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luuknam

In your (sub)culture, is it normal...

  

165 members have voted

  1. 1. If elementary age kids are spending a week with relatives, for those relatives to use someone you don't know as a babysitter without your knowledge/consent?

    • Yes, normal
      11
    • Not normal, but not a big deal
      25
    • Not normal, and frowned upon
      120
    • Other
      9


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If I trusted someone enough to let a child spend a week with them, I would trust them enough to choose an appropriate sitter. If they couldn't choose a sitter, they shouldn't watch the kids for a week.

 

I would appreciate it if they told me about it (like when my mom set up for my kids to go to preschool for a week - she told me and I was completely on board). However, I know that four kids is exhausting, especially to someone who isn't used to it, and I wouldn't be surprised if someone watching them needed a break.

 

Emily

This. I've been in a couple situations where someone else selected a babysitter that was not previously known to me (once when a child was staying with my mom for several days and my mom had a friend watch watch this child while my mom had an appointment, and once when attending a very special "no kids invited" party out of state, and the hostess offered to find a sitter for our kids so that our kids could come on the trip but not attend the party).

 

In both those situations we knew someone else would be finding a sitter. My kids each (individually) spend a few days to a week with grandma each summer, and I wouldn't bat an eye if my mom needed to find a sitter for a couple hours while they were there even if she forgot to check with me first. They wouldn't get to stay at Grandma's house if I didn't trust all aspects of her judgment.

 

I didn't vote in the poll because I have no idea if I represent my "subculture" of Caucasian, middle-class Midwesterners...or if that just represents my relatively laid back personality.

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I voted "other" as well. We would not have our kids spend a whole week with relatives by themselves.  They are nearly always with us.  A day or two, maybe, but never a whole week.

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I voted not normal and frowned upon, but I don't know it's a cultural thing.  I view it not normal, but had family do it and think it was okay. I was not pleased, and everyone involved knew it. ;)

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I had something like this happen - I didn't know how to answer your poll because it seems it is somewhat normal to the people around me, but it is not normal or acceptable to me.

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Wait, is this the same grandparents that you weren't sure would get to the airport in time? Or am I mixing in some other poster's story???

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I guess the cultural weirdness for me is the idea that we question our parents' ability to be temporary parents for our school-aged kids.

 

Unless my parents (or in-laws) had serious issues, I would not question their ability to parent.  After all, they had more experience than I have had.

 

Even telling them "this is how *we* do things, please comply."  I mean, it sounds like "what you did as a parent was wrong, wrong, wrong.  My kids are too good for that."

 

If I had some things I wanted them to do differently, I'd lay it out in advance and make it as easy as possible.  For example, when my kids were very young, I would bring the food I wanted them to eat.  (I don't do that any more.  :p)

 

Perhaps your parents are much younger than my parents (mom is turning 91 in a few weeks) and my in-laws are in their mid to late 80's.  Things change  Their ability to remember developmental stages change.  Their ability to handle even normal kid challenges change.  Safety rules have changed and some grandparents have refused to acknowledge that.  Some people grow up by the mercy of God and not because their parents were good the first time around.  (I had good parents but my in-laws, by their own admission, were pretty neglectful.)

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My DD, 10.5 y/o, has just spent a few days with my in-laws. If they had left her with an unknown to me sitter I would be furious.

 

Eta, I trust my in-laws completely, and they'll take one or more of my kids (and niece/nephew) for a few days at a time several times a year. They have many options of known babysitters nearby if an emergency came up, I think they have used my bil/sil and an aunt occasionally.

Still, if they left my kids with a random person (to me and the kids) without discussing it with us, it would be the last time they stayed. But dh would be far from whatever about it, he'd be angrier than me!

Also, for context, we are very selective with who watches our kids. It has caused issues with some people who expect a relationship with my kids on their terms, disregarding our feelings as parents, which we do not abide.

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This reminds me of a time when my 8yo niece (brother's kid) came along on a church camp week, at the request of my sister.  One of the cabin mates was a friend who had AIDS.  I found out later that my SIL did not know this in advance and was absolutely furious.  She vowed that none of us would be trusted with her kid again.  I thought that was a bit over protective.  But hey, their loss IMO.

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Perhaps your parents are much younger than my parents (mom is turning 91 in a few weeks) and my in-laws are in their mid to late 80's.  Things change  Their ability to remember developmental stages change.  Their ability to handle even normal kid challenges change.  Safety rules have changed and some grandparents have refused to acknowledge that.  Some people grow up by the mercy of God and not because their parents were good the first time around.  (I had good parents but my in-laws, by their own admission, were pretty neglectful.)

 

That's why I said "unless they had serious issues."  Because yes, some grandparents can't be left in charge of young children.

 

In the absence of dementia or notoriously bad judgment, I would trust my parents to know their limitations and act accordingly.  That might include calling in some reinforcements at times.  I would rather they do that than feel their hands were tied because I didn't give them permission.

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I am having a hard time figuring out what the danger could be with a short-term 60yo lady babysitter for school-aged kids.  Now if it was a guy from a halfway house or my kid was 6 weeks old, yeah, I'd be ticked off.

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If I trusted someone enough to let a child spend a week with them, I would trust them enough to choose an appropriate sitter. If they couldn't choose a sitter, they shouldn't watch the kids for a week.

 

I would appreciate it if they told me about it (like when my mom set up for my kids to go to preschool for a week - she told me and I was completely on board). However, I know that four kids is exhausting, especially to someone who isn't used to it, and I wouldn't be surprised if someone watching them needed a break.

 

Emily

This. My mom is the only person who has ever been willing to watch my kids long term (three days, on me kid, two days, two kids, overnight a few times, all three). I trust her to choose quality people, but she's also never picked a sitter without checking with me, so...

 

There are plenty of other relatives who have never offered to watch the kids, so it's never come up.

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Not common, and while some people wouldn't really worry about it, others would vary in their reaction from mild irritation to complete freakout. My personal take is that if I leave my kid with X looking after them, then she should not leave them without checking/telling me first. Unless it's a known relative/friend and there is already an understanding that I'm fine with it. Similarly, if I have someone else's kids here, I wouldn't think it's a normal thing to go off and leave the kids alone or in somebody else's care.

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Never been in that position that I can recall (but it's late, so I may be mistaken).

 

I would be livid if they did. 

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