13 answers


Hi everyone, I have a home daycare and have a child that I have been taking care of for 2 years. He always has been hyper but it is steadily getting worse. It effects all of us in every aspect. His parents say they are going to take him to a doc. but they aren't doing it. I have done the thing where you notice when he is behaving and you praise him in hope it will encourage more good behavior but it works the opposite for him. It's almost like you've said, "okay you did something good now you can misbehave again".
Please, any ideas would be appreiciated.

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You all have given me great advice. I will be putting all of it to use to see what works. In the next few weeks the parents are going to take him to a doctor and I will up date you on that.
thanks, Lonie

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He needs to be tested for ADHD! It was the same with my son, he progressivly got worse. I finally had all his teachers do an evaluation and sent it to his peditrician. From there he had an evaluation with a pyscologist where is was diagonosed with ADHD. The medicine has made a world of a difference and I couldnt be more pleased with the outcome!

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This sounds very familiar as I have a very strong-willed, spirited, energetic son. I was at my wits end, especially with a new baby in the house. I found a fantastic book that really has helped me understand him and myself and I already feel better as a parent. The book is "Raising you spirited child, a guide for parents whose child is more intense, sensitive, preceptive, persistent, energetic" by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, Also, I taught preschool for a few years and often worked with "difficult" children and had much success, my secret to success is helping them find an outlet for their energy. I would make sure that these children played hard when we were outside and always had a responsibility or a specific activity inside. I have found that when these kinds of children act out they are really saying, "please give me something to do I am so bored." Another tried and true technique may sound silly but it works for me every time. When you need to have the child settle down for something like story time have the child carry something heavy like a pumpkin or gallon of milk from one place to another. This alway helps the child to become grounded especially if he is really wound up. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi Y.,
I know this might sound pretty simplistic, but what is this child eating? I know I have to be careful what I feed my 4 1/2 year old because he is full of energy naturally and doesn't need any stimulants like sugar and caffeine!

I have been a stay-at-home mom since both my children were born, so I am lucky that I have complete control as to what they eat. They did stay one day at a daycare where I was informed for their afternoon snack they had ICE CREAM!!! Needless to say that was their last day at the daycare!

Ask his parents about what he's eating. Do you serve sweets at your daycare, if you do you should consider offering fruit instead. My kids love apples with peanut butter, or cheese and crackers. Too often teachers want to send children to doctors to medicate little ones, which I am totally against. All kids really need is good nutrition, fresh air and excercise and proper rest. Also,
are there any changes at home? New baby, problem with parents marriage? Is this kid getting too much inappropriate TV or video games? All of these might be factors into his behavior.

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Taking him to a doctor and labeling him with a disorder is not going to "fix" him. My son has been diagnosed with ADHD, but after trying different treatments and working with his doctor we didn't see any improvement until he was taken off all medication and I put him on a very strict diet (not just no suger, but no high fructose corn syrup, no red dyes, etc) and started with behavior modification. He doesn't want to be "bad" he just didn't know how to control himself. In the past 6 to 8 months he has made an amazing improvement just by being helped to know how he could better handle situations the next time they come up and by learning how to express his needs. (ie I'm trying not to run, but I'm having a really hard time) Also, it seems like this child may be wanting attention more than anything. Once you tell him he's done well he seems to try harder to get more of your attention. It may help to set up a reward system where he has a chart that if he fills it with stickers or whatever during the day then he gets X reward at the end of the day. (Depending on the age, It can be as simple as a stamp on his hand) By clearly communicating to him what he is working towards and that you believe he can do it he'll see that the positive attention from you is worth the effort, and you'll mostly just have to redirect him throughout the day. This has also worked wonders for my son. we started when he was about 2 or 3 and he still gets soooo excited when I tell him to put a sticker on his chart (although he has to do more to earn them now).

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It sounds like you need to have a talk with his parents again. If you are undecided as to whether or not you want to continue care for this child, perhaps say something like this to see how the parents respond and go from there: "I've enjoyed taking care of your son for the past two years, however his hyperactivity and other behaviors have continued to worsen and it is now impacting my ability to give fair care and attention to the other children in my group. If you have immediate plans to get him evaluated, I would be willing to partner with you and his doctors for a period of time to see if we can get these behaviors undercontrol. However, if there are no immediate plans for action in place, I feel you will need to seek out alternative child care for your son."

If he has hyperactive behaviors he may have ADHD as some of the others mentioned, but also possible it could be because of a sensory processing disorder. My son has some sensory processing issues. For ADHD and some sensory-seeking kids with SPD, having plenty of opportunities throughout the day for good sensory-motor activities can be helpful. Times to run, jump, climb, roll-about etc. These are not bad kids - but the behaviors can often difficult to deal with and manage.

A short snip-it from the web on sensory issues/ADHD:


Good luck to you. :-)

The only suggestion I would have is to cut out ALL sugar if this has not already been done. I would talk to the parents and see if they would do the same and see if this has an effect.

how old is the child now?

Hi Y.,

You definitely need to get a handle on this. This child needs help, the more attention he gets for acting out whether good or bad behavior the more he is going to act up. Also when he starts school they will want his parents to do something, the sooner the better. Also this is not good for any other children you are keeping. This little guy is taking time and attention away from them. Your other parents may decide to move their children someplace where this little guy isn't. Tell his parents they either take him to a doctor and get help or they can find some place else to leave their child. Give them a deadline and stand behind what you say. Losing one family is better than losing several. Also help for the child will be better for him in the long run. Day Care for 7 years and also grandmother of a child with problems and it doesn't get any better when parents ignore the problem. Hope this helps. J.

I would ask the parents about his sleep schedule at home. A lot of times it's as simple as an extra hour or two of sleep a night. He should still be getting at least 11 to 14 hours a day total for his age. Lack of sleep can add up and kids get irritable and hyper. I would try this before sending him to a doc. No need to look for problems that may not be there.

I have a home day care too. I have only been doing it for a 18 mos and hats off to you. I had two aweful children that ruined it for us all. I just kept telling the parents they did not mind and after awhile they took them out. It is miserable and since we are limited to how many we can have either that or raise the price so it becomes uncomfortable for that parent. It is not fair when all we do is exhausting and one child wears you totally out. I have this one child that is coming in after the kids are asleep for an hour during nap time and she cries after they leave really loud because she does not want to take a nap. If it does not quit, I am going to tell the parents she is terminated. These are people that quit me when she lost a job then she got another job and quit it. Then they have not used me for awhile and came back. I thought I was going to have her for three days a week but only one week was it full time. It is like two hours a day three times a week. As I get full part time people will have to be terminated as stated in my polices.Good luck. He may need meds but it is not your fault they are not looking into help for him. Also you never know what kids get away with at home. G. W

Hi Loni, Maybe you should just say, "I feel really bad having to say this to you, but little so & so seems to be getting much worse, & frankly, I'm not able to give the attention to the other kids that they also need. You told me x-ammount of weeks ago you were taking him to the dr for this, but apparently you haven't, so really have no choice but to ask you to make other arrangments right away for daycare. Today is his last day." Ok, & if they say that, "it's not fair, they need more notice", then you remind them that it was THEY that said they were going to take him to the dr & failed to do so! Now the situation has become unfair to everybody else! I know it sounds heartless, but you are in business. People that get into the habit of procrastinating alot of times will keep finding other ways to keep pushing the envelope. Ya know what I mean? They will never "get it" unless somewhere, someone draws the line! If you chicken out, :) another remedy might be something I saw on Supernanny. Get everbody involved in something, whether it be a game inside or outdoors, a few little chores, or bundle 'em all up & take them to the park or somewhere else fun. You could pack a lunch, bring a ball, whatever? She says they just need the stimulation of different thing. I know sometimes it's easier said than done sometimes! Well, hope some of this might help! S.

I cared for my nephew for almost two years and he was also hyper and very strong willed. I spent a lot of time dealing with him and it took away from the time I spent with the other kids. It always seemed to help to take him outside...all the kids loved to be outside and he could run, jump, kick, without me having to repremand his every move. This "freedom" helped improve his attitude also. He would get very aggitated if he got too bored, so I tried to do at least one activity with the kids in the morning and then take them outside after nap (I'd reverse the order in summer because afternoons were SO hot). Even something as simple as cutting out pictures in a magazine and pasting them on a piece of constuction paper was exciting for the kids. My two year old loves to do that, but I cut out his pictures of course!
Secondly, make sure that you keep clear cut rules and follow them with clear cut consequences...harder than it sounds, especially after two years of getting into a routine with the child. There were some days that my nephew really pushed his limits and ended up in "time out" many times in the day...but usually the next day it only took one "time out" and he would respond to just a warning because he knew I was serious.
Try to find ways to keep him interested and busy, there are lots of websites with great activity ideas.
Also, some kids are very sensitive to dyes in foods. Red dye is the worst and can fuel hyperactivity. Try to stay away from things like fruit snacks and dyed drinks.
Good luck to you!

Diet is one thing that you can alter to see how he does. No artificial colors (especially red) or flavors and limit sugar. Some kids are allergic to apples. There could be other food sensitivities too.

My children are bad even with negative attention (even spankings!) it's a real chore to find something to help. But do try the diet and encourage the parents to seek help.

He needs to be tested for ADHD! It was the same with my son, he progressivly got worse. I finally had all his teachers do an evaluation and sent it to his peditrician. From there he had an evaluation with a pyscologist where is was diagonosed with ADHD. The medicine has made a world of a difference and I couldnt be more pleased with the outcome!

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