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Opinions from other childminders please(27 Posts)
I'm struggling with parents of one of my mindees. Have been for years to be honest. I've looked after 2 of her children. She is so so hard to read, I feel like she tries to keep my on my toes, and it's horrible, it makes me feel so uncomfortable. If anything tiny happens to child, she lays it on so thick...it's as though she expects them to never get scrapes etc. I won't go into what's happened before, but this is the latest. Monday, wonderful day, playing in forest and garden. Child lives outdoor play, he's very active and sprightly. Went home, all happy and good. Child dropped off Tuesday, nothing mentioned, I noticed teeny tiny scratch on nose that had obviously been from previous day, but seriously it was tiny. When mum picked up she started quizzing me about it, asking how it had happened. No idea says I, thought he did it while with you. No we think it happened with you. Ok, well no idea, he was happy all day. Today, child again happy all day, no problems went home, then mum rings saying he has a scratch and what she thinks is a puncture wound, little boy told her naughty puppy. However, he could just be saying it. Again, what do I say. The pup has been supervised, I don't think he did it, BUT he is a puppy...it's not impossible. He is being taught not to jump up. I only think he is being affectionate and when he goes to lick I sternly say down and lead him to his bed. She's saying, oh I don't know, children do just say things, but obviously if it's going to go on, what with the scratch on his nose ( I really must stress, you need a frickin magnifying glass) then it would be a worry to me'. The thing is, I'm not going to be complacent and say ' oh the puppy is fine, he wouldn't harm. ' because he's an animal, we need to train him well, he has claws which may scratch even though he doesn't mean to. BUT, I don't even know that he did do it. The child didn't cry all day, he's so happy. Sometimes this mum can be really sweet, but then she will make me feel like shit about nothing ( complained yesterday he had a runny nose not wiped.....he has honestly ALWAYS got a runny nose. You wipe it, it's back, in fact I considered asking for tissues I use so many!) Of all the children, this one I dread the most because I never know what's coming from parents. I don't even think they mean to be this challenging, I think she's very very worried about the children. Sometimes I feel she wants one to one care for her child, but wouldn't you know they are always the ones I have issues with over money ( them complaining or wrongly querying bill) . I'm really at the point where I feel like giving notice...even oh rolled his eyes when she was on the phone and as soon as he said who it was, my heart sank and I thought, oh no, what now. Opinions please. Nice ones if possible. I am also feeling pretty hormonal as pregnant so don't know if I'm overreacting.
Life is too short to be stressed with mindees parents
She isn't a PFB so not sure why we is like the way she is
Is puppy ever alone with the children ? Surlely you would have seen puppy scratch mindee?
Sounds like she stressed out over everything and if this has been going on for years then never going to change so I would give notice
You don't want to be stressed while pregnant. Congrats
I'm not a cm but my DD goes to one, who we adore. I think the main thing is whether you feel this is working for you or not. It's such a personal thing on both sides and you need to feel that you will be trusted and supported.
I have never had any concerns over safety (all the bumps seem to happen with me ) but I think as a parent you have to think 'does my cm have my child's best interests at heart and do I trust their judgement even if it is sometimes different to my own'. I can absolutely say yes to both without hesitation so that is all that matters to me.
Having said that I might be a bit worried about a mystery puncture wound. I guess it depends how bad it is, I.e. Whether it is an actual injury or just some random mark. Could another child have bitten him? I would not think twice about a mystery scratch or bruise. Things happen.
Overall though I think if you're not happy then you're not happy. There are plenty of lovely parents out there.
Seeing as i haven't seen the mark I'm not sure how serious it is. I'm suspecting it's probably not a puncture wound as pretty sure child would have squealed or screamed if this were the case. She has also tried this before when she decided my cat had done something even though the cat hadn't been in all day. She called that a puncture wound too. It was a 2 mm dot. I have been childminding a long time. I have never had a child have serious injury. I am fairly sure that none of my other parents would even bat an eyelid. I'm now wondering if I need to keep puppy in a room but I had really wanted him to grow up around children to be good with them. He's not totally unsupervised but my children freeflow from playroom to kitchen diner and the puppy does too, so there are brief moments of not being seen. I'm not saying it's impossible, but even if the dog did accidentally scratch, is this a massive deal? I checked with them first about getting pup and all were completely cool with it.
I wouldn't personally be keen on any unsupervised time with a dog however brief but that's not really the point. I am nit a dog person and thry saI'd they were oK with you getting it. Plus in general the child's mother does sound to me like she has a tenancy to over react to minor scrapes.
It sounds like these parents are stressing you out and making you question yourself. Is that worth it to you?
She does sound difficult, but I also feel it's totally inappropriate to have a dog unsupervised with children - they are both unpredictable.
You just sAid there were brief moments of not being seen. Dogs and children can get into all kinds of situations in brief moments. I'm not saying your puppy did scratch the mindee but it is possible that this could happen in the future.
Ok 'brief moments of not being seen'. Anyway, my point is that this isn't about what I'd be ok with. It's about whether you're happy continuing with this family.
Congratulations on your pregnancy and I hope you find a good solution
In my opinion, life is too short to work with parents you don't properly gel with. It adds unnecessary stress to every day life.
If you can afford it, consider giving notice. That might seem harsh from a parent POV but work life is so much better when you have parents on the same wave length.
But, the mum does sound really over the top. Children will get minor scratches/marks etc all the time especially lively outdoor type children and as parents you just have to accept these. I've got sisters at the moment and they went through a good few months where one of them was in the accident book every week. The other child I look after went maybe a year before she was entered in it, she is far quieter, risk averse and happy to keep her head away from the pavement. The sisters run everywhere, don't slow down and trip over their own feet. Luckily there mum is brilliant and knows exactly what they are like and laughs about it when she sees the book.
I'm not sure what you can do though. How long is it till you go on maternity leave? Will you be keeping the family on after you have the baby?
I would give her notice. It needs to be an agreement that works both ways and it isn't for you at all and possibly not for her either if she is contacting you that often.
Congratulations on your pregnancy and I hope you have less stressful time from now.
I would have a meeting...without the children present....and talk to her about it. (I'm a CM). Children do get little bumps and grazes that sometimes you just can't explain.I'm totally honest with parents and will say "I haven't got a clue how it happened as he never cried or said anything about it so I'm not sure how it happened"
Explain that you HAVE to work in partnership together when it comes to the care of their child, however you sometimes feel a little undermined and need to find a way round this. The safety of the children is your priority, but sometimes these things happen.And i'm sure if a child had a puncture wound, you'd know about it.
Just remember to document EVERYTHING just in case.
It's not the kids I have a problem with, it's the parents
I am a CM too and can totally sympathise with you over parents like this. I have one who is V over the top and they only started in January! I had an issue where he bumped himself but she felt I needed to supervise him at all times. Well sometimes this isn't possible is it?! We need to leave the room from time to time and children do have accidents!!
I would agree with the person above, sit down and have a chat, talk about working in partnership with her and say how you feel.
I had a family like this. I gave notice and the relief was immense. Part of the joy of being self employed is that you choose who you work with.
DD's lovely CM gave notice to a similar family. The mindee was a lovely little boy who was quite 'energetic' and often got into a few scrapes. His mother, who I know, freaked out constantly whenever he got a scratch or bump. The irony was he bit and scratched DD a few times (I didn't bat an eyelid, shit happens with toddlers) but if he got so much as a tiny mark she was up in arms. The final straw was when she threatened to sue CM if her boy caught chicken pox (she mistakenly thought CM had looked after a child with CP)
Personally as a parent I would not be happy with the puppy situation at all but that is just my feeling and you say you got the buy-in of all the parents beforehand so I don't think she has grounds for complaint to be honest.
I would give notice to the family, if you can afford. Life is too short!!!
I would arrange for her to come and have a chat one day when you aren't watching the dc (maybe in the evening or weekend).
Let her know that the constant nitpicking is getting you down, and, if she wants you to be her CM, then she needs to trust you. Tell her that you've been a CM for X years and, so far, no-one has ever seriously hurt themselves, but when dc are playing, they will get bumps and knocks every now and then, and that's part of growing up. Give her chance to say what - if anything - is making her anxious. Let her know you love her dc and don't want to give notice, but if she's not happy with you then it would seem most sensible for her to find someone else. If she says she is then you have to ask her to trust you.
However, another one here who doesn't think a puppy and small dc are a good mix in a free flow situation where you won't be able to see them 100% of the time. Both are learning and both are unpredictable.
Dd's cm has a puppy. She let us know before she got it, and we were completely cool with it (it would be hypocritical of us not to be - we've always had lots of pets around dd).
The odd light scratch, or even "puncture wound" (as you describe it) wouldn't bother us. Children get into scrapes, by their very nature. Obviously if dd came back properly scratched by the dog, or with a real bite wound, then we would have serious questions to ask. But this would not happen with our cm, and obviously you would not allow this either.
I think you need to give them notice, if you can afford to.
I've had a few parents like this. Two went on to become long term families: the mothers were just incredibly anxious.
The others were obviously never going to calm down and trust me and I had to give notice.
You'll be better able to judge whether this relationship is salvageable or not.
I would say that, if you intend to keep them on, you have a chat with her to establish what her anxieties are and what you are prepared to do to help.
I would also insist on every mark going in the accident book and signed for. That way, there can be no argument over where it occurred.
I've seen the mark now. It's really upset me because it's literally the smallest thing I've ever seen, barely perceptible, and also not a mark a dog would make. The other scratch she told me about has gone. It's seriously ridiculous. How do I tell her in a professional way that she is being unbelievably over the top?
Get her to sign for them all. On arrival, check him for any injury however slight, write it down and insist it's signed before she leaves.
Likewise when he goes home: she checks and signs before he leaves.
Any reports from home, write an accident report and she signs it.
Tell her it's to protect yourself. You then have written evidence that her accident reports are way more than anyone elses.
I couldn't cope with a parent like that and I would give notice. Childminding can be stressful and to have parents like that is causing more stress than it's worth. Life is too short for that
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