Child care and differing parenting styles

Becky - posted on 10/30/2011 ( 15 moms have responded )

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So, I am probably going to open a day home after this little one is born for some extra income and of course, I have all sorts of questions. I know there is a dayhome moms group on here, but this question is a debatable issue, I think, so I thought I'd ask it here.



If you were providing child care to a child of someone who had a significantly different parenting style from you, how would you handle this? Would you always go with the parents' preferences, even if it really made you uncomfortable, would you always go with your own style even if it made the family unhappy, or somewhere in between? What would you want if your child was in the care of someone who parented quite differently than you do?



My thoughts - there are some areas where I won't, or really can't, compromise. Discipline, for example. I would never use any type of physical discipline on a child in my care, even if the parent really pushed for it, because of the liability issues that opens up for me if the child does sustain an injury. I also wouldn't use any type of discipline that could be construed as abusive, like locking a child in a room, even if the parent told me that was what they used. Or carseats - a child in my care would always ride in an appropriate carseat or booster, regardless of what their parents' practice was.

Then there are other issues where I would probably just defer to the parents' preference, even if I didn't really agree, like introducing solid foods early to an infant. While I'm not a fan, it is up to the parents and their doctor, and as long as the child isn't in obvious distress (in which case I would stop), it's probably not doing them significant harm and isn't a battle worth fighting.

But then there are some issues where, although I do feel it's a personal decision on the part of the parent, I'm really not comfortable following through. The main example I can think of is leaving an infant under the age of 12 months (especially one under 6 months) to cry-it-out at naptime. I won't do it with my kids, and I'm really uncomfortable doing it with someone else's - and by CIO, I mean full-on distressed crying for more than a few minutes, not just a bit of fussing. So I don't know whether to say, nope, sorry, I'm not comfortable doing that, or to suck up my discomfort and go with what the parents prefer.



So in cases like that, where you really fundamentally disagreed with a particular parenting practice, but it was not a legal or liability issue, WWYD?



Editted to add, if I had my children in a day home and found out they were being left to CIO when I had told them I did not do that, I would most likely pull them out of the home.

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Charlie - posted on 10/30/2011

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You need to write a policy and procedure handbook that covers everything from discipline , food to nap time procedure ( for example story ,soft music , pat to sleep) it must cover all aspects of care and given to the parents interested in leaving their children in your care that way they know what they are getting.

I know here you have to have a policy handbook written up anyway.

It helps to explain why you choose the methods you do and to have excellent communication skills with parents and children.

Nicole - posted on 10/30/2011

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I watched two children for a friend from the time they were both less than 2 months old for over 2 years. Luckily, they were friends and supported how I cared for their children, but when their eldest became a toddler, he had a biting issue and they wanted me to "bite him back" and I was adamant in my refusal to bite anyone. Especially a child!

Sherri - posted on 10/30/2011

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This is why you need to meet with the parents.



No you set up your schedule ahead of time. Breakfast, snacks, lunch, naps, activities, discipline, pay rate, vacations, sick days etc.



When parents come to interview you, you hand them your schedule and everything else. If they do not agree then they have the opportunity to go elsewhere. If they send their child then it goes by what you have set up and have in place already.



I do in home daycare and have for the past 11yrs. This has prevented any problems ahead of time. Also if you are only watching a couple of kids you do not need to license.

Minnie - posted on 10/30/2011

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I had to stop babysitting. The children I was watching are 'un' parented through radical unschooling. They have no boundaries and no consequences at home, and their behaviour carried over here. They consistently put themselves in dangerous situations that were not age appropriate, they endangered my children and on more than one occasion damaged something of ours.



Now that's more lenient than I.



Conversely, I could not care for a child whose parents expected me to ignore his or her physical or emotional needs. It just wouldn't happen.

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~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/31/2011

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Oh man, regardless of your stance on vaccinations, INHO I would not care for a child unless they were fully vaccinated. It will be on your hands if a child comes down with something, like the child that is NOT vaccinated. Not worth it in my book.

Sherri - posted on 10/31/2011

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@Becky no I don't require vaccinations however, I have never encountered that issue as of yet as every child I have ever watched to this point has always been vaccinated.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/31/2011

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Well, in order for the child care provider and parent to be comfortable with one another, there has to be some level of agreement on most issues. If you are not the right person for the job, they should find someone who is.

I definitely think before you provide care for everyone, you should have a clear outline of your agenda. When you interview parents for a spot, they are also interviewing you.

[deleted account]

Yep - I agree with the above comments. Just be open and honest about how you are proposing to manage the kids, and the parents can decide whether or not they like it.

Becky - posted on 10/30/2011

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I'm not 100% sure about the legalities of it here - I know spanking is not illegal, within strict parameters, but that is in your own family. I'm not sure about in a child care setting. But at any rate, I don't believe in it for my own kids, so I'm certainly not going to do it to someone else's, regardless of whether their parents beg me to or not! All of the day home handbooks I have read so far have a strict policy that they will not use any type of physical discipline, so I'm guessing it may be illegal to do so.

Charlie - posted on 10/30/2011

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I dont know about over there but here you would most likely be charged if you did that with or without the parents consent.

Stifler's - posted on 10/30/2011

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Just make it clear you aren't going to be spanking their kid or locking their kid in a room etc. while under your care.

Becky - posted on 10/30/2011

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I have the option to be licensed or not here. The advantage to being licensed is that parents can get subsidy to put their children in your care. But it's a lot of paperwork and regulation and really doesn't affect the rate you can charge, so for the time being, I am opting not to be licensed. I can take up to 6 kids, in addition to my own, without a license, and only 6 total, including my own, with one. However, 9 kids when I have 3 of my own ages 4 and under would be absolute insanity! So I will be sticking to a maximum of 6 total for the time being! :) While I'm not bound by all the rules of a licensed day home, I will stick to the majority of them anyway - for legal protection and to make myself more appealing as a caregiver. I'm really just concerned about stuff that isn't illegal or regulated but goes against my own personal parenting practices. But you're right Sherri, I will just have to make those decisions ahead of time and let parents know, and if they don't like it, well then my home isn't a good fit for their child.
Not to open a can of worms, but Sherri, do you require that children in your home be fully vaccinated? That's another decision I have to make, since there aren't legal requirements regarding that here, as far as I know.

Stifler's - posted on 10/30/2011

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Isn't there some kind of code of conduct for disciplining kids in a professional carer setting?

Katherine - posted on 10/30/2011

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Well you need to write out a contract concerning this and have the parents sign it.
As far as discipline you do the same as you would do with your child and write THAT in the contract. Starting your own day care is hard. I know there is a lot of licensing involved.

But make sure you have that contract.

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