Working Moms

Daycare behavior issues - what to do?

DS will be 2 next month. He's in the toddler room at daycare, which goes from 16-30 months. I get behavioral reports and complaints from his teachers often. Today I got one because he wasn't listening, was being defiant, trying to bite, hitting, tackling, etc.

I'm not surprised. DS does all these things at home, except biting. He says "no" to just about everything and rarely listens. We don't spoil him or ignore his misbehavior, but so far we haven't found any form of discipline that really reaches him yet.   Part of me feels he is too young to understand consequences. He laughs if you talk to him in a stern voice, he cries while in time out but does the same thing right after he is released, etc. I just don't know how to discipline him. I try to give him choices so he feels like he has some control, but he doesn't respond to my questions with anything that makes sense, so I'm not even sure he understands me. Tonight I asked him if he wanted to watch yo gabba gabba or take a bath (both activities he enjoys), and he just babbled in response.

I'm frustrated. I thought all this was normal, but daycare has me questioning that now.  Are they expecting too much? I feel like DS is the "bad" kid. He's not a rule follower by nature and is rather contrary and stubborn. I just don't know what they expect me to do and I worry he's going to get expelled.

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Re: Daycare behavior issues - what to do?

  • You just have to be consistent. At this age all you can really do is explain what they're doing is not right as soon as it happens and then time out.

    I'm wondering if he's just bored at daycare? I've seen this happen.. kid gets bored, takes it out by being bad. My daughter started pushing when she was bored of the 1 yr old room, so she got moved up to the 2 yr old room a little early and then did fine.

    Could they move him up and see how he does?
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  • IMO time outs generally don't work for two year olds. They're too young to understand. I use redirection consistently. It can get frustrating, but you have to have a will of iron and outlast them.

    Are the daycare teachers shadowing him? They should be. Also, how much do they stick to a schedule? I find that kids who acted out in my class benefited most from a very structured at the same time, reading at the same time, etc. One of the centers I worked at had free play all day for the toddler room, even though the curriculum had a clearly defined schedule, and that room was out of control.
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