I had the care of a child of two and a half years old. He was already potty trained and his emotional and behaviours difficulties where so great that he would insist on sitting all day in the push-chair, although they were nothing wrong with him physically and he had stopped using it at home. He was prisoner of the pushchair and would not leave it to go to the toilettes or to play with the others.
According to Extending Childminding Practice Handout 13-5 Emotional difficulties is due to poor self-image and low self-esteem. The child with emotional difficulties doesn’t become self-confident and don’t cope with self-control, which lead to behavioural difficulties. They can exclude themselves or be excluded from the company of other children (They lose the ability to develop social skills).
In Nursery World Marion Dowling explains how negative feeling can affect our working memory (number of things one can cope at one time). Anxiety and insecurity take up a lot of mental space, blocking a working memory and leaving a child unsure, confused and forgetful about things in which they were previously competent.
I this case Childminder need to work closely with the child’s parents and other carers to offer continuity between our homes. Parents have the most important position in their Children’s lives. We need to share information, agree a shared consistent approach and draw and implement a plan together. The Childminder starting point could be the observation made and ncma Behaviour Management Policy (see annex 3).
Support to parents needs to be non-judgemental. It’s important to give them reassurance that they are not to blame.
If our plans and strategies are not working we can ask for the expertise of other professionals remembering the rules of confidentiality.
In the case above mentioned I discussed the situation with his mother and grand mother and it was agreed that:
- I will respect his wish to be in the pushchair and bring attractive activities around him. This until he felt safe to leave his "Cocoon" by his own will.
- I would leave him in nappies (to avoid his self-esteem to be damage by wetting or soiling himself) and encourage him to go to the toilettes regularly.
- I would speak English (his home language) to him until his difficulties were over.
This strategy has proved being very successful as he is now a very happy and playful boy.