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DS (2.5 yo) says he's being hit by daycare providers. How do I handle this?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

DS is 2.5 and very verbal.  A couple of weeks ago he said daycare worker #1 "got really really mad and slapped my cheek"  After some questioning on my part he also said several of the other kids in daycare also slapped his cheek, so i didn't think much of it.  Maybe he was confused, maybe my questions were too leading - I let it drop.

 

This morning out of the blue, DS said daycare worker #2 "got really, really, really mad"  I said "Oh?  why was daycare worker #2 mad"  DS said " daycare worker #2 spanked my head".   I  didn't ask more question because I want to know the truth and not lead his imagination on to other scenarios if you know what I mean. 

 

I don't know what to do.  I never imagined these people could hit a child - everything they believe in is sooooo against that.  How can i know if DS is telling the truth or misremembering things?  I don't want to ignore him - I also don't want to falsely accuse anyone.  Any ideas of how I should approach this?

post #2 of 14

I know you want to get to the bottom of this but tread lightly.  Talk to the people and other parents.  When my niece was a very young 3-year-old, she told her grandmother that her mom hit her when she didn't use the potty.  It was untrue and grandma laughed because she knew it wasn't true. 

 

If children are being hit, certainly your child isn't the only one and maybe other kids have similar stories.

post #3 of 14

That's a rough situation.  :(  Is your ds acting scared or like he doesn't want to go there?

post #4 of 14
I had a bad daycare situation and my DD1 told me that the daycare provider was only nice to babies. Turns out it was true. I won't get into it here this is your issue, but the best thing to do is ask her. If she's offended by you asking then she really doesn't know the minds of little people very well. Some are super honest and some live in fairytale land. I can believe everything DD1 says and always have been able to, DD2 is what we like to call a Mulberry streeter... It's a Dr Seuss book.

Find out for sure.

If DS seems unhappy going there, that could be a sign.
If the story continues with little variation he could be telling the truth.
post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Imakcerka View Post

I had a bad daycare situation and my DD1 told me that the daycare provider was only nice to babies. Turns out it was true. I won't get into it here this is your issue, but the best thing to do is ask her. If she's offended by you asking then she really doesn't know the minds of little people very well. Some are super honest and some live in fairytale land. I can believe everything DD1 says and always have been able to, DD2 is what we like to call a Mulberry streeter... It's a Dr Seuss book.

Find out for sure.

If DS seems unhappy going there, that could be a sign.
If the story continues with little variation he could be telling the truth.


yeahthat.gif

 

post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by pranava View Post

I never imagined these people could hit a child - everything they believe in is sooooo against that.  How can i know if DS is telling the truth or misremembering things?  I don't want to ignore him - I also don't want to falsely accuse anyone.  Any ideas of how I should approach this?

People can have the best of intentions, fully believe in gentle discipline, etc., and not have the capacity to follow through on it.  I used to facilitate support groups for parents who were abusive to their children.  Somewhat different than a child care provider, but I think a similar lesson...  None of these people wanted to hurt their children.  They wanted to change.  They did not believe in hurting their children as a form of discipline.  Still, they were constantly struggling not to lash out in anger at their kids, and often times, they did harm their children.  That is great that your care providers don't believe in spanking, slapping, etc., but it does not mean that they will not become angry and do things they don't believe in. 

 

I would really be very very inclined to believe your son.  My experience has been that young children do not commonly lie about being harmed.   You don't have to accuse anyone of anything.  You can remove him from that situation and say nothing if you want.  You can leave it as "we felt this was the right choice for our family."   Kids really do need to be heard in situations like this.  If you overreact, the worst you've done is switched care providers.  If you underreact, you risk leaving your son in a horrible situation, and not only that, but allowing him to believe that even when he tells you someone is hurting him, you won't believe him.  That in itself can be even more damaging than what the daycare providers are supposedly doing. 

 

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Imakcerka View Post

If DS seems unhappy going there, that could be a sign.
If the story continues with little variation he could be telling the truth.


 



Quote:
Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post



  My experience has been that young children do not commonly lie about being harmed.    

 


bawling.gif that makes me so sad for him.  It sounds like you have an experienced opinion. 

 


He has always loved it there and he doesn't seem upset to go to daycare.  He doesn't act afraid on the daycare workers at all.  He has had some behavior changes lately.  Most of them could be attributed to normal 2 year old behavior, so I don't know.  He's been easily upset lately, easy to frustrate, cries at the drop of the hat and has been a little more aggressive and argumentative toward me than normal.  He's also backsliding on the potty training.  All of this is making me more frustrated with him, so his amped up behavior may be in response to my tense mood too. 

 

post #8 of 14
Has he been exposed to spanking? I ask because my DS (also 2.5yo & also very very verbal) would have no clue what "spanked" means. He has never been hit, seen anyone hit, and no one talks about spanking in his presence. So if he said someone spanked him, it would be a clue to me that he was telling the truth, since he has had no prior exposure.

Are there any non-leading questions you can ask him? Like ask him to demonstrate what happened, ask him when she did it, why she did it, etc.?

hug.gif to you & your DS!!
post #9 of 14

When my DD was around 3, she often used to tell me or DP that the other parent had spanked or hit her, or said something harsh when nothing of the sort had actually happened.  DP would calmly ask DD to stop doing something and she would come to me and say, "Dad told me to go away and never come back!"  Or she would complain to DP about how I always spank her.  (We never spank or hit, but she knows about the concept from books.)  So kids do sometimes make this stuff up out of thin air (or turn a mild reprimand into something really harsh when they tell about it.)

post #10 of 14

I would definitely want to get to the bottom of the situation and would be concerned as well. HOWEVER, when I was 3 I was in Kmart with my mom and kept asking her for something and she kept telling me "no" and I apparently flung myself on the floor and started SCREAMING "please mommy, don't hit me with a belt." No idea where that one came from, sometimes kids just do or say weird things.

post #11 of 14

My experience has been that small children (like 2 and 3) do not lie but they do have viid imaginations and can get their stories easily mixed up. Even just talking to other children can lead them to make up strories that they actually believe to be true. I would go more by: Is your child scared of the workers? ect.

Good luck.

post #12 of 14

Just have to add having worked with children who have been abused, that whether or not a child is afraid of a provider is a very poor indicator of whether or not hitting/spanking etc is happening.  Plenty of kids get spanked, etc. and have no fear of their caregiver especially if the person does not do it regularly and is also warm and caring other times. 

 

Hugs, mama.  Good luck making your decision. 

post #13 of 14

I agree with PPs that it's important to get to the bottom of this, but also wanted to share a similar experience we had....

 

DS started preschool 2 mornings a week last year. He loved it from the start. Over the summer, I enrolled him in a day camp (half days) there, and he had the same teacher he'd had at school (1 was the same, 1 was new), and was in the same classroom he'd been in. Great for continuity, right? Except that the first week, he claimed not to like it. I talked to the teachers and they said he was having a fabulous time. He never cried, never seemed happy to see me at the end of the day. By the end of the first week/beginning of the second week, he was saying he didn't want to go at all. I asked why, and he said that the teachers were mean and said bad things to him. I asked if the kids were nice, and he said yes, it was the teachers (including the receptionist and director, so all the adults) who were mean. I just didn't believe him, b/c really, ALL the grownups said mean things to him? That's at least 5 different people. I talked to the teacher and she was surprised, b/c of course he just acted like his happy little self while there. I figured out later (after he did this with another activity and seeing for myself with some supervised activities where I stayed with him) that really what it came down to was that he just didn't want to go. Going every day instead of twice a week was a big leap for him and he just wanted some time to reconnect with me at home.

 

Since it's daycare, that's probably not an option for you, but it's something to consider especially if it turns out that the DC people aren't in fact swatting him and he's fine there during the day.

post #14 of 14

I would take this very seriously- has your child ever lied in the past that you can think of?  I don't think my 3.5 year old knows how to, but that's him.  I would much rather have an uncomfortable encounter with an adult via. changing care providers then regretting not having listened to my own child about an abusive situation.

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