Babysitter did WHAT? How do I proceed? - Mothering Forums

Babysitter did WHAT? How do I proceed?

MommatoAandA's Avatar MommatoAandA (TS)
10:15 PM Liked: 0
#1 of 29
07-21-2010 | Posts: 240
Joined: Jun 2010
I recently have started working the 3-11 shift and hired a family friend (she is a little sister of a friend I grew up with) she is 19 years old. At first everything seemed ok. My kids are 1 and 3. my 3 year old seems to like her. The baby is very close to her mommy and daddy. She definitely likes my other sitter that I use sometimes though and my mom. Her reactions to my family friend sitter lately have been a little weird. Really crying when I am leaving. I got the feeling my sitter prefers my 3 year old. My sitter has cancelled randomly with stupid excuses twice and since the last time I really was questioning her sitting for a few reasons (cancelling and my 1 year old and a gut feeling). Lately both my kids are having a hard time sleeping. My 3 year old has been wanting to sleep on our floor when she has always slept in her room in her bed, the 1 year old has always fallen asleep on her own, no crying. Lately both of them are off. Really scared at sleep time even when me or DP are here.

So today I am getting my groceries out of the car and my neighbor comes over to tell me what she saw my sitter do the other day. So my newly potty learned 3 year old tells her she needs to go inside and pee, the sitter is telling her no, standing in front of the door and refusing to let her in telling her they are staying outside. My 3 year old is screaming so loud my neighbor comes outside and makes sure she is hearing correctly. YUP, she makes my 3 year old pee outside (not a problem if its an accident or she wants to, sometimes we let it go) but she really was mean. Making me question, if this is going on outside where ppl can hear (family owned and lived in apartment, close neighbors) what is she doing inside???? OMG. Obviously I am not going to use her again, but do I confront her? Do I say something? WWYD?
earthmama369's Avatar earthmama369
10:39 PM Liked: 33
#2 of 29
07-21-2010 | Posts: 6,792
Joined: Jul 2005
I would want to talk to the neighbor and get more of the story, if possible -- if she's heard anything on other days, etc. I'm not a confrontational person at all, but yeah, after that, I would confront her. She needs to know exactly why she's being fired. At 19, she may be on a steep learning curve for some reason and just not at all know how to handle young children. And she should know that so she doesn't take another job working with small children for a long, long time. (I'm NOT saying her actions are ok by any means! Just that she may be on the extreme end of clueless and getting called on her actions will make it harder for her to continue this pattern of behavior.) I would also put the word out to any friends or neighbors looking for a sitter to avoid her.
MommatoAandA's Avatar MommatoAandA (TS)
10:45 PM Liked: 0
#3 of 29
07-21-2010 | Posts: 240
Joined: Jun 2010
She watches her sisters 3 kids, overnights and everything. I am going to ask my sister in law upstairs if she ever heard anything, the neighbor said that was all she saw. But DD2's bedtime is 7 and regardless of what time DP comes home the baby is asleep, 5, 5:15, 6 whatever she is asleep. I think she is letting her CIO and that makes me sick. UGH I'm afraid to tell her because I might lose it and tell her off and say some mean things. I mean DD can do the potty thing alone and even let herself back out when she is done, she just cannot open the screen door. How lazy and controlling can you possibly be? She was standing IN FRONT of the door and not letting her in. We had 100 degree days last week. She was probably hot and tired. UGH I AM SO P*SSED
earthmama369's Avatar earthmama369
10:47 PM Liked: 33
#4 of 29
07-21-2010 | Posts: 6,792
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Mama, it's ok to lose it and say some mean things in that situation. Really really. It sounds like any "mean" thing you say would be true.
KempsMama's Avatar KempsMama
10:47 PM Liked: 87
#5 of 29
07-21-2010 | Posts: 843
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Honestly between the changes in your childrens behavior and sleeping habits, the gut feeling, and the story from your neighbor, I'd find a new sitter ASAP. I wouldn't leave my children alone with her.
MommatoAandA's Avatar MommatoAandA (TS)
10:50 PM Liked: 0
#6 of 29
07-21-2010 | Posts: 240
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Kemp- I have another sitter I use too and honestly I will quit my job before I allow my kids to be abused. Thanks mama's.
KempsMama's Avatar KempsMama
11:28 PM Liked: 87
#7 of 29
07-21-2010 | Posts: 843
Joined: Dec 2008
I didn't mean to come across harsh. Just honest.

Hugs Mama.
astra's Avatar astra
11:35 PM Liked: 0
#8 of 29
07-21-2010 | Posts: 77
Joined: Jan 2006
I would talk to the sitter, as calmly as possible, and try to figure out exactly what was going on outside. It sounds so bizarre, that she would encourage your 3 year old to pee out side. Did you ask your 3 year old about it? I would for sure look for a new sitter, but I'd also try to figure out what was going on when the neighbor came over.
MommatoAandA's Avatar MommatoAandA (TS)
11:36 PM Liked: 0
#9 of 29
07-21-2010 | Posts: 240
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Kemp- OH NO! YOU DIDN'T AT ALL! I was just stating that I would never ever leave them with her again (actually I had planned to not use her again prior to this neighbor telling me this). I'm just so sad for my kids. I mean this was my ultimate fear about going back to work. It essentially took me 3 years and now this. Reaffirming my concerns. It's like, why be cruel when you can be gentle? It's harder to be cruel. I shudder to think what this was like for them.
MommatoAandA's Avatar MommatoAandA (TS)
11:38 PM Liked: 0
#10 of 29
07-21-2010 | Posts: 240
Joined: Jun 2010
Astra- thats what weirds me out. Like why would you stand in front of the door rather than just let the kid in? It is weird and just creepy. I asked Abrielle and she said B was mean to her and made her pee outside eventhough she asked to go potty inside and then said she was sorry for peeing outside. Making me feel worse. It sounds like my sitter is just not liking my kids or unhappy and needs the money as it is her only job.
One_Girl's Avatar One_Girl
11:38 PM Liked: 2767
#11 of 29
07-21-2010 | Posts: 4,668
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earthmama369 View Post
Mama, it's ok to lose it and say some mean things in that situation. Really really. It sounds like any "mean" thing you say would be true.
That is what I would do. What she did borders on abuse. Refusing to let a child use the bathroom and making them wet themselves is humiliating and abusive. I would not be nice about telling her she shouldn't have anything to do with kids.
XanaduMama's Avatar XanaduMama
11:55 PM Liked: 277
#12 of 29
07-21-2010 | Posts: 2,826
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earthmama369 View Post
Mama, it's ok to lose it and say some mean things in that situation. Really really. It sounds like any "mean" thing you say would be true.

lilmom's Avatar lilmom
12:01 AM Liked: 23
#13 of 29
07-22-2010 | Posts: 843
Joined: Nov 2008
Oh I would be livid! And heartbroken too.

Yes, I think you should definitely tell her off. She has no business being around little ones.
sapphire_chan's Avatar sapphire_chan
12:07 AM Liked: 205
#14 of 29
07-22-2010 | Posts: 27,052
Joined: May 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by earthmama369 View Post
Mama, it's ok to lose it and say some mean things in that situation. Really really. It sounds like any "mean" thing you say would be true.
Yes. But start off nice and let her dig her own hole. E.g. "Do you have any problem with the baby not falling asleep?" and then lay into her when she says "oh, no, she just cries for x minutes and then gives up" or whatever.
Arduinna's Avatar Arduinna
12:14 AM Liked: 169
#15 of 29
07-22-2010 | Posts: 31,187
Joined: May 2002
Knowing me, I'd have lost it the minute the neighbor told me and called her and told her off right then. There is just no excuse for what she did.
Momma Moo Martin's Avatar Momma Moo Martin
12:35 AM Liked: 11
#16 of 29
07-22-2010 | Posts: 394
Joined: May 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post
Knowing me, I'd have lost it the minute the neighbor told me and called her and told her off right then. There is just no excuse for what she did.



You don't have to be cruel but you certainly have every right to tell her that her behavior is completely unacceptable for any child and that she is never to come near your babies again.
Angela512's Avatar Angela512
11:06 AM Liked: 12
#17 of 29
07-22-2010 | Posts: 417
Joined: Dec 2007
What she did is not "bordering" on abusive...it IS abusive.

And if this happened one time, your kids would have probably not changed their habits.

I would go over to the girl's house and confront her face to face. You can read someone so much better by body language than by on the phone. I would also tell her parents why she is being fired.

Wow...so sorry this happened.
Joyster's Avatar Joyster
01:23 PM Liked: 15
#18 of 29
07-22-2010 | Posts: 1,495
Joined: Oct 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by KempsMama View Post
Honestly between the changes in your childrens behavior and sleeping habits, the gut feeling, and the story from your neighbor, I'd find a new sitter ASAP. I wouldn't leave my children alone with her.
Yeah, my Spidey Sense isn't happy with this one either. I expect some change for the first few weeks or so, but coupled with your neighbour's story, I think I'd fire her.
momasana's Avatar momasana
03:52 PM Liked: 240
#19 of 29
07-22-2010 | Posts: 1,224
Joined: Aug 2007
That is really strange behavior. Like others have mentioned, I would talk to the neighbor to get the full story and ask your DD about the incident (and any other incidents) and then confront the babysitter.
MommatoAandA's Avatar MommatoAandA (TS)
04:02 PM Liked: 0
#20 of 29
07-22-2010 | Posts: 240
Joined: Jun 2010
I have talked to the neighbor at length and she told me the whole situation and that was it (it's bad enough).

I did talk to DD and ask her if B was mean to her and she said no, then yes, then no again. I asked her if she let Anna cry at bedtime and she said yes. I SPECIFICALLY told her we DO NOT allow them to CIO. She knew and this is ridiculous. If she was not ok with it, just quit. WTF.

I am trying to just focus on the kids. I told Abrielle Miss B is never coming back and she proceeded to cuddle with me for a half hour then fall asleep in HER bed and sleep through the night in there. YEAH. She was SCARED. UGH

Meanwhile, my DP is livid (not at me) wants me to quit my job, which is not the answer for us right now. I am going to try to get by with my mom and the sitter I currently have as backup and then hopefully when my LPN starts in Jan I can just go Per Diem at work. Most likely I will be SAH again in a year or so (we are TTC#3).

She doesn't live with her parents, but with her fiance. Her mom is a really good friend of ours and I am afraid that if I see her/them out, I might lose it.

I decided for now, not to call my sitter. If she lies I will flip and right now I just need to calm down a bit.
bebebradford's Avatar bebebradford
04:28 PM Liked: 13
#21 of 29
07-22-2010 | Posts: 267
Joined: Apr 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by MommatoAandA View Post
I have talked to the neighbor at length and she told me the whole situation and that was it (it's bad enough).

I did talk to DD and ask her if B was mean to her and she said no, then yes, then no again. I asked her if she let Anna cry at bedtime and she said yes. I SPECIFICALLY told her we DO NOT allow them to CIO. She knew and this is ridiculous. If she was not ok with it, just quit. WTF.

I am trying to just focus on the kids. I told Abrielle Miss B is never coming back and she proceeded to cuddle with me for a half hour then fall asleep in HER bed and sleep through the night in there. YEAH. She was SCARED. UGH

Meanwhile, my DP is livid (not at me) wants me to quit my job, which is not the answer for us right now. I am going to try to get by with my mom and the sitter I currently have as backup and then hopefully when my LPN starts in Jan I can just go Per Diem at work. Most likely I will be SAH again in a year or so (we are TTC#3).

She doesn't live with her parents, but with her fiance. Her mom is a really good friend of ours and I am afraid that if I see her/them out, I might lose it.

I decided for now, not to call my sitter. If she lies I will flip and right now I just need to calm down a bit.


That stinks momma. I'd be upset too.. very much so, BUT you really need to talk to the sitter first. I know that my three year old, while very smart, tells me things that are actually the opposite of what happened. She may not be laying down to sleep and crying the whole time.. She could have woke up and cried, and your little heard it.. etc. There are too many things that could be happening. Also, as for not letting your daughter in for the restroom.. maybe your daughter had been playing around and asking repeatedly. Maybe she had just let your daughter potty, or she'd already been in several times-mine do that. Sometimes they just want to check out the bathroom. Either way, talk to her.
Tigerchild's Avatar Tigerchild
04:43 PM Liked: 725
#22 of 29
07-22-2010 | Posts: 4,737
Joined: Dec 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
Yes. But start off nice and let her dig her own hole. E.g. "Do you have any problem with the baby not falling asleep?" and then lay into her when she says "oh, no, she just cries for x minutes and then gives up" or whatever.
Why play games like this?

OP, be direct and honest. "My neighbor informed me that you have not been allowing my children to go into the house to use the bathroom. That is abusive and unnecessary. I also suspect that you have left the baby to cry to fall asleep. While that may be acceptible in some families, it is not in ours, and you should NEVER assume what a family wants in that regard. You should always ask. I will no longer be calling you to babysit, and will not provide a reference for you. I hope that you take this as a learning experience, I am very disappointed in your behavior."
ThisCat's Avatar ThisCat
04:56 PM Liked: 0
#23 of 29
07-22-2010 | Posts: 270
Joined: Jun 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by bebebradford View Post
Also, as for not letting your daughter in for the restroom.. maybe your daughter had been playing around and asking repeatedly. Maybe she had just let your daughter potty, or she'd already been in several times-mine do that. Sometimes they just want to check out the bathroom.
None of that would be a valid excuse for not allowing a recently potty trained three year old access to the bathroom even when she's screaming so loud the neighbors come out of their houses and then making her do her business outside. There were days early on in potty training when my daughter had to go to the bathroom over and over. I cannot imagine telling her no. I know this girl is 19, but seriously, that's just ridiculous. I was a young babysitter too once, and I can't imagine doing anything like that.
bebebradford's Avatar bebebradford
11:00 PM Liked: 13
#24 of 29
07-22-2010 | Posts: 267
Joined: Apr 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThisCat View Post
None of that would be a valid excuse for not allowing a recently potty trained three year old access to the bathroom even when she's screaming so loud the neighbors come out of their houses and then making her do her business outside. There were days early on in potty training when my daughter had to go to the bathroom over and over. I cannot imagine telling her no. I know this girl is 19, but seriously, that's just ridiculous. I was a young babysitter too once, and I can't imagine doing anything like that.
You do have a point, I missed the part where they have just potty trained her. I just know that my son tells me he has to use the restroom many times a day, and he runs in there and starts playing. lol.. I was just thinking maybe it could have been something similar. Regardless, she needs to talk to the sitter. I wouldn't use the sitter again, but I would def talk to her and hear both sides. Besides, in this case, wouldn't it be awesome if it was a big misunderstanding? I would so much rather find out I was WRONG about details in a matter like this, than to find out I was right about abuse.
Storm Bride's Avatar Storm Bride
11:09 PM Liked: 3681
#25 of 29
07-22-2010 | Posts: 25,597
Joined: Mar 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by bebebradford View Post
You do have a point, I missed the part where they have just potty trained her. I just know that my son tells me he has to use the restroom many times a day, and he runs in there and starts playing. lol.. I was just thinking maybe it could have been something similar. Regardless, she needs to talk to the sitter. I wouldn't use the sitter again, but I would def talk to her and hear both sides. Besides, in this case, wouldn't it be awesome if it was a big misunderstanding? I would so much rather find out I was WRONG about details in a matter like this, than to find out I was right about abuse.
Even if the sitter says it was something like that, there's no reassurance. That could just mean the sitter knows her behaviour is out of line, and it trying to cover her butt. Honestly, the story from the neighbour, combined with the OP's gut feeling that something was wrong, and the changed behaviour from her kids sounds/looks pretty convincing to me.

Even if the sitter does say that the OP's dd was asking and asking or something, the OP isn't going to feel any better, and probably isn't going to believe it. Intellectually, I can see the value in getting both sides, but I raelly don't think it's going to matter in this case.
sapphire_chan's Avatar sapphire_chan
11:22 PM Liked: 205
#26 of 29
07-22-2010 | Posts: 27,052
Joined: May 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post
Why play games like this?
To allow her to have a reasonable story if she does happen to be innocent without giving her an opening to just lie if she's guilty. Basically, I assume that if she is abusive, she'll also be deceptive. A flat out confrontation is more likely to lead to simple denials and it'd be harder to tell if she's denying it because she had done nothing, or if she were denying it because she was caught.

I posted before seeing the update where the OP's dd confirmed the neighbor's report though.
lilyka's Avatar lilyka
02:15 AM Liked: 91
#27 of 29
07-23-2010 | Posts: 17,896
Joined: Nov 2001
She is 19 and probaby does not have a lot of experiance with kids but probably thinks she knows quite a lot. I say this as the worst most arrogant babysitter in the world when I was 19 and childless. chances are she just really doesn't get it.a fussing baby may not be the same thing as a crying baby to her. but it could well be to you or your dd. Some people really do not want kids running in and out of the house especially if it is air conditioned and would prefer they pee outside. this coud just be a clash of values. differing definitions and different expectations.

I would give her a chance to explain how things are going. Just ask her "how do you feel things are going? have there been things that were more challeneging than you expected? " it is not a game. it is a chance for her to be honest. Then once you have heard her out ask her about specific things. "3yo says the baby cries hersef to sleep. Have you found putting her to bed difficult? how did you handle that? then move on to "the neighbor said dd was forced to pee in the yard and dd confirmed this story. Can you explain what happened there?" Then I would calmly explain to her that you clearly do not see eye to eye on things and because of that she cannot continue to babysit for you. It really could be that you guys define cry it out differently. or that she just doesn't get it somehow. no need to go crazy on her if that is the case. On the other hand if she getss defensive and starts blaming the kids or calls you a bad mom and starts tewlling you how she could whip your kids into shape....then go crazy on her. a mistake is one thing, being clueless does not equal mean or cruel. being an intentional jerk is something else all together.
peainthepod's Avatar peainthepod
02:28 AM Liked: 186
#28 of 29
07-23-2010 | Posts: 2,242
Joined: Jul 2008
I would absolutely not let her near my children again and her explanations would be essentially worthless to me, no matter how convincing she made them sound. That your 3yo was scared to sleep in her own bed just hurts my heart. I'm so sorry, mama.

And while what your neighbor witnessed could have been a simple misunderstanding, I can't really see what there was to misunderstand. To be honest, it sounds like sadism, which is a common trait of child abusers.

So sorry you and your family went through this. I can't imagine having to see this person again; I would simply not be able to be civil or hold my tongue. And you know, some situations merit an impolite reaction or even a good old-fashioned dressing down. This is one of them.

Hugs to you and your little ones.
gbailey's Avatar gbailey
03:44 PM Liked: 56
#29 of 29
07-26-2010 | Posts: 1,450
Joined: Mar 2009
OP,sorry you and your girls had to experience this.
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