Do you think family/people watching your children should do it your way or their way?

Anika - posted on 07/07/2012 ( 21 moms have responded )




Just curious what you all think. When a family member/someone else watches your child for you, do you think they should follow the way you raise your child, and your routine? Or do you think because it's them watching them and doing you a favour, they should do it whatever way they like? My mother drives me a bit crazy because I think she should generally follow what I do with my son when she has him.
For example:
We have a bedtime/afternoon routine for our son.. dinner at 5:30, bath time at 6:15, bed at 7:30. I don't see why she can't follow this, but she often doesn't.
We have our son rear-facing in the car, which she is constantly challenging. It's my child, so I'll decide how he goes in the car (plus rear-facing is a lot safer). She also never bothers to install the car seat properly, which puts my son at risk. But she's not really bothered by it.
We try not to give him too much junk food..she gives it to him a lot. We also try not to buy him too many toys, and we don't give in every time he wants one. She gives in every single time, and then we end up with a lot of toys here.
She leaves her power points on (with nothing plugged in) and without guards over them, she also leaves blind cords hanging down loose where he can reach them. I'm very safety conscious with my son and ask her to do these simple things which she never does. It makes me feel nervous my son being there.

So basically..I don't mind if she occasionally strays from the routine, or occasionally buys him toys, junk food etc, but feel apart from that she could stick to what we do. (For the record, she watches him for the night & half a day every fortnight).

So what do you guys think?


Maren - posted on 07/09/2012




If you are hiring and paying a bbabysitter to watch your child at your house, then yes they should be following your set schedule. If you are taking them to a grandparents house for free childcare then it would not be fair to make them change THEIR schedule. Why should they have to have dinner an hour earlier (or whatever it is) just for you. If it was multiple times a week It could cause a big problem but once every 2 weeks is not bad.
As the other moms have stated put the carseat in yourself so you know it is done right.
As for the child profing go over with a plastic bin of things needed and take a few minutes before you leave him to make sure it is how you want, leave the bin there so over the next 2 weeks if she takes out a plug she can but it in the bin (or whatever she might want to do), so it dose not become a problem for her during her normal everyday routine when your son is not there. And every week check what needs to be re-done. She should not have to live with the hasle of baby profing is there is not a child there at all times.
As for the toys let her know that you have enough at your house and if she wants to buy him more they will have to stay at her house.
She is a grandparent and she wants to spoil him a little that is her choice.
If you want as much control as possiable hire a sitter in your home, don't go for the easy free family care.

Elfrieda - posted on 07/07/2012




If it's just once every two weeks, I wouldn't stress about it. Install the carseat yourself so that you know it's right, and then let her spoil him. I would ask that she please try to get him to sleep before 8, but sometimes it doesn't work well in a strange place anyway, so try to be understanding. I always consider the extra work to have a grumpy, off-schedule toddler the following day to be the price I pay for a fun child-free night out the day before! Totally worth it, plus bonding with the grandparents is so important.

Amy - posted on 07/07/2012




Are you paying her? My personal opinion is if you aren't paying her then I don't think there is a whole lot you can do, I agree it would be great if she followed your rules and routines but being a grandparent is about being fun. If it bothers you that much you can limit how much she has then alone, or find another option.

As far as how to address the problems, you could always inspect the car seat before you leave to ensure it's in properly. If not fix it for her, they're not easy to put in.

How old is your son? My daughter is 2 and knows better then to touch the electrical outlets, we don't have ours covered anymore either. If your son is still curious if your mom will allow you maybe you can help babyproof her home.

As far as junkfood, bedtimes, and overindulging that's one of the joys of being a grandparent as frustrating as it is. You could always tell your mom that everytime she sends your son home with a new toy you are going to have to donate one he already has because of space constraints. You could also conviniently forget them at your house while loading up the car. You could also suggest a savings account for college instead of spending it on toys he doesn't need.

Ultimately she sounds like a typical grandparent but if you are concerned for your sons safety then I would find another sitter and just do supervised visits until he's a little older.


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Jessica - posted on 08/08/2012




People who care for your child should do things your way, whether they are family, friends, babysitters, or daycare. Of course, there is some room for negotiation and, very rarely, some special treats that only happen at grandma's house. But it really sounds like your mother isn't listening to how you want to raise your child. That's disrespectful and, in some cases, like the carseat, downright dangerous.

I recommend having a heart-to-heart with her. Explain why you're trying to do things the way you are with your child. Ask her what her thoughts are. If, at the end of the day, you two just don't see eye to eye, don't make her one of the primary caregivers. It may mean having to pay for babysitters who will do things your way, but in the end, it's probably more important that your child not potentially be injured in a car accident or electrocuted than to compromise your rules and values for the sake of catering to your mother. Good luck! Family is always tricky!

Ana - posted on 08/07/2012




Dont' we just love our own parents. my mom does the same thing to me about my daughter..she takes VERY good care of her, but she does it her way. I never give my daughter the chicken bone, I cut off the meat, mom gives her the bone.. (makes me mad), I have a little schedule for my daughter, mom breaks it, she gives more candy to my baby than I do..

I look at it this way, mom raised me, and I lived, and I trust her with my baby.. but she's gonna do ti her own way..

Oh and as far as the car seat goes, when we were coming up, mom didn't even have a car seat for the last baby, and only uses the one I bought for her car because the law says so for my daughter, otherwise my baby would be in someones lap or the back seat in a seat belt! She's 26mths old now..


Mary Renee - posted on 08/06/2012




Grandparents are there to spoil the kids. It's just one of the joys of life (for both the kid and the grandparents)... unless they're watching your child on a weekly basis I would let it go for everything aside from the car seat. Children need to be safetly in their car seats. Maybe only have them babysit for you when they can stay at home and don't have to use the car. Or install the carseat yourself before you leave. Other than that, a little junk food, toys, and staying up late is pretty much par for the course for grandparents.

I think what makes this a sticky situation is that she's watching him for a night and a half a day every fortnight. Is she getting paid for this service? Is she watching him to do you a favor, or does she just want to to spend time with him? If you want to make someone follow your routines, I think it might not be a bad idea to find someone else, a babysitter or a nanny, who is getting paid to follow your instructions. Go find out how much that cost, and then go running back to grandma realizing you don't really care if she gets the kid a toy.

Heidi Lyn - posted on 08/01/2012




If he is there regularly (multiple times a week for long periods) it just makes more sense for him to have any toys she buys him there to play with rather than lugging them back and forth so that can solve itself. Once her house becomes over run with toys that you aren't taking, she'll stop buying them for him.

[deleted account]

I don't go out much so I don't need family watching them. I am always with them when we visit. Maybe 1-2 hours I'll run to the store and leave them with my parents. I will not let them stay st my husbands parents house without me there, I don't feel comfortable leaving them there. My mom knows what to do & what I don't like them doing. If she does need to put them to bed, she knows what time they go to bed & that they get a story.

I think the grandparents can get the kids special things, maybe not every time they go out but it's their job to get them what us parents don't think they "need"

U should tell her though, be on the same page

Maria - posted on 07/18/2012




My parents take my 2 year old every weekend(Fri-Sun... they live 5mins away from me). They have they're own routines and ways that they do with him but generally the are the same as I do with him at home. When ever they want to try something new or different with them, my mother will usually asked me how I'd like to go about. Some ways I like and she'll do it that way but other times I'll ask her opinion and do it her way. I know a lot of parents will be stubborn and go with "while I raised you like this" but it's your child, it should be down how you feel comfortable. But maybe to make things more easier and manageable for both of you, why not try to compromise with her(may not be easy but worth a try?)

Nicky - posted on 07/17/2012




I like it when my babaysitter/family sticks to my routines. I believe that the child should follow the babaysitters rules such as when to go outside and play because they are in charge at the moment (unless you leave other directions).EX. My oldest son is 11 and when my babysitter tells him he can't do something he will call me at work and ask me (which I do not agree with). I believe he should be listening to his babysitter since thats what I pay her for. I also have the problem with grandma or nana (nana is my babysitter when im at work) giving in to both of my kids ages 11 and 4. I do NOT allow my kids soda and well they give it to them when i'm not home along with letting them stay up longer then normal if I have to work late! Also giving my 4 yr old whatever his little heart desires when he cries for something which makes it harder on me because I won't give in like they do. But thats grandmas its what they do. But back to your questions.. yes they should follow your routine that you worked so hard to create and perfect!

Janessa - posted on 07/17/2012




I'd say compromise is a good solution here. There are things here that she should respect like the carseat thing for safety, but most of it, if you are asking her to watch your kid, because she is a different person she needs to be able to do it her way for her own sanity. Junk food, totally depends on how often she watches him. If it is all the time, yeah maybe she should be a little better about it, but if its only once in awhile it won't hurt him, and you are asking her to watch him. My mom totally spoils my kids whenever she comes, she's always buying them things, which kind of bothers me, because we can't do that, nor do we wish to, and my in-laws are in the same position, but I figure she isn't here that often so oh well, I might make more of an issue of it if she were here all the time. I take the stance that if I walk away after I have asked someone to watch my kids, then I need to let them do it their way, and be flexible. Because it isn't all the time it won't hurt them. Also after having 4 kids I have come to realize you can't protect them from everything, and you just have to trust that a higher power is in control and knows whats going on. In fact I know God is in control. I have learned teaching them things like going down the stairs the right way, and to stay away from plugs, is more effective than sheltering them from it, because then if you are in a house that doesn't have those things, they don't know its bad and will go straight to it, but if you teach them that it is, they'll know wherever you are. It takes more time, but in the long run is more effective. Anyways, hope that helps Good-luck. Remember she was a mother too once, and you are still alive. : )

Heather - posted on 07/15/2012




I would be the one strapping the car seat into the car before I left, and ask her that she leave it in her vehicle until I come to pick him up. I would also ask her not to give him any junk food, and to only give him what you put in the diaper bag for him to have. Also, write down your son's schedule on a piece of paper, and give it to her. Ask her to follow it. Tell her that children need routines, and they really do much better and feel safer when everyone follows them.

Then take over to her house the hardware needed to fix the cord to the blinds. Also take over guards for her plugs and buy anything else that she needs to baby proof her house, and do it for her! If she doesn't like it, then it's time to find a new baby sitter.

Kristin - posted on 07/10/2012




Try talking to your mom about bed time and buying him less, but grandparents love to spoil grandkids and this is normal. I have repeatedly told my mom to not feed my kids sugar and to quit buying them stuff as I have no room for it, but sometimes she listens and other times she wil say it was on sale lol i love my mom and i know she feels she is helping me out and she also likes to be able to give her grandkids what she couldnt give my brother and i growing up. SHe does follow the safety rules though and as for rear facing once the child is a year old they can be forward facing make sure your not being too over protective either and see if you and your mom can work out a compromise. I installed my kids car seats in my moms car for her, as for outlets and cords and such i have none of those in my house and my kids never played with them. They were taught fromt he time they could crawl what NOT to touch so that they will not hurt themselves at someone elses house. I cant expect everyone we viosit to have a baby proof house so my kids were taught what not to touch. My daughter (my 3rd and my last) is now 16 months old and does not go near electrical outlets or stoves and neither did my 2 older ones. As for blind cords all kids play with them and thr noise bothers me more than anything but shes getting better at staying away from those as well. Good luck

September - posted on 07/10/2012




As far as safety goes, yes but following our same routine, no. I think your Mom needs to take your sons safety seriously. I would talk to her if I were you and if she can't respect your wishes then don't allow her to watch him anymore. Good luck!

Kelina - posted on 07/10/2012




The junk food, toys, and bedtime routine-either give up or pay someone else. the cords and outlets-your son is almost 3, by now he should know not to bother with them. In fact rather than being a real safety issue, the cords are probably just going to drive her insane if he gets into them and wrecks her blinds. Would she install the carseat properly if it was forward facing? Honestly, yes rear facing is safer and if you feel that strongly about it maybe try showing her some youtube videos of what can happen to a child who is forward facing, or in an improperly installed carseat. It might make her think twice. Believe me, I understand what it's like, my MIL is the same way and it drives me absolutely batshit crazy because I'm the one who has to deal with the overtired, cranky, bratty little children the day after she has them. and it usually takes them a day or two to get back to normal but my son absolutely loves spending time with grandma so I try not to let it interfere with that. And we installed our spare carseat in her van and reinstalled the other one so that we didn't have to worry.

Mary - posted on 07/09/2012




(I didn't read all the responses so I hope I am not being redundant) I would talk to her and explain that it's not about her doing things the "wrong" way but in such a way that points out that by not following your "rules" that it makes it hard on your child. Such as different bedtimes are confusing for "child". As far the car seat goes, I agree with another poster take 5 minutes and do it yourself, and follow up with "I already put the seat in your car so you wouldn't have to worry about it". Good luck butting heads with momma is never fun!

Denikka - posted on 07/09/2012




When we take the kids out, or when someone else is watching them, I kind of expect that the routine is not going to be followed the same way that I do things when I'm at home. Kids may stay up later than normal, they'll probably get a LOT more junk food than I would give them, that sort of thing. Especially when they're with grandparents.
But there are certain things that you just don't compromise on. Safety is one of them. Having a carseat that's not installed properly would be a no go for me. Period. She doesn't want to put it in right, she would be going nowhere with my child. No exceptions. Same thing with the hanging cords and plug outlets (although I would say this is only a big deal if the child is under say...18months-2years or so. After that, they should really know better and it shouldn't be an issue unless they've proven themselves a danger).
The toys can be negotiated. Maybe ask her to keep the toys she buys (excluding birthdays or Christmas) at her house instead of sending them home with you.
The junk food and bath/bed routine, I wouldn't worry about too much. Unless it's severely disrupting his routine at home. If it only takes a day or two to get him back to normal, I wouldn't make a big fuss about it.

The only real issue in my mind is the safety stuff. When grandparents are babysitting, it's pretty expected that routines go out the window. Junk food is had, bedtimes are late and over all it's a fun day of doing all the stuff that normally the kid wouldn't get to do. It's good to deviate every once in a while :P But as I said before, the safety stuff is non negotiable. She should respect those things and I would say that when it comes to my childs safety, within reason, it's my way or you don't get to watch my kid any more.

Maggie - posted on 07/09/2012




I think junk food and straying from the routine is ok. Even buying toys is ok (suggest she keep them at her house) but do not back down on the safety issues. The car seat being insyalled properly is a MUST and I would not let her leave until it is right. The hanging cords are a safety jazard, too. You should let her know that your child won't be allowed to stay with her until you can be sure he will be safe.

[deleted account]

they should generally follow your routine, especially if they are someone who will watch your child fairly often because otherwise you are wasting your time trying to get the child on your schedule as it will be repeatedly undone. if it's someone who only sees them a couple times a year then just let them do it their way unlss there is a safety issue. I rarely allow my mom to watch my son and never by herself because she just ignores what i tell her, lets my son stay up until he wants, gives him junk food and candy, puts a diaper on him and ignores all of my rules and then lies to me telling me she did none of those things.

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