I work at an after school childcare centre. You have the usual normal kids that you love and adore, but then once in a while you get one of those scary ones that make you want to quit.
Well there’s a 5 year old boy who I’m going to call Blake. Cute kid but he’s aggressive and doesn’t listen. If he doesn’t get his way, he throws tantrums. He also has a bit of a bullying problem. All of this has been discussed with dad who doesn’t give a sh*t but apparently there’s nothing we can do because his dad could close down the place if he wanted to.
As an adult who works there, I do my best. My coworkers as well. We don’t say anything to Blake and try our best to keep him and the other kids happy and safe. But I’d be lying if I said that we like him. He’s been aggressive towards us too and many of my coworkers have been reduced to tears.
Despite all this, one coworker, Jade, has never complained about him once, offers to take care of all his needs, and defends him 24/7. I can respect that. But I also think it’s unfair for her to call us bad people for not enjoying having to take care of Blake.
We were cleaning up and all the kids had gone home. One coworker was a little upset because Blake had been particularly nasty to her. She then said she hopes he’ll change because she doesn’t see a bright future for him. Some coworkers agreed and said that he’s definitely committing this crime or that crime in the future. I kept my mouth shut.
Jade suddenly went “You guys sound real pathetic talking sh*t about a little kid.” Some coworkers rolled their eyes but one jokingly asked her if she was his mom.
Jade got really mad and said something along the lines of: “he’s just a kid and yet all you 20 something year olds are treating him like he’s the next coming of Satan. We need to do better.”
I didn’t mean to say it so loud but I ended up saying that we‘re doing our best but some kids are just not nice to be around. Jade asked me what I meant by that and I just told her that she just needs to realize that she can try all she wants, but some kids are just terrible and she can’t expect everyone to like him.
She began to cry? And then told all of us that if it weren’t for Blake and the other kids, she’d quit on the spot. She then called me heartless and has been cold to me since.
No one thinks I’m in the wrong but my boyfriend and mom do and are agreeing with her (forgot to add->)because of something that happened to Blake which I’m sympathetic of course but I’ve taken care of many kids in similar situations and Idk, AITA?
Here's how people judged OP:
So in other words, this kid isn't 'just terrible,' he has a rough home life that's causing him to act up. But instead of treating him with kindness, you and your coworkers instead choose to s$%t-talk him behind his back.
throwaway__cw OP responded:
This is going to sound bad but I’ve taken care of kids in worse situations and they’ve still managed to not be this bad. I do agree that my wording probably wasn’t that great. And again, I wouldn’t dare say anything or treat Blake any less to his face.
When I worked in a summer daycare program, we had a 'Blake'. She was ridiculous - hitting and screaming and disrupting everything. It was horrible and impacted all of us and the other kids. We found out she was in foster care and had come from a chaotic situation.
So we (a bunch of teenagers and one former substitute teacher) created a behavior plan for her that was a combination of correction, redirection, modeling and positive reinforcement.
At the end of the summer her social worker came to see us and explained that we had been a place holder while they searched for an institutional option, but that her behavior had improved so much over the summer that she was able to stay with her foster family and would move back into a regular classroom.
YTA. Pull up your socks and support the child you are being paid to care for.
Speaking as a preschool teacher, I have seen many, many older teachers thinking that they can accurately size up a kid and know everything because they're 'experienced'.
I don’t think OP is compromising on the care towards Blake. She can provide the care and support she is being paid to give and yet not like the kid. She is not mistreating the kid. But her and her colleagues are having a hard time and saying that the kid is difficult to handle is completely fine. No one is hating on Blake. The dad should do better.