What are some good ways to deal with avoidance behavior from a 6-year-old?
I am a nanny who just recently started caring for a 6-year-old and a 2-year-old. I have run into some problems with the 6-year-old and avoidance behavior. He asks to be left alone and so I will let him have some alone time briefly, but when I go to check on him, he's asleep. He wakes up after a short time, but continues to try to sleep, which causes problems later for the parents when he is up late. I have tried several different approaches to the behavior including explaining to him that it hurts my feelings and by being very kind and explaining why his mom and dad have to leave in the morning. I have pulled out all the stops in suggesting possible activities and various things to do, and the child continues to avoid me. I would be very interested to know if anyone out there has any suggestions! Many thanks!
Building a relationship with children can take a lot of time. Please be patient, continue to be kind, and try to engage him in some of his interests. Ask the parents about what the child likes and try to use that as an in. Sometimes it can take a long time for a child to trust somebody else as it can be a very new experience, especially if they are used to having mom and dad around all the time. Also ask the parents if they have any ideas that may help. This is a tough problem with no easy or quick answers. Patience and kindness will be essential!
Please take care and remember that you can call the Boys Town National Hotline 24 hours a day at the number below, free of charge to discuss any parenting issue. We are here to help, you are not alone!
Boys Town National Hotline-A Resource for Parents and Teens www.parenting.org