From my years of experience I can tell you that there are many times that parents' behavior by itself can contribute to many behavioral and emotional problems of children, so I am not trying to let anyone off the hook. There are many other situations when there is a combination of parent and childcare issues, and some problems where it is only a childcare issue.
What are the types of problems am I talking about?
- Lack of reinforcement or inconsistent reinforcement of behaviors and limits. Whether it is not wanting to get dressed, comb their hair, take a nap, or more disruptive behaviors like aggression or disrespect, if a caregiver does not set limits and you do, this can lead to tantrums and limit-testing, resulting in your child having more consequences and frustration with you.
- Your caregiver yells at your kids. I, personally, am not a yeller and do not believe that one needs to yell to manage behavior. However, if your caregiver yells at your kids, and they don't feel that they can tell you, this can result in outbursts toward you and a feeling from your children that you are sending them into this threatening experience, decreasing trust and safety with you.
- Your caregiver competes with you for the love of your children. I love that the people who look after my child may love them dearly, but I also have seen situations where the caregiver made love a popularity contest. This can feel very confusing to your child and can be very damaging to your relationship.
- Sharing inappropriate information. Sometimes adults have very inappropriate boundaries with kids and they may talk about things that your kids should not hear or they talk about other people behind their back, even you. This type of indiscretion can result in your child not respecting you or other people, and can also contribute to a lack of boundaries on their part.