V.A. asks from Dayton, OH on September 10, 2009
Hitting - Dayton,OH
My daughter is four. She has been in daycare for a while. They are now telling me that she has been hitting a few of her friends. The parents are telling on her. I dont know what to do. Can any one give me advise on how I should approach this? Should I take away things? This is tough because she is very hard headed at times. She will understand if I talk to her and things will get better then things will go back to how she is. I really wish these parents would approach me instead of the teachers.
J.Z. answers from Toledo on September 10, 2009
So the teachers do not see her hitting the kids?? Are they filling out incident reports on this? If they are not seeing or hearing about this directly from the kids while she is in daycare, I don't understand why they would even discuss it with you. You could ask your daughter very nicely about this, but I would be cautious with discussing anything with her unless you are sure it is actually happening. My kids (4 year old boy and 19 month old girl) have been in daycare since 8 weeks and any type of behavior like this should be very well documented when discussed with a parent. I would actually go to the head of the daycare to discuss this and get his or her opinion of what is happening and their recommendation about how you and the teachers should handle this. It is very important to make sure you and the teachers are on the same page with how this type of behavior is addressed. Hitting is not that big of a deal at 4, but the way they are communicating this to you is too ambiguous for you to do anything about. I know they cannot tell you what parents are discussing it with them, but they can at least tell the parents that there is nothing that they can do about it either unless they see it themselves.
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M.R. answers from Columbus on September 10, 2009
I think that approaching the teachers is the right course of action because the teachers should be noticing this behavior, documenting it, and acting on it imeadiately. You should be more disapointed in the teaching staff than the parents. A four year old needs concequences on the spot, and that they had to be informed by other parents who heard it from their own children is unacceptable, and frankly, I am surprised that the teachers would give you second hand information instead of taking the initative to shore up what is clearly a problem with them.
For the behavior, if you are not there to do something on the spot, I don't know what they expect for you to do about it. I would consider finding a day care that is more attune to kids needs in general, because this just sounds like sloppy, pass the buck, wearhousing to me instead of quality day care.
If you see her hit, you should have a plan to act right away, using an effective technique for her, what ever that may be (taking something away, time out, etc) An sincere appology to the victim is usually a nice addition to the concequence, as is loading on attention and comfort for the child who was hit in clear view of the hitter, such that the one who gets the lion's share of the attention is the child who was hit, not the one who did the hitting to avoied negative attention seeking.
Especially if your daughter is difficult, you want her to be in a place that has clear rules, prompt and accurate documentation, careful observation, and a plan to deal with these behaviors so that she gets the attention she deserves in a timely manner to give her a fighting chance to change her behavior.
I think that your focus is on the wrong folks here.
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A.C. answers from Cincinnati on September 13, 2009
It is really strange that the parents are observing this and not the teachers. Does this mean that the teachers don't see the behavior? Or refuse to address the behavior? Are they discussing your daughter's behavior with other parents? Or do you mean that she is hitting her friends during playdates and the parents then inform the teachers?
I worked in daycare for years, and I taught children ages 3 months to 5 years, and of course we informed parents if their children were having some difficulties, and we informed other parents if their children were injured. But if your daughter is hitting during daycare, you need to sit down with her teachers and discuss first: the settings when your child hits (is she angry? does she want another's toy?), and second, work out a discipline plan that you will follow at home while they follow it at school so that you daughter can always predict the consequences of her actions. You also need to talk to your daughter to explain the upcoming changes, and the teachers of course need to tell your daughter when they discipline her the reasons for their actions.
If your daughter is hitting during playdates, sit down and talk to the teachers about whether they have observed the behavior. If they have not, well, you may need to talk to the other parents. If they have, find out what they are doing to address it, and take it from there (you may also want to find out why they pushed the blame onto the parents of her friends). Hitting, of course, should never be tolerated. Good luck!
L.H. answers from Dayton on September 11, 2009
K.B. answers from Cincinnati on September 10, 2009
I would think the school/daycare should address the issue when it appens. Punishing her at home should supplement also but it won't work if she doesn't have punishment at the time. You can tell her it's not right, but if the teacher doesn't make it not right at school, she will continue to act out. Talk with the teacher and ask what is done when she hits a friend. If the teacher does not see her hitting a friend then I'd say there is more going on. Still talk to her at home and let her know what the behavior is right and wrong whether it teacher is watching or not.