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To continue with this arrangement?

(16 Posts)
Terabithia Wed 01-Nov-17 21:08:11

I would appreciate your opinions on an issue I have at the moment with my 9yr old daughter.

I and my partner both work; my work is fairly flexible, and I try to do as much of it as I possibly can during school hours. However, I get home at 7pm on Mondays and 5pm on Fridays and there's nothing I can do about that as those are the times I need to be in the office.

Around this time last year, I and another parent started a term-time only arrangement whereby my daughter went to their house after school on Mondays until 7 (one of my work nights) and their daughter came to us on Tuesdays until 7 (one of her mum's work nights).

The two girls are good friends and they're both well behaved.

Recently, my daughter has asked if this arrangement can stop, as she wants to come home and do her own thing (practicing her music, playing computer games, drawing, etc.). Although she and her friend get on well, she feels that spending every Monday and Tuesday evening together is too much. Sometimes I take them out for an hour or two to try and stave off the boredom, but in the winter especially it's hard to find places to take them that don't cost money. They're getting a bit old for the local playgrounds. I also try to find things for them to do at home - watch films or make cakes, etc. but I feel it's important that they find their own amusements sometimes, too.

I told my daughter I'd have to think about it for a little while. I understand that she feels frustrated - but on the other hand, if I cancel the arrangement it will inconvenience the other mum and I will have to ask my mum to look after my daughter on Mondays (she already has her on Fridays).

AIBU to tell my daughter I know it's not her preferred arrangement, but unfortunately she'll just have to put up with it, or should I speak to the other mum and cancel it?

redcaryellowcar Wed 01-Nov-17 21:17:37

I think if it was a child minder you were using, it would just be a solution for necessary child care. This is the same. I understand it might not be her preference but it’s not easy/ possible to organise much else?

Santawontbelong Wed 01-Nov-17 21:19:28

Suggest the alternative would be for you to reduce your hours thus reducing the spare cash you have to spend on her......

Inkandbone Wed 01-Nov-17 21:21:50

I'd try to accommodate her request if possible, to be honest. I can see where she's coming from.

Bubblebubblepop Wed 01-Nov-17 21:22:53

I think she needs to be told it's tough tbh. But can't the two girls do separate things? Maybe the friend would like to do homework or watch a film?

slimyslitheryslug Wed 01-Nov-17 21:23:08

It's no different to her having any other childcare arrangement and, whilst she's too young to be home alone, she'll have to lump it. But can you do anything to improve it? Like make it clear that the girls don't have to play together but can do their own thing.

Fruitcorner123 Wed 01-Nov-17 21:24:33

I would say your daughter will have to just deal with it for now but confirm with her that there is nothing more going on with the friend.

Is there a way you can arrange for her to do the things she likes anyway. Certainly on a tuesday she should be able to go off and do her own thing at your house and perhaps if you start to encourage this then the other girl will also do this.

category12 Wed 01-Nov-17 21:26:07

I'd be concerned about the friendship getting strained tbh. If they need a break from each other, it might be better to change the arrangement than for them to end up falling out badly.

Threenme Wed 01-Nov-17 21:27:08

I'm not a big fan of telling kids to lump it. They're people too and we wouldn't like to be told that. However op you are leaving her there for a very valid reason! You have to earn and she has to be safe! Could you maybe swim or something on your day it's fairly cheap and breaks up the whole night.

Fruitcorner123 Wed 01-Nov-17 21:41:21

They are people too but i think sometimes we as adults would have to put up with arrangements we didn't particularly like too. Not saying yes to her request isn't cruel as long as you have considered whether its possible (which you have)

Is there an after school club which she could do on a friday (as that's only until 5) and then asking your mum to have her on a monday may not fel unreasonable. I would still feel obliged to have the friend on a tuesday though so you end up being out of pocket and gaining nothing.

SaucyJack Wed 01-Nov-17 21:47:37

Can you ask the other girl's parents to start sending her tablet (or whatevs) with her?

It's fair enough that your DD to chill out instead of entertaining the other kid, but they both need access to something to do.

Maybe you're doing too much with them, and they'd both be happier if you just stuck a film on?

BewareOfDragons Wed 01-Nov-17 21:52:04

I think your DD has to understand the realities of life: you need to work, she can't be home alone at her age, these are the best, most affordable childcare options you have available at the moment.

Terabithia Wed 01-Nov-17 21:55:06

Thank you every one, I really appreciate you taking the time to reply. I think the idea of making it clear that they don't have to play together, but that it's perfectly fine for them to do separate things, is really good. I might talk about that with my daughter and maybe give it a couple more weeks to see how it goes.

Category12, that's a concern I have too, I wonder if perhaps they're starting to 'outgrow' each other as they become older and their interests change?

JennyOnAPlate Thu 02-Nov-17 08:09:12

I do understand where your dd is coming from, but I think the arrangement should stand. Is she in year 5? If so she potentially only has to deal with it for a couple more years until they’re in secondary?

stopfuckingshoutingatme Thu 02-Nov-17 08:15:03

An adult conversations is needed here . it's a childcare arrangement and not for fun

You have to work and she needs caring for

Write a list down of every thing ther options available and the pro and cons and discuss it with her . She is old enough to try and engaged with this with you

steppemum Thu 02-Nov-17 08:58:33

I do have alot of sympathy with your dd, I remember going to someone's house after school one day a week as a kid and I hated it, as I was bored. But my Mum was working and that was the way it was.

I think I would talk to her, sympathise and explain it isn't primarily for playing, but for childcare.
I would also chat to the other mum and say that their friendship is getting a little stale.
I would suggest to dd and to the other mum some things that might work, eg can she take a bag with her with her drawing stuff in. Is there a way for her to play the computer games either at your house on the tuesday or at the friends, would her firned like to bring some of her stuff with her.
Talk to the girls and say they don't have to play together, you could work out one on computer and other drawing for example. You dd can do her music practice on the day she is home, while the other girl does something else.

Acknowledging her feelings are valid will go a long way, as will talking about other possibilites to entertain themselves.

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