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Discussion Starter #1
<p>I'm going to apologize in advance, because I know this is going to be kind of rambling.  But I just have a feeling something is wrong, but can't put my finger on exactly what.  I guess I'm just looking for advice, or for others' interpretations of the situation.</p>
<p>DD (26 months) has been in this daycare center since August.  This is her first time in a center, previously she had been in a home care with only one other child.  She had about 2 weeks of difficult adjustment period, and then she was fine.  She was happy.  She loved her teachers and friends and wanted to go see them.  She was happy at home as well, as she always has been.</p>
<p>Starting a few weeks (maybe a month at most) ago, this changed.  She continued to be the happy, sweet child she always has been- but only on the weekends.  On the weekdays, she is extremely clingy to me, refusing to let Daddy do anything with her.  She throws horrible tantrums non-stop about the tiniest things.  She is mean- says a lot of things like, "No! I don't like that! Stop it (fill in name of person or pet)!"</p>
<p>I talked to one of her teachers yesterday, who said that DD is very happy-go-lucky at school, never throws tantrums, etc.  Because I was standing there for such a long time talking to the teacher, I saw the floater teacher in the room put DD's friend in time out, and she said, "No-I don't like that!" to the little boy.  So at least I know where she got that from...</p>
<p>Some other important facts: a month ago, DH started a new job that requires a longer commute, meaning DD is going to school earlier in the morning.  She gets there at 7 now, instead of 8 like she used to.  I pick her up at 4.  She naps for about 1 hour and 45 minutes at school, although she really needs at least 2 hours (3 is her ideal).  She also turned 2 in September.  I'm just trying to provide as much information as possible, because I really don't know if this is normal or not.  I just am tired of the weekday drama, by the end of the week, I hate to say it, but I almost don't like her very much.  But then the weekend comes and she is my perfect child again.</p>
<p>So what's the problem?  Is she not getting enough sleep?  Is she spending too much time at daycare?  Is there a problem with their discipline methods?</p>
 

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<p>My daughter went through that as well.  We moved from NM to Chicago when she was just 2.  At first things were okay then we had to make her day longer 7-5 and we had the same type of experiences.  They loved her, she came home a mess.  I think she was putting SOOO Omuch effort into "being at daycare" that she was on overload by night time.  The mornings were hellish too because she was gearing up for the day.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>To be honest, I wound up cutting back my hours after about 9 months of this. My boss wouldn't let me go part time so I found a part time job that just covered the bills and had her in care for only 5-6 hours a day and into pre-school.  I went back full time when she was 4.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>And yes the things she is saying are the ways she sees her teachers handling situations there.  There is probably not anything "wrong" so much as an overdone child Im sad to say.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #3
<p>That's what I was afraid of.  DH described it as like having a workday, just like we're tired and cranky when we get home from work, she's tired and cranky from her long day at "work."  I feel like she's way too young to be having a "work" day mentality!!!</p>
<p>I can't switch my hours, I'm a teacher.  But hopefully DH and I can come up with some way to adjust his hours to a later start.  I'm just feeling so sad for the burden we're putting on her.</p>
 

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<p>I feel we've been going through some of the same with DD, who is 27 months. So I empathize! I always feel it has to do with the season, for us. The colder weather means less time outdoors to expend energy. It's dark when we leave and dark when we come home, so no more evenings in the park during the week. And with the holidays, there are always a lot of changes/visitors/excitement/travel that can wear DD down. Even if it's fun for her, I feel it somewhat comes between our connection. We're just not as sympatico when we're caught up in the bustle!</p>
<p> </p>
<p>From what I read, it looks like there might be a few different issues that could be worked on individually--but which are possibly compounding (alongside general 2-year-old-ness) to the point where you're concerned.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>What are the mornings and evenings like in your house? Do you have to rush, when you get home, to get dinner on the table and tidy up? Is there enough time in the morning for you to connect to your DD before you're off and running? When I feel like this is an issue, I try to make sure DD and I are reconnecting in the evening. She still likes a nursing session when she gets home, so we cuddle, have lots of eye-contact, take a bath together, read stories, and so on. And THEN I go jump on the stove. Co-sleeping helps us a lot. The other day when we got home, I asked DD if she wanted to play on the floor with her blocks or "ride in Mama's pouch" (Ergo) while I made dinner and she chose the latter--so I definitely think she's feeling a greater need for close connection.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>We really struggle in the morning, because I prepare lunches (and no, I just can't get it done the night before) and get us both dressed and help DH get out the door, too, and we all like our sleep. So it's kind of a mad dash and a lot of the time we let DD watch a tv show while we do the crazy. Which entertains her, sure, but it's not really connecting with us. I try to make room for SOME play, even if it's only just a little bit. Like one story. Or a quick five minutes of silliness under the blankets. Or we sing on the way to daycare.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>We have definitely seen DD echo a lot of the disciplinary language that is used at her daycare, not just by the teachers, but even by a child's parent if she hears them talking. Since we are non-punitive in our home, I think DD is mostly interested in exploring that kind of language and reacting to it. So we "play" a lot with it. Right after she saw a little boy's father send him to the corner, for instance, we had a LOT of play in our house that involved sending me to the corner, instructing me on how long to stay, etc. I'd just play along--sometimes accepting her direction, sometimes acting as if I was resisting/didn't want to go. We had a brief "that is BAD" interlude. Again, we just rolled with it, really. We'd explain that we didn't like to be spoken to that way, suggest other language ("are you disappointed that we have to leave the library?") and generally don't take it personally.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I try to make sure, on the weekends, that we get in some energetic play. Outside, if at all possible. If not, an indoor playground or somewhere that she can just run/climb freely. I remember how hard it was as a child to be "cooped up" (as my mother always said) inside all winter. I'm super happy that our daycare takes the kids outside unless the weather is just really, really not safe.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Some of it might just be the age, too. DD is SO demanding with me right now, and I know that's not (just) coming from daycare (in fact, it was recent topic of discussion with her teachers, as well, who don't always love being spoken to in that way)--we're really working hard on asking for things in a nice way, how people like to hear a sweet voice, etc. It's only been a week since we started really talking about it and she's already understanding. We have a lot of conversations about different ways you can ask for things, how you can ask people to stop doing something you don't like, etc. I don't enforce please/thank-you, but I do want her to know that people are happier to help her if asked in a nice way.</p>
 

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<p>I just had a parent conference with DD's daycare & apparently she is a perfect angel there.  I asked if she ever throws tantrums and they said no, she doesn't cry or anything.  I'm thinking to myself:  Are they really talking about MY child? </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Things have been especially bad recently, since she changed rooms to be with the older kids - and the weather/daylight savings time thing happened around the same time. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>I can't help but wonder if I'm doing something wrong that makes her think that tantrums are getting her somewhere with me.  But I generally am calm & don't give in so... not sure what else to do.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>We started moving her bedtime earlier which is slightly helping.  But yeah, I think a lot of it is just being "on" all day.</p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
 

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<p>My ds does this too, and he starts at 9am.  I think its just that he gets tired from too much activity, and an earlier bedtime has definitely helped him. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>He too, is a perfect ANGEL at daycare - he's so social and loves to be around people that he never acts up around others (he's been this way since he was about 5mo).  One of the staff saw him throwing a tantrum one day and was shocked to see it!  It was hilarious.  I wouldn't worry, just try to do extra cuddles at bedtime, and plenty of protein/healthy fats in her lunches (to give her more energy).</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #8
<p>You know, DH and I had just been talking about how we don't think she gets enough physical activity at school.  So maybe there's something to that...but it is so hard now that it's dark so early and so cold- but we do always walk the dog, at the very least.  And yes, Super~Single~Mama, I need to be more aware of what I'm sending in her lunches and just what she's eating overall- she just recently starting eating more than little nibbles here and there, and branching out as far as what she's willing to try.</p>
<p>Mornings are pretty rushed, and she has to wake up earlier than she ever has before.  But afternoons/evenings are very relaxed, I usually make meals on the weekend so it's really just reheating on the weekdays, and I have made sure that I spend most of  my time playing with her, reading, just hanging out.  She even showers with one of us most days!  And yeah, she still nurses and cosleeps.  Actually, here's another interesting point- for about the last week and a half, she's been waking up several times a night to nurse, which she hasn't done in over a year.  Could that be related to any of this other stuff?</p>
<p>Friday when I picked her up, one of her teachers was telling me that the smile she had when she saw me, that was her first smile of the day.  The teacher said that DD just doesn't smile anymore- it's not that she's crying or she seems sad/upset.  She described it like, "she goes through the routine, but she doesn't get any joy from it.  She's like a robot, just going through the motions.  She used to like sitting on our laps, telling jokes and being silly.  I don't know if maybe she's just too used to the room and everything now."  She reiterated that DD doesn't ever seem unhappy.  What on earth does this mean???</p>
<p>Thanks for all the helpful suggestions- keep them coming! <span><img alt="thumbsup.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/thumbsup.gif" style="width:33px;height:19px;"></span></p>
 

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<p>I would be worried about her not smiling - that doesn't sound right to my mama sense.  I would try (if you can) to see if she can start later, at 8 like she used to.  Can she take a toy, or a book into school with her?  Maybe a kid photo album of family photos to look at around nap time or something?  DO you think that would help cheer her up?  Sassy has some great, really cute ones.  7am is REALLY early for a toddler - any way you can let her sleep, pack breakfast to be eaten at daycare and just put her in the car in the morning?  Will she sleep on the way there?  What time is she going to bed at night?  It sounds like part of the problem might be that she isn't getting enough sleep - especially if you don't pick her up till 5pm, and then have to eat dinner, walk the dog, bedtim routine, and then she's waking up more.  I'm not sure theres much you can do about that - and certainly its not your fault, so don't feel guilty - just wonder if you can play with the routine a bit to make the hours work a bit better.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>ETA - I would also ask the daycare staff member you talked to if the not smiling all day was a one time thing, or if it had been several days.  Is your dd coming down with a cold?  My ds definitely has had off days when he's been getting a cold, or coming down with a viral infection of some sort - and thats not something to worry about (other than getting kiddo well again), but if your dd is perfectly healthy, and just isn't smiling or happy (even though she's not 'unhappy' per se), I would be worried.  I wouldn't make any drastic changes all at once, but I would start trying things to see if she got happier. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>I would definitely try to move bedtime earlier though to make up for the earlier wake up.  naps are not as restful as nighttime sleep IME, and when ds naps well he doesn't sleep well at night, and then he's just not well rested - we have to work hard at making sure he sleeps well at night and takes shorter naps b/c that leads to a more rested, happy kiddo (for us, I know each kid has their own quirks and things that work for them - just something to think about).</p>
 

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<p>Well - they don't call it the terrible twos (and threes) for no reason. It could be related to the external things you've described, or it could just be she's learning and exploring limits and controls.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I noticed that my children did all of their "new" things with me - the first steps, the first crawls, first stands etc were all in the place they felt safest and bravest and most like themselves. I think the tantrums that YOU see are a natural outgrowth of that. she feels emotionally safe to express herself with you. I don't think you are doing anything wrong. I know my family sees more of my emotions than my work does.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Having said all that though - if your gut says this is day care related I think you should look into that and ask a few more questions about the school - new policies, new teachers, the new room etc.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #11
<p>Well, a bit of good news to share- DD slept the whole night through last night, and then her teacher said that she seemed more of herself today, even smiling and laughing at times! <span><img alt="joy.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/joy.gif" style="width:42px;height:39px;"></span> So, maybe a lot of it is just related to sleep.  We have been trying to make sure she is in bed at 8 PM, I really hope that she doesn't need to go to bed earlier than that because I'd hate to lose more time with her.  I have asked DH to consider "flexing" his hours so that he essentially pushes his day back by an hour, and could go back to dropping her off at 8 AM.  He's concerned about the traffic he'll hit, but I'm going to keep pushing it. </p>
 

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<p>Wow..i'd say she's definitely not getting enough sleep. and that can have a dramatic effect on mood. even though it's hard i would shoot for an even earlier bedtime than 8 if she has to wake up at 6 i'm guessing? If you drop her off by 7? My younger 2 kids are sleeping by 8, but dont' wake up until 7 or 7:30, and the 2 yo still naps. He's a wreck if he doesn't get enough sleep. It's so hard when you don't feel like you get enough time with them :( He seems to need even more sleep now that he's in daycare.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>petey44</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283001/daycare-troubles#post_16086956"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I'm going to apologize in advance, because I know this is going to be kind of rambling.  But I just have a feeling something is wrong, but can't put my finger on exactly what.  I guess I'm just looking for advice, or for others' interpretations of the situation.</p>
<p>DD (26 months) has been in this daycare center since August.  This is her first time in a center, previously she had been in a home care with only one other child.  She had about 2 weeks of difficult adjustment period, and then she was fine.  She was happy.  She loved her teachers and friends and wanted to go see them.  She was happy at home as well, as she always has been.</p>
<p>Starting a few weeks (maybe a month at most) ago, this changed.  She continued to be the happy, sweet child she always has been- but only on the weekends.  On the weekdays, she is extremely clingy to me, refusing to let Daddy do anything with her.  She throws horrible tantrums non-stop about the tiniest things.  She is mean- says a lot of things like, "No! I don't like that! Stop it (fill in name of person or pet)!"</p>
<p>I talked to one of her teachers yesterday, who said that DD is very happy-go-lucky at school, never throws tantrums, etc.  Because I was standing there for such a long time talking to the teacher, I saw the floater teacher in the room put DD's friend in time out, and she said, "No-I don't like that!" to the little boy.  So at least I know where she got that from...</p>
<p>Some other important facts: a month ago, DH started a new job that requires a longer commute, meaning DD is going to school earlier in the morning.  She gets there at 7 now, instead of 8 like she used to.  I pick her up at 4.  She naps for about 1 hour and 45 minutes at school, although she really needs at least 2 hours (3 is her ideal).  She also turned 2 in September.  I'm just trying to provide as much information as possible, because I really don't know if this is normal or not.  I just am tired of the weekday drama, by the end of the week, I hate to say it, but I almost don't like her very much.  But then the weekend comes and she is my perfect child again.</p>
<p>So what's the problem?  Is she not getting enough sleep?  Is she spending too much time at daycare?  Is there a problem with their discipline methods?</p>
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<p><br>
I know this is from a few weeks ago and I hope things are going better for you and your family! I am an Early Childhood Educator and I wanted to mention something about the "I don't like that" phrase you heard from your daughter and her teacher. This is a very common way that infant/toddler teachers model and encourage children to use their words with one another rather than using less desirable (albeit natural and developmentally appropriate) ways such as hitting, pushing, biting. I wouldn't think your DD is being mean by verbalizing her feelings. I think that is great she is using language to express her frustrations! I also think it shows the teachers at her center are talking to her and her peers when they have a conflict and providing them with words to help resolve it.<br>
 </p>
 

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<p>I didn't read all the post in detail, but I just wanted to offer a few suggestions.  </p>
<p> </p>
<p>First, since you said she is waking up earlier than normal, have you asked if she could go down for nap earlier?  I'm not sure if they put her down for nap right after lunch or if there is a longer transition there.  She might just need more time to sleep.  Also, if she is waking up after 1 hour 45 minutes, and you say she could really go for more, do they try to get her to go back to sleep?  Or do they just let her get up?</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Second, I would ask what the staffing pattern is for her classroom during the hours that she is there.  Find out who is there and at what times.  It may that this assistant teacher is with her for that extra hour or so during the morning or there is another teacher in there altogether.  Is it possible that she is getting placed in another room and then transitioning to her room in the AM?  Centers will frequently combine rooms and float teachers during early morning hours and the teachers that you think are there all day are NOT the ones who really are there all day.  I would also ask if there is any new staff member that was hired that comes in during any point of the day that she interacts with.  There really could be an issue of how she is interacting with particular staff members.  I don't think an extra hour a day in child care would necessarily be a bad thing for her, it could just be what is going on from 7-8 that is a problem.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Third, as for the teacher telling a child "I don't like that"  sigh...I have an M.A. in early childhood, and I really don't like it when teachers say that to children.  It implies that their behavior should be changed to make the teacher happy, when really that isn't why we want children to act a certain way, to please other people.  It's one thing if you heard her say "Tell So-and-so that you don't like it when she hits you."  that's a great way to model language.  Just saying, "I don't like that", is not.  It's the same as saying, "that makes me sad."  It's directive and closed-ended and the example you gave does not make me think that they are helping children talk through their problems at all.  Sadly, it is a common way for teachers to address problem behaviors in children, but really, most of the time I see it used, it is a substitute for "no" or "stop it," which is what this sounds like here.  I would be concerned about that, especially since she hears it enough and is modeling it back to you.  I would suggest seeing if you could spend a morning in the classroom observing (2-3 hours) because teachers can often keep up appearances for 1-2 hours, but after that, they fall back into normal routines and interactions, and you might really get to hear what is really going on.  Is there anyway you could listen and watch what is happening without your child seeing you?  I would also consider talking to the lead teacher of the classroom and asking what types of things they do in terms of classroom management and behavior guidance, and how all teachers are trained to handle issues.  If you don't get the response you want and are still concerned, I would go to the director, because it is possible that the teacher you are noticing these interactions with needs to go to further training or needs to be mentored and monitored additionally by the program management.  Chances are the director already knows there is an issue.  I would also be EXTREMELY concerned about the liberal use of time out for children that age.  They aren't mature enough to get what is happening.  There are so many other ways to manage behavior in a classroom that don't require the use of time-out, especially with 2 year olds.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>To me, from what you describe, if children are frequently being told that the teacher doesn't like what they do and she sees other children being put in time out (and she herself may be put in time out), her classroom may just not be an emotionally happy place for her to be at the moment.    I'm sorry it's so hard for her right now and I wish she could just tell you what is going on with her during the day to make this easier to figure out.</p>
 

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 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Agatha_Ann</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283001/daycare-troubles#post_16160720"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-right:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-bottom:0px solid;"></a><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>petey44</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283001/daycare-troubles#post_16086956"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-right:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-bottom:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I'm going to apologize in advance, because I know this is going to be kind of rambling.  But I just have a feeling something is wrong, but can't put my finger on exactly what.  I guess I'm just looking for advice, or for others' interpretations of the situation.</p>
<p>DD (26 months) has been in this daycare center since August.  This is her first time in a center, previously she had been in a home care with only one other child.  She had about 2 weeks of difficult adjustment period, and then she was fine.  She was happy.  She loved her teachers and friends and wanted to go see them.  She was happy at home as well, as she always has been.</p>
<p>Starting a few weeks (maybe a month at most) ago, this changed.  She continued to be the happy, sweet child she always has been- but only on the weekends.  On the weekdays, she is extremely clingy to me, refusing to let Daddy do anything with her.  She throws horrible tantrums non-stop about the tiniest things.  She is mean- says a lot of things like, "No! I don't like that! Stop it (fill in name of person or pet)!"</p>
<p>I talked to one of her teachers yesterday, who said that DD is very happy-go-lucky at school, never throws tantrums, etc.  Because I was standing there for such a long time talking to the teacher, I saw the floater teacher in the room put DD's friend in time out, and she said, "No-I don't like that!" to the little boy.  So at least I know where she got that from...</p>
<p>Some other important facts: a month ago, DH started a new job that requires a longer commute, meaning DD is going to school earlier in the morning.  She gets there at 7 now, instead of 8 like she used to.  I pick her up at 4.  She naps for about 1 hour and 45 minutes at school, although she really needs at least 2 hours (3 is her ideal).  She also turned 2 in September.  I'm just trying to provide as much information as possible, because I really don't know if this is normal or not.  I just am tired of the weekday drama, by the end of the week, I hate to say it, but I almost don't like her very much.  But then the weekend comes and she is my perfect child again.</p>
<p>So what's the problem?  Is she not getting enough sleep?  Is she spending too much time at daycare?  Is there a problem with their discipline methods?</p>
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<p><br>
I know this is from a few weeks ago and I hope things are going better for you and your family! I am an Early Childhood Educator and <strong>I wanted to mention something about the "I don't like that" phrase you heard from your daughter and her teacher. This is a very common way that infant/toddler teachers model and encourage children to use their words with one another rather than using less desirable (albeit natural and developmentally appropriate) ways such as hitting, pushing, biting.</strong> I wouldn't think your DD is being mean by verbalizing her feelings. I think that is great she is using language to express her frustrations! I also think it shows the teachers at her center are talking to her and her peers when they have a conflict and providing them with words to help resolve it.<br>
 </p>
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<p><br>
This is exactly what I was going to mention!  My DD has been in daycare since she was an infant.  When she started to get more verbally advanced, she also started saying "I don't like it" etc.  Her teachers were just trying to get her to "use her words" instead of hitting, pushing, etc. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>2 (and 3) is a tough age.  My DD went through a similar thing at 2, when she would melt-down every evening at home or even as I picked her up from daycare.  I think it had to do with not getting enough sleep and just being "on" all day.  When I showed up she felt comfortable melting-down in a way she didn't with her teachers.  She knew I could handle all her emotions, happy, sad, and mad, so she felt comfortable unloading on me.  We moved bedtime up to 8:00 PM, which really helped.  She's now 3 1/2 and she's doing a lot better... she's a much easier child to be around in the evening when I pick her up.  I think part of it is just a maturity issue.  She's growing up and can handle herself and her feelings so much better now!<br>
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