I have been thinking a lot lately about respect. Why is it that people will show respect to an adult, at least to a point... in front of them, but not to a child? What makes an adult someone so special that they get treated better than a child? Children deserve at least the same amount of respect that an adult does. Children are little people, they are learning from us and we are here to care for them and show them how to behave. Plus if we don't respect them are we also teaching them how to be disrespectful and uncaring toward others?
Last week at the gym where I work out we had an issue. I didn't know about it until we were on the way home from my class. Meghan told me that the 17 year old girl that has been watching them took a toy from Kaden to get him to go to the area she wanted him in.
I have to give a little background. We've been going there about 2 months and there is no child care person, just an area where the kids have toys to play with. They assured me that it was fine to bring the kids. However, the kids do run around instead of staying in that little area, sometimes they come and watch through the glass doors. Sometimes they have had issues, usually Kaden, when one of the other women working out brings her boys. I have had to go in and out to check on them and don't really get a good workout that way. So they asked this girl if she would like to watch them. I'd be paying extra but not have to come out and check on them or stop issues etc. Sounds good to me, she's been watching them 2 weeks now.
So back to last week. Kaden fell asleep in the car on the way to the gym. He is trying to cut out his naps but really he still needs them. He woke up when we got there and we went in. He got right in the door and laid his head on one of the chairs. The girls went to the toy area and I went into the class to wait for it to start. I could see him laying his head on the chair and thought he would be fine. He would either lay there the whole hour or he would wake up more and go play in a bit. Well the babysitter decided he should be with the others in the toy area. She went twice over to him to tell him to come. (I am watching from inside class not really sure whats going on, I assume she is just checking on him.) I see her go back to the toy area and then a few seconds later he goes running in there. For the rest of class they are in the toy area so I think everything is fine, no reason to think otherwise. When I ask her how they are doing she says "Oh they are fine, Kaden was kinda fussy at first." So we leave and Meghan tells me in the car that she took away his penguin he had taken to play with. She took it from him when he was laying his head on the chair and that's why he ran after her. He tried to take it back and she wouldn't give it back until he said please. He of course didn't want to say it and I am sure was pretty unhappy. Meghan asked her for it and then gave it back to Kaden. (I bet that went over well! ha) That really made me upset! How mean is that? I am wondering how she would feel if I took her cell phone or ipod and made her beg to get it back. There was no reason for her to do it and no reason for her to make him go to the play area. She also likes to roll her eyes constantly, mostly at the kids of course. She clearly doesn't like nor want to babysit.
So fun for me, I get to have a talk with her. I hate confrontation! She'll think I am one of "those parents" that thinks their kids are perfect. I don't of course, I know they do things they aren't supposed to, but I do believe they deserve respect too. This girl doesn't have to watch the kids if she doesn't want to and I honestly don't have to let her watch them. I know she is a teenager and needs understanding too but if she doesn't change her attitude I won't have her watch them anymore.
What's funny is that not too long ago I probably wouldn't have said anything. My mindset was probably about the same as everyone else in thinking kids should just listen to those over them and not cause problems. Not that I would have agreed with it but I would have thought "this is just how it is".
Not now, I know better, God has been teaching me so many things lately and this is just one. I will speak with the girl and try to get her to understand why it was not the correct way to handle it. We'll see how it goes. Hopefully, she will understand and maybe she just did not realize what she was doing.
Wish me luck! I am praying I say it the right way.