Babysitters Rules vs. Grandma's Rights

I am in a predicament that I really need advice on. I babysit my 6 month old Granddaughter and her brother (age 6) who is home-schooled. I don't agree with the home schooling situation but he is my grandson by marriage and therefore I try to keep my opinion to myself. 6 hour days can get long when a child gets bored of his own toys and I often bring games or toys to play with him for a change of normal routine.

Last week I was told in no uncertain terms that NO MORE TOYS were to be brought, the excuse being lack of space to keep them. I take them home and keep them in my car to avoid conflict. I do not feel that I am wrong and have the right to bring them as long as I don't leave them. As if this was not discouraging enough,their mother (my Daughter-in-law) now INSISTS that I not rock the baby to sleep at naptime. Maybe I'm just too opinionated, but I feel that I have the right to make the call on that, since I am with them 5 days a week to save them the high cost of Daycare.

Ad


We have actually had words over these issues and even though they are small ones, it puts my son in the middle and adds stress to an already OVERLOADED Dad who does more than his share of cooking, cleaning, laundry and childcare. This really has me tore up and for his sake I feel that maybe I don't need to be the caregiver as I cannot cope with her attitude towards my methods of dealing with the children. My head tells me to get out of the picture but my HEART tells me to stay for my Grandchildren's sake.

I would appreciate advice, but please, this involves my family, and is an extremely sensitive issue. If I am wrong I am woman enough to admit I am and correct the problem. How should I handle the situation?

Sharon,Ky

Flag
October 4, 20050 found this helpful
Best Answer

What a tough situation!! It sounds like she might resent you being able to stay with her children when she has to go off to work. This sounds like a power struggle as to "who's the better mother" here.

I would start by praising as many things as possible that she does while still being sincere. Brag her up a little in front of others if you can.

You needn't mention to her that you rocked the baby to sleep. Personally I think you would both find that restful during the middle of the day and she doesn't need to know about it.

Regarding the toy situation, I would leave that alone for awhile. Don't bring them over or ask her advice as to what she would suggest you buy your grandson for his next birthday. Again keep in mind she may feel jealous that you can provide her son extras (toys and time) that she can't provide him because she's at work.

The bottom line here is that you need to keep this relationship as positive as possible for all involved...you, your son, the grandkids, and even your daughter-in-law.

Do give yourself an out though. If the above doesn't work and she continues to criticize constantly, just tell the kids you will need a break from daycare (cite age, health, etc.) and let them foot the bill for awhile. Believe me, they will really appreciate grandma after that!!

Good luck with this. You are a very special person for wanting to help out. Know that others recognize that!!

Ad
ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Flag
October 4, 20050 found this helpful
Best Answer

I, too, watched my granddaughters on a daily basis until school was in order. I've always watched them all night Wed nights, and often when asked or I ask to take them. My DIL recently commented on how she never asked or concerned herself about my "handling" them, etc. She wondered if that made her a bad mother or if she just trusted me totally. She decided she trusted me..her girls run to me as soon as they see me. It's a tough call for you and maybe a hard descision has to be made. Hang in there, the kids would miss you terribly.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Flag
October 4, 20050 found this helpful
Best Answer

Homeschooling is a choice parents make because they want to teach their kids-its not fair to expect an unpaid "grandma" to do it. Perhaps the 6 yr old needs to go to school where he will have lots of learning as well as new and stimulating activities to do everyday with teacher and peers. Then, when he gets home you can play with him, read to and with him, help with homework, talk to and listen to him.

As long as the care you are giving these children is safe and loving, and appropriate, and it sure sounds like it is, DIL needs to back off, or pay for a caregiver to whom she can dictate her wishes.

Your son should be the one to go to with this first, and decide together whether he alone or both of you together want to broach it to her. You are being taken advantage of, but it would be best for you to set some boundaries.

Unless you are engaging in behavior that harms these children, DIL needs to appreciate what you are doing for them or, you should make your services available only on special occasions or something like a weekly date nite for them. She will never find more loving care for her kids than you, and certainly not for free or little money, and it is unlikely she will find anyone willing to "homeschool" her son. Since she isn't doing it anyway, he might be better off in school!

Ad
ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Flag
October 5, 20050 found this helpful
Best Answer

Let me clarify my statement about homeschooling.I do not do it,the Mother does when she's at home from work. He certainly is not behind other children. He actually is far advanced most his age.She is a great Mother as far as the new baby is concerned.She's just one of these "No extra Maintenence" mothers.I brought games because he and I love to play them when the baby is not needing my attention.I never had the advantage of a loving Grandmother.The only one I knew was an old grouch that we all dreaded to see come for a visit.So I try extra hard to be a fun loving role model for my Grandchildren.Her complaint about rocking the baby is that my doing it makes them have to do it as well.She says that she wants the baby to learn that when it is laid in the bed that it is time to sleep.Which makes sense,but on occasions one doesn't want to be laid down and walked away from.In keeping children you have to deal with the situation as it arises many times.ALL IN ALL---There's a world of difference in being a PAID BABYSITTER and being a GRANDMOTHER.My mother did things which made me feel incompetent in my early years of childraising,but I had respect enough to keep my frustrations to myself and appreciate the help she gave me.Thanks for all the kind advice.I'm sure that we'll work through this but as for the moment I'm feeling very discouraged.My Family is--and has always been--my LIFE, and I want to help raise happy,well adjusted Grandchildren.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Flag
October 7, 20050 found this helpful
Best Answer

I have decided what I'm going to do.I read in the local paper that volunteers are needed by the Red Cross to help with aid to Hurricane relief projects.It's a three week period and there's nothing more beneficial I could do with my time.My two still at home are 20 & 24 and they both work full time jobs and will make out fine in my absence.The grandchildren will have to be put in Daycare but this will be a rewarding experience for me,folks there may need and appreciate help.This is the first time in MY children's lives that Mom hasn't been there, but hey--I figure I've earned the right to do what I feel in my heart is the right thing to do.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Flag
October 4, 20050 found this helpful

I feel sorry for you. Your family is lucky to have a grandma to take care of the kids rather than sending them to day care. Maybe you should take a few weeks "vacation" and your daughter-in-law will have to put the children in some type of day care. I'm not sure day care would take care of the home schooling situation for the 6 year old though. If all this fails, to save your sanity and for peace of mind for all, you might have to give notice and offer to be available occasionally to babysit in the evening so Mom and Dad can get out. Good Luck!

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Flag
October 4, 20050 found this helpful

Hi Sharon, You are one special lady and have shared so much with us over time. I bet your daughter-in-law feels inadequate. Maybe not rocking the baby to sleep is because the baby won't go to sleep without rocking at night and she doesn't have the time to do it. IF there is any lady able to solve this "tight rope act", I know it is you. Hang in there, even if it is by your fingernails. We all love you!

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Flag
October 4, 20050 found this helpful

I think you need to stop babysitting except on special occassions. I agree with the toys and rocking and your opinions on those issues. I can't imagine the harm in rocking and holding a child until it goes to sleep. But since your DIL doesn't seem to appreciate the loving way you are caring for the children then apparently she needs to PAY someone else to professionally do it for her. Believe you me if I had someone like you when mine were little I would have been grateful enough to not worry about picking up a few toys and whether a baby needed rocking to go to sleep.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Flag
October 4, 20050 found this helpful

Being a homeschooling mom, I am curious who is doing the actual homeschool teaching if you are there every day?

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
October 4, 20050 found this helpful

If you want to remain close with the family there isn't much you can do but go along with the rules. I side with your opinion but each woman has the right to run her home the way she believes best. Grit your teeth and stay and abide her rules, or bow out of doing such a huge favor for a while. But even though I agree she is being overly bossy, her children, her home, her rules. Best of luck to you.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Flag
October 4, 20050 found this helpful

I homeschool but I stay home with my child, I do not expect her grandmother to do it. If that child is old enough for school, his mother should send him and not excpect you to keep him. If she wants to homeschool him, she needs to stay home with him. I think what she is doing is inexcusable. You are definitely NOT in the wrong and you have my sympathy. I hope this situation works out for you. Best wishes.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
October 5, 20050 found this helpful

I'd think your DIL would appreciate the assistance without the cost. I agree with the suggestion posted to back down from watching the kids for a while. There aren't many "day-care centers" that will keep a 6 year old, except for before and after school care. And I can guarantee she won't have to worry about anyone rocking her 6 month old. It's a bad situation, but if you aren't able to do something, it'll probably get worse.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Flag
October 5, 20050 found this helpful

I have been a nanny to two young children for almost two years now. I began taking caring of them when the baby was only about 2 months old. I could not get her to sleep or do anything without rocking her. But I noticed that the parents told me I didn't need to do it. My guess is the same as someone else said, its because they didn't want to have to do it. I believe that is what your DIL's problem is. A pattern is going to get started where you rock the baby and do not let the little boy play with toys all day. And my guess is, that is all your DIL wants to do. She doesn't want to rock the baby and she wants the boy to play with toys so she doesn't have to worry about him. I have the same problem with the parents of the two I take care of. They give the little boy a pachiper just to keep him quiet. When he is with me, I take it away and all he wants to do is talk! Its those things that are stimulating! Take it from your heart. Stick up for your grandchildren and you. They need to be nurtured, not just left alone to cry or play and be bored. And you do not deserve to be disrespected. You are saving them money. I still do not understand who is providing the homeschooling. I think your DIL needs a wake-up call. Keep doing a good job! Its something my boyfriend tells me everyday! And its true. I know I am the ones that the kids behave for most of the time and they love to be with me. And its because I don't buy them with toys and I don't just throw things to them and tell them to go away. Follow your heart!

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Flag
October 5, 20050 found this helpful

it sounds as if you've expressed your opinions and concerns to your DIL, but now the final dicision belongs to her and your son. they need to be in agreement as a team on how they want they're children raised. and then you can decide if it's something you can abide with on a daily basis (like any babysitter, paid or not , would have to do). your DIL sees you as an employee (albeit an unpaid one) and she is not seeking input, just compliance with her rules. she may feel guilty that she cannot be there herself to do it and feels if you do it the way she would that it's the next best thing to her being there herself.

i would caution you about going behind DIL's back with your child rearing practices, b/c a 6y.o. will listen/observe adn tattle; and you could risk losing access to your gr-children all together.

if your DIL feels this strongly on certain subjects she must have reasons try to find out what they are. a little understanding goes a long way in making things sit better within ones' self.

if you threaten to stop babysitting if you can't do it your way, you will lose.

try buying her a book relating to some of your parening ideas.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Flag
October 6, 20050 found this helpful

Truth is you can tell yourself well its her home her kids I will go by her rules but if you are uncomfortable with them and dont agree with them you will never be completely satisfied. That is not to say break her rules. I think that you should only babysit occasionally. Then following her rules will be easier to handle. I understand she homeschools but most moms who do that dont work. Maybe she should think about putting him in school. But thats not your problem. I have a family matter myself I am trying to work out without making a rift in the family because family is very important to me also. But one of my biggest problems and it may be a problem for you also is if I dont say what is bothering me then it just builds up and one day it will explode. As much as you want to be there for your grandkids dont be there every day if it makes you unhappy.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
October 7, 20050 found this helpful

Being that they are only your grandchildren you should respect your daughter-in-laws wishes and do as she wants with HER children. I can understand she not wanting you to rock the baby to sleep anymore, they do get depended on that and it's the only way to put them to sleep. Not fun at 2 a.m. I don't see her point with the toys though, since you are taking them back with you, and if the kids aren't giving her a hard time about the toys once they're gone. I think that you should do as your daughter-in-law wishes though. Having gone through mother-in-law conflicts myself, I can tell you it will make it much easier on all of you to do as she wants. They are her children and she has her own ways of wanting to do things. I'm sure this causes problems between her and your son too. It's hard for a mother to realize that her child is the parent and has to do things their own way and not how she wants it done anymore. I hope everything works out between the two of you. The way my mother-in-law and I do it is, if one does something the other doesn't like we let it be known then, because I'm sure you know yourself that holding it in only makes it worse when it does come out. Best of luck to you!

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
October 7, 20050 found this helpful

My 2 cents: You're too nice and there too often, you deserve some respect. Maybe they'll appreciate you more if you're not always so "handy" to have around. I only say this because I occasionally clash with MY mother-in-law on issues, but I also realize she is doing us a great service by watching the kids, and some things need to give way for us to get along (ie, the toys). Take a break, you'll always love your grandkids, but I'm sure there's things you want and can do also. Maybe they'll come to their senses??? Best wishes. :)

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Flag
October 11, 20050 found this helpful

Hi Sharon.

Wow this is a tough one.

First and foremost you are the Grandma first. Maybe it's time for you,son and DIL sit down and discuss what DIL's parenting exactly involves and what you are willing to accept and do. The bottom line is you ALL need to agree to disagree. They are her children therefore the final say is hers in my opinion. If you do not agree then you must decide between being the children's babysitter or Grandmother if you cannot accept her rules in parenting. Yes I do believe she needs to give you the gratitude and respect you deserve in caring for your son and DIL's children. You are so wonderful to do so. I never had help. So I feel DIL doesn't know exactly how GREAT she has it. Sounds like most of your disagreements are resolvable. You all need to communicate rather than disagree. This means your son needs to be part of this equation. Not as a neutral. He needs to be support for wife and communicate his parenting wishes also. That's a big problem between communicating when there is a disagreement. Everyone needs to be involved to disguss a solution. In defense of homeschooling, I know your why your DIL homeschools. Her beliefs and reasons are her parenting choice. Besides what the system was when you were a parent is unfortunately all to different, in fact it is sad. Music and God is being striped away as we speak. It's a crime. And parental topics are being taught out of the home. A whole different topic in itself. I hope you and your son, DIL can come to some agreement and appreciate each other rather than question each others opinions thoughts and realize there is a solution for every situation. God Bless you in everyway you are there for your son, DIL and for the children. Grandparents in my opinion are a precious gift to children and we as parents always need to involved them in our children's lives.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Flag
November 22, 20050 found this helpful

Jeez! I can't believe some of the naive comments posted about this! Do any of these people even have children? Or are they just busybody relatives? There will always be problems with views people have on raising kids. Ultimately, it is up to the PARENT to decide. You need to back off and let her raise her kids. I'm sure she appreciates your help, but nobody appreciates being told how to raise their own kids. If you sabotage her rules, you'll lose as she'll no longer want you around. I'm sure there's a lot you're not telling us, there always is. We don't know her story, only yours. Maybe the kids need to start relying on themselves for entertainment, not expecting a new present every time you turn up. Kids are simple-minded and quickly become spoiled as they associate this as an expectation. They need to develop their own skills- drawing, playing with existing toys and others, etc. If you are a caring grandmother, respect her wishes. I've seen children become 'needed' to be rocked, then chuck tamtrums and refuse to sleep if they don't get it. Your DIL is correct in stating what she needs. Are you sure you're not deliberately sabotaging your DIL's reationship with the child by wanting to refuse her rules and do things your way? I've seen it done before because the elder person is controlling and jealous of the daughter's relationship. Grandma feels left out and wants to be needed. By the way, I know you won't want to hear this, so before you start saying I don't know what I'm talking about because you reject what I'm saying, I'd like to point out that I'm both a mother of 3 and a child psychologist.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
June 6, 20060 found this helpful

I think you need to get out of the situation. Nothing is worse then conflicts with family.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
April 23, 20160 found this helpful

The children may be your grandchildren but you aren't their parent. I babysit for a living. I do not always agree with what the parents want me to do or not want me to do but it is their decision. You should respect them. The friction between you and the parents are negative and children pick up on it.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
November 14, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

But she is an unpaid babysitter. Sounds to me like the problem is not the rules but the lack of respect. As long as the kids are safe, mother needs to give grmother some latitude. It isn't easy watching kids all day. & the kids are not going to be catered to when they are in daycare.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

Add your voice! Click below to comment. ThriftyFun is powered by your wisdom!

Related
In This Article
A grandfather playing blocks with his granddaughter.
Advice for Grandparents Providing Daycare
Categories
Parenting BabyOctober 4, 2005
Guides
Large Kitchen Fire
Preventing Kitchen Fires
Family playing games.
Posting House Rules
A woman wearing a bike helmet.
Teaching Bike Safety
Teen Babysitter Playing Dominoes with Child
Advice for Teen Babysitters
More
🎉
New Years Ideas!
🎄
Christmas Ideas!
Facebook
Pinterest
YouTube
Contests!
Newsletters
Ask a Question
Share a Post
You are viewing the desktop version of this page: View Mobile Site
© 1997-2016 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Published by . Page generated on December 6, 2016 at 12:14:09 PM on 10.0.1.227 in 7 seconds. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of ThriftyFun's Disclaimer and Privacy Policy. If you have any problems or suggestions feel free to Contact Us.
Loading Something Awesome!