learning bad behavior at daycare - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 04-05-2012, 07:14 PM - Thread Starter
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So about two months ago DD, then 16 months started going to a friends "daycare" two days a week.  I put "daycare" in quotations because she's not registered and doesn't follow a curriculum or anything, she's a sahm of a 3.5 yr old boy and happens to take on all the neighborhood kids in a very loose, day by day way.  You always see her walking in the park, going to play groups, heading to the pool with a bunch of kids in toe, but you never know necessarily which ones she'll have and at what times.


I chose to send DD here after doing tons of interviews with strangers that have home daycares, and considering the more institutional types that just don't fit our lifestyle.  I really wanted her in a warm, home environment with somebody that I know and trust -and this woman is great.  Having said that, it was never necessary in the past to pay a lot of attention to her parenting style, and I'm starting to see some negative effects of DD spending time with her 3.5 yr old son.


Although DD LOVES her son, and only sees him a total of 7 hrs a week, she's been picking up on his rude behavior.  He has a very hard time sharing, which I know is normal, but does a lot of slapping, swatting at, and yelling really loudly "no!" at her whenever she comes by to see what he's doing.  When he's in the right mood, he'll chase her around the house or play ball with her which she loves, but the rest of the time (95%) he's constantly telling her pretty much to get away from him in a mean way.  The mother has a pretty ineffective way of dealing with this, she'll turn to him and say, "don't be mean to her" and then turn back to her conversation with you, but there's no real discipline, consequences or application of his behavior.  


So now DD is doing the exact same thing to DH and I.  She'll constantly cry out "no!" and swat at you.  In general she's just kind of gotten a little surly and has this attitude that I don't enjoy.  I haven't seen her to do this to any other kid yet, but I'm wondering if it's just a matter of time.  Is she learning to be mean to others or is this a normal phase of growing up and mimicking others?  How should I be dealing with this in an 18 month old?  Should I consider removing her or just ride it out, hoping that after several months of explaining, "we don't do that, even if others do" that eventually it will sink in?


She absolutely adores this family and the other kids that attend, so I would hate to stop her from going, but I just want to make sure it's not doing damage to be around another kid that has such little patience for her.  I dunno, what do you guys think?

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#2 of 5 Old 04-06-2012, 01:24 PM
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Just two thoughts that I had:


-My 18m old does that "No!"/SWAT thing just like yours. He learned it from my 3yr old, who learned it from my 8 year old brother. eyesroll.gif So kids will pick up the worst things from almost any situation. If she was in another daycare, she might be biting right now, yk?


-I deal with it by either appearing sad and hurt and saying, "Gentle voices. You can just say 'no'." Which I am sure is a bit far fetched for an 18m old, but I stick with it over and over. Or by being silly and happy and saying, "Hey! Where did your gentle voice go? Can mama play with you?" and that generally makes him want to share with me, and the mood gets light again.


I have more to write, but I can't seem to get the words down right. I hope others can guide you...

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#3 of 5 Old 04-07-2012, 09:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, I guess that was my main question, is this a totally normal phase and part of toddler-hood where they simply pick up things from others, good and bad or is it something that should be dealt with.  I mean, I know they're going to pick stuff up from others, but it bums me out to think that she so desperately loves this little boy and he's always swatting at her and telling her to get away and she keeps going back like a moth to a flame.  I just don't know when and how you intervene on a social level with your kids.

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#4 of 5 Old 04-12-2012, 01:36 PM
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#5 of 5 Old 04-14-2012, 01:54 PM
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I guess my concern would be the informality of the care situation.  But I'm biased because I specifically chose to put my daughter in a corporate day care setting.  I wanted multiple "eyes" on her, and I liked that they had a formal policy on how they deal with everything (including biting). 


They taught the kids how to interact nicely with each other, and what was ok and not ok, etc.  It sounds like this mom might not be doing that, and is more hands off?


Your kid is always going to learn undesirable things from other kids, but I think the key is how it's dealt with on a long-term basis.  Maybe you need to do more observation on how the mom in charge of this "daycare" handles interactions between kids.


Good luck!

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