And today in the strangest news you’ve heard all day.
A babysitter in Victoria, BC called the police on Monday after the small child she was watching allegedly kicked and tried to strangle her. Say what?
The babysitter, who is an adult, barricaded herself on the apartment’s balcony and left the child inside, alone, while she waited for police.
Constable Mike Russell, spokesman for the Victoria police, said that officers were called to the apartment after the 911 call was placed by the babysitter.
Russell said that the child is suspected to have mental health issues. This could obviously have played a role in the incident. The babysitter was not seriously injured and, due to the child’s age, they are not likely to face any charges.
My knee jerk reaction: what was this babysitter thinking? Was she actually afraid for her safety? Was she overreacting? I spent two years as a nanny and faced my fair share of outbursts, sometimes even physical ones. But not once did I fear for my safety.
My second thought: if this child is suffering from mental health issues, then the parents should have also found a babysitter who was fit to deal with those issues. Children with special needs have, surprise, surprise, special needs. And this includes a care giver that is capable of handling the various situations that may arise.
Also, as a parent, I hate the idea of my child being alone in the house while the babysitter is locked away, anywhere for any reason. It defeats the whole purpose of having a babysitter.
It’s hard to judge the situation with so little information available but I have a hard time getting behind the babysitter on this one… finding a good, reliable sitter really is so hard!
Karen Humphrey says
Well, you don’t have enough details to really make a judgment, but have you worked with kids who have suspected mental health issues? I have. And even kids in grade 1 or two can be big enough to seriously injure you. I’ve had scissors thrown at my head, been swung at with baseball bats, feces smeared on me, bit, spat on, climbed, and yanked so hard I tore all my muscles from my neck and spine to my shoulder blade.
Sometimes parents are in a bit of denial, or they may not have the funds to get the proper respite. The child may be undiagnosed. It’s an unfortunate situation, but placing blame doesn’t really solve the problem. The babysitter obviously felt that she couldn’t keep herself or the kid safe, and in that case I think she did the right thing.
Well, we do not know all the details, we were not there. Such as the age and size of the child.
If the sitter cannot get a child under control, is she to take it?
At least she did call for help, rather than stay locked away and have the child have the run of the place. Maybe the sitter tried to call the parents first and unable to get in touch with them.
I had many years experience of being a nanny and babysitter and I dealt with some doozies. One child would purposely try to punch me in the stomach, as she said, “To make me loose my baby”, when I was pregnant. I had a 10 year old pull a knife on me because I told them to brush their teeth. Needles to say, I did not stay long at these jobs. Parents never warned me of any issues. Then again, if they warned all sitters, they may never find a sitter.
Easy to judge and make assumptions regarding the actions of the sitter from a brief news story.
I do agree, since this child has mental health issues, the parents should have been more responsible in finding specialized care…unless this sitter claimed to have the qualifications. Guess we won’t know since it was not in any news reports.