Lackluster Parenting

Dear Clover,5 years ago

My sister-in-law and I trade babysitting duties for each other every other week. She has two girls, six and four. I have one, a 6 month-old boy.

My husband and I are having a disagreement now because I don't want to take care of those children ever again, nor do I want our child anywhere near them. My SIL refuses to discipline her children and basically lets them run wild. The children have no respect for adults and have potty mouths.

It's obvious that my SIL and her husband need to institute some real discipline. However, they find it hilarious that their 4-year-old daughter uses the f-word and their 6-year-old is teaching her! So I think I'm justified in not wanting my child anywhere near them. My husband doesn't want to lose our babysitting situation (since we don't really know anyone else nearby) and is encouraging ME to talk to my sister-in-law about her lackluster parenting skills. I really don't see it as my responsibility. If anybody should talk to them, it should be my husband or my mother-in-law, NOT ME!

Can anyone give advice for this situation?


Parenting » Child Rearing

3 answers

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Dear francesca14,5 years ago

You are right in not wanting your child to be taken care of someone who has miserably failed in their duty as a parent. Children catch things fast and it would be definitely difficult to erase out from their memory all those unwanted things they get to learn with ease. You may not have someone around to take care of your kid but still it is not advisable to leave your kid with someone who could not handle the responsibility. Until you find someone who could handle the job well, it would be better if you could stay with your kid.

As far as talking to your sister-in-law, you can only decide on it taking into account your relationship with her. If she has been friendly to you and if she frequently discusses with you about family in general, you may politely bring this problem to her attention. But, it would always be better if your husband or your mother-in-law agrees to take on the responsibility. Though at the outset, you may not be required to take this problem up with your sister-in-law, I personally feel that there is a moral binding as the kids are related to you and if they are corrected at the right time, there is every possibility that they may mend their ways. After all, they are kids and they need to be guided. Unfortunately, if a parent could not do it, being a relative, you or your family could attempt to do so.


2 votes by starfish, dev

Dear francesca14,5 years ago

Hi,I'd like to tell you you are right in some of your arguments however, I think it would also be better if you and your Sister in law will not lose your harmonious relationship. If her children are not disciplined you can probably approached her and tell her about it. Its always nice to help besides she is your relative already.You will also be proud if those kids grow up and become a great children. I think you need to swallow your pride and as much as possible work it out with her. I understand that you just do not want your baby to be influence but your son is too little to even be influence. I think its your turn to influence your SIL kids.They will all be grateful to you and you'll save yourself from worries, and troubles. You do not have to find any babysitter around and everyone will be happy.


Dear francesca14,5 years ago

Boy, with a family like that, I can only imagine how it was like growing up in your husband's family. If you don't want to say anything, which is your right as your husband should be the one to talk to his sister, then you'll need to find someone else to take care of your kids. Maybe you can join a co-op daycare to exchange daycare duties. Your future in-laws will no doubt thank you.