan'!!?

 

Strategies I would try:

 

a). before you announce 'tidy up time' tell the boy quietly and positively that you have a job for him ( something fun like washing the paint pots) make sure its an indoor job ( so he cannot escape to the tunnel) and suggest he chooses a friend to help!

 

B). can the tunnel be removed for a short time?

 

c). ignoring his behaviour doesnt seem to be working so maybe a firm but kind talking to.. 'We do not hurt our friends at playschool' 'how do you think x feels when you slap him? and then a consequence...if you....you will not be able to play with your friends, you will have to sit with me. ( time out with an adult 3/4 mins) then when he can go play again remind him 'kind/gentle hands.

 

Its a long and tiring process but you have to break his habit of control. he sounds as though he is attention seeking and needs support and help in changing the way he is trying to achieve this.

 

Its very difficult for all the staff and the other children when you have a child who is disruptive. if the parents do not support the behaviour plan then suggest you need to ask for an advisor to come in (specialist teaching service) to suggest how you can best manage the situation. When a child continues to ignore and rebel against simple playschool rules and boundaries it becomes a health

and safety issue and this cannot be ignored.

 

Good luck with it.

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We try things like doing tidy up to a song or a timer and make it a game of "can we get it done before the end" to make it more fun. Perhaps you could get this child to start the timer etc so they have to come inside to do that or miss out.

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Guest terrydoo73

Thanks for ur replies its midnight and i cannot stop thinking through this issue.

 

Firstly the tunnel cannot be put away as its takes 3 of us to shift it out of way at best of times and to dismamantle is not option as it cost so much money it was here when I started so basically it is here to stay. Besides all the children get so much out of it as there is a house 2 slides and a tunnel in it so there is so much to observe through its use.

 

We have tried all tactics u mentioned to no avail. This child will return in September hence our desire to get things sorted now.

 

Choosing a tidy up activity indoors is not an option as it wd mean dividing staff which we cannot do bcuse of child protection implications.

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Could you give a warning before tidy up time starts eg in five mins we are going to tidy up! So the child has time to finish of their play more naturally!

 

Things i would try are

 

Make more of a game out of tiding up and a little music goes a long way! Our kids love Barney's clean up song,

I however don't share their passion :ph34r:

 

If the child was enjoying an activity in particular, i would encourage them that although it was time to finish of today we could come back to the activity tomorrow! Then set up the activity again the next day and ask the child if they would like to re-visit the activity with someone or look for new challenges!

 

Talk to mum or dad again about the situation, to see if he/she helps at home and of so how! Discuss the things you are trying in the setting and ways they can reinforce at home! Sometimes parents can come up with the most obvious solutions for issues that we encounter :blink: and vice vista :D

 

Just a final though does the child enjoy playgroup so much that he/she now associates tidy up time with going home?

Edited by Sox
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Just before you say its tidy up time could one of you calmly take his hand? If he tries to run off keep distracting him, but dont let go. He's found your weak spot and you need to take control back from him. The other children are helping and being involved and so should he.

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Would it be possible to take his hand like Rea suggests or maybe block the entrance to the tunnel before you tidy up so that he cant get in the tunnel but it remains up for most of the session so can still be used.

 

Is there something he really likes doing with you could this be used as an incentive i.e. take his hand encourage him with specific jobs or responsibilities and then reward with something he really likes doing.

 

Does he ever say why he likes it in the tunnel? could you ask him and then once you know why it might help give you solution. Is there something about not wanting to go home and tidy up time means almost home time? Is he have fun and doesn't want it to end, or doesn't get the attention at home?

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I would block the end of the tunnel off with something before you declare tidy up time, do that every time for several days until he gets the idea. Do you give a warning for tidying up? I give my children a 2 minute warning and show them all an orange card (red card is end of the session) so they know the end is coming. I would also try and move him away from the tunnel before the end of the session.

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Guest terrydoo73

Thank you for your replies - they have reinforced what we are already doing and quite successfully. We do give the few minutes warning and inside we use the method of flicking the light switch to signify tidy up time which the children all respond to by telling us that it is tidy up time. Outside we just say the word tidy up time.

 

I tried to set up something today which I was not able to implement because the rain came on and we were moving quite quickly to get inside. The child in question did the same by going into the tunnel but we ignored him yet again and very quickly the remaining children moved into the Playroom and he did likewise realising we were not going to give him any attention.

 

What I have done is this - I took pictures of all the equipment. We have a total of 12 children each day and I had photos of 12 items of equipment with their names beside them. I laminated these onto 2 A4 sheets with the idea that we will put beside each photo one of the children's symbols. We explained this to them at circle time showing them that when their picture is beside the piece of equipment that was what they had to put away. I verbally today told each child what they had to do today because of the rain and we were in a hurry - had them lined up first of all and went down the line with it. It worked! And I think the child who went into the tunnel was quite surprised that everyone had a little job to do and was interested enough to come out and see everyone doing their part.

 

For us as we discussed it before the session it gets away from this idea of us saying "everyone must tidy up" but rather tells them what they are tidying up, giving them a sense of identity and purpose.

 

We also discussed this idea of what I call "threatening" talk ie "if we don't tidy up our toys then we will not have anything to play with tomorrow." To us children really do not understand this concept and we are slowly realising that!!

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Well done, that sounds like it could work. Always strive not to end up in a situation where you are trying to battle with the child. He has clearly learned that this behaviour will get him the attention - good or bad, they generally don't care. The more you can pre-empt any sticky situations and distract or divert the better. Also make sure you give lots of praise when he does do something good without drawing attention to the unwanted behaviour. i.e. Don't make a big thing of him coming out of the tunnel but if he helps to tidy up then give him the attention for that.

 

With lots of consistency and positive interaction from staff, you should be able to turn his behaviour around in the setting at least.

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Guest terrydoo73

Friday was a horrendous day for us with this particular child - so glad I have 2 days off to recover! Firstly he was on the tractor and drove it into the pathway of another child knocking them to the ground. Then later during outside time he was in the Little Tikes climbing frame and dear help anyone who came near him. He pinned one child up against the wall leaving them bruised around his ribs. He was throwing his arms around a lot and elbowing children - clearly he did not want to be with us. We had to remove him twice from activities as it was endangering other children.

 

He has an older child who is severly handicapped and he was off school on Friday so whether that had a bearing we just do not know. His father is quite concerned at his temper and response to being told "no" at home. He also has a younger sister of a year old to whom he would hit for no reason at all.

 

It didn't help us or him that someone forgot to come and collect him on Friday at the end of the session. I waited for the required 15 minutes and started to ring both parents but no reply. The father finally did ring me back 5 minutes later and hadn't realised no-one had come for him. That was definately not the time to talk to the father about his behaviour but of course leaving it until we come back on Wednesday will have no effect either. I am really wondering if this is definately age/development related??

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