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is this odd/unreasonable?

(55 Posts)
redundant Mon 26-Nov-12 21:29:43

hi there, we are relocating, and have found a new childminder who has one child of her own. She has announced that her son goes to judo class once a week (middle of the day on a weekday). The class is for 45mins and it's a half hour drive away. She has asked if we would like to join my son in the class, and has said that if not she will take some activities for my son to do while he waits and watches.
Is this a bit odd? I have no problem with childminders fitting my children in with their everyday life in terms of going to shops, doctors etc, but it seems to show a lack of empathy for the child that is going to have to sit and watch (we can't afford the lesson fee on top of childcare costs). Or do you think this is ok? Genuinely looking for opinions as can no longer see the wood for the trees, thank you.

Svrider Mon 26-Nov-12 21:32:34

Yeh, I'd find it odd tbh
I'd feel a bit sorry for your ds, sat left out of the class
Remember your paying for child care
Your minder needs to choose something that can be done out of working hours

christinecagney Mon 26-Nov-12 21:36:06

Quite normal to me. Have used 4 Childminders over the years and all did this to some degree either with own children or other mindees . Upside is that when your child is old enough to domain activity the childminder will probably take him along and others will watch. What goes around comes around etc. also it exposes your child to new things that they may enjoy. One of mine took up dancing after a year of watching another DCs lessons.

Strix Mon 26-Nov-12 21:37:02

Yep, odd... And selfish.

christinecagney Mon 26-Nov-12 21:37:18

Do an not domain sorry

IwishIwasmoreorganised Mon 26-Nov-12 21:38:25

Not something that I've ever come across. I wouldn't be very happy with it tbh.

Petherwyn Mon 26-Nov-12 21:46:53

I would find this perfectly ok for a childminder to do this and have used a childminder for the last 6 years who had to balance the care of my children, other children and her own children. Often this is to the benefit of my children but they cannot, by the nature of our arrangement, be first in her priorities at all times. It seems time that she is I offering 1-to-1 interaction with your child during the activity so maybe the journey time is more of an issue? Obviously you are paying for a service here and if you are unhappy could mention it but equally, if it is non-negotiable for this childminder you will need to look for another more suitable childcare option.

pippin26 Mon 26-Nov-12 21:47:00

not odd or selfish - at least she has given you pre-warning as well and given you options.
I have to drop my child to classes twice a week - if I am working the children have to come with me, although I don't wait as there is nothing to see, however I used to take mindees with me to child's gymnastic class.. the mindees now join in.

its a short 45 minute session where your child will still be cared for and entertained. He will still be learning about patience when others are doing things etc.

Juustanothermnetter Mon 26-Nov-12 21:49:17

Well, just an idea but if your son were to participate in the class she wouldn't still be minding him for that hour.. Maybe see if your don't pay her for that hour and that might cover the costs for your son to participate.

Not sure if this is ok, just a thought.

redundant Mon 26-Nov-12 21:52:51

thanks. I'm not happy with it - have told her gently and asked if she can try to rearrange it for a day when she's not working, but she says she can't. Going to have to re-discuss. He is only 4 and I think he's going to feel pretty left out and excluded.

BranchingOut Mon 26-Nov-12 21:53:24

How old is your child?

If he is going to have 45 minutes of 'shh' and 'sit still' then this is not a particularly child-centred way of spending his time. Or do you think it will genuinely be an enjoyable opportunity for 1-1 in a new place?

On the other hand, if it is just once a week and you are very happy with her in other respects, then maybe say yes and see how it goes...

christinecagney Mon 26-Nov-12 21:54:23

Agree with pippin and petherwyn. Your child can't be the focus all the time. They learn patience and that everyone has different interests etc. and they won't be doing nothing, some colouring, reading a book, chatting to the CM, having a snack, all quite acceptable and necessary skills that you would have to develop in your DC anyway such when waiting in a cafe or doctors etc. I think it's just a normal part of life to have to wait for others from time to time.

christinecagney Mon 26-Nov-12 21:57:50

Also if he is 4 and starting school next year then he should be able to manage this without feeling excluded, if its well managed by the childminder.

redundant Mon 26-Nov-12 21:58:36

real mix of views! I guess at the end of the day if I'm not happy with it, it maybe means we're not a good fit for each other, as have different attitudes to stuff.

I just think he'll feel left out. I would feel sorry for a child that had to sit and watch from the sidelines, and I personally wouldn't put a child that was new to my care through that, but maybe I'm a bit over sensitive!

winterhill Mon 26-Nov-12 22:02:10

I think it is ok actualy.
It's a 45 min class. I don't think that he will see himself as being excluded. It will help him learn to be patient and that the world doesn't revolve round him, although he will have the childminder exclusively for the 45 mins as her child will be doing other things.

If you are otherwise happy with her I would let this go.

winterhill Mon 26-Nov-12 22:03:25

Yes you are being over sensitive.
It's for 3/4's of an hour!!!!

redundant Mon 26-Nov-12 22:06:02

hmmm, food for thought - thanks all - off to mull it over!

IwishIwasmoreorganised Mon 26-Nov-12 22:37:05

If it doesn't feel right, then it doesn't feel right.

What other options do you have OP?

thebody Mon 26-Nov-12 23:11:22

'She had announced that her son has a judo class'

So a professional woman running her own business has presumably shown you around her setting,( copies of her policies and procedures) and also been upfront with you about a commitment she has to her own child.

Indeed op she is a total bitch...

No don't trust her at all...

CheerfulYank Mon 26-Nov-12 23:21:16

I'd think it's fine. DS takes a tae kwon do class and there are always younger siblings/mindees milling about. I wouldn't have a problem with it at all.

Marzipanface Mon 26-Nov-12 23:28:03

What thebody said.

She has been honest about it. If her son wants to do judo classes then her mindees will just have to go with her.

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 27-Nov-12 04:49:30

Don't think odd at all

She has been honest about it and prob the only class that her child can do hence why can't do another time or her day off

It's 45 mins and assuming if a judo class like I have taken charges to (I'm a nanny) then prob in a room or hall with separate place for adults /siblings

Your child will have one to one time with cm

Also good for your child to have to have to wait and not be able to do everything

Assume this is your only child and therefore never had to do the above

At 4 he is quite capable of sitting for 45 mins

My middle charge in ex job had to do this when youngest had tumbletots / he sat on side with book / colouring and healthy snack

In the end it is your choice but I thought the whole point of a cm was that they are looking after and caring as normal family life and other family's do this when have siblings

deXavia Tue 27-Nov-12 05:00:15

The way I would look at it is if you we're at home with siblings this would be the norm. Ok the first couple if weeks may be difficult for your DS to settle and understand its just time to colour or whatever but after that it will be his norm

Twinklestarstwinklestars Tue 27-Nov-12 07:10:16

Not unreasonable or selfish of her at all, she has been honest and its only once a week.

HSMM Tue 27-Nov-12 07:26:48

If she reworded it 'I'll get rid of my DC for 45 mins once a week so your DC can have some 1:1 time', would that sound better?

Not unusual or unreasonable, just up to you to decide if it's the right childcare for you.

ballstoit Tue 27-Nov-12 07:31:18

My DC have all had turns at feeling left out watching their siblings take part in an activity. This is what happens in families with more than one child. I thought you were building up to say she couldn't have him for 2 hours while she took her DS, taking your DS with her is neither odd or unreasonable.

SavoyCabbage Tue 27-Nov-12 07:34:10

I don't think it's at all odd and I think it's quite good for children to do things that do not involve them directly. Life doesn't revolve around them.

I have no help with my children so my dds have been with me to every dentist appointment, hair-cut, blood test etc and the youngest had to sit and watch her sister at her after school activities. She seemed to quite enjoy it. I always took books and puzzles but she seemed to find someone to play with.

YouCanBe Tue 27-Nov-12 08:18:27

I wouldn't mind this at all. It is just like a sibling having to sit through a lesson, which is quite ordinary. I remember watching my sister learn to swim.

RosieGirl Tue 27-Nov-12 09:34:00

If you are not happy that is fair enough, but you are not paying a nanny to care for your son 1:1. She will be taking the needs of a wide variety of children over the years while caring for your son.

I have taken children with me to groups, but ensured I have books/colouring or can even visit a park nearby. If anything children have gone on to show interest in activities and joined themselves when they are older. This is the fantastic way home based childcare operates.

If they are shut away in a nursery for most of the day, they don't get to see the wider world on a regular basis.

Isn't it also good that you son will watch a sport, learn how to sit and focus on something for a while, I wouldn't expect him to stay quiet or sit all the way through, but again this is good practice for the future.

Maybe it isn't the childcare for you as you may find she also visits the dentist, school events and other day to day things. Although these things are encouraged under the EYFS.

redundant Tue 27-Nov-12 10:37:53

hello, thanks for all your thoughts, especially the reasonable ones! Never called her a b**tch or even vaguely thought that, so whoever posted that sounds a bit bonkers.

Obviously something lots of people would be happy with (would be interested to see how many of those in favour are childminders and how many are parents of mindees) so I just need to decide it if its right for me. I have absolutely no problem (as said at the beginning) with her taking mindees to shops, supermarket, doctors appts, etc etc - any part of normal life. I have been with our current childminder for 3 and a half years and that is what she does, and that is part of the reason why I don't want my children to go to nursery.

What feels different about this, is that it's not inclusive - my son will undoubtedly want to join in and won't be able to. I might feel different if it was another mindee doing the class, but because it's her own son it is probably playing to a hidden fear of mine that my children will always come second to hers - my problem, I freely admit that.

I don't think either party is being unreasonable here, we just need to decide if we're a good match for each other. Thanks all, over and out.

poopnscoop Tue 27-Nov-12 11:43:38

That's what childminding is about ... different childminders offer different services... I, who is childless, would not have this kind of thing happen... but then I also focus on the under 3s and do not do school runs, so would not be able to lift and carry your child to and fro school.

There is nothing selfish (very harsh for anyone to say that) about the childminder... this is the service she offers, which happens to involve a judo session once a week.

You need to weigh up the 45 minute judo session against the care she will offer you the rest of the week she has your child. She said she's have activities for him etc. He'd get some lovely time with her.. and get to watch judo which would be fun.

Tanith Tue 27-Nov-12 12:48:47

I guessed it might be because it was her own son hmm

I think you need to consider how often that child has to come second to the mindees, as does almost every childminder's child.

Take my own daughter, for example. I started back minding two weeks after she was born. All she has ever known is having to share her home, her toys, her parents, her family with minded children. She has had to miss activities and parties because I'm a childminder. Both she and her brother have missed out on having their friends round to play and having them to tea because I'm a childminder. She's had birthday presents smashed by minded children before she even got to play with them. She and her brother have been hurt by minded children in their own home.

I don't doubt your childminder's son could tell a similar story: and now you want to prevent him from attending a club he enjoys. Because he's a childminder's child.

OutragedFromLeeds Tue 27-Nov-12 13:10:17

Is your DS an only child? I think if he had siblings this probably wouldn't bother you because you'd know it's completely part of life, just as much as going to the shops/dentist/doctor is. It's probably a valuable experience for him that he wouldn't normally have as an only child.

I imagine that he won't be required to sit still and silent in the Judo hall for 45mins. They will probably be waiting outside/in a cafe or something and he can colour/do a puzzle/read/talk to the childminder/play i-spy.

If you're not happy with this childminder don't use her, but there is nothing odd or unreasonable or selfish about what she is doing.

pippin26 Tue 27-Nov-12 13:44:57

what do you mean its not 'inclusive' - of course it is and the minder has given you the option of seeing if you wanted your child to join in.. its not the minders fault that you choose not to.
So would you say an visit to the doctors, dentist, trip to shops to buy new shoes should be 'inclusive' (using your reasoning)?
Utter rubbish, as I said, my mindees have to accompany me twice a week for my child to go to dance class, one is continually asking 'can I go' - I tell her to ask her mummy - it is for her mum (parents) to allow/not allow for what ever reasons and up to them to explain the reasons.

Being able to afford/not afford is subjective to each family and just because one family can afford choose to do - is nothing to do with being 'inclusive' . (You are interpeting it wrong)

Obviously if you are viewing this minder this way then find another minder.

CheerfulYank Tue 27-Nov-12 14:41:20

Well...your childminder said he could do the class, didn't she? And he's 4, I think he'd understand "not being able to join in." confused

FWIW I am, or was, the parent of a mindee. DS went to a childminder from the time he was four months old until last May when he was almost five. I wouldn't have had an issue with this at all...I probably would have taken her up on the offer to have DS join though, martial arts are great for kids! smile

fallingsun Tue 27-Nov-12 14:42:07

I think its quite odd. If its half and hour drive each way, plus forty five minute class then realistically its going to be a couple of hours round trip. Not much fun for your ds, I'd think he'd feel quite excluded. Unless you really like this cm in other respects, I'd consider changing.

CheerfulYank Tue 27-Nov-12 16:05:12

If it were every day I'd say no, but once a week...meh. Not a big deal IMO.

minderjinx Tue 27-Nov-12 18:07:10

I don't think your new CM is at all out of order. She has a family commitment which she has told you about and has offered you some options. You do of course also have the option of finding other childcare. I think that might be for the best if you are already considering whether her actions are odd/unreasonable - that doesn't sound like a very promising basis for a partnership.

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 27-Nov-12 18:41:56

It's less then 2hrs a week including travel

A cm isn't one to one and they decide what they are doing during the day

If you want one to one and input then employ a nanny

redundant Tue 27-Nov-12 19:10:58

Hi again - I agree with some things that have been said, disagree with the way some other things have been said ;)

It was dropped into conversation some considerable time after we had agreed to start with her, not at the time we initially discussed terms, routine etc. She works 4 days a week, and my son is only with her 4 afternoons (my younger daughter is with her all day, 4 days a week). I don't think I was being unreasonable asking if she could swap to a class that takes place either on her day off, or on a morning when she only has my daughter (my daughter is only 9months and wouldn't care less where she is, so I have no problem with it happening when she's caring for just her).

I also don't think that the fact I am (possibly!) overthinking this and being ultra sensitive about my son's happiness, when he is also having to cope with a new school, leaving his friends, a new house and everything else is a sin - I think it would be strange of me not to. Our current childminder is like a member of our family, we will miss her terribly, and that has perhaps made me extra cautious about who fills her place.

thanks to those who have posted sensible opinions, much appreciated as a different perspective. Think this thread has done its job now, I've got lots of different opinions from you all, which has been very helpful - thank you.

doughnut44 Sat 01-Dec-12 00:48:12

This is normal, I take my son swimming while my minded ones watch. We take activities for if they want to do it but most of the time they want to watch.

doughnut44 Sat 01-Dec-12 00:48:47

swimming lessons - whoops

fraktion Sat 01-Dec-12 16:35:05

She's unlikely to be able to swap the class though. If it were another mindee what would the response be?

Blondeshavemorefun Sat 01-Dec-12 18:21:24

Op has already said she more irked as cm child rather then another mindee

So op are you going to use this cm or find another?

I still don't think 2hrs out of a working week is bad smile

woahthere Sat 01-Dec-12 19:28:17

I think its absolutely fine. I dont understand why it would bother you. She has given you the option of your son joining in which I personally would be chuffed with, but if not she has said she will take activities for him...she is totally thinking of your child. As someone else said, if you want total one to one then get a nanny, but my personal opinion is it is good for children to join in, have to wait sometimes etc. Its just real life and is one of the GOOD things about going to a childminder.

raspberryroop Sun 02-Dec-12 18:22:59

Erh why not let your son take the class, Judo is a fantastic sport - win-win

Blondeshavemorefun Sun 02-Dec-12 18:52:42

op,said she couldnt afford the class

raspberryroop Sun 02-Dec-12 19:51:30

Really ??? ok so ask the childminders to go 1/2 with her -or some other reasonable flipping solution unless its world class training its unlikely to be more than £3/4 a class - If she gets tax credits for childcare then get the child minder to add to bill.

LingDiLong Sun 02-Dec-12 20:03:08

I don't think either of you are being unreasonable. I think it was fine for her to ask but can understand why you're not happy with the arrangement.

I'm a childminder and work hard to ensure my kids are treated with equal importance to the minded children (Tanith is right, it's all too easy to fall into the trap of NOT giving them equal importance) but I wouldn't expect a parent to agree to that kind of arrangement. I might ask but I wouldn't go ahead with it if they weren't happy. Judo at that age is probably lots of fun but not essential. I wouldn't see it as a big deal having to wait until they are a little older and could join an evening class.

If you are happy with her in every other way though I'd still go ahead and give her a chance. The quality of care she provides may well balance out the negative aspect of this judo class, plus her child is so young it may not turn into a long term arrangement anyway!

ReetPetit Sun 02-Dec-12 22:20:36

it's not odd or unreasonable imo - i'm assuming your ds is pfb??
it's life! and believe it or not, we childminders do have lives, and children and families and commitments other than the children we mind!
it is 45 minutes a week, it's not going to hurt him. at least she has told you about it!
if it's a real issue for you, as it seems to be, maybe you should look for someone else (who dosent have any children/other children to care for....)

LingDiLong Mon 03-Dec-12 13:18:25

Is there really any need to be so.rude reet? The OP has graciously accepted that the childminder wasn't being unreasonable and has explained her valid concerns about moving. Your attitude in your reply does none of us any favours on this kind of thread; being insulting and aggressive is hardly a good representation of the kind of service childminders offer.

ReetPetit Mon 03-Dec-12 14:09:54

i wasn't aware of being rude, aggressive or insulting LingDiLong,, my apologies if you feel us was.
i don't think my answer gives any representation of cms in general - i am answering the question for myself, no one else....

MrsPotato Mon 03-Dec-12 14:38:12

I don't think reet sounded aggressive. She was hammering home her point and after reading a thread containing 50 odd posts with a fairly even split hers is certainly one of the more memorable posts.

As a CM and parent I wouldn't have anything against the class in principle but the amount of time in total out of the afternoon (did OP say ds did afternoons only?) would make it a no for me.

Yorkpud Mon 03-Dec-12 16:16:21

It's the half an hours drive that would put me off. That would make 1 hour in the car plus 45 mins waiting around. However, she has been upfront so you have the choice to either accept her terms or find another childminder.

Mindingalongtime Tue 04-Dec-12 10:12:04

On the other hand I have taken minded children to swimming and ballet lessons and MY children have had to sit and watch the minded child, it has never been a problem for me or my children. My children have often missed out because of minding, but accept that is life and it is my work

There may come a time when your son has an activity you want him to do and may want your childminder to take him to it, sit and wait with her children, - what goes around comes around, it s fairly normal for siblings to have to do this, and that is how I see my minded children an extension of my family and accommodate everyones's needs best as I can.

If you like her, go with it, it may not be so easy to find another minder

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