Author Topic: Babysitting the "Precious" child  (Read 14753 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1283
Re: Babysitting the "Precious" child
« Reply #150 on: August 09, 2013, 09:44:07 AM »
I was babysitting other people's infants when I was 12. Maybe it's time to talk to his mom about letting him stay home alone on a trial basis?

Every kid is different regarding maturity and I really don't think it's the OP's place to suggest such a thing to his mom. I'm sure the mom knows her son best.
I thought the OP and the mom were friends? There's nothing wrong with two friends talking about this. If they can talk about his crying at the park, the topic of him staying home shouldn't be forbidden.

gen xer

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 569
Re: Babysitting the "Precious" child
« Reply #151 on: August 09, 2013, 09:52:29 AM »
And you know, whether a kid thinks it's reasonable request or not**, sometimes you just have to suck it up and do it.  Because you're not the adult.  Because it's not your house.  Because you're not in charge.  Because sometimes, you just have to do what you're told, whether you want to or not, and whether or not you might happen to think it's the most stupid thing in the world.  That's life, and that's something that the kid will be encountering forever.  He won't always agree with what he's told to do. 

I have a kid like this.  If he doesn't like the answer, he'll keep asking me.  I tell him that I've already answered him, and the answer is still X.  Sometimes, he just does it anyway even though I've said not to.  Or he says he didn't hear me.  If I get annoyed with him, then he does the wounded thing...."I just want to have some fun during my summer and you won't even let me do X."  Oh, woe is him!!!  Cue the violins.  ::) One time recently, I looked at him dead in the eye and told him not to insult me.  I knew darn well that he'd heard me, and he knew full well what he was doing when he did the opposite of what I'd told him.  He tried to get out of it but I refuted his arguments.  He knew he'd lost.  The look on his face when he realized that his ploy wasn't working was absolutely priceless.

But that's what I'm constantly reminding him: he's not in charge, he doesn't make the rules, his 'job' is to do what he's told because his father and I are in charge.  He's not an adult.  He is not allowed to reprimand his younger sibs b/c he's not their parent.  If he wants to do something, he needs to ASK for and be granted permission.  If he wants to be treated like he's more mature, he has to show me by his actions that he can act more maturely.  Just this week, he was told to do one thing, and instead decided to try to split some wood....the wrong way.  He didn't think beforehand and almost took out a couple of teeth when the board flew up and hit him in the face.  The fat lip he got was actually lucky! If he'd followed directions, he would have been fine and uninjured.  If he'd asked to do it, we'd have either said no, or at least would have made sure he was doing it safely if we'd said yes.  Yes, that was a fine moment in parenting....the 'I told you so' and 'you should have don't what you were told because look what happened' moment.
I sometimes ask my son, "When you get a job, and your boss tells you to do something that you don't want to do, what do you think will happen if you just don't do it?"

From the OP's description, the kid just sounds manipulative, trying to use the poor little pitiful voice and the tears to get his way.  If you watch him in the future, OP, I'd make a point of telling him in front of his mother what the plan for the day is, and then ask him if he has any questions, or any concerns, or if he has something special that he'd like to do. Discuss it in front of her, and don't entertain any discussion of it later.  If he tries to spring the drama on you later, then tell him point blank that he had his chance earlier while his mother was there, and he didn't say anything.  Too bad.  You're in charge now, and this is the plan for today.  Let him know who's in charge by your words and actions.   And maybe, just maybe, you're being a bit too nice.  Maybe instead of gently questioning him ad nauseum, you just need to lay it on the line for him (ask him once if he's hurt or something, but only once).  "Look, Fred, I get that this isn't your house.  I get that this isn't like a trip to Disney.  But you know what?  Tough.  You've pulled this on me several times already, and you need to knock it off.  You heard the directions clearly.  I told all of the kids, you included, that you needed to go outside for an hour.  You're not bleeding, and nobody's in any pain.  You said yourself that you're not hurt.  It won't hurt you to be outside, just like it's not hurting any of the other kids.  So quit with the drama, and find something to do.  Outside."  Or possibly even an incredulous, "Seriously?  You're really trying to use tears on me because you just don't want to go OUTSIDE?  Really?  Come on."

**to clarify about a reasonable request: I'm only talking about reasonable requests.  'Go outside' in good weather is a reasonable request.  'Go play on the train tracks and play chicken with the oncoming trains' is not a reasonable request.  Just because the kid doesn't want to do it.....that doesn't make it unreasonable.

LOL!!!  Your kids sound like mine with the asking questions that have already been answered.  Drives me mental....

And I have to say.....I think you must have read inside my mind with reagrds to laying it on the line.  That was pretty much how I felt.

Electronics are the favoured thing to do for all five of them and I have babysat this crew often enough to know that when "Fred" tries to pull this stuff then the other ones are quick to follow clamouring for the same.  They aren't stupid - they know Fred is seeking special treatment. 

I could shut the others down...but you know what?  I don't want to reward his behaviour because it is setting a precedent.   I don't micromanage the activity.  He doesn't have to play with the others.....and he rarely does.  He just needs to follow some basic situational requirements....and I don't want to delve into his psyche on every little thing.

Outdoor Girl

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 14696
Re: Babysitting the "Precious" child
« Reply #152 on: August 09, 2013, 10:12:49 AM »
A 12 year old girl and a 12 year old boy are two very different entities, maturity wise.  I understand the other Mom not wanting to leave the twins with Fred to babysit.  And with only 3 years between them, the twins might not listen to Fred.  If they were 5, it might work OK.  But at 12, I wonder if it is time to give Fred a trial run at staying home alone?  Send the twins to the OP's, and leave instructions with Fred that he is to go to the OP's if he needs anything; otherwise, he's on his own.
After cleaning out my Dad's house, I have this advice:  If you haven't used it in a year, throw it out!!!!.


  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6973
Re: Babysitting the "Precious" child
« Reply #153 on: August 09, 2013, 10:13:11 AM »
Good for you. Letting him use manipulative behavior to get his way does a dis-service fir all.

As others have said, the going outside was a red herring in this discussion. It sounds like if you'd told all the kids to go downstairs and watch a movie that was appropriate for all their ages and he decided that's not what he wanted to do, he would have been upstairs complaining too.


  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 10410
Re: Babysitting the "Precious" child
« Reply #154 on: August 09, 2013, 10:46:16 AM »
Personally, I'm still kinda wondering why he's being babysat to begin with. OP, did you ever clarify that for us? At 12, I was babysitting other kids for real.

I also wonder about that. At age 12 I babysat, and definitely was capable of spending time alone.


  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2085
Re: Babysitting the "Precious" child
« Reply #155 on: August 09, 2013, 11:47:18 AM »
I'm not seeing much useful discussion here.  There's a lot of nitpicking.  Ergo, thread closed.