or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › WWYD? Can no longer trust babysitter
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

WWYD? Can no longer trust babysitter

post #1 of 80
Thread Starter 
DD's babysitter sits with her on occasion so DH and I can go out or on the rare occasion I have something to do and really can't bring DD with me. I like her as does DD and we've even added her to our holiday gift list. Ialso purchased a birthday gift for her bday next month.

Anyway, this past Friday she comes to sit with DD. Like a lot of parents who feed their children a certain way, I always make sure to have her meals and snacks prepared ahead of time. When she arrived DD had just woken up from a nap so I gave her a snack. Before I left I reminded her that I left all of DD's snacks were on the counter and her dinner was in the fridge but just needed to be warmed up. This has been the same routine for almost a year when she comes to sit with DD. She's also aware that we don't give DD certain food items.

Before I left I also told her it was fine for DD to watch two specific shows on our free on demand channel. She's also aware that we don't let DD watch a lot of television. We have plenty of items for DD to play with and books for her to "read" or to be read to her.

When DH and I got back the sitter casually mentions that she gave DD some Doritos to quiet her because she was asking for milk. I asked her why she didn't just give her the milk. I prepared her sippy cups ahead of time and like I normally do before I leave, told her I prepared an extra one if she wants milk after her snack which is often the case. She said she was eating the Doritos she brought with her and DD asked for one. We don't let DD eat Doritos and if she wanted a snack she could have had what we left out for her. I mentioned to her we don't let her eat Doritos and in the future if she's not sure about what to give her please call or text me (this is something I've mentioned before. She can always call).Anyway, she just said "oh,okay" and that was it. I decided to let it go even t hough I was really annoyed. Why? If DD wanted milk it was fine to give it to her. This is something she knows! It's milk not Cola.

I let that go. On Saturday DH is going through the demand channels because DD asked to watch a show. As he was looking through the titles he asked me since when did we start letting DD watch Spongebob. I asked him what he was talking about. On our demand channels you can see what shows were viewed because it gives you the option of resuming or restarting a show. When he clicked resume for the next 6 or 7 shows they were at the end of the credits which means the shows were watched in its entirety. DH is extremely P.O'ed that the sitter had DD watching tv the entire time we were gone.

She's not normally disrespectful to what we ask of her but maybe she has been and this is just the first time she got caught. She must have let her watch the shows because DD, since Friday has been bugging us about watching Spongebob! I wondered where she gotit from but figured she picked it up at the park or something.

I'm annoyed because one, we've been crystal clear about what's okay and not okay in our home. I've also told the sitter she can call me if she's unsure about something. I also make sure she is comfortable in our home. SHe's welcome to whatever's in our cabinets and we either order her dinner(from a place of her choosing) or reimburse her for something she picks up on her way over.

I no longer trust her. DD has plenty of items to keep her busy that don't involve several episodes of Spongebob Squareshirts.

SHould I just let it go and no longer have her sit with DD or say something to her and not have her over to sit with DD. I'm very hurt because I trusted this young lady and was able to enjoy myself while she was with DD and not be crazy with worry. I want to let her know why I won't ask her over but maybe it's best to just let it and her go?
post #2 of 80
If you don't trust the sitter, find a new sitter.

But there really aren't very many teenage babysitters in the world who will have a problem letting your kid watch Spongebob, or (absent food allergies) feeding her the occasional Dorito. You have some very strict, very high standards here, and you might be better off hiring an adult. I know that's more expensive, but if these are major issues for you, that's what I think you need to do.
post #3 of 80
Well, from my perspective, if you have a babysitter that you like, your DD likes, and she is satisfactory in most ways I would not let a couple of Doritos and Spongebob be the hill to die on.

When I was a kid, my siblings and I loved the nights our babysitter came over. Yes, we watched more TV (or movies) and ate less healthy snacks, but we had a lot of fun and really, in the big picture, no harm was done and a lot of fun was had.
post #4 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeepyCat View Post
If you don't trust the sitter, find a new sitter.

But there really aren't very many teenage babysitters in the world who will have a problem letting your kid watch Spongebob, or (absent food allergies) feeding her the occasional Dorito. You have some very strict, very high standards here, and you might be better off hiring an adult. I know that's more expensive, but if these are major issues for you, that's what I think you need to do.
This. Do you have a family member, or close friend, who knows your routines and rules, and could follow them more rigidly? Someone like this might be more helpful for you, and you could also relax on your date out with DH, knowing your DD is getting the level of care you desire.

We rarely have a baby sitter, but I let A LOT of stuff fly when we do. I don't worry about chips and junk and extra computer time or whatever, because in the long run, imo none of that is life changing.
post #5 of 80
I would poop a brick if my dd was given doritos or permitted to watch spongebob. Those things are so far from acceptable that they aren't even in the same universe. Having a sitter permit those items would be a huge breach of trust and she would be fired.
post #6 of 80
The other thing is that she may be interpreting your requests differently than you intended.

So, if she comes from a family where SpongeBob is OK for kids, and you say "She can watch Caillou or Clifford on the On Demand" what she probably heard was "she can watch cartoons from On Demand". What you didn't say was: "She can't watch anything else other than these two programs." Do you see the difference?

Ditto for the food. You said "Her food is in the fridge" not "Do not feed her anything except what I've prepared for her."

Now, I'd be a little ticked that she felt the need to bring in Doritos and then eat them in front of my kid. If she was a teen, I'd probably chalk it up to inexperience, tell her I don't want my kid eating junk food, and let it go. I'd also make sure that there are snacks for HER that would be OK for her to share with my child.

It sounds to me that you need to make your expectations clearer. If you do that and she still can't follow what you ask, then I'd question her judgment.

The only babysitter I've ever 'fired' (actually it was less dramatic than that, we just never asked her back), was one that did not follow the bedtime routine that I had written out, and didn't listen when our kids told her that (a) they slept with the hall light on and (b) with their doors open. I came home to terrified kids who were lying awake in the dark. Not cool.

So, if you can't trust her judgment on big things, then I think it's cause to stop the relationships. For something like junk food and TV shows, it depends on how big a deal it was to you in the big scheme of things.
post #7 of 80
While I also wouldn't care about the Doritos (blech!) or Spongebob, I don't think that's really the point. The sitter knew what was okay with the parents, let them believe (except with the Doritos) that she was following their wishes, but didn't. That's not okay. And, I was a teenage babysitter (rarely). I would have thought the parents were nuts if they had such rigid rules...but I would have either followed them, or not taken the job. I don't think being a teenager is a good excuse for ignoring the parent's requests.

OP: I think I'd probably talk to her, make it clear what your expectations are, and tell her that if she does something unacceptable again, you won't be bringing her back. You could just fire her straight up - but it is a PITA to find a new sitter, and you say your dd likes her, so I'd probably give the one warning.
post #8 of 80
Why don't you just have available one movie for your dd to watch and ban TV while she is baby-sitting? I would give her another chance.
post #9 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeepyCat View Post
If you don't trust the sitter, find a new sitter.

But there really aren't very many teenage babysitters in the world who will have a problem letting your kid watch Spongebob, or (absent food allergies) feeding her the occasional Dorito. You have some very strict, very high standards here, and you might be better off hiring an adult. I know that's more expensive, but if these are major issues for you, that's what I think you need to do.
I truly, truly don't think that many teens would think these items were hard and fast rules. I remember as a young babysitter giving a child a drink of my red pop. I happily told the parents when they got back that their dd loved pop! (She was like a year old). Now, looking back, they were polite but obviously they weren't thrilled I'd given their baby pop. Frankly, it just hadn't occured to me that it would be a no-no. I'm not at all saying I was right but I'm just being honest.

And are you going to forbid the babysitter not eat Doritos? Because I think you can't eat something enticing like that in front of a little kid and them not expect you to share.

How old is your dd?

Also, I'd point out that many households, not mine, have the TV going on all the time in the background. Maybe the sitter had it on while she played with your dd.
post #10 of 80
My daughter babysits one of my daycare kids. All they eat is "pasta". (that's what my daughter says) I'm pretty sure this is an exaggeration.

So, my daughter will bring her own food in occasionally. I always make sure she has a treat that she can share with the little girl. Her parents are picky too... But, my daughter doesn't fully understand that. She kinda "gets it" but, not the same way an adult would. Teenagers don't think the same way an adult does, so you have to actually be clear with her. You can't just say "her food is in the fridge", because that's not clear enough. You need to say "SHe can't have anything that's not on her plate" and, then go ahead and explain why.

Many people grow up with tv on all the time. It's on in the background, and they are probably doing something else. So, maybe your daugher wasn't lounging on the couch watching Sponge Bob. Although, I would think that most teenagers would know that not everybody is OK with Sponge Bob.

I had a parent tell me once (after almost a year of watching her kids) that her kids weren't allowed to watch Rugrats. I was 30 years old, and had NO CLUE that a parent wouldn't let the kids watch Rugrats... they had NO CLUE that a parent WOULD let their kids watch it. So, they didn't tell me, and I let the grade school kids come home and watch it almost every day. It would have made all the difference in the world if they'd told me.
post #11 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
Well, from my perspective, if you have a babysitter that you like, your DD likes, and she is satisfactory in most ways I would not let a couple of Doritos and Spongebob be the hill to die on.

When I was a kid, my siblings and I loved the nights our babysitter came over. Yes, we watched more TV (or movies) and ate less healthy snacks, but we had a lot of fun and really, in the big picture, no harm was done and a lot of fun was had.
I agree with this, especially for teenage sitters. The teenager next door watches my dd sometimes and she is very fun. She also lets my dd watch Hannah Montana and drink a soda. I go out so rarely and we talk so openly about our values that these aren't big concerns for me. If they are big concerns to you then I think you need to be very specific about leaving a list of approved movies and food. I also have fond memories of junk food and movie night when we had a sitter, and as a teen sitter that is all the parents ever said they wanted (they typically provided the junk food even). We would often play games while the movies were on in the background, but there was always a movie and cookies or something along those lines.
post #12 of 80
I would probably say something like, "Hey, it looks I dropped the ball and wasn't clear enough about our expectations for food and TV. DD is only to eat the stuff we prepare for her, and she is only to watch Little Bear and Clifford (or whatever 2 shows). Sorry for the miscommunication! She really loves hanging out with you, and we love knowing that she's having fun, but all of us caregivers need to be on the same page. Let me know anytime you have questions, okay?"
post #13 of 80
I'm also guessing she had no idea that those things were strictly forbidden. Heck, there are many adults who wouldn't think twice about one dorito and some Spongebob, let alone a teenager. Just different perspectives on what is and isn't ok.

I think it depends on how you worded the rules. As a PP said, there's a big difference between "she can watch x and y on demand" and "she can ONLY watch x and y on demand, no other shows."

For the food, as a teen I'm guessing she thought you got the food out to make it easier, not because that's all she was allowed to eat. Again, unless you were clear that she was not to be given anything else.
post #14 of 80
Seriously I thought this was gonna be much worse than Doritos and Spongebob.

You actually have a baby-sitter your child likes, I remember as a child when my baby sitter came it meant I got to eat junk food and stay up watching fun TV.

Really I'd let it go, but honestly my standards regarding junk food and TV are kinda lax compared to some on MDC. I just don't think that these two things are deal-breakers.
post #15 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Norasmomma View Post
Seriously I thought this was gonna be much worse than Doritos and Spongebob.

You actually have a baby-sitter your child likes, I remember as a child when my baby sitter came it meant I got to eat junk food and stay up watching fun TV.

Really I'd let it go, but honestly my standards regarding junk food and TV are kinda lax compared to some on MDC. I just don't think that these two things are deal-breakers.
I agree on all points. I also agree with PP who suggested it may be a problem with what you said and what she heard. I have found that many people simply dont get our eating habits no matter how hard they try, even adults. To me the benefits far outweigh the risks here. However, I have three kids and have been a parent for over 12 years so I have long learned that there are some things you have to let go.
post #16 of 80
This would be a deal-breaker for me, but then again, my 8yo has never had Doritos or seen Spongebob and those *are* hills I would die on.

However, unless you gave explicit instructions that she deliberately ignored, I'd at least give her one more chance. I wouldn't say trust has been completely broken unless she is defying you.
post #17 of 80
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeepyCat View Post
If you don't trust the sitter, find a new sitter.

But there really aren't very many teenage babysitters in the world who will have a problem letting your kid watch Spongebob, or (absent food allergies) feeding her the occasional Dorito. You have some very strict, very high standards here, and you might be better off hiring an adult. I know that's more expensive, but if these are major issues for you, that's what I think you need to do.
Thanks.Want to point out though she's not a teenager. She's about to graduate college in December. I also don't think it's strict or high standards to expect her to feed what we've provided and not have her in frontof the tv the entire time.
post #18 of 80
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post
I would probably say something like, "Hey, it looks I dropped the ball and wasn't clear enough about our expectations for food and TV. DD is only to eat the stuff we prepare for her, and she is only to watch Little Bear and Clifford (or whatever 2 shows). Sorry for the miscommunication! She really loves hanging out with you, and we love knowing that she's having fun, but all of us caregivers need to be on the same page. Let me know anytime you have questions, okay?"

This is great advice. Thank you! Would you suggest a special phone call to say this or wait until the next time we ask her over if we ask her to sit again? Although it's not likely. My usually very laid back DH is ticked off. He says we pay her well per hour and if he wanted DD stuck in front of the tv while we're out we'd leave her with one of our anything goes relatives who'd be willing to watch her for free and feed her all of the crap in their pantry.

I honestly don't think it's rigid (I forgot the poster who said this) to expect her to give her what we provide and let her play with the many toys she has or to just let her watch two tv shows. I don't think I could have explained myself better to the sitter without sounding condescending. She's been sitting with DD for nearly a year. Long enough to know we don't give our child Doritos or let her watch 6 episodes of spongebob. She knows DD didn't even start watching some shows until she turned 2.

I can get over the Dorito thing because she mentioned it. I think she was careless but not malicious.
post #19 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
Well, from my perspective, if you have a babysitter that you like, your DD likes, and she is satisfactory in most ways I would not let a couple of Doritos and Spongebob be the hill to die on.

When I was a kid, my siblings and I loved the nights our babysitter came over. Yes, we watched more TV (or movies) and ate less healthy snacks, but we had a lot of fun and really, in the big picture, no harm was done and a lot of fun was had.
I agree with this. How often does she babysit? If it were an everyday thing I'd worry more but just occasionally doesn't seem like a big deal to me.
post #20 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by gbailey View Post
Thanks.Want to point out though she's not a teenager. She's about to graduate college in December. I also don't think it's strict or high standards to expect her to feed what we've provided and not have her in frontof the tv the entire time.
See, I was a high school/college babysitter and I don't think your standards are too high. I think your babysitter has it made, frankly. You prepare all of your dd's snacks/drinks/meals, you allow specific TV, and you order/reimburse your babysitter's food?

Heck, I would like to come and babysit for you!



I would spell out your expectations one more time for this sitter. I would tell her exactly what happened -- you can see what was watched/your dd is asking for shows you don't permit, you don't allow your dd to eat junk food, etc. I'd tell her flat out "I'd like to give you another chance, since my dd loves you so much/we love you/whatever...., but these are the guidelines. Are you good with that?"

If she isn't, or if she's deliberately defying you, I would find another one. College-age kids are old enough to get this kind of stuff.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Parenting
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › WWYD? Can no longer trust babysitter