I really don’t know what could be crazier, dealing with the actual kids or dealing with the parents and their unexplainable yet completely unreasonable demands. As if it weren’t already enough to keep your children alive and well while in the meantime also trying to keep ourselves from going insane. Most of the time, parents comprehend that we aren’t superheroes and we aren’t necessarily built to meet all your random requests but some of them for some strange reason think that it’s completely acceptable to hound on you when you try to clarify why the reasons for not rubbing their child up with petroleum jelly is not acceptable. The crazy pile of demands on this newly unveiled Reddit thread had me bawling for hours and I couldn’t just NOT share it with the world. It’s so alarming to me that some of these parents are actually parents to these poor children who know no better but then again, if it weren’t for them we wouldn’t have these stories to cackle at.
I am a camp counselor at an overnight camp. One kids mom called to tell us that her kid cannot drink water or take a shower because he was going to have a mental breakdown from the “minerals” in the “contaminated water”. She said he could only be exposed to “pure water”, whatever that means. Long story short, she tried to sue us for unsanitary water conditions.
I babysat a lot when I was a teenager. Now most parents I babysat for were awesome but one family in particular sticks out.I started babysitting for this family who had 4 year old girl. She was really sweet and a joy to be around. Her mom not so much. Her mom was also terrified that her daughter was growing up to fast. Because of this, she would hinder her own daughters development in hopes of keeping her “baby” a little bit longer.I quit when she put her daughter back in diapers and expected me to change her. She didn’t even tell me about it, she thought I’d be totally ok with changing a 5 year old’s dirty diaper. I quit as soon as she got back.
Not really something they wanted me to do for their kids, but for their dog. The mom told me that the neighborhood HOA had a big thing about dog poop on people’s grass. Fair enough. But I guess even the smear of it on the grass after it gets picked up?? This woman literally asked me if I could put a bag on my hand and try to catch the poop as it fell out of her dog’s backside, so as not to leave a smear on people’s lawn. I nodded, said “oh yes of course”, and just picked up the dog poop after he did his business like a normal human because I love and respect myself, what the fuck.
High school teacher. I had a parent ask if she could write in her will that, if she died, I would take custody of her kids.
This one kid told me he didn’t have to listen to me because I am a girl, so I told him to sit in the corner for 5 minutes and reflect on what he had said. When his parents came to pick him up, they asked that I don’t discipline their child as it is against their religion to take orders from women. Uh… pardon?
A parent told me I needed to hold their six year old’s hand when we were outside because he believed he would blow away if it was windy. I did not hold his hand. He did not blow away.
One girl was being toilet trained. Camp policy was that children being toilet trained were given chocolate chips. This girl’s mother didn’t want her daughter eating so much sugar so instead she gave us a snack box of tiny hard raisins. We were supposed to give her ONE RAISIN every time she successfully went to potty. This was of course enormously successful.
“If he misbehaves, don’t hit him. Hit the kid next to him; that’ll scare him into behaving.”
They wanted the entire camp to go vegan.
Worked at a gymnastics day camp this past summer, had a parent come in and request that the tots director (in charge of the 5-7 year olds) have her child poop in a bag and look through it and try to find the coin that the kid had swallowed the day before. We sent the kid home for the day.
I had one dad who made us force his kid to do any activity that wasn’t arts & crafts (which was the kid’s favorite, and he was talented in it too!). The reason? The dad is homophobic and was afraid that knitting was making his son gay.
They called it Smooth Time.Every evening, I would give their 6 year old a bath, and afterwards I would have to rub petroleum jelly over his. Entire. Body.
Had a woman call me last minute and then “forget” to pay me. She had the nerve to try it more than once??? And was SHOCKED AND APPALLED when I told her I would never babysit for her again.
Not exactly an unreasonable thing I was asked to do, but when I was a camp counselor at an arts camp in high school, I got in trouble for tapping a child on the shoulder who had fallen asleep during a performance. His mother was FURIOUS and demanded I be fired (I wasn’t).
At summer camp, a mum wanted me to braid her kids hair every morning. She saw in the photos over the summer that this didn’t happen – hell there were 6/7 of us looking after 30+ 5-9yr olds, that wasn’t gonna happen.
This is a simple answer, but I find it completely unreasonable when parents email me demanding that I change their kid’s grade. Unfortunately, administration has no backbone and always gives into the parent’s request anyway, so instead of arguing I reply with “As long as you are comfortable with me giving your child a grade they didn’t earn, I can go ahead and change it. Let me know.” That throws them off a bit:
Not quite the kind of unreasonable you’re asking about, but I had to leave a nanny job because they wanted me to lock their toddler into her room during nap time.
Walked in and was immediately told “she’s sick so she will probably throw up her spaghetti later. Oh and the cat is very pregnant, just give us a call if she starts giving birth. Ok, bye now!”The cat did not give birth that night, but the kid managed to throw up her spaghetti and cover her parent’ bedsheets in syrupy medication.
Back when I was an early childhood teacher, there was one particularly wet and humid summer in Australia. As a result, there were lots of mosquitoes about. Now, we did our best with insect repellent, but it only does so much when they are literally everywhere. A parent one day asked me if I could “keep the mosquitoes away from [his] son” and “make sure he doesn’t get bitten” as though I was insect God-Emperor.
Going to Whole Foods to buy her child lunch when all she packed was a box of dried spaghetti that she expected the school to cook for her child. The child couldn’t eat the regular school food because he was on a special diet.
A mom asked me to not give her 4 year child water or other liquids during the school day because the child was getting up at night to use the restroom. I told her I was not going restrict a child’s access to water.
For the solar eclipse, wanted us to shade all the windows and doors for the “solar radiation that escapes during the event”. God save the children.
Five day summer camp. Parent has ticked all of “My child is allergic to: Nuts, eggs, wheat, gluten, lactose, shellfish, soy, fish.” We called her to ask what her child normally eats and home and she replied “oh, we don’t know if he’s allergic to any of those and he doesn’t have a modified diet at home, but we thought it was better not to risk it while he was away!”Kid ate everything. Didn’t complain or die a single time.
Devout vegan family that would not allow me to use/eat animal products because “we don’t want our children indoctrinated by meat eaters who think it’s okay to slaughter and eat innocent animals”.I baby sat for a while. But the kids were pretentious little fucks. I quit by stashing some bacon in my bag and eating it as the parents walked in. I let them fire me.After that, the agency I was with dropped them and stopped providing them with sitters.
My friend was a camp counselor. One dad told her to make sure that his son didn’t have too much fun. Seriously.She didn’t comply and let the kid enjoy his summer.
A parent once asked if we could arrange for their child to have his core classes in the afternoon and noncore classes/study halls in the morning because they couldn’t prevent him from playing video games all night. He had a television and Xbox in his bedroom and never slept unless he was in class.
I worked at a camp about 5 years ago. One of the kids moms gave us a bunch of pre-written letters and told us to give one to her daughter each week instead of actually writing her weekly.
Worked as a Residence Hall Director for a time and had to settle two 20 year old adults problems via their mothers on the phone at 11:30 at night because they each demanded to talk to me since their respective children “couldn’t possibly be the problem” It’s a great story i like to tell in interviews.
I’m a pretty tall guy. In my first year teaching young ones, one mother said her daughter was scared of me because of my height. Her solution was obviously for me to try to act less tall.
Used to work at a summer camp. Had a mother ask us to remind her baby boy to go to the bathroom (number 2) every few hours. He had previously shat himself on outings…. he was in third grade.
Was a camp counselor for many years during high school and college, sometimes at sleep-away camps and sometimes at day camps. My favorite was the woman who threw a shit-fit and tried to get me fired because one of the pet rabbits chewed on her daughter’s shirt.
I work at a library, and I was once approached by a child’s mother to write his essay for him. She offered to pay me, but I kindly declined and informed her that she isn’t doing him any favors by trying to get other people to do his homework. She scoffed at me, and left the library fuming.
As a counselor in a camp, I had a kid with a glass eye. The mom told me that if it pops out I should just put it in a glass of water and call her. I still, 30 years later, wonder if she was screwing with me.
I work in a kids store and we have a little play area that’s barricaded so kids can stay in there while parents shop. We have a tv in there and rotate movies. Finding Nemo is a staple in there. One time a mom asked me to fast forward through the beginning part where Nemo’s Mom dies.
Worked at a daycare in the summer of 2016. Had the kids at had just turned 2. Some were potty trained, most weren’t, so we had the change their diapers. No big deal, until one mom told us her son was learning how to aim and ASKED IF WE COULD HOLD HER SONS PENIS AS HE PEED.We told her that wasn’t going to happen.