what age is the right age

Tah - posted on 05/16/2010 ( 27 moms have responded )

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to allow your children to stay with family? What does it depend on to you? Does it really take a village to raise a child? I see alot of post about moms who don't want to let their children visit with family without them and things along those lines, i see alot of these post, so i was just wondering. I am blessed in that i trust my family. My mom had the neighbors children crying when it was time to leave our home and go home, so i don;t worry when my children are with her and I still call her for advice. I do think it takes a village to raise a child. I love being able to call my son's grandparents on both sides, or a family member he looks up to and say, he is this close ya'll better talk to him.lol..and it works. I have neighbors that know if they see my children acting in anyway that would embarass them or me they can say, hey, does your mother/father know your out here doing xyz...

Have we gotten away from that thinking? and why do you think?

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Christa - posted on 05/18/2010

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I love my family and I do trust them to be with my kids, but truthfully I don't feel the same way about my husband’s family. I love them and have a blast with them, but they have some values that I do not share and I don't want my kids thinking it’s acceptable just because they do it (my husband agrees with me). Perhaps when they are old enough to already have their values set I won't mind so much, but while they are still young and learning I'm very careful who they spend too much time with. They say the first 5 years are the most important to developing character and I want to make sure my kids have good character, before unleashing the world onto them.

Amie - posted on 05/16/2010

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I honestly don't understand it either. My kids have a strong bond with their grandparents. Our oldest is extremely attached to my mom and my dad, always has been. She didn't start "sleepovers" until she was just over a year but they were always around and helping me out. They'd take her for hours if I needed them too. They even got up in the middle of the night to come to my house and watch her so I could go sit with my friend in the hospital. (She was giving birth, I was her coach) Every summer she goes to spend at least a week with them and goes during school breaks when she can.



Our son is very attached to my husband's dad. Same story though, he's spent the bulk of his time with Gramps when he's not with us. Since he was 3 they've gone camping together every summer for 4 days.



Our middle daughter is completely and totally in love with my brother's g/f. She goes absolutely nuts when Uncle Joey walks in the house but lets out this high pitched squeal when Auntie walks in too. She absolutely loves both of them though, she follows them everywhere when they are here. They don't mind the attention either, they'll sit and watch movies with her in our basement while I get things done or take her outside to play.



Our youngest doesn't have a close relationship with any extended family as of yet. She's just coming out of her "I'm going to freak out if I'm not in eye shot of mom" phase though too.



Just because the ones I listed though are closest to my children does not mean the rest of them ignore them though. They all have their own relationships with them. They all love each other a certain way. They all fill a certain aspect of their lives that we (as their parents) can not fill. I do think that too many parents think they should or have to do it on their own. In some rare cases I can understand this (family doesn't live close, family is not safe.. for lack of a better word at the moment, etc.) but on the whole I do think it is doable. I do think that more people should embrace the fact that family (and close friends) are their to lean on. They are their to help and guide us.



Whether it's through past experience ( I am not going to raise my children that way) to good honest advice (hey that's a great idea, I never would have thought of that). Others always help bring a different perspective that we would not necessarily have thought of ourselves. Good or bad, there's always something to learn. They are their to give us a break when we need it, not always the second we need it but it also gives us something to look forward too.



No matter how much we love our children, we are not the be all and end all in their lives. It is not a bad thing for children to have these relationships with others. It does not make us less of a parent. I am very glad my children have others besides ourselves that they can turn too and love as deeply as they do us.



This extends further than family though. Even in our neighborhood there is not a child in sight who we don't know. There is not a family who does not know our children or the others. We all watch out for each other, from our children to our pets to our homes when we're away. There is always someone watching. I could not ask to live in a better neighborhood. We know which ones have allergies and what they're allergic too. We know which ones have disabilities (one little girl has epilepsy) and how to handle it if something happens. We know that if we miss something, someone else will be there watching. We (all the parents) have even talked together about our children, our worries and our struggles with them.



I honestly can not imagine being a parent without the support structure and great people I have surrounding me in my life. They all have helped, at one time or another, with my children. From kind words of understanding to new techniques I had not thought of to that much needed break. Everyone plays a role, not always the same one but they are there.



Edit to add: Holy crap! Sorry for the novel. LOL!

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27 Comments

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Erin - posted on 05/20/2010

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I think grandparents and other extended family are extremely important. My 15 month old has spent the night with her Nonna and Poppa probably 6 times (the first time being around 5 months because I had an engagement party to attend), and my Mum just asked if they could take her next weekend for the night. Considering my Mum has Milla two mornings a week when I work, I have no concerns about leaving her there overnight. They all love it. They even take her out for breakfast!

I've also happily left my daughter with my Nana, brother, brother's gf and my Aunty for a few hours here and there. It has allowed her to foster a close relationship with them, which is particularly important since she has no contact with her father.

Megan - posted on 05/20/2010

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Well our family live on the other side of the country from us but even if we did live near them I would consider letting my father look after my daughter but my fiancees parents I would not let them. I really don't trust them and even tho my fiancee turned out fine the values are different. Our daughter will be 2 in August and has never spent a night away from us and we are fine with that.

[deleted account]

It depends a lot of the family member! My now 24yo son would stay the weekend with my parents from the time he was 5-6 months old. Twice he went on vacation with them - a week at 18 months and 3 weeks the following year.
I would not, however, allow him to stay with other family members because I did not trust their parenting skills. Most weren't interested anyway.

My 8yo daughter has "issues" - anxiety, ADD and ODD. The only local family we have now.... I don't trust they could be dealt with her. On a good day they could, but you never know when the day will turn with her.

Dana - posted on 05/18/2010

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I love her too, I wasn't going to get into it with either of them in the middle of a family get together but I did say I like her so much that I watch her own show everyday.

I too don't watch American Idol because it's lame. ;)

Christa - posted on 05/18/2010

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It must be a generational thing, my dad calls her the same thing. I personally love her, though I don't watch American Idol because it's lame. :-P

Dana - posted on 05/18/2010

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I know what you mean, Christa. Although it may be for different reasons.

This weekend while at my dads house he said he couldn't watch American Idol because of Ellen "Degenerate" and my Uncle agreed with him. Truthfully, I don't want my son around that kind of attitude and I don't want him hearing that crap. The most frustrating thing is that my Uncle is training to be a Minister. I wanted to ask them if they watched it before when it was just the heterosexuals that were living in sin. /:)

Dana - posted on 05/18/2010

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My son hasn't stayed over night anywhere yet. He's just now at an age where I'd feel comfortable with it. He's 10.

I'm kidding, he's 21 months old. No one has asked to have him over night and the only family that has watched him is my sister. I suppose I'll probably have her watch him over night sometime soon so my husband and I can have a special night before the next baby comes.

[deleted account]

Our family lives too far away :( I wish my parents, his parents, someones parents...would take my kids overnight! My mom & dad are 2.5 hrs away. My mom said she would take my oldest overnight when he is 5 & potty trained, he's potty trained mostly @ 3 but whatever! She's just eloped w/her new beau and is very relationship centered right now... My dad is an alcoholic and I will not be leaving my kids w/him for more then an hour in the middle of the day, before drinking can really get going! My MIL lives in her van...NOPE! FIL lives 5 hrs away, but when they want to have him whenever they ask I won't have any issues with it! Heck, if they want to change diapers they can have em both! I trust them emplicitly. If my other FIL (step parent who raised my hubby for 11 yrs) ever wanted to take them I'd let him. He travels a lot for work though and likes going out. His brother however has offered to take the boys for a weekend, and my oldest REALLY wants to so we might try that this summer! I have enough frozen BM that my baby could spend a week away from me! My siblings are busy working and such, also 5 hours away (one a plane ride to Chicago) so that isn't really happening. I think mostly they are all waiting for them to be older? Not real big w/little kids. My neighbors and I are all about the village thing though, we reprimand each other's kids when appropriate. It's nice! I don't know many of the kids in our neighborhood, just who is right around my complex, but most are school age and mine are not there yet. Just down from us the neighbors always seem to be trash, so I don't sociallize with that part of the neighborhood!

Lea - posted on 05/18/2010

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I would say that it depends on the child and the situation, what kind of temperament your child has, and what kind of people your family are. Also, baby steps one step at a time with getting your child used to other people and being alone with them. I do think this is very important both for your child, and for you. My son who is 28 months just slept over a friend's house (the mother is a good friend of mine and also next door neighbor) for the first time and did fine. He started spending time in the nursery at church when he was 1. Tears the first few times but then he was happy and didn't care at all when I left. After that he started going to part-time daycare and loved that and never cried being dropped off. He also got babysat several times by his grandmother and never cried because I made sure she followed his normal routine and he got used to her and loves being with her. He also is in full-time daycare and really loves it. Just take it with small steps at first so its never scary and your kid will do fine.

Caitlin - posted on 05/18/2010

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I wish I could send my daughters to stay with family, but with allergies it's not going to happen for a long time. For my husband and I to go out, we have to find someone to come and stay here, and it's so stressful to go out, I have to leave pages of instructions, pre prepared meals, lists of medications and everything, it's almost not worth going away for any extent of time yet. But that said, I would have no problem doing it with the right people. I only trust 3 people long term with my daughter (and that means more than 1 day) and have only used that once while I was giving birth to our second and had no choice..

Louise - posted on 05/18/2010

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I have never had grandparents willing to take my kids over night and two of them are fully grown. I do think that it depends where you live to who raises your child. When my boys where small we lived in a small village where every body knew everybody and if they were out playing they would say hello to every body. Also if they got up to no good the community would tell them off. From the ages 4 to 10 this was alright but as the boys got older they wanted their independance and started to feel sufficated. What ever they did it got back to me through the grapevine and to be honest it was the reason we moved to a bigger town. My sons are now 18 and 16 and live a full and active life and have the room to spread their wings to do what they want to do without the community spying on them.

Tah - posted on 05/17/2010

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@hannah, my parents have 14 granchildren, and 2 of us don't even have children yet..lol...countless neices and nephews since my mom comes from a family of 12 and one aunt alone had 10 children, my mom raised 3 of her other sisters children because she was sick and could not do so, so there were 10 constant children raised in a 3 bedroom 1 bathroom..i know the basement came in handy, bunk bed, couch beds, etc.lol....not to mention the family members who came in and out needing a hot meal and a place to lay their heads. my husband wondered how i can wash everything 3 times in a 5 minute shower when running late...i said i pretend their are 4 people knocking on the door who need to get in too...lol...



My mother was a hairdresser and did it from home as well as watching others children in the house that, as i said never want to leave. Now when cousins and other family members have children and see my mom, they bring the children directly to her, she has a way of talking to babies that they talk back..literally...cooing and making noises the moms say they have never even heard..lol...they get excited and try to jump off their parent's laps..i am not kidding..lol....



Even now it happens at my house, my nieces and nephews have spent weekends or weeks during the summer here, we all watch out for each others children, have huge parties and get togethers and if a child gives one of us a problem they have to answer to alot of people. "you said what to my sister, brother..etc"..lol...so we actually have a village here...lol..and it has always been that way. My father's side was not as big or close, he told my mom he wanted a big family and 43 years ago she started delivering...My dad is quiet but he teaches the boys how to be men and how to play chess and think outside the box. He teaches the girls how a real man is supposed to treat them and alot is by example.



.sometimes i come home during the summer and all 4 bedrooms have people in them and then their are little makeshift beds on the living room floor for those who missed their chance to get in the rooms, one day i cooked so much and the people kept coming, i thought i was running a mission..lol..



i wouldn't change it though because we always learned the importance of family and helping family out and we pass it on to the children and hopefully, they will paass it on to their children....

Suzette - posted on 05/17/2010

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In the military it's a little difficult to do the "overnight" thing all the time. My husband and I have talked about it since my mother brought up visits though. She's coming here for a month (possibly longer) for the birth of our daughter to help out. She also plans on visiting once a year because, although we plan on visiting once a year, she doesn't feel it's enough for her. She has a very close relationship to my niece and wants that same close relationship with her other grandchild. :)



I would have no problem whatsoever leaving our little one with my mom and dad. They are great with my niece so I know that they'd be great with our little one too. We've talked about leaving her with them for a week, at least, every year. It'll give us a little mini vacation too. I also wouldn't have a problem leaving her for a weekend with my FIL and my hubby's step mom. The only reason it would only be a weekend is because they're a little bit older than my mom and dad, plus they work a lot during the week and I'm not sure they could handle more than that. lol.



My MIL on the other hand, we've discussed this and she will not be left alone with our daughter at any point in time, ever. There's a lot of underlying issues there that I won't get into. The bottom line is that neither of us trust her, period. It's sad considering that I think relationships with grandparents are extremely important. They have a lot to pass down to grandchildren... there are some that just shouldn't be involved in a child's life though, especially when it would be harmful to the child.



As for extended family, we wouldn't have a problem leaving her for a visit with my niece's mother (who I consider a sister). Other members of my family, and his, would be more of visiting while we're there though. There are underlying issues that we have to take into consideration with the whole 'we don't agree' on certain things such as religion and other stuff. :)

[deleted account]

There's no set age that I think should be the right age, but I didn't let my baby do overnights until he was sleeping through the night. I'm pretty much like most of the posters here because I trust my parents completely.

Kate CP - posted on 05/17/2010

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I'm with you, Tah. I love my parents and trust them completely. They've watched my daughter on more than one occasion over night and I've never worried about her. I've worried about THEM, but I know she's just fine. :)

Hannah - posted on 05/17/2010

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Our kids are so very close to my parents and stay there about once a month. My mom also watches the kids during the week. She has an in-home daycare. My parents love my kids and my mom can't get enough of them, even though she watches them during the week. Sometimes I have to tell her that I want to see him. LOL! She will ask to take my oldest, Brody everywhere. My daughter Emery, is only almost 10 months old but still loves her Mima and Papa. She has stayed with them overnight once or twice but not as often as Brody does.

I agree that it takes a village to raise a child. I am so grateful and blessed that my parents are such wonderful grandparents. Growing up, my brother and I didnt have any extended family and always wished that we had close relationships with our grandparents. Maybe that is why my parents are so great, they want to make sure they are the grandparents my brother and I never had.

My husbands mom is a little different. She is off doing her own thing and only stops by occasionally for an hour or so. She never really holds the kids or anything like that. It is a little odd to me. She does have 13 grandkids total so maybe it is old news to her by now.

Lindsay - posted on 05/17/2010

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We have a situation where we have both extremes. Growing up, my extended family had a huge emphasis and it was great. It's something I feel strongly about carrying on with my kids. Josh's family, it was more centered on his immediate family with him and his sister. So what that's created has been that with my family and extended, we have carried on the closeness. While with Josh's family, we do our best to visit regularly and form as close a relationship as we can without overstepping thier comfort zone.

Madeline and Cooper have both stayed with my parents from a very young age. It's a regular occurance that many different people in my family may call and ask to come get one or both of them for the day or overnight. Up until recently, my parents had taken the kids for a weekend once a month. Now with school and sports, the time is just not there and it doesn't happen as often but I expect when summer gets here, mom and dad will be asking again. They've even taken them on vacations with them. While I miss the kids when they are gone, I'm glad to let them go because I know they are getting some great experiences and forming bonds that will always be so valuable for them. When we are all together, it's very much the "village" aspect. I have absolutely no issue with someone in the family correcting my kids if they are out of line. And I've done the same for theirs. We all look out for each other.

Josh's parents are more of the "been there, done that" mindset and have no desire to have the kids to theirself. We respect this by not asking to them keep the kids or pushing it. We do visit them usually once a week. They see them with us for about an hour and then are ready for us to go. It does make me a little sad to see the drastic differences in how the kid's tend to feel "close" to both sides of the family. I feel like they are missing out but I know that it's not because of something we've done to keep that relationship from blossoming. It is what it is and we have to make the best of it. I do hope that the importance we place on family, both extended and immediate will carry over onto our kids when they are grown and have families of their own.

Rosie - posted on 05/17/2010

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i think it's wonderful that my parents love to spend time with my kids. my youngest definitely has my dad wrapped around his finger, and they all love their special outings with grandma. grant is the only one to spend the night so far, but they tried with vinnie and he wasn't potty trained at night and peed everywhere and cried and cried and cried and i had to come and get him at 2 am. so my dad says not until he can stop peeing at night (which is taking FOREVER). they've never asked for lucas to spend the night yet, but if they did i would have no problem. they raised me, why would i think they couldn't have my child overnight? i love that my kids have such a great bond with their grandparents, i didn't have that with mine, and it saddens me.
so yeah, i definitely feel it takes a village, and am blessed that i have them closeby to help out.

[deleted account]

I am very fortunate and grateful for the close proximity of my parents. I have no problem whatsoever having my son there for an overnight stay because there is always a reason. Besides, my parents are the primary caretakers for my 2 nephews on the weekend so what's 1 more kid? My parents are my lifeline when I need a hand picking my son up from school or even when he was an infant, just needing to have some alone time with hubby. I understand and respect the need for other parents to not trust relatives. It's just quite the opposite for me.

Krista - posted on 05/17/2010

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My son hasn't stayed overnight yet, but he's stayed for the day with his grandparents on several occasions, and they all have a lot of fun. And I have given full permission to my sister and my friends to be honest with me and tell me if my kid is being a brat. I'm very lucky in that my family and friends are all great parents themselves, and they love my kid and would be great with him. Once he's a little older, I'm sure we'll let him stay overnight at Nana and Papa's on many occasions.

[deleted account]

Eliza was about 5 months old when she first stayed the night at her Mimi's. Mimi (my MIL) lives out of state and comes to visit every 2-3 months and the grandkids will stay with her (she owns a house here). The other grandkids would stay with her from an even younger age for 2-3 nights in a row. But Eliza was breastfed, which is why I waited so long and only let her stay for one night at a time. Now that she's two, she'll stay with my MIL, SIL and my mom any time they want her, which is pretty often.

ME - posted on 05/17/2010

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Well...that's easy for me to answer...Travis and I moved from Denver, CO. to Illinois when Miles was 9 mos. old because we wanted the support of my (very large) extended family. We miss Denver terribly and all of our friends there, but we wanted our children to have this kind of support. When Miles was 16 months old, he had a sleepover with my Aunt and Uncle (dad's brother) while most of the rest of my family went to the wedding of a family friend's daughter. Prior to that, Miles had been spending a couple of days a week with my Mom and Dad while I was teaching. He LOVES Grandma and Grandpa SOOOO much. He has a sleepover with Grandma and Grandpa about once a month, and goes over for dinner and a trip to the park about once a week. These visits started in November when Travis lost his job and Miles no longer needed babysitting during work hours (he was 18 months old). He also adores my two sisters who live nearby and their husbands. I would leave him with any of his aunts and/or uncles any time...but the need/opportunity has never come up. He has a very special relationship and a different relationship with each of them, and I couldn't be happier. It makes the difficult choice we made to move home 18 months ago totally worth it!

Nikki - posted on 05/17/2010

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My daughter is 6 months old and I am not ready to leave her with family yet. She has stayed with my mum for an hour while I went to the shops, she also stays home with my hubby if I need to do something, but she has never been in a car without me, never been left in an unfamiliar environment without me because I am not ready. I probably am overly paranoid, but I don't yet trust anyone to look after my daughter in the same way I do. I am happy for our families to spend time with her while I am there, but as far as leaving her with anyone else than my hubby right now, no way. I presume that one day I will be happy to leave her with my mum for a night, but not just yet.

Sarah - posted on 05/17/2010

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I have no problem with my kids staying with family. The problem we have is that our family doesn't really want them to stay! LOL!

I think these days, people are so busy doing their own thing, living their own lives that being together as an extended family suffers. My mother for example, i think she thinks that she's done her fair share of looking after kids, and now it's her time to just do what she wants. (fair enough i suppose)

I would love for our families to be more involved with our kids lives (not in a babysitting capacity particulary, just in being around more) but it's just not meant to be for us.

Not that they NEVER see them or babysit, it's just very rare!

We know all the kids down our road, they're a little young to playing out on their own, but all our neighbours would be looking out for all the kids if they were old enough. We all go the park together and stuff which is nice.

I think in an ideal world, there would be more of a "village to raise a child" mentality. I think the problem now is that it's more usual to have a Nuclear Family situation than an Extended Family situation. People are more focused on their own lives than that of others. It's kind of understandable, but i think it's a little sad too.

Charlie - posted on 05/16/2010

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My son has spends every Saturday night at grandma's since he was 6 months old , he absolutely adores her and has a very strong bond with her , he also spends time with his grandfather who comes over and takes Cooper to the beach or the park by themselves and he also has a great bond with him .
Sometimes his Aunty who lives across the road will come over and take him for an hour to potter around in her garden .

I have no issues with leaving him with any of them i trust them completely and i know when he is older he will always be able to go to any of them for advice , I am Australian but have been brought up with a Tongan background where they very much believe it takes a village to raise a child , i lived there as a child and remember feeling so safe and happy knowing anyone anywhere in the village would come to you if you needed help , every door was open and every table had spare room for you no matter what , No child is ever left crying on the ground even if they are not related , they would pick that child up and comfort them , i know in western culture that would freak a lot of people out but it is so common and accepted as everyone's duty to protect and nurture the children of the village as their own , i know its not really possible here in Australia ,we just dont share that mentality but i can certainly share it with my family , i think its a beautiful thing to have and experience .

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