Annoyed at Friend re. slander of childminder

(65 Posts)
Keychain Wed 09-Jan-13 09:46:13

My DS adores his CM and so do my DH and I. she is warm, encouraging, caring, nurturing, etc. Our DS has come on leaps and bounds and has been with her for a year and half, and she will have DS2 once my maternity leave is up.
Friend asked about her and I recommended CM for her DD. Problem is all the things i love about CM, (i.e. she does lots of messy play, interactive things, they spend a lot of time outdoors, visit farms/ woods/ beach etc) my friend hates and after placing her child with CM for a few months removed her complaining she always came home with dirty clothes in her bag (CM changes the childrens clothes if they get dirty etc) and she didn't like the activities CM did. I thought fair enough, horses for courses and it was her choice.
However I have now started to get really angry that she constantly slags my CM off and my decision to place DCs there. She says CM doesn't keep them safe and does activities children shouldn't do. she doesn't understand why I place my DC there and doesn't think I should. She does this very publicly, i.e. baby/toddler groups etc, and I find myself getting very defensive of my decisions and CM.
I know daily where my son goes and what he does, I am given a plan of the day every morning and an update every evening when DS comes home with a beaming smiling chattering about what wonderful new experiences he has had. CM is rated as outstanding with Ofsted and I don't have a bad word to say about her. CM has had DC since he was 6mths and never done anything which I consider as not appropriate. I feel friend is now exaggerating things to justify her decision to move her DC and unfairly criticising CM and me, as well as being slanderous of CM. CM doesn't deserve this and I feel responsible. I don't think CM has heard what friend has been saying as she has never raised it with me, but she is also professional and not a gossip so I don't know if she would anyway.
How can I stop this without it being to confrontational, as I hate confrontation!

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Wed 09-Jan-13 09:51:50

well... I've been your friend, used a CM a friend LOVED (and is still in touch with years after using her) and she was AWFUL IMO, I feel so guilty for leaving him there

When you get childcare wrong it really does feel awful and I can understand your friend wanting to warn people before they go through discovering that they made a very bad choice with their child's childcare - its the worst feeling in the world!

its something people will feel very strongly about, so I don't think there's any middle ground other than just not discussing childcare with or around this friend at all, and if you need to say "we will never agree on this so if we are to spend time together it's probably a subject we should avoid"

Keychain Wed 09-Jan-13 09:56:48

I get what you are saying but I suppose the issue is I have no problem with the fact she didn't like the form of childcare, what I have issue with is she has changed her tune to saying the children are not kept safe. she has no basis for this arguement and no evidence and for a childminder it is very damaging. And with that she is suggesting I don't care about my children's safety.
Why can't she just say the truth - she likes her daughter to be in nice clothes and didn't like her getting messy daily. this is what she said at the begining and as time has gone on the stories have become bigger and more exaggerated.

CailinDana Wed 09-Jan-13 09:58:14

Could you say "OK I know how you feel about it, could you let it drop now?"

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Wed 09-Jan-13 10:02:34

because maybe.. at the time it's hard to admit just how bad it is, as it's too upsetting, and its only with some distance that you can allow youself to really say how angry you are and how bad it was

you just don't want to admit, even to yourself, how bad your choice was. Especially when they're still there and you're in the process of removing them. At the time of removing my DS I said it was practical reasons and might have mentioned that when the other mindees changed (some left some started) the dynamics changed. However when DS was safely away and settled elsewhere, I could then begin to talk about how very awful I thought it was and how guilty I felt about ever sending him there

Keychain Wed 09-Jan-13 10:03:08

Have tried that, she seems to enjoy the drama of talking about her 'awful' experience! I am considering telling the CM so maybe she can talk to her and ask her what she feels the issues were so they can resolve it. CM has a really good reputation in our local area so I also think wonder if others just role their eyes and leave friend to it.
Maybe I shouldn't get so wound up about it... just feel guilty about it now I suppose!

nailak Wed 09-Jan-13 10:03:35

why do you not just say "I disagree?" or make a joke out of it? "you know i've never seen you at messy play" or whatever?

Sugarice Wed 09-Jan-13 10:04:18

Just say 'we'll have to agree to disagree about CM but I'm finding your constant criticism uncomfortable. We're all happy there so you please drop the subject'

See what she says to that.

redwellybluewelly Wed 09-Jan-13 10:05:20

I think the fact that the OFSTED ratings are outstanding speaks volumes. I think you should tell your CM so that if she has a website/webpage she can ensure she puts up evidence to counter any concerns. And as for your friend I think you need to say something like "OK, I have heard enough, my child and others are very happy there and safe - if you have that many concerns do tell OFSTED rather than telling other parents terrible stories which are based solely on your opinion"

Lastly - where is your CM because that is exactly the sort of childcare I'd like to find for my DD and DC2 grin

Also - I am very happy with my children's nursery except for the food - which I do say upfront to anyone who asks me that if they want to do BLW or leave instructions then to leave them written down so they cannot be ignored they force fed my baby when she wasn't ready to wean because they thought she should be off the breast by that age, she was 7 months and quite poorly

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Wed 09-Jan-13 10:05:21

OP do you really think anyone would enjoy admitting they made an awful choice about their child's childcare?

Even if you disagree, I don't think you are trying to empathise with how it might feel to think you made a terrible choice, it's not something you can easily tone down, have you ever felt really really really upset about something? if the subject comes up it's hard for the anger to not pour out

HeathRobinson Wed 09-Jan-13 10:06:25

Are you sure she didn't have a valid concern?
We all have different levels of things that we're comfortable with.

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Wed 09-Jan-13 10:06:31

Ofstead smoftead BTW wink

Ragwort Wed 09-Jan-13 10:08:09

I really wouldn't talk to the CM about it, you don't want to get dragged into it. There is no 'right or wrong' in this situation, some parents really don't like 'wet/muddy/creative play' and just aren't going to change their minds, whatever anyone says. If the CM's reputation is that good then most people will know about it and want to find out for themselves before listening to your friend (or you for that matter).

I had a very similar situation with a creche at a gym I used to use, I thought it was fab, was delighted with it, etc etc but my friend hated it and just wouldn't use it. I think all you can do with your friend is just say something like 'we'll have to agree to disagree' and change the subject.

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Wed 09-Jan-13 10:11:03

and think about it, if you are allowed to sing the CMs praises to other mums based on your experiences and opinions, then your friend can share her experiences and opinions too can she not? Just tell her that you don't want to hear it!

realcoalfire Wed 09-Jan-13 10:11:47

Because her children's experience was possibly different to your DCs?

I would tell her that if she feels strongly to make an official complaint to OFSTED so they can do a proper objective investigation.

Out of interest what specifically are the problems.What activities do the children do, that in her opinion children shouldn't do, and why does she think they are not safe? I would listen to what she has to say and not dismiss her concerns out of hand.You know the old saying about ' you can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time...... '

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Wed 09-Jan-13 10:14:16

Your cm sounds amazing! Exactly what I'd have been looking for as well.
After all a messy child is a happy child IMO!

I think even though you don't like confrontation you'll have to give it 'well we can all disagree on opinions' 'What works for one family won't another, same as parenting styles'
Then bite your tongue that yours happens to agree with ofsted.

helpyourself Wed 09-Jan-13 10:14:18

She's can't say the truth because that's not how she sees it. I think you need to be assertive and say, 'I'm very happy my children are there, there are strict safeguarding and health and safety rules she complies with and what you're saying is unfair.'

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Wed 09-Jan-13 10:15:35

"Because her children's experience was possibly different to your DCs?"
^that

the CM actually treated my friend's DS VERY differently to mine, she had very obvious favourites, which my friend didn't see as she was (understandably) just delighted that her child was liked and cared for by the CM and was never there the same time as me

I observed that the CM treated the children differently based on which parents she clicked with. Friend would often go in for a cuppa and a chat at the end of her DSs day there and CM would chat about the DS's development etc. Mine was abruptly posted through the door with little feedback.
My DS wasn't naughty or difficult to mind or anything, she just didn't see me as a potential friend I think

AreYouADurtBirdOrALadyBird Wed 09-Jan-13 10:16:58

Did her dd enjoy being there? My kids go to farms,woods,beach,since when are they unsafe for children?
IMO it sounds like she doesn't like mess and dirt but this sounds superficial so makes out that the CM is being reckless with her mindees. BTW tell your CM that this person is bad mouthing her as it could affect her business.

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Wed 09-Jan-13 10:17:06

Its really horrible to pick your DCs up knowing they are subdued and unhappy. I do believe that my friend's DS was happy at same CM, but mine was not and it was an awful awful environment for several of the children there

I'm getting angry just thinking about her now years later!

realcoalfire Wed 09-Jan-13 10:17:15

Also remember her DC might have been thoroughly miserable getting wet and muddy and a good, competent CM should have made adjustments to accommodate this.

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Wed 09-Jan-13 10:20:56

uh huh realcoalfire
some children go through phases or real mess adversion, and IMO it's best to let it pass and not push it, and just do other stuff and come back to messy play later. If the CM always does messy play no matter who she has that day then she's not really responding to where the children are at that point. Some are happier with other activities sometimes.
Mine hates art and craft but LOVES singing, if a CM kept doing arts and craft with him every day I'd think she was shit! obviously someone whose child loved arts and craft would think same CM was responding to the child and amazing IYKWIM

JassyRadlett Wed 09-Jan-13 10:23:27

If she does it in public, politely challenge her on the safety stuff as that's really damaging for the CM. Just a polite and interested 'oh, in what way?' or 'I'm not sure I can think of an example when she did something unsafe with the children, can you explain what happened?' Push for specifics, don't let her get away with being general about it.

If it's in private, agree with Cailin's approach.

OP I think you are getting a hard time on here. Totally fine for your friend to say that she was unhappy with the CM, that her children didn't enjoy it etc, but I think that saying DC's are unsafe on trips is not on.

What does she say if you are her specifically which trips are not safe? This might be a good tactic in a public setting - If someone said dramatically that a trip was unsafe, and was then forced to elaborate that is was e.g. a trip to a forest, I would not take the complain as seriously.

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Wed 09-Jan-13 10:29:22

also, none of her advertised outings ever seemed to fall on my days, on my days my DS spent most his day strapped in her car while she did school/preschool etc pick ups and drops offs

On friend's DS's days they went to groups and parks etc - mine NEVER did!

were your DCs attending on the same days/trips? if not its very possible they had a very very different time!

and perhaps its not the fact it was a farm/forest etc, but how they got there or the way the particular age mix on that day was managed etc

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