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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>I Cant Parent, Its Too Stressful
Unregistered 11:18 AM 10-11-2011
So last night I have a meeting with a family that I have been having issues with. Showing up way early, behavior issues, and just not caring to follow a lot of the rules.

So DCM and I sit down to talk about the issues at hand. She starts of by complaining how much her younger child cries that he has to come to daycare each day when he wakes up. (by the way, the children are here 11.5 hours everyday and for every meal)
I tell her well that's normal, I would cry to if I had to leave my mom and dad for most of the day.

Well we are about a good 30 minutes into the meeting and the parent straight out admits that the reason the kids have to come here everyday for so many hours is not only because she does have to wORK, but mostly because she is too stressed out to parent her boys. The boys have taken over the house and now the parents are constantly fighting because they cant control them.

The DCM admitted that she is too stressed out to deal with them in the morning, so its easier to bring them here to eat breakfast and its easier to have them eat dinner here too, because it's too much stress for her and the dad. DCM goes on to say that she did not realize how hard it was going to be to become a parent and that she just is not good at it. Tears roll down her face and I sit here looking at this parent who is defeated by a 4 and 5 year old. All of her lack of parenting has finally caught up with her and now she can't take it any more.

I am curious to see how some of you would respond to this...
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cheerfuldom 11:39 AM 10-11-2011
wow. she really must be at her wits end to tell you something like that. were you thinking of terming or just needing to hash out some issues? I think i would recommend them talk to a parenting professional that can help with getting these boys on track at home. you can't solve every problem for them and they can't check out on their kids (they are not even school age for goodness sake!). figure out if you want to hang in there with this family. come up with some goals and timelines for what you can compromise on (if you are willing to compromise). perhaps start with parents picking up in time for the kids to eat dinner at home (no matter how hard that is for the parents). really if I had a mom that needed the support and was showing effort and trying to get it together then I would do my best to be there for them. I would be willing to go the extra mile to get them to resources and people that could help them. All of this is no reason for them to be breaking your policies though.

I think we all know that the majority of parents that leave their kids in daycare for as much time as possible are in similar situations. She is showing that she can't handle any awake time with the kids and you are becoming like a mom to them...especially when they are eating there for every meal and stuff like that. you can't let that part continue, its not whats best for the kids at all or for you.
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DBug 11:41 AM 10-11-2011
Wow, some people . I think I might read her tears as an attempt at emotional manipulation for more hours, or just sympathy or whatever, and just be stinking mad that she'd even try that with me.

On the other hand, if I thought she was really trying (altho it sounds like she's not!), I might offer to look up some parenting courses for her or lend her some books.

Idk, but I'm REALLY curious to hear how you ended up handling it!
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cheerfuldom 11:42 AM 10-11-2011
did she seem sincere in the meeting or just trying to get attention and make you feel bad about confronting her?
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Unregistered 11:54 AM 10-11-2011
I dont really know that parent that well to know if they were being sincere or not. I am a little torn about how I feel about it.

On one hand I feel bad for the family, because we all know that parenting is not easy. It is a lot of hard work and consistency.

I was a little jaw dropped to learn that the family is not using all of that time becuase they have to work to make a better life for their kids, but basically because they don't want to parent them. That was hard to swallow.

I told the parent in the end of the meeting, that I can help out the most that I can, when I can. BUT I think that if they let things keep going this way that they are going to have more issues with the kids when they are older. Basically said, if you cant controll them now, you will have zero control later. It was getting later than i wanted to have a meeting, so I told her that we could talk more about it later....
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cheerfuldom 12:00 PM 10-11-2011
what did you think they were doing with over 11 hours of daycare a day, every day? I am assuming you know where they work and know the commute (if any) and know what they do for a living. It seems pretty clear with that info and the fact that the day was slowly getting longer and longer and the kids behavior getting worse and worse, that the parenting issue was pretty obvious. i know thats off topic.....
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Unregistered 12:11 PM 10-11-2011
There's a part of me that can empathize with the mom. In addition to being a provider, I'm a mother, too. It's stressful at times, that's for sure. I really do get that.

What I don't get is why she didn't reach out for help and advice instead of just leaving the OP to be responsible for the kids because she couldn't handle the stress. If she thinks that leaving them in daycare for over 11 hours a day is the solution, then she is sorely mistaken.

If those kids aren't aware of her feelings by now, they will be soon. Kids are always listening and they understand more than some people give them credit for.
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laundrymom 12:12 PM 10-11-2011
I would refer them to CPS or family services and terminate care if things didn't change dramatically. THOSE organizations can help THEM with THEIR issues. good luck. ((()))
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Unregistered 12:22 PM 10-11-2011
when the parents changed their hours, they told me it was because they needed to have more time to work. that they could not meet the hours they were currently in.

I believed them that they needed more time to work and of course I knew of the behavioral issues that they were having.... The kids normally behave here. But since the time change, they have been acting up.

the more I talk about this, the more mad I get. I give up so much personal time with my family just so that I can take this client. After that conversation, it just goes to show that they could care less about my personal time....SHe probably thinks since she doesnt want to spend time with her kids, that maybe I dont care that I don't get a lot of time with my own..

what a mess I am in..
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laundrymom 12:51 PM 10-11-2011
You aren't in a mess. You are not the problem. If I were you I'd just tell mom, I understand parenting is stressful but you need to find a way to deal with it. Maybe your caseworker or a pastor? Either way you are only allowed to leave the kids here while you are working. I am not a substitute family for them. I'm a childcare.


Originally Posted by Unregistered:
when the parents changed their hours, they told me it was because they needed to have more time to work. that they could not meet the hours they were currently in.

I believed them that they needed more time to work and of course I knew of the behavioral issues that they were having.... The kids normally behave here. But since the time change, they have been acting up.

the more I talk about this, the more mad I get. I give up so much personal time with my family just so that I can take this client. After that conversation, it just goes to show that they could care less about my personal time....SHe probably thinks since she doesnt want to spend time with her kids, that maybe I dont care that I don't get a lot of time with my own..

what a mess I am in..

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nannyde 12:55 PM 10-11-2011
You can't get good at something if you don't do it.

They don't get to just say it's hard and then not do it.

I would seriously be asking them if they have considered placing the children for adoption. There are SO many families out there who would devote their lives to raising these kids.

If they truly can't do it then they need to really consider having someone else do it. Having a child care provider do it nearly every waking hour isn't good for the kids. They need to be parented.

I would have a hard time sitting through that. I really wonder if they are just solidifying that you need to do everything because they simply can't manage.
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Unregistered 01:06 PM 10-11-2011
I cant agree with you more... how will the mother ever learn, if I don't put my foot down.
What is she going to do when the older son goes to kinder next year? The school is not going to feed him, not going to give special hours and etc.

Yes, Nan, this family wants me to do it for them and this whole time I have been. As the mom put it, its just too hard for her and dad to do it.

They have $$$$.. but they don't have a clue on how to be a parent..

I felt like telling the mom in the meeting, you think you should just dump the kids on me because you want EASY?? Of course I know the answer to that YES, that is eactly what they want. To have thier accessories and show them off, but don't want to have to maintain them. I think this is how this family views their children. As accessories... Get married, buy a house, get a dog, and then some kids.......... BUT pay someone else to do all the work so they can have all the show..........
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Oneluckymom 02:32 PM 10-11-2011
Thats too bad...I would recommend her contacting a School Psychologist. Many school psychologist's work out of private practice..not just for schools. My friend is a School Psychologist and that is what she does the most, come to someones home and work directly on "how to parent." She teaches parents a lot of behavioral techniques. Just a thought. Hope for the best, but I can honestly say that I too have had those moments where I think to myself "Oh Lord What Did I get Myself Into Here ?"
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Kaddidle Care 02:45 PM 10-11-2011
Tread lightly - the woman actually sounds depressed and it may actually be safer for the children to be in your care all day and night. She's over her head and in a way is asking you for help.

But how can you tell a Mom that counseling of some sort might do her some good?

She and her husband need to get on the same page and not argue over discipline in front of the children. They need a consistant plan to get their family back to a happy place instead of running away and avoiding the issue.

JMHO
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Unregistered 03:23 PM 10-11-2011
Hi! I am a long time lurker with a small home daycare. I am registered but can't seem to log in!
In my area we have a home daycare support group that does trainings together and one of the women is certified to teach a series of classes called STEP. I believe there are people all over the country that run the classes and they are usually once a week for 5 weeks. I haven't done the whole series but the ones I have done are great. If she is serious it is a really positive step she can take!

STEP (Systematic Training for Effective Parenting) is a training system is structured in such a way as to enhance the ability of parents in educating their children. STEP consists of several parts:

* Understanding Yourself and Your Child
* Understanding beliefs and Feelings
* Encouraging Your Child and Yourself
* Listening and Talking to Your Child
* Helping Children Learn to cooperate
* Discipline That Makes Sense
* Choosing Your Approach
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Unregistered 03:37 PM 10-11-2011
I would look up some services for her and hand them to her. I would also get quick and tell her the new hours her children are going to be allowed at your care. You can't fix everyone elses problems, but you can offer her the tools and then what she does with them will be up to her. Be an example to her. Show her kindness but not at the expense of your family and yourself. It's one thing to help, its another to take it all on and then resent it.

Unless things are really bad, I would not tell her to consider giving up her children. She most likely loves them to pieces -maybe not in the same way that you love your children or I love mine, but I would suggest many other avenues first before ever saying this to a parent. It sounds like she is reaching out to you- but........again help but don't be pulled into the drama, and that is very hard to do. We are caregivers and we care, so it's often hard to seperate. We spend a lot of time with these kids.

I agree tread lightly here, it sounds like there are a lot of underlying issues above and beyond even what you know.

Good luck.
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Unregistered 04:09 PM 10-11-2011
I talked to my husband about all of this and he agrees with me that this is a ploy to make me feel bad. that the mom has too much pride to get any sense of help.

this mom wants EASY and wants me to make life easy for her.
I am sure that even if I term, she will find someone else willing to do as much as I do for this family all the while the mom just keeps pushing me for a discount each and every month.

I knwo that this mom will hire a nanny when the kids are older (school age) to do everything for her. She is not going to stop and try to help anyone but herself.

I have decided that I will not work for a family that is not willing to parent their child and try to use my services as "parenting services" then complain about the way their child behaves daily when at home. Every day there is a new complaint from this mom about her childs behavior and she always balmes it on daycare. Well she is going to have to find another person to "parent her kids all day and night while getting paid peanuts. Oh and then get to watch her drive away in her brand new jaguar sport...I mean those are only 90k starting price...I dont care that they have a lot of money, don't get that twisted. It's about the fact that she brought children in this world, more than one and then one day wakes up and says,you know what, I cant do this parent thing anymore it's too much for me. Who does that......you don't decide its too much. You do everything you can and become a better parent for you and your child...

Like someone else said. I cant let their problems become mine... If I had a list of all of the things that my family has had to suffer from because of working the long hours for this family you would all smack me and say WHY in the world would you let that happen?

Well I have had to learn a very hard lesson and have had to learn it the hard way.
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cheerfuldom 04:33 PM 10-11-2011
sounds like you know this is a ploy. good for you for not taking it anymore.
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Jewels 07:41 AM 10-12-2011
I would almost take this as a Cry for help, The husband and her are obviously fighting and not aggreeing on discipline or working together, and shes probably gotten to the point where shes depressed, and stressed and just angry, and shes at the end of her rope, She needs help, Not to put her kids up for ADOPTION (wow nan) nobody knows whats happening at home, they all sound like they need some pshycological intervention. However, I would not help them out with extended hours anymore, if you just told me your home these extra hours, well I'm giving you your boys back. Okay I just read your last post, and If this is a ploy and shes just lazy and selfish, well that sucks.......but she really could just be in a bad depression, which if youve been there can make you very selfish, because you just dont care about anything
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CheekyChick 08:02 AM 10-12-2011
At least she was honest to say she's struggling. It's better to vent to you - then for her to harm her children if overly frustrated.

I would recommend to her some good parenting books and parenting classes. I would tell her that they are still young and it's not too late to turn things around. I would give her all of the tools and ecouragemnt she would need to make a fresh start. Plus, I would tell her that avoiding the problem (i.e. the children) is not the solution. She needs to dig in and fix the problem.
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nannyde 08:05 AM 10-12-2011
Originally Posted by Jewels:
She needs help, Not to put her kids up for ADOPTION (wow nan) nobody knows whats happening at home, they all sound like they need some pshycological intervention.
Ummm

I don't think that's harsh.

They are doing a terrible job parenting.

They do not want their kids.

They don't want to be around them awake. They are already using 11.5 hours a day with all three meals included and she is coming EARLY to daycare? What?

They are fighting over them the few awake hours they do have them.

The kids are doing poorly.

They want it to be easy and it's never going to be.

Why not counsel them to consider placing them somewhere with adults who DO care and want the kids. The kids are young enough that they could really flourish if they had access to a real parent. There IS open adoption now. They could visit the children without having to care for them. This is very close to what they are doing right now.

I don't know the family but I have a sneaking suspicion that the Mom doesn't have mental health issues in anything BUT the work of her kids. They seem to make it out in the real world with their jobs.

Sorry... I'm not buying it. They don't like their kids and they don't want to take care of them. Why not give the kids the gift of a parent who wants to raise them?

Offer advise to get them into intensive counselling and then when they refuse... which she will because in order to do that she HAS to be there with her awake kids... then tell her you agree she can't handle it and that she should consider placing the children with someone who actually wants them.

We need to quit coddling these parents and call a spade a spade. It's not supposed to be easy. Get off your arse and take care of your kids. You can never be good at it if you don't do it.
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caligirl 09:03 AM 10-12-2011
I would suggest the parents find a family counselor. They obviously need help, and a professional to help them. Although talking to you about it is great, the problem with that is you are right in the middle. They need someone who is not involved.
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Snowflakes 09:29 AM 10-12-2011
I find when my children(s)' behavior deteriorates, she/they need more one on one time. ( I have three) My husband & I try to do this rountinely, but when we let it slip, it's obvious.

I think this mom will find if she spends time with each child, individually, she will enjoy them more and connect more and their behavior will improve. I think mom & dad should try splitting up the kids & doing one on one breakfast/activities/dinner. Of course, they may not want too...

What about telling her you will do 1 day of extended care for both and then 1 day of extended care for just the oldest and 1 day of extended care for just the youngest, with regular hours 2 days a week for a few more weeks and then back to regular hours every day after that?

I wonder why they don't just hire an au pair? And, yes, counseling and parenting classes...
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Crystal 09:40 AM 10-12-2011
I think all parents go through trying times and wonder how they will continue to manage. Some parents are stronger than others and move on, figuring it out one step at a time. Others struggle and need a little guidance.

There are a couple of things I would do......

1. I'd call CPS and ask if they have an outreach service that they can provide to assist a family who is struggling with parenting.

2. I'd find and create a list of resources for the family. I'd provide it to them, AND I'd offer to keep thier children for free while they attended parenting classes.....with the condition that they provide proof that they attended.

3. I'd model appropriate parenting with THEIR children IN FRONT OF THEM every single day at drop off and pick up. This will provide them with tools to manage behavior in developmentally appropriate ways.

4. I'd ask the parent the SPECIFIC behavior issues they are having at home and then provide them with written instructions on how I would manage those behaviors in my care.

5. I'd do all of this with BOTH parents,(aside from calling CPS) in a meeting. I'd straight up tell them that their arguing about how to manage behaviors is detrimental to their children, to their marriage and to their family as a whole. I would try to help them reach a consensus and write up an agreement between the two of them on how they will, as a TEAM, work to find peace and happiness in their home.

6. I would tell them that they are only offered child care while they are working. I'd tell them that they need to start spending every extra minute they have with their children. I'd let them know that alot of the children's misbehavior is related to not spending enough time with Mom and Dad and they are seeking attention in whatever way they can get it.

7. I would NOT recommend adoption. That is only going to alienate them, they'll move on and matters will get worse for the children.

This Mom is reaching out for help....she clearly does not WANT to feel this way...she wants to figure it out, she just does not know how.
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nannyde 09:54 AM 10-12-2011
Originally Posted by Crystal:
This Mom is reaching out for help....she clearly does not WANT to feel this way...she wants to figure it out, she just does not know how.
I don't think so.

I think she's running game.

She's either sensing the provider is going to nix part of the extra long days or she's setting her up to take even more hours.
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Cat Herder 10:20 AM 10-12-2011
IMHO, I am a Mandated Reporter and this falls under Neglect.

I'd call my favorite Caseworker at CPS.

He is awesome AND this kind of stuff is his job.

Child Neglect is Child Neglect regardless of the rationalization.

He is pretty awesome at providing parents the tools or the kick in the arse they need to get over themselves and into their kids.
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Ariana 11:36 AM 10-12-2011
Sounds like a typical narcissist who is taking advantage of you bu eliciting sympathy. Pity from you is the narcissists biggest ally. How many parents feel TOTALLY overwhelmed and want to run away and b!itch a moan to our friends? a lot of us!! However we hang in there for our kids. I can't ever imagine doing this to a child.

I also agree with calling CPS and getting them some mandated parenting courses if she truly needs the help....which I doubt.
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wdmmom 12:58 PM 10-12-2011
I would limit hours to 10 max per day. Your job is to provide care to the children while the parents are unable not because they don't want to!

Schedule contracted hours. 30 minutes before DCM needs to be at work and 30 minutes after DCM gets off work.

If she can't handle it, that's on her. Don't let her problem become your problem!

If she can't start doing her job as a parent, I say term this family all together!
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