Destructive child?

Kristine - posted on 01/09/2012 ( 28 moms have responded )

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I look after a 7.5 year old girl. She has a bad attitude and is quite rude often. Anyhow, she recently intentionally broke some little pieces of furniture from this Rapunzel toy set my daughter got for Christmas. I put them away and turn around to put some books away and she was the only child in the room with me and about one minute after I put them away she comes up to me saying 'Look, someone broke these'. I was still in the room, no one else came into it and she was the only one in there. I talked to her dad and said these toys will need to be replaced. My daughter is upset about it. He said he didn't want to buy the whole set but the furniture cannot be replaced separately. Eventually agreed but now says they will not replace them and it's the risk I run for looking after other peoples kids. I agree accidents happen, but in my opinion you don't accidentally break off toy table and chair legs and bend other toys back and forth until they break. This isn't the first time she's done this, but it is the first time I've asked for them
To replace something. Opinions?

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Sylvia - posted on 01/09/2012

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Well, it's pretty easy to see where she's getting her disrespectful attitude, I'd say :P

If my child broke something valuable of someone else's, even by accident, I'd feel terrible and would replace it if I possibly could. If she broke something valuable of someone else's on purpose, she would be in some serious trouble.

I do agree with PP who said it would make sense to keep the daycare kids away from your daughter's treasured possessions just on general principles. But this isn't just the kind of normal wear and tear and accidental breakage you could expect from having little kids in your house -- it's deliberate vandalism. She may be sorry and wish she hadn't done it, but she clearly did.

Lynn - posted on 01/09/2012

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I've had my home preschool since 1996, and I've never had a child break something on purpose like that! I have had books ripped, toys stepped on, dress-up clothes torn, game pieces chewed on, but my preschoolers are much younger and I've never asked their parents to replace anything. Most of my toys aren't new, and I expect some damage over the years.

That said, my preschoolers are not allowed in my kids' rooms, and if they broke something special that belonged to my kids, I'd be furious! My job and my house are two seperate areas, and I do put up a baby gate when I have a child who is still learning where they are allowed, and where they're not. If I had an older child like that who destroyed my property, I would expect it to be replaced, or they would be told to find other child care arrangements. The parents and the child need to learn that you are not a push-over, and deliberate destructiveness will not be tolerated. I know it can be hard if you need the money, but if you let them take advantage of you, that brat will do it again! Is it worth seeing your daughter hurt? If you need the money, go on www.sittercity.com www.thecare.com or look on www.craigslist.com or in your local paper, and find another child to watch.

Krista - posted on 01/09/2012

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I have my own son in a private home daycare, and if he broke a valuable toy, or damaged something in the home, even if it WAS an accident, I'd offer to replace it.

His assertion that it's the risk you run...I think that's crap. You are still responsible for your child's behaviour, even if the child is not with you.

If he went to a friend's house, and broke something there, would he refuse to pay for it and tell his hosts that they took the risk by inviting him over in the first place? If that's his attitude, he will soon find that his daughter is not welcome ANYWHERE.

I would say to him that he will need to find other childcare options, because neither he nor his child (who is old enough to know better) are respectful of your property.

Eva - posted on 01/11/2012

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Yes children can learn after seven but obviously the father. Does not seem to be a good rol model he is already teaching his kid how to skate and not take ownership of the mistakes or purpose of what the kid did. Not my child is one of the worst problems we have as a society today people want to be friends with their children instead of doing the job as a parent if a teacher calls home parents get defniv and say he/she is picking on my child if we went back to the day of having our children respect adults teachers ect from a young age many of the problems that are going on in this society would disappear.

Kelly - posted on 01/11/2012

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You might be able to help. Tell her that her behavior is not nice and will not be accepted. The next time she comes she must bring a small bag of toys from her own home. These will be the only toys she can play with until she treats other people's toys nicely and does not break them. If she has a good day then praise her and give her extra attention for it as I'm thinking right now she is looking for any attention even if negative. The next day you can add one or two toys from your house to test her. If she shows good behavior then maybe by day 3 or so you can move forward. You will have to supervise closer these days and praise her whenever you can but with a little extra effort in the long run once the lesson on respect for toys is learned you can move forward much easier. If her parents do not support you then you Ned to stop watching her as the request is not unreasonable. Broken toys goes with the territory and toys accidentally broken should not be replaced by the parents but this seems more intentional and is an issue.

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Soleila - posted on 01/17/2012

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The parents do not want to replace it because they are in denail that their child is the way she is. Sad, but true. But as a responsible parent, I would replac them.

Ms. - posted on 01/12/2012

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I would suggest to the parents of the little girl to make other arrangemnts regarding child care for their child...I smell problems in the near future.

Kristine - posted on 01/12/2012

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Wow! Thanks so much for all of your responses! I've got some good ideas( like bringing her own toys instead or only being allowed to use the completely indestructible ones or else already broken ones until she can prove she will be respectful of others property). I have really struggled with this particular family because the parents are very selfish and can't be bothered to truly put in an effort with their kids - they have never taken any of their vacation time to spend with their kids because that is THEIR vacation so instead they go to Mexico or Hawaii on their own(me time. is very important I know, but it's always me time with them), neither child can remember mommy or daddy sitting down to play or color with them(they say they always just play alone in their rooms and when they got divorced 2

years ago they each wanted the oldest one(7.5 year old) on

their side so they each tried to win her over by buying her

anything and everything and allowing her to act however she wanted with no consequences, while ignoring the younger one. So on one hand I feel that maybe they were sent to me to have some sort of direction and care in their lives but on the other hand I need to consider my family's. best interest long term. It's difficult to find new kids to look after in my town as there's not a lot of kids and lots of other moms trying to stay home with their own little onesby babysitting. We definitely need the income so I think I will put up some ads. My daughter and the younger on of the. pair are best friends so if I end up needing to let the older one go of course they will take the younger one wherever they take the older one. I feel very torn but I think

It may be time to see if I can find I bit of an easier family to get along with. First ill try talking to the parents again and see how far we get. Thanks so much for all of the great input, it has really been helpful! :)

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I would advise the parents that if she continues to break items in your home, they can either replace them or you will not watch this child any further. It's just business, not personal.

Tanika - posted on 01/11/2012

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Weigh the pros and cons. If its the risk u take maybe the risk is not what u should be taking at this time. Its not fair for your child to be upset about her items in her house. This other child is an invited guest. She needs to be made to respect your home, or become an uninvited guest.

It sounds like the parent is a bit rude. Starts at home.

Principles.

Jodie - posted on 01/11/2012

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He is totally wrong in saying you run the risk of this happening if you sit other peoples children. If they knew their child was like this, they shouldn't send them to be looked after in other people's house, the sitter should go to their house. You are fully in your rights to ask them to replace the toys or give you the money to replace and if I were you, I wouldn't look after the child again if this keeps happening.

Kristina - posted on 01/11/2012

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Simple, If the parents and the child will not respect the rules of your home, don't care for the child. Tell them that the arrangement is not working anymore and they need to find a new childcare facility.

Michelle - posted on 01/11/2012

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I would tell the parents to find someone else to watch their child its probably not the first time it has happened and it won't be the last. Once they cant find anyone to watch their child maybe just maybe they will adjust her bad attitude an destructive behavoir

Lauri - posted on 01/11/2012

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7 is a pretty young apple. I don' t think it's time to call it rotten yet. Children can also learn from being taught appropriate behavior.



Thank God children can learn after 7.

Eva - posted on 01/10/2012

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I would increase the price for babysitting or tell the dad to bring the kids own toys and not let her play with your child 7 is the ag of reason and the kid should know right from wrong I don't know your situation just remember when you put good apples in a ag with a rotten apple they all go bad and you might not wan that rubbing off on you little angel

Lauri - posted on 01/10/2012

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I did run my own home daycare. I was a social worker and trained to deal with difficult children. Most of the time I could get the children to act appropriately through natural consequences etc. for example with a child I knew was deliberately destroying things, I would provide indestructible toys or already broken toys and explain why (if they were the appropriate age to understand), which this child is. Then I would explain what they need to do to gain more rights. For example, they could help make up the price of the broken objects by helping with your duties such as dishes or setting the table, or washing windows. Let the parents know why and this is to help the child understand consequences. Put your plan in writing and have the parents sign it. It probably will also help her to spend time with you as she is clearly looking for attention and probably jealous of your daughter. After all your daughter gets to have you all day.

On the other hand you need to take your child's feelings into this. She needs to know she is your main priority. Spend special time with her especially when the other children are gone. I know it can be difficult when you spend all day with children, but it doesn't take much time to make children feel loved. Make sure your daughter can keep some of her own special toys to herself and off limits. If possible she should have her own space as well for when she just needs to get away, after all it is her house, and its hard enough to share a mom. If it can't be worked out or continues to cause your daughter stress, or the parents don't agree to sign your plan contract, then you should probably terminate their contract and find someone more fitting for your family. Remember it is most important to take care of your family first.

Hope it works out!

Kristi - posted on 01/10/2012

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This sounds like a cry for attention! Can you make an effort to really spend some quality time with her and encourage her parents to do the same? Maybe if she felt that she was really liked, and that people enjoyed having her company, she wouldn't do things to get attention - good or bad... Good luck! That's a tough one! xoxo

Tamala - posted on 01/10/2012

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I feel for you on this. My 6yr old is the same way and its not from the way she is raised but instead it is her disablity that causes her to act that way. She has been kicked out of daycares, and in so many words asked not to return to church for her actions, so I don't blame you for asking for a replacement. I've had to replace alot of items in the past. I wish you the best of luck.

Ann - posted on 01/10/2012

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Stay away from this family..unless you have no choice but get extra income from them, then keep all valuable or sentimental toys/things away when this girl is there again. Treat them the way they treat you, don't be too nice to rude people..they don't deserve it, but hey, pay you money for your times ..that's it!! Good Luck.

Becky - posted on 01/10/2012

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The little girl is only 7.5 years old and it sounds like she really needs someone to show her the appropriate way to interact with people, get attention, and respect other people's belongings. I think you did the right thing by telling her father and would probably talk to him one more time to make sure that he did not get defensive during the conversation because he was embarrassed or felt attacked or worse, that his child was being attacked. Everyone interprets conversations differently and most of the time when someone is talking about your child or their actions, it's natural to get defensive. I'm not saying this to excuse his actions, they're not acceptable, just want to sympathize that sometimes parents response to situations are surprising and insulting. Personally, if it was my child breaking the toy even if I was upset I would use the situation as a learning opportunity and I would require my child to find a way to help pay for the broken item and apologize to your daughter or I would have bought a new toy and explained that we would not be going to a movie or buying something that we had been planning on because we would be using the money to replace the broken item. I think the real issue is that this child sincerely needs someone to teach her how to respect others and their belongings. Is she jealous of your daughter by chance, or does she have something going on at home that is causing her to act out for attention? If you decide to continue care and dad is still not receptive, I would sit down and talk to the child about why she is being disrespectful towards you (having an attitude and breaking items in your home). You might be surprised what you find out, you might also be able to help her come up with a solution on her own to remedy the situation. Maybe she could bring a toy from home to give your daughter to replace the broken one (I would okay this with her parents by helping her talk to them about it). Helping her realize how her actions affected others and helping her solve the problem would be a win win. It would probably make your daughter really happy and would teach the other child how wonderful it feels to help others and fix mistakes. Good luck, I hope everything works out for you!

Laural - posted on 01/10/2012

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You can tell this girl's idiot father that HE runs the risk of nobody wanting to babysit his rude, destructive child. Frankly, I would not be watching a child like this girl. She is bad news. Tell the dad to replace what his kid broke or he can find a new sitter. Period.

Amy - posted on 01/10/2012

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I agree. At her age, there is probably an underlying problem. Maybe she only gets attention for her bad attitude and bad behavior. Perhaps it's s blessing for you to be able to change this behavior by only paying attention to positive things (you may have to dig deep). Do what is best for you and your family. Just keep in mind that this child nah need someone outside of her family to help. Good luck!

Heather - posted on 01/09/2012

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Spoiled? Autistic? Looking for the wrong kind of attention? Maybe something is happening to her in school or day care that you don't know about? Is she bullied? Teased? Have her talk to a child psy.

Kristine - posted on 01/09/2012

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Thanks ladies! Bedrooms generally are off limits unless my daughter wants to play with the kids in her room. She was excited to share her new Christmas toys with her friends so I let her. No one else but this child is deliberately destructive. Lynne Van Antwerp thanks for the ideas for posting ads because once I let this family go, I will be needing some more kids to replace the lost income. Just wanted to see if anyone else felt the same as I did, just in case I was maybe out of line.

Laurie - posted on 01/09/2012

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I agree- stick to your guns. The father sounds like he has some of the same unpleasant characteristics as the daughter. You do not want a child (or father) like that in your home. You can find a more caring, respectful child to watch- a better example for your daughter.

Casey - posted on 01/09/2012

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Just an option, depending on how often you watch her, maybe you could keep your daughter's favorite toys put up when the girl is over. Maybe keep them in a locked room or have a child-proof doorknob cover. Are you sure you still want to watch her? I would be afraid my daughter would pick up on the attitude and behavior problems.

Kristine - posted on 01/09/2012

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I would also replace a toy if my own child did this as I would feel awful.

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