Mothering Forum banner

Do you let people/family members take your child out?

1533 Views 32 Replies 28 Participants Last post by  delicious
My ds is almost 3. I have never let anyone other than dh take him anywhere outside of my home without me, with a few exceptions. My ds is very spirited, runs away, and requires a lotof direction, redirection, and close supervision in any public situations. My MIL always wants to take him out "alone" and now other family relatives, aunts, uncles, close friends, and my mom are asking to take him places such as the zoo, the park, the store. He wants to go with them, however, I always say no. I don't want other people disciplining my child which will undoubtably happen if he goes anywhere where there are other children. He is not always nice to other children. He is often not nice to other children. DH is starting to badger me about loosening up and leaving him with MIL and letting him go with other people. So, what do you mamas do? Do you let other family members take your kids out of your home? At what age did you start? I think it is a different situation to have someone babysit at your house, or to take your child to someone elses house. It's the whole, letting my child get in someone's car, and go out into the big wide world with them that I don't feel comfortable with.
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
For us, I think its kind of an understatement to say we let other people take my son places. We've been doing it since he was about 18 months old.

As we speak, he's almost 4 years old, and he's spending a week with his grandparents about 200 miles from me, near Sacramento. They've also taken him on vacation to southern california for a week at a time. He's gotten to stay at their cousin's house, who has three kids, for a sleep over.

My nanny regularly takes him places like the zoo, children's play groups, or over to her house.

My mom has taken him to New Hampshire. He spends almost every saturday night at her house about 30 minutes away.

Other moms from our preschool take him from school to their houses, and sometimes out for an activity or a snack with their own children. He goes on field trips with his preschool where he rides in other people's cars (in his own carseat).

I think its actually pretty important for him to get guidance and discipline from other sources. If there's something I'm particularly working on (like right now we're working with him on tantrums, and money use), I'll explain it to whoever is going to care for him, and explain what I would do if such-and-such situation comes up. In my son's case, I think its made him a very well rounded child with the ability to listen to all sorts of peoples' input. Its also made him very easy to hand off to others, as he's excited about the new places he's going to go, and knows he has to listen to whomever's in charge cause we won't be there with him.

No judgements or anything, just my 2 cents.
See less See more
They've gone to church & the park (maybe some stores) with their grandma. That's about my limit and even then I worry.
We all can find problems with the things our children do but all children do it.

Your fear should not be that someone other than you will discipline your child but HOW they will discipline. You have to ask your self is if that person's different disciplinary actions going to truly harm the child. We only do supervised visit with some family members because of this. My mil on the other hand gets them with out us batting a eye. I might not agree with all her disciplining ideas but overall I know she will keep them safe and well loved. Please remember because someone disciplines your child it doesn't make it bad. It can reinforce what is right and wrong. Also remember because they discipline differently it doesn't always mean their way is wrong, and your way right.

Another thing many, many kids will act totally different for someone else.
Yes, I should have been more specific. It is how they will discipline my child that worries me. My mother is very kind and gentle, and I do trust her with my children. My MIL on the other hand, beat her children, and still to this day is very emotionally abusive and verbally abusive. She promises that she will be nice to him, but will she really? She is the one that really pressures me to take him alone.
I let family members take Sprogly out. It never occurred to me not to, as long as he's ok with it, and he is. I moved all the way across the country to be near my family, and I trust any one of them to look after him. (My parents occasionally ask when they will be able to take him overnight, but he's still nursing, and they don't push for it.)

Sprogly does tend to run away, but that's the problem of the person taking him out.
Oddly enough, he "behaves" better with others than with me--much more likely to just do as he is asked to do, rather than testing. Usually it's pretty easy to enlist his cooperation. My parents both have the "gentle but firm" thing down, and he responds to that. My sister just lets him do whatever he wants to do, as long as he eats in the kitchen and not on the carpet. :LOL

I'm a single mom, and I think he needs all the attachments he can get. The more people who love and care for him, and who take responsibility for him, the better.
See less See more
I don't understand why so many people don't let their children experience new and different situations with other trusted adults. I am not a big fan of day care where the children are without their parents for 10-12 hours but, play dates, over nights at grandparents are valuable learning experiences. I think my girls have gained so much from their time away from me and I am able to enjoy them more after some time away.
See less See more
How verbal is your child? Will he tell or talk about the outing? I would wait until you know you could ask open ended questions and find out how things go.

Originally Posted by mamapajama
My MIL on the other hand, beat her children, and still to this day is very emotionally abusive and verbally abusive. She promises that she will be nice to him, but will she really?
If your MIL is still that way now, it sounds like you have good reason not to let her take your child.

My stepmother was verbally (and physically, occasionally) abusive with me when I was a child. She's not like that with the grandchildren, though, and she's very gentle with Sprogly. She wasn't like that with her other kids/stepkids, either, but she and I were like oil and water, and I was with her from the age of 9 to 11. I do believe she's changed--I know she regrets how she was with me, and she and I get along well now.

Sprogly's paternal grandma was also abusive with her own children, and not with her grandkids. (She was too sick by the time Sprogly came along for her babysitting him to be an issue, but she had Sprogly's half sister regularly, and I saw no indication that there was ever a problem there.)
See less See more
Zeldabee- I loved your post
. I just wrote a long message explaining why but lost it, too busy to write it again. Maybe latter.
See less See more
My kids act very well when they are with someone else. In fact, my aunt says, "they only whine & get fighting when you come back!!!"

Likely, your little one will be well-behaved with someone else.

If you really don't trust the people, then don't, but I agree with others here that it is good for the kids to be with others, go out with others and experience all of these things.

I trust a few people and they have taken the kids out & it has always been a great experience for everyone.
My kids went with trusted friends and relatives pretty early on (if only for short bits at first because I was nursing etc) I was pretty picky about who they went with, but they did go to the store, park, and etc. My son was very spirited to say the least when he was younger, and I just tried to make sure everyone he went with would be gentle and respectful as they guided him.
It sounds like there are really 2 issue/questions here:

1) do you let family members, friends, etc who you trust take your children out?
Yes I do, all the time. My son is also 3 (3 1/2 to be exact) and I think it is very important to let him experience new things, often things I can not share with him. They may not "discipline" exactly like I do but they also do not violate any of my ideals (spanking, shaming, name calling)

2) do you let family member, friends etc that I don't trust, who have been known abusers in the past, and/or have very different parenting ideals take my son out?
Absolutely not.

But I also have no problem telling them why in a gentle, not threatening way. Would I say "hey MIL, I know for a fact that you beat your kids so there is no way you are getting your grubby hands on my kids!" No. But since your MIL said she "promised she would nice" she obviously knows how you feel and/or know how she is. Instead I would offer to go on a few outings, just the 3 of you, to see how she handles it. And then, ONLY if you are comfortable, maybe you can work up to going to the playground together, you leaving to running some errands and then coming back. I would honestly tell her that she has to EARN your trust.
See less See more
I guess, for me, the problem is that I don't trust anyone with my children

We have loads of family around us. They are here all the time. My children are constantly surrounded by extended family, and are always going on outings with them. It's just dh or I go along too. I don't supervise visits. The kids hang out alone with their grandparents on their 5 acres. I take a nap, or read or whatever. I just haven't felt comfortable with the idea of anyone just taking my oldest out in their car alone. Maybe its just that the people who want to take him are the ones I think are crazy, and untrustworthy. I would let my sister take him, but she lives too far away. All the rest of the family around here are in-laws, and they all think gentle discipline is a ridiculous way to parent.
See less See more
I have a three year old whom I would never let out with anyone-- unless she were strapped to a stroller and not let out, or, if she is being carried without being put down for a second. Because she will run straight out into traffic, will run off with other families, it is a nightmare! I am hoping by the time she is five this will be a thing of the past. *I* am afraid to take her out. She has nearly been hit by a car twice. She has absolutely no idea or concern for her own safety, and doesn't have an ounce of timidness or caution in her. She ran straight into the (cold) Atlantic ocean on Memorial day and was up to her chest by the time I grabbed her.
We only let my mom and dad take L unsupervised. I just don't fully trust anyone else at this point.
My children go on lots of outings without me and have done so pretty much since about 3 mo. old or so. Now, I will say I had to get over any trust issues really early because I work and they have been under other's care since about 6 weeks old. So, my oldest had a nanny starting at about that age and she took him everywhere with her because I think its really important for kids to get out of the house as much as possible. My DD's daycare doesn't go on outings but lots of others have taken her places.

My parents were abusive to me, especially my father. Nonetheless, I will allow them to take both kids whenever and almost whereever. My parents know exactly how I feel about physical discipline and have promised to respect me on this, and so far have done a good job. My mom knows that I still don't quite trust my dad, so she is always around when he is with the kids -- I wouldn't let just him out with the kids at this point, because I know his triggers and I know that, right now, my son is going get them all. That said, he is off to their house without us for a week this summer, though I did draw the line at a week of vacation in another state last winter because it was just too far away and I knew the situation would be stressful for everyone.

While my inlaws were not physically abusive, I don't particularly like the way they talk down to children. And my MIL smokes and won't agree not to do it in her home or out where it is legal to do so. They also aren't as interested in the kids until they are older. Thus, inlaws get much less time with the kids alone, but they aren't asking for it either, so it doesn't cause stress.

For me, its really important that the kids get to see and learn and experience as much as possible. And I can't always be there to do that, so I need others to help. Its important that they learn to navigate the world without me or DH to help all the time. Its important that they learn to work with the style of other parents and relatives. Its important that they see that I trust other poeple so they should too. Its important that they aren't dependent on just their parents and they go freely with other trusted folks. Because of all of that, relatives who know the rules and who I trust to follow them take them as they wish. At the point where they are willing and able, they have playdates and birthday parties without me. They go on preschool outings without me. Babysitters take them to the park, the kids clubhouse, or out to eat without me (though with sitters I insist on my car so I know the car is safe and so are the carseats). For me, all of this is part of raising competent, confident, capable children. How do they learn to do things on their own if we never give them that opportunity?
See less See more
I started letting my dd go alone with my MIL when she was 5. And now MIL is bugging me to let her take my son places (he is almost 3), but I won't let her until he is 5, as well.

If you don't trust her, you don't trust her. Bottom line.
I have no problem with any of my kids' grandparents taking them out. If any of them happened to be people with a history of being abusive then no, I wouldn't let them be under that person's care.
I wouldn't have let my MIL take ds out because I don't think she could have handled him and I didn't trust that she wouldn't try to control behavior thru shaming and the like. Her health isn't the best and she wouldn't have been strong enough to pick him up if neccessary. I did let my brother's friend take ds on an impromptu outing (a walk up to some stores for snacks and to see the fire station) at the age of 2 1/2. The friend has the right personality to deal with my ds and my ds loves and respects him. Ds has also gone to the store with my sister or mom occasionally.
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.