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Childminders, How much do you 'look after' your older mindees?

(6 Posts)
2anddone Thu 13-Aug-09 19:13:09

It is school hols and I am down to one mindee aged 12. He comes 2 days a week and in my house I always have the rule of you know where everything is, art, craft, games etc and there is continuous ability to use the garden. I also have xbox, wii etc which are my husbands but the kids use them too. I have a dd almost 1 and ds almost 4 so there is a huge age gap between them and mindee. We occasionnaly go out places but tbh I think he would be embarrassed if he bumped into someone he knew while out with me. He goes to his nans the other days and they do lots craft projecs and walking on the days he is with me he tends to prefere to read and watch tv, play xbox and wii (normal 12 year old stuff) During term time he looks after himself for an hour after school til mum gets in from work and only comes to me in the hols as mum doesn't like idea of him being home alone for 9 hours at a time. His mum and I have an understanding that basically I am a safe house for him to be at and what he does while he is here is pretty much up to him (have had him 3 years used to be after school then holidays only once at secondry) So I was just wondering what do those of you with older mindees with a big age gap from your dc or maybe just one mindee and no other children do to 'look after' your mindees? Do you give them loads of things to do and expect them to do it or do you let them choose what they do.
BTW my mindee loves coming to mine so before anyone jumps on me and says he must be bored silly he isn't!

danthe4th Thu 13-Aug-09 19:49:17

Sounds like a nice chilled time for him and a happy arrangement for everyone.Not really sure what youre asking for.

atworknotworking Thu 13-Aug-09 20:29:43

It's a difficult age for mindees isn't it, we get loads of training for under 5's it would be nice to have some for older ones too.

I get what you mean that he just wants to do his own thing, I don't have a problem with that, not that you are asking that, what I should say is that I can't see anything wrong in letting him choose what he wants to do, at 12yo he doesn't need his hand holding and is quite capable of being able to get or do things for himself, although I see where mum is coming from not wanting him to be at home alone for long periods of time. I think if he is happy just go along with it, be their if he needs you, at this age your more of a mate than a minder and thats how I treat my older ones.

Have you got any minder friends with mindees of similar ages that you could buddy up with sometimes, or you could ask him if he would like to go somewhere or do something imparticular.

atworknotworking Thu 13-Aug-09 20:47:37

Just read your question again. Will try to answer it this time, we don't often get days with not many mindees, however this hols Tuesdays are quiet for us so we usually just have our DD (9yo) and 1 mindee (6yo girl) who I have to say is more like part of the family, had for years FT and comes to play at w/ends grin, so my DD and she are good friends, however we are out every other day of the week on trips, trains, boats you name it so Tuesdays is our kind of chill out do what you want day, so the girls get paints out, craft stuff, make jewellery and I tend to do planning catch up on bits and pieces for the other mindees. If they want something in particular they usually say "is it alright if" or "can we get whatever out", I am still with them though and we do still play games together, pop to the local park for a while, if a mindee was young I obv wouldn't let them supervise play by themselves, but at 6 most children can choose and play on their own initiative.

If I have mindees with a big age difference, the older ones know that the little ones need extra care and attention and that their needs are met first ie: if a nappy needs changing that gets done before atwork can play monopoly/chess/facepaint or whatever, I usually find that the older ones love to play with the younger ones and even 10yrs + will quite happily include toddlers in their games football, hide and seek or whatever. We always have stuff laid out for the children in the messyroom, so one table might have clay/playdough on one might have glue/paint sand, puzzles, construction toys etc so their is always stuff available when they decide they want or if they want to play with it. I treat holiday club pretty flexibly for the older ones it's their break rom school and I want them to relax and have fun. So I don't expect them to do things as such just if they want to.

HSMM Thu 13-Aug-09 21:10:55

I tend to find with older mindees, it's more about providing resources than anything else. I check with their parents at the beginning of the hols if they have any homework, or specific targets for school and then we run riot with dens, paint, glue, water, scooters, swimming, generally charging about the place, etc.

HSMM Thu 13-Aug-09 21:11:32

Oh ... and they also learn to push a pushchair, respect nap times .....

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