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Old 08-11-2014, 08:21 PM
 
Location: Ohio
5,627 posts, read 4,635,095 times
Reputation: 6732

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Quote:
Originally Posted by trj90 View Post
I'm 24, I've been with my girlfriend for 8 years, and we have a son who's 3. Obviously it's an odd family dynamic of having a kid young and not getting married even after we have the kid. Being younger we have some different set ups. My girlfriend's sister is 17 and she's the primary babysitter because a lot of nights we both work late. We allow her to pretty much do whatever with him( give him cookies for dinner, stay up late, etc). For my sister-in-law, we have an open door policy in our apt. when it comes to her friends. We only have 2 rules, if it's after 8, keep your voice down, and no swearing or dirty talk in front of him( never been a problem). We've had date nights where we come home at midnight and she has 5 friends over and he's sitting in the lap of one of her friends, happy as a clam. One practice that concerns my parents are the nights when my girlfriend works late, he gets very concerned about her and one night I took him to go see Mommy at work. We've done that a few times since. We're not big into timeouts or spankings. Whenever he acts up, we just sit down with him and talk, usually we get to the heart of why he was acting up.
Are you raising your son correctly? In my eyes, no but im not you or your son.

Your GF sister watches your son, thats nice of her but youre also taking advantage of her. Cant she have a life? Sure shes having "fun" but seriously, how long will you have her do this unpaid? Why not set up some rules and pay her? Why have the after 8 rule if no one is in bed? Why are you allowing your 3yr old to stay up until midnight? No cookies at meals- at least give money for pizza or something.

I HIGHLY doubt hes fine at daycare.

 
Old 08-11-2014, 08:47 PM
 
10,391 posts, read 7,472,821 times
Reputation: 18309
I was so paranoid who was around my kids. I'd have an issue with people I don't know being around my kids. Not saying your SIL has bad judgement or even bad friends but there could be a predator who slips in as a friend-of-a-friend. Better safe than sorry. You probably know a few of her friends well enough to trust them. I'd limit the visitors to ones you know an approve of.
 
Old 08-11-2014, 08:59 PM
 
3,325 posts, read 3,260,957 times
Reputation: 8433
Your son is being raised in what sounds like a loving, but chaotic, and not necessarily safe environment. First of all - where are the parents of your girlfriend's 17 year old sister? I would not allow my 17 year old to host a party (and that many kids over, boys and girls, late at night, is a party) with no adult present. Completely aside from the issue of your son's well being, I don't think that you should be providing an unsupervised hangout spot for your girlfriend's minor sister. If something happens there (drinking, drugging, sexual assault), YOU could be held responsible for having provided the unsupervised venue.

As for your son, he needs a regular schedule. I'm not sure what type of household you have. Many households where the parents do not work have a schedule where everyone sleeps until noon, and stays up until two am. These households collect an income courtesy of the taxpayers, rather than earning an income. If this is true about your household, and that is the reason that you are on this schedule, then you have worse things to worry about for your son's welfare and future than the fact that he's up until midnight with a bunch of unsupervised teenagers. But if you and your girlfriend are the kind of people who work, and want a self-sufficient future together, and envision a future for your son which involves being safe, doing well in school, having cavity-free teeth, and being self-supporting, rather than a dependent upon the public welfare system, it's time to make some changes.

People who have their children's best interest at heart, and who are self sufficient and intend that they and their offspring stay that way, have their children on a consistent schedule that allows them enough sleep for their age every night. That means at least 12 hours at his age. He should be put to bed every night at least 12 hours before he has to get up. If you are having to wake him up in the morning to go to daycare or whatever else, he is going to bed too late. He should go to sleep at the same time every night, with only rare exceptions for special occasions, because kids (and every one else, too), sleep better and get enough sleep if they go to sleep and get up at roughly the same time day after day. If he still naps, it should be at the same time every day, and not for too long, or he won't go to sleep at bedtime. Many children his age no longer take naps, but if he does, and it is too long, or too late in the day, he'll have trouble falling asleep until very late at night. He should be fed a well-balanced diet of home-cooked food, with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, and milk, and lean meats. Home-cooked food, not frozen processed foods or take out food, or food from fast food restaurants. That means raw, uncooked foods that you buy at a supermarket, and cook yourselves, without a lot of fat and salt. It doesn't mean frozen chicken nuggets or McDonald's. He should have his teeth brushed and flossed after meals, and before bed. For the sake of his teeth, he snack only on fresh fruits and vegetables between meals, and he should drink only water in between meals - flouridated water, which is probably the tap water if you are on city water, but if you're on well water, you need to give him either flouridated water, or flouride supplements every day. He should not watch TV much or have screen time, maybe not at all, and certainly not adult TV. He should be taken outside to play as often as possible, certainly every day, and be taken to public playgrounds often, every day if possible. He should go to nursery school or a good daycare with children his age, pleasant, attentive caregivers, and attractive, bright, clean play areas. He should be taken to all sorts of places that you and he find interesting - watching construction sites and airports is usually high on the list for little boys - but lots of different places interest them. A trip to Home Depot can be fascinating for little boys. After all, there are skid steers there! The idea is to stimulate his mind - talk with him about whatever you see and do outside the house, ask him questions a lot, that show him that you are interested in what he thinks. When you or his mother are not with him, and he is not in a daycare situation with a responsible adult who cares for him in the same way you two do, you should hire a trusted babysitter. That could be your girlfriend's sister. But the deal should be no smoking, drinking, drugs, or guests. Play with him until HIS bedtime. Then put him to bed - properly well fed, teeth brushed and flossed. Of course, you and his mom are going to have to train him to go to bed at his bedtime, first. And after that, she is free to watch TV, go on line, whatever. Maybe have ONE female friend (preapproved) over to help her babysit him, and then keep her company afterwards. And that's it.

I'm not saying that the only way to raise a child is on a rigid schedule. Virtually all children of families where the parents live on welfare are raised on no schedule, in chaos. This is why you see very young children out on the street late at night ghetto areas. Plenty of writers of lurid memoirs were raised in chaos - their early exposure to adult behavior, including drinking, drugging, and sex, and often hidden sexual abuse by the adults given unsupervised access to them - makes fascinating, albeit tragic, reading. But if your child sleeps only when he drops from exhaustion, eats starches and sweets and drinks juice all through the day, without frequent tooth brushing, he will be overtired most of the time, and get cavities. And if he hangs out with unsupervised teenagers, there's bound to be trouble, probably a lot worse than him learning curse words before he can read. Right now, from your description, you're essentially exchanging some chaotic babysitting for a free, unsupervised hangout spot for your girlfriend's teenage sister and all her friends. That could lead to some real trouble, for both you and your son.

You're not a teen anymore. You're a parent. Time to grow up and act like one, for the sake of your child.
 
Old 08-11-2014, 10:29 PM
 
Location: SouthEast
166 posts, read 156,371 times
Reputation: 342
Kids need a routine, very much so. A routine will make them feel secure and bring predictability to their lives. I work weird rotating shifts but my wife doesn't. We let our now 9 year old stay up late and sleep on the sofa some during the summer but during the school year its a pretty strict routine. Homework, a small snack, some free time, dinner, homework again if he hasn't finished it yet, free time/bath/brush teeth, 20 minutes or so of free time to wind down(no xbox) then bed. We experimented with bedtimes and I wanted 8pm, my wife said 930 or 10. We compromised at 9pm based on his behavior in the mornings and school performance but this took years to accurately dial in.
On nights when he has sports its a bit more hectic but you get the idea.
Its not uncommon for me to work nights from 6p to 6a get home at 7a just as the wife leaves for work and I stay up with him till she gets home from work at 5p. I may catch a short nap in the recliner if a movie he really likes is on but that it. Its that important. If I have to go back to work in the evening I'll let him stay with a grandmother so I can get some rest. You make it work but their interests have to be ahead of yours, always.

Diet and sleep habits are of HUGE importance right now at his age. Be the parent.
 
Old 08-11-2014, 10:58 PM
 
Location: St.Paul,MN
10 posts, read 9,205 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohky0815 View Post
Are you raising your son correctly? In my eyes, no but im not you or your son.

Your GF sister watches your son, thats nice of her but youre also taking advantage of her. Cant she have a life? Sure shes having "fun" but seriously, how long will you have her do this unpaid? Why not set up some rules and pay her? Why have the after 8 rule if no one is in bed? Why are you allowing your 3yr old to stay up until midnight? No cookies at meals- at least give money for pizza or something.

I HIGHLY doubt hes fine at daycare.
we usually does give money for pizza. We don't take advantage. Yes, she is the primary sitter, but, if she can't watch him for some reason, we have a secondary sitter on the floor below us. My GF's sister doesn't want to be paid, we tried, she refused.
 
Old 08-11-2014, 11:03 PM
 
Location: St.Paul,MN
10 posts, read 9,205 times
Reputation: 10
lots of great input on here. I'll give this stuff a shot
 
Old 08-12-2014, 04:47 AM
 
Location: Planet Earth
2,768 posts, read 2,312,289 times
Reputation: 4956
Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
How he acts at day care will give you a lot of answers. Do they rave about what a delight he is to have in their care or are they frequently mentioning problems. Does he follow directions when asked to do something like come to circle time or help pick up toys because playtime is over or does he insist on "doing what he wants to do when he wants to do it"? Does he eat whatever is put out for snack or lunch or pout and demand something different? Is he generally happy, well rested and awake in the morning when it time to leave for day care or is it a big battle to get him up and dressed in time? Does he get along with and play the other children or prefer to be with the adults?
Children who have a mind of their own are to be admired, they are the future leaders..why should a child eat whatever they put out for a snack???? Why does a child have to obediently run over to a circle??
 
Old 08-12-2014, 07:33 AM
 
Location: Central IL
13,361 posts, read 7,121,412 times
Reputation: 31053
Quote:
Originally Posted by trj90 View Post
as far as midnight. He wouldn't go to bed until we came home
He can LEARN to go to bed without you being there - that is the advantage of having routines in place - they can make adjusting to other changes (like you not being there) easier. He really needs to get a regular bedtime - may not be a big deal now, but it will definitely later.
 
Old 08-12-2014, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,477 posts, read 15,913,707 times
Reputation: 38740
Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
How he acts at day care will give you a lot of answers. Do they rave about what a delight he is to have in their care or are they frequently mentioning problems. Does he follow directions when asked to do something like come to circle time or help pick up toys because playtime is over or does he insist on "doing what he wants to do when he wants to do it"? Does he eat whatever is put out for snack or lunch or pout and demand something different? Is he generally happy, well rested and awake in the morning when it time to leave for day care or is it a big battle to get him up and dressed in time? Does he get along with and play the other children or prefer to be with the adults?
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlowerPower00 View Post
Children who have a mind of their own are to be admired, they are the future leaders..why should a child eat whatever they put out for a snack???? Why does a child have to obediently run over to a circle??
There is a big difference between a child who is a future leader because they have the strength of their convictions and do not follow inappropriate or illogical edicts and a spoiled brat who demands their own way at all times. This difference is usually pretty clear to teachers (but, often it is not as clear to that child's parents).

No, a child does not have to eat what the day care teacher puts out for snack, but they shouldn't throw the food, demand that the teacher go out to buy him McDonald's chicken nuggets RIGHT NOW!!! for snack and then scream at the top of their lungs for ten minutes while attempting to bite and hit the teacher when she says "No, I am not driving to McDonalds to buy nuggets" (I have seen that specific situation while I was observing a three year old in a day care center, and variations of that example numerous times). Can you picture that three year as a future leader?

Last edited by germaine2626; 08-12-2014 at 09:10 AM..
 
Old 08-12-2014, 09:15 AM
 
8,541 posts, read 5,262,232 times
Reputation: 9100
I don't think that there is anything wrong with what you are doing, op. Cookies for dinner is not the best thing, nor is staying up until midnight but if these are both occasional, rather then regular things then I don't see the harm. It sounds like he is doing well in daycare and also has a good relationship with his aunt. From what you have shared, I don't see any harm in the situation.
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