Discipline for kids I babysit?--Really need feedback, especially about the end.

United States
June 5, 2008 7:10pm CST
I babysit these 3 kids. They're 4, 6 and 10.(Just turned 6 and 10) Obviously, it's not ok in any situation to hit them, although I'm not sure if tapping their hand in trying to explain that what they have is something they shouldn't or not? I've been trying the time out thing and they sit there, but they throw a fit about it. Amount of time is based on age, and I try and talk to them and explain, but that doesn't really help. Tristan, the 4 yr old thinks he has the right to hit me and get away with it and that he's the boss and tells me what to do and that he doesn't have to listen to me. Mckayla(6) and Cynthia(10) throw fits when they feel they're being left out or don't get their way. FYI: They're not being left out, they just don't feel like joining in on their own and throw a fit to get the attention directed on them. I try and be nice to them and ask them to do things, but when they don't, I have to yell to get them to do it, and I kind of feel that's how their dad gets them to do things, but I don't want to be yelling at them and having to literally take them and hand help them to do what they're supposed to. Any suggestions? **Most important** My friend Stephen likes to come over if he doesn't work because he's awesome with kids...seeing as he has 7 younger brothers and sisters, and I love him being around(seeing as I'm in love with him, but he doesn't know that), but I feel he undermines my authority. If I try and talk to one of the kids and then put them in timeout or something, he goes and talks to them over me. He's not the babysitter and what I should say goes. And, when they're throwing fits and 'crying' and such because they feel they're not getting the attention because someone else it getting attention at the moment and I try and explain it's not appropriate and that if they feel left out they need to say something and not throw a fit..but when they do that, he starts giving them attention and everything. I don't want to get mad and snap on him because he's my best friend, but how do I explain what I feel? HELP!!! Please!! =[
1 person likes this
2 responses
@Darkwing (21588)
6 Jun 08
It seems to me that they haven't been disciplined too well by their parents, and you need to make a few ground rules. I would begin by talking to their parents about this, but let them know that their children must understand that whilst you're baby sitting... what you say, goes. They need to know that whilst their parents are out of the house, that you're in charge, as their guardian. It might be a good idea to make a "Behaviour Chart". Give them a gold sticker if they're good and a black one if they're not. Then, tell them that you're going to show their parents the chart when they arrive home, so they can see how well-behaved they've been. They probably think that whilst their parents are out, they can do what they want to, but you need to get them in line for when you're there. Make it clear that no misbehaviour will be tolerated. Perhaps reward them in some way, the next time you go around, if they behave. Take them a small gift for good behaviour. As for your boyfriend, then he must understand that when he comes around with you, he too must follow your rules. Otherwise, they will play one of you against the other and you'll never get them to toe the line. Brightest Blessings.
• United States
6 Jun 08
Thanks you for your reply. I may just try that. And, he's my best friend, not my boyfriend..I just wish he was, but he doesn't know that. If he were my boyfriend, I wouldn't have a problem with him talking to them and explaining things.
1 person likes this
@Darkwing (21588)
7 Jun 08
Ooooooops, sorry for the misunderstanding. By all means, let him get involved but in a way that supports you, rather than going against your ground rules.
@barehugs (8986)
• Canada
6 Jun 08
Communication is a good idea. Talk to the parents and explain your problem. When you are babysitting its also a good idea to communicate with the kids. Children are small adults and will appreciate being treated as such. Try Psychology on them. When they want a favor, sit down with them and make a bargain. "If you will do this I can do that." This is like a business deal. Some times it will work well. AS for your Bf. you should explain your ideas to him and let him know how you feel about your Babysitting Job. Perhaps you both can work together to get the kids to do your bidding.