onerover1 (onerover1) wrote in workingmoms,

Issues with child care provider

I am a 35 year old single, working mom. My daughter, Shelby, will be two on January 29th. From the time Shelby was 8 weeks old until 14 months old she went to a day care center. Last March Shelby was seriously injured at the facility and needless to say I didn't send her back there. Between my two sisters and myself, we kept Shelby for the next 3 months until I found someone I trusted to watch her. This person, Karen, was someone that I had worked with (over the phone) for almost 2 years. We worked at different companies, but spoke almost daily over the phone and after I moved to another position we kept in touch through email. Once she found out what had happened to Shelby at the day care she told me that she had been thinking about quitting her job and watching kids in her home. In mid-July she started keeping Shelby and everything was great. Of course, there was a rough transition period for a couple of weeks where Shelby would cry in the mornings, but she soon got into a routine and would wave me bye-bye when I left.

Over the past 7 months I have learned that Karen and I have different opinions on almost everything. Most of it is religious and political and has nothing to do with Shelby. I am certain that she cares for Shelby and that Shelby loves her. She has taught Shelby so many things and includes her in a lot of their family activities too.

Here is my problem: Last night Shelby and I were playing with her dollhouse and she took one of the dolls and told him to stand in the corner. I have never done that to Shelby (and never would) so I asked her about it and she said Karen makes her stand in the corner. So then I said "does Karen hit you?" and she said "spank bottom" and patted her bottom. Now, I do not spank Shelby. I think hitting a child teaches them that hitting is ok. I have been known to swat her hand when she was reaching for the hot stove, but I have never spanked her. I am not anti-spanking for other people, I think every parent has to make their own informed decision, but it's not the kind of discipline I want to practice and it's CERTAINLY not something I want someone else to do to my child.

What do I do? My first reaction was to call Karen right away and confront her about it. But then I started thinking . . .Shelby is two. She says a lot of stuff. One time she told me a horse bit her hand . . .the horse was across the street behind a fence! She has a big imagination, and I wonder how much of what she says to take to heart.

I consider Karen a friend of mine and don't want to hurt her feelings by accusing her of something that may not be true, but I also don't want her disciplining my child by hitting her or making her stand in the corner.
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Wow... I can definitely see your concern. Just wondering... has there ever been any discussion between you and Karen regarding discipline? Because whats right in someone's eyes can be completely wrong is someone else's, as I'm sure you are aware. My nephew is 2 1/2, and my brother makes him stand in the corner or go to bed when he is bad, something I completely disagree with. I think 2 years is just too long for that kind of discipline, ESPECIALLY hitting, because they don't understand whats happening, and like you said, it teaches them that hitting is ok.
So, I think if I were in your shoes, I would begin my simply telling Karen what was said and seeing how she reacts before accusing her of anything. Like you said, your daughter could have an active imagination, or could have seen Karen treat other kids this way without being actually punished herself. It sounds like the situation needs to be addressed, however you choose to do it, if nothing else to let Karen know what means of discipline is ok and what is not. If she is truly a good friend she will understand your concern. Good luck!
Thanks for the support. I have told Karen the means I use for discipline (redirection and time outs), but I guess I need to sit down and talk to her about them again.
Just a thought...I wonder if Karen is thinking that standing in the corner is the same thing as a time out??

Anyhow, good luck, this is a toughy. Could be an active imagination, or could be really happening!
I talked to Shelby about it all again last night and got different answers then the night before. I'm just going to approach Karen with ideas for time outs and not mention anything else unless it comes up again.
I think what you should do is sit down with Karen and approach her in a way like..."Shelby is reaching her 'terrible' twos, and I know she will be testing limits. I wanted to discuss the forms of discipline you use when she misbehaves..." And you can even let her know what you believe in and what you don't believe in.

You need to decide what form of discipline you feel is right for Shelby. There has to be some form of discipline that you allow your caretaker to give. Standing in the corner, or "time out" as most call it, doesn't seem too extreme and is actually the method preached by most. Maybe it doesn't have to be standing in the corner, maybe it could be a special mat or chair that you sit away from toys or any other entertainment. As soon as you figure out the method you like best, share it with karen and ask her to implement that.

We have a mother at my son's daycare who complains about any discpline her child gets. That isn't fair to the people watching the child, because that means that the child can misbehave and never learn right from wrong, while the other children will get a punishment of some form.

I wouldn't accuse though, there are other children there, I would assume she has some of her own maybe? And she may have seen Karen spank them, but not neccessarily has been spanked herself.
Using the "terrible twos" as an ice breaker is a good idea, thank you. Karen's sons are 15 & 18, so I doubt Shelby has seen her spank them (but who knows!) and the only other child she watches currently is 3 months old.

I definately believe a child needs to have some sort of discipline. If redirection doesn't work, I use the time out. If I can't get Shelby to sit still I will put her in her crib or pack-n-play for one minute, then take her out and talk to her about what she did. I have told Karen that before, but I guess I will have to talk to her about it again.

Thanks for the advice.