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yellowtamarin
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29 Aug 2012, 1:25 am

I babysat my niece today, for the first time. She's around 18 months old. It was only for a couple of hours. Gosh, how do introverted AS parents raise kids?! It was exhausting! It was a constant two hours of trying to think of the right thing to say or do, to keep her entertained and happy. I mean, she's a happy kid most of the time, but I had to put nearly all of my attention into her and I've been yawning the rest of this afternoon.

Does anyone else get really tired from babysitting? Is it different to having a kid of your own or would I just constantly collapse from fatigue if I had a kid? 18 years is a lot longer than two hours.

(Put this in General Discussion because it relates to both sitting and parenting - as I'm not a parent, this seemed like the more appropriate spot.)



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29 Aug 2012, 2:41 am

"babysitting is exhausting".........yes, yes indeed it is. :lol:

I love children and I worked in a daycare for around a year and when I applied for another job I didn't get it because of my reference from the childcare. So I asked the employer who rejected me what my reference had said when he called and apparently she said I was good with the kids but got tired really easily. Yes I got tired easily.....kids are loud and demanding and, .........exhausting......I have no idea how introverted AS parents cope with these creatures for 18 years!



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29 Aug 2012, 3:34 am

yellowtamarin wrote:
I babysat my niece today, for the first time. She's around 18 months old. It was only for a couple of hours. Gosh, how do introverted AS parents raise kids?! It was exhausting! It was a constant two hours of trying to think of the right thing to say or do, to keep her entertained and happy. I mean, she's a happy kid most of the time, but I had to put nearly all of my attention into her and I've been yawning the rest of this afternoon.

Does anyone else get really tired from babysitting? Is it different to having a kid of your own or would I just constantly collapse from fatigue if I had a kid? 18 years is a lot longer than two hours.

(Put this in General Discussion because it relates to both sitting and parenting - as I'm not a parent, this seemed like the more appropriate spot.)


I used to have no interest in children, most especially babies, and though I was very responsible, I did find babysitting very tiresome and had a tendency to literally just sit there and watch the kid play by themselves.

However I've since developed an interest in neurological development and this has made babysitting very young children far more interesting for me. I also have a fairly good idea how very young children think and experience the world, due to my own memories of my perceptions at that age.

At 18 months, most children's brains are in the middle of a type of Cambrian explosion, in the sense that their brain is rapidly wiring itself for language. Their vocabulary and understanding of syntax and grammar is expanding by the day. They can understand more words than they can actually say and when trying to actually say a word, their brains work rather slowly. This is due in part to the fact that they don't yet know how to make the sounds to form the word. They literally do not know how to place their tongue and usually do not have sufficiently developed motor pathways to say the word clearly if they did.

As far as visual perception of the world, children of that age experience something similar to visual crowding. Their brain is more focused on details and this limits their ability to perceive things in a global sense. An adult might experience something similar if they are in a new environment or get "turned around" in a new place.

You children's brains are wired for an attention to detail rather than the whole picture, because at this age, they are still developing their understanding of the fundamentals of their world. Imagine a very simple object such as a red ball. To an adult, this is a fairly boring object which there is not much to. It's a ball, and it's red. However, to a very young child this object is quite novel and contains many aspects that the child is not yet accustom to. The child might look at the ball and think about the color and how it's a bright color and admire it. They might think about the name of the color if they know it and how it sounds. They might notice the ball is shiny and investigate how the shiny spot seems to stay in one place as they move the ball. They might notice small puts in the surface of the ball, or scuffs, and think about those for a while. They might feel that the ball is smooth or squishy and accustom themselves to these textures, and they might notice that the ball bounces or rolls, or makes a strange sound when they throw it at something or bang it on something. All of this might be very interesting to a child in the same way that a computer might be interesting to an adult who is using one for the first time. Much as an adult might spend a significant amount of time fiddling with their new computer, a very young child might spend a significant amount of time thinking about and exploring the properties of the red ball.

Some very young children like to play alone but most children like to be engaged on some levels. Whether they have the verbal skills to answer or not, most very young children like to be taught things like colors or letters and the names of various things, and they like being asked questions about things they are familiar with, even if they don't have the language skills to answer.

For example, when one of my family members was 18 months old, I would read her books such as "Good Night Moon". I would point out the objects in the book as a I named them and I would allow her to look at the page for a while before I turned it. Sometimes I would also tell her what the objects do or what their purpose is. I would also ask her to name objects we have talked about before and I would give her 10-15 seconds to answer before I told her the name.

For example, for the moon, I would say "Look at that. That's the moon. See the moon? It comes out in the sky at night."

Should we encounter the moon again, either on a later page in the book, or in a different book, or a different reading of the same book, I might ask "Can you find the moon?" And I would give her 10-15 seconds to point to it before helping her.

Once she pointed to the moon, whether on her own accord or not, I would say "There it is! That's the moon."

Some time later, upon encountering the moon, I might ask her to identify and attempt to say the word, and again give her 10-15 seconds to say it. For example, I might point to it and say "What's that?" And after 10-15 second I might say "Is that the moon?" Many young children will just smile and blush or give a truncated form of "Yeah" in response to this. Such reactions indicate that they are familiar with the picture of the moon, they just can't say the word or bring themselves to say it at the moment.

I also like to do a lot of self awareness, memory, and theory of mind tests and exercises. For example I might do a variation of the ball and cup trick where I have two different colored cups and place a treat under one of them. I do this in view of the child. Then I ask them where the treat is. Most very young children at first do not at first understand the treat is under the cup they saw me place it under. Once they understand that concept. I then increase the complexity by switching the position of the cups after I place the treat under one of them. As simple as this game seems, they usually find it intellectually challenging and entertaining. I don't force them to engage in these tasks and do not proceed if they seem to be getting frustrated or upset.

Occasionally I will allow the child to watch a video of a fairy tale or nursery rhyme, however I will occasionally interrupt to point something out, or ask a question, or elaborate on something. For example, I might explain "Little Miss Muffet ran away from the spider because she was scared! She's afraid of the spider." Or "The big bad wolf couldn't blow the house of brick down because brick is very strong."

Very young children are very focused on very basic things.



lostgirl1986
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29 Aug 2012, 5:11 am

I don't have children but I know how much time and effort that taking care of children involve as I'm an ECE and have worked in many different daycares in the past. I work in home daycare as well but yes it's a very overstimulating job working with a bunch of hyper children.



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29 Aug 2012, 10:44 am

Well then, thanks for the warning. I actually kind of did know how exhausting it must be, by reading the experiences of others, and I know how hard it must be for parents to take care of children because I've seen how hard it can be for myself and because of what I have learned, I have realized I don't have the patience for that crap. Even if a person offered me a billion dollars to babysit, I still wouldn't do it. Besides, I wouldn't get paid anyway because if I even tried, I would probably run out of patience fairly quickly and I don't know what would happen.



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29 Aug 2012, 10:59 am

daydreamer84 wrote:
"babysitting is exhausting".........yes, yes indeed it is. :lol:

I love children and I worked in a daycare for around a year and when I applied for another job I didn't get it because of my reference from the childcare. So I asked the employer who rejected me what my reference had said when he called and apparently she said I was good with the kids but got tired really easily. Yes I got tired easily.....kids are loud and demanding and, .........exhausting......I have no idea how introverted AS parents cope with these creatures for 18 years!


I thought it was illegal for the employer to say negative things about you here unles you did something illegal or quit without 2 weeks notice. That's what I was told.



daydreamer84
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29 Aug 2012, 1:43 pm

lostgirl1986 wrote:
daydreamer84 wrote:
"babysitting is exhausting".........yes, yes indeed it is. :lol:

I love children and I worked in a daycare for around a year and when I applied for another job I didn't get it because of my reference from the childcare. So I asked the employer who rejected me what my reference had said when he called and apparently she said I was good with the kids but got tired really easily. Yes I got tired easily.....kids are loud and demanding and, .........exhausting......I have no idea how introverted AS parents cope with these creatures for 18 years!


I thought it was illegal for the employer to say negative things about you here unles you did something illegal or quit without 2 weeks notice. That's what I was told.


I'm not sure if it's illegal or not....I've never heard that..... but I was such an idiot to use this daycare as a reference anyways. The people I worked with HATED me and bullied me a lot. They made fun of the fact that I couldn't recognize faces........one lady brought other ladies from other rooms in the daycare in to watch me get the same two women mixed up for the umpteenth time. She would ask me "whose Denise and whose Paula?" in front of the other ladies and I would be really nervous so of course I'd get it wrong and then she and the other ladies would laugh. She also mocked my appearance....the way I dressed. Also I wasn't exactly a model employee (I showed up on time and everything) but I did have my problems at the daycare like burning out and getting exhausted easily. The thing is I applied for a babysitting job after this that required references and I had no other references. I thought I'd do better with a child one-on-one then I did in the daycare. The mom and dad interviewed me for the babysitting job and they said they would hire me for it as long as my references checked out. The daycare wrote me a basic letter of reference when I asked for it just saying that I worked with children for X number of hours and did X activities with the children etc, call if you have any questions. So the parents for this babysitting job called and my references did not check out so I wasn’t hired. :(

I'm sure the way I was harassed and bullied there was illegal too but I didn't know what to do about it then. I also didn't tell them I had AS at the time which I probably should have. I said I had a disability that meant I couldn't recognize faces well when they were making fun of that but they either didn't believe me or didn't care.



Last edited by daydreamer84 on 29 Aug 2012, 1:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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29 Aug 2012, 1:49 pm

lostgirl1986 wrote:
I thought it was illegal for the employer to say negative things about you here unles you did something illegal or quit without 2 weeks notice. That's what I was told.


Not at all. There was one manager I knew indirectly that gave everyone who left an intentionally nasty reference even if they were good workers. It's rare but does it happen? You bet and good luck proving it! It's kind of laughable how the whole reference thing works: in most cases, the only ones shot down are the honest ones because the dishonest employees know how to play the system! We've had a couple of high profile CEO's get fired in my city because they lied about almost everything and it took years to find out.



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29 Aug 2012, 1:54 pm

yellowtamarin wrote:
I babysat my niece today, for the first time. She's around 18 months old. It was only for a couple of hours. Gosh, how do introverted AS parents raise kids?! It was exhausting! It was a constant two hours of trying to think of the right thing to say or do, to keep her entertained and happy. I mean, she's a happy kid most of the time, but I had to put nearly all of my attention into her and I've been yawning the rest of this afternoon.

Does anyone else get really tired from babysitting? Is it different to having a kid of your own or would I just constantly collapse from fatigue if I had a kid? 18 years is a lot longer than two hours.

(Put this in General Discussion because it relates to both sitting and parenting - as I'm not a parent, this seemed like the more appropriate spot.)


Having a child can be tiresome. You will have days when you feel as if your energy is zapped. But if it's your own child, you will have gotten into a routine with them before the age of 18 months and you'll know them & their personalities like the back of your hand. Some people have children and think it's the best thing ever. Some people have children and, unfortunately, seem to absolutely regret the decision. Most others fall somewhere in the middle and, as I mentioned, have their good days and bad days but overall feel that the experience of having/raising a family is worth the occasional fatigue.

It is normally an entirely different experience to raise your own child vs. babysit someone else's child. Whether or not that means it's a worse experience or better experience depends on several various factors.


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29 Aug 2012, 4:27 pm

I, too babysat my 18 month old niece on Sunday; I actually felt like I wanted to 'dose off' and nap on the sofa, but if I did I would risk her hurting herself or something. Although, the thing I like about my niece is that she is so smart and independent; she can say full sentences, and can therefore express her feelings and wants for example, she told me when she wanted her diner or needed a nappy change. She also knows when she has done something wrong; she goes and sits in the 'naughty corner', plus she apologizes...though, she is probably the one that I share the closest connection with, out of both friends and family.


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29 Aug 2012, 11:04 pm

yellowtamarin wrote:
Is it different to having a kid of your own or would I just constantly collapse from fatigue if I had a kid? 18 years is a lot longer than two hours.

Child rearing done well, is exhausting (and this is true for anyone). Physically, it gets easier as the child gets older but emotional and psychologically it probably gets more difficult.


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29 Aug 2012, 11:45 pm

I only babysat a couple of times when I was at "babysitter age". I disliked the imposing on my time and the kids got on my nerves -- especially when they would start crying. I didn't have a clue on how to get it to stop, and I end up crying as much as they do, from stress and frustration.



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30 Aug 2012, 1:19 am

I find it depends a lot on the kids! I used to find babysitting both exhausting and it used to freak me out if I thought about it too much- when I was a teenager, I used to check on the kids every 10 mins once they'd gone to bed in case something happened to them (even if they were about 10! A lot of the time, I'd end up sitting on the stairs outside their bedroom most of the night) and I also used to get scared people were breaking into the house and there were no adults around but now I'm older and have been babysitting regularly for about 12 years, I don't get as worked up about that sort of thing as much, although it still happens occasionally. Now, I check on younger kids every 15 mins to make sure they're still there and breathing and older kids every 20-30 mins, and I never watch TV/listen to music etc so I can always hear.

I actually really enjoy a lot of babysitting now, especially older kids. I don't babysit many kids under 4, because I find them a lot harder as they can't tell you what they want/need, they make a lot more noise, are more unpredictable and usually need milk (which I have a total aversion to and have done since I was little- can't touch/be in contact with it without physically wanting to throw up). I really like babysitting 7-12 year olds though if I know them (I work in a primary school so know a lot of kids that age really well coz at school, I get on with the kids better than with the adults). Weirdly, i like the social contact coz it's a lot easier than with people my age, and you can play games, watch kids TV, talk to them, read them stories etc which I really enjoy if I get on with the kids- gets me out the house (I hate evenings at home coz of lack of structure after a school day and I can't switch off), means I'm earning money and getting some form of social contact in an 'easier' way. I babysat some kids from school for a week over the summer which was absolutely knackering but probably the best week of the summer holidays- we had a 'structure' (or I did anyway, the kids probably didn't notice that we were doing things at the same time every day!), went to the park, watched kids TV, went to a couple of museums etc and the kids were amazing behaviourwise, and always stayed where I could see them when we went out. Even when we were in the park with lots of people and I couldn't see/think straight, I asked them to stay close to me so I could keep track of them and they were brilliant. By the end of the week, I really wanted kids! Don't think I could cope with babies/toddlers though.



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30 Aug 2012, 7:25 am

daydreamer84 wrote:
lostgirl1986 wrote:
daydreamer84 wrote:
"babysitting is exhausting".........yes, yes indeed it is. :lol:

I love children and I worked in a daycare for around a year and when I applied for another job I didn't get it because of my reference from the childcare. So I asked the employer who rejected me what my reference had said when he called and apparently she said I was good with the kids but got tired really easily. Yes I got tired easily.....kids are loud and demanding and, .........exhausting......I have no idea how introverted AS parents cope with these creatures for 18 years!


I thought it was illegal for the employer to say negative things about you here unles you did something illegal or quit without 2 weeks notice. That's what I was told.


I'm not sure if it's illegal or not....I've never heard that..... but I was such an idiot to use this daycare as a reference anyways. The people I worked with HATED me and bullied me a lot. They made fun of the fact that I couldn't recognize faces........one lady brought other ladies from other rooms in the daycare in to watch me get the same two women mixed up for the umpteenth time. She would ask me "whose Denise and whose Paula?" in front of the other ladies and I would be really nervous so of course I'd get it wrong and then she and the other ladies would laugh. She also mocked my appearance....the way I dressed. Also I wasn't exactly a model employee (I showed up on time and everything) but I did have my problems at the daycare like burning out and getting exhausted easily. The thing is I applied for a babysitting job after this that required references and I had no other references. I thought I'd do better with a child one-on-one then I did in the daycare. The mom and dad interviewed me for the babysitting job and they said they would hire me for it as long as my references checked out. The daycare wrote me a basic letter of reference when I asked for it just saying that I worked with children for X number of hours and did X activities with the children etc, call if you have any questions. So the parents for this babysitting job called and my references did not check out so I wasn’t hired. :(

I'm sure the way I was harassed and bullied there was illegal too but I didn't know what to do about it then. I also didn't tell them I had AS at the time which I probably should have. I said I had a disability that meant I couldn't recognize faces well when they were making fun of that but they either didn't believe me or didn't care.


Wow, that's so rude and not right. You should have complained. If you talked to unemployment about it or the school of ECE's or even the region they would have gotten it. I hate daycare politics because it's always a group of gossipy women. My first daycare job was pretty bad. The people there didn't like me there because it was my first real job other than field placements at a daycare and they always got mad because I was a bit slow and I had a hard time being assertive with the children. I also had a hard time when I was alone in the room with the children but that place was ridiculous. My best daycare job was when I lived in Alberta. I had my own room of 8 3-4 year olds, it was fun because my boss was sooo nice, I got to work alone in my own room, I got to decorate my own room and plan activities out for the class. Some places are just better than others I guess. I did placement at a YMCA daycare for my first college placement and that was a good place to work at as well.



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30 Aug 2012, 1:04 pm

lostgirl1986 wrote:
daydreamer84 wrote:
lostgirl1986 wrote:
daydreamer84 wrote:
"babysitting is exhausting".........yes, yes indeed it is. :lol:

I love children and I worked in a daycare for around a year and when I applied for another job I didn't get it because of my reference from the childcare. So I asked the employer who rejected me what my reference had said when he called and apparently she said I was good with the kids but got tired really easily. Yes I got tired easily.....kids are loud and demanding and, .........exhausting......I have no idea how introverted AS parents cope with these creatures for 18 years!


I thought it was illegal for the employer to say negative things about you here unles you did something illegal or quit without 2 weeks notice. That's what I was told.


I'm not sure if it's illegal or not....I've never heard that..... but I was such an idiot to use this daycare as a reference anyways. The people I worked with HATED me and bullied me a lot. They made fun of the fact that I couldn't recognize faces........one lady brought other ladies from other rooms in the daycare in to watch me get the same two women mixed up for the umpteenth time. She would ask me "whose Denise and whose Paula?" in front of the other ladies and I would be really nervous so of course I'd get it wrong and then she and the other ladies would laugh. She also mocked my appearance....the way I dressed. Also I wasn't exactly a model employee (I showed up on time and everything) but I did have my problems at the daycare like burning out and getting exhausted easily. The thing is I applied for a babysitting job after this that required references and I had no other references. I thought I'd do better with a child one-on-one then I did in the daycare. The mom and dad interviewed me for the babysitting job and they said they would hire me for it as long as my references checked out. The daycare wrote me a basic letter of reference when I asked for it just saying that I worked with children for X number of hours and did X activities with the children etc, call if you have any questions. So the parents for this babysitting job called and my references did not check out so I wasn’t hired. :(

I'm sure the way I was harassed and bullied there was illegal too but I didn't know what to do about it then. I also didn't tell them I had AS at the time which I probably should have. I said I had a disability that meant I couldn't recognize faces well when they were making fun of that but they either didn't believe me or didn't care.


Wow, that's so rude and not right. You should have complained. If you talked to unemployment about it or the school of ECE's or even the region they would have gotten it. I hate daycare politics because it's always a group of gossipy women. My first daycare job was pretty bad. The people there didn't like me there because it was my first real job other than field placements at a daycare and they always got mad because I was a bit slow and I had a hard time being assertive with the children. I also had a hard time when I was alone in the room with the children but that place was ridiculous. My best daycare job was when I lived in Alberta. I had my own room of 8 3-4 year olds, it was fun because my boss was sooo nice, I got to work alone in my own room, I got to decorate my own room and plan activities out for the class. Some places are just better than others I guess. I did placement at a YMCA daycare for my first college placement and that was a good place to work at as well.


Yes I probably should have complained...although I was afraid I'd lose my job if anyone looked into my complaint because the other ladies would say I was slow and clumsy and got tired easily etc, and it would be true. Yes that first daycare you described gossipy women, getting mad at little things and having no patience for new people who are learning was very similar to the one I worked at. I've been told it depends on the daycare too.