Toddlers: 24 Months+

Daycare behavior woes

My 2 year old is getting lots of behavior reports at daycare. He recently moved up to the 2-year-old class. He is the youngest. Most of the others are almost a year older than him. A couple are almost a year and a half older because they are still potty training and haven't moved them up.

There is one girl that is a couple of months older than him. Because they are developmentally at the same stage, they tend to gravitate towards each other to play. The "bigger kids" can talk and tend to play together. The problem is that my son and this other child are in a power struggle and don't play well together. They have very similar strong personalities. Neither one will back down. Since they don't communicate well verbally yet, they act out physically toward one another, biting (the other child mostly does this) hitting and kicking (more my child) They are equally to blame.

I'm concerned with this behavior. I have spoken with the teacher and daycare director. They both asked me for suggestions on what to do. They told me they like to redirect, but with this starting to happen on an almost daily basis, I'm concerned they aren't intervening and redirecting at the first signs of behavior. It seems to me they are letting it escalate too far before stepping in.

I suggested time out. She told me they don't like that. I also asked about possibly separating them in different classes. The director told me there is a child with an even stronger personality in the other class, and she thinks it will be even worse. All I can think is keep them away from one another.

I'm a teacher for goodness sake, but I'm at a loss here . My child is very active. I have a feeling he may be overstimulated. Do you think a sensory bin could work? When they can tell he is getting out of control/wild, they set him down with the bin I've made and let him calm down with it? I could change out bins every month to keep it interesting. I'm grasping at straws here. Ideas? Suggestions?

Re: Daycare behavior woes

  • I think it is strange that they asked you what they should do.  It is their job as providers/teachers to address the issue at school and yours to address at home.  I would think that they as your children's teachers should address this at daycare by re-directing and talking to the kids about how we treat our friends with respect and don't bite/kick/hit.  At home, I would just reiterate and tell your son that if the other child hits him or something he should walk away and talk to the teacher.  And reiterate that he should not hit/kick/bite because that is not how we treat our friends. 

    I know he is on the younger side, but I think that it's not too early to have talks like this.  It will eventually start to sink in and get him in the habit of telling you about these things early so you can address at home.

    Good luck!  I know it is stressful.  My daughter is just over three and there is already so much drama involved with her daycare friendships, the cliques, so-and-so hitting her, and so-and-so not being her best friend anymore. 


  • I think they are doing what they normally do with children at school. It's just not helping. That's why they asked me.

    Most of this stems from his inability to express himself verbally, so he expresses his frustration physically. I'm hoping it will get better as his language develops.
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  • Ya Never KnowYa Never Know member
    edited August 2015
    What do they not like about timeouts? Our daycare will use them in exactly these types of situations, and they are absolutely effective, even when DD was younger but past the age of redirection.

    When redirection is no longer working, they can't just let the kids hurt each other, and whether they like it or not, timeouts are an effective way to curb that type of behavior. Timeouts can be as simple as having the child sit down for 1 minute, and that's often enough. If they are at a loss and asking for suggestions, then I would tell them to do the timeouts anyway. You pay them, you should have some say in how a situation is handled. They can talk to the other parent and ask them if they feel timeouts are okay as well if that's what they are worried about.

    I'm sure this isn't the first time they have dealt with clashing personalities, what have they done in the past? They should be equipped to handle this type of situation.
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