New Here & Need Advice

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-12-2010
New Here & Need Advice
Mon, 02-08-2010 - 3:17pm

Hey all!
I am a dayhome provider and am hoping some of you who have more experience can offer me some insight/advice. I have ~3 years experience as a provider and 9 being a parents/step-parent.

Please excuse my length as I don't really know how to compress this info!

I have a new child, J, that started mid-Jan. He turned 4 in Nov. Mom was a dayhome provider for 5 yrs but went back to work for many reasons, one of which was that she got tired of doing dayhome (understandable). J also has an older sis, who was diagnosed with leukemia when J was still a lil baby. End result is, due to the lack of attention J got as a baby due to his sis' illness, parents have (over?) compensated by allowing some things that now are an issue for me.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not cold-hearted, and I completely understand where they're coming from. When you've had one child almost die, you tend to "pick your battles" with your children thereafter.

J is a wonderfully behaved child. Shares most toys well, has manners, is quickly adapting to manners that I request (i.e. "excuse me" and so on).

But my concerns are:

1. J "likes his milk" as per Mom. She provides the milk. But he is 4 years old and several (5-6) times a day needs to lay down on the couch with his sippy cup to have his milk. I knew in advance that he liked milk but not the couch/sippy cup part. This causes issues with my own son (20 months) who is allowed a sippy cup of milk when he wakes up in the a.m. and THAT'S IT, as well as other DH kids who are same age/younger but drink out of regular cups & are only allowed to drink at the table. J will NOT drink at the table (not even with meal/snack). He literally turned around in circles and had a melt down on Friday after lunch when my husband was laying down on the couch.

Do I let this continue and just suck it up in regards to my kids? Do I talk to parents about when they are planning on getting their 4-year old off the sippy cup? Or do I institute new rule about no drinks in the living room to him?

2. Very picky eater. I have a no outside food rule because my son and I are allergic to peanuts. Any slice of bread or deli meat or cereal etc could have traces of peanuts on it and be lethal. I have adjusted some of my menu to food J likes (chicken burgers, hot dogs) but he refuses to eat cheese, pasta, or sandwiches that I make, so Mom now sends sandwiches 3x/week.
I thought this would be ok for adjustment period - that he would accept me making sandwiches, but apparently not.
Then last week, we have chicken burgers on Tues, and on Wed J comes with not a sandwich but a chicken burger from home. So suddenly I have mutiny on my hands, 4 other kids that want to know why they are not getting chicken burgers again!
What do I do about this sitch? Do I ask mom to stop sending him lunch? Do I just try to make my other kids understand?

3. Also snacks are very picky - limited to bananas (if they are in perfect condition), apples (if peeled & cored perfectly), carrots, cucumbers, yogurt TUBES, and chocolate chip granola bars. That's it. Not what I am used to serving, altho I have accommodated somewhat.
Do I accommodate his snack whims? Do I feed all the kids what he is used to having? Do I let him have a different snack then the other kids? Or do I just serve what I serve, and if he doesn't like it too bad? (That's pretty much what I've done in the past - with 5 kids of my own I learned a loooooong time ago not to cater to each individual child.) He literally wants a choc chip granola bar & yogurt tube every day. He also told me that he gets fruit loops with his yogurt tube. No way that's happening in my house.

4. J brings a leapster everyday to dayhome. It clearly states in my manual to not bring toys from home, as children rarely share well. Mom had indicated that she would allow J to bring Leapster to help him "adjust" for the first little while, to be used at quiet time. I was okay with this. However when Dad drops J off, he takes Leapster out of backpack and J immediately plays it...and does not want to share. Does not like when the kids are trying to see what he is doing, and does not understand that 1 yr olds have a fascination with things that make noise like that and hence WILL try to touch them.
Leapster in the morning is now a routine that interferes with dayhome routine. When my last DH child (which is now J) arrives, we go down to our playroom, or on occcassion to our 2nd level bedrooms for a change of pace. J throws a whining fit, crying, melts down if he does not get his Leapster time when he arrives. But also gets upset when he is trying to play and the other kids are trying to see.

Other kids, (2 of which are mine) do not understand why J will not share this toy, as they share all the other toys, kwim?
This has gotten so bad that my 3-yo son has talked my DH into buying him a Leapster for his birhtday in June.

J does not listen very well, when it comes to Leapster. Like I say "I dont think you need your Leapster right now" and 2 minutes later, he has it out & the problems commence. Multiple times a day.

So do I, as the provider, simply outlaw the Leapster unless it's quiet time, regardless of his meltdowns?
Or do I talk to parents and tell them they need to keep it at home or talk to him about it being only for quiet time?

5. Quiet time = Leapster or TV, that's it. He will not do arts, play quietly, puzzles, books etc. I'm not against TV at quiet time but not every day, and not for an hour every day, kwim?
But if he decides he's done with Leapster and I don't turn on the TV, he sulks on the couch for a while, and then starts playing with toys that he know are not "quiet time" toys. Thoughts?

I do accept responsibility for some of this. I made the mistake of thinking that he would "adjust" to the DH routine/rules as most other kids do, and these things would slowly diminish as issues. Alas, no luck.

If you got through all that - thanks! Any advice/thoughts is appreciated.

~ Mom to 5 ~
~ Melissa ~ ‎"We need to find the courage to say NO to the things and people that are not serving us, if we want to rediscover ourselves and live our lives with authenticity." - Barbara de Angelis
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-09-2000
Mon, 02-08-2010 - 3:54pm

Here's what I do:

No toys from home.

No food from home.

No food or drinks allowed anywhere but the kids table and only at meals and snacks.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 02-08-2010 - 4:31pm

Here's my advice:



iVillage Member
Registered: 04-19-2004
Mon, 02-08-2010 - 5:50pm
I completely agree with NAN. 100%. He will adapt or chalk it up to not a good fit for your home. you are not being unreasonable w/ your routine or rules. You run dc for a group you are not a nanny.
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-15-2005
Tue, 02-09-2010 - 12:21am

I agree with everyone- Your house- your rules. Case Closed.

Unfortunately you let them bend all of the rules from the get go. It will be hard to fix that mistake quickly. You have to be confident of your practices and enforce your daycare rules. I would write up a memo stating no toys from home, no snacks from home, no sippys for children over 3, you eat what is served or nothing etc. (say it nicely) and start fresh. If you have a handbook with this info I would re-send it to the parents etc.

1- Get rid of the sippy and have him drink at the table. 4 year olds DO NOT use sippys. If he won't drink at the table then he doesn't drink - easy peasy.

June2010.jpg picture by slk70

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Tue, 02-09-2010 - 7:15am
Ditto everyone else. Your house, your rules, period. You may have a week from you know where getting him used to it, but it's either that or continue letting them get away with everything they want for as long as he's with you. That won't work. Stand firm, let the parents know their "adjustment period" is over and lay down the law. Good luck.
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Lilypie Waiting to Adopt tickers
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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-12-2010
Tue, 02-09-2010 - 3:22pm

I'd like to thank everyone for their responses.
When I re-read my post this morning I couldn't help but think how ridiculous it sounds, given that this isn't exactly my first time dealing with children! I definitely do need to just lay down the law so to speak. LOL @ Nan's "Baptism by Fire" !

*As a side note - when I said my 1 yo was allowed one cup of milk & "that's it", I was referring to being allowed to drink on the couch, not the quantity of milk. I.e he takes a while to wake up in the morning, so at 7 am he sits on the couch with sippy of milk while he wakes up (10-15 mins), then heads to highchair for breakfast. The rest of the day even the 1 yos have their drinks ONLY while sitting at the table/highchairs.

I think my slackness has been due to 1) needing the income right now, which I haven't really in the past, (thus being afraid to lose it) and 2)knowing Mom was very concerned about this being his first care situation after being at home with her for 4 yrs, kwim? I try to work with parents & maybe took on too much of her concern - I have been much more passive with J than any of the other kids.

I've only ever had one other child that didn't nap, and she loved reading so it wasn't a biggie. Now I have J (and an almost 4 yo p/t child) thought was the Leapster was a good transition item .. but I also expected that a 4 yo would like to do puzzles & look at books etc, as all my other kids do. That he would switch over to wanting to do those quiet activities. However he does not, whatsoever. I think he's been raised as a "screen kid"...needs to be entertained. I know he goes home and plays Wii every night too.

I explained to him today, that starting tomorrow, he would need to drink his milk at the table like everyone else. He looked absolutely traumatized.
The Leapster has stayed in the drawer yesterday & today until quiet time. We will see how that goes the rest of the week, and I def will be talking to Mom over the weekend at the latest, about the food sitch.

Again, thanks!

~ Mom to 5 ~
~ Melissa ~ ‎"We need to find the courage to say NO to the things and people that are not serving us, if we want to rediscover ourselves and live our lives with authenticity." - Barbara de Angelis