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Dutchess_III's avatar

What would you have said to your child under these circumstances?

Asked by Dutchess_III (36041points) June 9th, 2014

I used to have a daycare. It was my sole means of support for myself and my kids and I made just enough to pay my bills.

Often I had all the kids (7 of them) in the van with me, running errands. When I did this, I’d always go through the McDonald’s drive through and get a medium coke for myself. It was an occasional, special treat for myself. I’d ask the kids if any of them wanted water, and if they did, I got them water.

At one point one of the parents complained because their kid was whining that he didn’t get a coke too. She said she didn’t think that was very nice of me, and gave me money to get her kid a drink as well.

That, of course, left me between a rock and a hard spot. Couldn’t very well buy just one kid out of 7 a drink, and I couldn’t afford to get them all one, so I just quit getting myself a coke. I missed it when I quit.

Whenever I went to a convenience store I let all the kids come in and choose a piece of candy from the “bottom row” which was where all the nickle candy lived.

I did a lot of special things for the kids. Each kid got their own birthday party when their birthday came around, which took several hours to put together.

We’d go on a field trip every Wednesday, either to a park or to a nature trail in Wichita where we’d have lunch (grilled hotdogs or burgers.) All of this required a lot of work on my part, and they weren’t lacking for attention.

If one of my kids had complained (which I don’t think they would have) I would have told them to just deal with it. Grown ups get special privileges that kids don’t always get to share in, because grown ups work so hard.

What would you have told your kid?

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49 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

1) let the kid whine. Especially over something like whether he gets a Coke or not. Kids can learn disappointment and that they don’t get everything.

2) I would have told the mom that it would be inappropriate to do one and not all, and that you appreciated her gesture, but no thanks. The other kids are your responsibility, and all of them have been entrusted to you because of your experience and judgment.

I would have thanked her for her concern, and I would have turned down the money for her kid’s coke, and I would have continued to do what I you thought was right.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh, I turned down the money and told her why. I explained that I couldn’t buy a coke for just one kid and not the others.

I quit buying the coke because I didn’t want her jumping my ass because I didn’t treat her baby like the very ‘pecial super kid he was.

OpryLeigh's avatar

Yeah, if I was the parent, I would have explained to my kid that we don’t always get what we want. Unfortunately, kids with parents like that quite often grow up to feel the world owes them a favour.

GloPro's avatar

Why wouldn’t you just buy a 12 pack to keep in the garage and fill up a travel cup when driving around? Issue averted all together.
At that age, for me, it would have been torture to go through any drive through and get nothing. Drive throughs were so rare!

GloPro's avatar

Was there a reason you didn’t just stash them at home? My sister, for example, likes fountain soda. You said you quit getting them but missed them. Isn’t keeping a box in the garage an easy fix to all issues?

I just try not to rile kids up for no reason. The headache I get from doing so is reason enough for me. I don’t tip toe around them or anything, but I can see how going through a drive thru for a soda would rile up kids that do that regularly with their own parents but are denied with you. My kid wouldn’t drink soda anyway. When I was a nanny they were happy with water, too.

My sister goes through Starbucks drive through and the kids don’t need or want anything. But Starbucks isn’t brainwashed into children. I think it was the fast food drive through that triggered the kid.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Because it was a treat for me, @GloPro. Somebody was doing some small thing for me. I was a single mom, running the daycare full time, going to school in the evenings full time.

I could see no reason any of the kids needed pop just because I got one. And that included my own two kids as well. No one complained except for that one kid.

They can just deal with it, as far as I was concerned. But I acquiesced to the mother who wanted to spoil her child rotten at my expense, and no one got anything.

GloPro's avatar

Yeah, but you’re still missing my question. I get the treating yourself thing. Why did you just give them up versus keep some in the garage? You can drink them happily whenever you want without any headache. You said you missed them when you decided to give them up all together. Am I missing something?

FlyingWolf's avatar

I agree with @GloPro, I would have avoided the situation by having a stash on hand for treats. While I also agree with @Dutchess_III that a kid doesn’t have to have everything an adult has, I also know what a great job fast food places have done turning those Golden Arches into Mecca for little kids. I would just save them and me the aggravation.

I have also tried to teach my kids that if they have a treat they either need to consume it in private or be willing to share. Buying the soda kind of goes against that philosophy. Bringing one would be more discreet and less likely to be noticed by the youngsters.

I do totally agree with the way you handled it with the mom. She needed to either buy for everyone or not buy at all.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Because it wouldn’t be a “treat.” I’d have to get it myself. I wouldn’t have someone “waiting” on me while I just sat there, doing nothing. I also much prefer the fountain drinks over the canned.

There WAS no aggravation from any of the other kids. Just that one (his parents spoiled him rotten, BTW.) I also don’t think an adult getting something for themselves compares to the logical rule that kids need to bring enough to share with other kids.

FlyingWolf's avatar

@Dutchess_III it does in my mind, which is why I would have done things differently. To me it would feel like a “do as I say, not as I do” kind of thing.

But it would be more of a pain for me to drag seven kids through a drive through than to grab a cold one out of the fridge, I am perfectly content with a can or bottle, no fountain necessary.

Even though I would have handled getting the soda differently, If my kid had complained to me about it, I would have told them tough toe nails, deal with it and stop crabbing.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I didn’t drag the kids out specifically to go to the drive through! I’m not insane! It was during the course of running whatever other errands.

You seem to be missing my whole point. The treat wasn’t so much the pop, it was someone waiting on me. I was constantly waiting on the day care, and it was a small thing, but I liked the feeling of being even a tiny bit pampered.

GloPro's avatar

Fountain drinks do have a different sensation.

I never would have, and probably never will, consider it a ‘treat’ to have the minimum wage worker at a fast food joint serving me a soda. To each their own.

I would have gotten my fountain drink when I let them pick out the penny candy at the convenience store. Maybe the attendant would pour it for you. ;-)

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

It isn’t clear what you exactly want to know. The initial question implies what we we would say to our own child in this type of scenario. The details come across as more of a venting scenario about how this situation was handled as a professional caregiver. Would you mind clarifying?

Dutchess_III's avatar

I know it sounds silly, but you’d have to understand my situation at them time. It did mean a little something to me. It was just a drop of cool water in a desert of busy, busy, busy stress.

FlyingWolf's avatar

@Dutchess_III I read the question, I understand that you drove through while you were out running errands. I still think that adding a stop to such a trip wouldn’t be something I would do, whether or not a cashier handed me the soda. Then again being handed something through small window has never felt like pampering to me.

Did you ask this question to hear the opinions of others or to argue that others’ opinions are wrong?

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer I just wanted to know what people thought, that’s all. This happened 25 years ago and something I did this morning reminded me of it. I hadn’t even thought of it since then, so no, it wasn’t a vent.

I have my opinion on it, others have theirs. For the most part. sounds like most agree with me, that an adult can have some things sometimes that kid can’t have. But, you also have to know that this particular kid was really, really spoiled. What ever he wanted, anything at all, his parents would move heaven and earth to get it.

Why wouldn’t you make the stop @FlyingWolf? It was no thang. It’s not like I had to drag the kids out of the car and keep an eye on them. THAT was a thang!

As I said, you would have had to have been in my shoes, my situation, to appreciate how such a small thing could be important to me.

FlyingWolf's avatar

@Dutchess_III I just think that with a full boat I would be all about getting things done and getting back home. In my experience kids get antsy in those situations and I would streamline the process as much as possible to try to avoid that.

I totally understand that it made you feel taken care of at the time, if only for a split second, now I am trying to figure out what I would have done in your place to feel that way. I am just not sure!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, the good part is, in the car they were tied down. I knew exactly where they were and they weren’t doing Something They Shouldn’t Be Doing, or crying or tattling, so it was all good. They didn’t get antsy. I guess they knew it wouldn’t do any good. Plus the trips often included stopping at the convenience store for some candy. They liked that, even though they were limited to the nickle candy. I can still hear that one kid (Josh….same kid who caused the demise of my coke) in my mind saying he wanted a “Jowllee Rancher.” The way he said it was really unique. (It also took quite a bit of time to convince him that no, he can’t have a whole candy bar. He wasn’t used to not getting his own way.)

DWW25921's avatar

I knew a mom who would make home made cookies for the grownups and have “special” (store bought) cookies for the kids. She is a wonderful person and a great mother but she doesn’t believe in wasting “the good stuff” on kids who wouldn’t appreciate it.

You care for others all day, why not treat yourself? I would have told the kid no and said it’s yours. Make it into one of those lessons of life moments. Explain all you do for them and you need something just for you. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I agree @DWW25921. Unfortunately it wasn’t my call to make.

FlyingWolf's avatar

@Dutchess_III do you know whatever happened to the kid? I’m guessing he is either spoiling his own kids and ordering his wife around, or living in Mom and Dad’s basement!

Dutchess_III's avatar

The last time I saw him was after I’d shut down the day care, and was substitute teaching. He was in first grad and I spotted him in the building I was working in. He was at the end of the line as they were going somewhere. He was walking backwards. I snapped, “JOSH!” and he looked up in surprise, gave me a “hi” grin. I spun my finger around in a circle, and he grinned again and turned around the right way.

He’s probably in mom and dad’s basement.

Seek's avatar

Uh, yeah.

The response would have been, “Sorry, lady. I can have you upset that Precious didn’t get a soda, or I can have six other parents pissed off about me feeding the kid high fructose corn syrup. If you want your kid to have soda he can drink it at home.”

You’re an adult, they are children. You can drink whatever you damn well please. Unless you’re adding Jack Daniels to the Coke, that woman can shut her trap.

Dutchess_III's avatar

LOL! Thanks Seek! No JD, although I think there were times I could have used it!

FlyingWolf's avatar

@Dutchess_III now I am wondering, what do you think the little prince’s parents would have said if they were told you would continue to pick up a soda for yourself and would not be purchasing one for their child (even on their dime). I wonder how indignant they would have gotten. Might little Josh be shipped off to another day care?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Good possibility! I mean they were that crazy about giving him what he wanted. It would have been a bad account to lose too. They were the most reliable about paying and that could sometimes be a problem with the parents. Plus I liked Josh. I’d had him for about 2 years at that point. I got him when he was 18 months old, had him up until he started school so it kinda, sorta felt like he was my own kid.
Needless to say, he was a completely different child around his parents than he was around me. He was great around me and the rest of the kids.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I remember the mom dropping him off once and she was all in a quandary because he’d seen an American flag on a government building and he wanted one. I said, “Well, just get him one of those flags-on-a-stick!”
She said no, that wouldn’t be good enough. She wanted a flag identical to that one. Wouldn’t surprise me if she tried to purchase if from them for him.

FlyingWolf's avatar

It is always interesting to me how a child will behave up, or down, to expectations.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yep. The daycare was fascinating in that regard. Several of the kids turned into completely different kids when their folks walked through that door. Oh! I have a picture of Joshy Woshy around somewhere, along with some other day care kids. I’ll try to find it.

I have lots of stories but they’ll come out at different times!

longgone's avatar

I don’t believe adults should be treating themselves while having the children watch. As someone said above – either share, or enjoy in private.

In your situation, I would have made the children feel they were getting treats, too…just keep a few toffees or something similar in the car, hand them out.

The mom I would have handled just like you.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@longgone They got plenty of treats and special consideration without me “stashing” stuff for them. As I said, only the one kid, Josh (who was spoiled rotten by his parents) complained. I feel like going out of my way to provide them with extra treats that they didn’t expect, or particularly want, would have set the rest, including my kids, up for unreasonable expectations of entitlement in life, like Josh had.

Here are some of my daycare kids. We were at Burger King. Josh is at the very top, in the middle, pickin’ his nose. :/

longgone's avatar

I’m not saying you didn’t provide enough treats or attention… I’m talking about the timing.

You said above that you would expect a child to share his sweets, or save them for home.
You obviously consider adults to be on a different level than children. I suspect you would expect a child to respect any grown-up for example. I disagree with that kind of thinking, which is why I don’t think we will see eye to eye here. To me, adults don’t get special rights. Why should they? Because they’re stronger? Because they “say so”? I wouldn’t want these ideas instilled in my children.

That picture is cute!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Because we earn them @longgone. Kids get special consideration constantly, only because they’re kids.

longgone's avatar

I don’t see how that argument is valid. How do we earn these rights? Who grants them?

Kids get special consideration (the ones that do), because they need it. We all have to be cared for as children.

Kids don’t ask to be born, and if we create them, we should damn well take good care of them. Which includes setting a good example. Which excludes hypocrisy. In my book.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I earned the right to treat myself once in a while by getting up at 5:30 a.m., running the daycare all day long, then going to school in the evenings until 9:00, and on Saturdays, working on my degree so I could build a better life for me and my kids.

They, on the other hand, got treats from me for no reason, except I liked them. I threw birthday parties for them. Took them to the parks and museums, did all kinds of things just for them. I deserve to give myself something too. Pretty sure none of them were scarred for life because of it. Except maybe Josh. It was transmitting for him when he didn’t get his way.

longgone's avatar

Of course you should treat yourself. You asked for other jellies’ opinions, so I answered.

Like I said…your mindset is different from mine, here. I don’t think we will agree. I am, however, absolutely sure your children were not scarred for life.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Thanks. Hey..did you go look at the picture I posted here? Had some good looking daycare kids!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Here’s another. THIS is how I ran my daycare!

longgone's avatar

I did. The second one is great, too :)

Dutchess_III's avatar

When I got the pics developed at the mall, the lady had made two copies of the turtle one, and displayed it in the shop for years. :D

I’ve had some experience with other daycare providers, vicariously, through my kids and the daycare providers for their kids, and I do believe I was well above average for day care providers. They were like my own kids, and I treated them like my own. I had basically the same bunch for 4 years. We were like a big family. Everyone had certain chores to do everyday to keep the madhouse running. :)

On Wednesdays we took field trips.
On Monday’s we did crafts.

One year, on my birthday, they lured me out into the back yard where I found myself on the receiving end of a water balloon firing squad! The little twerps planned it for a week! I wondered why they were suddenly clamoring for me to get water balloons the week before. ;/ I had to help set up my own surprise party and didn’t even know it! But they made a tactical error…they left the hose within my reach. Muhaaaaa!

longgone's avatar

Beautiful. Pranks are awesome birthday presents :]

Dutchess_III's avatar

It was cool that they trusted me enough to know they wouldn’t get in trouble. Of course, any day care provider who says, “Go play in the mud!” has to be pretty easy going!

One of my first kids was autistic. I recognized him as such right away, and this was in the late 80’s, early 90’s before most people had even heard of autism. I had him for a year and a half. His folks (who didn’t think anything was wrong with him) said I was the only babysitter that was able to get him to stop scratching kids mindlessly. I mean, my kids walked around bleeding all the time because of him! He finally stopped scratching other kids…then started scratching his own face, drawing blood. He finally quit that too. He also made some other real progresses with me. I was sad when they moved.

longgone's avatar

How old were your day care kids?

Dutchess_III's avatar

They ranged in age from 6 months to 8 or 9.

longgone's avatar

That explains the pranking skills. I was thinking under five, for some reason…

Dutchess_III's avatar

It was during the summer and you know…no school. I think a couple of the kids were 10 to 12 years old. Well, they’re in the mud picture. They were the oldest. (Ya. “My” kids but I don’t know how old they were! I suck! But it was a looong time ago.)

Seek's avatar

One positive aspect of growing up in an abusive household: I didn’t learn to expect people to be nice to me for no reason.

Sometimes you don’t get what you want because fuck you. That’s enough.

Dutchess_III's avatar

LOL! Here! Have a jolly rancher and some mud for no reason, @Seek! And have fun!

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