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 Post subject: Relatives and other iffy caregivers
PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:07 am 
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Hearts James Cromwell

Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:46 pm
Posts: 55
What do you do about relatives and other people you don't feel completely comfortable leaving your children with? Safety is non-negotiable. What about other things?

Like if even after having a friendly, explicit conversation, they continue not to respect
- your ethics (feeding them meat)
- your routines (chocolate, soda, preventing (!) naps),
- your values (encouraging them to hit or lie; or various practices to "toughen them up").

I'm sure everyone has similar examples--please share!
I tried telling myself "let it go," but some things I don't want to let go.

This is weighing on me; I would love your advice/commiseration.


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 Post subject: Re: Relatives and other iffy caregivers
PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:18 am 
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Invented Vegan Meringue
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I just don't. I have firm boundaries with my kids.

I say, go with your gut. Do whatever you are comfortable with and don't let yourself be pressured into anything else.

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 Post subject: Re: Relatives and other iffy caregivers
PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:03 am 
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Making Threats to Punks Again
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2010 2:14 pm
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Location: 'Burbs of California
Basically, I have three categories of relatives and friends when it comes to caregiving:

1) Those who are great at watching my kids and I trust to generally follow our rules. I have no problem leaving my kids with these people. I wish I had more family like this! My sister and parents are in this first category, and a few friends. They might not do everything the same as we do, but they try as best they can.

2) Those who aren't great at following our rules, but I do trust them enough to keep my kids safe. These are emergency-only caregivers. I'd rather not leave my kids with them, but I will if needed very occasionally.

3) Those who I don't trust to keep my kids safe. I'd never leave my kids alone with these people. When I say keep them safe, I mean things like not using carseats or giving my 4 month old a marble to play with.


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 Post subject: Re: Relatives and other iffy caregivers
PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:17 am 
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Making Threats to Punks Again
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2010 2:14 pm
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Location: 'Burbs of California
And I gotta say, anyone who encouraged my kid to hit people, or does things to "toughen my kid up" also falls in the third category. I wouldn't leave my kid with someone who did those things. Emotional safety is just as important as physical safety.


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 Post subject: Re: Relatives and other iffy caregivers
PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:03 am 
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Semen Strong
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Location: Cliffbar NJ
I do think it has to be a case-by-case basis. If it were a question of watching my child for an hour or so on an emergency basis, I would be more relaxed than if it were a question of watching my child regularly.

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 Post subject: Re: Relatives and other iffy caregivers
PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 12:06 pm 
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Hearts James Cromwell

Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:46 pm
Posts: 55
I appreciate these responses, especially re emotional safety, which seems more abstract/subjective but I agree is really important. Emotional safety seems harder to define guidelines for than concrete things like "no soda."

Kelly, I love your hard line. Here I was hesitant about being seen as a restrictive meanie, but clear, firm boundaries are just a requirement of parenting. As is sometimes seeming to be a meanie.


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 Post subject: Re: Relatives and other iffy caregivers
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:34 am 
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Bathes in Braggs
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Posts: 1296
Location: sunshine coast, australia
my son is almost five and he has almost never been babysat by anyone. maybe i have trust issues? i don't know. but neither lot of grandparents are trustworthy in regards to food or emotional stuff. the inlaws took elijah to a farmstay on a working farm and we got photos of him in a dark shed patting a days-old calf tied to the wall. so yeah, they are out. we don't really have any family around us other than that. there are a few friends around i would trust, but i am pretty strict. as my kids get older and they have a better understanding of life and more confidence in their beliefs, it won't be such a big deal for me.


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 Post subject: Re: Relatives and other iffy caregivers
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 9:49 am 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:57 am
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Location: Scotland
We haven't had any babysitters either, ❀madam dahlia❀. I'd trust my in-laws for safety and food (my husband's mum was raised vegetarian (my husband is a 3rd generation vegetarian!) and is very respectful of our being vegan), but they aren't exactly warm and loving and I wouldn't want to leave my kids with them unless it were an emergency or my kids were older and didn't need so much nurturing. I wouldn't trust my parents at all and would be hesitant to even leave my kids alone with them for a few minutes. Fortunately, it's a moot issue since we don't live near either sets of parents.

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 Post subject: Re: Relatives and other iffy caregivers
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 7:21 pm 
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Not NOT A Furry

Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:00 am
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I don't leave my kids with people I don't trust with physical safety for even one second, period. My inlaws will never be alone with my kids. I would literally rather leave then in the house alone (and they are 3 and 5) than with my inlaws.

I also have different rules for different people. My mom is awesome with my kids and respects rules and boundaries. However, she is not the best driver when it's an unfamiliar place. So she can watch the kids in my home, but if she wants to take them someplace, she has to have been there before and be very familiar with the route.

I will say that not respecting our vegannism or encouraging violence would be deal breakers. Giving too much sugar or not sticking to nap time might not be. I feel like grandparents and aunts are supposed to "spoil" my kids and give them an extra cookie or two. So within reason, I not only expect but actually encourage them to break some of my rules. I feel like sometimes that makes the most special memories. However, there are lines that I would expect them not to cross, but thankfully my family doesn't.


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 Post subject: Re: Relatives and other iffy caregivers
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:42 am 
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***LIES!!!***
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Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 4:10 pm
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To me the order of importance is: values, basic safety, ethics, enhanced safety, routines, everything else.

Basic safety is just making sure the kid stays relatively unscathed, has enough to eat and drink (even if it's not awesomely nutritious), has a safe place to sleep if she'll be sleeping, has a safe way to ride in a car if she'll be riding, gets diapers changed at appropriate intervals. I distinguish that from "enhanced safety" because the houses Malka spends time in that are not our own are not fully childproofed and sometimes pose unforeseen dangers, but I'm not really freaked out about that unless the caregiver is also not attentive. Malka once discovered a really old sticky mouse trap at my MIL's, for example, that could have really harmed her (it didn't), but I knew that my MIL's intention was to have a safe house and she just needed a little more guidance about carving out a safe area Malka wouldn't go outside of on her own and she's stepped up well enough there. That incident wasn't enough to make her house or her care totally off limits (although it was off limits until she had someone come in and do a thorough cleaning).

I wouldn't leave her with someone who yelled at her, hit her, or encouraged her to do those things.

It's important for us that she eats vegan, so if a caregiver can't be trusted to prepare vegan foods for her, we send all the food she's allowed to eat while there.

And we barely have routines of our own, so whatever.

It is super important to us that Malka develop strong, unmediated relationships with her extended family, so we have left her frequently with my MIL, my BIL and his wife, my sisters when they're in town, and my mother (with more restrictions as my mother is not as "safe" as I'd like). She also is regularly watched by our nanny (who she loves and who follows directions well from us) and in a pinch, a day care facility (with regular caregivers she seems comfortable with). We are very, very lucky she doesn't seem to have separation anxiety.


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