General chatter - Parents: Need suggestions Please :)




Smilette31
10-13-2009, 09:44 AM
Being that I have no children, I thought I'd seek the advice of the parents on the board. A friend of mine is recently divorced and was awarded joint custody of his two kids on Monday-Tuesdays every week. He lives close to their school but the problem is that he has to be to work at 7 and his kids dont start school til 8. The past few weeks his boss has been letting him come in an hour late but the higher ups found out and told him no more. So he's been trying to find someone that can watch his kids for that hour. No one is able to do it. I called the school for him to see if they had a morning latchkey program or something where he could drop them off early but they pulled that program last year. I asked them if they knew of anything else and they were rude and said NO. So ... do any of the parents on here have suggestions as to what else he could try? The local YMCA has a program but it doesnt involved getting the kids to school :( so ... that was out too. He doesnt know any of the parents at the kids new school ... because I suggested he talk to one of the parents. The only other thing I thought was to talk with the kids teacher and mention it to her and maybe she knew of a parent in the class that could help. I dunno ... any other suggestions? Thanks!


jelder227
10-13-2009, 09:49 AM
Check local daycares, esp the better ones. The day care I used was 6 am to 6 pm, and runs pick up and drop off bus service to several of the surrounding elementary schools for the school-agers. Some are strictly a 5-day-a-week thing, but others will work with you.

Thighs Be Gone
10-13-2009, 09:52 AM
Don't the kids have any friends that live nearby where he could drop them at 7? I know many parents here do that. Also, most schools allow children to be dropped up to 30 minutes before school begins.

Also, he should check area daycares. Most daycares do a van drop off at the schools in the morning. In this economy, I am willing to bet one of those daycares near him would be willing to drop his kids for him. I would even bet they would reduce rates if this is the ONLY need he has.

I would first though, check with the friends that live close by. Maybe even agree to some sort of swap--exchang a couple of hours of weekend babysitting with parent that was willing to get his kids to school.


UniquelyNormal
10-13-2009, 10:19 AM
I have found stay at home mom's on Craigslist.org that will come over for a small fee & take my kids to school. Thankfully my husband is in security so could run background checks, but if he interviews he may be able to find a good fit.

kaybelle9
10-13-2009, 10:34 AM
As a parent, I would call the school back and DEMAND to talk to someone who can help, even if it's the school administrator. Don't let these kids fall through the cracks of school bureaucracy! Perhaps you got the wrong person on a bad day, and the next may be more helpful. I doubt he is the only parent at the school that has this problem.

Smilette31
10-13-2009, 01:10 PM
As a parent, I would call the school back and DEMAND to talk to someone who can help, even if it's the school administrator. Don't let these kids fall through the cracks of school bureaucracy! Perhaps you got the wrong person on a bad day, and the next may be more helpful. I doubt he is the only parent at the school that has this problem.

He actually did call back and talked with the principal who told him that they could not refer him to a daycare, etc because its a liability if something happens at the daycare that they could come back and sue the school for referring them. ( Grrr )
He's going in tonight after class is dismissed to talk to the teacher ... hopefully she'll know of someone in the classroom possibly that is a stay at home mom or someone that would be willing to help him out for just that hour in the morning.

Thanks to everyone's suggestions, I'll pass them along to him.

JulieJ08
10-13-2009, 01:20 PM
As a parent, I would call the school back and DEMAND to talk to someone who can help, even if it's the school administrator. Don't let these kids fall through the cracks of school bureaucracy! Perhaps you got the wrong person on a bad day, and the next may be more helpful. I doubt he is the only parent at the school that has this problem.

?How is this the school's responsibility that he should demand it from them? The child is not falling through the cracks of school bureaucracy, he's falling through the cracks of his parents' lives.

Shannon in ATL
10-13-2009, 01:20 PM
How old are the kids?

Thighs Be Gone
10-13-2009, 01:48 PM
:( Sad but I have to agree.

Smilette31
10-13-2009, 02:07 PM
?How is this the school's responsibility that he should demand it from them? The child is not falling through the cracks of school bureaucracy, he's falling through the cracks of his parents' lives.


Let me just say that I didn't say it was the school's responsibility .. someone else did .. HOWEVER I would ASSUME they would try to help atleast by letting him know any other options that they are aware of like programs before school etc etc. With that being said, even though these are not my kids I take offense to you saying they are falling through the cracks of their parents lives. My friend is a hard working father ... in today's economy you are LUCKY to have a good job ... any job at all for that matter. Sure he'd love to just say " to heck with work, ill stay home for that hour " but he could lose his job if he doesn't take care of this. What happens to the kids then when the father ( the primary FiNANCIAL support ) loses his job?? These kids are only in 1st and 2nd grade. He is doing what he can to try to make this all work. They are NOT slipping through the cracks of his life. He is trying to provide for them WHILE making something work in the morning so he doesn't lose his job. he doesn't have family to lean on like most of us do. Yes I know there are a lot of single parents out there with similar situations ... andt he point of this post was to get suggestions on what else he could look into. I'm almost sorry that I even posted this with a reply like that.

To those of you that took the time to suggest something instead of judge - thank you.

Shannon in ATL
10-13-2009, 02:17 PM
Smillette -
I know it is hard to be a single parent with kids, DH & I don't have DSS at our house all the time and their are two of us, we still juggle with work schedules, school schedules, day care, etc. I hope your friend can find a resource - there are single parent support groups that spring up on places like MeetUp or Craigs list in some areas, though use caution with anyone you find like that. Like Julie, I don't agree that it is the schools responsibility to take care of this situation, but like you, I feel like the school should be a resource. When I was in high school I drove two kids to band practice and back every day with me - their mom called the school and asked for help, said her kids would have to drop out if their wasn't someone who could drive them. My band director found me and asked me to help out. We wouldn't have had that link without him. Try the kids teachers, they may know some parents who could help. It is sad to me that the school system can't recommend a daycare center out of worries of liability...

Like some people have said, daycare centers often will transport kids to school - that is why I was asking the ages. DSS's daycare buses to the elementary schools, but not the middle or high school. They let you drop off as early as 6:30 then they handle the school transport, both to and from school actually - they will pick them up and bring them back to the daycare for pickup by 6:30 pm.

Jobs are starting earlier and ending later more and more these days, DH's ex has had 12 hour shifts in the past, now she starts at 7 am. In the past when she had to go to work before the daycare opened DH would go pick up DSS and take him to daycare when it opened. I know that they are divorced, but could the mother be a resource to help out on these two days? Non traditional I know, but DH & his ex have had some success with this kind of cooperation.

Good luck to him. :hug:

ETA - has he asked about flex hours during the rest of the week to make up for the time on Monday & Tuesday? I figure he has to get out early those days as well to pick them up? Moms get flex hours a lot faster than Dads, but it has been known to happen.

JulieJ08
10-13-2009, 02:30 PM
Let me just say that I didn't say it was the school's responsibility .. someone else did .. HOWEVER I would ASSUME they would try to help atleast by letting him know any other options that they are aware of like programs before school etc etc. With that being said, even though these are not my kids I take offense to you saying they are falling through the cracks of their parents lives. My friend is a hard working father ... in today's economy you are LUCKY to have a good job ... any job at all for that matter. Sure he'd love to just say " to heck with work, ill stay home for that hour " but he could lose his job if he doesn't take care of this. What happens to the kids then when the father ( the primary FiNANCIAL support ) loses his job?? These kids are only in 1st and 2nd grade. He is doing what he can to try to make this all work. They are NOT slipping through the cracks of his life. He is trying to provide for them WHILE making something work in the morning so he doesn't lose his job. he doesn't have family to lean on like most of us do. Yes I know there are a lot of single parents out there with similar situations ... andt he point of this post was to get suggestions on what else he could look into. I'm almost sorry that I even posted this with a reply like that.

To those of you that took the time to suggest something instead of judge - thank you.

I did not judge. I am quite sure he is doing the very best he can. It is still true that the children *are* falling through the cracks in their parents' lives. That is where the cracks are. That doesn't mean the parents have done something wrong. But that *is* where the cracks are. That is all I have said. While I think it would be fantastic if the school solves the problem, I think it's offensive to tell him to call and *demand* they solve his problem. Therefore I was pointing out to that poster that the child is not falling through cracks in the *school's* system, as she said.

Smilette31
10-13-2009, 02:34 PM
I did not judge. I am quite sure he is doing the very best he can. It is still true that the children *are* falling through the cracks in their parents' lives. That is where the cracks are. That doesn't mean the parents have done something wrong. But that *is* where the cracks are. That is all I have said. While I think it would be fantastic if the school solves the problem, I think it's offensive to tell him to call and *demand* they solve his problem. Therefore I was pointing out to that poster that the school did not create the problem, as she said.

Understood. :) I see where you are coming from now with that explanation. I apologize if I came off a bit abrasive in that last post ... I am just very protective of people who really are trying their very best to provide for their children in tough situations, ya know? :)

JulieJ08
10-13-2009, 02:42 PM
Sorry if my first post was too brief to be clear. I didn't realize it would be taken another way.

ANewCreation
10-13-2009, 02:43 PM
He should start with the parent's of the kiddos' friends. He may not know them but they kids can point them out. Or at least point out the friend and they can ask the friend to point out their parent. I'd try to do this after school when everyone is picking up their kids. To not put anyone on the spot (because not all SAHM want to babysit), I would ask the parents IF they know of anyone who would be willing to do this for him. Offer to pay a reasonable amount (they may turn you down but he may have to pay for this service). Also start asking neighbors the same question. That would be alot easier if they could just go next door or across the street.

I also think it's an excellent idea to ask their teacher's if they know of anyone who could do this. Daycare pick up is also a great idea. And if Mom can help out then she should. Maybe there is some kind of trade off they can make. She covers that hour or so in the morning and he gives her the same amount of hours in handy work around the house or car work or whatever makes it work between the two of them.

Please let us know how it works out. My heart breaks for families in times like these. I pray it all works out soon.

Nella
10-13-2009, 03:08 PM
And if Mom can help out then she should. Maybe there is some kind of trade off they can make. She covers that hour or so in the morning and he gives her the same amount of hours in handy work around the house or car work or whatever makes it work between the two of them.

Please let us know how it works out. My heart breaks for families in times like these. I pray it all works out soon.

In a perfect world this is possible. In the real world, most likely the mother and father are not on great terms. Before I met my husband, he struggled with what to do with his kids on the days he had them before and after school. Going to the mother was not an option, even though she doesn't work (refuses to work is the actual case).

I wish I had some sound advice. The result for my DH was that his sister came to live with him for a few years with her kid. It was a win-win situation for them, though not likely for all. Parents in the town might be his only option.

Smilette31
10-13-2009, 05:11 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions and Shannon thanks for that post you made. :)

To answer some of the questions ... the ex wife isn't an option. Without getting specific, lets just say she's trying to make things VERY hard for him right now. She knows he wont fight her on anything if it means upsetting the boys because theyve been through enough already and are not handling the divorce well so he refuses to put them in the middle of anything more than has already been done.

I will ask him about the flex time. The reason it isnt a problem after school is because they are enrolled in an " open gym " type program where they basically get to play, under supervision, in the gym at the school for 30 minutes before he picks them up. They think its great. :)

I havent talked with him yet about the talk with the teacher but hopefully that went well. Since I had some free time today I also drove around the school area and took notes of some daycares in the area then came home and tried to research them and also called to ask if they had transportation to the school. One of them has a bus stop right outside of the daycare for that elementary school and said shed be more than happy to talk to him about watching the kids for that brief time in the morning. So hopefully that works out for him.

Thanks again for all the suggestions!!!

JulieJ08
10-13-2009, 05:26 PM
Wow, he's lucky he has you to help.

EZMONEY
10-13-2009, 06:38 PM
I just want to say I also took offense to the post that implied it was the school's problem....I see we are past that now and all is well!

When my ex-wife left many years ago I had some of the same problems...I was blessed to have a sister and mom near me to watch my kids in the morning before school and the get them there.

Not too many will take a couple of kiddos in anywhere from 4-5:30am (depending on where I was working) ...unless they are family ;)

I will tell you that I had my children in our church school. Our day care ran from 6am until 6pm every school day. They even have day care when school is not in session...knowing many parents work. It was quite a comfort for me, when I was working in town, to drop them off at 6am and not have to worry about them until I picked them up.

So...maybe a local church school/combo day care is an option for your friend?

kittycat40
10-14-2009, 07:51 AM
If there is a college near by, you can place an ad for a student to be with the kids for the hour before school and then drive them to school.
This is not a problem only single parents have. I have spent many hours stressing and planning how to get my kids where they need to go on the days that I work. Dh's job makes him unavailable to help.

Eta- It must be awful to have this stress on top of an awful divorce. This stress almost caused me to consider divorce (joke!)

Smilette31
10-14-2009, 12:57 PM
Wow, thank you so much for the suggestions. Kittycat that is a GREAT idea! There is a community college about 4 blocks away from his home!

The teacher told him that she would mention it to a few of the mothers that volunteer in the classroom and maybe they would know of someone that could help in the morning.

He got in touch with the daycare that I found yesterday and he is starting them there next week temporarily. Paying someone was never a problem .. it was just finding someone in general to help out! He is going to see how the kids do there ... hopefully itll work out.

Thanks again SO MUCH for everyones suggestions!!

Shannon in ATL
10-14-2009, 01:16 PM
I'm glad he found a daycare that he can use for now. It is definitely hard - the rough divorce must make it worse. As much as it sometimes pains me to have the level of contact we have with DH's ex I know it would be much harder if we had her working against us at every step....

Hope it works out! And you are a very good friend, I hope he appreciates it! :)

mllek
10-14-2009, 08:23 PM
When my SSs were little guys my DH worked shift - four days on & three days off. His X dropped them off at our house on his off days. Daycare drop off on the other days. It took a while to get everything organized but eventually worked out fine.

It's really hard for newly divorced w/kids - especially for the dads (in my opinion, only). I'm sure he's struggling with guilt feelings and stress. Maybe being forced to meet neighbors and making friends would not only (potentially) solve the morning care problem but also provide friendship and support for him and his kids!

I have a close girlfriend who would leave for work before her kids went to school but these kids were older and responsible enough to grab their backpacks & lock the door. She made them breakfast then had to scoot. At first she was wracked with guilt but her mom and dad both left early for work when she was a kid (they were not divorced) and she got herself to school just fine!

Hope all works out. With 50% or so of all marriages ending in divorce I think we (as a society) will have to be more accomodating. Just my $.02.