TRUSTING YOUR KID WITH OTHERS
Another thing that has been tough on the mission field is leaving our kid with others. At first I thought it wouldn’t be a problem, but after our first babysitter, I reconsidered. Here is what happened: I think it was right when we started language school, we hadn’t found a full-time nanny to watch our daughter, so we got one of the girls from the church to watch her. She spoke some English so it made us feel more comfortable. But somewhere in the explanation when my wife explained to her what to do, a few key details were lost. She thought that my wife had told her that after she put our daughter down for a nap, that she could leave, so she did. About an hour later, we return home from language school and found our daughter standing on a stool in the kitchen looking mischievous. We started to look for the babysitter and she was no were to be found. We looked in all the rooms and nobody! My heart started sinking. Our two-year-old daughter had been home alone for almost an hour. I am glad that she was most likely asleep for the majority of the time. We made some phone calls and figure about what happened.
After awhile we realized that a lot of the college age students here don’t have the same experience with kids that most Americans do. I think this is mainly due to them being the only child (because of the one child policy) and the grandparents seem to take of watching the kids so babysitting opportunities aren’t as common.
Another example is after church one night, one of the girls was watching her and she let her go to the water machine and push the hot water button. Of course the next thing that happened was that the hot water burned her hand. It wasn’t too bad. After talking about what happened we realize that she told our daughter “no” but she wouldn’t stop her from pushing the hot water button. Apparently, she didn’t have much experience with a two-year-old.
We let them know that is was okay to treat our daughter like a normal kid, or as their kid. I think they were a little scarred of not being too strict with the foreigner’s kid.
Things like this helped us learn patience. Of course, we got mad and frustrated at times, but we didn’t quite or ride everyone off. Since the church is fairly “young” in those who attend we helped them know what they should/shouldn’t do. For example, we requested that they would ask us before they gave our daughter anything to eat. Not because we are super picky about what she eats or don’t trust them, but because they spoil her with so much candy. Our daughter would eat tons of candy but then she wouldn’t eat her lunch or dinner. They understood the situation and still spoil her…haha!
During language school our daughter stays with a nanny at our house for 20 hours a week. It took sometime for our daughter to get adjusted to her, but now she adores her. We watch our daughters reactions closely and how she treats her. We can tell that the nanny treats her well. Also, my wife taught her what to do and even stayed home several days just to make sure everything was working out. It is hard to leave your kid with a stranger, but it’s exciting to see our daughter take a liking to her, watching them play together and see her learn so much Chinese!
- It’s hard to leave your kid with others.
- Be responsible and use common sense.
- Don’t be paranoid about your kids and others.
- Be willing to be patient.
- Be willing to teach.
- Be willing to forgive.