Family members watching your children?

Om - posted on 06/14/2013 ( 7 moms have responded )

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Hi Ladies,
I am the mother of two young children, a three month old baby and a three year old boy. I live near family and sometimes they watch my children, however I'm sometimes upset with the fact that when they "watch" my children they are not really watching them? For example, we just recently moved from a small two bedroom apartment to a large house. We have a large basement area for the children to play. Yesterday my mom and sister were suppose to be watching my children in addition to some cousins, a six year old and a 2 year old. I was out with my other sister buying curtain rods for some window treatments. I become very upset when I came home because neither my mom nor my sister was supervising the children in the basement ages 2, 3(mine) and the 6 year old. The play area was trashed and later our A/C wasn't working, later i found out the A/C isn't working because all of the kids were playing in the utility area in the basement and they switched it off. The utility area is off limits to kids and is very unsafe. After I got home my three year old had an accident because my family didn't make him use the bathroom and I made all of the kids pick up the basement. My sister and I got into an arguement asking me why I have a playroom if they can't play in there. I asked him to stop questioning my parenting practices and told her that my three year old is required to pick up his play area. We have rules in our household that after were done with one toy we pick up and put that away before getting something new out. Obviously this lead to a big arguement and I told them I was upset because there was no supervision going on downstairs. Should I have the right to be upset? And does anyone else have these problems when relatives are watching your children? I feel like I should have the right to have boundaries and obviously this will be the last time I let family "watch" my children, hired help seems like a better option! Thanks

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User - posted on 06/14/2013

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First let me just state that if you have a play room, no matter what is inside that room, children have to be supervised!!! I have a play room for my son, I dont have a ulitity area near but I have the norm. such as a table, some chairs, shelves. If Im not in there with him, he trys to climb up on the table, whcih he can easily fall off of, nock tables over which are heavy and try to pull things off the shelves which is possible to nock the shelf on top of himself, and tear the blinds up. SO yeah, if you have a play room you still need supervision!!!!!

Yes I have the same issues. I love my family but my thoughts on parenting do not fit some family members ideas. They dont understand you need to stay with them and cant say no to them, they feed him candy and junk all day, dont get him to take a nap. When I get home, I pay the price. Its like discipline was thrown out the window and I have to rebuild it everytime they watch him. And he will be crazy tired and wild. Things have gotten better over the past year but things still happen because they cant say no to him.

You have the right to be upset, absolutely. It is your family but with any children they need special attention expecially around areas that are dangerous it should be a given that they should be there watching them. They at least could of brought chairs down in the basement and sat and talked while they played.

You are right to let them know you are upset, that you are grateful for them watching your son but its just the fact they needed to actually babysit and take responsibility for what happened.

Anytime I need a babysitter I usually call family, but I know which ones to call and whcih ones to not lol. Family or not there are just people who arnt cut out for watching children and those who are. Just be particular in choosing babysitters, I usually get family who have young children and I know they are taken good care of.

I know its frustrating, and glad they werent seriously hurt! I think its just something almost anyone will come across, we just gotta learn from it and make sure everyone can make better choices next time around

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MissMommyMay - posted on 06/17/2013

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I think you have a right to be upset. I only allow my family to watch my son but sometimes family doesnt live up to the job.
If you have any friends that have kids and you feel you can trust their parenting style maybe but i would still be hesitate and have gatherings in which you watch from a distance first.

Tara - posted on 06/17/2013

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Cheryl,

I didn't say they should not pick up after themselves. I said that all children should be taught to pick up after themselves as young as 1. We pick up in my house a few times a day... Once at nap time, before dinner and before bed time. What I said was they need to be allowed to play. Children without an imagination are rarely happy successful adults.

User - posted on 06/17/2013

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I do agree with Tara but I also feel that it just comes with age. 2 to 3 yr olds do need to be watched more than 4 plus yr olds. With picking up toys, I think I see what you mean. Like some parents as soon as the kid is done playing after 5 minutes with his train set, the parents require him to put it up before he gets anything else out, its frustrating for the parent and its hard to get the child to get in that habit when they just want to play. Its perfectly ok to let kids play as long as they want and when they are completely done with play time then they can start picking up. Just not during play is it required to pick up because then its annoying to the kid and they just give up on playing overall because the parents are teling them to pick up every 5 minutes.

Its just a thing though, when you let someone watch your child and they agree to it, they should know your rules and follow the expectations as best they can. If they don't they are going against everything you are discipline wise working towards.

Om - posted on 06/17/2013

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Tara,
I'm confused! If young children shouldn't be required to pick up after themselves then at what age should they start cleaning up after themselves? We ask our three year old to pick up because we believe it teaches responsibility and learning how to respect property and taking good care of his toys! My biggest pet peeve is stepping on toys that's been left on the floor. I also have a three month old baby so if I step on a toy while I'm carrying my baby I could fall or my three year old could fall. We try to provide a safe environment for playing which includes picking up after play. We also encourage him to pick up after one toy i.e cars before moving onto to i.e trains. My son didn't make the mess all by himself his older six year old cousin was the culprit.

Tara - posted on 06/16/2013

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While I agree that a young child should not be left on a seperate floor, I think being in a different room is absolutely acceptable. A child has to learn to make decisions on their own and figuring things out on their own. They will not and can not with mom, grandma, or whoever sitting there telling them every step of the way. And yes, teaching independence is absolutely started at a young age!

I think that making a child put away every single toy as soon as they are done playing first of all hinders their play, second stifles creativity, and third is just straight up a loosing battle. I have been around kids whose parents insist on this and they eventually stop playing, when they stop playing they no longer use their imagination. That being said... I absolutely agree that even as young as a year old ( really younger) children should be learning how to clean up after themselves! The younger they are taught the better off for later in life.... Like getting them to do chores and help out as teenagers.

I have six children ranging in ages from 2-18....I did not raise my 18 year old until she was 12 (step daughter). She was not taught from a young age to figure things out or pick up after herself... She is now 18 and has literally no clue how to take care of herself and has refused to learn. Why? Because she has been taught that someone else will do it/ figure it out for her. On the other hand I have a 15, 14, and 12 year old who can all cook, I don't have to fight with them over chores, and they know everyone is expected to help out. I have a 2 and 4 year old who can destroy a house in point 0 seconds! Make it look like a hurricane it one end and a tornado hit the other end! However! They have the best stories to tell about the play adventures and solve problems with sharing and "fixing toys" on their own. They also jump right in and help pick up when the time comes.

I am not trying to "attack" anyone's parenting style or skills. I do think that it is our job to teach our children to be productive functioning independent adults, and the sooner you start the easier it is!

Janet - posted on 06/16/2013

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This would have been my post word for word if you had not posted it.
I would have had a somewhat stronger reaction had I encountered this behavior of adults acting like children.

Do not believe hired help is the answer. Listen to some real horror stories about this option. Family is always the first and only choice for my child. As a matter of fact my mother and father are the ONLY ones that watch my daughter. They are diligent and thoughtful and my daughter is NEVER out of one of their sights...EVER.
Now that may sound extreme but guess what?...my husband totally agrees that our child stay with ONLY my mother and father including his own parents.
Now that is powerful enough for me.

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