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To stop babysitting close friends kids

(55 Posts)
Old98 Thu 10-Oct-19 00:27:12

I look after the 2 boys of a very good friend 2 or 3 times a week to help her out with childcare when she is working. One of the boys is very prone to lashing out, due to a condition which means they struggle to control their emotions, with my youngest son bearing the brunt of the attacks. This child is also very overbearing and generally rude and belittling to my son, although my son still says he loves having the boys over to play. I have always tried to tread lightly and give the boy some slack due to his condition. However I feel it is starting to take a toll on my son, he is becoming less confident and increasingly nervous, and has now started lashing out himself at school. If it was anyone else's kids i would end it without hesitation, but as I am doing a favour for my friend I don't know how to broach the subject without risking damaging the friendship. However the situation is becoming steadily worse over time and I am worried that as the children get older and stronger that my son is more at risk from injury as well as the damage to his confidence. Aibu to tell me friend I cannot take them any more?

Hairsprayqueeen Thu 10-Oct-19 00:40:25

Yanbu. That sort of change to his personality from someone else, could affect your son very badly
You have to put him first unfortunately. I say unfortunately because of course it will mean things are made complicated for your friend and in an ideal world it wouldn't be necessary. But in a not ideal world, we need to protect our children.

BitOfFun Thu 10-Oct-19 00:40:47

Of course YANBU.

Halo1234 Thu 10-Oct-19 00:45:41

Def not being u. Your son come first. And u were kind to do it for as long as u have. Maybe offer to do x amount of time to let her find another arrangement if u feel u can.

katewhinesalot Thu 10-Oct-19 00:49:32

Yanbu. Sugar coat it a bit and blame it on both boys rather than directing it solely at her son.

roundaboutnow Thu 10-Oct-19 00:49:51


In regards to broaching the subject.. explain you are so very sorry but it's starting to affect your DC so the arrangement can't continue. You don't want to leave her high and dry so will continue until she can find other childcare.

Wonkybanana Thu 10-Oct-19 00:50:35

Your little boy's physical and mental health is more important than your friendship.

You need to tell her that you can't have him any more. If she gets stroppy, then it wasn't a friendship, just her using you. If she's really a friend she will understand that you have to protect your own son.

managedmis Thu 10-Oct-19 00:55:15


Stop offering

TheTeenageYears Thu 10-Oct-19 01:12:01

When it comes down to it it's about putting your child first, above your friend. If she is a genuine friend she will understand you need to put your child first and you will remain friends. She has to live her life and deal with the consequences and you have to live yours. At the moment you are picking her over your son and that needs to change. There is a strong chance that you are only seeing the tip of the iceberg in terms of behaviour and at home he's much worse so even though she may not like the fact you can no longer look after her child, i'm sure she will understand and if the situation were reversed she would do the same thing. If you don't advocate for your child, who else is going to?

SnowsInWater Thu 10-Oct-19 01:20:18

YANBU, your son needs to know that protecting him is your priority. If you can give her a few weeks to make another arrangement so she doesn't feel like you half left her in the lurch, great, but do set a definite timeframe and stick to it as ultimately it is not your responsibility and you don't want it to get awkward. I would try and be quite general about "it's just not working any more" and "dynamics between kids change as they get older" as everyone gets defensive about their kids if they are being criticised. Good luck.

Italiangreyhound Thu 10-Oct-19 01:33:30

YADNBU your first responsibility is to your son, not your friend. Tell your friend very calmly that this is your decision.

Your son should not be at risk in his own home from children because you are helping out their mum.

Agree with SnowsInWater "I I would try and be quite general about "it's just not working any more" and "dynamics between kids change as they get older" as everyone gets defensive about their kids if they are being criticised." Plus the more you say she may try and counter that and make it harder for you to step back.

Purpleartichoke Thu 10-Oct-19 02:01:37

Since she is your friend, if you think you can keep your child safe, I would try to give her notice and keep watching them for a couple more weeks while she gets something else in place.

Drum2018 Thu 10-Oct-19 02:08:21

I'd just tell her that minding the kids has become too much for you and you are giving her notice to stop. Give her a couple of weeks to sort something, but even if she hasn't found alternative childcare by then, dont be tempted to keep helping out as she may well not bother looking too hard. Even if she offers (more) money, to reduce the time, don't get sucked into negotiating - you need to be firm in saying no, that it's simply too much to manage anymore.

BellyButton85 Thu 10-Oct-19 02:20:25

Gosh, if his own mother isnt prepared to keep him safe and well then who is?!
This kid isn't your responsibility and it was beyond kind of you to take on childcare (free too I bet). This is for your friend to sort not you. Disability or not, your son HAS comes first and this child shouldn't be allowed to treat him like this in his own house, his safe place. Tell your friend. As pp have said, I'm sure he behaves worse at home so what you say to her will only be the tip of the iceberg to her and it was unfair for her to accept your kind (free) childcare services when you have your own children to protect

Rachelover60 Thu 10-Oct-19 02:24:11

You're not being unreasonable;, as others have said, you must put your son first and he needs to know that you do so that he feels secure and confident in your relationship.

It is a sad situation and I'm wracking my brains trying to think of a way around it. I'm sure you are doing the same.

How old is the boy and what insight does he have into his condition?

I hope you are able to maintain your friendship, Old98.

wine & flowers for you, you really are a good mate.

Durgasarrow Thu 10-Oct-19 02:46:18

Childcare and friendships are always an awkward mix. And of course your child's safety must come first. You don't have to get graphic about it. You were already going above and beyond. Just, "I love you so much, it's hard for me to say it, but I don't think it's going to work."

justheretostalk Thu 10-Oct-19 02:51:54

OP I’ve been in this situation. Exactly. Literally word for word.

I didn’t realise what a toll it was taking on my own sanity. I was literally a basket of nerves and dreaded getting up each morning because I knew the kid would be there soon and I would have 10 hours of him. My own son was a wreck.

In the end I told her I couldn’t have him anymore. The friendship didn’t really survive, but the relief was instant and amazing. I can’t even describe it.

Put yourself and your son first.

Userzzzzz Thu 10-Oct-19 03:21:14

I’m astonished you’re even hesitating really. You have to prioritise your son over your friendship. You’ve done so much for her already. If the friendship ends then so be it but why should your son have had to suffer so you can do your friend a favour.

RebootYourEngine Thu 10-Oct-19 04:17:40

I would just tell your friend that it is too much for you. Maybe give her a couple of weeks notice.

Insomniacscientist Thu 10-Oct-19 04:20:48

Your ds must come first especially when it’s impacting his emotional well-being

SucculentCandle Thu 10-Oct-19 06:24:45

* You don't want to leave her high and dry so will continue until she can find other childcare.*

Don't say this - she'll never find alternative childcare. Give her a definite end date.

SinkGirl Thu 10-Oct-19 06:33:10

OP, I have two children with autism who could potentially become more aggressive as they get older.

We don’t have any friends or family to help with childcare, they go to nursery three mornings a week. If any friend of mine looked after my children that often I would be beyond grateful. If I found out that one of my children was causing harm to theirs, I would be mortified and I would stop the arrangement myself!

If she’s a decent person then she will absolutely understand that you can’t put your own child at risk for hers. If she’s not, she’s just using you anyway and you don’t want a friend like that.

She may be stressed by needing to find alternative childcare but that’s different to being upset with you. I’d be upset if you didn’t tell me this.

Beautiful3 Thu 10-Oct-19 06:37:05

You have to put your son first before you allow him to be damaged. What is wrong with you? Seriously your son is more important than your friendship. Tell your friend you cannot babysit anymore because the bad behaviour is affecting your son. Do not offer any more. Your son comes first.

FuriousVexation Thu 10-Oct-19 06:57:05

It may well affect your friendship, but you have to prioritise your DCs needs over your own.

You have a choice in this arrangement - your DC doesn't.

If you are supplying free childcare then TBH she is taking the piss, unless it's a reciprocal deal. I would give her some notice though so she can try to sort things out for work.

Loveislandaddict Thu 10-Oct-19 07:07:45

Just say it’s not working out anymore. Perhaps give an end date, such as half term to allow her to find alternative childcare. If she asks why, asking say the truth (a falling out, tiredness etc), or invent one (joining a club, needing to do errands, visiting family etc).

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