The Nanny Godmother loves to hear from colleagues in the childcare profession who are readers of the blog. Patty has recently written in with a dilemma that’s particularly challenging because of the professional setting in which it’s occurring:
I am a daycare provider for a set of 21 month old twin boys in addition to 4 other children. Within the past month they both started using foul language. I simply ignored it the first week, although some of the older children were quick to point it out to me each time they heard it. During the second week when it occurred, I got down at their level and firmly said “No. We don’t use that word. That is not ok.” The third week, I repeated the steps from week 2, but then put them in time out. They don’t seem to be fazed by it at all and they seem to be swearing more each day. Mom is really no help and simply blames it on Dad.
Any suggestions that I can use as a licensed provider? (When this occurred with my own children, step three included a swat on the rear end which put a pretty quick end to foul language, but as a licensed provider I am not able to use corporal punishment.) Thank you!
Unfortunately, as you know, we childcare professionals are limited in what we can do if we don’t have the support of the parents.
However, I do think you should talk to the mum again and explain what a big problem it is, and that you don’t want other parents to start complaining.
As long as you’re not receiving parental support, your options are going to be somewhat limited, and the best thing I can think of for you to do is to concentrate on teaching the twins that such language is not accepted by you. Try not to make too much of it when they say the words, as although I doubt they understand the meaning, they do understand that it upsets you. Don’t even make eye contact, as they are probably just waiting for you to react. Just take them by the hand and say “You know that Patty doesn’t accept those words” in a very low, calm voice. Don’t interact with them any more than that, and put them in time out (away from each other, if they’re both in time out). When time out is finished, make them look you in the eye and say “sorry” for using bad words, then carry on as normal.
This method may take some time to yield results, but due to their age I think it is about all you can do.
I hope this was of some help to you; if there are any readers who can give Patty more advice on this matter, please feel free to leave a comment or drop us a line.