Babysitting Help? - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By tinyliny
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post #1 of 6 Old 03-23-2013, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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Babysitting Help?

I figured you guys might be able to help me out with this better than asking this in the Teen Talk forum.
So I've been working with kids for a long time (helped out with childcare at different functions since I was ten or so - I'm sixteen now) but haven't babysat that much until now.
Last night I babysat for a really nice family who has two kids - a little boy who is one and a little girl who just turned three. Normally, I have very few problems with them - the occasional "that's mine" and stuff but nothing major. Also want to establish that I'm not a pushover with kids, and when I say something, I mean business. The little boy went to bed with no problem, but the little girl it was a rough night.

I went through her bedtime routine like her mom had told me, but as soon as I went to put her to bed, she absolutely refused. I sat in the room with her, listening to her protests of "I'm not tired! I'm not tired! I can't go to sleep!"

I tried praying and reading with her. I called my own mom and had her talk to her about obeying and listening. I tried leaving her and putting her back into bed when she got up, and repeated this a bunch of times, only succeeding in waking up the little boy who shares her room. Eventually, I called her mom and had her talk to her, and she still wouldn't listen. Finally, it was two hours past her bedtime and we just had to decide on letting her stay up until they came home

There were consequenses for her behavior and they did reinforce the fact that when I was there, I was in charge.
I felt horrible that I had to bother them on a date night when they should have been enjoying themselves, and the mom came in crying because she felt so bad that the girl was misbehaving for me. They are great parents and I really felt awful for not being able to handle it myself. It has sort of made me lose my babysitting confidence that I can't get simple tasks like that done.

The biggest problem I had was that she knew that what she was doing was wrong. We literally had this conversation:

Me: Is not going to bed when you're told to obedient or disobedient?
Her: Disobedient.
Me: Are you making the right choice or the wrong choice right now?
Her: The wrong choice.
Me: Do we need to listen and obey when someone tells us what to do?
Her: Yes.
Me: So why aren't you doing what I asked?
Her: Because I'm not tired!
(At this point I am ready to cry)

So next time I go, I am going to do the she gets up/I put her back in bed thing again more persistently. I refuse to be intimidated by a three year old
Any other ideas on how to get her to listen and obey when she is told to go to bed? Not only then, but whenever I tell her to do something? She can be pretty headstrong but I've never had to deal with something like this before from her.
Thanks in advance!

A horse is a mirror to your soul. And sometimes you may not like what you see. - Buck Brannaman
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post #2 of 6 Old 03-23-2013, 08:39 PM
Join Date: Dec 2009
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don't worry about it and take it so seriously . as kids grow they're going to test people differently especially someone like you that they don't see regularly . my aunt use to crack a belt and we'd run like mad and we always obey to her but we were scared of her so I will I think this kid just know you can't punish her and is going to do it she wants I would just ask the parents house they want you to handle it next time
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post #3 of 6 Old 03-23-2013, 10:25 PM
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While it's important to get respect from the kids, you also need to keep in mind that you're her babysitter, not her parent, and while it's okay to demand respect and demand obedience, they WILL test you to see what they can get away with, and since you can't 'punish' in the same way their parents will, that's okay. I used to babysit a little girl that had a heck of a time 'testing', eventually she'd fall asleep in my lap and I'd put her to bed. Her brothers on the other hand had to get the 'mean voice' (and once they got the mean voice, they settled down and went to bed).

If all else fails, put her to bed with a night light and a quiet toy / picture book and as much as she's "not tired" she'll probably be out sooner rather than later.
alexischristina is offline  
post #4 of 6 Old 03-23-2013, 10:38 PM
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Quick idea:
If you are allowed...
Buy her some shower crayons. Put the boy to bed, have her play in the running shower for a good 20, dry off, read to her and she should be toast!
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FlyGap is offline  
post #5 of 6 Old 03-24-2013, 01:19 AM
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First of all, something like this happens to EVERY person who has ever babysat, and I've done lots of it when I was your age. The parents should understand that you are young, the kids will not behave the same for you as for them and so , they should not be too upset if there is some issue. Also, leaving you with a ONE year old and a three year old is no picnic. The mother should not have been crying, but maybe it's just hormones. Don't worry too much about it.

As for the little girl, your argument with her is WAY over her head. She cannot think that high level yet, and you don't want to engage her there anyway.

Heres what you could do. Allow her to sit out on the couch with you, but no TV. So, she is not rewarded for refusing bed, but she is not forced into bed without being sleepy. This is not a permanent fix, but that's not your responsibility. Just tell her that she can either go to bed or sit quietly on the couch with a book by herself, but you are no longer playing with her and no TV. Just sit quietly with her, if she will. If she tries to go play, then remind her of the agreement; either sit quietly here or be alone in her bedroom. OR, put her to sleep in the parent's room to avoid waking the baby.

in any case, don't let this worry you or dampen your confidence. it happens. you aren't there to train the kids, just keep them safe til mom and dad come home, even if they end up staing up late.
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tinyliny is offline  
post #6 of 6 Old 03-24-2013, 01:34 AM
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Good idea in Tiny's post, I definitely suggest putting her to bed in the parents' room. Even if you're putting her down with a quiet toy, at least there will be no waking the other child. The last thing you need is two arguing young ones.
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