05-31-2012 09:07 AM
I run a dayhome (and have since 2007) but I have never had this issue before, so any help would be greatly appreciated!
I have a little 4 year old boy (5 in August) that comes here full time. Every once in a while (2- max 3 times a week) he has an absolute MELTDOWN when his mom drops him off in the morning. Like full blown, kicking and screaming in the driveway meltdown. I am trying to figure out tips or things that I may be able to do to help stop this, OR, tactful ways to ask his mom questions to try to figure this out (IE - how much sleep he is getting, etc). His parents are separated, dad gets him Friday afternoon until Sundays after supper - and Monday is ALWAYS a tantrum day.
The only thing his mom has said was "this is how he is after the weekend with his dad" but, it happened again today - that's why I'm not sure if it's a sleep issue or what?
After a couple minutes, he is fine and goes about playing with the other kids -
Any help would be greatly appreciated. If you need/would like any more info, please ask and I will clarify!
06-03-2012 02:12 PM - edited 06-03-2012 02:19 PM
Poor little guy. I know it is hard on them when the parents are split up and their routine is upset- as you've noticed the Mondays after the weekends is hard.
I had a little guy like that- (only his parents were together). He'd scream and punch his mom coming in and later on when she'd pick him up. It was so stressful watching an angry out of control child.
What helped me a ton was change how the drop off was done. I'd walk out to the car and pick him up (being very exited to see him!) and reverse the process and put him in his car seat to go home. Basically I did this because it was driving me nuts and the screaming was disturbing the neighbors.
His mom just watched in amazement as I'd calmly strap him in (she'd be out in the front of the house fighting with her child for half an hour to get him in). She'd get this look of wonder on her face of 'how do you do that?'.
Some mornings I'd go to the car with a whirlygig (those shiny spiny things on a stick) or if I knew he was hungry every morning..a yogurt pop in my hand.
Ask her as you are getting the child "did we all get a good nights sleep and did you two have a nice breakfast?"
This way the mom is not in the home, can still kiss him goodbye and if she gave him something special to take care of for her until work is finished (a pretty stone or whatever you two can think of) helps. Or....since he is four a kid friendly camera so he can take pictures of what goes on during his day.
Some mornings it simply wasn't possible to get out to the car but I would be waiting on the steps (I always knew exactly when to be there) blowing a bubble wand. Little 'Brad' would almost forget mommy LOL.
If the exchange is handled in a matter of fact way and consistently he should calm down.
Be quick and don't make a big deal about it. If that doesn't work maybe mom can come earlier and stay for a few minutes to let her boy show her some 'neat stuff'?
06-05-2012 06:10 PM
This is what I would call a classic "make mommy & daddy feel guilty show". And especially if he hasn't seen mom all weekend, gets maybe an hour or two with her Sunday night, gets up and she "ships him off" to day care. While we as adults know she doesn't have a choice, this poor little guy is feeling like he has no time with her. On a day like today it could be that he is tired, or that he is missing dad, or that mom is stressed and rushed in the morning or...or...or...
If he is calming down within 5-10 minutes, it is basically for mom's 'entertainment. Simply suggest that she arrives with enough time to do a special quiet activity with him (puzzle/story/cars etc) but then she needs to leave right away. Sometime this works and sometimes it doesn't so expect some more tantrums etc at first and give it 2 straight weeks to see if it will help. Either that or ask her if there is anything that she knows of that works to calm him down.
I just think that this little guy is trying to work out his feelings and situation and right now all he knows is to do it by throwing tantrums. Also suggest to mom that giving him alternatives for those feelings and rewarding him CONSTANTLY for good drop offs etc for a bit will help.
06-06-2012 06:50 AM
We are divorced and my boys are 4 and 6 and they go to a home daycare. So these are my thoughts.
It's a control thing. His entire world has been turned upside down and he is trying really hard to find some control. The tantrum is about trying to get back some control. He is being moved around between houses and then off to daycare. It's hard for them. It also sounds like it's new to him. He needs time to adjust to the separation as well.
What worked for me and our daycare was completely ignoring the tantrum. I would just put on a happy face, give him a kiss, say I love you and I will see you after work today and then leave. No looking back, no reasoning with them, just leave. My children switch to output only mode when melting down. There is no talking, no reasoning, etc. They are output only. DCP told me that it has never lasted more than 1 minute after I leave.
He will adjust and it will take time. There are lots of changes in his life. I "coped" by giving my kids choices wherever I could. Even little things, the more choices (and by choice I mean two - like do you want white bread or brown bread, red cup or blue cup) I let them make, the more control they had, the better the behaviour.
Oh and mom saying he is always like that when he comes home is likely true. My kids were different too but now you don't see it as they have learned to adjust.
06-13-2012 11:05 PM - edited 06-13-2012 11:06 PM
Having flaming meltdowns several times a week??
Do you look after other kids?
That sounds way too old to be behaving like that, so I have no idea what to even suggest. I would think a five year old would be past that type of behaviour.
Also, I do think I would be tempted to try what greensleeves suggested, because if my kids were being looked after by someone, and they had to witness that type of behaviour every day it would tick me off.
06-14-2012 08:39 AM
I do look after other kids, and there is another boy here the same age that he is always excited to see & play with (after the tantrum).
I did ask her the last time about if he got a good sleep the night before, and she said he slept like a rock - went to bed early and didn't get up through the night to crawl into her bed (I guess he usually does that).
I am already dreading Monday as his dad is picking him up tomorrow... all I found out so far is that on Sundays, they have supper at their dad's, and he doesn't text her (the mom) until closer to 8 or 9pm to come and get the kids (they don't speak) - so, probably by the time she gets them, gets them home & ready for bed, spends some time with them, it could be closer to 10 or later by the time they get into bed on a Sunday night.