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spoon, no spoon?
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spoon, no spoon?

HI i run a dayhome and also grew up in a dayhome my whole life ( mother dayhomed ) and I've encountered an issue i have never seen before in my 23 years. I have an 19 month old that litterally shoves food in by the handful with her fist at lunch time. I have been trying to teach her how to use a spoon for the past 2 months with encouraging, mimicking, disciplining, re-enforcing, rewarding, I've tried all the techniques and still can not find a way for her to understand how a spoon works. She actually throws tantrums the minute i say "no" when she uses her hands. I have found with many other issues and situations she is very emotional and doesnt quite understand much ( for example simple commands like "sit down please" " or go put that toy back", she just kinda laughs and walks away not understanding what I'm saying) So I'm not too sure if there is some underlying issue the parents just dont know about and I'm not going to be the one to bring it up, of course. But i did ask the parents to be consistent with me in teaching her, otherwise it will fail if its not practiced or enforced at home. I got alot of attitude and was told by the father that they called a dietitian and the dietitian had stated if i enforce a spoon and shes not ready it could be detrimental to her future, that she will learn in time by mimicking. I was super upset with this response because if she cant catch on to the spoon by me teaching her how will she by just mimicking, not likely, and DETRIMENTAL????? as if! Im sorry but like i said i run a dayhome and i have never seen a 19month old not able to eat with a spoon, this only makes my job harder and at a certain age children should start being a little more independant, which is not the case with her. Im at my wits end and need some expert advice from doctors or the old age moms who know best ( walking by 9 months, potty trained by 18 months.....), not the new age moms who dont teach their kids how to walk until 18 months and dont teach their kids how to go potty until 3. So irritated with all the delaying in child development these days.
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Avatar_f_tn
If this is not your child, it is NOT your place to tell her PARENTS when she should use a spoon, use the potty or anything. Children develop at their own rate and forcing them to do things when they aren't ready IS detrimental. And most children don't potty train until 3. I've talked with my boys pedi and she was surprised when we told her our boys (at the time they were 18 months old) sat on the potty and went. Are we pushing the issue? No. We're letting them go at their pace and not forcing it. That's a way to get a child to be fearful of whatever you are doing.

My boys are almost 2 and yes they can use their silverware but they still use their hands. In fact the youngest of my boys (they're twins) prefers using his fingers than his spoon or fork. Do we discipline him? Absolutely not. As long as he's eating we're happy.

Remember this is NOT your child. you DO NOT have the right to tell her parents how to raise her. In fact if my boys were in daycare and the daycare provider was telling me how my kids should be developing and what they should be doing, I'd remove them immediately and find another place to take them. It's insulting and not your place do that.
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Avatar_m_tn
Well actually it is my place seeing as i am pretty much the one raising these children right now. I have them 10 hours a day, serve them 2 meals, 2 snacks a day so when Im having issues concerning their eating habits it is my place to discuss it with the parents. Remember this parent see's her child 2 hours a day and serves her one meal a day and on has weekends. If they do not agree with my ways i do encourage she find someone who has the same parenting ways to watch her daughter, maybe even a nanny who can sit there for hours on end and spend the time necessary for this ONE child. I run a dayhome with MANY children who need my attention and i dont take children under 1 for a reason so when i get a child that is at that level, it is frustrating to me. And again for mothers who want their child raised a certain way, stay home with your child then. That is what i did for my daughter because i do not want any other mother to raise her while Im at work, and i acknowledge the fact that yes it would be RAISING her if i wasnt around for 10 hours a day. By the way I did not say i dont agree with a child picking up food now and then, thats fine, who gives. Im having an issue with her almost choking on her food and gagging because she grabd handfuls at a time and stuffs it so far down her throat, it is a huge issue and for that i need her to start learning how to eat with a spoon. Like i said in my post, i only want advice from an expert not the opinion of a mother who also has the same "detrimental" beliefs.
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Avatar_f_tn
You are NOT their parent so no it is NOT your right no matter how much time you spend with her. And not all mothers have the option to stay home with their kids. Some HAVE to work in order to survive and some cannot afford a nanny.

If I were this girls parents I'd be seeking new arrangements immediately.
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Avatar_m_tn
Yes seek new arrangements because im legitimately concerned about her daughter choking in my care. By the way next time i will do excessive screening to avoid mothers like you who actually really do think we will raise there children the exact way they want when we have 5-6 other children. If that were the case, do you really think one dayhome provider is able to raise 6 children, 6 different ways... say a prayer solely for one christian child before lunch, then look to the other whos parents raise her to be budhist or some other religion and say another prayer for that one, meawhile the atheists child is sitting there confused on what we're doing. Many different situations where this is NOT possible in a dayhome. Thats why when a mother is searching for a dayhome she needs to find one where they have the same beliefs and gets along well with her and can relate because a smart parent knows children pick up habits and the same ways as someone they see the majority of the day. Of course if a mother tells me she disciplines her child a certain way, i try to stick to that ( unless its hitting or slapping, etc, thats unacceptable) But when it comes down to teaching a child to be up to par with the others her age, i will try my hardest and yes i know they all learn at a different pace, there are things i can let slide by and there are things that are a must in a dayhome, like a little independence from a 19 month old. Every half hour counts in a dayhome and an extra 30 mins spent on one child at lunch can throw every other child off for the day. Which you do not understand cause you can not relate to my job so goodbye and go put your input on someone elses page you can relate to. Again im asking for advice from a doctor or another dayhome provider that has dealt with similar issues.
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Avatar_f_tn
Mother's like me? So because I feel a daycare provider should not be telling a parent how to raise their child I'm a bad mother? My children are just fine.

The fact remains YOU ARE NOT THESE CHILDREN'S MOTHER! If you cannot handle the fact that not all people raise their children the same way...perhaps you should reconsider your profession.

And these are NOT doctor forums. There are doctor forums...take your question there if you don't want a MOTHER'S perspective.
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535822_tn?1389452880
Well it may be a good idea her to give her the food in small quantities, start of with lesser amounts, when she has finished that give her more , ask the parents to do the same ..it could be that in forcing the issue you are creating a situation so put the spoon down on the dish or table , do not make any issue of it.once you have relaxed she may pick it up, many children of this age do still use their hands ...sometimes relaxing rules and not rushing children to eat their food fast may work wonders.
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Avatar_m_tn
Not once did i say you were a bad mother, you are probably a great mother. I am saying i would not take a parent like you as a client. Someone who doesnt understand that we as dayhome proivders can not raise 6 children , 6 different ways. I understand i am not these childrens mothers but i am there care giver and i do have to teach them and raise them.
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973741_tn?1342346373
Tasha, some kids have great difficulty with fine motor control  Actually what you describe is an indicator of a child with such an issue.  Resistence to the point of tantrum is common in a child that has motor planning issues.  It probably isn't the best place for you to care for this child as you didn't pick up on that.

Delayed development is not usually due to parents and the way they parent but in that the child is developmentally delayed.  I think classes should be given to understand this in order to watch someone's child but that is just my opinion.  
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757137_tn?1347200053
I only read the first reply, which I did not agree with. The problem is lack of home discipline. That is not possible for you to correct. There are all sorts of half-baked theories about training being "detrimental." As parents, or caretakers, we are teachers. It is our responsibility to prepare them for adulthood. And as for not potty-training until age three, that is loony. With no fuss or fanfare (no rewards and no punishments) I simply showed my children (I have four) how to use the potty. The girls learned very quickly at 18 months, my son was 2 years old. They used spoons very early on (not that they gave up on their fingers entirely) and liked them, probably because it gave them power, and because they could shovel food in faster. My eldest (at six months) actually grabbed the spoon out of my hand, hit me in the head with it, and fed herself. She would never let me feed her again. I agree that that was weird.

Children like to grow up. It is our duty to show them how.



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973741_tn?1342346373
I also think that understanding that you care of 6 DIFFERENT children that are not all going to be the same is also important.  This sounds like a bad match for you and this child.
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Avatar_m_tn
I agree with you that she is developmentally delayed, i had stated that in my first post. But it is not my job to tell the parents this, as i would probably get a smack across the face. If they dont catch on to their child being delayed theres nothing i can do about it, except try and teach her. I did not know she was delayed when she started here, it is now starting to show in many ways. I agree that maybe i should not be looking after her because i am not specialized in that category and do not get paid extra to deal with delayed children. But how am i supposed to let this child go and give the parents the real reason without breaking them the news that there child has issues i am not trained on dealing with?!

To allmymarbles, thank you for your response i totally agree with everything you are saying. It is a total lack of discipline if a child cries everytime they hear the word "no". And my daughter was eating with a spoon by 8-9 months (not proffesionally lol),walking at 9 months,new every sound any animal imaginable could make at 16 months, fully potty trained at 20 months, full sentences by 2. And is now mommys little helper. So i must be doing something right, am i not. I just get disgusted with parents that dont try with their children. That just wait around for them to learn when it is OUR job to do so, and as a dayhome provider it IS my job to do so too for these children, just as it it for teachers to do so for those children. Funny thing is, this child im having difficulties with is a teachers child and i feel she is being VERY hypocritical to this matter.
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Avatar_m_tn
yes special mom i have acknowledged that fact and you are not here daily to see i do treat them all differently according to there development levels. I have been training this girl for 2 months now with the spoon and like i said i am not at my wits end and i have been very patient with her and have spent numerous hours just on her when i should also be spending equal time with the other parents children that pay the same fee's.
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Avatar_m_tn
oopse i meant i am NOW at my wits end after two months of patience.
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973741_tn?1342346373
I think what is in your control is to tell the parents that you are not a good match for their child.  Someone that has the time and patience to help her would be better suited for her care and you would be free to care for the other children "equally" as you say.  

I think that telling a family that you are noticing that their child has delays is a hard thing to do but necessary.   Some parents are not aware of it as it might be their first child or only child.  This gives them the option of seeking out some early intervention that can put the child on the right track for the rest of their life.  Instead, by not telling them and keeping her with you just causes your own frustration and does nothing to help her.  

You can be defensiveness about this advice but it is not meant to insult you or upset you but to provide the best outcome to this situation for both the child and you.  good luck
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973741_tn?1342346373
Oops as well as I read what I wrote and I made some wording mistakes.  I'm really not trying to insult you or say you aren't doing a good job.  Some kids do require extra care and intervention for issues unique to them.  And it is okay to say that you at this time can not provide that and be fair to the other kids.  That was my point.
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Avatar_m_tn
I'm not taking offense to it and i feel it is not an insult i do agree im not qualified for that kind of care. I honestly can't say i will let the mother know her child is developmentally delayed, i mean just me asking her for some help at home with a spoon turned into a huge battle with her and her husband. She actually hasnt even come to speak to me about this since , she now sends her husband to pick her daughter up and i feel thats being very immature about the whole situation. I mean i am taking care of her daughter and when i have a concern she should come confront me about it or atleast come see me face to face and discuss the issue. She wont even return my text messages asking her to come speak to me in person. So i dont think I'll be able to tell her this horrible news, also i am not a doctor and i think by me telling her this its just a personal opinion which i base off of years of experience with children. I'm hoping her doctor will be able to notice and point it out, as it is his job.
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973741_tn?1342346373
Well, I agree that the mother's hostility makes it a situation in which telling them would possibly not be worth it.  If you release her to another child care provider and the same issues are noted, it becomes more difficult for the family to ignore.  Some parents try to live in denial and unfortunately, the child greatly suffers.

You can only do what you can do and it sounds like this little girl may need extra help.  Good luck

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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks :)
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535822_tn?1389452880
Excuse me did you bother in this diatribe to even glance at my post which had an idea ... ....
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Avatar_m_tn
oh ya i did see it but got caught up with the other posts.... ya Margypops I've tried it all and months ago, many months ago probably when she was 14 months old i started giving her a spoon to just kind of play with because i dont think she had ever been introduced to one any sooner and she could care less about it, didnt take any interest in it and still to this day at 19 months does not take any more interest in it. And suggesting anything else or asking for anything from these parents is out of the question, with the results i got from a simple request for them to help me out a little and be more consistent with her eating habits. Doesnt matter I've decided what I'll do. These parents dont want me to help their child because apparently this is something they will just learn on their own, which to me is very unlikely they have to be taught how to use a spoon but anyway apparently they want to do it at their own time so I'll just still to finger foods for her and she can watch the rest of the "big" kids eat with their spoons and when the parents tell me they are ready to start teaching her how to use a spoon, i'll applaud and tell them to tell me when she's fully trained with cutlery so she can start using it again here. I wont help in anyway because it has gotten me to where i am now, insulted for trying to help a child.
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Avatar_m_tn
stick* not still* to finger foods
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757137_tn?1347200053
People do not take the necessary time to train their children. Especially with the first one you have to be very attentive. For instance, when I was potty-training my first, I showed her how ladies go to the potty. Then I removed her diaper and, since she followed me around, moved the potty chair to whichever room I was in. In other words I made it easy for her. I have to admit that this was a strange child, because once she learned what she should do, she never soiled herself again. Not all children are that easily trained.

Training a puppy is the same as training a child. When we first got ours, I watched his every move the entire first day. Every time I saw him hunch over, I picked him up and put him on the terrace. Day number two, he went to the terrace on his own. If you give sufficient attention in the beginning most of your job is done. And no yelling or punishing. I don't believe in that anyway.
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535822_tn?1389452880
my other idea was to give her less food so she cant stuff it into her mouth,and choke  then refill her plate when thats has gone, if she wont eat with the spoon relax and let it go its not worth the hassle ...fingers forever , .
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Avatar_f_tn
I am sorry but not all children walk at 9 month, potty train at 18 months.You have to understand every child develops dif. regardless the parenting.My now 3 year old was starting to stand alone at 9  months and walk down furniture didnt potty train fully until 3 and still not always eats with a spoon actually has alot of trouble with it. However my 9 month old is walking and can somewhat use a spoon and i did nothing dif. with the 2. I think your being to hard on the child pushing the issue a little to much,making a big deal over something so small.Its not a 5 year old not eating with a spoon but an 18 month old.I do believe pushing this on the child the way you are could cause her to not want to use a spoon.I would give her a spoon but not make her use it only offer it to her.She will see you and the other children using one and becoming interested and use one herself at her own pace, you cant force the child to eat with a spoon,and dont give her enough food at a time to choke on.Its not like noone is offering her a spoon so she just eats with her hands. Its not her parents fault, and I can see how they were offended if you brought it up to them the way you brought it up to us.I do believe you stated you have her 10 hrs out everyday except on weekends she is learning most everything  from you not her parents and you claim to be such a great teacher "not saying your not" but this should tell you theres something going on with the child, you cant blame her parents. You cant expect all children to meet your standard's or be as developed as your children were.Some are just slower at catching on than others,dosent mean anythings wrong.I really feel if this child is such a burden to you, and you are not willing to meet this child's needs you should stop keeping her.Or hire help,1 person cant tend to 6 children the way they should be tended to , regardless there age.
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