Respecting your child’s wishes and feelings is a really important part of being a parent. It takes a lot of discipline to both honor your child and be a role model for them. When they act out of character or misbehave, how do you handle it?
Reddit user Relative_Ad654 found herself in an awkward situation where her own child’s disrespectful attitude drove away a childcare professional.
Unclear how she should handle such a difficult situation, she went to the popular subReddit “Am I The A**hole?” or “AITA” for perspective on how she dealt with her daughter, and whether or not she was out of line.
“AITA for telling my daughter it’s her fault that her babysitter quit?”
Our original poster, or OP, gave us the background that brought their sitter to them in the first place.
“I have 3 kids: 6, 4, and nearly a year old. When I was pregnant with my youngest, I hired a sitter to pick the other two up from school and watch them.”
“We really liked her and appreciated her. My eldest loved her babysitter but she began to develop a huge attitude.”
OP’s daughter’s attitude started to get a little out of hand.
“I know one of her friends has a nanny who she’s basically allowed to boss around with little consequence. We told my daughter that her sitter is in charge and she’s to respect her, not demand things of her.”
“A few months ago, the sitter asked my daughter to grab the baby’s diaper bag and my daughter sassed back saying ‘You can’t tell me what to do, I’m the boss of you!’”
“Sitter told me that night and I immediately addressed it, in front of the sitter. I told my daughter that was not acceptable, she’s not the boss of anyone and I took away her TV privilege for a week.”
Despite the discipline, it kept happening.
“It happened again just a month later and I had a much sterner talk with her, took away more privileges. Both times I made her verbally apologize and write a note of apology to her sitter.”
“The sitter accepted it but I could tell she was losing patience. I didn’t blame her and ended up giving her a raise out of guilt.”
“I also stopped arranging playdates for her and the friend who treated her nanny terribly (they don’t go to the same school, so they don’t see each other at all anymore).”
“I’ll add I did try talking with my daughter calmly and asking why she felt this was okay. She’d say ‘We pay her, I’m her boss.’ And I said no, that’s not true.”
“I said she is hired to take care of her and deserved respect. My daughter would always seem to understand.”
And the last straw came in a very particularly bad moment for OP’s daughter.
“Well, things came to a head a few weeks ago. My daughter was acting up, sitter had tried several de-escalation tactics but finally told her to go have quiet time in her room.”
“My daughter screamed in her face ‘I’m the boss of you! I’ll get you fired!’ The sitter calmly picked up the phone and called me (we have cameras in our house-which she knew about) and told me to come home, immediately. Upon arrival, she quit.”
“Nothing I said or did could make her stay, and I understood. I was furious with my daughter and let her have it. She had several things taken away from her and she didn’t do anything remotely fun until recently.”
This has put OP in a bad spot.
“This whole thing has left us in a bind. Luckily, the school that my younger two go to is open later, so I can pick them up when I get off work.”
“I’ve been scrambling to find a new sitter but in the meantime, I got my daughter into an after-school program. Because there’s no more sitter, there’s no one to take her to her swim class.”
“She’s been complaining that she can’t do it anymore and I told her that it’s her own fault. She is why her sitter quit and until I can find someone new, she won’t get to do the fun activities that her sitter took her to.”
But OP wondered if she was too harsh.
“My husband agrees that there’s nothing we can do, but thinks I was far too harsh with our daughter, saying she’s only 6. AITA?”
Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Redditors agreed OP was right to discipline her daughter.
“NTA – Her actions impacted someone enough to make them quit a job they were being paid to do.”
“She has soiled her reputation as word spreads fast within the babysitter community if a child treats their caregiver like that.”
“I imagine this wasn’t three isolated events but more like it was happening way more frequently but those three times were when the babysitter was at her last straw.”
“The consequences before didn’t work and now the impact of her actions is bothering her.”
“She is old enough to know now that her actions had consequences and this is why she can’t go to her fun activities.”~Magpie2632
“I definitely agree with this. Your daughter needs to learn the consequences of her actions.”
“Many people in this sub seem to lack this skill which, oh man you wouldn’t believe how many people loathe them.”
“OP, you weren’t being harsh, instead, you’re far better than most people on this sub. Definitely a great job at giving your daughter stern boundaries, to not let her grow up spoiled.”
“She is a six-year-old. Surely she should learn about respecting other people now? I’m slightly surprised she doesn’t have a heavier punishment, so this is definitely a fair enough consequence.”
“And it wasn’t like you immediately yelled at your daughter. You gave her several chances, which she has repeatedly broken.”
“Kudos to the babysitter as well, she took it like a champ instead of yelling at your daughter. Impressive. NTA”~1baddream
“Grew up with a nanny, a maid, etc. My parents taught us that they were staff, not servants.”
“While both require respect and deserve to be treated with grace, staff worked for the household but servants are more to pamper to personal needs and wants.”
“Our parents emphasized the difference, explaining that the staff had contracts that exactly specified duties.”
“If something wasn’t in their contract, it didn’t happen. Also, we were told that unless we wanted to contribute our pocket money towards their wages, we had no say in that contract. NTA, OP.”~HesterFabian
“NTA. That poor babysitter. Your daughter is learning that her horrid behaviour has consequences.”
“You’re raising your kids to learn the meaning of the word ‘no.’ That’s good, and something that not enough parents do.”~Here_for_tea_
Redditors think OP is doing the right thing by condemning her daughter’s behavior.
“100% I feel this so hard right now. My 6yo is making some spoiled brat life choices just like this little girl right now and then acts shocked when consequences like this one happen.”
“Six is old enough to understand that behaving badly has consequences and if the child is unhappy with those consequences then they need to rethink their choices.”
“Who did she think was going to take her to all her fun activities if she got her sitter fired?? NTA for sure.”~Used-Confection1663
“Definitely seems like it was planted by her friends attitude towards nanny’s unfortunately.”
“It’s important that you pointed out that her actions are what caused her to lose the person that took her to fun activities because without you saying that she may not have actually considered that.”
“She obviously thinks nannies are supposed to just be okay with whatever you do for them. It was a needed lesson. NTA”~vness1213
“NTA. Personally, I think pointing out that not being able to go swim is a direct result if not having a sitter and that not having a sitter is a result of her behavior is a good example of natural consequences.”
“And when you get a new sitter, I would carefully go over appropriate behavior again.”
“I would want to have a plan with the new sitter for if she tries the same tactics again.”~ray-of-fing-sunshine
“NTA your daughter was out of control and for a six year old her punishments were fine.”
“She’s out of line completely and until she gets herself together most would have pulled her out of swim entirely because of her nasty behavior.”
“I don’t know what her friends sitter was going through but the sitter you had was smart.”~Amanya98
Also, the natural consequences of the little girl’s actions will hopefully teach her a lesson.
“NTA she was warned and you acted appropriately as well as created a teaching moment.”
“I would also reach out to the sitter and ask if it was only your daughter’s behavior that caused her to quit (just to make sure there wasn’t anything else) and also offer to write a recommendation letter for future employment.”~jadekiara
“NTA. You are teaching your daughter the power of cause and effect, and responsibility and consequences.”
“Your persistence and determination will have a direct effect on her communication skills, and ability to handle conflict.”
“Perhaps you and your husband should consider sitting her down and have a real conversation about it, not just a lecture.”~VANTACOLOR
“Nta. She is old enough to understand how to respect others, especially when it has been explained to her multiple times that how she was acting is wrong.”
“Even if you do get another sitter I would suggest not letting her do any activities until she shows decent respect to a new person.”
“If you reward her for bad behavior she will only grow up with more of an attitude. It’s best to catch it now before it becomes a bad habit.”~SufferingScreamo
“NTA. Your daughter is only 6 but acting like an entitled jerk. Good for you for shutting this down while she’s still young.”
“She can learn there are consequences to her actions and having to miss swimming is one of them.”
“She needs to learn that it is mom and dad’s money, not hers that hired the nanny.”~tirv56
OP’s daughter is in a difficult stage of development, so it’s going to take a lot of work to get her through it with a solid personality intact.
Hopefully OP and her husband are up to the task.