Toddler disrupts nap everyday

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by ToddlerTeacher, Jan 5, 2016.

  1. ToddlerTeacher

    ToddlerTeacher Rookie

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    I have a 2 and a half year old girl in my class that does everything she's not supposed to during nap. She kicks the walls, yells, calls to friends, gets up, rolls all over the floor, and tries to get into toys or other things around her. I've moved her to a spot where she can't see anyone and she can't play with anything, but she inches her way into other areas and disturbed other kids. I've been willing to sit with her and pat her back, but she's started peeing on herself so she can get up. I'm supposed to be getting the kids used to going to sleep without help. Also, I have to sit with her for up to 35 minutes before she falls asleep. I have other children to attend to, plus I have plenty to get done during naptime. Her parents know that she does this, but she has other issues she is working through, so I haven't brought it up to them in awhile. Her mom gets mad anytime I tell her about something her daughter is working on, so I don't want to pile this onto the other issues. The director of the school knows that the girl does this, but doesn't offer much help. I offer the girl books after everyone else is settled, but her mom gets mad when she doesn't nap. I just don't know what to do. Any tips? Anything parents/administration should do to help me?
     
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  3. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    I'm seeing a few possible issues, none of them easy to fix. I'm wondering if she's ready for the structured environment of preschool. Another thought, a key phrase that threw up a red flag to me was that mother gets mad. If the parent(s) aren't working with the child in a constructive and communicative manner, things are only going to get worse, and there's nothing a preschool teacher can do about it. Hopefully that isn't the case in this situation, but many modern day parents treat their kids like instant oatmeal, just add water, stir, and that's it. They communicate by yelling and scolding instead of a two way manner of listening and correcting. The parents set the kid in front of a TV while they get on Facebook, text, and do other grownup stuff. Again, I hope the child's situation isn't this bad, but frankly, some kids must wonder if their name is God or Jesus Christ, because when they do get their parents' attention, they angrily exclaim, "Oh my God!" or "Oh, Jesus Christ!" Then they drop the kids off at the miracle working preschool expecting the teachers to magically transform their kids.
     
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  4. ToddlerTeacher

    ToddlerTeacher Rookie

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    The funny thing is that her mom is a PreK teacher. She acts like it's all my fault, and it makes me wonder if it is, but I have 11 other amazing toddlers in my class that prove otherwise. When I say mad, I mean she immediately gets this really annoyed look on her face and starts insinuating that her daughter is acting this way because of something I'm doing. Talking to her is like walking on eggshells. Her daughter has been at our preschool for a little over a year and I've been her teacher the whole time. She's always had a lot of behavior issues, but it's becoming quite clear that each time she masters one thing, another issue comes up. I love this child and I don't feel frustration towards her, but her mom seriously stresses me out. If her mom is this way, is there anything I can do?
     
  5. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    A good rule of thumb I've learned is that it's not the teacher who's misbehaving, it's the child. When a parent thinks s/he knows what should be done and is dead set against what the teacher is doing, that's a difficult situation to turn around. I've dealt with such a few times in my career, and I don't recall ever changing a parent's mind. It's your classroom, and apparently you are doing a marvelous job. She shouldn't expect to run your classroom for you.

    In the present situation, another thought might be that the child is somewhat precocious, her brain is seeking constant stimulation and is directing her attention, and she is having difficulty dealing with this urging from her brain. Not that she doesn't need to learn how to deal with it, but I've just recently read that when a teacher moves a child from the distraction, her/his brain might still persist on focusing on that distraction. The book I'm reading on that is 8 Keys to Raising the Quirky Child: How to Help a Kid Who Doesn't Quite Fit In, by Mark Bowers, W. W. Norton, N.Y.: 2015. 649.15B.
     
  6. ToddlerTeacher

    ToddlerTeacher Rookie

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    I would like to add that when I give her a quiet toy or book to use, she's occupied by it for all of 2 minutes and then starts getting destructive with it. She rips books, throws toys, or stands on things. I always eventually have to take the material away for its safety. I've always felt that she does these things for my attention, so I try to avoid giving her attention at all when she's misbehaving, but there are certain things that I can't ignore. I just don't know what to do, it's incredibly frustrating because her actions typically suck up all of my planning time even when I'm trying to ignore her behavior.
     
  7. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Jan 5, 2016

    Three ideas...

    Have you tried offering rewards for lying quietly? Would she be motivated by something tangible? Perhaps if she lies quietly until every one else is asleep then she can get up and do a special quiet activity that would still allow you to do your planning? It might also give you a chance to positively connect with her.

    Does she have to lie down? It sounds like she's not tired and this is becoming a power struggle. Would it be possible for her to sit somewhere quiet and do an activity like play dough or puzzles? Could you tell her outright that she doesn't have to lie down or sleep, but she needs to be quiet. If she can't be quiet then she needs to go to her bed.

    Is there a class that doesn't sleep that she could join during nap time? I know her mom wants her to nap, but we always shuffled our kiddos into 2 rooms - nappers and non nappers. This allowed those who didn't need a nap to not disturb those who did need a nap.
     
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  8. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Jan 5, 2016

    I worked at a preschool and fought this battle with a couple kids. Your student's behavior is more extreme, but she is also younger. Mine were 4 and 5 and some just did not want to nap. I know at my school, at least, kids were required to stay on their cots for nearly 2 hours because of state regulations (one person could be with 10 awake kids, or 20 sleeping kids). I started giving kids toys on their cots if they weren't asleep in 30 minutes, and then towards the end of nap time I would let them silently sit at a table and color or do puzzles. Maybe this would be an option?

    Two and a half is really young, though. I'm not sure if the same strategy would work with that young of a child.
     
  9. ToddlerTeacher

    ToddlerTeacher Rookie

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    I've been giving her books or toys after 30 minutes because most of the other kids are asleep at that point. The problem is that she pushes the boundaries with those materials to the point that I have to take them away. Today I gave her a few books and as soon as I walked away, she began ripping the pages. I took them away and explained why. I offered a plastic drawing pad instead. She drew for a few minutes, then put the drawing pad on the floor where she repeatedly stepped on it. I took it away before it broke and explained why. I told her that she could not have anymore materials and she would have to lie down and rest. I gave her a stuffed animal to cuddle with and walked away. She started yelling and kicking her feet on the wall. I firmly told her that she needed to keep her sounds off so others could sleep. I moved her a few feet away from the wall, so she couldn't kick it anymore. I walked away and had to force myself to ignore her because nothing was getting the message across and I could feel myself getting frustrated. My classroom is small and narrow so I have no space for her to be up and about, but she is invited to sit up on her mat to play with the materials. I think that it's attention seeking behavior, but there is no way that I can completely ignore what she's doing. We don't have a room for kids to go to if they are not nappers. I wish we did, but it's not an option with the way the school is set up. I want to add that there have been issues with her seeking attention before, so I always make a point to acknowledge her when she's doing something helpful or kind. I do her hair everyday and let her sit in my lap when she wants. I give her hugs and let her sit next to me during circle time. I do these things for other kids too, but it's more intentional for her. Could the extra attention be hurting my cause?
     
  10. ChildWhisperer

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    Jan 6, 2016

    Is there an assistant or floater teacher that can come during that time?
    I'd say if she continues to soil herself just to get up, then put a diaper on for naptime and pat her back to make her sleep. If she hates diapers, too bad, then maybe she'll stop going on herself.
    She is young, yes, but she is also old enough to follow directions and listen to the teacher! I worked with toddlers & 2-year-olds for a long time so I know they're old/smart enough to understand what you're saying and to follow through with you're saying. She obviously gets away with a lot at home.
    I feel so bad for you.
     
  11. ToddlerTeacher

    ToddlerTeacher Rookie

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    There isn't a floater or anyone to help because it's naptime and we alternate breaks. I recently put her in a pull up at nap and her mom didn't like that and told me not to do it. That sort of touches on the other issue the girl is having. She's peeing on herself on purpose every time another kid gets my attention from using the potty or having an accident. Her mom doesn't want her to wear a diaper/pull up, and she doesn't want me to put her in school clothes is she runs out of her own clothes. She wants me to let the girl sit in the pee so she will stop doing it. I agree that making her stay in it would teach her to stop, but I can't legally or ethically do that. Plus it's not sanitary for the other kids. It's an impossible situation.
     
  12. ChildWhisperer

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    And your director isn't helping you at all about it?
    When I worked in daycare, we had super supportive directors who always cared about the teachers first. We had extra floaters to help out just for this reason. The younger age rooms always had an extra teacher in the room (3 teachers for 10 toddlers, vs 2 teachers for 10 toddlers per state regulations). If your employees are happy, your customers are happy.
    It's starting to sound like a helpless situation
     
  13. ToddlerTeacher

    ToddlerTeacher Rookie

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    I'm in Texas. The state ratio is 1:9 for 18 - 24mo kids. It's 1:11 for 2s and 3s (my age group). My Co-teacher and I have 12 kids, so our ratio is small compared to the state ratio. My director is supportive when she can be, but won't offer to take the girl from the class during nap. My director is supposed to deal with the potty accident issue, but has managed to avoid talking to the mom so far. She keeps telling me that she will handle everything and discourages me from bringing it up to the mom myself. I'm kind of caught in limbo waiting for her to deal with it.
     
  14. ChildWhisperer

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    Oh yeah, I've heard Texas has crazy high ratios.
    In IL, the ratio for infants up to 15 months is 1:4, 15-24 months is 1:5, 2-year-olds is 1:8, 3's & 4's is 1:10, 5-year-olds in Preschool is 1:15, and Kindergarten & up is 1:20
     
  15. JLM85

    JLM85 Guest

    Jan 9, 2016

    I was dealing with this for a while but with a slightly older child 4 years old. She was doing it completely on purpose because she wanted the attention. it got to the point where I was bribing her with small candies and stuff and that would get her sleep but before that she was screaming and yelling for the others to get up and then one day about a month ago she just stopped and hasn't done it again since.One problem that made it worse in my case is that Florida's ratios are crazy high 1:20 for 4 year olds and 1 teacher can have up to 40 threes and fours at nap time I usually have between about 35 at this time because my class of 15 mixes with the 9 from Vpk and the 11 from the 3.5 class.
    Our ratios are
    infant 1:4
    1 year old 1:6
    two yr old 1:11
    threes 1:15
    fours 1:20
    5 and up is 1:25 and
    VPK is 1:10.
    kindergarten is also 1:10 if in a public school
    A few years back they lowered the ratios for k-12 but not for the preschools.
     
  16. eyeteach

    eyeteach Rookie

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    Here is my take on the situation. First a 2 1/2 year old is not a toddler. When you call her that, less is expected from her. Sure, she was born just 2 1/2 years ago, but she is also just 2 1/2 years out of Kindergarten. Unless something is "going on" with her such as a cognitive problem, there is no reason that she should be doing this and she is being allowed to do it. For the most part, young children want to please you and act the way that they are expected or allowed to. Take this for example. When you walk into a Library you know to be quiet. It was instilled in you at a young age. When nap time comes, for some reason, she "knows" that it is time for chaos. Your "job" is to find out why she does it and what she gets out of it. I disagree with giving a reward for doing what she is supposed to do and what all of the other children are doing. If she is wetting herself just so she can get up, she knows what she is doing and there is probably not any kind of developmental "problem". When she does this, give her the clothes to change into and make her do it by herself. Give her wipes and make her clean off her own body. If you do have to help her with something, do not say a word to her, make eye contact with her and do as little as possible. After a few times, she will get the picture. Also, if you are not yet doing so, you need to talk to her before nap time and about what IS going to happen at nap time. Make her understand that she is going to stay on her mat quietly just like the other children and if she does not, there are going to be consequences. Make sure you are on her level and speak very firmly to her (more firm than you have ever been to get her attention) and tell her this is going to STOP! Do not threaten her with going to get other people. Let her know that you are in charge and that you are the Alpha and the Omega. Give it a few days and I guarantee you that you will see improvement! Another tip is to avoid using sentences like "I want you to stay on your mat, OK? Are you going to do this or that? Is it OK if I do this or that? It sounds like that is not anything big, but when you use dialog like that, what you are essentially doing is asking her a question and giving her the right to make a choice, albeit the wrong one. Some of this may sound harsh and I am not sure of your experience level, so please do not be offended by it. I hope this helps! Please keep us updated and good luck!
     
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  17. ToddlerTeacher

    ToddlerTeacher Rookie

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    I don't lower my expectations for her. She's a toddler until she is 3. The problem is that she isn't meeting the expectations that I set for everyone. I have definitely taken time to explain the expectations before nap and I have given her very firm messages. She does change her own clothes, but she still gets to get up to do it. I've tried the "not saying anything" approach, but she escalates her behavior until I have to get involved. I don't ask her to stay on her mat. I tell her. What is a reasonable consequence for her actions?
     
  18. ChildWhisperer

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    2-year-olds are definitely NOT toddlers. Toddlers are walking babies until they're 2. Once they're 2, they're just small children. I worked with toddlers (15-23 months) for a long time and then with 2-year-olds for a long time.
    I most definitely can not stand it when people call their THREE-year-olds a toddler!
     
  19. ToddlerTeacher

    ToddlerTeacher Rookie

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    Jan 26, 2016

    Technically, a 2 year old is a toddler.
     

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