Author Topic: Babysitting the "Precious" child  (Read 13346 times)

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Redwing

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Re: Babysitting the "Precious" child
« Reply #75 on: August 08, 2013, 04:29:31 PM »
I don't understand why a well behaved, polite 12 y/o kid needs a baby sitter for a few hours in the afternoon, especially since it appears the OP lives in a safe neighborhood.

This is my question as well.  My children stayed alone at 12.  Heck, when my oldest was 12, she was watching the 8 year old and the 4 year old for small periods of time.

JoieGirl7

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Re: Babysitting the "Precious" child
« Reply #76 on: August 08, 2013, 04:38:02 PM »
Fred needs to follow the rules whether he likes them or not.

It will be far easier for him to learn how to deal with not getting his way as a child than it will be when he's older.  Even if his mother indulges his insecurities, the OP does not need to.

So, he wants to be inside playing games instead of outside at the park or in the yard.  So what?  He doesn't get to decide that for himself in that moment.  If he is hurt physically, or needs to use the bathroom, then those are legitimate reasons to come inside.  Not just "I wanna."

Assuming that he is an otherwise emotionally healthy child, giving into his tears over such a ridiculously small thing is a good way to teach him the power of those tears and it will be to his detriment if not his ruin.

(If he is not an emotionally healthy child, then presumably his parents would discuss that with anyone else watching him and would hopefully have a doctor to back it up.  Getting special accommodation from others due to a handicap is not being precious.  Demanding special accommodations from others when you don't really need it, is.)

Wordgeek

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Re: Babysitting the "Precious" child
« Reply #77 on: August 08, 2013, 04:41:04 PM »
I spent ages with those kids providing lunch, snacks and activities and I find it a little insulting to be portrayed a kid-hating, negligent parent when all I did was ask them to go outside for a while which they seemed happy enough to do at the time.  Telling kids to go get some fresh air is not child abuse....especially considering I relented and let him stay in and tried to find out what was wrong.

Agreed.  Everyone, knock off the histrionics.  Enough already.

Quote
I am not going to speculate on what is wrong or not wrong with him - what I was asking is how to handle this with respect to the other kids who are perceiving the disparity in the rules.

And there's the etiquette issue.  Please confine yourselves to relevant matters.  Armchair psychobabble is not relevant.

snowdragon

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Re: Babysitting the "Precious" child
« Reply #78 on: August 08, 2013, 04:43:01 PM »
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.

this. particularly the bolded. I would think that if the OP were aware of special needs she would be handling the kid differently. But if the kid has them and the mom's not telling, that's a whole other issue.

Yvaine

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Re: Babysitting the "Precious" child
« Reply #79 on: August 08, 2013, 04:43:45 PM »
^^ I agree with this.  Have the other kids mentioned any perceived disparity with the rule? It sounds like the other kids enjoy going to the  the park, so would they even care if the 12 got to quietly hang out and read a book? If the other kids like going to the park I don't think you really need to address it with them at all.

Haha, so much this. I was a bookish kid, and when my rowdier siblings saw me reading one, they thought I was the one suffering and couldn't figure out why I would subject myself to such torture.  ;D

Slartibartfast

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Re: Babysitting the "Precious" child
« Reply #80 on: August 08, 2013, 04:51:27 PM »
I think it's perfectly reasonable to say "You have to play outside now."  I think it's slightly less reasonable to say "You have to play at the park with these four other kids right now, without an adult watching over you."  Because even if he's the oldest, it sounds like he's an introvert and it's entirely possible that even if he wants to be left alone, the other kids won't let him be.  Since you weren't there at the park to intervene, who knows what they were doing?  (Not a judgement against you, btw - it's just that kids can be both creative and cruel at that age.)

If this comes up again, I think you're reasonable in saying "It's time to be outside right now.  If you'd like to take a folding chair out on the porch [or the driveway, or the backyard, or whatever you've got] you're welcome to do so, but you need to either be outside in my yard or outside at the park."

Zizi-K

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Re: Babysitting the "Precious" child
« Reply #81 on: August 08, 2013, 04:51:44 PM »
Honestly, babysitting is not sending kids to  the park against their will while you wztch tv. If they want to go it is one thing but it is unreasonable to force it on him.

Wanting to be undisturbed by children while you are babysittingcouldcome off as a bit "precious", too.

POD.  The kid has anxiety issues and this problem is not going to go away anytime soon.  I think you should decline to babysit in the future because I believe that this boys knows he irritates you and that just ramps up his anxiety level even more.

I wish I hadn't mentioned the twenty minutes of Mad Men :-\   Not because I think I did anything wrong but because it seems to have catapulted me into Betty Draper territory.

Did I mention I had a disaster of a house to clean up which is much easier when the kids are outside?  I am having a hard time equating this with cruelty to children.

I spent ages with those kids providing lunch, snacks and activities and I find it a little insulting to be portrayed a kid-hating, negligent parent when all I did was ask them to go outside for a while which they seemed happy enough to do at the time.  Telling kids to go get some fresh air is not child abuse....especially considering I relented and let him stay in and tried to find out what was wrong.

I have never treated him with anything but friendliness and kindness.   

I am not going to speculate on what is wrong or not wrong with him - what I was asking is how to handle this with respect to the other kids who are perceiving the disparity in the rules.


Is this really your question? Are the other children really aware of the disparity and do they care? If so, I'm sure you already know the answer: hold fast to the rules and boot him outside. Of course it doesn't set a good example for there to be two different sets of rules. But something else does seem to be going on, which is probably why you didn't boot him in the first place. How hard would it be to say, "we're having outside play time right now. If you don't want to play with the other kids, that's fine, you can take a book or whatever, but you have to go outside." But you didn't - why? (The "armchair psychobabble" is coming up because the solution seems so simple and yet it wasn't used.)

Twik

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Re: Babysitting the "Precious" child
« Reply #82 on: August 08, 2013, 04:54:56 PM »
I don't think it's the OP's job to police how much fresh air someone else's child needs. This is a little different than if the child merely comes over to play. He doesn't have a choice to go home when shes the designated caretaker. So, it would kinder to be more tolerant of a child's preferences in this situation.
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hobish

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Re: Babysitting the "Precious" child
« Reply #83 on: August 08, 2013, 04:57:10 PM »
I don't think it's the OP's job to police how much fresh air someone else's child needs. This is a little different than if the child merely comes over to play. He doesn't have a choice to go home when shes the designated caretaker. So, it would kinder to be more tolerant of a child's preferences in this situation.

She wasn't "policing" how much fresh air someone else's kid needs. She told the kid's mom that she was going to send them to the park after lunch, and then did so.
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Hillia

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Re: Babysitting the "Precious" child
« Reply #84 on: August 08, 2013, 04:58:19 PM »
The OP has stated that
1.  Fred doesn't have to go to the park - he just needs to go outside.  He can do whatever he wants outside, with other kids or alone.  He just can't be inside sitting around.
2.  The other kids have noticed that Fred doesn't have to follow the 'play outside' rule, and are asking about it - that's her question

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Outdoor Girl

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Re: Babysitting the "Precious" child
« Reply #85 on: August 08, 2013, 04:58:39 PM »
Someone mentioned that if he comes back to the house, he can either help you clean or read a book.

I think that's a great idea.  If he comes back, 'Oh, you don't want to be outside?  OK, well, I sent you with the kids so I could get some stuff done.  Since you came back, you can vacuum the bedrooms and the hall.  The vacuum is right here in the front hall closet.'

He might decide being outside, away from the house is a much better use of his time.   ;D
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Twik

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Re: Babysitting the "Precious" child
« Reply #86 on: August 08, 2013, 05:05:34 PM »
The OP has stated that
1.  Fred doesn't have to go to the park - he just needs to go outside.  He can do whatever he wants outside, with other kids or alone.  He just can't be inside sitting around.
2.  The other kids have noticed that Fred doesn't have to follow the 'play outside' rule, and are asking about it - that's her question

Have they? I am not sure whether this happened, or whether it is a hypothetical.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

gen xer

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Re: Babysitting the "Precious" child
« Reply #87 on: August 08, 2013, 05:06:37 PM »
I haven't read all the replies, so I am sorry if I am repeating anything, but you don't seem to like this kid.  At his age and with his mom explaining he won't go socialize, there is a problem with this child that an adult needs to look at.  Precious (in the way you use it) is a term I would use for a child that throws temper tantrums to get their own way, is manipulative, or a general pain to be around.  This kid sounds like an unhappy child.  A 12 year old boy who won't even leave the house, who has anxiety attacks over going to the playground..someone needs to quit being frustrated with his behavior and start listening.  I think you were wrong in your approach OP.  Even though you told the mom you were going to send the kids to the park, one came back which means you are responsible again.  You can't shirk the responsibility of being in charge just because you don't want to deal with it and want to watch tv.  Had that been your own child, in obvious pain, would you have said "Suck it up buttercup and go outside til I am ready to deal with kids again?" .  Yes, kids benefit from outside play, but they only benefit if they want to be there..if it is causing them anxiety attacks, then it just makes the situation worse.  My heart goes out to this kid, who doesn't seem to have anyone he is comfortable with, just with people who are pushing him into something he can't handle.
Please....enough with the shirking responsibility to go watch TV.....and for the record yes - I do make my kids go outside when they would rather be playing video games.

He did not come back crying, in pain or in a panic attack - in fact he seemed quite fine....until I started questioning him in a little more detail thinking maybe something was wrong.  Then he started to squirm.

gen xer

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Re: Babysitting the "Precious" child
« Reply #88 on: August 08, 2013, 05:12:12 PM »
I think it's perfectly reasonable to say "You have to play outside now."  I think it's slightly less reasonable to say "You have to play at the park with these four other kids right now, without an adult watching over you."  Because even if he's the oldest, it sounds like he's an introvert and it's entirely possible that even if he wants to be left alone, the other kids won't let him be.  Since you weren't there at the park to intervene, who knows what they were doing?  (Not a judgement against you, btw - it's just that kids can be both creative and cruel at that age.)

If this comes up again, I think you're reasonable in saying "It's time to be outside right now.  If you'd like to take a folding chair out on the porch [or the driveway, or the backyard, or whatever you've got] you're welcome to do so, but you need to either be outside in my yard or outside at the park."
That is true....and while the others did go to the park and I suggested the park I would have been fine with backyard, biking etc.  I don't want to micromanage activity - I was kind of thinking of it in terms of a "recess".

TootsNYC

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Re: Babysitting the "Precious" child
« Reply #89 on: August 08, 2013, 05:14:51 PM »
The OP has stated that
1.  Fred doesn't have to go to the park - he just needs to go outside.  He can do whatever he wants outside, with other kids or alone.  He just can't be inside sitting around.
2.  The other kids have noticed that Fred doesn't have to follow the 'play outside' rule, and are asking about it - that's her question

Have they? I am not sure whether this happened, or whether it is a hypothetical.

Yes, it was mentioned in one of her updates--I had the same thought as you, and I went looking.