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|Mon, 02-08-2010 - 3:17pm|
I am a dayhome provider and am hoping some of you who have more experience can offer me some insight/advice. I have ~3 years experience as a provider and 9 being a parents/step-parent.
Please excuse my length as I don't really know how to compress this info!
I have a new child, J, that started mid-Jan. He turned 4 in Nov. Mom was a dayhome provider for 5 yrs but went back to work for many reasons, one of which was that she got tired of doing dayhome (understandable). J also has an older sis, who was diagnosed with leukemia when J was still a lil baby. End result is, due to the lack of attention J got as a baby due to his sis' illness, parents have (over?) compensated by allowing some things that now are an issue for me.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not cold-hearted, and I completely understand where they're coming from. When you've had one child almost die, you tend to "pick your battles" with your children thereafter.
J is a wonderfully behaved child. Shares most toys well, has manners, is quickly adapting to manners that I request (i.e. "excuse me" and so on).
But my concerns are:
1. J "likes his milk" as per Mom. She provides the milk. But he is 4 years old and several (5-6) times a day needs to lay down on the couch with his sippy cup to have his milk. I knew in advance that he liked milk but not the couch/sippy cup part. This causes issues with my own son (20 months) who is allowed a sippy cup of milk when he wakes up in the a.m. and THAT'S IT, as well as other DH kids who are same age/younger but drink out of regular cups & are only allowed to drink at the table. J will NOT drink at the table (not even with meal/snack). He literally turned around in circles and had a melt down on Friday after lunch when my husband was laying down on the couch.
Do I let this continue and just suck it up in regards to my kids? Do I talk to parents about when they are planning on getting their 4-year old off the sippy cup? Or do I institute new rule about no drinks in the living room to him?
2. Very picky eater. I have a no outside food rule because my son and I are allergic to peanuts. Any slice of bread or deli meat or cereal etc could have traces of peanuts on it and be lethal. I have adjusted some of my menu to food J likes (chicken burgers, hot dogs) but he refuses to eat cheese, pasta, or sandwiches that I make, so Mom now sends sandwiches 3x/week.
I thought this would be ok for adjustment period - that he would accept me making sandwiches, but apparently not.
Then last week, we have chicken burgers on Tues, and on Wed J comes with not a sandwich but a chicken burger from home. So suddenly I have mutiny on my hands, 4 other kids that want to know why they are not getting chicken burgers again!
What do I do about this sitch? Do I ask mom to stop sending him lunch? Do I just try to make my other kids understand?
3. Also snacks are very picky - limited to bananas (if they are in perfect condition), apples (if peeled & cored perfectly), carrots, cucumbers, yogurt TUBES, and chocolate chip granola bars. That's it. Not what I am used to serving, altho I have accommodated somewhat.
Do I accommodate his snack whims? Do I feed all the kids what he is used to having? Do I let him have a different snack then the other kids? Or do I just serve what I serve, and if he doesn't like it too bad? (That's pretty much what I've done in the past - with 5 kids of my own I learned a loooooong time ago not to cater to each individual child.) He literally wants a choc chip granola bar & yogurt tube every day. He also told me that he gets fruit loops with his yogurt tube. No way that's happening in my house.
4. J brings a leapster everyday to dayhome. It clearly states in my manual to not bring toys from home, as children rarely share well. Mom had indicated that she would allow J to bring Leapster to help him "adjust" for the first little while, to be used at quiet time. I was okay with this. However when Dad drops J off, he takes Leapster out of backpack and J immediately plays it...and does not want to share. Does not like when the kids are trying to see what he is doing, and does not understand that 1 yr olds have a fascination with things that make noise like that and hence WILL try to touch them.
Leapster in the morning is now a routine that interferes with dayhome routine. When my last DH child (which is now J) arrives, we go down to our playroom, or on occcassion to our 2nd level bedrooms for a change of pace. J throws a whining fit, crying, melts down if he does not get his Leapster time when he arrives. But also gets upset when he is trying to play and the other kids are trying to see.
Other kids, (2 of which are mine) do not understand why J will not share this toy, as they share all the other toys, kwim?
This has gotten so bad that my 3-yo son has talked my DH into buying him a Leapster for his birhtday in June.
J does not listen very well, when it comes to Leapster. Like I say "I dont think you need your Leapster right now" and 2 minutes later, he has it out & the problems commence. Multiple times a day.
So do I, as the provider, simply outlaw the Leapster unless it's quiet time, regardless of his meltdowns?
Or do I talk to parents and tell them they need to keep it at home or talk to him about it being only for quiet time?
5. Quiet time = Leapster or TV, that's it. He will not do arts, play quietly, puzzles, books etc. I'm not against TV at quiet time but not every day, and not for an hour every day, kwim?
But if he decides he's done with Leapster and I don't turn on the TV, he sulks on the couch for a while, and then starts playing with toys that he know are not "quiet time" toys. Thoughts?
I do accept responsibility for some of this. I made the mistake of thinking that he would "adjust" to the DH routine/rules as most other kids do, and these things would slowly diminish as issues. Alas, no luck.
If you got through all that - thanks! Any advice/thoughts is appreciated.
~ Mom to 5 ~