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» Nauvoo Forum » Nauvoo Classic Forum » General Discussions » Screaming, kicking, ANGRY nursery child.

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Author Topic: Screaming, kicking, ANGRY nursery child.
Jen
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If your child was one to be this way, every Sunday, for as long as you were away from them, what would you do? What would you wish the nursery leaders to do?

Oh, how I need to be released.

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BG27
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I would not leave a child of mine in Nursery screaming, kicking or 'angry'. Apart from the fact that I couldn't cope with the fact that they were screaming, I wouldn't expect someone else to look after my child if they were behaving this way, when they had other kids to look after too.

I gather you are saying that this happens. How sad - one child is difficult to cope with when they are upset enough to be kicing and screaming, when there are other children to care for too, it can only add to the stress, and is not fair on either the teachers or the children.

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TheOne
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We had a little girl when my wife and I were nursery leaders that threw a big crying fit for 5-10 minutes every Sunday but she did eventually got used to us and quit. We had a problem at first with the parents who would want to hang around because of their daughter's behavior but we encouraged them to drop her off and go. I don't really know what to say about a child that never quits. With 14 or so kids, we never had that problem.

[ September 10, 2006, 06:40 PM: Message edited by: TheOne ]

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bokbadok
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Sounds like that child's parent needs a calling in the nursery.
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TheOne
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Sounds like a kid who is too attached to mommy and daddy and needs more time away (not extensively or anything like that [Smile] ).
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fear of shiz
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Casi here--

As a nursery leader, if I had a normal crying child, I would give them 5-10 minutes to calm down. If the child is acting out (screaming, kicking and angry) that parent AT A MINIMUM would need to be in there with them. I would most definitely take the child to their parent in that circumstances. You shouldn't have to discipline like that.

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Jen
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Yes, this child went on like this for 45 minutes and I thought it was more than enough and took her to her mother. She said she'd take her today, but starting next Sunday, she'd just have to stay and get used to being without mom. She wanted to go to class and we just had to deal with it, was the message.

It was very disruptive and upsetting to the rest of the kids, and I was almost in tears the rest of the block.

Her son was almost as hard, although he just wailed, he didn't kick and scream. In his case, he'd get better eventually, but little sister did NOT let up. Except for awhile when I took her outside to look at flowers, but what's the point of that? She's not getting used to nursery.

I couldn't put her down because her flailing was such that she was actually hurting herself, so I had to hold her in a bead-hug, in several different positions (nont of which were acceptable to her), getting kicked and whapped at and getting my eardrums blown out.

It IS time to release us. I've heard word that it's about to be done. I think that I'll suggest that this girl's parents be called in.

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Rosaline
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If it lasts more than a couple weeks, the parents need to be there or not leave the child.

While I understand that there is often an adjustment period, the Nursery is not the place to teach toddlers to be away from their parents. Once a week is not sufficient to to accomplish this and nursery leaders are not trained or available enough to fill that calling.

Parents need to work with the child in another setting, another way, another place. The nursery leader should not be expected to do it.

ETA: I fully expect the primary pres. or teacher to come and get me ANYTIME my son has a problem or is a problem in primary. Regardless of the kids age, the teachers job is to teach, not sit on, my kid. I will be happy to come sit on him myself!

[ September 10, 2006, 07:03 PM: Message edited by: Rosaline ]

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fear of shiz
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Casi again--

Jen, I'm serious. If she pitches a fit for more than 10 minutes, take her butt back to her mother. She's her MOTHER and it isn't YOUR JOB to watch her child so SHE can sit through church happily. Your job is to get the kids ready for Primary, not watch some child go beserk.

[Mad]

Okay, better now.

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DaKnife
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Ditto what Shiz(aka Casiana) just said.

[ September 10, 2006, 07:48 PM: Message edited by: DaKnife ]

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soleil
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Or if Mother can't/won't take the child, go for Father.
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JennaDean
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Often kids get upset at being left, and have to struggle through the separation. But 45 minutes? Come on. Time to work out an agreement with the parents - and this ought to be just about the same for all children in the nursery (so parents can't get offended): We will try to help the child be interested in nursery, but if after about 10 minutes they are still miserable, we'll get the parent. If they are harming other kids, and we can't get it to stop, we'll get the parent. Although, you'll have some parents who don't want their child to cry AT ALL and will want you to come get them the moment the child is upset.

We had one child who was very reluctant to leave his mother, and she was one of those who doesn't leave them if they're upset, so just before it was time for him to start Sunbeams, she was still in there every week with her kid. Our Primary president went to Nursery every week for a month and assigned herself to be that child's caretaker, basically took his mom's place, gave him all her attention, held him on her lap as long as he wanted, etc. After that month he was able to go to nursery without mom. You might want to try assigning one person to be this child's surrogate mom, if that helps.

As for this:
quote:
While I understand that there is often an adjustment period, the Nursery is not the place to teach toddlers to be away from their parents. Once a week is not sufficient to to accomplish this and nursery leaders are not trained or available enough to fill that calling.
I respectfully disagree. Many kids are never separated from their parents before they're 18 months old, and I wouldn't expect them to be. Nursery is often their first experience with this and is the time to learn to be apart from mom & dad, before they get to Primary. Parents should help with the transition: stay with them for a few weeks if needed, and then wean off. Talk with the nursery leaders about what works best for their child, and understand the leaders' expectations: should they stay, should they go, how long will you let the child cry before you get mom? And Nursery leaders should make nursery an interesting, fun, safe place that they'll want to stay.

But I expect children to be upset at the separation, and yes, I do expect that the nursery leaders and parents TOGETHER help them learn to deal with this separation. I certainly don't advocate sending toddlers away from their parents every day, just so they can get used to it so they won't have a problem going to nursery. They have to leave parents soon enough - and Nursery is soon enough for their first experience at it.

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Jen
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I've talked to the Primary president and the nursery leader (we're just helpers). We've decided to try bringing her brother into our nursery (he's in the "older" nursery) to see if that helps. Also, her mom and dad are on the list of people to be considered to, I assume, replace us. [Big Grin] But that's classified information, so don't tell anyone in my ward. [Big laugh]
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pnr
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Have you considered whether the room or the noises or flourescent lights or the height of the ceiling or something in one of the nursery participants clothing or scent, or even something in the clothes the child wears only on Sunday is causing the problem?

Some kids have sensory difficulties that have not yet been identified that cause all manner of difficulty.

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Cindytee
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Assigning a "surrogate mom" has worked will in our ward with a couple of slow-to-adjust kids. Our bishopric is so supportive that the counselor over Primary even went to one little boy's house several times during the week, making friends with him so the boy was bonded to him and would leave mom and dad and come to primary with his "Bishopric dad." After a few weeks of sitting on this "dad's" lap, he was able to leave parents behind and come to Primary willingly.

A couple of other things that have worked include tucking a picture of mom into the child's pocket and giving the child something of mom's or dad's to "take care of" for them while they're away. One smart mom solved the problem by letting her nursery age child go to her "grown up" class with her. But she told him that he would have to act exactly like the grown ups. No books, no toys, no getting down from the chair, no food, no fun. Ten minutes of that and he thinks the nursery is Heaven!

Of course, none of this helps with this particular difficult child. I say if the parents aren't willing to take the child back when she's throwing a fit, hand her off to the bishopric. If your bishopric is half as supportive of Primary as ours, they'll be solving that problem in no time.

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nitasmile
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quote:
She wanted to go to class and we just had to deal with it, was the message.

No. At a certain point, she needs her child back. Perhaps she has a friend or a visiting teacher who would try holding the kid for a while.

You tried, you deserve some sort of peace and quiet at church and a chance to get spiritual strength.

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PollyAnna
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quote:
Ten minutes of that and he thinks the nursery is Heaven!
That a good one... I think I can use that... [Wink]
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Janey
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Wow, yeah, expecting the nursery leaders to deal with a fit that lasts most of the class period is not cool. The parents are responsible for hysterical children that won't calm down. Maybe take the child out in the hallway outside mom's Sunday School class and let her yell where SS can hear her? I mean, like you said, it upsets the other children to be around the angry child, and *of course* angry children should be taken into the hall, and it's not your fault that it just so happens that youv'e picked the hall where her mother can hear her.
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EDGJanitor
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I love our primary president. Of course she is my dear friend but still, she is an awesome primary president.

If a kid needs to be taken out of nursery or a primary class, she takes them. She takes the kid around with her for a few minutes and if the kid doesnt calm down, they go to their parents. She has the sweetest baby face and is the nicest woman in the world. ANd the firmest. Nothing is funnier than watching someone try to argue with her. She doesn't fight. SHe is completely sympathetic and understanding. And absolutely unmovable.

I know my kids get really worked up if they are in a situation where another child is acting out. Nursery is a class, and if this child's behavior deprives the other kids of a good experience, the child needs some extra help. From her momma.

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TheOne
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Of course, be straight with the parents. State you can't have a child screaming, hitting, kicking, etc. for 45 minutes as it disrupts the other children. Ask if they have any ideas how she might be calmed down. Others have brought up some good ideas.
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Jen
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You've given great ideas, that hopefully I won't have to use because I'm hoping for a release soon [Laugh] . But I'll discuss them with the mom and other leaders. Thanks! [Group Hug]
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BG27
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quote:
Of course, be straight with the parents. State you can't have a child screaming, hitting, kicking, etc. for 45 minutes as it disrupts the other children. Ask if they have any ideas how she might be calmed down
This is relevant, it's not as if a nursery leader is not happy to look after one screaming angry child, but it will never stay at one. Nursery children are very young, and easily distressed, and it would not take long to have a nursery full of crying children, which in turn becomes a stressful, non learning, non fun, non spiritual environment.

Why should a nursery leader be expected to endure this, that is not what the calling is for.

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ketchupqueen
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quote:
While I understand that there is often an adjustment period, the Nursery is not the place to teach toddlers to be away from their parents. Once a week is not sufficient to to accomplish this
Worked for us.

We started before she was 18 months old, by taking her to visit for a few minutes. Then went for the whole time, both staying with her. Then I left for the second hour. Then I dropped her off with just my husband staying. Then he left for half an hour in the middle, during snack time, and came back. Then he left for the second hour. Then he left after half an hour. Then fifteen minutes. Then just dropped her off, said goodbye, and left. It took a few months, but by the time she was 19 months old she was staying alone with no tears and no problems. The gradual weaning away was key. We noticed a marked improvement when leaving her with my mother after that.

I would agree that if a child is ANGRY, though, something more may be going on; it may be as simple as not enough sleep. But while a nursery leader can suggest things that might help a child adjust, if the child is completely disruptive it is not their job to "fix" it with no help from the parent(s). Get together with the parents to figure out what the problem is and then devise a way to help the child deal with it, taking the child's individual needs and temperament into account, would be my solution. If the parents are not willing to follow the "program", inform them that they need to stay in nursery with the child or not bring her, and that you don't have enough helpers in the nursery to take care of the child and the other children there when she is behaving that way.

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JennaDean
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quote:
She has the sweetest baby face and is the nicest woman in the world. ANd the firmest. Nothing is funnier than watching someone try to argue with her. She doesn't fight. SHe is completely sympathetic and understanding. And absolutely unmovable.
That's who I want to be when I grow up! And hopefully it happens soon ... I want to be like this before my kids are too grown to benefit from it!
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quidscribis
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I was thinking the same thing!

I'd love to watch her in action so I can learn from a pro. [Smile]

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PolarBear
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[ROFL]

I saw quid's message and the thread title juxtaposed in the "Today's Active Topics" section.

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Valhalla
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Wow, Jen, you are patient, after 5 minutes, that kid would have been out of there! I have been a nursery leader, don't have to ever worry about that now as priesthood holders are now considered a "potential endangerment" to all children, I am off the hook. (I know there is a reason, just frustrating, a protection for men, just real darn shame).

I was fortunate that my kids loved nursery, they could not wait to get away. The problem was taking them out to go home, not bad, but they loved nursery.

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itsme
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EDG, it sounds like your primary president friend needs to be the next Secretary of State.

I've worked in the nursery before (for far too many years) and I know what it feels like to finally have a chance to drop kids off at nursery for a small and much needed break. If a child is out of control and demanding full-time attention, that's unreasonable to expect. If the parent tries to insist the child stay anyway, then unfortunately it becomes time for the leaders to step in and help work out a solution.

Some kids are much more challenging than others. If you're the parent of one of these challenging kids, then calling that parent to the nursery may make them feel they're being robbed of what few moments of sanity they had in their lives. Luckily, cases this difficult are not too common, so perhaps some kind counsel and assistance would be in order. Yes the child needs to have a parent step in if they're out of control, but the parents may need some genuine support as well. This sounds like a case where the ward leaders might offer some caring assistance, companionship from other parents with experience, perhaps even "adopted grandparents". It would also make sense to have some other nursery children visit their home on other days so the child could develop friendships.

I remember when my first child was born. For well over a year he woke up and screamed (not just cried) all through the night, every night. It was often every 30 minutes. We sought help from friends, doctors, anyone we could think of. The first time he finally slept through the night the other people who lived in our building came over and congratulated us. They knew how we'd been having a difficult time. Fortunately, by the time he was old enough for nursery he'd settled down quite a bit and he enjoyed playing with the other kids. But before that, we were at wits end. It was nearly impossible to use a babysitter more than once, on the rare occasion we even tried. The first time he went to a babysitter we were gone for 90 minutes. Ironically, it was the sister of a girl I used to date. When we picked him up the girl and her mother both asked how we could get him to quit crying. We just said we had no idea, did they have any suggestions. We went for seemingly endless months in a desperate state with little sleep or peace.

When our second baby was born she slept through the night the very first night home from the hospital. At 6:30 in the morning my ex jumped out of bed in a panic, certain that our little girl must have died overnight. She was 180 degrees different from the first, peaceful much of the time, had a soft cry like a baby lamb, and sooooooooo much easier to care for. She slept through the night on a regular basis long before her older brother.

Now my kids are teens to 21 and there's times I actually long for the "old days". Nah, I suppose I really don't want to go through all that again, I'd eventually wind up back in the same place. [Roll Eyes]

[ September 11, 2006, 10:53 AM: Message edited by: itsme ]

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FlyByNight
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To me it sounds like you'll need to have the primary pres accompany you and the child back to the parent. Harder for the parent to stand up to two and say, just take the child she'll get used to it.

Or, you could take a chair and hold the child out in the hall. The child is removed from the nursury so she doesn't bother the others. There's no change in workers since one of you needs to "hold" her anyway. And best possible, the bishop might see and intervene.

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Homestar Runner
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I don't really have any suggestions or opinions, I just wanted to say THANK YOU to all the folks out there that have done time with my kids in nursery and SS.

All the workers/instructors tell me they're both really easy kids, but I'm really grateful anyway.

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Raro
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itsme, your oldest two sound exactly like my oldest two! It is a good thing I had a second child or I would have felt like a horrible mother who couldn't get her child to stop screaming. My second child was a breeze after that.
My youngest child had a hard time adjusting to nursery. I thought the way to handle it was to see what was comfortable for the nursery leader, since she was having to deal with it. I asked if she wanted me to stay or just leave quickly. The room was very small, and she thought it would be better for me to just leave. She gave it 10-15 minutes, and then brought him to me. That happened for about 6 months. He was just a mama's boy. I tried everything I could to get him to stay (preparation at home, talking, etc), but he wasn't having any of it. After about 6 months, he just got distracted after 10 minutes and was fine.
I would NEVER expect or want my nursery leader to hold my screaming child for the whole time. He is my child, not hers, and I can't imagine how it would limit her ability to teach the other little ones.

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ErinHowarth
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Separation anxiety
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itsme
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quote:
itsme, your oldest two sound exactly like my oldest two! It is a good thing I had a second child or I would have felt like a horrible mother who couldn't get her child to stop screaming. My second child was a breeze after that.

Then you have my sincere sympathy. It was a rough stretch that most parents I knew really couldn't relate to very well. I have 4 kids, the two mentioned above and 2 more that were somewhat more "typical" as far as these particular challenges. And even though I'm a guy, I've been around plenty of other babies. My first kid was a real trial as far as infants go, really, he would have pushed most any parent to the limits of endurance. It really gave me some perspective while I was dealing with the next 3. It's one thing to have "sleepless nights" as any parent experiences versus the extra-strength version I had the first time around.

I agree with you that the nursery workers should not be expected to deal with extra-ordinary cases. I do, however, have a lot of sympathy for parents of the kids causing such problems. Frankly, I don't think it's at all approrpiate to call them as nursery workers since they are probably pulling their hair out from what they're already dealing with. They don't need even more stacked on top of that. In my post above, I tried to suggest a few other options that would involve the parents and hopefully provide a few constructive options for all concerned. But yes, ultimately the parent does have to understand that an out-of-control child is their responsibility.

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Rosaline
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quote:
...Many kids are never separated from their parents before they're 18 months old, and I wouldn't expect them to be. Nursery is often their first experience with this and is the time to learn to be apart from mom & dad...
Under normal circumstances, the nursery is a great place to begin this new phase.

But when there is this degree of anxiety, something more needs to be done. It is not fair to expect a nursery leader to solve this alone.

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