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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.

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....)

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