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Hostile Parents Pushing Newbie to Quit!

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  • Hostile Parents Pushing Newbie to Quit!

    Is there a support group for childcare workers that have been verbally abused by parents?! sheesh. Thanks to anyone who reads. Having major imposter syndrome rn.

    New home provider (about 2 years) here. I just had to abruptly terminate siblings, they're amazing but their parents are hostile and manipulative. Really discouraged. I thought working in childcare out of my home would protect me from guys like this.... Long but I just wanna put this out there so maybe someone can relate, or i can look back on this all the wiser.

    tl;dr my lessons learned are to go over the handbook with m&d at first interview; to have a policy of not accepting non-emergency calls during hours; to enforce the rules the first time and not become a doormat!

    I take some responsibility--DCPs frequently lied to my face about their kids being sick, drugged-and-dropped, tried to manipulate me into potty training their kid (more on that), etc but I tried my best to work with them because they were going through tumultuous events like moving house, changing jobs, getting behavioral therapy for DCB because he was a tyrant at home (sweet as pie here i thought it was another one of DCP lies until i saw him unleash on them myself)....for the sake of those DCK, I would pretend I just didn't know they were lying and walking all over me. One time I got petty and closed for them the rest of the week after they brought their kids in sick, claiming everyone else got it (nope just my kid and one other) but I felt so bad about that I couldn't do it again. Looking back on it, I should have just termed at the first few red flags.

    Anyway, they started sending DCB (3.5) in cloth undies because he was apparently potty trained--sure enough, we were playing outside and DCB quietly comes up to me and asked me to give him a diaper because he pooped. I text DCM saying she needs to come pick him up; I've got a full house and I already told them it's logistically impossible for me to clean a blowout in cloth undies during hours (especially when he's supposedly potty trained). Well, minutes later I get a call from DCD, who is furious. Furious enough to insult me, yell at me, tell me I was stupid, and loads of other stuff that make me think 'gee maybe i should have a *text first* policy.'

    Part of me thinks this is them being petty after I declined to help them potty train in the first place (DCD: 'Well how is he ever gonna learn then?!' yes this is his first kid)

    Fun fact about HatParty, I do NOT have the time for angry, demanding men on my phone berating me and insulting me because I'm a childcare worker! I regretted every single time I was cool with them and let them leave their sick, snot-pouring-down-the-face kids at my home after listening to how it was 'allergies.'​

    I let DCM know she needs to find other care, and that when she does I need to terminate her kids because I just can't be around DCD anymore.

    I ended up taking off DCB's clothes and washing him in my shower (still not comfortable using it yet). Poop got everywhere of course, the kids ran amok and also needed cleaning, day was pretty much crashed with no survivors but could have been worse like anything.

    DCM is mad, picks up both her kids, leaves without a word; the kids are goofing around and laughing, they don't notice anything is wrong or weird.
    Her son and I would always say funny goodbyes but that day, he gave me a big hug and said "I love you!" It crushed me. They left and I started just crying, shaking, not just because I was sad to see him go but I was so, so angry that it was because I can't handle being spoken to like DCD did and couldn't take it anymore.

    Immediate next thing DCD texts a group chat between DCM, DCD, and myself, demanding a reimbursement--DCM misunderstood me and told DCD that I was terminating immediately. Either way, they aren't getting their money back . Anyway at the time I'm totally befuddled and am like "you can't even apologize?" Because...idk i guess at that point I was holding out hope DCD was just having a really, really bad day, maybe he got fired, maybe he was like drinking or something and would come to his senses. An apology literally would have smoothed it all over for me, that's how spineless I, was

    Nope. Instead, DCM says she can't believe I'm terminating her kids for an accident. Lying right to my face again, about something I said myself! I reminded her I said I had to term because DCD called me up to be hostile with me and posted what I had messaged her. DCD denied everything and said he just wanted to give his side of the story (bizarre lie but what's new). EVEN THEN I was like "look, I can see them until you guys find someone new, I'll put out feelers for you" and still, she insisted I am discriminating against them somehow because I simply am not comfortable with cleaning poopy underwear, pants, socks, shoes, and DCB in my shower/sink/washer when it was a totally preventable event! DCD insisted I had "humiliated" their son (uh nope absolutely not I didn't call it to attention, i even reassured him that it was okay as I cleaned him...also he's not even 4 yet the second he saw he wasn't in trouble at all he was a happy clam as usual).

    It was so freaky. Both DCPs are close to my age (fresh into our 30s). We have a lot in common, both DCD and myself are military veterans. DCM eventually tried to say that's just how DCD is when he's 'concerned' I do fear for that woman...but he wasn't even asking for a reimbursement genuinely, it's like he was just upset and angrily lashing out, ultimately at the expense of their kids, which breaks my heart. I know I did the right thing to myself and the other kids to term, but I don't feel like I did the right thing--I feel like I should have just taken the abuse to spare those kids yet another stressful change in routine.

    So now I'm printing off my fave pics of them to send in a separation package, and find that when I say "I'll miss having DCB and DCG so much, we had lots of fun!" I just mean it so deeply. I don't know how many more incidents like this I can take. I've read other folks here say sometimes, their first couple years were wild but things mellowed out when they got better at filtering problem families, but I'm afraid I'll just never develop that radar. *sigh*

  • #2
    I am heading into year four. My first two years were awful! I was opening all the time, I bent over backwards for people to please them and I was burnt out. Frankly, I’m only doing this because I have the freedom to take time off when I want to and I make great money doing it.

    I learned to stand up for myself, stop trying to people please and run my business so it works for me and my family, not anyone else.


    • #3
      I've been a provider for 27 years and while my backbone still could be stronger, it definitely has become firmer over the years. While you probably won't be able to weed out every problem family, your radar does get better at picking up red flags and you do have a better understanding of what you will and won't be willing to put up with from a parent or child. The lessons you learned because of your experience with this family will serve you well. Definitely go over your parent handbook with parents during the interview. They won't be able to claim they didn't know your policies because you'll know you covered them all. It's not easy, but it's also definitely easier in the long run if you enforce rules right away. If you let parents slide on something, they start to think the rules don't apply to them. I don't always follow my own advice when it comes to this but I almost always regret it when I don't.

      It's hard to lose kids you love when it's the parent who is causing the problem but it sounds as though you've been heading toward termination for awhile now, given the parents' behavior. I think you were beyond generous to offer to keep the kids until the parents found other care. (In the future, though, I'd recommend that you give a deadline - like 2 weeks or whatever you might have in your parent handbook - unless you feel the parent could pose a danger to you or the kids. If you leave the date open, they may never actually look for another provider and you could be stuck in an uncomfortable situation for longer than you want.) Never, ever regret standing up for yourself under the circumstances you've described, though. In my opinion, you had every right to term because of the way dcd spoke to you and because both parents had been disregarding other policies, as well. As bad as you might feel about the kids' having to deal with another stressful change to their routine, you didn't cause this and you don't have to accept a parent's abusive behavior for any reason.

      Personally, I don't allow kids to wear underpants until I am sure they can remain accident free in my daycare home. They wear either pull-ups or they wear pull-ups or diapers over cloth underwear for the first couple of weeks. There are way too many distractions here and when the kids are new to potty training and having fun with their friends, they don't always pay attention to the signals their bodies are sending. Parents who have never done daycare or don't have multiple kids of their own often don't grasp how difficult it can be to clean one child who has had an accident while trying to supervise the other kids in care. As I just explained to the dad of one of my newly trained kids who still has accidents here and there, "I don't need the stress of trying to clean one child up as I'm trying to keep 5 others from trying to splash in or lick up the puddle he just made on my floor." Been there, done that. Not doing it again if I can help it.


      • HatParty
        HatParty commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you for your input!! I've definitely learned a lot from this and updated my handbook accordingly. I've been thinking about calling licensing for advice about best practices regarding the whole situation just to put doubts at ease.

    • #4
      I know the old saying is 'what we allow is what happens' but it's hard. I had two moms get into it years ago about dating one of the husbands in HIGH SCHOOL, YES HIGH SCHOOL Ended up, one left as I wouldn't do any terming for either Hang in there! I'm still working on the backbone like the others but I'm much better at it; usually, though, I reach my end-point and usually term for something minor as I've had ENOUGH....make sense? What is going on currently is a generational-thing; every day is a MONDAY and I miss the old days where I may not have been so strong with a contract but people were genuine and had some respect-agreement about them. TODAY things is so different! Hang in there everyone!


      • HatParty
        HatParty commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks for the reassurance <3 I love helping my underserved community out and don't want to call it quits and go back to an office just yet. Really don't like to admit it, but yes we late Millennials (late 20s/early 30s) seem to have serious issues when it comes to just treating others with respect :/ the word gets thrown around a lot these days but it's like there's a narcissism pandemic or something

      • Annalee
        Annalee commented
        Editing a comment
        Good analysis HatParty.

    • #5
      My first few years were awful. I have some stories too. I have never really loved this actually, but it did get better in some ways, remained the same in others, but ultimately I changed the most. You grow some experience and become smarter and that is all in your favor.


      • HatParty
        HatParty commented
        Editing a comment
        Relatable. The part I love that I thought would be 60% of my job is actually more like 25-30%, most of my job is managing parent relationships and managing stuff with my taxes and other administrative things *sigh*