Author Topic: How to tell someone you just don't want to babysit for them?  (Read 16227 times)

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Rusty

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Re: How to tell someone you just don't want to babysit for them?
« Reply #30 on: February 28, 2013, 08:05:24 PM »
It sounds like you actually quite like your neighbor and would like to keep on friendly terms with him, but not with his girlfriend, and from the sound of her I quite agree.

I would just be honest in this situation and tell him that you find the daughter a handful, and that 4 children are too much for you to mind.    I would say that in an absolute emergency (and that does not include work commitments) they could call on you.

I find the assumption of using "That will not be possible" for all situations could be very rude personally.

Erich L-ster

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Re: How to tell someone you just don't want to babysit for them?
« Reply #31 on: February 28, 2013, 08:24:50 PM »
I know it's not the best solution but if it was me I might prefer just telling a lie rather than the uncomfortable truth. I would invent a houseguest that I must stay to visit with (grandma, cousin from far away, etc)

I don't like to lie and wouldn't lie to somebody who means something to me, but to get out of an uncomfortable situation that I was put in by somebody who I'm not close to -ehell yeah I would.

TootsNYC

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Re: How to tell someone you just don't want to babysit for them?
« Reply #32 on: February 28, 2013, 08:54:16 PM »
If you don't want to go into the gory details of WHY you don't want to watch the children, you can always say "Your children and my children are not a good combination, they seem to bring out the worst in each other.  Because of that, and the failure to pick up the children when promised, I'm going to have to say no from now on."


This isn't bad, if you think you need a reason.

And remember that the tone of voice is your tool. So say no, but sound really regretful.

(I love the "I wish I could, but I don't want to" line from Friends.)

Slartibartfast

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Re: How to tell someone you just don't want to babysit for them?
« Reply #33 on: March 01, 2013, 12:38:24 AM »
I agree with the idea of putting the reason right back on the kids:

"Sorry, neighbor, I talked it over with my DH but we're just going to have to say no.  OlderGirl and DS aren't a good combination - they just feed off each other, and DS ends up being frustrated and angry.  I'm definitely not saying it's all OlderGirl's fault, but it does mean they spend the whole time screaming and bouncing off the walls and even with DH and me both here, it's too much chaos to handle.  Add in the younger kids and it's a recipe for disaster!  Here's the number of a local sitting service I've used before, though - they're really good about finding someone even on late notice, and we were really happy with them."

By giving your neighbor the number to a sitter/sitting service, you're changing the request from "Will you help us out in a pinch?" to "Will you LET US BE CHEAPSKATES and work for free when we have a perfectly viable option already set up in a pinch?"  It makes asking you a much harder request for your neighbor to make, and a much easier one for you to turn down ("Sorry - did I give you that sitting service's number, though?").

jedikaiti

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Re: How to tell someone you just don't want to babysit for them?
« Reply #34 on: March 01, 2013, 01:14:20 AM »
I'd go with the truth.....your gf was late picking up the kids and when she did she didn't even acknowledge me much less appreciate the favor I was doing. So no I really don't want to babysit again.

If you must give a reason, I think this is the best one. You can add in that the kids don't mesh well, but the GF's blatant ingratitude is plenty of reason enough.
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Rusty

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Re: How to tell someone you just don't want to babysit for them?
« Reply #35 on: March 01, 2013, 01:44:19 AM »
Its amazing how many people on this planet think that because you have children of your own, that you will absolutely just LOVE having their kids over.

I was a SAHM and my son was great friends with a boy who had eight brothers.

 When my son had his friend over after school the mom would quite often arrive to pick him up with all 8 in tow (they drove a minibus) and then suddenly remember she had an errand to run and deposit all 9 of them at my house for up to 2 hours.   Suffice to say I and even my son grew tired of supervising 9 nice but wild boys. I couldn't really blame her as even if people were willing to have two or three, noone ever wanted the lot of them.   The friendship petered out thank goodness!
« Last Edit: March 01, 2013, 01:48:14 AM by Rusty »

Cosmasia

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Re: How to tell someone you just don't want to babysit for them?
« Reply #36 on: March 01, 2013, 09:59:26 AM »
I'd go with the truth.....your gf was late picking up the kids and when she did she didn't even acknowledge me much less appreciate the favor I was doing. So no I really don't want to babysit again.

This is the best solution IMO.
It's short, to the point, honest and it doesn't really open itself up for him or his GF making excuses because it did happen. It happening once is a perfectly acceptable deal breaker.
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rose red

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Re: How to tell someone you just don't want to babysit for them?
« Reply #37 on: March 01, 2013, 10:28:53 AM »
First, you can just say sorry, but you can't babysit.  If they have the gall to ask why, I would tell them the truth in a calm simple matter-of-fact way.

I would not invent a houseguest or some weekend activity because they can try to get around that by saying the children "will be quiet and won't get in the way."

TootsNYC

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Re: How to tell someone you just don't want to babysit for them?
« Reply #38 on: March 01, 2013, 10:35:00 AM »
If they ask why, you say, "I just don't really want to. It's not how I want to spend my evening."

Full stop. You don't need to say what you want to do w/ your evening (a break from my normal "focus on what you do want instead of what you're rejecting).

Or just say, "I like to have our family's time for ourselves." Then you're focusing on what you do want ("I like to be unencumbered by the responsibility"), and not what you don't ("I don't want to babysit your kids").

CrazyDaffodilLady

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Re: How to tell someone you just don't want to babysit for them?
« Reply #39 on: March 01, 2013, 11:20:18 AM »
There’s a good chance that the neighbor believes you are thrilled for every chance to spend time with these delightful children.  Or maybe he’s just desperate.

I suggest that you don’t bring up the mother’s rude behavior.  It sounds to me like she is mentally or emotionally unstable, which could result in you getting a sob story with TMI, plus a big ol’ guilt trip.

I’d go with some combination of “the children don’t interact well” and “we’re too overwhelmed right now to babysit”.
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bopper

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Re: How to tell someone you just don't want to babysit for them?
« Reply #40 on: March 01, 2013, 12:18:50 PM »
"Neighbor, we have discussed your request and am afraid we can't help you out.  Junior and juniorette are dolls but we really are not interested in any kind of regular babysitting gig. If somebody has to go to the hospital in the middle of the night, we are there for you but you can imagine how much it takes just to keep up with the two we have!  However, I do know that Janie down the street is looking for babysitting jobs."

Minmom3

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Re: How to tell someone you just don't want to babysit for them?
« Reply #41 on: March 01, 2013, 01:00:28 PM »
If you don't want to go into the gory details of WHY you don't want to watch the children, you can always say "Your children and my children are not a good combination, they seem to bring out the worst in each other.  Because of that, and the failure to pick up the children when promised, I'm going to have to say no from now on."


This isn't bad, if you think you need a reason.

And remember that the tone of voice is your tool. So say no, but sound really regretful.

(I love the "I wish I could, but I don't want to" line from Friends.)

The one line I've ever used that TOTALLY shut down all argument was, said in a bit of drawl, and Very Cheerfully, "But, I don't WISH to do that!" with a lift of tone on the 'wish'.  Maybe it's because I can be argued into doing things much of the time, that people know that if I bring out the "I don't WISH to" line, I'm dead serious, and won't be changing my mind.  Push me harder, and I will get angry.
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TurtleDove

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Re: How to tell someone you just don't want to babysit for them?
« Reply #42 on: March 01, 2013, 05:09:50 PM »
I think what you have to realize is that you don't owe them an explanation. 

Neighbor:  Can you keep the kids overnight two times next month?

You:  I'm sorry, that won't be possible.

Neighbor: Why not?

You:  I'm sorry it won't be possible.

Neighbor:  I don't understand?

You:  I'm sorry, it won't be possible.  So how's the new garden coming?

I disagree with this (I've seen this referred to several times using the same phrase)I find it very odd and off putting.  There is nothing wrong with not wanting to babysit, but I really believe it can be said in a much "nicer" way.  If someone acted that way with me, it would definately have a negative impact on the relationship.

POD to seriously?  This phrase has always bothered me.  It IS possible, and as other posters pointed out, there is nothing wrong with just telling the truth that you don't want to do it, or even more "vague" that you are not going to do it.  To say "it won't be possible" seems to beg for an argument - I cannot fathom this evern going over well, unless you really wanted no relationship with the other person ever again.

Roe

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Re: How to tell someone you just don't want to babysit for them?
« Reply #43 on: March 01, 2013, 05:29:59 PM »
OP, any updates? Has he asked again?

m2kbug

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Re: How to tell someone you just don't want to babysit for them?
« Reply #44 on: March 02, 2013, 03:19:19 PM »
This can be terribly difficult.  I understand the dilemma about finding yourself on bad terms with people you live next door to and you don't really know if other neighbors will jump on the bandwagon of "evil you."  Even though THEY were the problem, you may still find yourself the "bad guy."  I simply said I could no longer babysit their child anymore.  I didn't offer excuses, and they didn't ask...whew...but just to say "I can't" or "I really can't go into details, it's just not possible," should be enough.  I certainly struggled just like you.  I wasn't all that close to these people, and the rel@tionship seemed about the same as yours, and it worked out.  If they hate you for this, you're probably going to accept it, or keep babysitting.  I really don't have a problem helping, but if it becomes a problem, you just have to put a full stop to it.  I have told the parents some of the trouble they've gotten up to.  You either tell them why or just say you can't or it's not possible.