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Discussion Starter #1
My daughter has been babysitting for a family this past week. They have 3 kids ages 4-7. They are not allowed to watch any tv, and when my daughter brought over a couple of G-rated disney movies (Snow white, etc) she was chastised because the mother said the movies are full of latent sexual undertones, phallic symbols, and drug implications.

SNOW WHITE? 8O

Okay, enough said. My daughter called the first day and asked me to bring her a lunch as they had only enough food in the house for the 3 children. Okay, no problem there. When I got there, the house was filthy! Not just untidy (as mine always is) but filthy! You couldn't even see the floor because of the garbage and it smelled to high-Heaven of urine. They have no pets, either!

What gets me is that parents are both professionals. The mother is an elementary school teacher 8O and the father works in IT. They also shorted her on the pay, which my daughter accepted graciously wihout question. Last Friday, as soon as the dad got home, he told my daughter it was time for her to go, gave her the shorted pay and saw her to the door. She was forced to walk home in a thunderstorm (about 1/2 mile), as he didn't even offer to let her use the phone to call me for a ride. I was LIVID! :twisted:

I have told this family that she will not be back. She is a bit upset with me because she is saving money for some Hot Topic clothes she wants (and I refuse to pay that much for)...am I being unreasonable? I think she was treated unfairly. She is only 14 and this was her first babysitting experience. She was told she would be paid $250 for the week working 7:30-4:30. She was kept very late (until almost 10pm) on 2 nights and was only paid $125...she worked almost 60 hours for this! Plus, she cleaned as much of the house as she could while there. She did this as a courtesy and the fact that she was grossed-out by the filth (if you could see her room, you would know that it was VERY severe for her to be bothered...she doesn't clean her own room but once every few months!)

Just my ranting... :wink:
 

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Ii don't think you are being unreasonable at all. When you told the family she wouldn't be back, did they even ask why?
 

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You did the same thing I would have done.

Another thing is if the house is that filthy a call to CPS would be in order. I would anyway.....
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I gave the lame excuse of school starting next week and my daughter and I had a lot to do in order to prepare. I also have to be very careful and not offend anyone, as the mom of this bunch is the best friend of my husband's secretary (he and his secretary are good friends as well and have worked together for 6+years). This is where the referal came from. I think it is best to just let it go...she was able to get a neighbor to care for her kids, but this (adult) neighbor insisted on $5 an hour, so the mom was obviously frustrated that she could't short the new babysitter.

I think I will offer my daughter $125 to clean MY house...at least there isn't rotting garbage and urine on the floor (I don't think 8O ) :lol:
 

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What a horrible first experience for her! I don't think you overreacted. I would have done the same thing. I understand she really wants the clothes, and I think it's wonderful she's willing to work for them. However, those conditions are terrible and not worth it. She'll find a better situation where she'll be treated right and be paid for her work.
 

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Let your daughter keep the job (if is reasonable for her to get Hot Topic clothes) but tell her that in real life, one should work less if she is paid less. She doesn't need to work so hard for people who are ungrateful and who are incapable of appreciating hard work because they don't even seem to notice.

Let her work, but tell her to work as little as possible...and she SHOULD NOT clean their house.... :twisted:

Also, if she only cares about the brand...why not let her buy some Hot Topics clothes 75% off? They go on sale quite regularly and Hot Topics clothes on sale are still Hot Topics. I love Hot Topics clothes but I could NEVER pay them full price! Also, if there are only large sizes by the time the clothes are on sale, you can always shrink them with hot water...

I vividly remember how I used to be teased and beaten when I was fourteen because of my clothes....

I don't think it is appropriate to call CPS on such situation. The children are NOT abused. CPS caseworkers are incredibly overworked and they should only be called in case of emergencies.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The parents are loving parents but imo over-protective. The list of rules given to my daughter was outrageous: such as she is not to go into the garage for any reason (what are they hiding?) and the "no-t.v." thing under any circumstances...no snacks, etc. Usually, by the time a child gets to be 7, the parents relax a bit and let kids be kids.

The kids were immaculately clean, but very hyper-active and climbed on my daughter constantly. This is a bit of a problem as she grew very fast (she is almost 6' at 14 years old) and suffers from back pains at times. She didn't know how to tell the kids "no", since this was her first experience and I had to take her advil twice during the week.

I have reached a compromise with my daughter in regards to the clothes: I will pay up to a certain percentage, and she can pay the rest. If her babysitting money won't cover it then she can work off the difference by helping me out a bit more around the house. (she is actually very careful with money and does't overspend...she just wants a pair of pants and a bag that are "new" items for the fall)

She was just invited to a movie/sleepover party for the day and tonight, so I think she is happy that she doesn't have the obligation to babysit. She can enjoy her last week of summer vacation! :D
 

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shengmei said:
I don't think it is appropriate to call CPS on such situation. The children are NOT abused. CPS caseworkers are incredibly overworked and they should only be called in case of emergencies.
Living in filth is a CPS Issue, it is a neglagence issue..and a health issue. Physical abuse is not the only kind according the the law.
 

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zoeae said:
shengmei said:
I don't think it is appropriate to call CPS on such situation. The children are NOT abused. CPS caseworkers are incredibly overworked and they should only be called in case of emergencies.
Living in filth is a CPS Issue, it is a neglagence issue..and a health issue. Physical abuse is not the only kind according the the law.
I agree, this can return on the children later in their lives with their own lifestyle and in school. The children must not be very clean either, as they get older it is going to ruin them.
As zoeae said, abuse isnt only physical.
 

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I think you did a wonderful thing for your daughter. You taught her that good hard work deserves a reward as well as not putting up with horrible working conditions.

I'm sure you're now a hero in her book, too. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I kinda doubt the "hero" bit, Jade...maybe I will be when she reaches adulthood, but let's face it: she is a teenager! :wink:

Thanks for the reassurance! :D
 

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Hey, we have hero's! :lol:

In school we had to write a speech and read it infront of the class about our hero..and every single one of us had one :p Little things can mean a lot even when you dont think so :)
 

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I'm glad you are looking out for your daughter - and I'm glad you are allowing her the opporunity to clean your house so she can earn the money to pay for her clothes. :D
 

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Hello everybody - I am new here, don't know anyone's relationship to each other on this thread, and feel compelled to chime in after reading the situation. I do hope I don't get flamed or tarred and feathered for sharing my thoughts here.

Brynn - yes, Snow White does indeed have a number of questionable issues and implications, although I don't know how many people will notice or key into such signifiers if they didn't formally learn about modern/pop culture, mainstream media, and how to deconstruct and analyze it through the lens of major theorists and philosophers. Some folks simply don't subscribe to Disney...I grew up with it and my children did not. This aside, this does not and should not impact your daughter being paid a fair wage for her labor.

If the parents agreed to pay $250 for the hours agreed upon, they owe her the cash in addition to time and a half for all hours worked in excess. Not paying her a fair wage makes a loud and clear statement that exploitation of minors is OK. Both parents work - how would they feel if their employer told them they will pay them x-amount of $$ for a certain number of hours worked; then, dump extra hours on at the last minute - only to walk them out the door and pay only half? This is totally bogus...based upon 45 hours/week @ $250, they owe her at least $375 - which includes 15 hours of overtime (1.5x $5.55/hour).

Based upon how the IT dad and elementary school teacher mom (who is probably a member of the teachers union - an organization that will bargain on her behalf to protect her wages, benefits package, and ensure she is never ever treated unfairly or exploited) think about children's film, I imagine both are bright enough to be anti-exploitation in the workplace. Exploitation, after all, is one of the underlying themes in Snow White. ;-) I think to let it go is a bad move...it doesn't have to turn into a ugly situation, although I - as a parent - would contact them, reiterate the agreement, calculate a fair wage, then request a good time for them to come drop off what they owe her. A verbal agreement is legal and binding...I can only wonder if they will deny the terms of temporary employment? This will speak volumes about those people, and also suggests something about your husband's secretary...you know what they say - judge one by the company one keeps...

Calling CPS will not resolve your daughter's exploitation by those people. In my state, filth or the foul stench of urine is not cause for child abuse. It varies from one municipality to another. I can't say I agree with further bogging down an already bogged down system with a call to CPS. Each call must be investigated and the time a case worker spends investigating an IT guy and his elementary school teacher wife only to discover their anti-Disney stance, view their garbage-strewn home, and perhaps learn they would never think twice about dishonoring their verbal contracts with minor-aged babysitters, what do they really have to go on? To call CPS for such a minor infraction is akin to exploiting a resource intended to protect children with clear signs of abuse...each time a case worker gets tied up investigating calls stemming from other issues (not paying the babysitter what was agreed upon), the case worker is unavailable to investigate the kid who was beaten with an electrical cord, the toddler left alone in a rat infested apartment while the mother works the street to support her crack habit, or a kid a single parent left with an acquaintance while scoring some drugs a few blocks over.

No doubt mental, emotional, or psychological abuses exists because it does...however, case worker loads don't allow sufficient time to identify those problems...now, if you are willing to pay substantially higher property tax to cover the cost, it probably could.

Just my $.02 for what it's worth.
 

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xilt said:
Calling CPS will not resolve your daughter's exploitation by those people.
Never said it would...
xilt said:
In my state, filth or the foul stench of urine is not cause for child abuse. It varies from one municipality to another.
In many states and cities it is cause enough for children to be removed from a home.
xilt said:
what do they really have to go on? To call CPS for such a minor infraction is akin to exploiting a resource intended to protect children with clear signs of abuse...
And what about the children that go un noticed and eventually turn into murderers and rapists etc...
xilt said:
(not paying the babysitter what was agreed upon)...
that is absolutely rediculos, the reason for a report to cps is the minor children and their living condiditons, not the babysitting or the parents view on Disney movies
xilt said:
a kid a single parent left with an acquaintance while scoring some drugs a few blocks over....
Not all single parents are drug users either

xilt said:
No doubt mental, emotional, or psychological abuses exists because it does...however, case worker loads don't allow sufficient time to identify those problems...now, if you are willing to pay substantially higher property tax to cover the cost, it probably could..
That is such a shame that no one really has time identify the problems that this system was made for..... and by the way I have voted many times for increased taxes to better my community.
 

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zoeae: You have decontextualized excerpts to re-construct your own meanings in response to a complete post; this is fallacious straw-man logic. The points I raise are contextualized within my entire post. Now, if you want to have a conversation, this is another matter. :wink:
 

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There is no way we can expect the state to take care of psychological abuse. If a child is NOT physically abused, there is not much the state can do...

I agree 100% with xilt.

Also, different cultures have different hygiene standards. We cannot afford to have ALL children from immigrant families taken away...considering 1/4 of all children born in America are born by immigrants.

Overcleaning and oversanitizing increase the chances of allergenic reactions in children
 

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Thank you shengmei - very nice to meet you, btw! :)

And, shengmei is right - especially concerning the greatly varied standards of immigrant groups. In my state, the ACLU will jump down the throat and leap onto the back of any individual or group calling into question one's cultural practices or rituals. To cry child abuse because of filth (which can be cleaned with proper tools, help, and some time) is akin to tossing out some major fighting words.

One would be better off contacting the health department - not CPS. Now, if the health department views it as problematic, CPS, a court hearing, and a judge will listen to all the facts and give the parents an opportunity to keep their family together in a cleaner enviroment. The goal is to help parents become better parents - not remove children from their homes unless the facts warrant immediate removal.

It's absolutely true...too clean of an environment doesn't allow one's body to develop any defenses.

zoeae: I can't help but note that this isn't just a thread for you...your posts come across as a personal crusade of sorts...please don't take the perspective of others so personal - it's not about you...it's about our thoughts in response to Brynn's daughter. Perhaps I was too subtle - the thread within my lengthy post that ties all my ideas and points together is exploitation.

In fact, my lengthy post brings it (i.e., exploitation) full circle and springboards off the anti-Snow White sentiment, which I think is a clever way to hold IT guy & grade-school teacher accountable for taking advantage of the time and labor of a 14 year-old girl...I wonder what their thoughts will be when someone takes advantage of one of their own children...hmmm...
 
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