Not Sue-table Clients

| San Diego, CA, USA | Bad Behavior, Family & Kids

(I am giving a tour of my home daycare to prospective clients.)

Mother: “This is quite lovely. I really like your outdoor space and the type of toys you have for the children in the playroom. I was wondering, how do you deal with discipline?”

Me: “Well, it depends on the type of behavior I am dealing with. I mostly redirect, show appropriate behavior, and say no when I have to. I only resort to time-out when a child really needs to cool down and their actions are directly affecting the other kids.”

Father: “Well, how do you deal with hitting or biting?”

Me: “Some children, not all, will go through a phase or episodes. It’s a matter of getting them to understand it hurts, showing them alternate ways to express frustration, anger, or excitement, and also teaching the other children to say no firmly. As hands-on as I try to be, it cannot be always be avoided, but we work through it. Both parties learn from it, in terms of self-control and assertiveness.”

Mother: “The reason we are looking for daycare for our daughter is because at the last place, a little boy bit our daughter. We are both lawyers, and I can assure you that we sued the bejeesus out of that provider.” *disturbing giggle*

Me: *thinking to myself* “And that makes me want to take you on as clients because…?”

Me: *out loud* “Some things will happen. This is a safe space, regularly inspected, but toddlers are learning to handle their feelings and emotions and sometimes it manifests in physical ways. I am here to guide them and show them better ways. I cannot condone litigious responses to fairly normal occurrences that cannot possibly be prevented, though they can be corrected. Are you fine with being sued if your little girl hits another child at the park?”

Father: “She would NEVER do that. If she so much as grabs food without asking first she gets a spanking, so I can guarantee you she’s not going to physically attack another kid.”

Me: “…”

(Needless to say, I made the rest of the tour as brief as I could and when they emailed me to ask about enrolling, I turned them down politely.)

Requires Adult Supervision

| Philadelphia, PA, USA | Bizarre, Theme Of The Month

(I work in a daycare which caters to infants through to 12 years of age. A middle-aged man once approaches me.)

Customer: “Hi.”

Me: “Hello. How can I help you?”

Customer: “I want to be cared for.”

Me: “How old are you?”

Customer: “46.”

Me: “This is a daycare that only caters to young children.”

Customer: “Oh… do you know where I can find a daycare that caters to adults?”

Me: “Yes I do. The nearest hospital is right down the road.”

Customer: “Thanks! I can’t wait to play with the toys!”

Marri(age) Dispute

| OR, USA | Family & Kids, Theme Of The Month, Top

(I am a secretary at a big summer camp. Due to the extended needs of our small children, we only take kids through age 12. I answer a call.)

Me: “Hello, this is [Camp]; how may I help you?”

Mother: “I’d like to register my son for the finger-painting class.”

Me: “That’s excellent. May I just ask your son’s age?”

Mother: “Certainly, he’s 17.”

Me: “…I’m sorry, but I don’t think we can take your son.”

Mother: “Why?!”

Me: “Because we only take children up to age 12, and anyhow, this class is for our five-year-old age group. If you’d like, I can refer you to [teen camp]; they’re better suited to teens.”

Mother: “No! You’re going to take my son! He wants this class!”

Me: “I’m really sorry, but that rule is set in stone. We can’t bend it. Like I said, I can help you—”

Mother: “NO! NO! NO! You sign him up right now or I’ll have you fired!” *to son* “Here, Little Johnny! Tell this b**** to put you in the class!”

Little Johnny: “Yeah, I know the class is for five-year olds. My mom just doesn’t want me to go see my dad. Sorry about that. She’s an idiot. Bye.”

Mother: *in background* “LITTLE JOHNNY! DON’T TELL HER THAT!” *click*