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Old 11-30-2007, 09:01 AM   #51
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Re: is my son being mistreated at the babysitter?

I am so thankful we love our sitter and her hubby! We discussed at the interview that their may be times that her hubby would be home, but she would still take of Isaac . . . .Also they 'punish' the same way we do with time out and talks. No way should a child be yanked up and put in a playpen!! Especially without being given a reason why.

I would ask her not to allow her hubby to punish or that he really needs to change his ways. And see if she is overwhelmed. It really seems like she doesn't know how to handle him. I know my child is not perfect, but the bad reports are mixed in with more good reports and we also talk about her sons behavoir and discuss ways that might work to correct things aren't appropriate . . .but I guess we just have a close relationship now that it's been over a year.

If a toy is taken away from one child, the toy is basically put up from everybody. If she's afraid of paper books getting ruined, she should supervise book time, or just use hard books . . .well either way she should be supervising enough to watch him read.
Also, our sitter only watches three kids full time and two girls for a couple hours twice a week. She already knows she wont be taking the girls after my baby starts going to her, because she does want to to be overwhelmed.

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Old 11-30-2007, 09:04 AM   #52
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Re: is my son being mistreated at the babysitter?

I agree that you have to trust your instincts...only you know the whole story...but to play the devil's advocate for a minute, when my mom was doing home daycare, my father, my sister, and I all disciplined the children when we were around. If it was something I wasn't comfortable handling, I'd take the child to mom and make them tell her what happened and let her handle it but for the most part, whatever adult saw it handled it the way they saw fit. All of her parents were fine with that...when the children were in our house, they were a part of our family and all of the adults looked out for them. Now, as my dad has gotten older, I felt that he was a little harsh on the kids sometimes and I said something to my mother about it several times and I know that on more than one occasion she and I both told him that if he couldn't handle being around the kids right now, he needed to go in another room or something (that went over like a ton of bricks with him! At least if he got ticked off enough at us, he'd go do something to get away from us and in effect leave the kids alone!) but we would never say anything in front of one of the parents (or children). Maybe after you left, she did tell her husband, "Hey, you were a little bit hard on him earlier". I think that's something that you should CALMLY talk to her about and ask her how much time her dh is spending with the kids and how he is with them. Let her know that you saw something the other day that made you uncomfortable and give her a chance to explain or offer a solution. Not knowing the players, you never know if she will be really apologetic or if she'll get defensive or if she'll just take what you say and then go talk to him privately.

As for the books, if the other children are allowed to play with them and he's not, then that's wrong. But remember, you said you heard that from another child and that's not always the most accurate source of information. I would probably go to her and say something like with Christmas coming up, we're cleaning out and purging toys and I was wondering if you'd be interested in having any. I know I have some cloth and board books that are really good for Tanner, blah blah blah. Mention how much he loves books at home and ask her how is with them at her house. As for it being normal for 2 year olds to chew on and color on books, I'm not so sure about that. I have a 3.5 year old and a 1.5 year old...neither are allowed to have pens/pencils/crayons/etc. unsupervised so coloring on books is not a problem here. Chewing on them and tearing the pages, sometimes, but from the time they were born, if that started, I'd remind them that's not the way we treat books and if the behavior continued, I'd take the book away until they were ready to look at it right. My boys have a LIBRARY in our living room and since my oldest was born, I believe we've had 3 books severely damaged...that's it. They both love books but they know already that you take a book off the shelf, read it, and then put it back to get another one. We're still working on putting them back...actually my 1 year old is better about that than my 3 year old. DJ tends to just read a book and then lay it on the floor in front of the bookcase. But they know that we treat books with respect and how to sit down and read them, whether alone, together, or with dh and me. When mom had the daycare kids at her house, books and puzzles were two things that were done only under close supervision. If the kids wanted to do books, they cleaned up all the other toys (anyone who didn't want books could continue to play on their own, away from the ones who were reading) and then she'd take a stack of books off the shelf and let each child pick one. When they finished with their one, they put it back and got another one. When they started getting wild, all the books were put away. Of course she also read to them but that was how THEY played with books. It was never a problem. Same with puzzles....clean up all the toys and she'd get the puzzle box out. You take one puzzle and finish it before getting another one out. That way there were never any missing pieces or small pieces left out for little ones to get. And she had reading materials and puzzles and toys appropriate for all ages. Of course whenever any of her parents purged their children's toys, they always brought them to her.

I know how frustrating it can be when all you hear about your child is negative. I'm one of those people who always tries to temper the negative with SOMETHING positive but some people just don't think about it. Lately, DJ has come home from school every single day telling me that he got in trouble for this and that, broke something, hit or pushed somebody, etc. I try to stay in close contact with his teacher and always ask her how he's doing but today I went in and specifically told her that he's been a little wilder and rougher than usual at home and he's mentioned getting in trouble a few times so I wanted to find out if his behavior is out of hand or how she thinks WE (the teacher and me) can work together to keep things on track. Luckily his teacher always reassures me that he's a normal 3 year old boy (I've been around kids all my life...he is a normal 3 year old boy but he's a very high energy, very curious and busy 3 year old boy). She did tell me today that he's been a little rougher and wilder than usual this week (the Thanksgiving holiday messed up his routine) but she told me that he's starting to settle down some more now. She said that yesterday she took him outside and told him that the behavior he was showing in the classroom was outside behavior and he needed to leave it outside. When he was ready to show his classroom behavior, she'd bring him back inside. She stayed outside with him and talked to him until he calmed down and then she brought him back in and he was fine. Maybe when your dcp starts telling you about behavior that is unacceptable, you need to ask her how she's handling it and what you can do to help. Let her know if there are things that he's doing at her house that he doesn't do at home and see if you can figure out why that is. Let her know if there are things you're struggling with at home and how you handle them so that you can both be consistent. And be positive about your son yourself so that she is encouraged to see and look for the good things about him.

I'm not trying to downplay your concerns at all...like I said, you are the only one who can see the big picture and know just how serious any of this is. But it sounds like you're planning to leave him there at least for the time being so I do think you and the dcp need to have a heart to heart. If you've been happy with her up till now, then maybe you owe it to her and yourself to give her a chance to work with you to resolve your concerns.

Good luck and keep us posted...
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