Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Aggressive Children at Daycare

What would you do if there was a slightly aggressive child at your daycare? A boy with the tendency to push or hit if words did not have the desired effect?

What if you witnessed that child pushing YOUR child? What would you do then?

Worse yet, what if YOUR child was the aggressive one?

I ask because MY child, the boy, has aggressive tendencies. I assure you, we are present for both our children; we try and model good behaviour, we talk about (show and explain) gentle hands, feelings and emotions. We've tried empathetic parenting and time outs. We try and ensure that our boys get one on one time with each of us and we work to encourage and acknowledge good behaviour. We've been to the behavioural paediatrician and we've followed their advice, which included enrolling the boy in a very structured daycare.

Slowly but surely, we are seeing improvements; the boy now tells people when he doesn't like their behaviour or asks for a turn with a toy, but he doesn't seem to have the patience to wait and his words often turn to aggressive behaviours within seconds. All that being said, the boy is a very sweet and lovable little man who uses his manners and gives out hugs and love on a regular basis, particularly in one on one situations.

I know that this week two daycare parents have expressed concerns to the site director about my boy and I honestly don't know if there have been others in the past. I understand their concern for their child's safety and wellbeing and in no way begrudge those parents for expressing those feelings.

I just want them to know that we have those feelings too. That we empathize with their concerns because we worry about the effect the boy's behaviour will have on the baby's development.

I want those parents to know that we are acutely aware of the boy's behavioural issues and that we work every day to try and find a way to help him work through his issues. That we want him to have the skills to go through life without aggression and just like every other parent out there we are doing the very best that we possibly can in a challenging situation.

So if there's a particularly challenging child at your daycare, please take a moment and ask yourself, 'what if my child was the aggressive one?'