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February 26, 2019

Daycare Teacher Secrets You Can Steal – Problem: Whining & Tantrums

With so many little ones to care for at the same time, daycare teachers simply don’t have the capacity to cater to every outburst or demand. At home, your kid may refuse to go to sleep without two more stories, a glass of water, four trips to the bathroom and one last cuddle, but there’s just no way your daycare provider can do that. So, what do they do?

Daycare fix: Ignore It
Daycare teachers first try not to acknowledge negative behaviours like whining. This gives little kids a valuable real-world lesson: speaking to people this way won’t get the result you’re looking for. Resist the urge to cater to whining or tantrums. You might be surprised to see how short the tantrums become when your kid realizes they’re not getting anywhere with them. Once your child calms down, you can explain calmly that speaking to people that way isn’t acceptable and talk about why they were so whiny or upset.

Daycare fix: Help Your Child Become More Self-Aware
Not all tantrums can be ignored, and some can even be dangerous—to your kid and to others. When that’s the case, you need to facilitate their calming down, and ECEs say the best way to do this is to bring attention to their physical body. This helps develop self-awareness, and it also causes a child to pause. For example, you can say, “I see you’re very upset. Your body is moving really fast and wild.” From there, a firm hug, a touch to the cheek or some deep-breathing exercises (in through the nose and out through the mouth) often do the trick.

Daycare fix: Redirect & Calm Big Emotions
Things like sensory bottles filled with coloured water or interesting toys can act as both redirectional and calming tools, but they also help kids define their big emotions—an important first step toward self-regulation. Children can shake the bottle if they’re angry, or tip them back and forth to calm down. Once they are settled, they can talk about how they were feeling in a calmer way. At home, you can make your own bottles (even the least crafty parent can throw some water, food colouring and glitter in a water bottle and glue it shut).

Daycare fix: Look for Patterns and Triggers
For repeat behaviours, such as a kid who never wants to go outside or always has a hard time sharing, teachers may pay extra attention to that child for the next week or two to find a pattern. Is there a time of day when a toddler is particularly whiny? Do tantrums take place just before nap or snack time? 

The answers to those questions are important clues that can help you prevent specific behaviours altogether. Once you determine the cause, you can take actions to eliminate the cause. It could be as simple as adjusting a nap time, removing your kid from noise, providing more frequent snacks or turning down the temperature.


Here at Discovery Point Nursery and Academy, our daycare in Vaughan, have fully trained and experienced ECEs with a wealth of information. Feel free to talk to your child’s caregivers for advice on how use their tried and true tips for managing the day.  

Discovery Point Nursery and Academy - daycare in Vaughan - Woodbridge, Ontario