Difficulty with Child in my Care

by Private
(Canada)

Question: I have been looking after a little girl for the past five months and I am concerned about some of her behavior. I have spoken to the parents about it but I don't get much feedback from them or they think she is being funny. Here are some of the things I am concerned about:


1) Crying fits that will last longer than two hours if she doesn’t get what she wants.

2) Uncontrollable temper tantrums multiple times throughout the day including sitting on the floor and kicking and stomping her feet

3) Clingy and needy to the extreme (getting better with this slowly does not require me to hold her all the time now.)

4) Lack of eye contact (she will look at my nose or my mouth or my hair but not my eyes for more than half a second.) Extreme lack of eye contact when she has misbehaved.

5) doesn’t play with other children very often and is quite demanding with them when she does play with them.

6) possessive over child care providers attention and extreme jealousy.

7) Won’t always respond when I am calling her by name. She doesn’t listen when I ask her to do something. Sometimes she will look at me and then ignore me, other times she acts as though she didn’t hear me.

8) Cries when an adult approaches her in a familiar setting. ie. My husband comes home from work or Mother in Law comes in to the backyard while we are playing.

I am a new child care provider and i am not sure how to handle these types of situations. Are these behaviors possibly linked to a behavioral challenge.

Thanks

Very confused.

Answer: It sounds like there may definitely be some underlying issues, but it's hard to say for sure without knowing her exact age.

A lot of this is common for children that are 15 months- 2 1/2 years old especially if the child is in your care the majority of the time and doesn't get to spend much time with his/her parents.

It can also be that those behaviors are reinforced in the home by getting her way when she throws a tantrum.

However, the lack of eye contact and inattentiveness may be additional concerns that should be evaluated by a professional, especially if they are accompanied by delayed toddler speech development.

I would sit down and explain to the parents that this behavior is very concerning to you and that you highly recommend the child be evaluated by a developmental pediatrician.

Remind them that early intervention is extremely important and if there are supports available it never hurts to use them and can only help the child in the long run.

However, if they are unwilling to listen to you then all you can do is let it go or perhaps approach them again in a few months if the behaviors continue.

You may also consider reviewing the aspergers checklist or autism checklist.

Fill them out for the child and if you feel the results validate your concerns recommend they review a checklist themselves.

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