I have been babysitting for the past 10 years for a family that has four kids. Over this 10 year period I have seen some neighborhood kids come in and out of the house very frequently. I do not have a problem with that in general, but at times it gets to be too much when they come over everyday. It is like some of them live here.
This has happened with about five kids in the past. Currently, there is a little girl that comes over to play with the youngest child. The only problem is that she is constantly here. We have come to the conclusion that the parents hardly spend any time with her. They both do work full time and she is bored, which is the reason for coming here all the time. We welcome her with opened arms, but we do not want to feel as if we are being taken advantage of. I have four kids to watch and I do not need any extra one around all day long.
This girl is here on a daily basis, rain or shine. On a rainy day, a parent may drop her off with the car. She rings the bell early in the mornings, including Saturdays and Sundays. She is five years old and may not be able to tell time, but the parents should be watching out for these things. If we allowed it, she would stay all day long even until dark.
We have seen neighborhood parents drop their kids off at the house, then go out and do their own things. They did not even mention that they were going out. What if their child wanted to go home? Is it really our responsibility to watch them if we were not asked to? When a child comes over, he/she should be able to go home whenever they want. Their parents should always be available.
The children’s mother and I are trying to figure out ways in which to limit this girl’s time here. Otherwise, things will only get more out of hand. During the summer she goes to a daycare and this morning she came over for about 20 minutes before going. This is how out of control the situation is. Then she returns every evening around 6 PM. When we send her home because we have to have dinner, she comes back after dinner around 8:00. It is just getting to be too much and constant.
Here are some of the rules that we set up:
1. No coming to the house in the mornings on weekdays. These children are homeschooled and they start early in the morning, so we do not need anyone here to play that early.
2. Call before coming on weekends – This child shows up anytime especially on a weekend. Some times the family has company over and you just do not need an extra person around. ( In a way we feel bad for the child because she is so bored at home).
3. No coming over before 10:00 AM. This goes for everyday. This child has rung our bell as early as 8:00 AM on a weekend. The child that she plays with is usually stilll sleeping.
4. When she comes at night, we now limit their play time to an hour or hour and a half the most. She must be home before dark. In the winter because of school, she must go home by 7:30 PM.
5. No coming over on Sundays before church.
Hopefully these rules will work. There’s really no reason why they should not. If you have the same problem with neighborhood kids coming over often, you may want to consider some of these rules or make up your own. If the child keeps on coming over at the wrong times, just keep on sending him/her home until the parent (s) get the message. It may take some time, but they finally will.