A parent who won't leave??

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by HappyLearning, Aug 5, 2014.

  1. HappyLearning

    HappyLearning Rookie

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    Aug 5, 2014

    Does anyone else have a parent that won’t leave?  We have an open door policy and encourage parents to come and be involved… but I have one who comes every day, stays the whole day, and brings her one year old as well. The baby roams the classroom, and has perfectly acceptable baby behaviors—trying to eat paintbrushes, putting marbles in her mouth, knocking down towers and taking puzzle pieces, crying loudly, etc. The parent doesn’t do anything inappropriate, but her presence doesn’t bring out the best behaviors in the child, the baby is a major disruption in the classroom, and worst—she chats with the assistant teacher for huge chunks of time and distracts the teaching staff. The child is not getting a true “school experience” and our teachers are pretty DONE with it (I supervise them). Next year, the child is moving into my own classroom. Does anyone have advice on proactive things I can say/do at our conference (prior to the first day) that may help with this issue?
     
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  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Aug 5, 2014

    Mom must have separation anxiety. Can you involve other family members to help distract her and get her to leave?

    Are you saying that the one year old is the child enrolled or is it a sibling of an enrolled child?

    Administration may have to get involved/change the open door policy, etc.
     
  4. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Aug 5, 2014

    I think some people leave common sense at the door when they hear "open door" policy. Are there any guidelines put in place? I would talk to the director and see if she recommends being honest with her regarding the distractions.
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 5, 2014

    Id institute some new 'open door polcy' guidelines:
    Place folding chairs from which parents can observe. If they want, teachers can invite parents to help with projects. No additional kids. Limited visiting time.
     
  6. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Aug 5, 2014

    I would be concerned, were I the owner of the place, with having a baby in a preschool without knowing about immunizations, liability issues, etc. Perhaps the owner needs to get a lawyer to provide guidelines about risk assessment of having a wrong age child wandering the premises, and the owner should do some evaluation of the amount of time that paid employees are spending on this one parent and sibling while not providing the services they were hired to provide. I would suggest parent volunteer activities that are prearranged, with the understanding that it is a set time frame, a specific activity, with no siblings allowed. Perhaps paying for babysitting will be a deterrent to marathon visitations. If real learning is supposed to be going on, I suggest looking at how a public school would deal with a similar situation - oh, wait - this would not have been allowed to happen there because of security issues and concern over the well being of the student body.
     
  7. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Aug 5, 2014

    At least in PA, the presence of the one year old in the room changes the teacher to student ratio from 10:1 (preschool) to 5:1 (toddler) or 6:1 (older toddler, age 2) so I think you can certainly bring that up as an issue (assuming it is indeed an issue, I know when I taught pre-school we pretty much always had 16-20 kids with 2 teachers so the additional toddler would have put us out of compliance). Ratios are based on the age of the youngest child in the room, so if you have 19 four year olds and one 2 year old, it's still a 1:6 ratio so you'd need 3 teachers for those 20 children as compared to 2 teachers id the 2 year old wasn't there.

    But maybe you just need to have a chat with the mom about your school and its fit for her child and perhaps she'd like something such as a co-op where parents are more involved.

    Also, if she doesn't have her clearances (child abuse) then I see that as an issue too. Given the amount of time she's there she probably exceeds the allowable time for in class time spent. I think in PA it can't go over 30 minutes. Again, not sure if the "legal" route is what you want to take or the "best interest of your child" route. Sorry to hear this is how she is, very annoying for all involved.
     
  8. lilia123

    lilia123 Companion

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    Aug 5, 2014

    I had this problem with a parent once. The advice I got was tell her that "Since you are here will you help me with some tasks". Then give her a bunch of cutting, coloring, and copying tasks to do at a desk or table outside the classroom. It actually worked within a week she dropped her kid off and left. She probably is just wanting adult interaction, it can be isolating being a stay at home mom, I joined the gym myself.
     
  9. Froreal3

    Froreal3 Companion

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    Aug 6, 2014

    I've had this happen before as well. Put her to work. Make her run errands and do everything a teacher would.

    I agree about looking into your state licensing/ratios with having a younger sibling in the classroom all day. That changes ratios and I would speak to your director about it. Since that is a ratio issue, I would think the director would be more willing to speak to the parent and discourage this. I don't understand why the director hasn't stepped up to the plate yet, especially about the baby in the room. smh
     
  10. msaly

    msaly Comrade

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    Aug 6, 2014

    Our state law would prohibit a one year old from being in a classroom with kids over the age of 2 and a half. I would tell the mom that unfortunately while the policy is an open door the one year is not allowed in the classroom as it creates a distraction and with mom staying the whole day doesn't provide the real preschool experience. Suggest she come in (without the baby) to read a story at circle time or help with a project.
     
  11. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Aug 7, 2014

    You can't wimp out over this. Be upfront with the mother. The above suggestions are great. I suspect that people are just too worried to implement them. Assuming this is a private preschool, this is not fair to the parents that pay for their children to receive the attention they need.
     
  12. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    I would not let this woman run errands since she is likely to leave the 1 year old in the room and you will have to watch him. You have enough to worry about. If something happens to the 1 year old the parent will be quick to blame staff.
     
  13. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Aug 7, 2014

    Ugh...yes I've had a parent almost as bad as what you described. Somehow they think it is "cute" to have their one or 2 year old run around the room. This is how I would handle it.

    1. Give this parent a ton of cutting, pasting, copying etc. to do. The more that you can make that is out of the room the better.

    2. If this still doesn't work, it is time to see if you can have a policy about parents bringing young children (age 3 or less) with them. It would be probably best to get the director or principal involved. I agree that this problem must be dealt with.
     
  14. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    This will only benefit the OP if the mother takes the one year old with her while doing these tasks. You have to be specific with your instructions and make sure the mother doesn't get so focused on the tasks that the kid is left to his own devices.
     
  15. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Aug 20, 2014

    Why not talk with this mom about her goals for her child, right before school starts? Be prepared with your goals for her child also. Be gentle and explain that you think the child is ready to have most of her time in the classroom independent of the parent. Work together to set the goals for the child. Ask if Mom needs help when it is time to drop off the child - such as you distracting the child with something interesting. Sometimes parents need help. You could also direct her to the class's parent group and help her get involved in supporting the school.
     
  16. wyvern

    wyvern Companion

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    Aug 20, 2014

    In my state, this would not affect the ratio numbers because the child is in her care not yours. But I wouldn't discourage her, but might try and find ways to let her know that if the child is being a distraction to others at times when attention is needed, she could take the child out. Plus, staff people, including assistants should be able to say, I'd love to talk to you after class, but right now it's disruptive.
     
  17. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Aug 20, 2014

    If she is walking away from the young child, or not truly watching it because she is engaged in conversation, then the child is NOT in her care, and it is a problem. I am short on patience tonight, so excuse my being blunt. If the preschool is so strapped for students that losing this one will bring down their economy, then this is a moot point - the mother and child will stay no matter what we say. If the owner doesn't know this is going on, then why not?? If it is troubling enough to the OP, she may want to consider another job where there are clearer protocols.
     
  18. Froreal3

    Froreal3 Companion

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    Aug 24, 2014

    ^^lynettstoy I totally agree. The child is not in her care. Besides, this is not a co-op preschool environment. Mama is overstepping.
     
  19. sarahwilla

    sarahwilla Rookie

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    Aug 30, 2014

    Hey Msmr, thanks for sharing the post, even i am looking for the same kind of stuff.
     

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