Aussie Childcare Network Forum • three year old child is so aggressive and tries to hit everyone, even babies
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three year old child is so aggressive and tries to hit everyone, even babies

Posted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:44 pm
by Iris2

I am a float and fairly new to child care and while I'm not 100% confident in my behaviour management strategies, there are really few times I really feel out of my depth and unable to manage a child. But there is one child I just feel panic attacks and anxiety every time I'm in his room. He is three. I believe there certain things happened in his family life and have suspicions he lacks a positive role models that can help him model his behaviour. I can't say for sure but just what I observed from his behaviour. I believe his mum is a kind lady who is trying hard to cope but obviously struggling with certain things. I know nothing about any other parent.

The problem is he tries to hit children or throw things dangerously constantly or trying climbing up really high in places which are obviously very dangerous. Every time I am in his room I basically have to watch him and chase after staff and children at all times. It is very stressful. He says words I have never hear a three year old say "M--- F---- B----". He is physically strong for his age and hits children constantly completely unprovoked. He prefers to especially hit children when their parent arrives to pick them up, even when the child is holding their parent's hand. I believe he does this because he knows it will maximise the reaction of both parents and staff. He hits to get the reaction. Worst of all, even if someone is holding a tiny baby (e.g. some parents carry their new born babies while picking up their older child) he will try to hit the baby. I basically have to pull him away from other children at all times. I can't implement ongoing strategies because I am not regular in that room. I don't think the educators in his room are really implementing much strategies or trying to collaborate with the parent much. And even then, I have a feeling that certain aspects of his life are affecting him too much that daycare strategies may not have as much effect. There are some things that lead us to believe he was expelled from their previous centre.

I have an anxiety disorder and simply put, my mental health cannot cope with this situation. I wish I was able to cope with it or the regular educators are making more supportive efforts but it simply isn't the case. I know that the child must be going through a lot and it isn't his fault but because of that, I just don't think he is ready for a child care environment unless he has someone excellent with behaviour management that can help him. I feel it isn't fair on other children and even long-term staff have left since he arrived. The enrolment numbers in that group also dropped. I am thinking I will tell the manager that I cannot work in that room. It is sad to say but I really can't cope with it. I hope positive changes will happen but what can we do and do you think I am right to say that?

Re: three year old child is so aggressive and tries to hit everyone, even babies

Posted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:38 pm
by AMH
I'm in a very similar position at the moment in my childcare and finding strategies that work for this child have been difficult. Because you're a float, it's not fair on your to be the one trying to work out why these things are happening and what can be done to support the child. Have you spoken to the room leader? They should definitely be putting some strategies in place to support this child and his behaviour.
A lot of the time, when children behave badly there is a reason for it. I think it's very easy to forget that a child doesn't have the mental capacity to plan out their actions and do particular things for a certain reason. It's usually a sign that there are other things that they need; maybe they need attention because they're lacking genuine connection with others, maybe they're tired because they're not getting enough sleep at night, maybe they're behaving that way because they haven't been taught not to, they haven't been taught empathy or it's possible that there's an underlying medical issue such as diet, developmental delays or autism. There are so many reasons but sometimes the reason is just that they're three years old and they don't do better because they haven't been taught better yet.

Re: three year old child is so aggressive and tries to hit everyone, even babies

Posted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 2:02 pm
by Lorina
All Educators within the room should be on board to support this child. You cannot do it alone! Does he get engaged in activities, what does he like to do? Have you tried sensory experiences to try and get him to release his built up energy such as playdough, clay, tearing newspaper etc? You need to find out what you can engage him in and use that to try and get him to manage some of his behaviours. At the moment it seems like you spend your time chasing after him every time you're in the room while the other Educators manage the other children. Speak to mum and find out what he likes to do at home and see how you can implement it within the room to try and get him engaged.

Also, a behaviour management plan should be put into place where all Educators and Parents have an understanding of what strategies and put into place to support the child, so it's consistent. I recommend you talking to the Room Leader/Director.