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When do you know your parents are too old to watch your children alone?

My daughter is 18 mos. Let me start with saying that my mom is the greatest mom ever and LOVES my children. My MIL is also wonderful. Both my husband and I are the youngest in our families so both of our parents are in their 70's. It just seems like they aren't watching them close enough. When we give my MIL a list of do's & don'ts, she comes back with "I know! I've already raised 2 children and have watched 2 other grandchildren for the last 8 years." YET my daughter still comes home with bumps and bruises, a tick, a chipped tooth that the my MIL didn't notice. Then MY mother leaves the baby gates open for my daughter "to run." She fell running in the driveway & has a HUGE purple egg on her head, and when I tell her to make sure she isn't outside eating rocks, she says, "She doesn't eat rocks." (uh, she's only 18 mos and it takes one time). Are they too lax? Is our concern valid? How do we address it?

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Asked by Jodeye at 4:40 PM on Jul. 29, 2010 in General Parenting

Level 2 (9 Credits)
Answers (6)
  • I think it's a matter or cooperation and physical ability, more than a matter of age.

    If your MIL is not caring for your daughter the way you want her too, stop letting her watch her. It's the only way you'll feel better and it will keep you from being angry with her.

    Answer by Melissa823 at 4:43 PM on Jul. 29, 2010

  • i think if their health/activity/response-time is in jeopardy, they are too old to care for one as young/active/walking as yours. howver, i also think you are being just a wee bit protective of regular 'accidents' that happen to any child. children fall down, they eat things they aren't supposed to. are you telling me nothing ever goes awry when she's in your care? no bumps, no missteps?
    i think there are valid reasons for being wary of your caregivers' ability, but i really think you're stretching it a bit.
    however, as the mommy..if you don't like them to watch your 18mo, then get someone else. its that simple.
    btw..i ate rocks and dirt when i was a small child...somehow, i've made it to 41 and counting...

    Answer by dullscissors at 4:45 PM on Jul. 29, 2010

  • Hmm... that's a hard one. Your concerns are definately valid and if my parents or in-laws were that old i don't think i would leave the kids with them. are they healthy enough to be watching an 18mo? what if something were to happen to your mom or your MIL while they're watching your daughter? sometimes older folk don't understand all our 'concerns' nowadays though because they raised their children before modern baby gates or car seats or any type of 'protection'! its amazing we all survived huh? ;-)

    Answer by DreainCO at 4:46 PM on Jul. 29, 2010

  • I think your concerns are valid.... Infants and toddlers can be a little much for someone 70+. Maybe try to hold off until your kids are a little older, when they can at least call 911 if needed!!!!!

    Answer by kweldon at 4:46 PM on Jul. 29, 2010

  • I don't really have any advice for you, but I'm pretty much in the same boat with my mom. My daughter has yet to get hurt badly though. But my mom is always saying "I've already forgotten more about raising kids than you'll ever learn!" Yeah mom, that makes me feel better lol. There's probably not much else that you can do to get them to cooperate with you and what you want.

    Answer by Mrs.BAT at 5:05 PM on Jul. 29, 2010

  • while your concerns are valid - she's your child and you want her to stay away from harm as much as possible, her bumps and scrapes sound like a normal day around here. Some kids are going to get bumps, goose eggs, broken bones even with a watchful mom in charge.

    If you are truly concerned, find a sitter that you do trust.

    Answer by balagan_imma at 7:18 PM on Jul. 29, 2010

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