Author Topic: Babysitting the "Precious" child  (Read 13862 times)

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Teenyweeny

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Re: Babysitting the "Precious" child
« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2013, 11:38:33 AM »
Actually, what the mom said was that she was "having a hard time getting him to go outside at all - he just wants to play on the computer, etc all day". I don't think "forced outside play" is a good thing if you're kid is "always the one that comes home crying / upset from the park etc."

I feel sorry for this kid.
Being forced outside to play does not automatically equate to having to interact with other kids. It could simply mean go for a walk, read in the fresh air, etc. Anything to get him out of the house and off the computer. Again, from an etiquette perspective, all fair things for the OP to require of the kid.

Beyond that, at 12 years old if you're always the kid who comes home crying, unless there's a specific bully situation, you sound pretty precious and oversensitive indeed. Depends on the kid and the specific situation, but in many cases being forced to learn to get over it is exactly what is needed.

That may very well be true, but unless you are the parent, or somebody who has permission to act like a parent (in my family, that would be all of the adults, but YMMV), then that is not your call to make.



Goosey

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Re: Babysitting the "Precious" child
« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2013, 11:38:59 AM »
Actually, what the mom said was that she was "having a hard time getting him to go outside at all - he just wants to play on the computer, etc all day". I don't think "forced outside play" is a good thing if you're kid is "always the one that comes home crying / upset from the park etc."

I feel sorry for this kid.
Being forced outside to play does not automatically equate to having to interact with other kids. It could simply mean go for a walk, read in the fresh air, etc. Anything to get him out of the house and off the computer. Again, from an etiquette perspective, all fair things for the OP to require of the kid.

Beyond that, at 12 years old if you're always the kid who comes home crying, unless there's a specific bully situation, you sound pretty precious and oversensitive indeed. Depends on the kid and the specific situation, but in many cases being forced to learn to get over it is exactly what is needed.

The OP is not his parent. She not there to teach him to "get over it" - that's not her decision to make. She knew this kid was sensitive when she agreed to babysit him.

Honestly, the tone of the OP really annoyed me. So, I may being more harsh than is actually merited. But if you tell me you are really irritated that a kid you are babysitting is actually needing your attention, I have a hard time not feeling bad for the kid.


heartmug

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Re: Babysitting the "Precious" child
« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2013, 11:43:02 AM »
I think if it is a reasonable amount of time, one hour or less, he can be expected to go to the park so you can have a break.  He could sit under a tree and just watch the others kids if he wants to.  We had to do that as kids, around his age.  My mom wanted her afternoon hour to watch her "story" (a soap opera) and as much as I am not an outdoorsy person, I made it work for one hour.
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Roe

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Re: Babysitting the "Precious" child
« Reply #18 on: August 08, 2013, 11:48:13 AM »

Honestly, the tone of the OP really annoyed me. So, I may being more harsh than is actually merited. But if you tell me you are really irritated that a kid you are babysitting is actually needing your attention, I have a hard time not feeling bad for the kid.

Same here. (esp the bolded)

gen xer

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Re: Babysitting the "Precious" child
« Reply #19 on: August 08, 2013, 11:51:14 AM »
 OP here.....

We both babysit each other's children.....and we both send all the kids to the park.  He initially went willingly and he is not expected to babysit as my children are allowed to go on their own as well.  My point is that these children are plenty old enough to be at a park a few doors down form us and it is status quo for both of us to do so. 

I always thought fresh air was good for kids and I insist on mine going out regularly.  They don't have to play together - it was just getting outside for a while that I wanted....and tbh I don't think asking for a few minutes peace and quiet is that egregious.   These children are not babies and i am withing shouting distance.

I am not being paid to babysit either if that makes a difference - my issue is that it seems a little unfair to make special rules for him and it is a little tricky to negotiate those waters with the other children.


Eden

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Re: Babysitting the "Precious" child
« Reply #20 on: August 08, 2013, 11:52:14 AM »
Actually, what the mom said was that she was "having a hard time getting him to go outside at all - he just wants to play on the computer, etc all day". I don't think "forced outside play" is a good thing if you're kid is "always the one that comes home crying / upset from the park etc."

I feel sorry for this kid.
Being forced outside to play does not automatically equate to having to interact with other kids. It could simply mean go for a walk, read in the fresh air, etc. Anything to get him out of the house and off the computer. Again, from an etiquette perspective, all fair things for the OP to require of the kid.

Beyond that, at 12 years old if you're always the kid who comes home crying, unless there's a specific bully situation, you sound pretty precious and oversensitive indeed. Depends on the kid and the specific situation, but in many cases being forced to learn to get over it is exactly what is needed.

The OP is not his parent. She not there to teach him to "get over it" - that's not her decision to make. She knew this kid was sensitive when she agreed to babysit him.

Honestly, the tone of the OP really annoyed me. So, I may being more harsh than is actually merited. But if you tell me you are really irritated that a kid you are babysitting is actually needing your attention, I have a hard time not feeling bad for the kid.

I apologize for the misunderstanding. I'm not suggesting it's the OP's job to teach the kid to get over it. I just meant that in general the kid needs to learn it. A

As for as the OP's interaction, she tried to find out if something was wrong and he declined to give details. It's not as if OP was shirking her duties.

Luci

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Re: Babysitting the "Precious" child
« Reply #21 on: August 08, 2013, 11:53:46 AM »
It is not up to you to try to force the kids to do anything but be polite, nondestructive, and not put themselves, others, or property in danger. You offered an activity which was rejected in a normal pattern for this child, so not being his parent you really shouldn't pass judgement on his being spoiled, lazy, precious, etc. The child may have underlying problems you (and even his parents) are not aware of, and it is not your place to try to force them to a head.

The polite, reasonable, and safe thing to do is just let the kid play quietly if that is what he needs to do, be it reading, drawing, playing handheld games, or watching TV in just the short time he was with you. [/i][/i]

Recent events have taught me this about children that I am not completely responsible for.

MindsEye

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Re: Babysitting the "Precious" child
« Reply #22 on: August 08, 2013, 11:55:23 AM »
OP, I think that you are just fine enforcing outside time.  Your house, your rules.  And if the other mother didn't agree with your rules, she likely wouldn't have asked you to watch the kids.

That being said... I have to ask if this kid has any special needs issues (I am thinking especially of autism, aspergers, etc) because frankly I am having a real hard time wrapping my mind around the concept that a normal 12 year old cannot handle even 10 minutes of outside time.

Tea Drinker

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Re: Babysitting the "Precious" child
« Reply #23 on: August 08, 2013, 11:58:26 AM »
That "yes" could have been either "there's nothing wrong, I just don't like going to the park" or "I've tried telling my parents what's wrong, and they keep telling me it's nothing, so I am not going to tell an adult about this problem." Especially if the problem is "the twins don't want to let me play with them" or similar. Coming home by himself rather than staying at the park where he is being visibly excluded might be his way of dealing with it.

Beyond that, when I was a kid my parents would sometimes literally tell me "go outside for a while," but that meant they thought I needed fresh air and sunshine. It was okay for me to sit in our back yard with a book at those times.
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Idlewildstudios

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Re: Babysitting the "Precious" child
« Reply #24 on: August 08, 2013, 12:07:03 PM »
OP here.....

We both babysit each other's children.....and we both send all the kids to the park.  He initially went willingly and he is not expected to babysit as my children are allowed to go on their own as well.  My point is that these children are plenty old enough to be at a park a few doors down form us and it is status quo for both of us to do so. 

I always thought fresh air was good for kids and I insist on mine going out regularly.  They don't have to play together - it was just getting outside for a while that I wanted....and tbh I don't think asking for a few minutes peace and quiet is that egregious.   These children are not babies and i am withing shouting distance.

I am not being paid to babysit either if that makes a difference - my issue is that it seems a little unfair to make special rules for him and it is a little tricky to negotiate those waters with the other children.

I think you were fine to send them out just as you did.  I also think different people have differing ideas of "babysitting".  Some take it to mean you are actively interacting with the kids the whole time.  For me, at the ages given in the OP, I take a much more hands off approach.  I'll give snacks and meals and referee a major dispute but otherwise they can occupy themselves.  Here's the board games, the badminton set, the frisbee, go out and play.  Others may see that as not caring, but it just depends on your style and what both parties expect.

Your house, your rules.  You weren't asking anything extreme, you had reasonable expectations of exercise and fresh air. I can easily see the other kids demanding to know why he got to come and watch tv (or whatever) while they were expected to be outside and playing.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2013, 12:09:20 PM by Idlewildstudios »

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Babysitting the "Precious" child
« Reply #25 on: August 08, 2013, 12:07:25 PM »
I'm going to call the 12 year old 'Fred'.

It sounds like Fred is just not an outdoor kid and doesn't like the outside play that the other kids do.  But I do think it is good for him to get some fresh air.  Is he a reader at all?  If so, maybe next time you send the kids out to play, 'Fred, here's a lawn chair and your book.  Why don't you take them with you, set yourself up in the shade somewhere and read while the others play on the playground?  You don't need to stick with them.'  'Kids, when you are ready to come back to the house, make sure you grab Fred to come with you.'

At 12, he should be able to understand that you (and his Mom) need some time to yourselves occasionally.  So explain it to him, let him know he doesn't need to play with the other kids but he does need to entertain himself for whatever time you (or his Mom) tell him.

At 12, he could probably stay home by himself, too.  So maybe the next time, the twins come over but Fred stays home to do what he'd like to do?  Or maybe he comes over for lunch and then goes back home?  This is all provided that Fred and his Mom are OK with that.  He may not want to stay home by himself.

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Zilla

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Re: Babysitting the "Precious" child
« Reply #26 on: August 08, 2013, 12:23:13 PM »
I have a 12 year old and 8 year old.  They play together at home but do not in groups/outside.  That's quite an age gap.  At 8 or 9 they are running, using playground equipment and having a ball.  At 12 they are at that cusp where they feel too big for the playground but at the same time want to have fun.  It's a tough age.  What are the ages of your kids?
I would ask his mom to send over a book or something to occupy him while he is outside perhaps in the yard.  That way he is getting some outside time but keeping busy.

SlitherHiss

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Re: Babysitting the "Precious" child
« Reply #27 on: August 08, 2013, 12:23:36 PM »
"Fred" (thanks, Outdoor Girl!) sounds a lot like my son. He actually loves to be outside reading, drawing, or even just daydreaming, but going to a playground is just not on. He finds it boring, he doesn't like playground equipment, and it's a shade too noisy for him.

At those ages, I think you were fine to send them outside, but I also think that it's fine for Fred not to want to stay at the park. I do think, if you're babysitting, you need to be prepared to to be flexible, available, and open to his needs. Part of that would be redirecting to other activities if he doesn't want to hang out at the park. It might be important to remember that he's 12, not 2, so it's expected that he should have more autonomy in deciding what activities to engage in.

Sharnita

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Re: Babysitting the "Precious" child
« Reply #28 on: August 08, 2013, 12:32:32 PM »
Well, yes, fresh air is goog for kids. It is good for you and me, too. Yet, instead of going with the kids to the park for some good fresh air you really felt the need to relax with Mad Men. And this morning I could have enjoyed the benefits of fresh air but went the Pawn Stars route instead.

Idlewildstudios

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Re: Babysitting the "Precious" child
« Reply #29 on: August 08, 2013, 12:33:21 PM »
Looking back at the OP, I got the impression that Fred didn't want to be outside at all.  I got the impression that if he would have asked to hang out in yard or got some paper and sketched while outside, that would have been fine.  I was going on the assumption he wanted *in* and that's what the OP had an issue with.  And honestly I can't come down on her for that.  He said there was no issue, she asked again, he confirmed and then cried to stay in.  Assuming he has no hidden issues, I'd be a bit irked too.

I'm not going to assume he has an underlying issue.  I know several kids that age who pull the "I'm sensitive" card when asked to something they object to. It's not hugely common at that age but it happens.