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  • Too Many Rules/Too Strict??

    I've been feeling like a tyrant lately. Everything out of my mouth seems to be no/stop/don 't/off/down, etc. I really don't feel like I ask too much out of my group, but they are younger than I usually have, so maybe I'm expecting too much. I have: 3yo, 2 x 2.5, 24 mo, 14 mo.

    -No running
    -Couch is for sitting, not jumping on or off of
    -No hitting/pushing/aggression of any kind (obviously, but it still happens so frequently)
    -If anyone purposely throws food on the floor, it is taken away.
    -Everyone must stay in their chairs until everyone is done eating
    -If you get down from the table, I will assume you are done eating, and your place will be cleared
    -Cushions are not to be removed from the couch
    -Crying because I said No to something does not get you anything except time in the calm down spot
    -Toys are not to be thrown, climbed on, or hoarded
    -Hands/toys/shirts stay out of mouths
    -If you are not a napper, you must lie on the couch to watch a movie/show and be quiet. If you are quiet, you can do a quiet activity until the nappers are up.

    Am I being too hard on these kids? All of these things are rules that I feel are basic, but maybe I'm wrong? But it's not unusual to have one kid doing something they know they shouldn't every 5 minutes at least. For the last 3 days, the 3yo has had her couch privileges taken away, because she just will. not. listen. As soon as my back is turned, she's jumping off of them, or on them, or climbing over top of them.

    Today, I had the youngest absolutely screaming at me because I wouldn't let him touch his poopy penis, while 2 others were screaming/crying because I made them stop taking the cushions off the couch so they could make a "bouncy castle", while yet another was already segregated from the rest of the group for constant hitting. I ended up putting the youngest in his high chair and crying in the bathroom because I just couldn't take it anymore. I feel like I have no control over this group. When we're doing something (snack, walk, activity), it is fine. But free play is an absolute disaster. I've had some success with making them stay on a mat and rotating toys in the past, but no way would the youngest do that.

  • #2
    Originally posted by deliberateliterate View Post
    I've been feeling like a tyrant lately. Everything out of my mouth seems to be no/stop/don 't/off/down, etc. I really don't feel like I ask too much out of my group, but they are younger than I usually have, so maybe I'm expecting too much. I have: 3yo, 2 x 2.5, 24 mo, 14 mo.

    -No running
    -Couch is for sitting, not jumping on or off of
    -No hitting/pushing/aggression of any kind (obviously, but it still happens so frequently)
    -If anyone purposely throws food on the floor, it is taken away.
    -Everyone must stay in their chairs until everyone is done eating
    -If you get down from the table, I will assume you are done eating, and your place will be cleared
    -Cushions are not to be removed from the couch
    -Crying because I said No to something does not get you anything except time in the calm down spot
    -Toys are not to be thrown, climbed on, or hoarded
    -Hands/toys/shirts stay out of mouths
    -If you are not a napper, you must lie on the couch to watch a movie/show and be quiet. If you are quiet, you can do a quiet activity until the nappers are up.

    Am I being too hard on these kids? All of these things are rules that I feel are basic, but maybe I'm wrong? But it's not unusual to have one kid doing something they know they shouldn't every 5 minutes at least. For the last 3 days, the 3yo has had her couch privileges taken away, because she just will. not. listen. As soon as my back is turned, she's jumping off of them, or on them, or climbing over top of them.

    Today, I had the youngest absolutely screaming at me because I wouldn't let him touch his poopy penis, while 2 others were screaming/crying because I made them stop taking the cushions off the couch so they could make a "bouncy castle", while yet another was already segregated from the rest of the group for constant hitting. I ended up putting the youngest in his high chair and crying in the bathroom because I just couldn't take it anymore. I feel like I have no control over this group. When we're doing something (snack, walk, activity), it is fine. But free play is an absolute disaster. I've had some success with making them stay on a mat and rotating toys in the past, but no way would the youngest do that.
    I'm feeling the same way it's so trying.

    Comment


    • #3
      I think all of these rules are very reasonable. I have all of them myself, the only difference is I make them into larger categories so it seems like less rules

      We have the rules:

      you must respect others
      you must respect yourself
      you must respect things

      I find that these rules encompass everything else. I mostly use the respecting others and respecting things rules, but things that may hurt them (dangerous activities) or make them not healthy fall under the "must respect yourself" rule.

      Comment


      • #4
        Sound alike free play is too long. Shorten it. Break it up. Those kids should be thankful. Here you can't sit on the couch until you ride a school is and my tv is never on. :-)

        Originally posted by deliberateliterate View Post
        I've been feeling like a tyrant lately. Everything out of my mouth seems to be no/stop/don 't/off/down, etc. I really don't feel like I ask too much out of my group, but they are younger than I usually have, so maybe I'm expecting too much. I have: 3yo, 2 x 2.5, 24 mo, 14 mo.

        -No running
        -Couch is for sitting, not jumping on or off of
        -No hitting/pushing/aggression of any kind (obviously, but it still happens so frequently)
        -If anyone purposely throws food on the floor, it is taken away.
        -Everyone must stay in their chairs until everyone is done eating
        -If you get down from the table, I will assume you are done eating, and your place will be cleared
        -Cushions are not to be removed from the couch
        -Crying because I said No to something does not get you anything except time in the calm down spot
        -Toys are not to be thrown, climbed on, or hoarded
        -Hands/toys/shirts stay out of mouths
        -If you are not a napper, you must lie on the couch to watch a movie/show and be quiet. If you are quiet, you can do a quiet activity until the nappers are up.

        Am I being too hard on these kids? All of these things are rules that I feel are basic, but maybe I'm wrong? But it's not unusual to have one kid doing something they know they shouldn't every 5 minutes at least. For the last 3 days, the 3yo has had her couch privileges taken away, because she just will. not. listen. As soon as my back is turned, she's jumping off of them, or on them, or climbing over top of them.

        Today, I had the youngest absolutely screaming at me because I wouldn't let him touch his poopy penis, while 2 others were screaming/crying because I made them stop taking the cushions off the couch so they could make a "bouncy castle", while yet another was already segregated from the rest of the group for constant hitting. I ended up putting the youngest in his high chair and crying in the bathroom because I just couldn't take it anymore. I feel like I have no control over this group. When we're doing something (snack, walk, activity), it is fine. But free play is an absolute disaster. I've had some success with making them stay on a mat and rotating toys in the past, but no way would the youngest do that.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by deliberateliterate View Post
          I've been feeling like a tyrant lately. Everything out of my mouth seems to be no/stop/don 't/off/down, etc. I really don't feel like I ask too much out of my group, but they are younger than I usually have, so maybe I'm expecting too much. I have: 3yo, 2 x 2.5, 24 mo, 14 mo.

          -No running
          -Couch is for sitting, not jumping on or off of
          -No hitting/pushing/aggression of any kind (obviously, but it still happens so frequently)
          -If anyone purposely throws food on the floor, it is taken away.
          -Everyone must stay in their chairs until everyone is done eating
          -If you get down from the table, I will assume you are done eating, and your place will be cleared
          -Cushions are not to be removed from the couch
          -Crying because I said No to something does not get you anything except time in the calm down spot
          -Toys are not to be thrown, climbed on, or hoarded
          -Hands/toys/shirts stay out of mouths
          -If you are not a napper, you must lie on the couch to watch a movie/show and be quiet. If you are quiet, you can do a quiet activity until the nappers are up.

          Am I being too hard on these kids? All of these things are rules that I feel are basic, but maybe I'm wrong? But it's not unusual to have one kid doing something they know they shouldn't every 5 minutes at least. For the last 3 days, the 3yo has had her couch privileges taken away, because she just will. not. listen. As soon as my back is turned, she's jumping off of them, or on them, or climbing over top of them.

          Today, I had the youngest absolutely screaming at me because I wouldn't let him touch his poopy penis, while 2 others were screaming/crying because I made them stop taking the cushions off the couch so they could make a "bouncy castle", while yet another was already segregated from the rest of the group for constant hitting. I ended up putting the youngest in his high chair and crying in the bathroom because I just couldn't take it anymore. I feel like I have no control over this group. When we're doing something (snack, walk, activity), it is fine. But free play is an absolute disaster. I've had some success with making them stay on a mat and rotating toys in the past, but no way would the youngest do that.

          :hug: I can totally relate to your post!! I have the same rules as you. I'm pretty strict in anything that involves developing manners and being kind to others.

          I expect the same as you, as far as the rules you have listed. I care for children from 0 to 6 yrs. Everyone is expected to follow these rules. Age is not a free pass to not comply. (except for the mouthing toys, I do allow this for a while...)

          I did take away my couch privileges from all kids. I have an old nasty couch with a slip cover over it, so it's not like I'm concerned about it getting destroyed (it can't get much worse. ) But I was tired of the couch being a trampoline and jumping off point to play super heroes. So now everyone just stays off the couch.

          This year has been the roughest to date, as far as behaviors. I am so exhausted. I feel like I spend the entire day repeating the same rules over and over and over... And every day is the same.... I have a lot of older boys who play rough and try to get away with more than they should. I'm counting the weeks until they age out of my program and hoping that some new blood in our group helps.

          Hang in there. It's gotta get better right?!

          Comment


          • #6
            You just described most of my years as a daycare provider!

            Really, I just always had a full house of high energy, implusive, rough & tumble kids.

            I ended up having a very structured day, and letting go of unimportant rules, and only keeping the safety ones. The overall behaviors improved enormously without the constant nagging by me. And....when the weather was nice/or even sort of nice...we were outside most of the day....like 4-6 hours each day were outside. I LOVED it. The backyard free play outside was fine, only minor issues.

            Also, mine were boundry pushers...so immediate consequence 100% of the time. A Warning = "getting away with it once". So no warnings, even the litter ones. Throw a toy, it gets put in toy time out (locked in the garage) until the next day. Older kids, it was the end of the week. I cut down my toys available to what can be picked up within 5minutes with everyone helping(because putting away each bin, before getting another just didnt work with my dcks). And 5 minutes was the max most of my guys could handle successfully. Any longer, and we got behavior issues - beyond just refusal. It was to set them up for success, this was NOT a punishment. So sitting with the groups while pokey-puppy eater that takes 10minutes was finishing up, just not a reasonable expectation. As an example.

            Lots of helper "chores", and self-help task, these kids were awesome at directed tasks as long as they were short & to the point.

            Good luck, it can be difficult to turn a group around...but it can be done, within reason. I had some of the most fun with these kids!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by laundrymom View Post
              Sound alike free play is too long. Shorten it. Break it up. Those kids should be thankful. Here you can't sit on the couch until you ride a school is and my tv is never on. :-)
              My fee play is about an hour. Is that too long? We usually go out every day in the summer, so some days we don't go to the playroom at all. But this has just been an awfully long winter.

              I have two non-nappers. I'd go crazy if I didn't get an hour to myself while they watched tv.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by butterfly View Post
                :hug: I can totally relate to your post!! I have the same rules as you. I'm pretty strict in anything that involves developing manners and being kind to others.

                I expect the same as you, as far as the rules you have listed. I care for children from 0 to 6 yrs. Everyone is expected to follow these rules. Age is not a free pass to not comply. (except for the mouthing toys, I do allow this for a while...)

                I did take away my couch privileges from all kids. I have an old nasty couch with a slip cover over it, so it's not like I'm concerned about it getting destroyed (it can't get much worse. ) But I was tired of the couch being a trampoline and jumping off point to play super heroes. So now everyone just stays off the couch.

                This year has been the roughest to date, as far as behaviors. I am so exhausted. I feel like I spend the entire day repeating the same rules over and over and over... And every day is the same.... I have a lot of older boys who play rough and try to get away with more than they should. I'm counting the weeks until they age out of my program and hoping that some new blood in our group helps.

                Hang in there. It's gotta get better right?!
                Not that I want others to suffer, but I'm so glad it's not just me. I've been feeling like I'm the common link, and that it's something that I'm doing/not doing that's causing them to act like this. I hate feeling like a failure, and I've been beating myself up lately.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by deliberateliterate View Post
                  My fee play is about an hour. Is that too long? We usually go out every day in the summer, so some days we don't go to the playroom at all. But this has just been an awfully long winter.

                  I have two non-nappers. I'd go crazy if I didn't get an hour to myself while they watched tv.
                  My free play is pretty much all day. I am a play based child care.

                  I do not do guided activities or structured curriculum at all.

                  The kids dictate what we do each day.

                  I eliminate some of the chaos by limiting the choices for free play and/or how many kids can be in any one center or area at one time.

                  I have the same rules as you do with the exception of having to sit at the table until everyone is done. If they want to leave, they certainly can. They don't get to go play or go straight to nap but they can leave the table. I just have them sit and look at books while the rest of us finish up the meal.

                  I think what parents allow at home dictates or at least plays a HUGE role in the behavior of the kids at daycare.... if they can run/jump or climb on furniture at home, it's near impossible to get them to stop doing it at daycare unless you rule with an iron fist and I'm just not that into having to "retrain" kids in regards to proper etiquette at other people's homes so I do give issues like that to the parents to fix/address.

                  I have some pretty strict rules about playing nicely with toys/peers etc and don't allow them to throw toys or hurt others. If they do, the consequences are swift and immediate so I rarely have repeat behaviors unless I implemented some sort of consequence that was beyond the scope of understanding for a particular child.

                  However, once you learn what makes each one tick or what motivates them, it is so much easier...and I've had most my families for a long time so I know them well.

                  My advice to you is routine, routine, routine.
                  The rest will fall in place......

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I agree with JoseyJo, your rules are very reasonable.


                    The only way I can do this job is if I keep a calm, structured environment, and you can't have that without setting some rules!
                    ...besides, most kids are happy showing they follow the rules, it gives them a sense of achievement!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Blackcat31 View Post
                      My advice to you is routine, routine, routine.
                      The rest will fall in place......

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I agree with Blackcat- my kids play mostly independently most of the day!

                        The one thing that has saved my sanity from when I first began 17 years ago.... I then had visions of these sweet little additions being part of my house and I would raise them like I did my own kids.... you know the dream and then I woke up... now, I have a playroom. They are in the breakfast nook/ kitchen area during parts of the day and they have access to the bathroom. Playroom- no couch to jump on I have a comfy chair but alas, it is mine.:: I keep out a reasonable amount of toys, but not too many that can be overwhelming. I do not do "centers" because when they are truly playing it all flows together. Dinosaurs may be in the play kitchen. food maybe a path.. you never know. Since they know they get to play for long periods and that their play will not end soon they are much more clever with it. Even my reluctant to play one figured out he better play... nothing "better" was coming along. I do rotate toys. I will read books, allow them to paint etc but usually that is when they ask now. I do put out different "invitations to play" as you can see on my facebook page. What always amazes me is what they come up to use these items for!

                        I would say more play in a more kid friendly environment- if I had cushions I would want to make a bouncy house too! Do I have to remind them of the rules- yes. I have a guy who can not play with the dolls right now or the metal cars/ trains because of throwing issues. My dolls do not belong on the ceiling fan! Since he is my repeat offender he simply can not play with them

                        Working with 1 1/2 yr old on no toys in mouth. WHen I see her mouthing I get her a teether from the freezer. Chew on this.. The other kids know that is her teether and leave it alone

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          you can try to reword some rules to avoid be too strict.

                          -No running (walking feet)
                          -Couch is for sitting, not jumping on or off of (It is a seating area, you can jump over there (point at the place where it is allowed)
                          -No hitting/pushing/aggression of any kind (obviously, but it still happens so frequently) only gentle touch
                          -If anyone purposely throws food on the floor, it is taken away.
                          -Everyone must stay in their chairs until everyone is done eating. (a person can leave a table if I named his name)
                          -If you get down from the table, I will assume you are done eating, and your place will be cleared
                          -Cushions are not to be removed from the couch
                          -Crying because I said No to something does not get you anything except time in the calm down spot (we have a special place for crying. If you still want to cry, you need to go over there. When you calm down we will happy to see you here again. If you want be with us you need to stop crying. Make YOUR decision)
                          -Toys are not to be thrown, climbed on, or hoarded
                          -Hands/toys/shirts stay out of mouths
                          -If you are not a napper, you must lie on the couch to watch a movie/show and be quiet. If you are quiet, you can do a quiet activity until the nappers are up. (I think that TV helps keep children awake)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            These rules seem pretty standard to me, but I think I had that exact group last year while I was sick, pregnant, & in the middle of a remodel. Longest winter of my life. ::I'm still trying to find ways to make free play time less stressful. We do a lot of group activities here which they all love, but mine all struggle with independent play. Sometimes I wonder if that's b/c of too much structured time, but I think I might lose my mind without it. Don't get me wrong, the kids guide much of it. I tailor activities & curriculum around what they're interested in at the time & they can go play at any point during an activity, but mine all struggle to play nicely on their own. What works for us is to break up play time into smaller chunks. We still play most of the day, but we play then circle time, play then eat, play then crafts, etc. I know some providers don't like breaking it up like that, but I think its whatever works best for your group & that works for us. Good luck. It will be summer soon & all will be better!!!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JoseyJo View Post
                              I think all of these rules are very reasonable. I have all of them myself, the only difference is I make them into larger categories so it seems like less rules

                              We have the rules:

                              you must respect others
                              you must respect yourself
                              you must respect things

                              I find that these rules encompass everything else. I mostly use the respecting others and respecting things rules, but things that may hurt them (dangerous activities) or make them not healthy fall under the "must respect yourself" rule.
                              That's very similar to what I use, but I simplify it even more "No hurting anyone or anything." Often I just have to ask the older ones "Could that hurt (child's name or item)?" and they stop on their own.

                              Comment

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