Where Are My Boundaries

Updated on April 12, 2009
D.K. asks from Broomfield, CO
4 answers

Okay, I have a issue and have no idea how to handle it.
I have been watching this four year old boy since he was 17 mos old. He is sweet, good kid and easy. However in the past six months I have seen a serious difference in his personality, change on how or if he listens to me and he is exhausted every day. He told me the other day he gets whatever he wants at the store because of his fits...his dad confirmed that!! I was blown away!
He has older siblings, a lot older and he has their lifestyle, allowed to watch big kid movies like Twilight and has a non existant bedtime, TV and stereo in his room and shares a room with his 13 year old brother and does and eats whatever his brother does! I TOTALLY understand being around an older sibling you want to be like them, however as a parent, there is a huge difference with a four year old and what is okay versus a 13 year old.

He started giving up naps a while ago, since then he has come here and fallen asleep right in the middle of playing, actually today fell asleep almost standing up! When I ask his mom she laughs and said she had no idea when he fell asleep that she can lay him in bed and he lays there until 11:00 before falling asleep. What she does with her children as far as life is really her business not mine but he is so exhausted, rarely smiles as much, has had some emotional breakdowns (who wouldn't being exhausted). He is such a sweet kid I just see him being wrung out! I mentioned it today about him standing in the driveway and almost falling asleep and the mom told me to go ahead and lay down but when he naps he won't sleep until really late. SO I will lay him down.

I am sorry but I put my kids to bed early, they know they have to go to sleep and it isn't an option, no TV in their room, shut the door and I walk out of the room, always have. Granted it takes my oldest longer to drift off by far then my four year old and there are nights I have checked on her forty minutes after I put her to bed and she is laying there thinking. My four year old hits the pillow and is out! :) Both of mine are really hard to deal with though if they don't get at least 10 hours of sleep a night.

Bottom line after all this rambling is, what really can I say? I am genuinely concerned. I know they have really busy lives, that sometimes with two older kids having a younger one they kind of just grow up faster but knowing this boy as long as I have I really see it effecting him personally. I am friends with the mom to a degree, but not close enough to really judge her parenting. I only am watching him until July then he heads to Pre K so do I just wait that out?

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

More Answers



answers from Provo on

LOL...I had to laugh because I am one of those parents who has an undisciplined almost 4 year old daughter. My daycare person tells me all the time straight out that I'm the parent and I need to take control of the situation... She is super nice but very strict, which is AWESOME for my daughter as she needs that. But my daughter doesn't listen to me. She does what she wants -- she is so strong-willed and independent that I don't have the energy to fight with her. She's well-behaved when she's not around me. My daycare person has discussed her concerns with me and she won't give my daughter a nap so that she is able to fall asleep earlier. My personal opinion (as I am the other mom) is that you need to discuss your concerns with the parents. She might be offended...but thats on her. I was offended the very first time the provider talked to me and I balled because she basically called me a bad mother --but then I came to my senses and realized was I am a horrible mom and she gives me advice on how to change things and she helps out by telling my daughter that she needs to listen to me and what not. It has helped...but my daughter still has her moments. You really just need to sit down with the other mom and act genuinely concerned about what is going on in their life and tell her what changes you have noticed.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I personally would just fulfill your commitment until July---unless you are in a position where you feel the mom can be open with you and you can genuinely help then probe. But since you mentioned it's more of a business relationship, I would be professional because there may be more going on at home than you realize---maybe the older kids are doing most of the child care and that's why the movies and the food you describe. And if it's truly something that you feel compromises your morals and ethics as a day care provider then approach her with the intent of saying you won't watch him anymore based on a list of criteria.

I will qualify this by saying I am not a day care provider but as a parent, if I was the mother of this 4 year old, I would expect nothing less.

Best wishes.



answers from Denver on

Boy, what a tough situation!

I don't know what advice I can offer, as I've not been in your situation. However, since you mention you're "friendly" with the mom, maybe you could express your concerns to her in a non-confrontational way so she won't feel defensive. If you take it on as YOUR issue/concern, she won't be made to feel as if you're judging her.

You also mentioned that you're only watching him for another few months. Why not establish a time for ALL The kids to have "quiet time?" This doesn't have to be a nap, per se, but even just letting them watch a DVD or color or play quietly? That way, if this little one falls asleep, it's not a big deal and he gets a little shut eye that he obvioulsy isn't getting at home.

Just a couple of thoughts. I wish you the best and I'm sure you'll handle the situation perfectly!



answers from Salt Lake City on

Hi D.,
If you feel like you need to say anything you must remember that the only part of his life that is your business is how he behaves at your house. You have every right to say to the parents that this little guy is really tired every day, that you are concerned he may be sick or something. If he is screaming at your house to get his way you could mention that as well. If he is talking about inappropriate movies around your little ones than that is a valid concern also. However, what time he goes to bed and how they parent at home (no matter how wrong the rest of us might think it is) is not your business. If you do talk to them about this, just keep it specifically related to what happens at your house.
Take care,

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions