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??

weeonion Sat 15-Feb-14 11:58:13

I too hope they get the support they need. Some, such as quietly suggests, may think my own behaviour is really strange and meddling. Others, such as HV, think it is enough to warrant a intervention. Felt validated by HV who agreed patterns of behaviour over past 3 years would suggest some issues.
Thanks to all who have given constructive ideas, feedback and support. It helped to clarify alot and i appreciate it. I think this thread has reached its end. Ta folks. X

MeMySonAndI Mon 17-Feb-14 22:02:16

I have been reading this thread with interest as your niece and her mother, remind me of a father (and his boy). I know well. I have been watching him babying his child to the point that he is really stunting his development (ie. not allowing him to run or go up or down stairs standing up until he was 5) so I feel your pain, BUT... While reading this thread I have thought all the time what Quiet has put in words.

You need to back off, it is not normal you are getting to this level of involvement about someone else's child. I really don't think you care as much about the child as you care about proving her mum wrong.

So now the HV is involved is a good time to back off, and let the things rest.

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