3 yr old, does and donts, like and dislikes and my high expectations?

(152 Posts)
weeonion Thu 06-Feb-14 16:30:52

I recently was given the chance to look after my niece for first time. She has NEVER been away from her mother and I mean never away. She has always been in same house / flat as mum so this was a huge thing for us all. She is 3. It has taken 2 years to reach this point - where DN would be allowed to be with other people, without her mum there.

This was part of being a support/ help to my SIL whose 2nd baby is due in a few weeks and was to mean that on labour day and possibly some other times - we could have DN.

DN was originally meant to come to ours for a play date at the weekend. Her mum emailed through a list of advice and instructions for the 2 hours, detailing what dear niece (DN) likes / doesnt like, does do / doesnt do, what we are to do / not do.

The list said that as DN
doesnt like lumpy food - it has to be pureed
doesnt like to feed herself - prefers her mum to feed her
doesnt like teeth brushed - they dont do it
doesnt like car seat - dont use one
doesnt like to sit in a chair - roams while eating
doesnt like getting face / hands washed - they wait until she is in bed at night to do it
doesnt like to be reprimanded - dont do it
doesnt like other children - not have any others around when she is with us (my own dd is ok, she can stay)
doesnt like adults - make sure there is no-one there but myself
doesnt like to hear the word no - dont say it.
doesnt like public transport - dont use it
doesnt like sharing so better for all if she can have what she wants

The list goes on ....
I thought over the past 2 years we had got to a point where we might get a chance to get to know our niece and spend time with her. I am not so sure.
I said that with those all those conditions- i would find it hard to follow them and look after her. I said I was unsure how they thought i would get her to our house and back as they dont use a car seat and I refuse to drive a child around without one and she isnt to go on public transport as she doesnt like it and it is too dirty with germs.


They have come back to me and said that i have too unrealistic and high expectations of a 3 year old's behaviour.

I am now questionning if i expect too much. I dont think i do but maybe??

Ifcatshadthumbs Thu 06-Feb-14 16:37:09

They are idiots and expect given a little bit of freedom from her suffocating parents you niece will have a great time with you.

I would be non negotiable on the car seat, feeding herself, wandering with food and not reprimanding her. If you have your own dd then I would expect sharing too.

BuzzardBird Thu 06-Feb-14 16:44:23

I think she is being very generous allowing your DD to stay if her pwecious bundle doesn't like other children. She is in for a major shock next year when she starts school isn't she? Dear God!

I agree with cats on the car seat and being sat at the table. She has to learn some things cannot be pandered to. Her teeth will look lovely all black and rotten when she starts school, poor thing is going to have a dreadful time sad

Flowerpup Thu 06-Feb-14 16:45:01

I'm open mouthed! There's a bit of give and take, pick your battles etc but getting away with murder springs to mind. Your expectations are not too high at all. I don't know what to say...

gretagrape Thu 06-Feb-14 16:46:56

I don't have a 3 year old but I have got to know others' children at that age, and that sounds unhealthy and sad at best, and dangerous at worst. Most children hate carseats at one time or another but really, their life is worth less than putting up with a 5 minute tantrum?

How is she equipping her daughter for life in the real world? How on earth does she think she is going to cope once she goes to school?

I take it your husband is her brother? Can he shed any light on why she might be like this?

puntasticusername Thu 06-Feb-14 16:49:10

Heavens to Betsy. And I thought I'd seen it all!

They are being utterly ridiculous if they really are bringing their daughter up this way. How can you not use a car seat?! Are they aware that it's illegal for them not to, and that the reason it's illegal is because it's extremely dangerous?

That, and failing to brush teeth, poses serious risks to the poor little girl's health.

From the sound of it you're being perfectly reasonable. I would not look after someone else's child under those conditions.

The more I think about this the more it upsets me - these people need help - do they really have no idea at all how to, you know, be parents? sad sad sad

UriGeller Thu 06-Feb-14 16:49:12

That's just lazy parenting.

In what way is that child being guided into becoming a functioning human being at all??

UriGeller Thu 06-Feb-14 16:51:07

I have a 3yo. Teeth brushed, face washed, said 'no' to, sharing, yes he hates all of that but its part of my job to make sure all those things are done.

What does this poor little mite do all day?

annielewis Thu 06-Feb-14 16:51:46

Is this a wind up? No car is illegal in the uk isn't it? How do they transport her around or are they housebound? She is screwed when new baby arrives......

annielewis Thu 06-Feb-14 16:52:02

*no car SEAT

It's ridiculous.

They don't use a car seat, don't brush her teeth and don't tell her off?

You are going to have a flipping nightmare, you know that, don't you?
If it were me, I think I would have to say that I would be happy to look after her but there was no way on gods earth I was following that list, especially the car seat part.
But, they may decide that you are not suitable to look after her in that case.

What's going to happen when she starts school? I assume she doesn't go to any pre school or nursery?

CuriosityCola Thu 06-Feb-14 16:56:03

It's not often I am shock at something on here. This parenting approach is bordering neglect.

Not sure what to suggest. Can you babysit at their house while the parents go out for lunch?

FunkyBoldRibena Thu 06-Feb-14 16:56:04

Good grief.

She's going to grow up to be a spoilt little so-and-so by the sounds of it. With rotten teeth.

And I hope they mean that they don't travel by car, rather than that they do but don't use an appropriate car seat.

I know that 3yo's are still learning and you have to pick your battles sometimes, but this is ridiculous.

CuriosityCola Thu 06-Feb-14 16:58:45

As a side note, my two year old manages all of the above. The only struggle we have is keeping him seated while eating. They are expectations of a baby/toddler, not a 3 year old.

I really want this not to be true. Or to be a dog treated like a child or something like that. They are damaging their child. I'd call social services.

drbartlet Thu 06-Feb-14 17:03:06

am trying to imagine following a 3yo around whilst trying to spoon pureed food into her mouth!
are you sure she doesn't have some developmental delay? if she does't then her parents don't seem to be doing their job very well. she's going to have problems poor thing.

Are they on another planet? confused

I am laid back, but seriously. No car seat?? Letting her have anything she wants because she doesn't like sharing? (Yeah right. I'm sure that includes things like Daddy's beer, granny's cigarette lighter and the sharp knife you're preparing dinner with... FFS!) Only ever having "approved adults" around her?

How do they do anything with their lives revolving so much around her?

How do they expect her to grow up to be a normal person who doesn't expect everything to revolve around her?

I think their problem is a far bigger one than not being able to get a babysitter!

And I think the little girl (and the parents) are going to get a massive shock when the baby arrives sad. Sad, it's not her fault but surely she's going to associate the arrival of said sibling with everything suddenly not revolving around her all the time, hence MASSIVE JEALOUSY.

(And then probably huge tantrums/misbehaviour/hurting sibling as a response - heck, most of them do this anyway!) How are they going to deal with that one? They can't send the baby back.

Whereisegg Thu 06-Feb-14 17:22:44

shock
Agree with pp on the non negotiable ones, but honestly, where is your db in all this?
He must agree with his dw?

frugalfuzzpig Thu 06-Feb-14 17:23:54

shock <speechless>

PollyCazaletWannabe Thu 06-Feb-14 17:26:17

Is this a wind up? Surely no one parents like this... SURELY... <head desk>

weeonion Thu 06-Feb-14 17:28:21

annielewis - no wind up. honest. There are many more instances and examples.
This has been an ongoing issue - many many conversations between dp and i about it and other mumsnet posts. There have been rows before with them but we have been able to remain on speaking terms.

DN has never been left with another adult, apart from her mum. she has never spent any time with her father on her own (SIL and BIL are still together and in same house)

They are well aware of the car seat issue being illegal. When they moved to scotland from london - they drove whole journey without her in a car seat. There was a major argument about that in the past when i refused to have her in my car without one ().

DN is not in nursery nor will be going before school as she gets upset by other children. She does go to one "class" a week but sil feels that isnt right for them as class leader has suggested DN needs to be settled more as she is too disruptive to the class and other kids and mums have complained. SIL feels it curtails DN expressiveness.

DN has not been told there is another baby on the way. We are not allowed to talk about the "bump" in case it upsets her.

Part of us wanting to look after DN was the chance for her to have something happening that would be focused on her and not the new baby, when it arrives as I was worried that DN was in for such a shock / huge change. This weekend was part of a (much) longer plan I had proposed to get her used to us and being in another house - even for a short time.

i dont think i have unrealistic expectations but as this has gone on for a couple of years - i am doubting myself!

MrsOakenshield Thu 06-Feb-14 17:36:57

Actually I think it's disgraceful that they parent this poor poor little girl like this - in fact, I would go so far as to say it's neglectful, of her safety, her health, her emotional well-being. She will be so unprepared for school - and oh my god the new baby! Are they not going to say 'no' to her then - Christ on a bike.

Does your SIL (or indeed both of them) have MH issues, because otherwise I can't account for this. It sounds like then need help, and pronto, otherwise they are going to end up with a poorly, possibly dead child, and at least one parent in prison (car seat issue).

I would actually be tempted to report them to SS, just so as they can get some help.

TheGreatHunt Thu 06-Feb-14 17:39:38

They are endangering her health and life. The carseat, the non tooth brushing even the non lumpy food (ie chewing helps speech).

I would ignore the "rules". Kids generally respond well to other adults telling them what to do.

And report to SS. (extreme but I would at least consider it).

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