Baby sitter issue - nice art supplies ruined, help me put it in perspective - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-18-2011, 11:31 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Flower of Bliss View Post

I am trying to work out my issue with the painting thing.  Part of it is that these paints were on their own on a shelf of adult books up out of kid reach.  I don't understand why they would even think they were for kids.  They are part of a special set we recently got for DD1.



Probably because dd said "those are my new special paints."  I'd assume a child was allowed to use her stuff but that they were up high because they required supervision or so that dd2 didn't get into them.  Anyway, I'd put things like that in my bedroom next time.  Sucks, though.  I hate wastefulness.


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Old 06-18-2011, 11:49 AM
 
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I would make a special mention that you'd prefer the kids not use craft supplies in their reach, show where the okay ones are as well as smocks, etc.  I'd also ask to make sure any clothes dirty with art stuff just get put on the washing machine and/or mentioned in case they need stain treatment.  I think with a little talk about that stuff, this is unlikely to get repeated by your sitter.  If your dd mentioned they were her paints that does seem like something that becomes okay to do, etc. as pp's mentioned.  If you don't want the nightly baths, I'd comment that you've noticed the frequent bathing is bothering your kids skin, please not tonight on any specific night.  

 

I'll add that, as a teen babysitter, I wouldn't have gotten out paints or done baths unless it had specifically been mentioned to me by the parents - but I was used to asking or not doing things that way at my own home, and if people are used to regular kid baths or not having to ask about supplies they'll do things differently.

 

 

As an artist - I feel badly for you about the paints .  It just stinks to have something like that used improperly, with the expense, etc. . .

I have materials like that I use with our kids, but it's definitely kept away/out of sight.  I probably over-lecture dd about caring for her brushes and stuff like that in the first place - but I have cheaper stuff that I leave out that I'd I might mention to a sitter or something, but even dd (who is 4) knows that I need to get asked about the art stuff and that it requires a certain set-up - smock, art mat for the surface, etc..  Maybe going over that with your kids (with the purpose that they can do more of it on their own anyway, even with you around) might help too? - they could help self-enforce stuff like having their smocks, taking care of stains on their clothes.  

 

 

 

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Old 06-18-2011, 12:15 PM
 
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Im an adult as well. I've done daycare, babysat and nannied overnight for kids.  Honestly, you are getting upset over the little things.  If *I* saw those little bottles of paint, even today, I probably wouldn't know what they were really for and if the kid wanted to use them, that's what we would do.  As a babysitter its MY JOB to keep the kids happy and safe.  Unless you tell me directly - no painting- then there is a chance we will paint.  Many many kids use one brush for all colors of paint, sometimes rinsing the brush in a cup of water.  I don't always give a play-by-play to the parents of what we exactly did for the hours they were gone.

I figure they are going to check the laundry either that night or the next morning.

I figure if the kids are dirty, they get a bath.

 

IMO the whole point of a sitter is for everyone to have fun.  The parents go out and have fun, the kids stay home and do something different and have fun.  Also, you need to remember that things happen differently while you are gone and the sitter needs to accommodate as she goes along.  So even though you may say 'no bath' that kid could end up covered in craft material, or covered in juice, or covered in dirt from playing outside and a bath is needed.  I'm sorry but I'm not putting a kid to bed who has juice in her hair, dirt on her legs and feet and paste up her arms.  Its just not going to happen, no matter what mom said- that kid is getting a bath!

 

 



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Old 06-18-2011, 02:09 PM
 
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I would be annoyed, but...

As other PPs have said, the way you phrased the no baths thing sounded like you just didn't want to make extra work for them so you weren't going to ask them to bathe the kids, not that you minded them getting a bath.  I would just only have products in the bathroom that you're okay with them using when they bathe the kids.

With the paints, they probably assumed that since the paints belonged to DD, they were fair game and also washable.  If they thought the paints were washable, then there was no need to mention the paint on the clothes.  And I wouldn't throw away the paints just because they got mixed together.  Your DD probably won't mind if they aren't pristine next time you use them with her together, the right way.  Let her use the mixed up paints for practice, and then next time if you buy them again then she'll have it down by then.

 

I'd just be more specific next time and use it as a learning experience for all of you.

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Old 06-18-2011, 02:13 PM
 
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OP in my books too this is not a big deal. 

 

inspite of everything - expensive paints, etc. 

 

i wouldnt even note the bath because i know bathing can be life saver when you are stuggling to babysit.

 

destroying the paints. now come on for all of you how many of you have even touched paints since school (unless its your hobby or ur profession). you have now learnt they dont know how to take care of paints (i find that strange though that they mixed it all up). 

 

while yes it seems disrespectful i think a lot of the paint issue was due to lack of knowledge.

 

here is the thing though. whenever you have others in ur house you have to live with what happens. what appears as common sense to you might not be so to the other person. 

 

i let a lot go because even if i didnt agree with what they did - the babysitter took good care of my child and played and did stuff with her rather than stick her in front of the tv. 


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Old 06-18-2011, 02:27 PM
 
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It looks like that paint comes in tiny containers. If I was to see something that size, it wouldn't occur to me to not dip brushes in it. "I" know that you're supposed to add water to it but most people wouldn't.

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Old 06-18-2011, 02:35 PM
 
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Were you paying these people, or was it a favour? If they were just babysitting to be kind I'd keep my mouth shut, but if you were paying them I would be very annoyed! I would write out a list for next time of what I expected.

 

I would never use someone elses supplies or food or anything unless they said it was okay. If the baths were because of the paint I think that's okay but I would have told you as soon as you got in that they had had baths and why.

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Old 06-18-2011, 06:04 PM
 
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OK I totally would be annoyed if someone used up my expensive paints or bathed my kid but from what you describe, I would say it's not the sitter being thoughtless or anything... I don't use a sitter (yet!) so maybe my thoughts on this are useless anyway... but it sounds like you really like to be in control & want things done a particular way. I am exactly the same way (that's partly WHY we don't use a sitter!!) so I understand it, I think. But I guess you just have to figure out what you want out of a sitter. Would it work better for you if you rented a movie for the kids to watch and set out dinner (or the dinner ingredients) and asked them only to do those things that you've left on the dining room table? Or would you be willing to be flexible and let some things go, but just specify the 3 most important things you want done a certain way? Either option is valid, you just need to pick one & discuss it with your sitter. I also think it would be acceptable to say something like, "Anything higher than DD1's head is off-limits to the kids," so that they understand the system you've set up in your home. In our home, things like expensive paints are hidden and the only bath products in the tub are the ones we feel comfortable using on DS. So if I walked into your home, I guess I'd just assume you had some kind of similar setup, unless you told me otherwise, and that everything out in the main living areas was available for general use. It would be very different if the sitter rummaged through your bedroom closet and came out with paints, you know? It really sounds like the sitter was just trying to keep the kids happy (painting) and make things easier on you (bathing), so if you like this sitter, I think it makes sense to hash it out first within your family and then with the sitter.

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Old 06-18-2011, 06:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Flower of Bliss View Post
Once I start hiding, what else I should hide?  Food in the pantry or fridge?  Toiletries? 


Well, that seems a bit dramatic.  The "special paints" that your DD knows are hers are a pretty obvious thing you would want to at least discuss with a sitter since they are out in plain view.  If you fail to discuss it and it's out in the open, it's pretty much fair game.  So your choices now are either discuss it with them so they know for the future or hide the paints.  I don't think you need to hide the food in the fridge or hide the toiletries you don't want them to use for your DD's bath, but you have to at least talk to these babysitters so they know what is off limits.  Communication with your sitters is really the key here.

 


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Old 06-18-2011, 08:40 PM
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I'm surprised that the kids' clothing wasn't protected during painting, but not surprised that someone didn't know how to handle paint. How to work with art supplies is not something I consider to fall into the category of "common sense."

 

I don't think you need to hide your food and toiletries. I think you simply need to communicate with your sitter.

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Old 06-19-2011, 02:16 AM
 
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I'd be really upset the clothes were full of paint and they didn't say anything.  When I babysat if the kids got anything on their clothes I'd tell the parents when I was briefing them on how things went.  If it was a big stain or something awful (like paint or grape juice) I'd call and ask what they wanted me to do.  I did not want to be responsible for wrecking someone's $75 Gap outfit.


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Old 06-19-2011, 05:33 AM
 
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How would the sitter know they were regular clothes?
 

 


Um, common sense?? If a kid is wearing clothes that fit, I would assume they are regular clothes. If a neighbor kid came over to your house in t-shirt and shorts, would you just figure it didn't matter if she got paint all over them? I wouldn't. I would try to find a smock or something for her to wear. And I don't care if it was washable paint, the parents still should have been told the clothes were stained. Even washable paint might not come out all the way if it has been sitting around for a couple days. 

 

 

Plus, maybe this is just me, but I think it is weird that a 15 yo has to be trained to babysit three times. We've used a lot of teen sitters (because for some reason, they keep growing up and leaving! *LOL*) and not one of them ever brought her mom along. OP, I'd say if you don't have a good feeling about these people, don't have them back. You've given them 3 times, that seems like enough of a trial to me.

 

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Old 06-19-2011, 06:10 AM
 
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Old 06-19-2011, 06:23 AM
 
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I wouldn't hire them again.  For me personally, I want a babysitter who I know has common sense which it doesn't sound like this mom-daughter team have.  Some parents may be ok with having to spell everything out, but I don't want to have to do that. 


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Old 06-19-2011, 06:52 AM
 
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You know, since you said she was learning to babysit to me means she doesn't have a lot of experiance, and wouldn't think about things like why painting might not be the best idea. Having a new sitter, especially a teenage one can have growing pains. I might be upset about it too, but remember that maybe she grew up with a different set of rules on paint. In our house even the cheap stuff is up high or it would accidentally get opened and put on the carpet. Some people buy expensive paint for everyday use for their kids. Maybe it just didn't hit her that kids get paint all over themselves, or maybe her mom is like me and just doesn't care. It either washes or my kids wear a shirt with their own art work on it.

 

We went through something similar. Our friend was watching our kids, and bringing her kids over. In their house all toys are just toys. To be used and abused. We have a shelf in our son's room for toys that either need to be handled nicely to last, or need all their parts to work (model planes, board games, expensive building blocks the dog loves to eat if left out). They come down so we all can play together and then get put back away. Since our friends don't have that at home they were getting stuff down, and leaving it out. I was upset at first. Then I realized it was a matter of different houses, and explained the shelf. Toys weren't taken out after that. Our friendship is still great. I have a wonderful sitter that my kids love and were happy to see. Which really is the most important part.


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Old 06-19-2011, 09:34 AM
 
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To me it sounds like a very VERY large communication issue. I can understand being upset about the wasted paint however I am pretty sure it wasn't done with an ill intent. Bathing the kids, I wont lie, I am more then happy to have the sitter do. However we only use sitters we would trust our kids lives with so bathing them doesn't seem like a big deal. Heck a friend of mine watches them some times and we toss her boy in with mine lol. However, if you truly do not want them giving them baths then just say please do not bath them. If its ok then I would just make sure that the kids bath stuff and towels are on the counter in the bathroom in easy view. It really is pretty hard to mess up a bath. I would be specific about the art supplies and expectations. This TRULY to me seems like a communication issue that could be easily fixed. I admit I know nothing about paints. However as a mom being used as a sitter I am open to using crafts to make the kids happy. While I most likely wouldn't choose paint as I have a very large family, painting with one child can be tons of fun. It would not occur to me that they were not allowed to be used, just that they were out of reach so they couldn't be gotten in to while mom had her back turned.

 


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Old 06-19-2011, 10:17 AM
 
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I must agree that this was a miscommunication problem. We live with my in-laws, who often take care of the kids when we are out. They know our rules and usually don't need any special instructions, but whenever there is a slightest question on whether something is ok, either they call or I tell them ahead of time. With a baby sitter, who is only coming to take care of a child a few times, I would leave very detailed instructions on what is ok and what is not. Common sense might not be the same for everyone and it is wrong to rely on someone's judgement assuming it will be the same as yours. This is especially true when it comes to special items, like art supplies.

In terms of bath - if you did not want the kids washed at all, no matter what, I would say so. Otherwise, if you were ok with the sitters washing them if needed, I would mention any special rules and provide the supplies.

What did your DD1 say about this? My son (same age) would have actually told the baby sitter if she was doing something outside of the normal routine. So if he were used to cover clothes while painting, and the baby sitter forgot it, he would mention it to her. He would also know which items are for use and which he needs to ask permission for, even if they are within his reach.


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Old 06-19-2011, 11:16 AM
 
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I think that, as a parent, it's your job to communicate boundaries to your sitter. If you don't want the sitter to bathe your kid, say so. If you don't want to the sitter to use particular art supplies say so. Every household runs differently, and the sitter has no idea how your household runs unless you tell her. Don't waffle or hedge the issues: just tell her exactly what you want and everyone will be happier.

 

I assume that dd may get messy when with a sitter (playing at the park, doing art projects, whatever) and I don't put her in any "special" clothes. Honestly, I assume that ANYTHING dd wears is liable to get ruined at any time, no matter who's watching her--she's five years old and she makes messes. That's life.  Also, if I were 15-year-old kid babysitting, and the child told me she wanted to use her "special paint," it would not occur to me that the paint was off limit. I WOULD tell the parents if the clothes got stained, so that they could use a stain stick or whatever to treat the clothes. 

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Old 06-19-2011, 02:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for your replies.  You're helping me see this as an honest mistake, which is 100% what I wanted to think of it as.  I do really like the sitters.  I will be more specific about bath stuff in the future.  I just hadn't set any of that stuff up for them, and we don't do much if any soap on DD2's body, and always use conditioner in DD1's hair (but not in DD2's) etc.  No big deal.  I trust them to do the baths, but next time I'll make sure they're set up for it.

 

I'll have to work out what I'm ok with as far as craft supplies go.  The nice paints were put away where they belong, as was the mosaic sticker craft set.  I didn't think to mention them.  They live on those shelves.  We have WALLS of open shelves full of books, toys, craft supplies, etc.  I pointed out our backyard with swingset, sandbox, etc, some favorite toys, some favorite books, the craft table with paper crayons, pajamas and diapers, specific food for dinner, as well as some specific how we do dinner stuff, and suggested they do an after dinner walk like we traditionally do.

 

DD1 knew that using those paints wasn't ok.  She knew dipping brushes in the bottles was absolutely NOT under any circumstances ok (heck, she knows it's not ok to do that with cheap crayola paint).  She knew where the apron was, and that we always put it on her for painting.  DD1 really really likes to experiment with different authority figures.  At play groups she wants ANY other parent to take her to the bathroom, push her on the swing, etc, and she wants me to GO AWAY while the other parent has her.  She craves authority figures who will give her different boundaries than we do, and she wants to talk, ad nauseum, about how so and so let her do thus and such (that we don't) and how so and so didn't let her do thus and such (that we do).  She was quite fascinated by how the sitters insisted she wear panties under her pajamas, had her take a different route than we do on evening walk time, and even let her use the fancy special new paints like that.  However, in the case of the paint, she clearly felt pretty guilty about it.  In large part, I need to look at how to handle this with DD1.  She can't be trusted to "help" the sitters follow our rules.  She wants them to create different rules.


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Old 06-19-2011, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flower of Bliss View Post She was quite fascinated by how the sitters insisted she wear panties under her pajamas, had her take a different route than we do on evening walk time, and even let her use the fancy special new paints like that.


I slept over at a friend's house when I was about 9yo, and she and I were horseplaying before bed....and when her nightie lifted up I noticed she wasn't wearing panties. I was like jaw.gif, although I didn't say anything. Kids are funny....the differences in people's lives can be VERY astonishing. I was nearly a teenager before I realized that my mother, who wears a bra to bed, is rather unusual in that respect.

 

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Old 06-19-2011, 05:30 PM
 
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Um, common sense?? If a kid is wearing clothes that fit, I would assume they are regular clothes. If a neighbor kid came over to your house in t-shirt and shorts, would you just figure it didn't matter if she got paint all over them? I wouldn't. I would try to find a smock or something for her to wear. And I don't care if it was washable paint, the parents still should have been told the clothes were stained. Even washable paint might not come out all the way if it has been sitting around for a couple days. 

 

 

Plus, maybe this is just me, but I think it is weird that a 15 yo has to be trained to babysit three times. We've used a lot of teen sitters (because for some reason, they keep growing up and leaving! *LOL*) and not one of them ever brought her mom along. OP, I'd say if you don't have a good feeling about these people, don't have them back. You've given them 3 times, that seems like enough of a trial to me.

 

 

Not everyone does care about the clothes though.  My kids ONLY have regular clothes.  If they get paint on them then so be it.     If they come over to play with shorts & a shirt on then yeah I will assume that it's okay to get them dirty & that the parents know there is a possibility they will be ruined.  

 

I think it is weird the mom was there too, especially for a 15yo. I could see a 11 or 12yo but not a 15yo.
 

 

 

Quote:
DD1 knew that using those paints wasn't ok.  She knew dipping brushes in the bottles was absolutely NOT under any circumstances ok (heck, she knows it's not ok to do that with cheap crayola paint).  She knew where the apron was, and that we always put it on her for painting.  DD1 really really likes to experiment with different authority figures.  

 

She's also 5 & as you said she likes to do - making new rules.    She probably felt guilty becuase she knew she wasn't supposed to do it but did it anyhow(and probably had alot of fun breaking Mom's rules).

 

Since she does like to get authority figures to make new rules when you aren't around then IMO it is even more important that you set out the rules on what you feel is okay for your family.  It IS okay to have different rules when Mom & Dad are gone, but it should be you setting those rules with the sitter & not the 5yo doing it.

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Old 06-19-2011, 06:55 PM
 
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If you decide you don't want to hire them back, is there a way you could arrange a babysitting co-op? I have a few friends who I rotate childcare with so we all get a date night. One thing I like is that the kids usually go over to the babysitting couple's house, so we don't have to worry about "house rules". It's also fun because the kids get a little playdate for the evening. These are my nearest and dearest friends so I completely trust their judgement. Good luck OP!

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Old 06-19-2011, 07:00 PM
 
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Clearly, you have different standards about what kids can get into and how they can treat their things/clothes, than your sitting family does.  

 

It's natural to feel like your own ways are "right" and obvious.  Ergo, after the mosaic stickers incident, you didn't think it was necessary to say, "Don't worry about it - I'm not upset about you guys using the stickers set.  But in future, our house rule is that art supplies that are out of our kids' reach are there for a reason.  They may be expensive, or we're saving them for a special occasion.  If you're wondering how to entertain the kids, everything over here is fine to get into."  You didn't say that, yet you felt surprised - and that your things were being disrespected - when they got into off-limits art/craft supplies, the next time.

 

As logical as your rules seem to you, it may seem just as logical to the other family that if there are art supplies in a house with kids, it's OK to help the kids reach them and let them go to town, making beautiful creations for you; and that if you have kids and art supplies, you understand that clothes will wind up with paint on them, sometimes.  Maybe this family has never had paint besides washable Crayola and didn't realize how hard it would be, to get the good stuff out of clothes.  And if the kids like to get crazy-messy (or wild and sweaty) when the sitters are there, that likely explains the baths.  

 

If I do say so myself, I was a wonderful babysitter, back in the day.  Parents and kids seemed to love me.  If parents had casually told me, "I don't think the kids will need baths," but then the kids got full of paint, or ran around like crazy and got all sweaty, I would have thought the responsible thing to do would be to go ahead and see that they took baths, esp. if the parents weren't due home until close to/after bedtime.  I also would have thought contacting the parents about this would have been inconsiderate:  it's not an emergency and they hired me because they need some time to themselves, without having to think about things like, "Should we bathe the kids, or not?"  Nor do they want to come home and think, "Great.  Now we have a bunch of work, getting the kids clean."  

 

As a parent, I secretly prefer having my MIL babysit (who takes care of everything that comes up and would only call us if an ambulance were on the way), versus my Mom (who tends to call about every little thing, just to make sure we know...).

 

If your sitters are considerate, then if you make your expectations clear, they will care.  If you are clear and they don't care, THEN drop them.

 

As an aside:  It sounds like your daughter, at least, is telling you:  "Quit decorating (i.e., teasing me) with the best art/craft supplies.  If I can see them/know they're there, I want to USE them!" and "I want to be more free and exploratory with how I use art materials."  In other words, it sounds like - when given the opportunity - she is repeatedly eager to get into the things you don't normally let her use; and also to delve into millions of stickers and mixing colors without authorization...

 

I do understand the wish to keep your nice supplies nice (esp. if they're expensive).  And there's value in teaching your kids to take care of their things.  But there's also value - and a lot of valuable education - in letting them explore.  Mix paint colors until they turn black.  Brainstorm what she could make, if she's surrounded by a sea of little colors and shapes, instead of a sober, reasonable allotment of stickers.  Play without worrying about what gets on her clothes.  Perhaps you could designate junky clothes to wear during crafts (and while your sitters are over); have cheap paint that the kids can mix as they please; and, if you don't want your daughter to covet the expensive art supplies, put them where nobody can see them and don't let her know they're there. 

 

 


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Old 06-20-2011, 09:54 AM
 
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DD1 knew that using those paints wasn't ok.  She knew dipping brushes in the bottles was absolutely NOT under any circumstances ok (heck, she knows it's not ok to do that with cheap crayola paint).  She knew where the apron was, and that we always put it on her for painting.  DD1 really really likes to experiment with different authority figures.  At play groups she wants ANY other parent to take her to the bathroom, push her on the swing, etc, and she wants me to GO AWAY while the other parent has her.  She craves authority figures who will give her different boundaries than we do, and she wants to talk, ad nauseum, about how so and so let her do thus and such (that we don't) and how so and so didn't let her do thus and such (that we do).  She was quite fascinated by how the sitters insisted she wear panties under her pajamas, had her take a different route than we do on evening walk time, and even let her use the fancy special new paints like that.  However, in the case of the paint, she clearly felt pretty guilty about it.  In large part, I need to look at how to handle this with DD1.  She can't be trusted to "help" the sitters follow our rules.  She wants them to create different rules.

My daughter is the same age, and we're going through this, too. I don't think she actively WANTS to move the boundaries so much as she doesn't know where the boundaries are. FWIW, she does the same thing with other people even when we are there, too, like the addition of other people make things different. And, well, sometimes it does, so I can understand why she tests it.

Drives me bonkers, though, because that translates into "DD acting like a super-pickle in front of others when she'd NEVER try that stuff at home." Le sigh. Gotta love her! orngbiggrin.gif

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Old 06-20-2011, 07:46 PM
 
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Welllllllllllllllll,

 

You are a self-proclaimed control freak.  Control freaks have trouble letting go and being okay with.... unpredictable events happening.  The painting issue is annoying, but that's what happens when you let others take care of your house and your kids.  It's fun.  Baby-sitters are supposed to have fun with the kids while keeping them safe.  I think you should put out craft supplies that you are okay with them using.  The bath issue is easy to address.  "She doesn't need a bath tonight" would suffice.  I say..... ease up and realize people are fallible and are not mind-readers.  

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Old 06-20-2011, 08:26 PM
 
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They didn't ask if the kids could paint.

 

Hm. Our babysitters don't have to ask if the kids can paint, or play outside, or take a bath, or eat ice cream... In fact, they mostly know not to call/text unless it's an emergency or they have a burning question.


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Old 06-20-2011, 08:28 PM
 
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 However, in the case of the paint, she clearly felt pretty guilty about it.  In large part, I need to look at how to handle this with DD1.  She can't be trusted to "help" the sitters follow our rules.  She wants them to create different rules.

i think this is GREAT life lesson your dd is learning. all about social boundaries. both her own and others. thumb.gif in this sense you are making her adult life easy for her. to figure out how to get along with all around and when and how to pull a fast one :)
 

 


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Old 06-20-2011, 08:36 PM
 
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My DD is almost 2 and for the last 4 months we have had a few regular times that we have needed sitters (DH is in school).  I encountered many times where different sitters would let DD do/watch/eat things that to me seemed like common sense no-nos.  

I have a baby cheat sheet labeled "DD's Day".  It outlines her basic schedule, no TV, 3 options for each meal ect.  It seemed a little rigid from an outside perspective, but really helped for us.  


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Old 06-20-2011, 08:39 PM
 
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I'm a control freak too...but my kids have free reign on the art/crafts.   Playdoh..fine...but don't mix the colors or else you won't have your pretty sparkly pink anymore!!  However they know to ask if they want to paint or color or whatever.   I have cups and brushes and trays and giant jars of paint and spill proof cups full of paint.  DH and I don't go out much, but when we do.  and the last time we did I specifically told the sitters (15 and 12 yo girls) color, play doh whatever....just no painting.  

I'm also a clothes freak so I would dress my kids in something more "play" for when others are watching them.   And the control freak in me would layout an extra outfit and pj's for the kids too.   just in case.   In fact we just were washing cars and the baby got soaked (we all did) and the same girls were over and offered to change the baby.  I said, sure....anything in the drawers..nothing from the closet.   (CLoset is good clothes and drawers are play and pj's) she comes out with pj's on at 4 pm.  lol  

That being said, I would be upset about the paints...but chalk it up to "I know better for next time"  But I would also be happy with the fact that the kids had fun and were taken care of while I went out.  And that is the most important part IMO.  Mixing colors is fun, and your DD is still little.   sure she knows better....but think of it this way.   Remember when you'd have a subsitute in school?  You KNEW you could get away with more and that you could take advantage of the "new" teacher.  

I'd hire them again, it sounds like they take good care of your kids and the kids had fun and were safe.   And you got couple time with DH.   ;) 


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Old 06-20-2011, 08:59 PM
 
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 As others have mentioned, I think communication is key. 

 

I am a sitter.  I nanny, and have graduate education in child development.  A large part of my job is figuring out what parents want/expect from me as a sitter and from their children during our time together.  And every family is SO DIFFERENT.  If you have feelings about things, you have to tell them, though please be sure to convey your respect, appreciation of them.  As a sitter in someone else's home it is really challenging to balance their expectations with your own philosophies and the ideas/whims of the children present.  

 

Take a few minutes before you leave to make quick comments about what on and off limits (keeping off limits stuff put away makes that easier, you don't want to go through every room and explain every item, so an easy "everything in this play area is fine for the kids, but the things in this closet are not for them to use".  Let them know they can text with questions, even if they seem silly and unimportant.  As far as the baths go, be specific.  They may find baths a good way to keep the kids contained and entertained, it may be something they do nightly, it may be about soothing the kids, they may think you are trying to unburden them by saying the don't have to bathe them.  You can say no baths at all, or just take a few minutes to talk about the routine/products etc.   

 

Also, try and relax.  It's really hard to let someone else take care of your kids, especially if the situation isn't ideal.  But if the kids are happy and safe, and you trust these sitters, try and make it work for everyone. 

 

Good luck!

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