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Defiant Behavior 4 Year Old

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  • Defiant Behavior 4 Year Old

    I need advice on how to handle a new child who is openly defiant. This is much more than a child saying “no” when I ask her to do something or refusing to follow directions. She runs away down the hall, hides from us when we are trying to come back inside from the playground, lies to us, makes noise and gets up and walks around the room during naptime, and throws tantrums when she doesn’t get her way. I ignore the tantrums for the most part as this child craves attention even if it is negative but when she disrupts half the class during nap I can’t let it go. She’s a sweet kid most of the time, very bright, and loves to help out. Since I work by myself most of the time taking her out in the hall is not an option and when I do she seems to think it is a reward. What works most is to take away certain privileges when she makes a bad choice ( my friends who make good choices can play with a toy on their cot before naptime since you didn’t make a good choice you must lie down) Anyone else have other advice? I’ve spoken to the parents and they agree that loss of privileges work better than a simple time out.

  • #2
    Running away while you are indoors and hiding and refusing to come inside when you're moving the group back in are significant safety risks. Does your center have a plan for children with those behaviors?

    Does your center require children to be able to stay quiet and restful during naptime?

    While you are in the process of troubleshooting, also make note of which behaviors prevent the other kids from participating in the daily schedule, and which behaviors are dangerous. Bring that up with your director or otherwise kick it up the chain of responsibility. They need to be able to assess the liabilities this child poses.

    It would be really awful if the other kids in your classroom started imitating these behaviors. I hope you aren't stuck in the situation for long. Has this child never been in care before, or do you get the impression that she was kicked out of a previous daycare?


    • #3
      Thanks for the advice.
      I know she has been in daycare before but I’m not sure of the circumstances.
      The running away and hiding has not occurred recently. I think because of the way myself and the center handled it. The parents were notified immediately and warned them that such behavior was a safety risk and not tolerated. The child lost privileges that day and the parents reinforced this by taking away privileges at home. She didn’t come the first time I called her a couple times but the second time I called and started counting she came and got in line.
      It’s the naptime behavior that has gotten worse. I have a couple others who don’t sleep but they lie quietly on their cots cuddling their naptime buddies. I just can’t have her banging her cot, kicking her feet, singing, and getting up and walking around the room. She wakes up several others who still need a good nap. It’s harder to deal with when I am by myself because I can’t just focus on her when I have another child who needs to be patted to get him to relax enough to sleep.
      I am a very patient person who tries to be firm yet kind but her behaviors are a challenge.
      My director tells be I am doing a good job with her and to not think her actions are a reflection on me. It’s just hard at times.
      Not all days are bad and some days she actually sleeps. If she does sleep she will sleep through the entire naptime.
      I’m probably in the minority but I actually think it is easier to teach an ADHD child than a strong willed one. I had an ADHD child two years ago and once I sat him down with LEGO or blocks he was content for a long time. And once I patted his back for about 10 minutes he was asleep.


      • #4
        I would have a meeting with the director, parents & the owners. If you can during the meeting, try to come up with a plan of action and consequences if this continues to occur. We had a child that was exactly like this and eventually we all got tired of it to the point to where we suspended the child for a period of time and told the parents that if the behavior improved either by professional help for the child or the parent coming up with a plan on their own then the child could come back but if it happened again then they would be terminated immediately. We even documented each incident and made copies for the parents and the owners so they could have a meeting with the parents
        Christy Sewell