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  • The last straw

    I'm a mother of 3 with two little ones at home, 2 yrs and 6 months, and recently started watching a 15 month old at my home. This is my first experience running an "unlicensed daycare" out of my home. She's been with me for a month and a half, and I feel like I'm out of my mind. During the initial interview, her parents revealed she needed to he rocked to sleep at nap time, but they were eager to learn how to get her to fall asleep on her own and would be willing to work together towards that goal. They also revealed they might need a few hours on weekends occasionally, which I begrudgingly agreed to.

    Since she's been here, her parents have made NO efforts to work on ANY type of sleep training method, even a "no cry" type. They don't even keep her evening sleeping on schedule and don't maintaun a bedtime routine. This takes 20-40 minutes if feeding her a warmed bottle, then vigorously standing and rocking to get her to sleep. If she wakes, she's up, unless I want to hold her while she sleeps an additional 30-60in in my arms. I've been extremely lenient, waiting for the parents to get on board with the transition, but I think I've just taught the little girl I can be manipulated as easily as they can. The few times I have set her down groggy, she pops up and shrieks into a hysteria. I've tried checking on her every 10 minutes for an hour, but I need to put my foot down and let her CIO.

    Her parents agreed to pack a lunch, but all they provide is a bottle of milk, which is the only thing she drinks from, an apple juice, and a puréed food or yogurt. Her mom only spoon feeds her at home. She watches my son happily eat his finger foods and prefers to share his lunch. I don't understand why they wouldn't want to encourage her progress. Plus she's already having 2 loose stools a day at my house alone, so am hesitant to give Apple juice.

    She is never allowed to fuss even slightly at home, and anytime she encounters conflict she whines and cries. From anything like the cabinet not opening due to a child lock, to not wanting to slide down the stairs on her own, to a toy being slightly out of reach. That's nanagable but annoying.

    I think I could handle the childs faults if that's all it was. The parents work schedule has exceeded my hours by over an hour with no discussion. They needed weekends for 4 wks straight. They cancelled a week with no notice. And it doesn't matter what time they say they'll arrive, it's always 20-80 minutes off. I asked them to text 15 before they arrive, and if they do, it's maybe 1-2 min before. And the mother doesn't knock, she just walks into my home. So I dont even have a knock to warn me of their arrival.

    But yesterday, her mother informed me that she'd like me to continue the progress they've made on potty training. And by "training," I mean that she wants me to bring her into the bathroom every few hours, pull down her pants and remove her diaper, place her on the potty chair, hand her a glass of water, then make a SHHHHHHH noise with my mouth.

    I can't take it anymore. is there even any use in putting my foot down? It hasn't worked with asking her to text or arrive on time. How much of an excuse do I have to give when I tell her to find a new daycare? Or should I channel all of my strength and try to teach her how I want her to behave (applicable to the child AND the mother)?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Unregistered View Post
    I'm a mother of 3 with two little ones at home, 2 yrs and 6 months, and recently started watching a 15 month old at my home. This is my first experience running an "unlicensed daycare" out of my home. She's been with me for a month and a half, and I feel like I'm out of my mind. During the initial interview, her parents revealed she needed to he rocked to sleep at nap time, but they were eager to learn how to get her to fall asleep on her own and would be willing to work together towards that goal. They also revealed they might need a few hours on weekends occasionally, which I begrudgingly agreed to.

    Since she's been here, her parents have made NO efforts to work on ANY type of sleep training method, even a "no cry" type. They don't even keep her evening sleeping on schedule and don't maintaun a bedtime routine. This takes 20-40 minutes if feeding her a warmed bottle, then vigorously standing and rocking to get her to sleep. If she wakes, she's up, unless I want to hold her while she sleeps an additional 30-60in in my arms. I've been extremely lenient, waiting for the parents to get on board with the transition, but I think I've just taught the little girl I can be manipulated as easily as they can. The few times I have set her down groggy, she pops up and shrieks into a hysteria. I've tried checking on her every 10 minutes for an hour, but I need to put my foot down and let her CIO.

    Her parents agreed to pack a lunch, but all they provide is a bottle of milk, which is the only thing she drinks from, an apple juice, and a puréed food or yogurt. Her mom only spoon feeds her at home. She watches my son happily eat his finger foods and prefers to share his lunch. I don't understand why they wouldn't want to encourage her progress. Plus she's already having 2 loose stools a day at my house alone, so am hesitant to give Apple juice.

    She is never allowed to fuss even slightly at home, and anytime she encounters conflict she whines and cries. From anything like the cabinet not opening due to a child lock, to not wanting to slide down the stairs on her own, to a toy being slightly out of reach. That's nanagable but annoying.

    I think I could handle the childs faults if that's all it was. The parents work schedule has exceeded my hours by over an hour with no discussion. They needed weekends for 4 wks straight. They cancelled a week with no notice. And it doesn't matter what time they say they'll arrive, it's always 20-80 minutes off. I asked them to text 15 before they arrive, and if they do, it's maybe 1-2 min before. And the mother doesn't knock, she just walks into my home. So I dont even have a knock to warn me of their arrival.

    But yesterday, her mother informed me that she'd like me to continue the progress they've made on potty training. And by "training," I mean that she wants me to bring her into the bathroom every few hours, pull down her pants and remove her diaper, place her on the potty chair, hand her a glass of water, then make a SHHHHHHH noise with my mouth.

    I can't take it anymore. is there even any use in putting my foot down? It hasn't worked with asking her to text or arrive on time. How much of an excuse do I have to give when I tell her to find a new daycare? Or should I channel all of my strength and try to teach her how I want her to behave (applicable to the child AND the mother)?
    Ok in all honesty...I stopped reading your post half way through....

    You are being taken advantage of and BIG TIME! I wouldn't even bother trying to "fix" anything if the parents aren't trying. I would NEVER be willing to take on more than 50% of the responsibility for a child that is not mine.

    I think you should advertise for another client and term this one. Whew! I think you are a saint for putting up with it this long!!

    :hug::hug:

    Comment


    • #3
      Ugh! These parents sound very difficult.
      Can you find a replacement easily? Do you need the money?

      I think you might be able to turn this around by really putting your foot down, but most likely there will always be some issue with these parents.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Blackcat31 View Post
        Ok in all honesty...I stopped reading your post half way through....

        You are being taken advantage of and BIG TIME! I wouldn't even bother trying to "fix" anything if the parents aren't trying. I would NEVER be willing to take on more than 50% of the responsibility for a child that is not mine.

        I think you should advertise for another client and term this one. Whew! I think you are a saint for putting up with it this long!!

        :hug::hug:
        If you can't or don't want to term, I'd give them a 2 week probation and say 'ok folks, party's over, this is MY business and this is how I'm now running it.' Well, you get the idea. Trouble is, IMO, neither one of you are acting like it's your business. Decide what you want to work with, discuss with dcm and if she still doesn't comply, then do look for a better fit. She's more worried about potty training than getting her dd to self soothe to sleep? Priorities wouldn't mesh with mine at all.
        Oh and neither would weekend hours work for me!! I feel like you may have given them way too much leeway in the beginning and now they're using your kindness to walk all over you. Stop letting it happen if you are feeling resentful, have changed your mind, etc. Back up and let them know how it's going to be from now on.

        Comment


        • #5
          So they are trying to potty learn a child who doesn't wat solid foods?
          Oh wow.
          Yeah. No.
          And lock your door. If she's banging on it let her know (by text) that you will be down to u lock it in a bit. That she didn't text so you aren't ready for her. Then make her wait.
          So much more I want to say... But I'll hush.

          Comment


          • #6
            I personally would be done. But if you're going to continue with them or continue providing care for others use this as a learning experience. You've identified what you want to change, make policies around those. Good black and white ones. Write it all up and have them (or a new family) sign it. Let them know what will happen if they break them. My first family was like this, took advantage of me all the time. I just wanted to "help" so I allowed it to go on way too long. Sucks to have to go through it but it really does help with the next family you get in!

            Comment


            • #7
              Do you have a handbook or contract?If not, make one. There is plenty of advice and examples on this site. If so, highlight the policies that they need to adhere to and give a 2 week probation. Set clear hours and lock your door. It sounds like they are taking advantage of you. If this relationship doesn't work out then take the opportunity to learn from it for future clients. Set clear rules and hold them to them. I'm sorry you are going through this. Good luck!

              Comment


              • #8
                THANK GOD!
                I felt like I was going nuts, thinking this family was testing me. It's hard to find that line between being flexible and being a total pushover.

                I think I'd have to be an absolute ball buster to get them to stop treating me so poorly. And I'd rather just say goodbye.

                Is there any way to do that politely?

                Comment


                • #9
                  I don't think this is a good fit. You need more weekend care than I am able to provide. Your child may be a better fit with a nanny to help with her sleep schedule, eating and potty training.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'm sorry, but this isn't working out the way I had hoped. I believe it's best for everyone if we part ways. Your last day will be XX. Thanks so much for allowing me to care for you little one!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Unregistered View Post
                      THANK GOD!
                      I felt like I was going nuts, thinking this family was testing me. It's hard to find that line between being flexible and being a total pushover.

                      I think I'd have to be an absolute ball buster to get them to stop treating me so poorly. And I'd rather just say goodbye.

                      Is there any way to do that politely?
                      I'd go with something like this:

                      "Dear DCF

                      While I have enjoyed caring for your child, I am regretfully submitting my notice of termination and will no longer be able to provide care for your daughter after March xx, 2015.

                      At this time, I need to make some changes for the benefit of my family so please rest assured this decision was not made lightly and I will miss Janie but still need to put my family first.

                      Thank you for your understanding in this matter.

                      Sincerely,

                      Provider"


                      Add whatever date you are willing to continue on until...

                      I know it's probably not the whole truth but it's close and honestly there is NO one right or wrong way to term....you just need to make it as smooth as possible as no family wants to hear you are terming them so it's rarely taken well.

                      Just be vague, stand your ground and remember it IS what's best for your family.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Other than termination - make a policy handbook, go over it page by page with the parents, have them sign and enforce every single thing. Remember- you don't work for anyone but yourself so make the rules as YOU see fit. If they don't agree then terminate.
                        They are walking all over you, stand up for yourself or your gonna go crazyyyyyyy! Just walking in? No way! I always lock my door.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Blackcat31 View Post
                          Ok in all honesty...I stopped reading your post half way through....

                          You are being taken advantage of and BIG TIME! I wouldn't even bother trying to "fix" anything if the parents aren't trying. I would NEVER be willing to take on more than 50% of the responsibility for a child that is not mine.

                          I think you should advertise for another client and term this one. Whew! I think you are a saint for putting up with it this long!!

                          :hug::hug:

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I don't honestly think that there is anything you can do at this point that would fix this. I would do just as BC said,, term using her letter.

                            I think that everyone of us on here can agree that it takes time to build a backbone in this business. You need to have written rules and policies but even more important, you need take action and enforce them.

                            i had a PHB for years before i had a backbone and it was not worth the paper it was printed on....Until I learned to build a backbone and use it, I had issues just like you are having now.

                            it truly is a learned skill....

                            stick around the form, register and get to know all of us, you will have lots of support on how to do both back bone and PHB.....

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